Warmist crooks above: Keith "One tree" Briffa; Michael "Bristlecone" Mann; James "data distorter" Hansen; Phil "data destroyer" Jones -- Leading members in the cabal of climate quacks

Against the long history of huge temperature variation in the earth's climate (ice ages etc.), the .6 of one degree average rise reported for the entire 20th century by the United Nations (a rise so small that you would not be able to detect such a difference personally without instruments) shows in fact that the 20th century was a time of exceptional temperature stability.

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

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31 August, 2010

An optimal world temperature?

Have any of the AGW people ever said just what is the optimal average world temperature and why that temperature is optimal??

The AGWers don't have a specific optimum global average temperature, but they do have a sort of optimum temperature band. This forms the basis of the idea, widely used by (and specifically invented for) AGW promoting politicians, that the global average temperature must be limited to not increasing by more than 2 degrees C above pre-industrial temperature levels. The 2 degree C figure usually appears in statements made by politicians at the various international climate change summits that seem to take place every year.

The story about where the 2 deg C figure comes from, which was invented by some German climate scientists back in the mid-1990s, is given in this link:
"The story of the two-degree target began in the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). Administration politicians had asked the council for climate protection guidelines, and the scientists under Schellnhuber's leadership came up with a strikingly simple idea. "We looked at the history of the climate since the rise of homo sapiens," Schellnhuber recalls. "This showed us that average global temperatures in the last 130,000 years were no more than two degrees higher than before the beginning of the industrial revolution. To be on the safe side, we came up with a rule of thumb stating that it would be better not to depart from this field of experience in human evolution. Otherwise we would be treading on terra incognita.""

So from that the above it looks like pro-AGW climate scientists are assigning an optimum temperature band to what they think the homo sapiens species has already experienced in its history. The 2 deg C rise figure would go outside this optimum band. It's an application of the precautionary principle.

As far as I'm aware climate scientists don't think a 'catastrophe' would occur if the limit is exceeded (for example Schellnhuber, who invented the limit, doesn't think that) but Green-leaning politicians often treat it as though it is a catastrophic limit.

The Green lobby, it goes without saying, claim that an apocalypse would occur if the 2 deg C limit is exceeded. For example the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition in the UK (a coalition of about 100 Green-leaning NGOs) have this on their webpage:
"But with a rise of 2 degrees C or more, southern Europe will suffer serious drought every decade; billions of people will not have enough water; 550 million will go hungry; 3 million will die from malnutrition.

In the UK coastal flooding will impact up to 170 million people. And many plant, bird and butterfly species will be consigned to the history books."

The above extract also gives the biggest Greenie numerical howler I think I've ever seen. They're claiming 170 million people in the UK would be affected by coastal flooding when the current total population of the UK is something like 60 million.


Eco-terrorists: Ready to Kill for Their Cause?

A string of arson fires and material found during an arrest point to "animal rights" groups now being willing to kill for their goals.

According to STRATFOR, an open source intelligence firm, on July 22 special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI arrested Walter Bond in Denver. He was charged with setting an April 30 fire which destroyed the Sheepskin Factory, a Glendale, Colorado, business.

According to STRATFOR, Bond goes by the alias ALF Lone Wolf, and he apparently bragged to a confidential informant that he was also responsible for a June 5 fire at a leather factory in Salt Lake City and a July 3 fire at a restaurant in Sandy, Utah.

Bond is a member of an extremist group called the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). They are allied with a similar organization called the Earth Liberation Front (ELF).

These groups were somewhat in the news a few years ago, but faded off the radar when it became apparent that public sympathies were rather with the business owners whose livelihoods were destroyed and workers who were injured — not the radicals who saw no moral dilemma in spiking trees or torching housing developments.

So far, law enforcement has not focused heavily on organizations like the ALF or the ELF for a couple of reasons. First, because they’re hard to catch. They use an operational model called “leaderless resistance” in which small cells or individual operatives function underground without a command structure. They are in turn given some cover guidance by above-ground political organizations which are very careful not to do anything illegal. They also tend to get cover from a sympathetic media which, when they do report on it, will tend to decry the action and then proceed to talk about the horrors of animal testing.

The other reason these cases don’t get a lot of attention is that to date the terrorists have been very careful not to target people deliberately. There are some indications this may be changing.

As STRATFOR reports:
According to the ATF affidavit, a search of Bond’s backpack after his arrest revealed that he had a copy of an ALF publication titled “The Declaration of War: Killing People to Save the Animals and the Environment.” The book, which was first published by the ALF in 1991, contends that nonviolent methods such as those laid out by Gandhi and Jesus are not productive (especially when applied to animals) and explains that violence is justified to protect animals, who cannot protect themselves. The book’s author contends that people who seek to liberate animals (which the author refers to as “brothers” and “sisters”) from human oppression and abuse will “use any and every tactic necessary to win the freedom of our brothers and sisters. This means they cheat, steal, lie, plunder, disable, threaten, and physically harm others to achieve their objective.”

In other words, they figure it’s OK to kill people if it will save an animal.


Post-spill, it’s still “drill, baby, drill!”

Public support for tapping America's oil reserves got a tough test over the last few months with the Deepwater Horizon spill, but the verdict is in: It's "drill, baby, drill!"

A clear majority continued to support drilling in American waters even during the height of the spill, when oil was gushing uncontrollably and dying birds headlined network newscasts. Pollsters at Rasmussen reported on Aug. 4 that "since the oil-rig explosion that caused the massive oil leak, support for offshore drilling has ranged from 56 percent to 64 percent." That's fairly consistent with the percentages in April of this year, just before the spill, and not a huge drop-off from the 72 percent that supported it back in the summer of 2008, when pump prices topped $4 a gallon.

Now that the leak has been stopped, the number in favor should start creeping back up. Support was always strongest in Louisiana -- which bore the brunt of the environmental and economic damage -- where 79 percent of residents remained in favor of drilling in Rassmussen's numbers, the same as before the spill.

President Obama clearly overplayed his hand with Louisianians and other Gulf Coast residents when his administration tried to parlay the spill into a justification for a moratorium on offshore drilling and other job-killing measures, such as the cap-and-trade global-warming tax on energy. The bayou backlash against the moratorium -- including from Louisiana Democrats in Congress -- was deafening.

Looking forward, the biggest threat to the Gulf region's economy isn't the spill itself but Washington's reaction to it. According to a study by Louisiana State University economics Professor Joseph Mason, the moratorium will destroy 12,000 jobs in the near term and 36,000 if it lasts a year. As the Gulf region loses jobs, the rest of the nation is losing the energy that would have been produced.

Gulf Coast residents were right not to overreact. Despite Obama's best efforts to hype the spill, including a prime-time speech calling it "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced," the damage has proved to be far from catastrophic.

The scariest claims turned out to be nonsense. Remember those "experts" who predicted that the oil would make its way around Florida and blacken the Atlantic Coast?

As cleanup activities and efforts to compensate those who've been harmed move forward, there is reason for cautious optimism about the long-term prospects for recovery. The Gulf shrimp is just as safe to eat -- and as tasty -- as before the spill.

The administration is still pushing the moratorium, but its gloomy rhetoric -- echoed by nearly every anti-fossil-fuel environmental group -- may undercut its own efforts. If the Deepwater Horizon spill really was the absolute worst that could happen, then the benefits of producing American oil sure seem worth the risks. Spills of this magnitude occur only once every few decades. We'll more likely see a return of gas at $4 a gallon -- or higher -- long before we see another spill this big.

Washington can and should find out what caused the spill and impose reasonable safeguards, but it shouldn't close the door on tapping the nation's oil resources. The American people have had it right all along: Drill, baby, drill!


Corny capitalism

Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency issued another one of those announcements read exclusively by government bureaucrats and green policy wonks. The EPA decided to delay a decision to increase the concentration of ethanol legal in gasoline from 10% to 15%. So-called E15 fuel would have to wait for approval until November.

It was a little-read regulatory decision that barely made a splash in the media. But it was also a rock thrown at Washington's hornets' nest of food and agricultural lobbyists. "We are disappointed," warned food giant Archer Daniels Midland. "We find this further delay unacceptable" and a "dereliction of duty," harrumphed ethanol lobbying group Growth Energy.

By delaying the decision, the EPA punted on a crucial decision. The pressure brought to bear against the agency by the agriculture industry has been incredible. It's also been applied well; the EPA will most likely still approve E15 fuel in the fall.

That's bad news for any American who likes to drive. In a country powered by the automobile, E15 is an enormous question mark. Since the 1970s when ethanol was first regulated by the feds, concentrations of alcohol in fuel above 10% have been illegal. But the government, lost in a dream world where cars can run on corn, has tied itself in regulatory knots trying to force ethanol into the fuel supply.

The history of ethanol is a sad torrid affair of crony capitalism and green fantasies. By jumping in bed with the agriculture industry and blindly slapping on new regulations, the government artificially propped up an industry and put itself in a bind from which there may be no return.

From Suing Toyota to Subsidizing E15

Across America, pumps at gas stations are emblazoned with the words, "Contains 10% Ethanol." That's no free market innovation. Since the 1970s, the federal government has heavily subsidized the production of "gasohol"--a blend of 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol that reduces tailpipe emissions. For decades, progressive politicians and environmental groups have revered ethanol as a miracle additive that will help purify America's air. "No country has ever gone to war over ethanol," reads one sign on the Washington, D.C. Metro subway.

There's just one problem: Ethanol fuel is wildly inefficient. The amount of corn required to soak the fuel supply is massive. To shift America's car culture entirely from gasoline to gasohol would require 700,000 square miles of land growing corn exclusively for ethanol production. That would mean converting one-fifth of the United States into a sprawling corn farm.

Then again, the government never found a green boondoggle it didn't love. For five years now, Congress has been mandating that the fuel supply be diluted with ethanol. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 required 7.5 billion gallons of ethanol in the fuel supply by 2012. A Democratic Congress went a step further in 2007, mandating 9 billion gallons by 2008, 15.2 billion by 2012, and 36 billion by 2022.

Unfortunately, that whole Economics 101, supply-and-demand thing got in the way. The maximum amount of ethanol that can be produced to meet demand, called the "blend wall," is expected to level out at 15 billion. That will make it impossible to meet the government's mandates.

The agriculture industry, represented primarily by Archer Daniels Midland and Growth Energy, spied an opportunity. Why not increase the legal gasohol concentration from 10% ethanol to 12% or even 15%? That would immediately ignite ethanol production and allow the government to meet its mandate. More importantly, it would make Big Agriculture some serious money.

The EPA looked ready to raise the limit until science finally intervened. A study surfaced by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory from 2008 that found E15 ethanol caused a raft of problems in cars, including a loss of fuel economy and spikes in exhaust temperatures. Meanwhile the higher concentration of ethanol did nothing to reduce tailpipe emissions. The study also found problems when E15 fuel was used in lawn trimmers.

The car industry exploded in outrage. Most car warranties only cover E10, which could leave customers stuck with hefty bills if their engines were damaged. A study done by the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers found E15 "made engines run hot, compromised catalytic converters, and even damaged cylinder walls."

To its credit, the EPA ultimately delayed its decision in order to review the science. But in the meantime they'll have an army of powerful agricultural lobbyists leaning on them. Even supported by its scaffolding of government subsidies and mandates, the ethanol industry is collapsing. The recession shuttered several ethanol companies. Others were gobbled up by oil giants at bargain prices. Some estimates suggest ethanol producers are losing 10 cents on every gallon of gasoline. This is all despite the fact that 25% of corn grown in the United States goes towards ethanol production.

The agricultural industry needs E15. And if history is any indication, it'll probably get what it wants.


Greenies defeated by their own reverse turn

Their lack of any real principles other than mindless hostility to the world they live in shows up

Watching the colossal and implosive decline of the once mighty green movement to stop global warming has been an educational experience. It’s rare to see so many smart, idealistic and dedicated people look so clueless and fail so completely. From the anti-climax of the Cluster of Copenhagen, when world leaders assembled for the single most unproductive and chaotic global gathering ever held, the movement has gone from one catastrophic failure to the next.

A year ago giddy environmentalists were on top of the world. The greenest president in American history had the largest congressional majority of any president since Lyndon Johnson; the most powerful leaders in the world were elbowing each other for places on the agenda at the Copenhagen conference on climate.

It all came to naught. The continued stalemates and failures of the UN treaty process have fallen off the front pages; as the Kyoto Protocol sinks ineffectually into oblivion, no new global treaty will take its place. The most Democratic Congress in a generation will not pass significant climate legislation before the midterms pull Congress to the right, and there will be no US law on carbon caps or anything close in President Obama’s first term, and there is less public faith in or concern about climate change today than at any time in the last fifteen years.

Has any public pressure group ever spent so much direct mail and foundation money for such pathetic results?

The standard rap on the greens is that they failed because they were too environmentalist. Their pure and naive ideals were no match for the evil, ugly forces of real world politics. Beautiful losers, they dared to dream a dream too gossamer winged, too delicate for the harsh light of day. Bambi, meet Godzilla; the butterfly was broken on the wheel.

Even in defeat, the greens can’t get it right. The greens didn’t fail because they were too loyal to their ideals; they failed because lost touch with the core impetus and values of the environmental movement. Bambi wasn’t crushed by Godzilla; Bambi turned into Godzilla, and the same kind of public skepticism and populism that once fueled environmentalism have turned against it.

The greens have forgotten where they come from. Modern environmentalism was born in the reaction against Big Science, Big Government and Experts. The Army Corps of Engineers built dams that devastated wetlands and ruined ecosystems; environmentalists used to be people who fought the Corps because they understood the limits of science, engineering, and simple big interventions in complex ecosystems.

The case environmentalists used to make was that modern science was too crude and too incomplete to take into account the myriad features that could turn a giant hydroelectric dam from a blessing into a curse. Yes, the dam would generate power — for a while. But green critics would note that the dam had side effects: silt would back up in the reservoir, soil downstream would be impoverished, parasites and malaria bearing mosquitoes would flourish in the still waters and so on and so forth. Meanwhile the destruction of wetlands and river bottoms imposed enormous costs to wildlife diversity and the productivity of river systems. Salmon runs would disappear. Often, the development associated with hydroelectric dams led to deforestation, offsetting gains in flood control.

Environmentalists were skeptics of the One Big Fix. Science could never capture all the side effects and the unintended consequences. DDT looked like a magic bullet against malaria, but it threatened to wipe out important bird species. Books like Silent Spring, the environmental classic, attacked the engineers of big interventions as hopelessly out of touch crude thinkers, who tried to reduce complex social and biological issues and processes to simple science. Intellectually and culturally, environmentalists came out of the same movement as critics of crude urban development like Jane Jacob (The Death and Life of Great American Cities). They celebrated the diverse local, small-scale adaptations that reflected the knowledge of communities as opposed to the grandiose plans of the social engineers.

Essentially, the core environmentalist argument against big projects and big development is the same argument that libertarians use against economic regulations and state planning. The ‘economic ecology’ of a healthy free market system is so complex, libertarians argue, that bureaucratic interventions, however well intentioned and however thoroughly supported by peer reviewed science of various kinds, will produce unintended consequences — and in any case the interventions and regulations are too crude and too simple to provide an adequate substitute for the marvelously complex economic order that develops from free competition. Environmentalists turned this logic against Big Science projects like dams and more generally built a case that humanity should work to have a light footprint in the world. Natural systems are so complicated, so interlinked in non-obvious ways, that any human intervention in nature has unanticipated costs. The less we intervene, the better.

An increasingly skeptical public started to notice that ‘experts’ weren’t angels descending immaculately from heaven bearing infallible revelations from God. They were fallible human beings with mortgages to pay and funds to raise. They disagreed with one another and they colluded with their friends and supporters like everyone else. They often produced research that agreed with the views of those who funded their work (tobacco companies, builders of nuclear power plants, NGOs and foundations).

More, on issues the public follows closely, the scientific consensus keeps changing. Margarine was introduced as the healthy alternative to butter; now experts tell us that the transfats in many types of margarine are the worst things you can eat. Should you eat no fat or the right fat? All carbs, no carbs or good carbs? How much vitamin E should you take? How much sun should you get? How much fish oil should you swallow? How should you divide your time between aerobic and non-aerobic exercise? On these and many other subjects, expert opinion keeps changing. Perhaps the current consensus will last; quite possibly, it won’t — but the experts can’t tell you what will happen.

The rise of the environmental movement reflected the increasing independence of thought and judgment of a public that was becoming less and less impressed with credentials and degrees. The public wanted to take power back from experts and appointed government agencies and put up new obstacles in the way of technocratic engineers with big projects in mind.

But when it comes to global warming, the shoe is on the other foot. Now it is suddenly the environmentalists — who’ve often spent lifetimes raging against experts and scientists who debunk organic food and insist that GMOs and nuclear power plants are safe — who are the pious advocates of science and experts. Suddenly, it’s a sin to question the wisdom of the Scientific Consensus. Scientists are, after all, experts; their work is peer-reviewed and we uneducated rubes must sit back and shut up when the experts tell us what’s right.

More, environmentalists have found a big and simple fix for all that ails us: a global carbon cap. One big problem, one big fix. It is not just wrong to doubt that a fix is needed, it is wrong to doubt that the Chosen Fix will work. Never mind that the leading green political strategy (to stop global warming by a treaty that gains unanimous consent among 190 plus countries and is then ratified by 67 votes in a Senate that rejected Kyoto 95-0) is and always has been so cluelessly unrealistic as to be clinically insane. The experts decree; we rubes are not to think but to honor and obey.

The environmental movement has turned into the Army Corps of Engineers, even as public skepticism of experts has reached new heights. The financial experts and economists told us the new financial markets were perfectly safe. Then the Obama administration’s expert economists told us the stimulus would work and that unemployment wouldn’t get above 8%. They told him and he told us the recovery was underway. “Recovery summer,” anyone?


AAAH! That lovely global cooling

Coldest year on record for minimum temperatures in the capital of Western Australia

Perth is shivering through its coldest year for overnight temperatures, but at the same time bathing in the sunniest winter on record.

Meanwhile, farmers are battling the second driest year since records began, as the WA Bureau of Meteorology rewrites the history books for rain, sun and temperature extremes.

Perth's minimum temperature for winter this year is 1.9C colder than the average 8.2C, according to the bureau's climate information officer John Relf.

And the city has received just 402.6mm of rain compared to the January to August average of 648.3mm.

While daytime temperatures are on average at 18.8C, the number of sunlight hours are well above the 6.4 hour average with a 7.3 hour average recorded for August. ``We've literally had an extra hour of sunlight a day in August this year," Mr Relf said. ``Our weather has been dominated by high pressure and when you get high pressure for extended periods of time the lows just run underneath. ``We seem to be going on some sort of parallel with 2006 at the moment, which recorded the driest year on record and it's been going like that for a long time."

The dry conditions spell devastation for many wheat and cattle farmers across large parts of the state. WA Farmers Federation president Mike Norton said some farmers in the eastern Wheatbelt stand to lose entire crops this year because of drought. ``You don't have to go very far inland to be at half our normal rainfall," Mr Norton said. ``We desperately need a very, very wet September.

``When you start to talk about livestock, there is going to be some real problems across a very large area of the Wheatbelt. Pastures are doing worse than what the crops are."

Perth dams are also low. At 35.3 percent capacity, dams are down 52.38 gigalitres compared to this time last year - one gigalitre is the size of Subiaco oval filled to the brim.

Despite the dry spell, the Bureau of Meteorology says the outlook for spring holds some hope. The bureau is predicting a 65 per cent chance that the median rainfall will be exceeded from September to November in the South-West, while remaining average across the state in spring. ``The pattern of seasonal rainfall odds across Australia is dominated by the recent warm conditions in the Indian Ocean as well as a cooling trend in the equatorial Pacific Ocean associated with a La Nina," it says.



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30 August, 2010

Ice Sheet Loss Cut In Half by improved analysis

The article excerpted below is a bit on the technical side but has a couple of interesting features I would like to point out. It reports that there has been a loss of ice cover from Antarctica and Greenland overall, albeit at a lower level than is usually claimed. But both poles are VERY cold, way below the melting point of ice. So it is primarily variations in precipitation (snowfall) that explain variations in ice mass. Lower snowfalls will mean less ice. But lower precipitation is a sign of global COOLING -- as all water, including the oceans, evaporates off less as it gets cooler. So the small amount of ice loss over the period studied (From April 2002 to December 2008) actually indicates slight global cooling over that period -- which is in line with other data for that period

Note also that the effect was uneven: ice loss in coastal areas slightly outweighed ice gain in central areas. So nothing "global" there -- JR

Much concern has been raised by climate scientists regarding ice loss from the world's two remaining continental ice sheets. Rapid loss of ice-mass from the glaciers of Greenland and Antarctica are cited as proof positive of global warming's onslaught. The latest measurements involve the use of satellite gravimetry, estimating the mass of terrain beneath by detecting slight changes in gravity as a satellite passes overhead. But gravity measurements of ice-mass loss are complicated by glacial isostatic adjustments-compensation for the rise or fall of the underlying crustal material. A new article in Nature Geoscience describes an innovative approach employed to derive ice-mass changes from GRACE data. The report suggests significantly smaller overall ice-mass losses than previous estimates.

The storage of water or ice on land-the presence of large bodies of water or glacial ice sheets-affect the Earth's gravitational field. This effect is detected by the NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites. Twin satellites were launched in March 2002, to make detailed measurements of Earth's gravity field. Since then, GRACE has been used to study tectonic features, estimate ground water volumes and calculate the amount of ice contained in the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets. However, other factors can contribute to the GRACE measurements than just the volume of ice in an ice sheet. These factors include the response of Earth's crust (the lithosphere) to past changes in ice load.

As the weight of covering ice varies, the underlying surface rock can be pushed down or rise up, buoyed by the magma that the crust floats on. This would obviously impact efforts to measure the height of terrain, including glaciers. Compensating for the rise and fall of bedrock is termed glacial isostatic adjustment, and it can have a significant impact on estimated ice-mass losses. Changes in the spatial distribution of the atmospheric and oceanic masses can also enter into the picture. Correctly assessing these different factors is the key to accurately calculating ice-sheet mass balance. Xiaoping Wu and colleagues have proposed a new method for untangling these factors from GRACE measurements.

From April 2002 to December 2008, linear trends are derived from GRACE gravity data with empirically calibrated full covariance matrices, and from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's data-assimilating ocean bottom pressure (OBP) model. These are combined with three-dimensional surface velocities at 664 globally distributed sites. Although the durations of the surface geodetic time series are diverse, most of the data are collected by the global positioning system (GPS) technique during the 2000s and processed up to August 2007. Spherical harmonic coefficients of both PDMT and GIA signatures as well as other relevant parameters are then estimated from the data combination.

What is really interesting here is the resulting trend data for the change of bedrock height-the geoid height trend. The new method found that estimates used in the past were significantly in error. Antarctica was found to be rising, but not at as fast a rate as previously thought. Greenland, on the other hand, is actually sinking, particularly in the center of the ice sheet. Previous change estimates had Greenland rising everywhere.

In the figure a, shows rates estimated in the study, and b,those predicted by the ICE-5G/IJ05/VM2 model. While Wu et al. report that both Greenland and Antarctica are losing ice-mass, they are doing so at a much lower rate than previous estimates and that both are gaining ice in their interiors. "The mass loss in Greenland is concentrated along the coastal areas, and is particularly heavy in the west, and in the southeast with the large Kangerdlugssuaq and Helheim glaciers," they state. "In contrast, the interior of Greenland shows significant positive mass balance."

So, when the more exact measurement separation methodology of Wu et al. is applied to the GRACE geoid data, ice sheet shrinkage, which has been systematically overestimated, is cut in half. "The differences between the work by Wu and colleagues and earlier studies may reflect errors in present deglaciation models with respect to the ice-load history and response of the Earth's mantle," conclude Bromwich and Nicolas. According to Wu et al. "significant revision" is required. The general result-the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets will be with us for a long time to come.

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

Is the Southern ocean warming or cooling?

Even Al Gore has got a bit perturbed by evidence of expanding sea ice in Antarctica so fell with gladness on a recent paper (by Liu and Curry) which claimed that the Southern ocean is in fact warming up. As others have noted, however, the paper concerned is a very rough job, and below are a few more comments on it.

The author below is more polite than I am so I will put it bluntly: What he found was a typical bit of Warmist fakery such as we have come to expect of Phil Jones & Co. He found that the authors used data up until 1999 only. Why? Because temperatures FELL after that. Excerpt only below

The Liu and Curry (2010) paper has been the subject of a number of posts at Watts Up With That over the past few days. This post should complement Willis Eschenbach’s post Dr. Curry Warms the Southern Ocean, by providing a more detailed glimpse at the availability of source data used by Hadley Centre and NCDC in their SST datasets and by illustrating SST anomalies for the periods used by Liu and Curry. I’ve also extended the data beyond the cutoff year used by Liu and Curry to show the significant drop in SST anomalies since 1999.

Preliminary Note: I understand that Liu and Curry illustrated the principal component from an analysis of the SST data south of 40S, but there are two primary objectives of this post as noted above: to show how sparse the source data is and to show that SST anomalies for the studied area have declined significantly since 1999.

Liu and Curry use two Sea Surface Temperature datasets, ERSST and HADISST. They clarify which of the NCDC ERSST datasets they used with their citation of Smith TM, Reynolds RW (2004) Improved Extended Reconstruction of SST (1854-1997). J. Clim. 17:2466-247. That’s the ERSST.v2 version. First question some readers might have: If ERSST.v2 was replaced by ERSST.v3b, why use the old version? Don’t know, so I’ll include both versions in the following graphs.

Liu and Curry examine the period of 1950 to 1999. Sea surface temperature data south of 40S is very sparse prior to the satellite era. The HADISST data began to include satellite-based SST readings in 1982. Considering the NCDC deleted satellite data from their ERSST.v3 data (making it ERSST.v3b) that dataset and their ERSST.v2 continue to rely on very sparse buoy- and ship-based observations. ICOADS is the ship- and buoy-based SST dataset that serves as the source for Hadley Centre and NCDC. Figure 1 shows typical monthly ICOADS SST observations for the Southern Hemisphere, south of 40S. The South Pole Stereographic maps are for Januarys in 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 and 2000. Since I wanted to illustrate locations and not values, I set the contour levels so that they were out of the range of the data. I used Januarys because it is a Southern Hemisphere summer month and might get more ship traffic along shipping lanes.

As you can see, there is very little data as a starting point for Hadley Centre and NCDC, but they do manage to infill the SST data using statistical tools. Refer to Figure 2. It shows that the three SST datasets provided complete coverage in 1950 and 1999, which are the start and end years of the period examined by Liu and Curry. For more information on the ERSST and HADISST datasets refer to my post An Overview Of Sea Surface Temperature Datasets Used In Global Temperature Products.....

The title of Liu and Curry (2010) “Accelerated Warming of the Southern Ocean and Its Impacts on the Hydrological Cycle and Sea Ice” contradicts the SST anomalies of the latitudes used in the paper. The SST anomalies are not warming. They are cooling and have been for more than a decade.

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

Global cooling still hitting South America hard

Antarctic cold snap kills millions of aquatic animals in the Amazon

With high Andean peaks and a humid tropical forest, Bolivia is a country of ecological extremes. But during the Southern Hemisphere's recent winter, unusually low temperatures in part of the country's tropical region hit freshwater species hard, killing an estimated 6 million fish and thousands of alligators, turtles and river dolphins.

Scientists who have visited the affected rivers say the event is the biggest ecological disaster Bolivia has known, and, as an example of a sudden climatic change wreaking havoc on wildlife, it is unprecedented in recorded history.

"There's just a huge number of dead fish," says Michel Jgu, a researcher from the Institute for Developmental Research in Marseilles, France, who is currently working at the Noel Kempff Mercado Natural History Museum in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. "In the rivers near Santa Cruz there's about 1,000 dead fish for every 100 metres of river."

The extraordinary quantity of decomposing fish flesh has polluted the waters of the Grande, Pirai and Ichilo rivers to the extent that local authorities have had to provide alternative sources of drinking water for towns along the rivers' banks. Many fishermen have lost their main source of income, having been banned from removing any more fish from populations that will probably struggle to recover.

The blame lies, at least indirectly, with a mass of Antarctic air that settled over the Southern Cone of South America for most of July. The prolonged cold snap has also been linked to the deaths of at least 550 penguins along the coasts of Brazil and thousands of cattle in Paraguay and Brazil, as well as hundreds of people in the region. Water temperatures in Bolivian rivers that normally register about 15 ˚C during the day fell to as low as 4 ˚C.

Hugo Mamani, head of forecasting at Senamhi, Bolivia's national weather centre, confirms that the air temperature in the city of Santa Cruz fell to 4 ˚C this July, a low beaten only by a record of 2.5 ˚C in 1955.


Green Police Become a Reality in Cleveland

Remember Audi’s absurd “Green Police” Super Bowl commercial where green cops arrest citizens for using plastic bags, plastic water bottles and sort through the community’s trash cans to ensure they’re recycling? Well, the absurdity is about to hit the streets of Cleveland. reports:
It would be a stretch to say that Big Brother will hang out in Clevelanders’ trash cans, but the city plans to sort through curbside trash to make sure residents are recycling—and fine them $100 if they don’t. The move is part of a high-tech collection system the city will roll out next year with new trash and recycling carts embedded with radio frequency identification chips and bar codes.

The chips will allow city workers to monitor how often residents roll carts to the curb for collection. If a chip show a recyclable cart hasn’t been brought to the curb in weeks, a trash supervisor will sort through the trash for recyclables.

The high-tech collection system is an expansion of a 15,000-resident pilot program that commenced in 2007. Proponents of the program argue that not only is the $2.5 million program good for the environment, but because the city will collect revenue from the fines and from recycled goods, the trash police will eventually raise revenue. The article mentions that the city pays $30 per ton to place garbage in a landfill but would receive $26 per ton for recycling goods. We know that the city will pass the costs onto the consumer, but the article makes no mention of whether residents will reap any savings benefits.

Much more problematic is the intrusion onto individual liberties. Like much of the “Green Police” commercial—and the environmentalist movement as a whole—the goal is to change human behavior. But a recent Rasmussen survey “shows that only 17% of adults believe most Americans would be willing to make major cutbacks in their lifestyle in order to help save the environment. Most (65%) say that’s not the case.”

Skeptics of catastrophic temperature increases compare belief in global warming to a religion, saying that alarmists base their views on faith much more than concrete science. This could have significant consequences if Congress enacts cap-and-trade legislation or other policies that aim to increase Americans’ energy bills. The goal, of course, is to force consumers to use less energy.

We should allow for choice and respect the choices of others. If someone chooses not to drink bottled water because they believe it is bad for the environment, so be it. (Interestingly, the environmentalist push that tap water is unsafe led to the rise of bottled water.) Those who choose to drink tap water should respect the preference of those who enjoy bottled. Conflicts will certainly arise among people with different preferences, but to advocate that one is morally right and one is morally wrong is objectionable.


The U.N. "Clean Development Mechanism" delivers the greatest green scam of all

Even the UN and the EU are wising up to the greenhouse gas scam, "the biggest environmental scandal in history", says Christopher Booker

It is now six months since I reported on what even environmentalists are calling "the biggest environmental scandal in history". Indeed this is a scam so glaringly bizarre that even the UN and the EU have belatedly announced that they are thinking of taking steps to stop it. The essence of the scam is that a handful of Chinese and Indian firms are deliberately producing large quantities of an incredibly powerful "greenhouse gas" which we in the West – including UK taxpayers – then pay them billions of dollars to destroy.

The key to this scam, designed to curb global warming, is a scheme known as the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), set up under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and administered by the UN. It enables firms and governments in the developed world to buy "credits" which allow them to continue emitting greenhouse gases. These are sold to them, through well-rewarded brokers, from firms in developing countries that can show they have nominally reduced their emissions.

Easily the largest and most lucrative component in the CDM market is a peculiar racket centred on the manufacture of CFCs, chlorofluorocarbons, classified under Kyoto as greenhouse gases vastly more damaging than carbon dioxide. The way the racket works is that Chinese and Indian firms are permitted to carry on producing a refrigerant gas known as HCF-22 until 2030. But a by-product of this process is HCF-23, which is supposed to be 11,700 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. By destroying the HCF-23, the firms can claim Certified Emission Reduction credits worth billions of dollars when sold to the West (while much of the useful HCF-22 is sold onto the international black market).

Last year, destruction of CFCs accounted for more than half the CDM credits issued, in a market that will eventually, it is estimated, be worth $17 billion. Of the 1,390 CDM projects so far approved, less than 1 per cent accounts for 36 per cent of the total value.

Even greenies have become so outraged by this ridiculous racket that the Environmental Investigation Agency has described it as the "biggest environment scandal in history". Two weeks ago the UN announced that it is suspending payments to five Chinese firms pending an investigation, with a view to a major reform of the system. Last week the EU'c climate change supremo, Connie Hedegaard, said she would be asking her officials to prepare a proposal whereby these particular CFC payments might be halted after 2013.

The CDM system itself, however, will still be in place, and we will all contribute through its chief source of revenue, the EU's $100-billion-a-year Emissions Trade Scheme (which we pay for in various ways, not least through our electricity bills). We here in Britain also have the special privilege of knowing, as I reported in February, that we are now chipping in 60 million to buy additional CDM credits through our taxes – so that the politicians and civil servants in government offices can keep warm by continuing to pump out emissions much as before.


Australia now has a watermelon in its Federal lower house -- A Trotskyite, by the sound of it

GREENS MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt has defended comments he made on a Marxist student website 15 years ago, in which he denounced capitalism and labelled the Greens a "bourgeois" political party that could be used to push a socialist agenda.

The comments, made in a two-page memo written by Mr Bandt on March 4, 1995, while he was a student activist at Murdoch University, first surfaced on Victorian political blogger Andrew Landeryou's website VexNews.

As Mr Bandt and Greens leader Bob Brown continued discussions yesterday with Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan about the formation of the next federal government, the memo raised questions about Mr Bandt's student politics and his views of the Labor Party, which he referred to in the 1995 memo as "almost as right-wing as the US Democrats".

In the 1995 memo, Mr Bandt said he was "towards an anti-capitalist, anti-social democratic, internationalist movement".

Identifying himself as a member of the Left Alliance, Mr Bandt said, "the parliamentary road to socialism is non-existent". He called the Greens a "bourgeois" party but said supporting them might be the most effective strategy.

"Communists can't fetishise alternative political parties, but should always make some kind of materially based assessment about the effectiveness of any given strategy come election time," he wrote in the 1995 memo.

The Greens leader said there was absolutely no need for Mr Bandt to publicly distance himself from his remarks in 1995.

Mr Bandt, a former industrial relations lawyer with Slater and Gordon, made history last weekend by becoming the first Greens candidate ever to be elected to the House of Representatives in a general election.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


29 August, 2010

The Week That Was (To August 28, 2010)

Excerpts from Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

What a difference 5 days can make:

For those concerned about the environmental impact of oil exploration and development, perhaps the biggest news are studies of the impact of the BP spill on the Gulf of Mexico. On August 19, the New York Times reported that a new study by the venerable Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, being published in Science, indicates that the earlier NOAA studies of the disappearance of the oil plume were far too optimistic. According to the Woods Hole study, the oil plume was not breaking down quickly and effects will remain indefinitely. This confirmed suspicions by other groups.

On August 24, the New York Times reported a new study by the Energy Biosciences Institute, a partnership led by the University of California Berkeley and the University of Illinois, stated that the oil plume is being depleted quickly by a previously undiscovered microorganism that appears closely related to Oceanospirillales.

Readers may recall that TWTW previously reported that the Gulf of Mexico is home to a great number of microorganisms that thrive in cold water (about 5C) at oil seeps and that these microbes depend upon chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis. The newly discovered microbe appears to be one such creature. Very importantly, it appears that the microbe is anaerobic - it does not consume oxygen. The oxygen levels are remaining high (59% inside the plume as compared with 67% outside the plume). Thus the feared dead zone from oxygen depletion is not occurring.

It should be noted that the Energy Biosciences Institute was created by a $500 Million, 10 year grant from BP for which Stephen Chu, now Secretary of Energy, was a grateful recipient. If the research holds, then this is another example that in science, it is the quality of the work, not the funding, that is important.


In what appears to be alarming news to the environmental industry, acting US Solicitor General Neal Katyal, representing the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federal agency, filed a brief with the US Supreme Court requesting it throws out a decision by the 2nd Court of Appeals permitting lawsuits brought by the State of Connecticut and other northeast states against utilities using coal to generate electricity. The entire situation is logically bizarre.

The Attorney General for Connecticut, backed by environmental groups and other northeastern states, is claiming that public utilities using coal to generate electricity are public nuisances. According to the article in the New York Times, the environmental industry thought it had a deal with the Obama administration to allow the lawsuits to proceed as a means of forcing Congress to accept some form of cap-and-trade. Now the environmental industry feels betrayed. Has a bit of logic and reason hit the administration?


The hot summer weather over Russia, and elsewhere, has broken. But the chorus of alarmists, particularly politicians, blaming the unusual weather events on global warming continues. Of course, some of the politicians, including Rep. Markey and Hillary Clinton, claim these events demonstrate "climate change" which government regulations such as cap-and-tax will be able to control.

By contrast, meteorologists such as Joe D'Aleo and others write that the events, though not normal (average), are not unique or particularly exceptional - once again confirming the adage that to those ignorant of history, every event is unprecedented.


The National Science Foundation announced "powerful new computer software" by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) called the Community Earth System Model (CESM) that others can use to make regional climate projections. If the models were well tested and validated to discern the difference between natural cause of climate change and human induced changes, then it would be a valuable addition to our understanding of climate change. However, based upon the announcements it appears that the software will do little more than intensify the errors of the past. Expanding the detail of models that have not been validated does not expand knowledge.


SEPP Corrections and Amplifications: The August 14 TWTW discussed the largest iceberg to break off a Greenland glacier since 1962. Alarmists immediately took this to be a sign of global warming that would cause sea levels to rise by up to 23 feet. Alert readers immediately picked up that TWTW committed a typo and misstated the metric equivalent to 23 feet is about 3 meters, rather then the correct 7 meters. Admitted - 23 feet is approximately equal to 7 meters!

Other readers pointed out that none of the articles they read on the event mentioned that the larger break in 1962 came more than two decades into a global cooling period that, later, some alarmists claimed was the start of a new ice age. There you have it - global warming causes huge icebergs from Greenland and global cooling causes huge icebergs from Greenland.


With only 1.1% of US Electrical Power Generation coming from petroleum, there is little logical basis those who claim the nation needs to subsidize electricity from wind and solar to reduce its dependence on "foreign oil." This revelation leads to:

The Book of the Week: Power Hungry: The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future by Robert Bryce.

An accomplished journalist, Bryce addresses the important issues of power in a style that should be readily understood by journalists, politicians, policy makers, and the reading public. According to Bryce, the grand schemes created by politicians, and others, to replace coal fired electrical generating plants with wind and solar demonstrate an educational weakness among the proponents - innumeracy, numerical illiteracy. Simply put, they do not grasp the scope of what they are demanding and the inability of solar and wind to meet the demand. Unless there are drastic breakthroughs in affordable, commercial scale storage of electricity, alternative energy mandates from governments promise only a bleak economic future for younger generations.

Brice identifies what he terms the "Four Imperatives" to evaluate energy sources: power density, energy density, cost, and scale. Power density is the amount of power that can be harnessed per unit; and energy density is amount of energy that can be contained in a given volume or mass. Bryce states the key concept is power density which can be described as energy flow, the ability to do work. Energy in itself is of little value unless it can be turned into power. Herein is the crucial weakness of solar and wind. These sources are not dispatchable, that is, one cannot state, with high confidence, that the necessary power will be available in, say, New York City at 5 pm on August 26, 2010 - yet, without it the city stops.

Using easily understood graphs and charts, Bryce establishes that replacing coal, and oil will be a long, difficult process. The proposed sources of wind and solar simply fail due to the enormous cost and the scale of the projects to generate the necessary power, which remains unreliable. Few appreciate the enormous quantities of land that wind turbines require and that every where they have been tried, they increase the cost of electricity rather than reduce it. Unfortunately, many journalists reporting on solar and wind confuse nameplate capacity (ideal potential) with power density - what is actually delivered.

Bryce demonstrates that the US is an energy giant with enormous resources of coal and natural gas. Private ventures in hydraulic fracturing of shale rock containing natural gas and horizontal drilling have made the US an energy giant in natural gas. [Today, in the eastern US where coal is more expensive than in the west, the cost of generating electricity from natural gas is roughly comparable to that of coal.] Yet, the advances in natural gas production are virtually ignored by alternative energy proponents in Washington, who seem to be stuck in the mania of the 1970's when the Federal Government banned the use of natural gas for generation of electricity.

In the view of Bryce, absent of government edicts, the 21st Century will see a slow transition from coal to natural gas and finally to nuclear as the basic suppliers of power for the nation. To support his hypothesis, Bryce discusses the work of Nakicenovic, Grubler, Ausubel, Marchetti, and others who have identified a mega trend of several centuries of decarbonization of fuels shifting from fuels with high ratios of carbon to hydrogen (wood) to those with low ratios carbon to hydrogen (natural gas) as consumers demand denser and cleaner fuels.


Surface Temperature Records: Policy Driven Deception?

Authors veteran meteorologists Joe D’Aleo and Anthony Watts analyzed temperature records from all around the world for a major SPPI paper, Surface Temperature Records – Policy-driven Deception?

The startling conclusion that we cannot tell whether there was any significant “global warming” at all in the 20th century is based on numerous astonishing examples of manipulation and exaggeration of the true level and rate of “global warming”.

That is to say, leading meteorological institutions in the USA and around the world have so systematically tampered with instrumental temperature data that it cannot be safely said that there has been any significant net “global warming” in the 20th century

Executive summary

1. Instrumental temperature data for the pre-satellite era (1850-1980) have been so widely, systematically, and uni-directionally tampered with that it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century.

2. All terrestrial surface-temperature databases exhibit signs of urban heat pollution and post measurement adjustments that render them unreliable for determining accurate long-term temperature trends.

3. All of the problems have skewed the data so as greatly to overstate observed warming both regionally and globally.

4. Global terrestrial temperature data are compromised because more than three-quarters of the 6,000 stations that once reported are no longer being used in data trend analyses.

5. There has been a significant increase in the number of missing months with 40% of the GHCN stations reporting at least one missing month. This requires infilling which adds to the uncertainty and possible error.

6. Contamination by urbanization, changes in land use, improper siting, and inadequately-calibrated instrument upgrades further increases uncertainty.

7. Numerous peer-reviewed papers in recent years have shown the overstatement of observed longer term warming is 30-50% from heat-island and land use change contamination.

8. An increase in the percentage of compromised stations with interpolation to vacant data grids may make the warming bias greater than 50% of 20th-century warming.

9. In the oceans, data are missing and uncertainties are substantial. Changes in data sets introduced a step warming in 2009.

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

Southwest Drought?

As we have covered in previous essays, global warming alarmists insist that the southwestern United States is getting drier and will get substantially drier in the future due to the buildup of greenhouse gases. They bolster their claims by results from a relatively large number of articles in the professional scientific literature and countless comments in various UN IPCC reports. Throw in pictures of declining water levels at Lake Mead, some fountains in Las Vegas and golf courses in Phoenix, and just like magic, a scary scenario is produced.

As with virtually every other element of the climate change issue, the literature produces some surprises, and the drought in the Southwest claim runs up against some interesting realities. The latest article on this subject appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research and once again, the results are at odds with the popular perception of increased drought in the Southwest.

This recent work was produced by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Delaware and had to survive the peer-review process for this respected journal of the American Geophysical Union. The final two sentences reveal where this is going as McCabe et al. conclude “El Nio events have been more frequent, and this has resulted in increased precipitation in the southwestern United States, particularly during the cool season. The increased precipitation is associated with a decrease in the number of dry days and a decrease in dry event length.”

What? More rain and fewer dry periods? We knew right away this would be featured in World Climate Report.

The authors focused on the Southwest “because (1) it has the highest consumptive use of water as a percentage of renewable supply in the United States and (2) dry event conditions in this region during the early 21st century have increased awareness of its vulnerability to water shortages.” There is no doubt that a lot of people have chosen to live in the Southwest and there is no doubt the desert climate of the region is prone to drought. In many respects, and depending on how one defines drought, the area is permanently in a state of drought (Phoenix has 7” of rain a year, Las Vegas averages about half of that amount).

McCabe et al. gathered data from 22 Weather Bureau-Army-Navy (WBAN) stations in the region “for water years (October through September) 1951 through 2006”. They explain that “During this period, 22 sites have nearly complete (99% complete) daily precipitation data. WBAN stations were selected because of the completeness of data record and the relative consistency of observational procedures.” They conducted their analysis for water years (October through September), cool seasons (October through March), and warm seasons (April through September).

They report that “trends in the fraction of dry days for water years, cool seasons, and warm seasons indicate that most trends are negative [i.e. towards more wet days, -eds.]. For water years, 18 sites exhibit negative trends in the fraction of dry days, and eight of these trends are statistically significant at a 95% confidence level. In contrast, only four sites indicate positive trends in the fraction of dry days for water years, and none of these trends is statistically significant at p = 0.05. For the cool season, 19 sites exhibit negative trends (12 are statistically significant at p = 0.05), and only 3 sites indicate positive trends (none are statistically significant).”

In this desert environment, cool season rain is far more important than rain in the summer. Rain falling in the hot summer season quickly evaporates and plays a relatively small role in water storage in the region. Nonetheless, the authors note that “For the warm season, 14 sites exhibit negative trends (seven are statistically significant), and 8 sites exhibit positive trends (six are statistically significant).” ...

Furthermore, they conclude “Since the mid-1970s, El Nio events have been more frequent, and this has resulted in increased precipitation in the southwestern United States, particularly during the cool season. The increased precipitation is associated with a decrease in the number of dry days and a decrease in dry event length.”

As with so many other articles we feature, had this group found general trends toward drier conditions, you would have heard about it already. They clearly did not, and their results are counter to the claims that the region should be trending to increased drought.

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

My Holiday is Being Ruined by Global Cooling. Try Telling That to the 'Scientists'

From James Delingpole in Britain

I’m writing this in Salcombe, Devon on a rainy, miserable summer’s day which, I fear, may be all too symptomatic of the climatic rubbish we can all expect for the next 30 years as – thanks to changes in the Pacific Decadal Oscillation combined with a solar minimum – we enter a period of global cooling. Let’s hope I’m wrong, eh?

Well, among those who seems to be hoping just that is an amiable fellow called Sir Paul Nurse, the Nobel prize winning geneticist and president-to-be of the Royal Society, who came round to my house last week to film part of a BBC Horizon documentary on why it is that people are losing their faith in scientists.

I told him people aren’t losing their faith in “scientists”. Just the “scientists” who are behind the junk science being advanced in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s four increasingly tendentious and misleading assessment reports.

Over the next three hours, Sir Paul and I had a long, friendly, on-camera argument in which he tried to make a distinction between “skepticism” [good] and “denialism” [bad] – an entirely specious distinction, in my book – while I tried to focus on the details of the Climategate emails because it’s only on details that an arts graduate journalist is ever going to win a debate like this with a (feisty, bright, delightful but not a little combative) Nobel genetics laureate.

A trick I noticed Sir Paul trying to perform throughout our debate was to move away from specifics to the general. So, for example, he would keenly assert that “the majority” of the world’s scientists agreed with a thing called a “consensus” on man-made global warming, and whenever I got down to grimy and tedious detail suggestive of the contrary – eg Ben Santer’s outrageous rewriting of the Summary for Policy Makers in the Second Assessment Report, which seriously exaggerated the unanimity of scientific opinion on AGW – he’d either politely brush it off as if it were far too involved to be of much interest or he’d airily cite the three whitewash enquiries into Climategate as “proof” that the scientists had done nothing wrong.

Perhaps he was just playing devil’s advocate. The impression I got that Sir Paul is a thoroughly decent, very clever man who wants to be as open-minded as possible on the whole AGW debate. But the impression I also got is that, as you would entirely expect of a future president of the Royal Society (which for years has been one of the great cheerleaders for AGW theory, even to the point of writing an official letter to Exxon demanding that it cease funding “deniers”) is that Sir Paul’s view of what is reasonable and balanced has been heavily colored by that of the scientific Establishment. And, unfortunately, the scientific Establishment’s views on AGW are about as neutral and unbiased and reliable as, say, the BBC’s are about Israel. Or the European Union. Or, indeed, “Man Made Global Warming.”


Blowhard film director hearts ecoterrorism

James Cameron, king of the box office once more, is speaking out against critics of his film “Avatar.” It’s clear the director really should stay quiet.

The man behind “Aliens,” “Titanic” and now the blue-skinned creatures inhabiting his latest hit, tells Entertainment Weekly that he digs ecoterrorism. And no, that’s not taken out of context.

EW asked Cameron to respond to some of the criticisms aimed at “Avatar.” Check out how he responded to this one:

EW: “Avatar” is the perfect eco-terrorism recruiting tool.”

JC: Good, good. I like that one. I consider that a positive review. I believe in ecoterrorism.”

Is he joking (there’s no – laughs – insert included in the text)?

Would he like it if someone bombed a McDonald’s selling some of his “Avatar” goodies? Surely they’re clogging the planet’s ecosystem, right?Heck, some have accused the burger chain of treating its food source inhumanely, too.

Is a blue-skinned Na’vi toy biodegradable?

What if someone dies during an ecoterrorist attack? Or if people lose their jobs because of it?

Not all acts of eco-terrorism are created equal. Some are enhanced forms of civil disobedience. But surely someone as smart as Cameron knows not to endorse such tactics without a significant disclaimer.

So where is the follow up question? And has success turned Cameron’s mind to mush?


Australia: Vast area to be locked away from development in Queensland

The pretext is to protect farmland but there is no threat to farmland. It is just the usual Greenie hatred of development

MORE than 70,000sq km of Queensland could be subject to new legislation that would lock away areas from housing, mining and even forestry, according to business. Land from the NSW border to Cairns and west to central Queensland will be investigated under a plan aimed at identifying and protecting important cropping areas.

One industry source said the area under review was about as big as Ireland and "enough land to have its own flag and compete in the Olympics".

The State Government's draft policy includes restricting the controversial underground coal gasification on strategic cropping land, adding another hurdle for trials under way in Kingaroy and other food-producing parts of the state.

It would mean a paddock-by-paddock assessment that will delay resource development, cost millions and cause companies to question whether it is worthwhile, according to the Queensland Resources Council.

And the resources minister will be given "arbitrary" powers to grant approval to developments, even on important cropping land, raising concerns about the impact of vested interests.

Urban Development Institute Australia chief executive Brian Stewart said the policy could add to the cost of housing. "Uncertainty adds risk and risk adds to the cost," Mr Stewart said.

QRC chief executive Michael Roche said mining projects will need to be assessed to see whether they sit on the best of the best cropping land or not. "The maps put a question mark over projects, many of which have already spent tens of millions of dollars," he said.

A company at the centre of the issue, Ambre Energy, yesterday rejected suggestions its $3.5 billion coal-to-liquids project at Felton was not put in doubt by the new policy, but said an assessment would have to be made.

The Friends of Felton farming group said the policy was a step in the right direction. FOF president Rob McCreath said he hoped the policy meant the end to Ambre's scheme. "We can't see any way the development could possibly be allowed in the Felton Valley," he said.

He said the most crucial issue from the policy paper was that coal-seam gas mining would still be allowed on good cropping land and could potentially affect it by depleting water.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


28 August, 2010

Illogical causal attribution

An email from a reader. He shows what happens when you are consistent and use ratio scales (i.e. scales with a meaningful rather than an arbitrary zero) to evaluate both temperature and CO2 levels

Roosters crowing causes the Sun to come up.

'Tis claimed that there being more CO2 in the atmosphere has 'caused' global warming.

'Cause and Effect' presumes some sort of direct association.

Since about 1870 CO2 has increased from 290ppm to about 390ppm, that is a 33% increase.

Since 1870 the world's average temperature(estimated) has increased from about 13 C to 14 C.

13 C = 286 K
14 C = 287 K.

1K is an increase of about 1/2 of 1%.

A 33% increase in CO2 causing a 1/2 of 1% increase in temperature seems a RATHER WEAK association to use to claim 'causality'!!

( Using degrees Kelvin gives one a total increase, using Celsius or Fahrenheit only gives the increase in above 0 degrees.)

Prophecies of environmental doom are perennial -- and perennially wrong

Optimism is out of favor. But then as Matt Ridley points out in The Rational Optimist, optimism has never been IN favor. Even in the fastest-growing booms in human history, "experts" were always sure that doom was imminent. We were going to run out of wood, then of coal, then of whale oil, then of petroleum, then of petroleum again, then of petroleum again. (We were never going to run out of uranium or thorium, but that was fixed by running out of the permits to build nuclear reactors.)

In the 1960s, the world was going to be destroyed by fossil fuels, by running out of fossil fuels, by acid rain, by overpopulation, by pesticides, by famine, and by Global Cooling. But what actually happened was that fuel production went up, population growth rates fell in every nation (except Kazakhstan, thanks a lot you idiot Borat), pesticide use dropped off with the invention of BT crops, food production went up until recently (we still produce more crops every year, but they are drained off to make ethanol and not to feed people), acid rain was overblown, and you know what happened to Global Cooling (it’s still a huge threat as far as anyone knows, one good asteroid or volcano and it’s Fimbulwinter for sure!

Some of the scares:


The example of overpopulation is fascinating. Every culture on the planet has cut its birth rate as soon as infant mortality went down and wealth went up. The extra population that was generated in the meantime has allowed an increase in economic specialization and an increase in per capita wage rates (except in the US and a few other banana republics, because our government burden has increased while the Indians, Chinese and Russians reduced theirs).

So the expert predictions of the 1960s were precisely wrong. More population caused more wealth, and more wealth reduced population growth rates. Even reducing infant mortality reduced population growth rates. So the experts changed their views, right? Well, they did change a little… they quit putting dates on their predictions of doom.

Running Out Of Resources

We have run out of many resources. Mammoths, passenger pigeons, bison, Lebanon cedars, guano, and many other "renewable" resources proved to be not so renewable after all. However, we have never run out of any non-renewable resource; we still have iron, coal, oil, gas, copper, silicon, uranium, etc.

Again, this contradicts expert predictions in the 1970s. The Limits To Growth claimed that we were running out of every "non-renewable," but instead we ran out of nothing. How could this happen?

Perhaps whether something is "renewable" or not, depends more on whether it is privately owned and produced than how much the starting quantity is. There were lots of passenger pigeons in 1800 and no uranium at all… Ridley doesn’t even get into the future prospects of He-3 energy and asteroid mining, but he gets the principle across: it’s all about markets and "the catallaxy" as he calls the productive sector of society.


Of course upper-crust "progressives" (like the Roosevelts, e.g.) are never racists, but it’s obvious to them that those bloody fuzzy-wuzzies will never get anywhere, eh what? Except that it turns out that Botswana is the world’s fastest-growing economy for the last thirty years (oddly enough, they have a strong tradition of individual property rights), and even in the foreign-aid hellholes elsewhere in Africa, capitalism and technology are spreading. Poor farmers are bootlegging true-breeding BT crops and freeing themselves from both bugs and pesticides.

Fishermen use cellphones to find market for their fish, entrepreneurs start informal businesses in spite of impossible regulation and permit systems. African incomes are going up. And with any luck, the collapse of the US economy will free them from the dead hand of aid. As Ridley points out with great insight, it is foreign aid that has strangled African economies.

Global Warming

If the planet actually warms, it will be great. First of all, it means we beat the Ice Ages. Second, it will mean that we kept burning fossil fuel for another century… which means the world will be unimaginably rich and technologically advanced. And third, a warmer world with more CO2 will be more agriculturally productive even in the poorer areas.

That said, Ridley isn’t really over-optimistic about Global Warming…as he points out, the Earth hasn’t actually been warming since 2000 or so.

Sustainability, aka The Dark Ages

The one threat that tempers Ridley’s optimism is "Green" anti-environmentalism. As he points out, the electricity production of the US can be produced by either:

Solar panels the size of Spain, plus a huge storage system, or

Wind farms the size of Kazakhstan, plus a huge storage system, or

Wood-chip burners fueled by forests the size of India and Pakistan, or

Dams with reservoirs 33% bigger than all the continents put together, or

… a few nuclear, gas, and coal power stations that leave the majority of the forest and plain available for wildlife and agriculture. If we phase out the coal burners and replace them with new nuclear plants, even the land that is now strip mined for coal can return to forest.

As he says, "sustainability" is unsustainable, but free markets are not.


Ice Core evidence — where is carbon’s “major effect”?

The ice cores are often lauded as evidence of the effects of carbon dioxide. Frank Lansner asks a pointed question and goes hunting to find any effects that can be attributed to carbon.

Where is the data that actually shows a strong and important warming effect of CO2? If CO2 has this strong warming effect, would not nature reflect this in data?

He has collected together the data from the last four warm spells (the nice interglacials between all the long ice ages) into one average “peak”. The common pattern of the rise and fall has already been recorded in many scientific papers. Orbital changes trigger the temperatures to rise first and about 800 years later (thanks to the oceans releasing CO2), carbon dioxide levels begin to climb. At the end of a patch of several thousand warm years, temperatures begin to fall, and thousands of years later the carbon dioxide levels slowly decline.

No one is really contesting this order of things any more. What is contested is that those who feel carbon is a major driver estimate that the carbon dioxide unleashed by the warming then causes major amplification or “feedback”, making things lots warmer than they would have been if there was no change in carbon. Since most skeptics (but not all) agree that there is probably some warming due to extra CO2, the real question is “how much”.

Lansner points out that counter to the amplification theory, temperatures return most of the way back to their starting level (ice age temperatures) even while CO2 levels are elevated. If the CO2 can’t prevent the temperatures falling, it’s effect is anything but major.

Estimates of climate sensitivity and support for the “feedbacks” comes from models which depend on water vapor increasing high over the tropics. The radiosondes show that the models are wrong.

Frank graphs the change in temperatures and CO2, and finds a slight positive trend which is predictable (we know oceans release CO2 as they warm, so there would be a correlation). But then he plots the changes in CO2 against changes in the rate of temperature change, and finds no correlation at all (if CO2 was a major forcing, it would force or accelerate temperature change, which would show as the rate of temperature change). The data is limited to 1500 year blocks, so the time-frame is less than ideal, but the best available in the Petit data.


You can’t buy the truth, but you can buy a committee interpretation of it

One year ago a group of eminent scientists wrote a letter to congress provocatively titled “You are being deceived.”

Now, in a similar vein, but with all the gory details, John McLean has put together a 66 page compilation of the modus operandi and history of said deception. It’s a story of how small committees of activists cite their own work, ignore contradictory information and dissenting reviewers, use the peer review system to lock out opponents, and blithely acknowledge crippling uncertainties (but only in tracts of text that few will read, and never in summation when it matters).

When your favourite prancing-horse-committee — the IPCC — is failing to impress the crowds, it’s time to distract them with dressage from another source. In this case, the IPCC is being reviewed by the brand new InterAcademy Council (IAC). Expect their somber pronouncement to discover some minor flaws of process, posit a few proceedural improvements, and then declare that above all, the science is sound, rigorous, and that carbon dioxide will surely kill millions if we don’t allow the guys at Goldman Sachs to save us all with complex derivative triple A packages of CDM’s. Amen.

There’s a cyclical nature to the lifecycle of committees. Long ago The International Science Union (ICSU) was pushing the greenhouse effect scare, they ran the conferences and subcommittees and programs that helped create the IPCC.
The hand of the ICSU can be seen in the entire lead-up to the establishment of the IPCC. It arranged most of the conferences and with its funding partners – usually the WMO and/or UNEP – it managed numerous meteorological or climatological research projects, many of which had Bert Bolin in a lead role.

The IAC and ICSU have a very similar role. Both seek to fit the square peg of science into the round hole of politics, to take a field where truth is not determined by consensus and twist it to fit a field where consensus is everything. Both have grandiose statements of intent – the IAC’s is “Mobilizing the world’s best science to advise decision-makers on issues of global concern” – and both work very closely with UN bodies such as the UNEP, a co-sponsor of the IPCC. … in fact the IAC seems almost a twin of the ICSU.

The AIC has 18 board members – three of which head national science bodies – all of which are members of the ICSU. One of the three is Kurt Lambeck, who recently declared his not-so-impartial interest in the matter by launching a document I wrote about a few days ago…where he announced that humans are affecting the climate, that the public were getting confused: that clouds could provide negative feedback, but somehow (defying all logic and reason) it wouldn’t change the outcome if they did. Can anyone imaging Lambeck digging hard for faults with the IPCC?

McLean covers the history of the development of the committees, their connections, and their aims.

I haven’t got time to do it justice, but suffice it to say, science needs competition: different researchers, different theories, and different institutions — all trying to one-up each other. When John McLean writes about the lack of transparency in the ICSU or the IPCC, and the overlapping names and aims, I see the dark shadow of monopoly science smothering the competition.
The ICSU (p 16 – 18)

In almost every country the national scientific authority (“scientific academy, research council, scientific institution or association of such institutions”) is a member of the ICSU and so too are many key international organizations for specific scientific fields. According to ICSU statute 8 of membership rules21 these members are required to “support the objectives of ICSU”, which gives the ICSU extraordinary authority across all scientific fields. Members of the ICSU include the Royal Society in the UK and the National Academy in the USA and that seriously undermines the standing of the statements of support for the IPCC that both bodies have released since IPCC 4AR in 2007.
There are many disquieting aspects to the ICSU:

(a) The ICSU’s 8-member executive board ultimately decides that a project will be undertaken. This means that it evaluates for each project the benefit to society, but the methods that it uses remain a mystery.

(b) It relies on “selling” an idea to “client organizations” and having them provide the research funding. If the project is of no interest to these clients then no funding might be forthcoming, and when governments and intergovernmental work is involved we can assume a political dimension to that interest.

(c) It seems likely that scientists can lobby the executive board into approving certain programs that are likely to find a research partner.

(d) The ICSU has an interest in ensuring that members of its member organizations are employed (i.e. funded).

(e) It produces no scientific papers that might be exposed to peer-review but provides policy advice in monograph (i.e. book) form. The output of research and the resultant policy advice receives no independent scrutiny, especially regards accuracy and the selective use of supporting material, and the ICSU is therefore in a position of being able to manipulate international and governmental policy. (Of course peer-review might be a waste of time if those reviewers were members of ICSU member organizations.)

(f) The ISCU is not transparent in its decision-making or its actions. It discloses little enough information about its in-house work on current projects and only reports generated by past projects. No listing of the membership past executive boards is available, nor is information about the development of past projects, which means that no information is available to the public about the formulation of ICSU projects, decisions made in relation to those projects, the manner in which they were conducted and the basis for any conclusions. In short it is impossible to identify the individuals responsible for the decisions to support each ICSU program and the integrity with which those projects were carried out.



The death toll from recent “extreme weather events” has been sharply declining since the 1920s, as my valued colleague Indur Goklany has valorously pointed out. Air conditioning, flood control, earthquake proofing and better weather forecasting have all helped. Despite vast media coverage, extreme weather now causes only a half-percent of global deaths. A large part of the gains came through crop production increases using fossil-fueled industrial fertilizers and irrigation pumps. This meant the world had fossil-fueled food to share with countries suddenly caught by devastating (but short- term) drought or flood.

But Indur neglected one aspect of extreme weather events—the “little ice ages.” They are the flip side of the 1500-year warming cycle. The last one began in 1300 AD and ended in 1850, recent enough that many of our great-grandparents had to cope. We don’t know when the next one will come, perhaps not for another 300 years—but when it does, “Look out!”

As an example, civilizations collapsed around the world, simultaneously, 4200 years ago—in southern Green, Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, and China. The nomads on the Asian steppes gave up their seasonal farming, put their huts on wheels, and simply followed their herds seeking ever-scarcer grass. This massive drought—driven by a “little ice age”— lasted 300 years!

Egypt had more food security through its early history than anyplace else, but it collapsed in famine and political chaos three times between 4200 and 1000 BC—all of them during “little ice ages.” The Nile floods were also far below normal during the cold Dark Ages (450-950 AD) and during our recent Little Ice Age.

How many people would starve if agriculture failed again, suddenly and simultaneously in Greece, Palestine, Egypt, India, and China—for 300 years? What future Huns would come knocking on the city gates? Would plague-infected rats again move in?

The “little ice age” climates are inherently less stable and more violent than the warming intervals. The Netherlands was hit by massive sea floods three times in 50 years as the Little Ice Age began. Each of these floods drowned more than 100,000 people. Will the Dutch levees hold in the next “little ice age”? What about New Orleans in a far less stable climate?

As we today enjoy the stable weather of a sunlit interglacial global warming, we had best not forget the massive disasters during the cold phases of the Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle. In the last 160 years, we have not only become, used to the piddling “disasters” of a global warming phase, but smug that we have been able to rescue small countries with our technology. Fossil fuels have competently carried food aid to famine victims during small, short famines. But, in a future Little Ice Age, the summers will cloudy, cold, interrupted by early frosts and hailstorms—for several hundred years.

We invented high-yield farming at the end of the Little Ice Age, to reduce the death toll from the persistent crop failures. But the world’s population since 1850 has risen from perhaps 1 billion to 6.6 billion, and may rise by 2 billion more before it peaks about 2050. Where would we move the at-risk populations?

Global vegetation has sharply increased with today’s additional sunshine and favorable rain patterns—plus the added plant fertilization due to more CO2 in the atmosphere. What if the climate turns suddenly cold and unstable and the oceans suck more of the CO2 out of the atmosphere?

We should take full advantage of the favorable climate we have been granted to increase research on high-yield agriculture, biotechnology, water conservation and other advances now only dreamt of. We must make true improvements in energy technology (not erratic windmills and solar panels that will be even less effective in a cloudy little ice age than today).The greatest danger to the future population is to be unaware that the good period will not last.

For a million years, humans have been using the warming periods to advance civilization. We are comfortable, well fed, and not competing for caves because those who came before us advanced human society each time the climate provided a few hundred years of safety. Should we do any less for those who will come after us?


Britain's "Renewables Obligation"

On every gas and electricity bill that UK households receive, there is a hidden tax. A tax of more than 8%. It's called the Renewables Obligation. Energy companies are obligated – that is, they are forced by the government under pain of fines and imprisonment – to spend a chunk of their revenues developing and installing non-fossil energy production systems. That means they are forced to pay for things like wind factories, photo-electric technology and wave power, whether or not they think these generation methods have the slightest value, either to themselves or the nation.

Like all political efforts to make companies pay for things, the government's plan does not work. The energy companies do not pay for these generation technologies. The cost does not come out of their profits, or their shareholders' dividends. It comes from their customers, naturally. All of us who use energy in the home – and there may be one or two completely self-sufficient households in the UK, but the other 28 million or so do have to buy in gas or electricity – end up paying. We pay this premium on our bills so that our energy companies can subsidise wind farmers.

Or maybe we should call them subsidy farmers, because the fact is that these alternative energy sources are far from covering their own costs. None of those noisy, unsightly turbines that are marching across the country's most beautiful hill country (since that is where the wind is) would exist at all if it were not for the subsidy. Except perhaps the one on David Cameron's house.

Just think about it. In ordinary garden soil, there are trace elements that are actually quite valuable. You might even have a gram or two of gold lurking under your lawn. What good fortune: you could be sitting on a gold mine. Except that these things are not valuable at all, because the cost of extracting them would be enormous in relation to the tiny quantities that you could isolate. You could get the excavators in, and boil up all the soil in your garden to find them, sure enough. But it wouldn't be worth the effort. You could spend 250,000 on digging the holes and refining your soil, and maybe end up with just a few grams of precious metals worth maybe 100. It's a no-brainer, isn't it?

So why do we think it is any better to spend more on non-fossil generation than the value it brings to our energy network? Well, there may be a strategic benefit from having diversity, so we are not dependent on Russian oil and gas, for example. That's a plausible argument, though it still may not justify paying over the odds for that diversity. Then there's the argument that we want to develop new 'green' energy technology and be first in the field. No, we don't. We're better to buy technology from the world's best producers. We don't make phones for ourselves in the garage, we buy them from Apple. And in any event, the first people into any market aren't usually the people who make money from it. Usually it is the second entrants, who see the idea but improve the way it is designed and marketed. We'd be better and cheaper letting other countries develop green technologies, then capitalise on their efforts.

And what is true of energy is true of all the other things that governments subsidise. If it was your money, you would buy the cheapest. So why does government force us to pay for the most expensive?



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


27 August, 2010

Obama disappoints the Greens

He hasn't gone anti-green. It's just that he wants all power to reside in his bureaucracy

The Obama administration has urged the Supreme Court to toss out an appeals court decision that would allow lawsuits against major emitters for their contributions to global warming, stunning environmentalists who see the case as a powerful prod on climate change.

In the case, AEP v. Connecticut, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with a coalition of states, environmental groups and New York City. The decision, handed down last year, said they could proceed with a lawsuit that seeks to force several of the nation's largest coal-fired utilities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The defendants -- American Electric Power Co. Inc., Duke Energy Corp., Southern Co. and Xcel Energy Inc. -- filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court earlier this month, asking the court to reject the argument that greenhouse gas emissions can be addressed through "public nuisance" lawsuits (Greenwire, Aug. 4).

In a brief (pdf) filed yesterday on behalf of the Tennessee Valley Authority, acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal agreed with the defendants, saying that U.S. EPA's newly finalized regulations on greenhouse gases have displaced that type of common-law claim.

Katyal urged the court to vacate the decision and remand the case to the 2nd Circuit for further proceedings, this time taking into account the administration's push to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

The 2nd Circuit's decision rested on the assertion that "EPA does not currently regulate carbon dioxide," but that has since changed. The Obama administration has finalized several regulations in response to the Supreme Court's 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, which told the agency to decide whether greenhouse gases were pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

"Since this court held in 2007 that carbon dioxide falls within that regulatory authority, EPA has taken several significant steps toward addressing the very question presented here," Katyal wrote. "That regulatory approach is preferable to what would result if multiple district courts -- acting without the benefit of even the most basic statutory guidance -- could use common-law nuisance claims to sit as arbiters of scientific and technology-related disputes and de factoregulators of power plants and other sources of pollution both within their districts and nationwide."

Matt Pawa, an attorney representing plaintiffs in the case, said he and his colleagues expected the White House to stay out of the matter. During a meeting with more than 30 administration lawyers at the solicitor general's office on June 24, it seemed they had "a lot of friends in the room," he said.

"We feel stabbed in the back," Pawa said. "This was really a dastardly move by an administration that said it was a friend of the environment. With friends like this, who needs enemies?"

Top attorneys at environmental advocacy groups are buzzing about the brief, sources say. Some feel betrayed by a White House that has generally been more amenable to environmental regulation than its predecessor.

"This reads as if it were cut and pasted from the Bush administration's briefing in Massachusetts," said David Bookbinder, who served as the Sierra Club's chief climate counsel until his resignation in May.


Global warmists abandoned fact for fancy

By Roger Helmer

Around the world, the fight against "cli- mate change" and carbon dioxide e emissions is costing literally hundreds of billions of dollars - and this at a time when the Western world is ravaged by recession.

We can ill afford these sums. Many scientists think CO2 emissions have a trivial effect on climate, but even those who support the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) generally agree that the efforts we are making will result in changes so small that they cannot even be measured.

Given that China is building a new coal-fired power station every week, with India not far behind, it's a fair bet that CO2 emissions will increase for decades regardless of what we in the West do. If the United Kingdom, for example, were to turn off its economy totally and not burn so much as a candle, China would make up our emissions savings in about 12 months.

Just 70 years ago, at the height of the Battle of Britain, Winston Churchill gave what became perhaps the most famous political speech in British history. Were he here today and able to comment on the great climate debate, he might well be saying, "Never in the field of public policy has so much been spent by so many for so little."

They say there's "a consensus" of scientists who support AGW. But science proceeds by hypothesis and falsification, not consensus. As author Michael Crichton famously put it, "If it's science, it's not consensus. And if it's consensus, it's not science."

We are told that the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents a consensus of 2,500 experts in the field. Yet when we look at the details, we find that the IPCC process, and especially the Summary for Policymakers, is in the hands of a small group, no more than two or three dozen.

The practically incestuous links among these scientists were revealed in a 2006 report by a team led by George Mason University statistics professor Edward Wegman at the request of Congress following a report by the National Research Council. These people work together, publish papers together and peer-review each others' work. And we now know from the "Climate" leaks that they also cobbled together unrelated data sets, sought to "hide the decline," to eliminate the Medieval Warm Period from the record, to prevent publication of alternative views and to bring about the dismissal of editors who took a more open-minded approach.

Science is supposed to follow the facts and seek the truth. These guys started with a conviction about climate change and sought to make the data fit the preconception. They called themselves the "Hockey Team," and they included Michael Mann - creator of the infamous "hockey stick" graph - perhaps the most discredited artifact in the history of science, which nonetheless took pride of place in the IPCC's Third Assessment Report.

To understand climate hysteria, we need look no further than the Watergate advice: "Follow the money." Governments, think tanks, institutions and universities spend huge sums on climate research. Academics can't obtain work, tenure, grant funding or publication without toeing the line. Even researchers in unrelated fields can ensure funding by adding the context of climate change to their proposals. Thousands of jobs in government, academia, the media and industry depend on the climate issue.

The East Midlands region of the United Kingdom, which I represent in the European Parliament, has just committed $1.5 million to "climate change skills training" (read "propaganda").

And the propaganda works. Every schoolchild knows about dangerous sea-level rise. But the children don't know that it's simply a projection of a virtual-reality computer model. They don't know that in the real world, sea-level rise (at around six to seven inches in 100 years) is the same as it has been for centuries, that the Maldives and Tuvalu aren't sinking beneath the waves. They don't know that successive IPCC reports have consistently reduced their alarmist estimates for sea-level rise by 2100.

Every schoolchild knows that the ice caps are melting - but glaciers and ice fields accumulate snow (which compacts to ice) at high levels, while chunks of ice break off at the margin. Vast blocks of ice tumbling into the sea make great video footage, but they say nothing about warming or cooling. That's simply what ice sheets do.

There has been some retreat of glaciers since about 1800 (long before CO2 became an issue), but geological evidence shows that glaciers regularly advance and retreat with the Earth's climate cycles. We are simply seeing a natural recovery from the Little Ice Age. And global ice mass is broadly constant.

In 1942, six Lockheed P-38F Lightning fighters were lost in Greenland. In 1988, they were rediscovered under 270 feet of solid ice. That's an ice buildup of nearly six feet a year.

Every schoolchild knows about the plight of the polar bear (the alarmists' pinup species), threatened by climate change. But how many know that polar bear numbers have increased substantially in recent decades and that polar bears are thriving?

In each of these cases, the alarmists put the projections of virtual-reality computer models ahead of real-world observation. Yet these models are programmed with a wide range of estimates and assumptions - including the assumption that CO2 is a major cause of warming. Little surprise, then, that they predict that outcome.


Warmists hanging on to secrecy like grim death

What have they got to hide? No need to guess

A team of lawyers for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II, a vocal skeptic of global warming, went to court Friday to further his investigation into whether former University of Virginia professor Michael Mann manipulated data to show that there has been a rapid, recent rise in the Earth's temperature.

Lawyers from the attorney general's office said the climate scientist might have engaged in fraud by purposely designing his well-known "hockey-stick" graph to show global warming or including manipulated research on his curriculum vitae, which he submitted for grants.

Deputy Attorney General Wesley G. Russell Jr., who argued the case on Cuccinelli's behalf, said there was a possibility of a "consistent pattern of manipulation of data."

But attorneys for the university say other investigations found no wrongdoing by Mann, who did not attend Friday's hearing.

Cuccinelli issued a civil investigative demand, essentially a subpoena, for documents from U-Va. for five grant applications Mann prepared and all e-mail between Mann and his research assistants, secretaries and 39 other scientists across the country. U-Va. is fighting back, arguing that the demand exceeds Cuccinelli's authority under state law and intrudes on the rights of professors to pursue academic inquiry free from political pressure.

Albemarle Circuit Court Judge Paul Peatross took the matter under advisement, saying he would rule within 10 days.


BBC hedging its bets: Actually talking to skeptics!

In a special Radio 4 series the BBC's Environmental Analyst Roger Harrabin investigates whether the arguments surrounding climate change can ever be won. He questions whether his own reporting - and that of others - has adequately told the whole story about global warming.

Roger Harrabin has reported on the climate for almost thirty years off and on, but last November while working on the "Climategate" emails story, he was prompted to look again at the basics of climate science.

He finds that the public under-estimate the degree of consensus among scientists that humans have contributed towards the heating of the climate. But he also finds that politicians often fail to convey the huge uncertainty over the extent of future climate change.

At this crucial moment in global climate policy making, he talks to seminal characters in the climate change debate including Tony Blair, Lord Lawson, Sir Crispin Tickell and the influential blogger Steve McIntyre.

Just six months ago, public trust in climate science looked assured as nations moved towards the climate summit in Copenhagen. Now a recent BBC poll suggests that less than half of the British populace accepts that humans are changing the climate - the fundamental premise of government policy on energy, transport, planning, construction; and a major influence on policy in taxation, agriculture and foreign affairs.

This first programme in the series examines what happened to cause this swing in public sentiment.
It asks whether the scientific reviews underway - two down, two to go - will restore public faith in climate science.

It examines the sceptics' argument that mainstream scientists have under-estimated the role of natural cycles in the recent warm period. And it considers whether changes in the output of the sun might even be leading the Earth into a period of cooling.


Wind Power Won't Cool Down the Planet

The wind industry has achieved remarkable growth largely due to the claim that it will provide major reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. There's just one problem: It's not true. A slew of recent studies show that wind-generated electricity likely won't result in any reduction in carbon emissions—or that they'll be so small as to be almost meaningless.

This issue is especially important now that states are mandating that utilities produce arbitrary amounts of their electricity from renewable sources. By 2020, for example, California will require utilities to obtain 33% of their electricity from renewables. About 30 states, including Connecticut, Minnesota and Hawaii, are requiring major increases in the production of renewable electricity over the coming years.

Wind—not solar or geothermal sources—must provide most of this electricity. It's the only renewable source that can rapidly scale up to meet the requirements of the mandates. This means billions more in taxpayer subsidies for the wind industry and higher electricity costs for consumers.

None of it will lead to major cuts in carbon emissions, for two reasons. First, wind blows only intermittently and variably. Second, wind-generated electricity largely displaces power produced by natural gas-fired generators, rather than that from plants burning more carbon-intensive coal.

Because wind blows intermittently, electric utilities must either keep their conventional power plants running all the time to make sure the lights don't go dark, or continually ramp up and down the output from conventional coal- or gas-fired generators (called "cycling"). But coal-fired and gas-fired generators are designed to run continuously, and if they don't, fuel consumption and emissions generally increase. A car analogy helps explain: An automobile that operates at a constant speed—say, 55 miles per hour—will have better fuel efficiency, and emit less pollution per mile traveled, than one that is stuck in stop-and-go traffic.

Recent research strongly suggests how this problem defeats the alleged carbon-reducing virtues of wind power. In April, Bentek Energy, a Colorado-based energy analytics firm, looked at power plant records in Colorado and Texas. (It was commissioned by the Independent Petroleum Association of the Mountain States.) Bentek concluded that despite huge investments, wind-generated electricity "has had minimal, if any, impact on carbon dioxide" emissions.

Bentek found that thanks to the cycling of Colorado's coal-fired plants in 2009, at least 94,000 more pounds of carbon dioxide were generated because of the repeated cycling. In Texas, Bentek estimated that the cycling of power plants due to increased use of wind energy resulted in a slight savings of carbon dioxide (about 600 tons) in 2008 and a slight increase (of about 1,000 tons) in 2009.

Earlier this year, another arm of the Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, released a report whose conclusions were remarkably similar to those of the EIA. This report focused on integrating wind energy into the electric grid in the Eastern U.S., which has about two-thirds of the country's electric load. If wind energy were to meet 20% of electric needs in this region by 2024, according to the report, the likely reduction in carbon emissions would be less than 200 million tons per year. All the scenarios it considered will cost at least $140 billion to implement. And the issue of cycling conventional power plants is only mentioned in passing.


Biofuel mandates are stunningly counterproductive

For a start, biofuels make huge demands on the water suppy -- largely to feed the vast areas of new cropland that would be required. And it appears that they would not reduce CO2 levels anyway

Those amazing Idsos who run the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change review a paper recently published in AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment by Mulder et al. (2010), who assess the energy return on water invested (EROWI) of several renewable and non-renewable fuels.

In the paper, provocatively titled “Burning Water,” the Mulder team find that “the most water-efficient, fossil-based technologies have an EROWI one to two orders of magnitude [10 to 100 times] greater than the most water-efficient biomass technologies, implying that the development of biomass energy technologies in scale sufficient to be a significant source of energy may produce or exacerbate water shortages around the globe and be limited by the availability of fresh water.”

The Idsos note that these findings “will not be welcomed” by those who promote biofuels as a means of combating the alleged national security risks of global climate change.

We often hear, for example, that climate change will increase the risk of “water wars” by intensifying summer heat and drought. There’s not much evidence to support this alarm. About 90% of global fresh water consumption is for agriculture. As British scientist Wendy Barnaby found to her surprise when she set out to research a book about the coming “century of water wars,” nations in water-stressed regions typically do not come to blows but instead cooperate and import “virtual water” in the form of grain, leaving more water available for drinking and bathing.

Even in the water-stressed, conflict-prone, Middle East, nations do not go to war over water. Nonetheless, to the extent that water stress undermines stability and peace, government policies ramping up biofuel production are likely a “cure” worse than the supposed disease.

In addition, some biofuel policies can increase food prices and world hunger, fostering instability and strife, especially if scaled up enough to make a meaningful difference in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Princeton researchers Stephen Pacella and Robert Socolow estimate that avoiding 1 gigaton (gt) of carbon emissions per year by 2050, by replacing gasoline with biofuels, would require 250 million hectares of high-yield energy crop planations, “an area equal to about one-sixth of the world’s current cropland.”

Let’s put this in perspective. One gigaton of carbon = 3.67 gt of CO2. Achieving the EU/UN emission stabilization target of 450 parts per million would require global CO2 emissions to decline roughly 38 gt below the baseline (business as usual) projection by 2050. In other words, the 3.67 gt reduction in CO2 that Pacala and Socolow say we can get via biofuels would achieve less than 10% of the reduction required to meet the target. Not a whole lot of environmental bang for all that land area buck. Indeed, dedicating 250 million hectares to energy crop production would likely squeeze many species out of their habitats.

Note also that significant research indicates that converting grassland and forest land into biofuel plantations increases net greenhouse gas emissions over many decades by releasing the carbon stored in forests and soils. Growing biofuel on 250 million hectares of land might very well emit more CO2 than the gasoline it replaces.

The larger point, though, as Dennis Avery explains, is that the world is not well-fed now, and the demand for food and feed on farmlands is expected to more than double by 2050. Requiring biofuel production on 250 million hectares would be a recipe for disaster. Putting the equivalent of one-sixth of current cropland off limits to food production represents a much bigger decline in global agricultural productivity than is anticipated from drought in high-end global warming scenarios.

Warmists warn that climate change is a “threat multiplier” or “instability accelerant.” However, the national security risks of climate change policy likely exceed those of climate change itself.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)


For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


26 August, 2010

Global greenhouse emissions just a fairy story

China, India, Indonesia, Brazil Can’t Estimate Their Greenhouse Gas Emissions—Latest Figures are From 1994

Even as the Obama administration seeks to negotiate an international treaty to cap manmade greenhouse gas emissions, many of the world’s most egregious producers of greenhouse gasses cannot accurately estimate how much gas they currently emit, according to a recent report from Government Accountability Office.

The GAO examined the greenhouse-gas-emission estimates made by seven developed countries listed as “Annex I” nations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and seven developing countries listed as “non-Annex I” nations (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, and South Korea) under the framework. The study found that the lack of accurate data and reporting on greenhouse-gas emissions from non-Annex I nations complicates the efforts for global climate policies.

“High quality and comparable information on national greenhouse gas emissions is critical to designing and implementing international responses to climate change,” said the GAO. “We found that the inventories from seven selected high emitting non-Annex I nations were generally outdated, not comparable, and of lower quality than inventories from Annex I nations. The existing gap in quality and comparability of inventories across developed and developing nations makes it more difficult to establish and monitor international agreements, since actions by both developed and developing nations will be necessary to address climate change under future international agreements.”

Even Great Britain, an Annex I country, can only estimate its greenhouse-gas emissions within a margin of error (or an “uncertainty” estimate, as the report calls it) of 13 percent, said the GAO.

Russia, also an Annex I country, can only estimate its greenhouse gas emissions within a margin of error of 40 percent.

Yet Great Britain and Russia did much better than most of the seven non-Annex I countries whose greenhouse-gas-emission estimates were reviewed by the GAO.

China, a non-Annex I country, has no idea how much greenhouse gas it has emitted in recent years. The only year for which it has ever produced an estimate is 1994, and it did not determine the margin of error for that estimate of 16-year-old gas emissions.

India and Malaysia had likewise only made estimates of their greenhouse gas emissions for 1994 and they did not determine what their margins of error were either.

Indonesia and Brazil have produced estimates for 1990-1994. Indonesia’s margin of error was not determined. But Brazil’s margin of error was 22 percent—considerably better than Russia’s 40 percent but not nearly as good as Great Britain’s 13 percent. South Korea had completed an estimate for its greenhouse-gas emissions for as recently as 2001, but did not include an estimate of its margin of error. Mexico completed an estimate for as recently as 2006 and estimated a margin of error of 7 percent.

The “uncertainty”–or margin of error–in the annual estimates of greenhouse-gas emission made by the U.S. government ranged from 3 percent to 7 percent. Japan was more precise, producing estimates that had an “uncertainty” of only 1 percent

The “uncertainty” in Russia’s estimate was so great it actually was greater than the entirety of Canada’s greenhouse-gas emissions for 2007.

“Russia reported overall uncertainty of about plus or minus 40 percent,” said the GAO. “That equates to an uncertainty of 800 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, slightly more than Canada’s total emissions in 2007. Russia’s relatively large uncertainty estimate could stem from several factors, such as less precise national statistics.”

The inability of the non-Annex I nations analyzed by GAO to estimate their greenhouse-gas emissions is significant because these nations are expected to account for much of the future increase in these emissions.

“China, a non-Annex I nation, recently overtook the United States as the world’s largest emitter, according to some estimates,” said GAO. “According to Energy Information Administration projections, non-Annex I nations may contribute nearly all of the growth of global fossil-fuel related emissions through 2030. Because of this expected growth, emissions reductions will be needed from high-emitting nations, including non-Annex I nations, to stabilize the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”

Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, had originally requested that the GAO report on the quality and comparability of nations’ estimates of their greenhouse gas emissions in February of 2009–before the House in July 2009 passed a controversial cap-and-trade bill that would place limits on how much carbon dioxide the United States could emit annually.

Barton said the lack of greenhouse gas emissions from major emitters such as China, Brazil and India was “worrisome.”

“We’re concerned that emissions information from the fastest growing developing countries, including China and India, were 12 years older than what the United States and other developed nations had reported,” said Barton.

“It’s also worrisome that China, Brazil, India and other major developing nations still refuse to match their reporting regimes to those of the developed world even as they rapidly surpass both us and Europe in the amount of greenhouse gases they produce,” said Barton.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), who was the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations when the GAO report was requested, suggested it made little sense to move ahead with regulating U.S. emissions when there was not accurate reporting on the emissions of other nations.

“Before the Obama administration and Speaker Pelosi clamp down on American jobs with new global warming regulations, wouldn’t it make sense to make sure we can trust the measuring regimes of other countries?” asked Walden.

“Americans want to do the right thing for the environment,” he said, “but we don’t need to play by one set of rules while our economic competitors play by another.”


New Jersey Business Owners, Activists Seek Repeal of "Cap and Trade" that Could Reverberate Nationally

Business owners have joined forces with free market activists in New Jersey who are calling on state lawmakers to repeal “cap and trade” policies, which are responsible for boosting energy prices. On Thursday, The New Jersey Restaurant Association (NJRA), which represents the state’s largest employment sector, announced its support for a bill that would both revoke “cap and trade” and rescind New Jersey’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

“The opposition that is building up against `cap and trade’ in New Jersey could have national implications since the program here was crafted as a model for what President Obama had in mind,” Steven Lonegan, a former mayor of Bogota explained in an interview. “The American people are opposed to these environmental regulations but they are still growing right under our feet at the state level with these regional initiatives. It’s shocking how few people realize New Jersey already has the program.”

Lonegan, who is also a former gubernatorial candidate, is heading up the effort to repeal “cap and trade” in partnership with private citizens and public officials. Legislation (Bill A3147) has been introduced in the Assembly by Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-25) and Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose (R-24). An accompanying bill is expected to be introduced by Senator Michael Doherty (R-23), and Governor Chris Christie has indicated he would sign the legislation.

Lisa Jackson, who now serves as Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator, previously served as the New Jersey environmental commissioner. Prior last year’s “climategate” scandal that exposed how politically-motivated researchers manipulated and exaggerated warming trends, federal lawmakers were eyeing Jackson’s state level program as a foundation for new regulatory schemes modeled after the Kyoto Protocol.

“There are profound economic consequences attached to scientifically unfounded `cap and trade’ programs,” Lonegan said. “Unfortunately, there are still too many state legislators who don’t understand the issue and don’t have the backbone to stand up to groups like the Sierra Club. But the public is behind us and we feel like we have momentum.”


Al Gore's global-warming crusade bogged down

Poor Al Gore. As if an impending divorce and allegations of sexual misconduct from an Oregon masseuse weren't bad enough (he has since been cleared of wrongdoing), the apparent collapse of "cap-and-trade" legislation in the U.S. Senate has driven the former vice president to despair.

As reported by Steve Milloy on his blog Green Hell, Mr. Gore recently admitted to supporters in a conference call, "[T]his [cap-and-trade] battle has not been successful and is pretty much over for this year." Mr. Gore blamed everyone and their monkey for the failure of Congress to pass comprehensive climate legislation, including his former colleagues: "The U.S. Senate has failed us," he lamented, "the federal government has failed us."

The fortunes of Mr. Gore's global-warming crusade certainly are in decline: A recent Rasmussen poll found that just 34 percent of respondents "feel human activity is the main contributor" to global warming and that the percentage of those who consider global warming a "serious issue" has "trended down slightly since last November."

Mr. Gore himself is to blame for at least some of the public backlash against global-warming orthodoxy: Using bad science to justify bad policy will inevitably rub people the wrong way. And Mr. Gore has not helped his cause by consistently expressing outrageous falsehoods ("the debate is over") and shamelessly trying to shield his assertions from legitimate criticism by claiming "settled science." All the while, he has enriched himself and pushed a left-wing economic agenda.

Take, for example, the infamous "hockey stick" graph, a version of which was featured prominently in Mr. Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." The graph appeared to show global temperatures relatively flat for a millennium and then suddenly spiking upward in the late 20th century - proof, according to Mr. Gore and his acolytes, of man-made global warming caused by industrial carbon emissions.

Temperature records for the past century are based on instrumental data: thermometers, satellites, etc. For prior centuries, however, scientists rely on proxy data; in the case of the original hockey-stick graph, researchers relied on tree rings. But as Roy Spencer, former senior scientist for climate studies at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, writes in "The Great Global Warming Blunder," "the most recent tree-ring data do not even show the warming that occurred in the second half of the 20th-century, but appear to indicate a cooling instead." Because tree rings do not show the recent warming that we know occurred, it follows that tree rings are not an adequate proxy by which we can accurately gauge past temperatures.

The unreliability of tree-ring data has long been known. Nevertheless, the hockey-stick graph was embraced enthusiastically by Mr. Gore and the global-warming crowd, for it conveniently dispensed with two significant climate events: the Medieval Warm Period (10th to 13th centuries) and the Little Ice Age (14th to 19th centuries). The former saw temperatures in the North Atlantic warm enough that vikings could settle and flourish in a lush Greenland, the latter temperatures so low that people routinely ice-skated on a frozen River Thames. Both of these climate events, for which there are masses of historical evidence, began before the Industrial Revolution and therefore are unattributable to man-made carbon emissions.

That's why the global-warming crowd was so desperate to hide them: If people realize that temperature fluctuations occur naturally and cyclically, they are less likely to embrace the draconian, job-killing energy taxes favored by Mr. Gore and his ilk as punishment for their own carbon sins.

The hockey stick conveniently hid this natural temperature variation - for a while. Fortunately, thanks largely to the tireless work of independent researchers Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, the flaws in the statistical methodology used to create the various hockey-stick graphs have received widespread attention, and the once-iconic symbol of global warming has since been largely marginalized in the climate-change debate.


The New York Times and Lies about 'Acid Rain'

As one who often reads the Newspaper of the Ruling Class, the New York Times, I tend not to be surprised when the "Newspaper of Record" distorts the record. Furthermore, one could do nothing but write comments refuting the various economic fallacies and outright distortions that accompany each edition of the Grey Lady.

However, in a recent editorial, the NYT managed to distort the record so much that I find it hard even to know how to answer, except to say that some of us have not lost our memories of what happened 30 years ago. Entitled "Acid Rain 30 Years On," the editorial starts with the following statement:
Just over 30 years ago, a skeptical Daniel Patrick Moynihan persuaded his Senate colleagues to approve a major study to see whether a relatively unknown phenomenon called acid rain was worth worrying about. The study, completed in 1990, showed that pollution blowing eastward from coal-fired power plants was killing off aquatic life. One-quarter of the Adirondacks’ 3,000 lakes and streams had become too acidic to support fish life, or were headed that way.

Mr. Moynihan became a believer. And the study helped usher in two decades worth of laws and regulations – most important, the 1990 Clean Air Act – requiring major reductions in power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide. Evidence suggests that in the last decade pollution levels have dropped and that streams, lakes and forests have rebounded.

Actually not, and I think I know, given that I had a major article in Reason about this whole affair and also wrote part of my doctoral dissertation on the subject, and published another paper in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology about it. I can say what the NYT says in that editorial is categorically untrue, all the way to Moynihan’s becoming "a believer." If there is an Orwellian Memory Hole, it definitely lives at the "Newspaper of Record."

What actually happened regarding the "major study" and its results, and why were the results so controversial, with the EPA openly attempting to destroy the career of a scientist who had a major role in the report’s conclusions? In fact, why did the New York Times itself openly ignore the report that it now praises?

This goes back to the origins of the Acid Rain scare, which, like Global Warming (or "Climate Change") did not even need Al Gore to hype it. I wrote in my article in Reason:
(In the late 1970s) scientists in the United States, Canada, and Scandinavia became alarmed at what they believed was massive environmental degradation caused by sulfur dioxide-laced rain that came from coal-fired power plants. The media followed with hundreds of apocalyptic stories, such as "Scourge from the Skies" (Reader's Digest), "Now, Even the Rain is Dangerous" (International Wildlife), "Acid from the Skies" (Time), and "Rain of Terror" (Field and Stream).

In 1980, the EPA declared that acid rain had acidified lakes in the northeastern United States a hundredfold since 1940, and the National Academy of Sciences predicted an "aquatic silent spring" by 1990, declaring in 1981 that the nation's number of acid-dead lakes would more than double by 1990.

In response to these concerns, Congress in 1980 commissioned an interagency governmental study – NAPAP (National Acid Precipitation Assessment Project) – to document the damage acid rain was causing to lakes, rivers and streams, aquatic life, forests, crops, and buildings.

However, as scientists took measurements and assessed the streams, lakes and forests that supposedly were being ravaged by acid rain, they found out a number of things. First, lake and stream acidity had very little relationship to the pH factor of local rainfall. Instead, the acidity of the vegetation in the watersheds of these aquatic bodies was the significant factor, with the science firmly established by the time that Edward Krug and Charles Frink published a paper in a 1983 edition of Science. (More on that later.)

Second, as is the case with most environmental scares, so-called acid rain was not having much of an effect on anything, from what scientists could say. Unfortunately, Congress, the George H.W. Bush White House, and most of the mainstream media were not thrilled with the fact that the End Of The World As We Know It and let it be known that anything less than Apocalypse Now was unacceptable.

In writing about NAPAP’s 1987 Interim Report, I noted:
The assessment concluded that acid rain was not damaging forests, did not hurt crops, and caused no measurable health problems. The report also concluded that acid rain helped acidify only a fraction of Northeastern lakes and that the number of acid lakes had not increased since 1980. The assessment also agreed that acid rain hampered visibility in the eastern United States.

The report ignited a firestorm of protest. Rep. James Scheuer (D-NY), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Natural Resources, Agriculture Research, and the Environment, said the assessment was "intellectually dishonest" and badgered NAPAP witnesses before his committee. Environmentalists belittled the document because it came from the Reagan administration. They were especially angry at J. Lawrence Kulp, whom Reagan had appointed NAPAP director.

Scientists, however, generally endorsed the study. Documents from the International Conference on Acid Precipitation in 1988 show participants agreed with most of NAPAP's conclusions almost unanimously. In fact, the scientists from Canada agreed with Krug on the important watershed acidification theory, which was partly at odds with the Interim Assessment. In other words, NAPAP's conclusions were scientifically correct, if not politically correct.

The secondary reaction to the study by the government was indifference, in that the government could do nothing, and the eastern United States would not have been any worse off, environmentally speaking. However, because the NAPAP report was politically incorrect, the Bush administration (which took office in 1989) suppressed its findings – with no objection from the NYT or any other mainstream journalistic outfit – except for one, "60 Minutes."

On December 30, 1990 (after Congress passed the acid rain provisions in the Clean Air Act of 1990), "60 Minutes" broadcast a story that thoroughly debunked the scare stories, including a recent one by the "Newspaper of Record." Reporter Steve Kroft
…asked Krug about a then-recent New York Times story that claimed acid rain had turned forests in the Appalachia's into "ragged landscapes of dead and dying trees."

Krug replied, "I don't know where they got that from. It appears to be another assertion, unsubstantiated...We do not see that occurring."

One of the people interviewed by "60 Minutes" was none other than Moynihan, and he told Kroft that he was relieved by the results of the report. After all, he said, at the beginning of the scare, New Yorkers had been told that they would be losing "all of their lakes" and forests. The Apocalypse had not materialized, and Moynihan, while saying he would support the law, nonetheless was not a "believer" in the sense that the NYT characterized him 30 years later.

Not surprisingly, the EPA objected to the report and the NYT and most mainstream publications followed suit. Acid rain was destroying the country, and even if it was not, it still was, period. Instead, the newspapers either ignored the science or were used as conduits for the EPA to attack Krug and destroy the career of a promising scientist.

At the end, I wrote:
The EPA's performance on acid rain – and how it dealt with a respected scientist who told the truth – is not comforting when one considers how important the federal government now is in funding scientific research and how politicized current environmental issues such as global warming and depletion of the earth's ozone layer have become. One NAPAP scientist, who for obvious reasons wishes to remain anonymous, warns that in the future the EPA will not go through the pretense of research and debate: "There is no NAPAP for global warming."

So, once again we see an editorial in the "Newspaper of Record" that outright distorts the record and ignores some good science. This is the same newspaper that claimed that the George W. Bush administration was "corrupting" science because it was not quick enough to join Gore’s Global Warming bandwagon.

In his excellent essay, "America’s Ruling Class," Angelo M. Codevilla writes regarding the modern "Progressives" and science that "identity always trumps" the truth. Indeed, in the case of acid rain, Codevilla’s assessment is on the mark. Americans were bullied by political elites and their amen media and academic corners into having new restrictions placed on their lives in order to deal with a non-existent threat. And it will happen again and again and again. But it will happen.


Howard Stern: 'Bring back DDT!'

Stern argues that New York's bedbug problem is nothing compared to the millions dying from malaria in Africa

Howard Stern, radio personality and host of The Howard Stern Show, one of the most popular and influential radio programs in America, is calling for the insecticide DDT to be brought back to battle the bedbugs in New York and the malarial mosquitos in Africa. "It's time for this nonsense to stop," Stern declared. He cited CFACT's Paul Driessen to support his case.

CFACT senior policy advisor Paul Driessen recently wrote about the drastically different consequences the ban on DDT is having in America and Africa. "Growing infestations of the ravenous bloodsuckers have New Yorkers annoyed, anguished, angry about officialdom’s inadequate responses," says Driessen. In the past, DDT was used effectively to deal with bedbug infestations.

Howard Stern agreed with Driessen that Africa's malaria problem dwarfs the bedbug issue, saying, "You're talking about the difference between life and death. They gotta have some insecticides." Stern continued, "forget about a bunch of city-dwellers with their emotional distress with bedbugs. You're talking about malaria!"

South Africa, one of the few African nations wealthy enough to fund its own anti-malaria campaign, has used insecticides and DDT to achieve 95% reductions in disease and death rates, Driessen reports. The rest of Africa is not so fortunate, due to many aid agencies' refusal to fund DDT programs. As a result, Driessen says, malaria "kills over a million annually, most of them children and mothers, the vast majority of them in Africa. It drains families’ meager savings, and magnifies and perpetuates the region’s endemic poverty."

Howard Stern read extensively from Paul's article and gave his verdict: "they gotta bring back DDT. Stop being a bunch of pussies."


Global cooling hits Australia

HUGE overnight snowfalls have delivered Victoria's best skiing conditions in years. Falls Creek had the biggest dumping, with 54cm of fresh snow recorded in the 24 hours to 6am. Mt Hotham had 46cm, Dinner Plain 30cm, Mt Buller 29cm and Lake Mountain 25cm. There was 10cm of new snow at Mt Baw Baw and Mt Buffalo.

Falls Creek resident Chris Hocking said 226cm of snow had fallen in the area so far this month, already higher than any August figure in at least a decade. "The volume of snow we have seen in August is just staggering,’’ Mr Hocking said. "I haven’t seen anything like this in so many years.’’

It's already been the wettest winter since 1996, with Melbourne's rainfall almost 10mm above average for the season. And if you've been cranking up the heater on a daily basis, it's probably because the mercury hasn't made it past 18C in Melbourne, forcing us to shiver through an average maximum of 14.6C.

Weather bureau senior forecaster Terry Ryan said there had been a return to the icy winters of more than a decade ago. "It's been a return to average temperatures, which we haven't had for a while," Mr Ryan said.

The wet weather had been great news for our dams, currently about 40.2 per cent and growing by 0.2 per cent a day, according to Mr Ryan. "There's no reason why we can't be up to 45 per cent by the end of spring, and there's an outside hope to touch 50 per cent," he said.

And, while the weather has kept most of us inside it has also been a boon for snow bunnies, with conditions among the best in several years. Falls Creek is leading the way and, with more snow expected overnight, it could break records.

Local resident Chris Hocking said last night the snowfall had been amazing. "It's already the best in six years, minimum," he said. "And it's likely to go into the 20-year margin before the end of the month."



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


25 August, 2010

Declining trees spell gloom for planet -- say Greenie nuts

Since global temperature changes over the last decade have been in tenths of a degree only, whatever is happening to trees is not the result of global warming. There IS no global temperature change to speak of. Besides, any ocean warming would INCREASE overall rainfall, which is good for trees -- and increased CO2 is good for them too.

The study below blames the decline in trees that they saw on drier weather overall -- but drier weather overall is a sign of global COOLING! Pesky! How come these so-called scientists know nothing of the most basic physics of evaporation or the chemistry of photosynthesis?

LESS rainfall and rising global temperatures are damaging one of the world's best guardians against climate change: trees. A global study, published in the journal Science, shows that the amount of carbon dioxide being soaked up by the world's forests in the past decade has declined, reversing a 20-year trend.

It diminishes hopes that global warming can be seriously slowed down by the mass planting of trees in carbon sinks. Although plants generally grow bigger as a result of absorbing carbon-enriched air, they need more water and nutrients to do so, and they have been getting less.

A fierce drought that dried out vast areas of the Amazon Basin in 2005 is seen as a key to the global decline in carbon sinks in the past decade, but Australia is not immune. "Australia is a significant contributor to the global pattern, and the findings are consistent to what we have seen here," said a senior CSIRO researcher and director of the Global Carbon Project, Dr Josep Canadell.

"There has been a measurable decline in the leaf area of plants this decade, though we don't have all the data for Australia yet. What we have seen is strongly consistent with projected patterns of climate change."

The Science study, Drought-induced Reduction in Global Terrestrial Net Primary Production from 2000 through 2009, used data from a NASA satellite that orbits Earth every 15 days to build up a global map of changing leaf density and forest cover. It estimated net primary production, a measurement of how much CO2 is taken in by plants and stored as part of their biomass.

The study found that in some areas of the world, higher temperatures had driven more plant growth. But these gains have been cancelled out by drier conditions in rainforests, leading to the overall decline in total amount of CO2 the forests are soaking up.

The findings reinforce work being done at the Australian Bureau of Rural Sciences, which is researching how much carbon can be stored on a long-term basis in the landscape.

Scientists say that a sustained decline in the amount of carbon being stored in forests risks locking in a vicious cycle, in which trees absorb less carbon because the world is warmer and drier, while the rising carbon levels in the atmosphere continue to trap heat.

"There is no single silver bullet answer to this, but one of the partial solutions is the protection of old-growth forests, which store a lot of CO2, and the replanting of those that have been removed," said Professor Andy Pitman, the co-director of the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW. "This doesn't actually get to the heart of the problem though, which is rising CO2 emissions from human activity."

Rainfall patterns in Australia are expected to alter significantly over the next few decades as average temperatures increase, with more rain likely to fall in the north and north-west and less precipitation likely in southern Australia. This means that many of Australia's existing old-growth forests, which are located in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania, can be expected to become less efficient carbon sinks.


A sudden flash of honesty from a Warmist

Richard Alley, a glaciologist and climate researcher at Pennsylvania State University in Philadelphia, calls the findings a "nice advance". He notes, however, that it is only the beginning of trying to determine how glaciers might react to geoengineering.

"We don't really have an ice-sheet model that we trust," says Alley, noting that, in addition to global warming, glaciers react to local and regional changes in winds, ocean temperatures and ocean circulation. "In many ways," he says, "this large advance serves to show how far we have to go before climate modelling of geoengineering is really good enough that useful regional projections could be made to guide decision-makers."

Alan Robock, a geophysicist from Rutgers University in New Jersey, agrees, but says that one finding that does come through strongly is that geoengineering has only a relatively minor effect on sea-level rise. "Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases will have a much larger impact," he says.

Moore concurs. "Anything that isn't reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is like putting [on] a bandage rather than actually solving the problem," he says.


Global warmers, meet flat Earthers

The fact that global warming has been decisively exposed as a global hoax hasn't deterred the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram from running four Global Alarming articles over the past two weeks.

Floods, fires, melting ice, heat waves and rainstorms are all touted in one article as proof of runaway global warming rather than eons-old common occurrences.

Another story tells us how British Columbia adopted California's "landmark greenhouse gas reduction law" and created "more than 20,000 new [taxpayer-funded, bureaucrat-run, politically-connected] clean-tech jobs."

And two others mentioned how the Senate scrapped a bill to curb carbon emissions "responsible for global warming" because of "opposition from Republicans and coal-state Democrats," proving that global warming is all about politics, not science.

The Global Warming scam appears to be business as usual.

It's as though solar sunspot activity that causes the same global warming on Mars as it does on Earth doesn't exist. It's as though a meteorological phenomenon called "blocking events" related to the jet stream doesn't exist. It's as though the IPCC "Climategate" scandal of rigged data doesn't exist. It's as though doctored climatological numbers from UK and US universities don't exist. It's as though the flawed and deceptive climate figures from NOAA don't exist. It's as though countless faulty weather stations and malfunctioning weather satellites and manipulated computer modeling don't exist.

It's as though the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age never existed.

The Earth's climate is "too vast, too chaotic, and too unpredictable to rationally suggest that a little bit of carbon dioxide is driving the whole thing," retorts an article from the libertarian titled "Why It's Too Darn Hot" which was not published in the Star-Telegram.

Ordinary people know global warming is a phony excuse for turning the entire planet into a totalitarian socialist-corporatist third world slum for the benefit of the ruling classes and their suck-up toadies.

The Al Gores of the world are motivated by an insatiable greed for power, wealth, and ego gratification. If those obsessions can be gained from global warming they will advocate global warming; if they could be had by promoting flat earth hysteria they would ballyhoo flat earth.

Normal people don't have to be professional environmental scientists to smell a hoax, any more than they need to be professional rodent hunters to smell a rat.

All they need is common sense.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The 2010 'Global Warming' Summer Apocalypse: A New Movie Blockbuster or The Usual Hollywood Flop?

A lot of work went into the post below from C3 Headlines so I am reproducing it in full below

As most observers of the world's climate/weather realized earlier this year, the 2010 summer was going to be a 'hot one' due to El Nio conditions out in the Pacific. Sure enough, there were some hot temperatures that came to fruition this summer. Yet, despite the foreknowledge that it was to be a hot summer, this summer's warmth drove the media to become gloriously stupid, and of course, the famous Hollywood "climate scientists" to become all-a-flutter, with even a spectacular incident of mentalfailure - all for the purpose of turning the natural El Nio into man-made global warming fiction.

As the leftist-liberal-progressive elites continue being unhinged from what is normal summer weather and El Nio temperatures, they might want to put 2010 into context so as to avoid looking even dumber. To do so, they might compare the 2010 El Nio summer temps with those of the last major El Nio during the summer of 1998, in order to gain perspective.

First, it's been really hot in some places and pretty damn cold in others this summer (winter for the Southern Hemisphere), none of which has anything to do with CO2. As for hot, Washington D.C. has had a hot 12-month period ending in July, as the graph on the left depicts. It's the same for the north-east region of the U.S., as shown on the right graph. But look carefully at that chart on the right, despite a hot last 12-months, the trend since the '98 El Nio is at a minus 3.4 degrees per century rate for the north-east region. (click on each image to enlarge)

Wash dc july 2010 US north east region july2010

How about the Atlantic coastal south-east region, below the Washington D.C. area? Well the feared global warming didn't seem to really impact that area over the last 12-months, as it continues a cooling trend since the 1998 El Nio summer (see left chart below). What about the last 12 months for the entire continental U.S.? Actually, as the below chart on the right reveals, U.S. temperatures over the last twelve months have cooled, and has now pushed the country's cooling trend down to a minus 8.5 degrees per century rate. (click on each image to enlarge)

US south east region july 2010Us temps july10

As the above evidence clearly points out, the U.S. has had some urban areas and larger regions warming over the recent past, but overall, the nation's temperatures are down since the last major El Nio. Most certainly, the nation's cooling runs totally counter to what the media and celebrities are always telling us. It's a sad fact that the U.S. elites are either completely ignorant of the real facts or are purposefully misleading the public - it has to be one or the other (okay....there's a third explanation....leftist/liberal "elites" tend to be fairly stupid and gullible - "hey there Mr/Ms Elite Moonbat, how are your Bernie Madoff investments doing?").

Now, how do global temperatures over the last 12 years compared to the U.S. temperature experience? Below is a chart with all 12-month period global temperatures ending in July. As we did above, we are comparing temperatures from the last major El Nio to the one we've experienced in 2010.

On close examination, the chart shows that since 1998 there has not been a single period when global temperatures exceeded the 12-month period ending in July 1998, with one exception: 2010. For all the hysterics about CO2-induced global warming, not a single period bested 1998 until another large El Nio arrived on the scene.

With that said, note that the 2010 absolute increase over the 1998 period was a "staggering," "mind-boggling," an "unprecedented" +0.03 degrees (three one-hundredths of a single degree). This is the "gigantic," "immense" global warming increase that goads Hollywood celebrities into continuously making fools of themselves, and incites hysterical journalists to write idiotic the-world-is-going-to-end articles about summer severe weather events. (click on image to enlarge)

July Global Temps el ninos

To further put global temperatures in their context, we've marked on the chart the temperature level (15 degrees Fahrenheit higher) that various climate experts and their models predict temperatures will be at 2100.

Look carefully. If massive CO2 emissions caused only +0.03 increase over 12 years, is it really possible they are going to cause a 15 degree jump by 2100? I don't think so....based on a simple average increase experienced over the last 12 years, the temperatures by 2100 would be +0.23 degree higher at best; or, extending a simple linear trend from the past 12 years produces a +1.1 degree warming for the world by 2100.

Whether it's a 0.23 or a 1.1 degree Fahrenheit increase, this is not the climate catastrophe that elites keep predicting will happen but never does.

Here's the moral of this summer's "global warming" story: when elites claim the planet is dying, or facing a climate Armageddon because of a hot weather incident or a severe summer storm, it always pays to stop and ponder what has been said. Temperatures are always going up and down due to natural cycles and any current event always needs to be put into context of what reality is, not what the elites claim.

For modern temperature context, visit here. Or for historical temperature context, visit here and here.

And since leftist's think climate change is causing more death and destruction, they're wrong on both these points also.


Reflected Sunlight Shines On IPCC Deceptions And Gross Inadequacies

By Dr. Tim Ball

Moonlight is not light generated by the moon, but reflected sunlight. First astronauts on the moon were amazed by the brightness of Earth when it appeared over the lunar horizon. What they saw was Earthlight, which is also reflected sunlight. It's sunlight that does little to heat the Earth because it goes directly back out to space. The amount reflected varies with changes to the surface and atmosphere. These changes are significant yet poorly measured or understood and pushed aside by the fanatic focus on CO2.

Global warming due to humans is based on the hypothesis that our addition of CO2 has changed the balance of energy entering and leaving the Earth's atmosphere. There are a multitude of factors that can change this balance, many ignored or underplayed by climate science. They get away with this because the public is unaware.

It begins with measures of the amount of energy entering the Earth's atmosphere. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only consider changes in the irradiance portion of incoming solar energy (insolation). They claim that up to 1950 it explained over 50 percent of temperature variation then CO2 became 90 percent of the cause of change.

Part of the reason for downplaying irradiance is the low percentage of change in modern records. The earliest record from outside the atmosphere from a manned observatory was Skylab (1973 - 1979). Skylab showed a change of 0.14% in the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI). An average over time shows a variation of 0.1% for an 11 - year sunspot cycle. This seems like a very small number and therefore of little consequence. The difficulty is by varying TSI by 6% in a computer model you can `explain' all temperature change for the entire history of the Earth.

There is also no agreement about the TSI at the top of the Atmosphere (TOA). As Raschke explained, "Solar radiation is the prime source for all processes within our climate system. Its total amount, the total solar irradiance (TSI) reaching the top-of-atmosphere (TOA), and its variability are now quite accurately known on the basis of multiple satellite measurements and extremely careful calibration activities (Fr”hlich and Lean, 2004).". "Computations, therefore, should be relatively easy."

However, he shows there is no agreement. He compared 20 models and their input values for TOA. (Figure 1) He concludes, "It can be speculated that such different meridional profiles of the solar radiative forcing at TOA should also have impact on the computed atmospheric circulation pattern, in particular when simulations over periods of several decades to several centuries are performed. Therefore, related projects within the World Climate Research Program should take appropriate steps to avoid systematic discrepancies as shown above and to estimate their possible impact on the resulting climate and circulation changes." IPCC are projecting climate change for the next 50 years or more.

So we have problems with the amount of incoming energy, but there are more problems with what happens to the energy once it enters the atmosphere.

One of these is change in albedo. Some believe it's more important than CO2 in affecting balance. "The most interesting thing here is that the albedo forcings, in watts/sq meter seem to be fairly large. Larger than that of all manmade greenhouse gases combined."

When sunlight strikes a surface the color, texture and angle of the light (known as the angle of incidence) determines how much is reflected or absorbed. The difference between them, as a percentage, is called the albedo from the root Latin word albus for white. With a pure white shiny surface 100 percent of the light is reflected so the albedo is 100. On a matte black surface 100 percent is absorbed and the albedo is zero (Figure 2). A solar collector needs to absorb as much solar energy as possible so is matte black and set at right angles to the solar rays.

The moon's albedo is 7, which means 93 units of 100 are absorbed and 7 units reflected. Earth's albedo is 30 on average for the entire globe. The amount varies from a high of 75 to 95 percent for fresh snow down to 8 or 9 percent for coniferous forest. Seasonal variation in snow and ice cover is important as it affects global energy and therefore the weather from year to year. However, the major factor is variability in the type and amount of cloud cover. Thick cloud varies from 60 to 90 and thin cloud from 30 to 50. This variability explains most of the change in albedo shown in Figure 3. The right side scale shows changes in energy with a range of about 9 watts per square meter. Compare this with the 2.5 watts per square meter change estimated to be due to human activities.

IPCC reject irradiance as a cause of temperature change since 1950, but they also reject variations in sun/earth relationships, known as the Milankovitch Effect and the relationship between sunspots and temperature hypothesized by the Svensmark Cosmic Theory. The latter shows a relationship between changes in solar magnetism evidenced by sunspots. As the magnetism varies it determines the amount of galactic cosmic radiation reaching the Earth, which creates low cloud. As low cloud varies albedo varies.

The Earthshine project of the California Institute of Technology that produced Figure 3 concluded in 2004. "Earth's average albedo is not constant from one year to the next; it also changes over decadal timescales. The computer models currently used to study the climate system do not show such large decadal-scale variability of the albedo." Sadly, there are many factors affecting climate change that the IPCC ignore or underplay to achieve the political result that human CO2 is the sole cause.

They only acknowledge "cloud albedo effect" (Figure 4), but correctly admit their level of scientific understanding (LOSU) is low. It is low or medium low for seven of nine items. Low means 2 out of 10 confidence level, medium - low is less than 4 out of 10. They incorrectly claim a high LOSU for CO2, or 8 out of 10, but that is politically necessary.

So they ignore many variables and admit they know little about the ones they study. It is a total abrogation of scientific and social responsibility to let these results form the basis for draconian and destructive energy and environmental policies. They shouldn't have won a Nobel Peace Prize. They couldn't have won a Science Prize.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Biofuels and tax expenditures

One of the claims that the renewable energy groups continue to make, as their tax credits approach the chopping block, is that the U.S. is still unfairly subsidizing fossil-fuel energy sources. This is being used to justify the extension of the renewable energy tax credits, as renewable sources cannot compete on price with oil. (Of course, to a large extent they don't need to compete on price because their use is mandated by law.)

See here, and here.

A few things:

(1) Many of the groups arguing against the ethanol tax cuts are also in favor of eliminating tax subsidies to oil companies. (Two wrongs don't make a right)

(2) Both blogs disingenuously references studies that have calculated global fossil fuel subsidies, presumably so they can drop the large $500 billion number. This number is useless - the U.S. doesn't control foreign energy tax policy, and using foreign tax policies as a justification for further subsidizing domestic renewable energy is dubious.

(3) The ethanol industry ignores the fact that the world receives a miniscule amount of energy from renewable sources compared to fossil fuels. If the subsidy amounts were equal, the renewable industry would come out far ahead on subsidies per unit of energy basis.

Furthermore, some of the tax expenditures received by oil companies exist to prevent double taxation. If these weren't in place, these companies would be paying taxes twice, on income earned abroad taxed by the U.S. government. It is also worth noting that these dual capacity tax credits are general tax provisions that do not apply to just the fossil fuel industry - repealing these laws would put the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage. (Note: I have seen this claim disputed by certain groups, insisting that these oil companies are not paying income tax abroad, see here. The specific amount of subsidies the oil industry receives isn't really important to the point I'm making.)

The renewable fuel industry doesn't benefit from many of these because biofuel production facilities are located in the United States (which the biofuel industry doesn't hesitate to remind us).

According to a report by the National Taxpayers Union, future subsidies for renewable energy sources will be much larger than subsidies received by the oil and gas industry. This (I believe this assumes that most tax credits will remain in place) is because of mandated usage of biofuels is expected to increase.

The numbers above, from a report compiled by the Joint Tax Committee, calculate an average of $12.5 billion in subsidies for the renewable industry, and $0.9 billion for oil and gas. Even if the amounts are much closer, the renewable industry comes out way ahead on a per unit basis.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


24 August, 2010

Bigmouth Warmist crumbles when he had to put up or shut up

by Ann McElhinney

Last March James Cameron sounded defiant. The Avatar director was determined to expose journalists, such as myself, who thought it was important to ask questions about climate change orthodoxy and the radical "solutions" being proposed.

Cameron said was itching to debate the issue and show skeptical journalists and scientists that they were wrong. “I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads," he said in an interview.

Well, a few weeks ago Mr. Cameron seemed to honor his word. His representatives contacted myself and two other well known skeptics, Marc Morano of the Climate Depot website and Andrew Breitbart, the new media entrepreneur.

Mr. Cameron was attending the AREDAY environmental conference in Aspen Colorado 19-22 August. He wanted the conference to end with a debate on climate change. Cameron would be flanked with two scientists. It would be 90 minutes long. It would be streamed live on the internet.

They hoped the debate would attract a lot of media coverage. "We are delighted to have Fox News, Newsmax, The Washington Times and anyone else you'd like. The more the better," one of James Cameron's organizers said in an email.

It looked like James Cameron really was a man of his word who would get to take on the skeptics he felt were so endangering humanity.

Everyone on our side agreed with their conditions. The debate was even listed on the AREDAY agenda. But then as the debate approached James Cameron's side started changing the rules.

They wanted to change their team. We agreed. They wanted to change the format to less of a debate—to "a roundtable". We agreed. Then they wanted to ban our cameras from the debate. We could have access to their footage. We agreed. Bizarrely, for a brief while, the worlds most successful film maker suggested that no cameras should be allowed-that sound only should be recorded. We agreed

Then finally James Cameron, who so publicly announced that he "wanted to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out," decided to ban the media from the shoot out. He even wanted to ban the public. The debate/roundtable would only be open to those who attended the conference. No media would be allowed and there would be no streaming on the internet. No one would be allowed to record it in any way. We all agreed to that.

And then, yesterday, just one day before the debate, his representatives sent an email that Mr. "shoot it out " Cameron no longer wanted to take part. The debate was cancelled.

James Cameron's behavior raises some very important questions. Does he genuinely believe in man made climate change? If he believes it is a danger to humanity surely he should be debating the issue every chance he gets ?

Or is it just a pose? The man who called for an open and public debate at "high noon" suddenly doesn't want his policies open to serious scrutiny.

I was looking forward to debating with the film maker. I was looking forward to finding out where we agreed and disagreed and finding a way forward that would help the poorest people in the developing and developed world.

But that is not going to happen because somewhere along the way James Cameron, a great film maker, has moved from King of the World to being King of the Hypocrites.


Greenie hatreds bubble over -- open minds conspicuously absent

After the prearranged debate at the Aspen American Renewable Energy Day was cancelled, Marc Morano was at least given time to have his say in the form of a talk. Below is his report of the occasion

My presentation at Aspen American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) summit on Sunday August 22, 2010 at 5:30 was met by a rude moderator and hostile audience. I was offered the 90 minute time slot to present the skeptical view of man-made climate change after Hollywood director James Cameron's cowardly final cancellation of a pre-planned and agreed to global warming debate.

My PowerPoint presentation was repeatedly interrupted by ARDAY moderator Richard Greene and the audience was not receptive to me continuing my presentation. Instead, the bulk of my presentation turned into a disjointed moderator and audience rant session. I attempted several times to return to my presentation, but the crowd and moderator refused to cooperate and seemed completely uninterested.

One participant confused carbon dioxide with carbon monoxide. She suggested I kill himself by driving my car into my garage and then close the doors with the engine running. I twice attempted to explain to the ARDAY conference participant that there was a difference between carbon dioxide -- a harmless trace essential gas we exhale from our mouth-- and toxic carbon monoxide, but to no avail. I sadly shook my head and told the audience: "Wow, what a warm welcome I have gotten here."

In the end, the ARDAY's offer of 90 minutes for me to present the skeptical view of man-made global warming after Cameron's debate cancellation revealed itself to be essentially disingenuous.


Has the Mainstream Media Trusted Enviro-activists for Advice on Listening to Skeptic Scientists?

A chronology of the smear campaign against AGW opponents

by Russell Cook

Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a concept supported by only two legs, a so-called consensus of climate scientists claiming it is proven, and the idea that skeptic scientists aren't worth listening to. Almost any internet article or blog written by an AGW believer boils down to that. Skeptic scientists, and those citing their research, are yanking out the first leg. Few focus on the other leg, except perhaps to note the bias given by the mainstream media to the AGW side. This is understandable, I also overlooked the accusation about big coal & oil corrupting skeptic scientists.

We know skeptic scientists did their research, and were later paid speaking fees by coal & oil companies because the companies agreed with them. How simple is that to understand? However, skeptics let this unrelenting accusation go unquestioned for far too long. What we fail to see is the sheer extent of AGW believers repeating the opposite: anti-AGW science reports and opinions are all fabricated under the direction of coal & oil companies.

Last November, I inadvertently to stopped my usual routine of comparing skeptic vs AGW viewpoints, to look directly into the accusation. What I discovered caused me to write two American Thinker articles and a few blogs there and elsewhere about the accusation's huge problems. A person reading my most recent blog pointed out how hard it was to follow, though.

Indeed, the explanation of this is greatly offset by the simplicity of the campaign behind the accusation. Its narrative has been so effectively pounded into practically every AGW believer that it can be regurgitated by the dumbest of believers in three points:

1. a scientific consensus says the debate is settled; Fact, end of story.

2. skeptic scientists corrupted by big coal & oil industries seek to 'reposition' the public into believing AGW is not a fact.

3. journalists don't have to give equal weight to skeptic scientists because of the previous two points; they're corrupt, and few in number.

That's it. You are not to question it, and the word "reposition" is the central-most part of it. But, when I did an internet search of the oft-repeated complete phrase, "reposition global warming as theory rather than fact", I didn't find simple explanations, I found unanswered contradictions....

This not the end by any means. Every time I dig into a name association or a new quote of the "reposition" phrase, it leads down more paths that prompt questions, not answers. Professional unbiased journalists need to start finding answers, while also asking the tougher "what did you know and when did you know it" questions. If they prove the skeptic scientists aren't corrupt and should have been listened to, then just how big of a problem do we have with the IPCC, various national academies of science, the mainstream media and any others who said it was imperative that we solve global warming?

Much more HERE (See the original for links)

Disaster Losses and Climate Change

The Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society has just put online a review paper (peer reviewed) by Laurens Bouwer, of the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, titled, "Have disaster losses increased due to anthropogenic climate change?".

Readers of this blog already know the answer to this question, and here is Bouwers' conclusion:

"The analysis of twenty-two disaster loss studies shows that economic losses from various weather related natural hazards, such as storms, tropical cyclones, floods, and small-scale weather events such as wildfires and hailstorms, have increased around the globe. The studies show no trends in losses, corrected for changes (increases) in population and capital at risk, that could be attributed to anthropogenic climate change. Therefore it can be concluded that anthropogenic climate change so far has not had a significant impact on losses from natural disasters."

Bouwers rightly acknowledges that there are uncertainties in such studies, and in particular, there will be a need to refine efforts to evaluate changing vulnerability and exposure in future such work, especially as the signal of greenhouse gas driven climate change is expected to become larger. However, such uncertainties are not presently so large as to undercut Bouwers' conclusion, e.g.:

"A rigorous check on the potential introduction of bias from a failure to consider vulnerability reduction in normalization methods is to compare trends in geophysical variables with those in the normalized data. Normalized hurricane losses for instance match with variability in hurricane landfalls (Pielke et al. 2008). If vulnerability reduction would have resulted in a bias, it would show itself as a divergence between the geophysical and normalized loss data. In this case, the effects of vulnerability reduction apparently are not so large as to introduce a bias."


Russian heat wave due to dramatic changes in solar activity

Interview with forecaster Piers Corbyn

This year Russia was hit by a record-breaking heat wave that led to wildfires which killed dozens and left thousands homeless. Weather forecaster Piers Corbyn says this is a result of weather cycles, not global warming.

“What we have is a tremendous amount of activity on the sun and that affects the rush of particles from the sun to the earth and that changes the ionosphere and that also changes the circulation patterns of the globe in what is known as the jet stream,” Corbyn explained. “And that caused a shifting of the weather patterns so the south wind in Western Russia terminated and instead we got a northwestern flow of thunderstorms and cooling.”

See below for the 12 min interview (inc. comments about SatelliteGate)


Australia: Are seas the new green battlegounds?

The article below was written by a Greenie so he sees a conspiracy where there are only outraged fishermen who resent being locked out of places where they have been accustomed to fish

In case it passed you by in the recent, just cleared, political blizzard, there's been a shift in our domestic environmental battlefronts, to the sea. After decades as an election cutting point, forests were absent on Saturday. Instead the resource versus protection barney moved to Australia's marine domain. This contest has far to go.

In the past year, a politically sharp, well-funded recreational fisheries lobby has emerged for the first time to take on, and beat, scientists and environmentalists.

It snapped up support from both major parties, and by the campaign's climax had put marine protection on the radar of many politicians whose closest previous dealings with a fish were on a plate.

At the extremes of this argument, some fishers reject any blame for overfishing, while animal activists are opposing cruelty to sentient creatures. But the main game focuses on a national set of marine reserves that until now had bipartisan, if tediously slow, support.

Australia's ocean domain is, at 19 million square kilometres, more than twice as large as its landmass. Our seas range from tropical reefs loved by tourists to frigid deeps.

When Liberal environment minister Robert Hill released the National Oceans Policy in 1998, it claimed to make Australia "the first country in the world to deliver a comprehensive national plan to protect and manage the oceans".

The initial template covering south-eastern waters from Bermagui on the New South Wales south coast, around Victoria and Tasmania to South Australia was finalised years late in 2007. About 7 per cent of this two-million-square-kilometre region is closed to fishing.

Along the rest of the coast other "bioregions" are being studied, but so far the grand total of marine protected areas (not necessarily fisheries exclusion zones) is 765,000 square kilometres, including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

States also set up their own marine protection. In NSW, 34 per cent of waters is in "parks", and 6.7 per cent in no-fishing sanctuaries, according to a 2009 count by the Australian Marine Conservation Society. In Victoria, 9 per cent of coasts is in parks and 5 per cent in sanctuaries.

Sound reasonable? Not to recreational fishers alarmed by the "no take" concept. The first sign that this lobby was mounting a serious effort came last summer, over mako sharks.

A ban on fishing for these internationally depleted fish fulfilled Australia's obligation under the Convention on Migratory Species. It's reversal by Environment Minister Peter Garrett met electoral imperatives.

Evidence that the debate was polarising came when shadow fisheries minister Richard Colbeck began to rail against the influence of "extreme" environment groups, such as the Pew Foundation.

Come the election campaign, the Australian Fishing Trade Association also popped up with a boatload of funding, warning fishing voters their children's right to hold a rod was under threat. "Fishing may never be the same again if the Greens or Labor get into power!" said their full-page advertisements.

AFTA is composed of recreational fishing trade suppliers who claim to be at the heart of a $1 billion industry. Executive director Doug Joyner said they had up to $450,000 to spend on countering the "Green grab" for 30 per cent plus of the seas.

The Greens do indeed argue for 30 per cent of the seas to go into no-take zones, claiming this is the best insurance policy for fishing in a future where over-fished stocks also face threats from climate change.

The Australian Marine Science Association has much lower ambitions, calling for effective protection of at least 10 per cent in no-take zones. Labor rejected arbitrary targets in the campaign, and pointed out that Commonwealth reserves began five kilometres offshore, beyond the reach of the average shore fisher.

But Liberal leader Tony Abbott immediately grasped the political value of a fishing rod, and now wants to shelve all marine reserve plans. Last week in Narooma on the NSW south coast he said: "I think that it's very important that we immediately suspend this marine protected area process. The fact is that it is needlessly threatening not just the livelihoods of people who live off the sea but it's immediately threatening the entire economy of the south coast."

Whether Labor survives in government or the Coalition prevails, clearly the setting has changed. "I fish and I vote" has become more than a car sticker. Expect to see more of the fishers, and their opponents, from now on.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


A small comment on the variability of weather

Where I live in sub-tropical Brisbane, Australia, we are have our winters in July and August. And our winters are "aspirational". We have bright sunny days with blue skies, a few white clouds and midday temperatures that often need no warm clothes at all.

But winters are also generally dry. Brisbane gets a lot of light falls of rain throughout the year which keep the place green regardless of restrictions on watering our gardens -- restrictions made necessary by Greenie opposition to dam-building.

So our greenery does tend to wilt and brown up to some extent during winter. But this August has been very good. We have had several falls of significant August rain and it is raining as I write this. So everything has remained green during winter. If I were religious, I would say that the Good Lord has taken matters in hand.

23 August, 2010

Canadian Greens may push to decriminalize polygamy

The Australian Green Party has a great array of policies that go well beyond the environment -- usually in a far-Left direction. It would seem that the Canadian Greens are similar. These are people who viscerally hate the society they live in and will do anything they can to tear it down.

They are not even lovers of trees. Their opposition to plastic bags and polystyrene leads to lots of trees being cut down -- to provide paper and cardboard substitutes

The Green Party of Canada will consider a motion Sunday on whether or not they will push to decriminalize polygamy. Party members in a workshop on Saturday evening voted to send the motion to the full-Party plenary, where they'll debate and vote on it.

Speakers in the workshop were careful to define polygamy as a marriage between multiple spouses. They made a clear distinction between polygamy between consenting adults and a polygamist sect in Bountiful, B.C., where domestic abuse has been alleged, though charges were thrown out in 2009. "It's a human rights issue," said Trey Capnerhurst, a Green Party candidate in Edmonton East, noting that she is a poly-advocate.

Polyamory is the process of having more than one intimate relationship at the same time, according to the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association.

Capnerhurst says in cases where police suspect domestic abuse against multiple wives and children, that should be the subject of criminal charges. "We should be not be charging people with polygamy," she said.

Several Green members in the workshop argued the policy is impossible to sell to voters and could mean losing support at a time when they hit record numbers in the last election.

Those who spoke in favour said the party should treat it as a human rights issue, just as they did with same-sex marriage rights.

Green Party leader Elizabeth May says the party is open and democratic, allowing any motion with enough support to be discussed. "It certainly isn't a motion I voted for," she said. "It's something I continue to oppose." A spokeswoman for May says she doesn't expect the motion to pass the full party plenary on Sunday.

Capnerhurst says there's a bias against those in polyamorous relationships, of which she estimates number in the tens of thousands in Canada. She compared it to the status of same-sex marriage rights a decade ago, and says being in a polyamorous relationship is sometimes used as a reason to deny child custody to parents in divorce cases. She also pointed to hospital rules that don't allow more than one spouse to visit patients.

A group of 20 families in B.C. are challenging the law at the province's supreme court. The maximum penalty for polygamy is five years in jail, but it hasn't been prosecuted in 60 years, according to media reports.


Global cooling hits California

How odd that we hear much more about Russia's summer than this!

It continues to be the summer that never came for many of the coastal areas of California. Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said that the closer you get to the ocean, the more likely you are to see below-average temperatures for much of Southern California. Rayno said an excellent example of this phenomena is Santa Ana, Calif. Less than 20 miles from the beach, Santa Ana typically sees high temperatures of about 84 degrees in the month of August. So far this month, Santa Ana has only had two days crack the 80-degree mark: Aug. 3 and Aug. 17.

Overall, the average overall temperature for Santa Ana is typically in the mid 70s in August. So far this month, temperatures have been almost 4 degrees below that average.

The trend of cooler-than-normal temperatures continues in downtown Los Angeles. Here the average daily temperatures typically hit 75 or 76 F. So far this August, the average temperature has been about 4 degrees lower.

Highs for Los Angeles in August can typically be found in the mid-80s. Only about half of the high temperatures recorded so far this month have climbed into the 80s.

The reports from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) show an even more significant departure from the norm in terms of temperature this month. The average temperatures recorded at LAX in August are usually in the low-70s. However, the average temperature this month has been almost 6.5 degrees cooler. Only five days this month have been 70 degrees or hotter.


More global cooling

Huge Snowfalls in the Swiss Alps, Argentina & New Zealand

Switzerland's two open glacier ski areas have seen remarkable August snowfalls with Saas Fee reporting 45cm of new snow on Sunday, with more falling since, including another 5cm yesterday. Neighbouring Zermatt, the only area open 365 days and home to Europe's highest lifts, reported healthy snowfalls too. Saas Fee describes current conditions as "packed powder" and has a 1.6m base with Terrain Park and half pipe open. Both resorts set off Powder Alarms on, triggered for snowfall of 20cm or more, obviously a rare event in August. Zermatt triggered another powder alarm on Tuesday with another 28cm of snow reported.

The heavy snowfall spilled over in to Italy where Zermatt's Italian neighbour, Cervinia, received a 20cm fall. Val Senales has also been receiving more snow, with another 5cm on Tuesday, the latest of about 10 days of regular snowfalls there. It currently has a one metre base with Passo Stelvio also open.

In France, the glacier ski areas at Tignes and Les 2 Alpes are both entering their last fortnight of summer operations. Les 2 Alpes has the better snow cover with a metre depth while Tignes has 30cm. Both areas received a little new snow at the weekend.

The snow has been falling in South America, where temperatures are generally a few degrees below zero at most ski areas. The continent's largest ski area (in terms of uplift) Catedral in Argentina has received 30cm of new snow on its upper runs in the past 12 hours and now has a 1.6m base. Las Lenas has had 7cm of new snow too while Chapelco's base is up to 1.2m following fresh snow there.

Over in Chile, Portillo has receive 13cm of new snow in the past week but base depths remain lower than normal at around a metre on upper slopes with packed powder and 67cm at the base. Valle Nevado, part of the largest ski area in the continent in terms of terrain area, has an average 50cm base from a 3.7m snow fall so far this season. Chapa Verde has a similar base depth.

Conditions are mostly good at Australia's resorts where snow has continued to fall over the past week with more predicted in coming days. Mt Hotham reports average snow depth is 89cm but is a foot deeper where there's snow making. The resort has received 42cm of snow in the past week, 8cm of it in the last 48 hours. The numbers are similar at Thredbo, which has had 38cm of new snow in the past week. Falls Creek currently has a 77cm base of natural snow and all but one lift operating with snow depth up to 177cm in snowmaking areas.

In New Zealand there has been an exciting week of weather. Mt Hutt saw over 1000 guests stranded overnight last Thursday/Friday by 200kph winds but in the past 24 hours has received 19cm of new snow taking upper slope depths up to two metres. At Coronet Peak the figures are a little less impressive with 5cm of snow at the weekend taking depths to 1.1m where as the Remarkables got 10cm yesterday and has a similar base depth.


CO2 blamed for both rain and lack of rain in Pakistan

Another panel member, Christine Todd Whitman, said the cataclysmic flooding besieging Pakistan demonstrates the connection between climate change and U.S. national security. While scientists are generally loathe to tie a specific weather event to climate change, it's different with the catastrophe in Pakistan. Extended drought made it difficult for the hardened soil to absorb rain. And the deluge came in epic proportion.

"On this one they're almost all coming together saying, `This is what we're talking about,'" said Whitman, former governor of New Jersey and administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush. She resigned in 2003 and later acknowledged difficulty with some administration policies.

The flooding threatens to further destabilize the country and make it ripe for the terrorist groups the United States are fighting.


More settled science: Our CO2 emissions are simultaneously making the world's plants bigger *and* smaller

Global Warming Prompts Plant Size Decrease - - Softpedia
According to experts, it would appear that the average size of plants tends to decrease in recent years, when compared to the mean sizes they had in past decades. The researchers believe that this effect may be attributed to global warming.
2009: Plants buy Earth more time as CO2 makes them grow - Times Online
TREES and plants are growing bigger and faster in response to the billions of tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by humans, scientists have found.


Putting a warm summer into perspective

Early in 2010, all signs pointed toward a warmer summer in the middle Mississippi region [1], and this would be related to the weakening El Nino [2],[3]. The forecast, however, did not go far enough because we did not anticipate how quickly La Nina conditions would take hold [4]. When asked about the possibility of a warm summer, I reminded people that the last few summers have been relatively cool, so even a normal summer may seem warm.

As the summer moves into late August, I have heard many in the media and in the local general public wonder aloud about this summer being the consequences of anthropogenic global warming, and that this summer has been the hottest in recent decades [5]. Putting this summer into context locally* would demonstrate that while it is the hottest summer of the decade, and the warmest since 1980, it is only the 11th warmest overall in 120 years. Of the ten warmest summers nine of them occurred before 1960. Summers as of late have been cooler in our region.

While the years 2005-2007 were warmer than normal, these summers did not rank in among the top 20 for our region. This current summer follows a stretch of summers that have been cooler overall as four of the last eight have been below normal, some of these by quite a bit. The summer of 2004 and 2009 ranked as the 3rd and 9th coolest overall in our region, respectively.

Adding to the woes of this summer locally have been the relatively high dew points brought on by excessive precipitation in our region in the early part of the summer. Additionally, it has not been the maximum temperatures that have been the problem (we have failed to reach 100 degrees for the third consecutive year), it has been the consistently high minimum temperatures. While it is too early to tell what has happened nationwide, my guess is the story is much the same in other regions as well....

Is this really the hottest summer globally? While some have reported that it is [8], an examination of the global weather as a whole would suggest it is not [9]. Lost in much of the noise has been the fact that in the Southern Hemisphere, especially South America, conditions have been much colder during their winter with unprecedented snows in many areas not used to them. There is also some speculation that this summer's global warmth has been exaggerated by those with an agenda.

So, while this summer has seemed to be miserable compared to the last few, it has been much worse in the past, is due to natural phenomenon (not anthropogenic climate change), and thankfully the heat should be winding down as August wears on and September comes in. Additionally, it is hoped that the Russian heat wave will draw more attention to the weather phenomenon of blocking that is difficult to forecast [6], [7] but largely overlooked.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


Shock: Climate Depot takes skeptics' message to major Warmist summit!

Granted 90 min. to present global warming alternative view

Climate Depot's Marc Morano will be a featured speaker at the Aspen American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) summit on Sunday August 22, 2010 at 5:30 - 7pm MDT.

In the interests of fostering greater understanding of the skeptics' position and to foster meaningful dialogue, Morano will speak for 60 minutes and then take questions from environmentalists from around the country. The green summit in Aspen has featured T. Boone Pickens, Ted Turner, James Cameron and Thomas Friedman.

Morano was a senior aide to Senator James Inhofe and Climate Researcher for Senate Environment & Public Works Committee. Morano is currently Executive Editor, For "Climate Depot", a website dedicated to exposing the "manufactured 'Climate Con'". Newsweek magazine dubbed Morano the “King of the skeptics!” and Rolling Stone declared him number 6 on the list of 17 “climate killers.”

When and Where:

5:30 pm to 7pm MDT on Sunday, August 22, at Paepcke Auditorium on the Aspen Meadows campus of The Aspen Institute. Free and open to the media and public.


22 August, 2010

What do Warmists actually believe? A list with many absurdities

An email below from John Droz, Jr., [] physicist & environmental advocate. Droz welcomes comments

I have dialogued with many pro-AGW parties, and have tried to ferret out their underlying (often unstated) assumptions. Below is my current list. AGW proponents have the following stated or embedded beliefs:

1) We currently have the ability to measure and report on an average annual global temperature to .01 degree Celsius

2) We have the ability to empirically calculate the average annual global temperature, with this same degree of accuracy, over the last few thousand years

3) Based on the data from #1 & #2, the earth has recently (100 years) been warming

4) Based on historical records (#2), the earth is warming to an unusually high degree

5) This increase (in the last 100 years) has been .74 degrees Celsius

6) Assuming business as usual, this warming will continue (or increase) for the foreseeable future

7) This warming will soon have profound negative environmental and economic consequences to all of the earth’s inhabitants

8) The mechanics of the earth’s recent warming are essentially entirely explained by the Greenhouse Gas theory

9) CO2 increases is the primary greenhouse gas driver that explains earth’s recent warming

10) That 350 PPM of CO2 is a critical concentration that we should not exceed

11) Other greenhouse gasses (e.g. water vapor) are discounted as consequential causes of recent warming

12) Most CO2 increases are man-made

13) The fact that we don’t understand a significant amount about CO2 sinks has been deemed to be irrelevant.

14) The solution of restricting man-made CO2 has passed an objective cost-benefits analysis

15) That proprietary computer models produce results equivalent to empirical testing

BBC puffery about Pachauri punctured by ECU Ruling

The ECU is the BBC's internal complaints unit. I have yet to find out what the abbreviation ECU stands for. CU obviously stands for "complaints unit" but what does the E stand for? Surely not "external"!


In a report on calls for Dr Rajendra Pachauri to resign as Head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the BBC's Environment Correspondent referred to him as "the UN's top climate scientist". A viewer complained that this was inaccurate and misleading, as Dr Pachauri's scientific qualifications and credentials were in a field unrelated to climate science.


Although the phrase was intended as journalistic shorthand for the occupant of the most prominent international post connected with climate science, the implication that he was himself a climate scientist was materially misleading in the context of this report.


Further action

The Editor of BBC News at 10 is reiterating to his team the importance of accuracy in the introduction of our contributors.


Is the burning of fossil fuel a significant planetary activity?

By Denis G. Rancourt (Rancourt is a bit of a loose cannon in some ways -- he calls himself an anarchist -- but he is an accomplished physicist and knows what he is talking about below)

After all, the Earth is a planet. Is even the presence of humans significant on the rough and diverse thin surface of this planet?

We certainly make every effort to see ourselves as significant on this spinning ball in space. We like to point out that the lights from our cities can be seen from our extra-atmospheric “spaceships” at night and that we have deforested continents and reduced the populations of large wild mammals and of fishes but is all this really significant in the planetary web known as the biosphere?


The present (2010) historic maximum of anthropogenic (caused by humans) fossil fuel burning is only 8% or so of global primary production (GPP) (both expressed as kilograms of carbon per year, kg-C/y). GPP is the rate at which new biomass (living matter) is produced on the whole planet. And of course all biomass can in principle be considered fuel that could be burned with oxygen (O2) to produce CO2 gas, H2O water, energy, and an ash residue.

This shows the extent to which anthropogenic energy production from fossil fuel burning is small in comparison to the sun’s energy delivery to Earth, since biomass primary production results from the sun’s energy via photosynthesis.

The sun’s rate of raw energy delivery to the planet is, in turn, much greater (more than one thousand times greater) than the energy captured by GPP because most of the sun’s light energy is not used for photosynthesis but instead is either sent directly back out into space or produces fluid convection, wind, rain, water currents, erosion, etc., and because photosynthesis itself, even for the light directly striking a plant’s photoactive surface, is highly inefficient (less than 2% of incident light energy is converted to biomass chemical bond energy).

So, on the global scale of things fossil fuel burning energy release is miniscule (8% of 0.07% = 0.006%).

Given all the fuss that is made about the present rate of fossil fuel burning (2010; 0.8 x 10^13 kg-C/y where 10^13 = 10,000,000,000,000 with thirteen zeros), it is important to keep in mind that this represents an amount of CO2 release comparable to or somewhat less than the CO2 released by simple breathing from humankind and its domestic animals. The combined biomass of humankind and its domestic animals (cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, pets, etc.) is in turn estimated to be only 0.04% of Earth’s living biomass (all expressed as kilograms of carbon, kg-C), which is a lot more CO2-producing breathing. (Ants, for example, are estimated to represent ten to one hundred times the biomass of humankind and ants can be argued to have “transformed” the planet and its ecology far more than humans.)

The corporate-finance-military-empire interest in fossil fuel is that it is concentrated, extractable and compositionally homogeneous enough to be amenable to industrial processing, that its demand can be created and its supply controlled, and that new and existing alternative transportation technologies or strategies can be sabotaged and are not presently competitive on the geopolitical military battlefront (although hydrogen-based fuels are presently used for rocket propulsion).


The total pool of fossil fuel carbon itself, which has been burned to date (2010), is not large compared to organic and non-mineral carbon on the planet. It is 3.7 x 10^14 kg-C.

By comparison, the present total mass of CO2 as carbon in the atmosphere is 8.6 x 10^14 kg-C where CO2 is a trace gas with present concentration 390 ppmv (parts per million by volume) and where the atmosphere is the smallest global reservoir of carbon on the planet.

Even as Earth’s atmosphere goes the present concentration of CO2 is historically low compared to biomass highly productive periods during which CO2 concentrations where as high as 20 times the present level. Past bio-productive periods are part of the reason we have fossil fuels today.

The present low concentration of CO2 is growth limiting for plants under conditions where other essential nutrients do not first limit growth. Indeed, experiments have shown that today’s plants grow up to 50% faster than under present conditions when the CO2 concentration of the ambient atmosphere is 1000 ppmv, all other factors remaining the same and non-growth limiting.

Beyond the atmospheric carbon reservoir, the present planetary biomass alone (1 x 10^15 kg-C) is approximately three times the amount of total post-industrialization fossil fuel burned to date where even this biomass carbon is only carbon in living organisms.

In addition there is at least 10 times more carbon contained in non-living organic matter than in biomass – in organic detritus, soils, bogs, natural waters, lake sediments, marine sediments, and so on. For example, from my own research, the boreal forest (the largest ecosystem on Earth) contains millions of lakes that have not even been counted. These virtually unstudied lakes have accumulated organic-rich bottom sediments (preserved by anoxia) that have not yet been included in global carbon accounting studies.

Furthermore, there is approximately fifty times more dissolved carbon in ocean water than contained as CO2 in the atmosphere.

These bio-available carbon pools (biomass, organic matter, atmosphere, ocean water) do not include geological stores and sources from volcanoes and active geothermal sites. Volcanic activity, in particular, is unpredictable and has been highly variable in intensity since life burst onto the planet (billions of year ago), with often dramatic impacts on global ecology.

In summary, the total amount of post-industrial fossil fuel burned to date (and expressed as kilograms of carbon) represents less than 1% of the global bio-available carbon pools.

More importantly, bio-available carbon is a minor constituent of the Earth’s surface environment and one that is readily buffered and exchanged between compartments without significant consequences to the diversity and quantity of life on the planet. The known history of life on Earth (over the last billions of years) is unambiguous on this point.

Left progressive First-World elitist and disconnected policy consumers and service intellectuals need to recalibrate their sense of self-importance and correct the blindness that this sense produces.


Australian reef island RISING, not sinking!

Discussing: Dawson, J.L. and Smithers, S.G. 2010. Shoreline and beach volume change between 1967 and 2007 at Raine island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Global and Planetary Change 72: 141-154.


The authors note that low-lying reef islands are widely perceived to be particularly sensitive to ongoing and projected sea level increases; but they add that "a number of geomorphologists have argued that rising sea levels do not always cause reef islands to erode." For example, they state that "a rise in sea level may promote reef island growth by: i) increasing accommodation space for new sediment; ii) reinvigorating carbonate production on reef flats where further reef growth has been inhibited by a stable sea level; and iii) increasing the efficiency of waves to transport new and stored sediment to an island depocentre (Hopley, 1993; Hopley et al., 2007; Smithers et al., 2007; Woodroffe, 2007)."

What was done

Working on Raine Island (1135'28"S, 14402'17"E) at the northwest end of a planar reef on the outer edge of Australia's Great Barrier Reef -- which is one of the world's most important nesting sites for marine turtles -- Dawson and Smithers employed three historic survey maps and five topographic survey datasets of earlier researchers, supplementing them with digital elevation data collected in 1998, 2006 and 2007, to reconstruct a 40-year (1967-2007) shoreline history of the island.

What was learned

The two Australian researchers report that their "detailed quantitative surveys and analyses demonstrate that Raine Island increased in area (~6%) and volume (~4%) between 1967 and 2007," and that "in the 40 years between 1967 and 2007 Raine Island underwent a net accretion of 68,400 6,700 m3."

What it means

In summing up their findings, Dawson and Smithers write that "contrary to perceptions, Raine Island did not erode but instead modestly accreted during the 40-year study period," and they therefore conclude that "future management strategies of Raine Island and other islands of the Great Barrier Reef should recognize that perceptions of reef island erosion can arise from large short-term seasonal and storm-derived sediment redistribution from one part of the island to another or to a temporary storage on the adjacent reef flat," but that these phenomena do not necessarily lead to "a net permanent loss from the island sediment budget."

And considering the similar positive findings of Webb and Kench (2010), it can be concluded that the most likely effect of a rising sea level is to actually add to the area and volume of low-lying reef islands.


Media Use Crazy Weather to Hype Global Warming, Despite Admissions Weather Isn't Climate

From Associated Press to national newspapers, coverage of floods, fires, droughts, sinkholes make 'case' for global warming alarmism

Last winter, as blizzard snowfalls piled up into several feet in the nation’s capital, conservatives mocked global warming alarmists for trying to link weather incidents to global warming. But as summer heat waves, volcanoes and sinkholes have appeared recently, climate alarmists proved they missed the point.

A top Obama administration scientist attacked global warming skeptics during the winter by pointing out that “weather is not the same thing as climate.” ABC’s Bill Blakemore argued the same thing in order to defend the existence of manmade global warming on Jan. 8, 2010.

But Associated Press, USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post have all promoted a connection between the extreme heat and weather around the world this summer and global warming. One CNN host asked if the events were the “apocalypse” or global warming. The Huffington Post proposed naming hurricanes and other disasters after climate change “deniers.”

“Floods, fires, melting ice and feverish heat: From smoke-choked Moscow to water-soaked Iowa and the High Arctic, the planet seems to be having a midsummer breakdown. It's not just a portent of things to come, scientists say, but a sign of troubling climate change already under way,” the AP wrote, sounding more like Al Gore than an objective news agency.

AP cited the World Meteorological Organization, NASA and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) saying that “extremes” were expected in a warming scenario. But its report didn’t include any other viewpoints or propose other possible reasons for the weather events. And it failed to point out the scandals connected to IPCC, NASA and the warming movement as a whole.

The 2009 ClimateGate scandal and subsequent scandals undermined the very credibility of the climate alarmist movement, but were underreported by the network news media.

AP left out meteorologists who explained some of those events based on jet stream activity. According to New Scientist magazine, the jet stream is being blocked right now and has consequently slowed down. Meteorologists say that the jet stream’s slower movements are responsible for the deadly fires in Russia, the floods in Pakistan and other rare weather events. “The unusual weather in the US and Canada last month also has a similar case,” New Scientist wrote.

Discover Magazine expounded on the New Scientist article saying “this happens from time to time, and it sets the stage for extreme conditions when weather systems hover over the same area.”

Despite other explanations and viewpoints, The New York Times also linked weather to climate saying, “the collective answer of the scientific community [whether global warming is causing more weather extremes]” is “probably.”

Like the Times, many news outlets promoted the connection between warming and weather, but were careful to briefly note that individual weather events cannot be proven to have been caused by global warming. Out of the Times’ 1,302 word article, only 113 words were used to offer a caveat saying it is difficult to link “specific weather events” to climate change and to quote a NASA scientist who admitted he hasn’t “proved it” yet.

Semantics aside, those mainstream stories were nearly as biased in their coverage as blatantly left-wing websites like the Huffington Post.

Huffington Post argued that “global weirding” incidents such as landslides, sinkholes and volcanoes are “consistent” with global warming.

The site interviewed David Orr, a professor of environmental studies and politics at Oberlin College, who said, “you ask is this evidence of climate destabilization, the only scientific answer you can give is: It is consistent with what we can expect." The complete list of “weird” stuff was heat waves, floods, landslides, wildfires, ice islands, sinkholes, volcanoes, dead fish and oyster herpes.

Dead fish and oyster herpes? Huffington Post said, “These are certainly stories to be filed under weird: Although climate change can't necessarily be held responsible, some scientists are suggesting it as the instigator of strange ocean occurrences.”

The fact is that the alarmists and the news media will find someone to support claims that just about everything is correlated to man-made global warming. MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan even claimed that Snowpocalypse (the nickname for the blizzard activity on parts of the East Coast) was consistent with global warming.

Perhaps under the strain of working at CNN, meteorologist Chad Myers actually switched views since 2008, when he said “to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant.”

But on Aug. 10, Myers said “Yes,” when asked if the weather phenomena were manmade. Myers, however, offered this qualification: “Is it 100 percent caused by man? No. There are other things involved. We are now in the sunspot cycle. We are now in a very hot sun cycle. We are, we are – many other things going on …”

CNN host Fareed Zakaria also used the crazy weather to promote legislative action on emissions – pushing Cato Institute’s senior fellow Pat Michaels to accept the idea of a carbon tax.

After another guest warned of devastation if we fail to act on the issue of global warming, Zakaria turned to Michaels and said: “You hear all this. Doesn’t it worry you? I mean, I understand your position, which is, you know, we don’t have a substitute for fossil fuels right now. But surely that isn’t an argument for stand pattism?”

MICHAELS: What I worry about more is the concept of opportunity cost. We had legislation, again, that went through the House last summer which would have cost a lot and been futile. And when you, when you take that away, or when the government favors certain technologies and politicizes technologies, you're doing worse than nothing. You're actually impairing your ability to respond in the long run, and that's my major concern along this issue.


Rep. Steve King Unloads On Climate Change Scientists during Iowa town halls

Indignant report from a Leftiust site below

King began by contending that the 97% of scientists who support the evidence behind manmade climate change are “frauds.” He then proceeded to call the notion of manmade climate change “not rational” but “a religion” like “the modern version of the rain dance”:

KING: Every civilization, according to this Professor Brown, has not only always paid attention to the weather. Every civilization has tried to affect and change the weather. So whether it’s the Chinese seeding clouds, whether it’s some of the industrialized nations in the world trying to get together for cap-and-trade to try to reduce the CO2 emissions. You know, this might be the modern version of the rain dance.[...] It’s not rational, it’s a religion that we’re up against. I mean that from the broadest sense of the word. It’s something you can’t necessarily prove.

King later admitted that he doesn’t just disagree with taking steps to combat climate change, but he fundamentally opposes climate change science. King recoils at the fact that most GOP leaders agree with the science, arguing instead that “you don’t ever give up a premise unless you happen to believe that they’re right. And we should not concede the science of this.” He proceeded to put his minimal scientific understanding on full display, agreeing with a constituent who was “amazed” that people faulted carbon dioxide when it’s the main ingredient plants use to produce oxygen:

KING: They have not made that scientific case. I have always argued against the science. Some of our leadership have said “don’t argue the science.” They get pollsters in and coach us. I’m not very coachable…(laughing)…But I’ve said “you don’t ever give up a premise unless you happen to believe that they’re right.” And we should not concede the science of this. And they say, “you should just argue the economics, not the science.” Well, no. They were wrong on the science[...]

CONSTITUENT: Do you realize that carbon dioxide is the main ingredient plants use with sunshine to make oxygen and sugars for us to eat and for animals. What’s the matter with carbon dioxide? It’s amazing to me the way some of these people think.

KING: I agree with you. There have been many times in the history of the planet that we’ve had higher concentrations of CO2 than we have here today. There are a couple of German engineers that took that theory apart and proved it wrong in a lab. I’ve read through that, but I’d have to go back to school for a half a year or a year to tell you I followed every bit of their rationale. But the presumption of the Greenhouse Effect is at least, from what I saw, was pretty convincingly rebutted.

However, instead of using science to predict and fight climate change, King advised instead that we turn instead to the Bible. Given that rising sea levels are threatening to swallow up entire nations, that may not be such bad advice:

CONSTITUENT: It’s got nothing to do with carbon dioxide. It’s got to do with socialization [sic]. Just like their tax on energy. That’s got nothing to do with our benefit. Where’s this tax go to that they’re wanting to spend for their supposedly bad things we got ahold of? Where does it go to? And who’s blamed?

KING: I think you make an important point. I know that there is a good number of them that believe that the science says that the earth is getting warmer and we can control it. Some of them really believe it. Control is a big part of it. I finally found a book that I’d been looking for – one to help me figure out what’s going on – and the answers are in the Bible.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


21 August, 2010


An Independent review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change by John McLean. McLean is an IT specialist with a particular interest in analysing climate data


The IPCC is a disgrace to science. In its desire to fit the square peg of science into the round hole of politics it has abandoned the "scientific method" and replaced it with a desperate search for data and other material that might support a specific hypothesis.

Its reports are not an honest assessment of climate because they omit, dismiss or distort research findings that do not conform to a certain belief, and if those reports are supposed to focus only on any possible human influence on climate then why are they even mentioning other forces and where is the corresponding organization that will report on those forces?

The IPCC was established on the basis of alarmist claims that were given a political dimension by organizations that, if they had any integrity, would have demanded better evidence than the output of primitive climate models (Chapter 1).

The IPCC's key product, the various Assessment Reports, are the personal opinions from a cadre of selected authors and contrary to marketing spin, each passage of text is the consensus of a mere handful of people many of whom quote their own papers or selectively omit information that does not support their bias. In one instance supporting material was not available so IPCC authors, accompanied by a few others, wrote a paper that the IPCC report could cite even though the paper had merely been submitted to a journal rather than published (Chapter 2).

The peer-review system used by the IPCC is a travesty because it is nothing like the review prior to publishing scientific papers but only a means of soliciting further supporting information. Of course any suggestions that wider material be included are rejected, even if it means citing an IPCC's author's unpublished paper to do so (Chapter 3).

The IPCC omits and distorts information to suit its agenda. We are not told, for example, that it seems likely that the Earth is currently cool compared to mean temperature of the last 10,000 years and that the 650-year cold spell ending around 1850, which is when the IPCC's temperature data commences, was likely the longest sustained cold spell in 10 millennia.

The IPCC hides, in a throwaway line, buried deep in a long paragraph, the critical fact that amount of warming caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide is logarithmic (i.e. will decrease as per unit of carbon dioxide increase).

In the IPCC's latest report the discussion of the European heatwave of 2003 is a joke because chapter 3 provides a clear meteorological explanation but chapter 9 claims, on the basis of modelling by one of its authors, that human activity made the heatwave worse, and later the IPCC cites this modelling as if it was both accurate and credible when it is neither (Chapter 4).

The temperature data cited by the IPCC is derived from thermometer readings just above the Earth's surface or just below the surface of the oceans. The data is so flawed and inconsistent, because the circumstances in which it is gathered are so dynamic, that it should be rejected. One wonders if the IPCC audited this data prior to citing it, but given that the agencies supplying it are supporters of the IPCC claims perhaps it felt no need to do so (Chapter 5).

The IPCC's greatest scam is in its use and citing of climate models. The Assessment Reports show very clearly that knowledge of many climate factors is poor, which means that accurate models can't be created, but later chapters of the report ignore those deficiencies and cite the predictions of models as if they were unchallengeable.

Worse yet, these same models are used attribute blame for variation in climate under the risible notion that if observations agree with models that include a certain factor but disagree with the models if that factor is omitted, then it is evidence that the factor was the cause of climate variation.

This line of reason, with the incomplete climate models, is not merely a rejection of commonsense but blatant dishonesty. What's more, the rationale behind this attribution means that blame can only be attributed to climate forces that are accurately modelled, and the IPCC mentions just one force that it considers to be in that category - manmade emissions of carbon dioxide (Chapter 6).

The IPCC's so-called evidence for man-made warming was never strong to begin with but now it's completely undermined by the compromised integrity of the IPCC, the dubious temperature data and the climate models that are known to be inaccurate (Chapter 7).

The IPCC has no integrity and therefore no credibility. It is recommended that it be disbanded, along with its cohort the UNFCCC, and all responsibility for climate matters be handed over to the World Meteorological Organization.

While the WMO is somewhat tainted by co-sponsoring the IPCC it has expertise in meteorological matters and has shown a willingness to consider a wider range of climate forces than the IPCC (Chapter 8).

It is understandable that among an impartial audience only the ignorant, gullible and ill-informed would accept the biased word of the IPCC. Unfortunately the IPCC has given rise to a host of people with vested interests of various forms and I hope that this review encourages them to reconsider their position.

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

NOAA says the Russian heatwave was just a natural fluctuation

An excerpt below from a report by the Physical Sciences Division (PSD) of the Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the Department of Commerce of the United States Government:

Key sentence: "Greenhouse gas forcing fails to explain the 2010 heat wave over Western Russia"

The Russian heat wave of 2010 has been an extreme and abrupt event. The July heat did not simply follow on the heals of a sequence of progressively warmer summers over recent decades, but stands out as a discrete event that is reminiscent of the often sharp year-to-year swings in this region's July surface temperatures during the last 130 years. In many ways,the heat wave is a "black swan" event in that it is well beyond the normal expectations in the instrumental record---it is an outlier that is having an extreme societal impact.

Whereas an event of this magnitude was unexpected for the summer of 2010, and indeed there was little if any advance warming from long lead seasonal forecasts, it is nonetheless important to assess the factors that may have been responsible for such an extreme heat wave.

There is strong evidence that the immediate cause can be placed at the doorstep of an extreme pattern of atmospheric winds---widely referred to as blocking. In the situation of anticyclonic blocking such as developed over western Russia in early July 2010, the normal west-to-east movement of weather systems is inhibited, with the center of a blocking experiencing persistently quiescent weather.

Blocks are not an uncommon occurrence over Eurasia in summer, with a episodes of July blocking in the region between 0-60E evident during the past half century. This region is vulnerable to episodes of blocking owing to physical factors related to the region's location downstream of the Atlantic westerly jet.

The sector exhibits high climatological frequency of blocking during July, with an average of 15% of summer days experiencing a blocking conditions. During the first 42 days of the summer of 2010 (thru 11 August) this region has experienced 60% blocking days. This event is the most prolonged blocking event over Western Russia for the period since 1948. The duration of this blocking event has been particularly long, and the intensity of the high pressure anomaly itself has been unusually strong.

The intensity of the positive 500mb height anomalies averaged over the geographic region of eastern Europe and western Russia during July 2010 exceeds any prior occurrence of anticyclonic blocking. Preliminary estimates indicate that the strength of the height anomaly at 500mb during July 2010 is equal to nearly 4 times the standard deviation of July heights---a departure amplitude similar to that in the region's July surface temperatures. Typically, there is little persistence of the circulation pattern from July to August, although the current block that formed in early July has continued with great strength through the second week of August.

The extreme surface warmth over western Russia during July and early August is mostly a product of the strong and persistent blocking high.

Surface temperatures have soared as a result of the combination of clear skies, sinking motion within the environment of the high pressure causing compressional heating of air, the lack of any temporary relief owing to the blocking of the typical cold fronts that cool the region intermittently in summer.

Add to this scenario the cumulative effect of drought that began in early summer which has caused soils to dry and plants to desiccate to wilting point, thereby causing additional surface warming via land feedbacks as the blocking condition persisted. These are all well-known and studied physical processes that have accompanied summertime blocking and heat waves in the past.

Much of the intensity of the current heat wave, and also the pattern of surface temperature conditions across Eurasia during July 2010, can be recreated from the atmospheric blocking event itself. The diagnostic procedure involves standard methods applied to the historical record of analyzed 500 mb heights and surface temperatures during the prior period of 1900-2008. The method of statistical regression is used to understand how surface temperature changes during a typical blocking occurrence over Russia during July, and is a method that can be used to infer causal relationships.

The comparison of the above reqression map with the observed temperature anomaly map for July 2010 clarifies the cause for this heat wave. The strong agreement between the July 2010 observed pattern of Eurasian surface temperatures and that pattern attributable to the impact of upper tropospheric blocking provides key evidence that the block is the immediate cause for the heat wave (and related temperature conditions over adjacent countries).

Blocking events are typically of 1-2 week duration, and by contrast the 2010 situation is highly unusual in that blocking has existed over western Russia on virtually every day form the beginning of July until the middle of August. The cumulative impact of such prolonged blocking has led to the extreme nature of the surface impacts on temperature, soil conditions, and rainfall.

What has been the role of human-induced climate change in the Russian heat wave of 2010? As indicated at the beginning of this report, globally averaged surface temperatures during the first 6 months of 2010 were the warmest since about 1880 based on NOAA and NASA analyses.

A time series of 12-month running mean globally averaged surface temperatures anomalies from NASA data further indicates that the latest 12-month period is likely warmer than the prior record warmest year of 1998 (relative to an 1880-2009 period of analysis).

Despite this strong evidence for a warming planet, greenhouse gas forcing fails to explain the 2010 heat wave over western Russia. The natural process of atmospheric blocking, and the climate impacts induced by such blocking, are the principal cause for this heat wave.

The indications are that the current blocking event is intrinsic to the natural variability of summer climate in this region, a region which has a climatological vulnerability to blocking and associated heat waves


South Pacific sea levels - Best records show little or no rise!!

Are the small islands of the South Pacific in danger of disappearing, glug, under the waves of the rising ocean? Will thousands of poor inhabitants be forced to emigrate, as desperate refugees, to Australia and New Zealand? Has any of this got anything to do with man-made emissions of CO2?

By looking closely at the records, it turns out that the much advertised rising sea levels in the South Pacific depend on anomalous depressions of the ocean during 1997 and 1998 thanks to an El Nino and two tropical cyclones. The Science and Public Policy Institute has released a report by Vincent Gray which compares 12 Pacific Island records and shows that in many cases it’s these anomalies that set the trends… and if the anomaly is removed, sea levels appear to be more or less constant since the Seaframe measurements began around 1993.

Take the infamous Tuvalu for example. It’s sea level rise was reported as 5.7 mm/year back in 2008. Now it’s calculated as 3.7mm/year. But look at the Seaframe Graph – its flat. It is universally forecast to disappear by 2050. New Zealand has even agreed to accept the “inevitable” rush of refugees, yet the best records available show that sea levels have not risen at all since 1993. It’s not that it will take decades, or hundreds of years to submerge, there’s no reason to suppose it will submerge at all (asteroid strikes excepted). It’s a place that naturally is reshaped and reformed as the ocean moves sand from one part to another, and the corals shift and grow with the changes.

There may indeed be legitimate refugees from some areas, but it’s most likely due to subsidence, rather than sea-level rises.

The SEAFRAME sea-level study on 12 Pacific islands is the most comprehensive study of sea level and local climate ever carried out there. The sea level records obtained have all been assessed by the anonymous authors of the official reports as indicating positive trends in sea level over all 12 Pacific Islands involved since the study began in 1993 until the latest report in June 2010. In almost all cases the positive upward trends depend almost exclusively on the depression of the ocean in 1997 and 1998 caused by two tropical cyclones. If these and other similar disturbances are ignored, almost all of the islands have shown negligible change in sea level from 1993 to 2010, particularly after the installation of GPS levelling equipment in 2000.

The study includes the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

One of the big problems with measuring sea-levels is that everything is in motion. The tides shift, the sand moves, and even the bedrock can subside. The Seaframe stations are state of the art, and regularly checked to compensate for all these changes.

The Seaframe equipment used to measure sea levels is carefully recalibrated every 18 months to take these factors into account....

The bottom line

No matter what was heating the Earth, sea levels would rise, the rise in and of itself tells us nothing about the cause of the warming. What’s amazing is that so much of our CO2 has been unleashed since 1993, yet at least in the South Pacific, it’s not clear that sea levels have risen.

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

A fanatic speaks

Excerpt below from an article headed "Time To Terminate Western Civilization Before It Terminates Us". It's just amazing how pervasive Green/Left hatreds of our society are. Note that he quotes not a skerrick of evidence for global warming and ignores all the evidence against it -- such as the tiny degree of warming (two thirds of one degree Celsius even according to the Warmists) observed over the 20th century

The author is a retired professor of ecology and in 2009 he "left the university to prepare for collapse. He now lives in an off-grid, straw-bale house where he puts into practice his lifelong interest in sustainable living via organic gardening, raising small animals for eggs and milk, and working with members of his rural community".

Global climate change threatens our species with extinction by mid-century is we do not terminate the industrial economy soon. Increasingly dire forecasts from extremely conservative sources keep stacking up. Governments refuse to act because they know growth of the industrial economy depends (almost solely) on consumption of fossil fuels. Global climate change and energy decline are similar in this respect: neither is characterized by a politically viable solution.

There simply is no comprehensive substitute for crude oil. It is the overwhelming fuel of choice for transportation, and there is no way out of the crude trap at this late juncture in the industrial era. We passed the world oil peak in 2005, which led to near-collapse of the world’s industrial economy several times between September 2008 and May 2010. And we’re certainly not out of the economic woods yet.

Unchecked, western civilization drives us to one of two outcomes, and perhaps both: (1) Destruction of the living planet on which we depend for our survival, and/or (2) Runaway greenhouse and therefore the near-term extinction of our species. Why would we want to sustain such a system? It is immoral and omnicidal. The industrial economy enslaves us, drives us insane, and kills us in myriad ways. We need a living planet. Everything else is less important than the living planet on which we depend for our very lives. We act as if non-industrial cultures do not matter. We act as if non-human species do not matter. But they do matter, on many levels, including the level of human survival on Earth. And, of course, there’s the matter of ecological overshoot, which is where we’re spending all our time since at least 1980. Every day in overshoot brings us 205,000 people to deal with later. In this case, “deal with” means murder.

Shall we reduce Earth to a lifeless pile of rubble within a generation? Or shall we heat the planet beyond human habitability within two generations? Or shall we keep procreating as if there are no consequences for an already crowded planet? Pick your poison, but recognize it’s poison. We’re dead either way.

Although it’s all coming down, as it has been for quite a while, it’s relatively clear imperial decline is accelerating. We’re obviously headed for full-scale collapse of the industrial economy, as indicated by these 40 statistics. Even Fortune and CNN agree economic collapse will be complete soon, though they don’t express any understanding of how we arrived at this point or the hopelessness of extracting ourselves from the morass.

Credibility? Respectability? It’s time to stop playing by the rules of the destroyers. We need witnesses and warriors, and we need them now. It’s time to terminate western civilization before it terminates us.


The Stealth Obama Ocean Grab

It's not enough that the White House is moving to lock up hundreds of millions of acres of land in the name of environmental protection. The Obama administration's neon green radicals are also training their sights on the deep blue seas. The president's grabby-handed bureaucrats have been empowered through executive order to seize unprecedented control from states and localities over "conservation, economic activity, user conflict and sustainable use of the ocean, our coasts and the Great Lakes."_

Democrats have tried and failed to pass "comprehensive" federal oceans management legislation five years in a row. The so-called "Oceans 21" bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Sam Farr of California, went nowhere fast. Among the top reasons: bipartisan concerns about the economic impact of closing off widespread access to recreational fishing. The bill also would have handed environmentalists another punitive litigation weapon under the guise of "ecosystem management." Instead of accepting defeat, the green lobby simply circumvented the legislative process altogether.

In late July, President Obama established a behemoth 27-member "National Ocean Council" with the stroke of a pen. Farr gloated: "We already have a Clean Air Act and a Clean Water Act. With today's executive order, President Obama in effect creates a Clean Ocean Act." And not a single hearing needed to be held. Not a single amendment considered. Not a single vote cast. Who gives a flying fish about transparency and the deliberative process? The oceans are dying!

The panel will have the power to implement "coastal and marine spatial plans" and to ensure that all executive agencies, departments and offices abide by their determinations. The panel has also been granted authority to establish regional advisory committees that overlap with existing regional and local authorities governing marine and coastal planning.

No wonder the anti-growth, anti-development, anti-jobs zealots are cheering. The National Ocean Council is co-chaired by wackadoodle science czar John Holdren (notorious for his cheerful musings about eugenics, mass sterilization and forced abortions to protect Mother Earth and for hyping weather catastrophes and demographic disasters in the 1970s with his population control freak pals Paul and Anne Ehrlich) and White House Council on Environmental Quality head Nancy Sutley (best known as the immediate boss of disgraced green jobs czar/self-avowed communist Van Jones).

Also on the new ocean panel:

-- Socialista and energy/climate change czar Carol Browner, last seen bullying auto company execs to "put nothing in writing, ever" and threatening to push massive cap-and-trade tax hikes during the upcoming congressional lame duck session.

-- Dr. Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and a former high-ranking official at the left-wing Environmental Defense Fund, which has long championed drastic reductions of commercial fishing fleets and recreational fishing activity in favor of centralized control.

-- Attorney General Eric Holder, who will no doubt use his stonewalling expertise to shield the ocean council's inner workings from public scrutiny.

-- Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, who apparently doesn't have enough to do destroying jobs through his offshore drilling moratorium, blocking onshore development and wreaking havoc on the energy industry.

Given Salazar's fraudulent book-cooking in support of the administration's offshore drilling moratorium (Remember: Obama's own appointed scientists blasted the Interior Secretary for unilaterally contradicting and misrepresenting their conclusions.), his comments on the new ocean grab are more threat than promise: "With two billion acres we help oversee on the Outer Continental Shelf, Interior is a proud partner in this initiative, and we look forward to helping coordinate the science, policies and management of how we use, conserve and protect these public treasures."

"Helping coordinate the science," as interpreted by Obama's Chicago-on-the-Potomac heavies, means doctoring, massaging and ramming through whatever eco-data is necessary "to reduce conflicts among uses, reduce environmental impacts, facilitate compatible uses, and preserve critical ecosystem services to meet economic, environmental, security and social objectives." Translation: drastically limiting human activity from coastal areas to seabeds to achieve the "social objective" of appeasing the enviros and their deep-pocketed philanthropic funders.

Even New York Sen. Charles Schumer slammed the administration's junk science-based fishing limits at a meeting this week between NOAA's Lubchenco and Long Island recreational fishermen. Draconian regulations, he said, according to the New York Post, "put the industry on death's door." Now, the same forces behind such job destroyers will have free reign over a national ocean policy established by administrative fiat. Viva la Summer of Wreckovery.


Some people in Australia's major Leftist political party still put the jobs and wellbeing of the workers ahead of "Green" obsessions

A rather mournful comment from a Leftist writer below

Will Michael O'Connor, powerful forestry division secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, block an effective Australian response to climate change?

It's a worry for our economy because O'Connor is a key figure behind the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and soft left factional allies Martin Ferguson and Penny Wong - who, for one more day at least, control the portfolios that really matter: energy, water and climate.

O'Connor helped both Gillard and Ferguson into Parliament. In her maiden speech, Gillard acknowledged him as her "closest confidante", the "most committed of them all" to her Labor values, going back to her student days.

O'Connor should not be underestimated. If the secret of the Ferguson Left is its willingness to do deals with the Right, O'Connor has a record of going further and abandoning the ALP to support the Coalition. He helped bring down Paul Keating, organising (with the National Association of Forest Industries) the loggers blockade of Parliament House in January 1995 - a bitter protest during the regional forest agreement negotiations.

In an article for The Australian at the time, headlined "Green agenda full of myths", O'Connor railed against the environment movement's campaign to "cripple the forest and forest products industry by denying it access to native forests".

The 350-truck blockade took place just as John Howard was ushered in as opposition leader and helped establish his image as the battlers' friend, according to Australian National University forest economist Dr Judith Ajani, author of The Forest Wars (2007): "Australian voters witnessed the first display of Howard's battlers versus Keating's 'special interest elites': the core of a meticulously crafted election strategy."

O'Connor features heavily in Ajani's book, although he would not be interviewed for it. Others would. At one point, a bitter Keating calls O'Connor a "Labor rat" who should be "excommunicated" from the party.

Asked why he wasn't kicked out, Keating said: "Because people are too gutless, that's why. And nobody these days likes the fights. They all want consensus results. Well you don't get big issues resolved like this, just by consensus."

O'Connor also helped sink Mark Latham's tilt at federal office in 2004, swinging the CFMEU behind John Howard as the two main parties went toe-to-toe on Tasmanian forests policy. "It is clear that the jobs of workers, the welfare of families and the future of timber communities are to be sold off to appease Bob Brown and the Wilderness Society," O'Connor said of Latham's forest policy.

It was a spectacular betrayal of the party, but Gillard later lined up with O'Connor, saying she was "devastated" by Latham's stance on Tasmanian forests, calling it a "dreadful policy" and a "shocking, shocking error". O'Connor is the type of Laborite who sees the environment as a fashionable obsession of inner-city elites … job-destroyers hostile to the interests of workers. O'Connor calls it "real Labor". "Real Labor doesn't sell out workers," he said once.

In Ajani's telling, O'Connor is one of the forestry union's "economic troglodytes", endlessly perpetuating a false industry-versus-environment movement conflict.

Behind that conflict, according to Ajani, is a deeper struggle of industry versus industry, between native forest logging and the plantation sector which grew so fast between the 1960s and the 1990s that it can now provide all of Australia's sawn timber and pulp and paper needs.

Ajani argues O'Connor and the CFMEU, by fighting trenchantly to protect the old native forest logging sector, have sacrificed workers' long-term interests, which lie in the growth of a sustainable plantation industry. That's the win-win solution - more jobs, and our remaining native forests saved (with all the greenhouse and other immeasurable benefits that entails) - if the CFMEU could see it.

Instead of pushing for the win-win solution, O'Connor fights a rearguard action to preserve native forest logging. For example he fought against the Green Building Council's star ratings system, which gave extra points for use of timber accredited under the internationally recognised Forest Stewardship Council scheme.

He wanted points to be given for timber accredited under an industry-backed scheme, the Australian Forestry Standard, which allows native forest logging. Late last year he got it, calling the decision a "great breakthrough".

His quotes were instructive. "This took four years to achieve. I have little faith in the covenant of the Green Building Council and they have no credibility with us," he told The Australian Financial Review. O'Connor cannot abide a market-based scheme for tenants who want to occupy a green commercial building - or landlords who want to build one - which stipulates no timber from native forests.

O'Connor also has been deputy chairman of the Innovation Minister, Kim Carr's, pulp and paper industry strategy group, which wants to promote burning waste from native forest logging as renewable energy, and is arguing to ensure international carbon accounting rules do not count emissions from native forest logging.

The forest wars have a parallel in the energy sector, where the fossil fuel industry faces competition from an emerging renewables sector. Under Martin Ferguson, over the course of Labor's first term a stream of decisions have favoured the incumbents over the challengers. The saving grace was that the government finally established the 20 per cent renewable energy target by 2020.

Ferguson sees the parallel, accusing the Australian Greens leader, Bob Brown, of "seeking to demonise the coal industry in the same way he has sought to demonise the forest industry".

The pity is that, despite the rhetoric about saving jobs, when these Labor figures are duchessed by the captains of old industry, the result is public handouts to employers, and no focus on retraining or assistance for employees, as we saw during emissions trading scheme negotiations.

O'Connor and his allies will fight tooth and nail for the industries of the past. They do not see the potential of the green industries of the future.

So Gillard has gone out of her way to avoid a mandate for action on climate change, with a deeply cynical platform comprising the citizens assembly (a joke), misleading slogans about "no new dirty coal-fired power stations" and bitsy ad-hockery on renewables, energy efficiency and "cash for clunkers". Her best mandate comes - almost in reverse - from Coalition warnings that Labor under Gillard would bring in a carbon tax "as night follows day".



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


20 August, 2010

Leading US Physicist Labels Satellitegate Scandal a ‘Catastrophe’

"NOAA Proven to have engaged in Long-term Cover Up". It's not only Britain's UEA that has been crooked

By John O'Sullivan

Respected American physicist, Dr Charles R. Anderson has waded into the escalating Satellitegate controversy publishing a damning analysis on his blog.

In a fresh week of revelations when NOAA calls in their lawyers to handle the fallout, Anderson adds further fuel to the fire and fumes against NOAA, one of the four agencies charged with responsiblity for collating global climate temperatures. NOAA is now fighting a reargaurd legal defense to hold onto some semblance of credibility with growing evidence of systemic global warming data flaws by government climatologists.

NOAA Systemically Excised Data with ‘Poor Interpolations’

Anderson, a successful Materials Physicist with his own laboratory, has looked closely at the evidence uncovered on NOAA. He has been astonished to discover, “Both higher altitudes and higher latitudes have been systematically removed from the measured temperature record with very poor and biased interpolated results taking their place.”

Like other esteemed scientists, Anderson has been quick to spot sinister flaws in official temperatures across northern Lake Michigan as revealed in my earlier articles.

I had proven that the website operated by the Michigan State University had published ridiculously high surface water temperatures widely distributed over the lake many indicating super-boiling conditions. The fear is that these anomalies have been fed across the entire satellite dataset. The satellite that first ignited the fury is NOAA-16. But as we have since learned there are now five key satellites that have become either degraded or seriously compromised.

In his post "Satellite Temperature Record Now Unreliable" Anderson’s findings corroborate my own that NOAA sought to cover up the “sensor degradation” on their satellite, NOAA-16. The U.S. physicist agrees there may now be thousands of temperatures in the range of 415-604 degrees Fahrenheit automatically fed into computer climate models and contaminating climate models with a substantial warming bias. This may have gone on for a far longer period than the five years originally identified.

Anderson continues, “One has to marvel at either the scientific incompetence this reveals or the completely unethical behavior of NOAA and its paid researchers that is laid open before us.”

Indian Government Knew of Faults in 2004

I have further uncovered proof that the Indian government was long ago onto these faults, too. Researcher, Devendra Singh, tried and failed to draw attention to the increasing problems with the satellite as early as 2004 but his paper remained largely ignored outside of his native homeland.

Indian scientist, Singh reported that NOAA-16 started malfunctioning due to a scan motor problem that caused a 'barcode' appearance. Singh’s paper, ‘Performance of the NOAA-16 and AIRS temperature soundings over India’ exposed the satellite’s growing faults and identified three key errors that needed to be addressed.

Singh writes, “The first one is the instrument observation error. The second is caused by the differences in the observation time and location between the satellite and radiosonde. The third is sampling error due to atmospheric horizontal inhomogeneity of the field of view (FOV).” These comments from India thus endorse Dr. Anderson’s findings.

NOAA Proven to have engaged in Long-term Cover Up

My investigations are increasingly proving that such data was flagged by non-NOAA agencies years ago, but NOAA declined to publish notice of the faults until the problem was publicized loudly and widely in my first ‘satellitegate’ article, US Government in Massive New Global Warming Scandal – NOAA Disgraced. Official explanations initially dismissed my findings. But then NOAA conceded my story was accurate in the face of the evidence.

My second article, shortly thereafter, exposed that a succession of record warm temperatures in recent years may be based on contaminated satellite readings. But NOAA spokesman, Program Coordinator, Chuck Pistis declined to clarify the extent of the satellite instrument problem or how long the fault might have gone undetected.

Thereafter, in my third article, Official: Satellite Failure Means Decade of Global Warming Data Doubtful we saw the smoking gun evidence of a cover up after examining the offending satellite’s AVHRR Subsystem Summary. The official summary shows no report of any ‘sensor degradation’ (NOAA’s admission) since its launch in September 2000.

Subsystem Summary Details Censored Between 2005-10

But even more sinister is the fact that the official online summary now only shows events recorded up to 2005. All subsequent notations, that was on NOAA’s web pages last week and showed entries inclusive to summer 2010, have now been removed. However, is displaying a sample of the missing evidence copied before NOAA took down the revealing web pages after it entered into 'damage limitation mode.'

As events have unfolded we are also learning that major systemic failures in the rest of the satellite global data-collecting network were also not reported. Such serious flaws affect up to five U.S satellites as reported in an excellent article by Susan Bohan here.

NOAA Tears Up its Own ‘ Data Transparency’ Policy

But rather than come clean NOAA has this week ordered their lawyers to circle the wagons. Glenn Tallia, their Senior Counselor, wrote to advise me, “The data and associated website at issue are not NOAA's but instead are those of the Michigan State Sea Grant program. Thus, we have referred your e-mail to the Michigan State Sea Grant program.”

Yes, Glenn, clearly the final data output was published by Michigan but the underlying fault is with your satellite!

With NOAA now hiding behind their attorneys we appear to see a contradiction of NOAA’s official pledge that “ The basic tenet of physical climate data management at NOAA is full and open data access” published in their document, NOAA/National Climatic Data Center Open Access to Physical Climate Data Policy December 2009.

Sadly, we may now be at the start of yet another protracted delay and concealment process that tarnished NASA’s and CRU’s reputations in Climategate. We saw in that scandal that for 3-7 years the US and the UK government agencies cynically and unlawfully stymied Freedom of Information requests (FOIA).

NASA’s disgrace was affirmed in March 2010 when they finally conceded that their data was in worse shape than the much-maligned Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the UK’s University of East Anglia. CRU’s Professor Phil Jones only escaped criminal prosecution by way of a technicality.

The attorney credited with successfully forcing NASA to come clean was Christopher Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Horner is now advising me as to how best to pursue a possible FOIA of my own against NOAA if they continue their obfuscation.

American Physicist Picks Out Key Issues

Meanwhile, back on his blog Anderson points to the key issues that NOAA tries to cover up. He refers to how Charles Pistis, Program Coordinator of the Michigan Sea Grant project, tried to pass off the dodgy data as being an accidental product of the satellite’s malfunction sensors taking readings off the top of clouds rather than the surface temperatures.

By contrast, Anderson cogently refutes this explanation showing that such bogus data was consistently of very high temperatures not associated with those detected from cloud tops. He advises it is fair to assume that NOAA were using this temperature anomaly to favorably hype a doomsaying agenda of ever-increasing temperatures that served the misinformation process of government propaganda.

As Pistis admitted, all such satellite data is fed automatically into records and apparently as long as it showed high enough temperatures to satisfy the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (AGW) advocates of those numbers were not going to make careful scrutiny for at least half a decade.

Anderson bemoans, “One has to marvel at either the scientific incompetence this reveals or the completely unethical behavior of NOAA and its paid researchers that is laid open before us.”

“Charles Pistis has evaded the repeated question of whether the temperature measurement data from such satellites has gone into the NOAA temperature record. This sure suggests this is an awkward question to answer.”

Now Satellites NOAA-17 and 18 Suffer Calamities

While NOAA’s Nero fiddles ‘Rome’ continues to burn and the satellite network just keeps on falling apart. After NOAA-16 bit the dust last week NOAA-17 became rated ‘poor’ due to ‘scan motor degradation” while NOAA-18’s gyro’s are regarded by many now as good as dead. However, these satellites that each cross the U.S. twice per day at twelve-hour intervals are still giving “direct readout”(HRPT or APT) or central processing to customers. So please, NOAA, tell us - is this GIGO still being fed into official climate models?

NOAA-17 appears in even worse condition. On February 12 and 19 2010 NOAA-17 concedes it has “ AVHRR Scan Motor Degradation” with “Product(s) or Data Impacted.”

Beleaguered NOAA customers have been told, “direct readout users are going to have to deal with the missing data gaps as best they can.”

On August 9, 2010, NOAA 17 was listed as on ‘poor’ with scan motor problems and rising motor currents. NOAA admits, “Constant rephase by the MIRP was causing data dropouts on all the HRPT stream and APT and GAC derivatives. Auto re-phase has now been disabled and the resulting AVHRR products are almost all unusable.”

NOAA continues with tests on ‘17’ with a view to finding a solution. On page 53 we find that NOAA-17 has an inoperable AMSU Instrument. The status for August 17, 2010 was RED (not operational) and NOAA is undertaking “urgent gyro tests on NOAA 18.” For further details see here. More evidence proving NOAA is running a “degrading” satellite network can be read here.

Dr. Anderson sums up saying; “It is now perfectly clear that there are no reliable worldwide temperature records and that we have little more than anecdotal information on the temperature history of the Earth.”


Global warming killed off the mammoths? Pull the other one!

Mammoths were just a type of elephant and the closely-related elephants of Africa and Asia seem to be doing just fine on a diet of warm-climate vegetation -- but you can't expect a Warmist to notice that!

An extraordinary article at Nature's Great Beyond blog, reporting on a new paper by Judy Allen et al from the University of Durham: "Human hunters off the hook? Climate change caused wooly mammoths' extinction, say scientists".

Uh huh. So how do they know this?

Climate change, rather than human hunters, drove the wooly mammoth to extinction. That’s the claim from scientists who say that the hairy beasts lost their grazing grounds as forests rapidly replaced grasslands after the last ice age, roughly 20,000 years ago. The researchers used palaeoclimate and vegetation models to simulate the plant cover across the mammoths’ habitat around that time.

Yes folks, it's a modelling study. Another one. From the paper's abstract, the researchers took output from the Hadley Centre's Unified Climate Model and pumped it into another model which purports to simulate how a variety of plants react to temperature changes. So even if the vegetation model works it still relies on the Hadley Centre model being something one can rely on. Is it just me that finds this all rather unconvincing. I mean is the Hadley Centre Unified Model something you'd want to bet the house on?

Well, according to this article, the Unified Model is: "the same model that is used to produce every weather forecast you see on British terrestrial television."

Oh dear!


The above article is from Britain and the "Oh dear"! refers to the dismal predictive accuracy of forecasts from Britain's Met Office

Is GOP opposition to cap-and-trade self-contradictory?

Betsy Moler of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and Phil Sharp of Resources for the Future would like Republicans to think so. After all, if GOP opposition to cap-and-trade is self-contradictory, then it is unstable, hence reversible.

Few Republicans will be gulled by this line of chatter, but just to make sure, I posted a column debunking the Moler-Sharp argument on MasterResource.Org, the free-market energy blog.

Republicans like markets (or say they do), and cap-and-trade is “market-based,” according to Moler and Sharp. In fact, cap-and-trade is politics-based. The demand for the traded commodity (the emission allowances) is entirely a creature of the cap, which is itself created not by the market but by politicians.

People posting comments on my column made astute observations, which suggest the following definition. Cap-and-trade: Government creation of a market in a commodity that everyone makes and nobody wants; from which a rent-seeking few gain windfall profits at consumers’ expense; and in which opportunities for corruption and creative accounting abound.


Irrational pessimism

BOOK REVIEW of "The Rational Optimist" by Matt Ridley

For the vast majority of human beings, life has never been better. We’re healthier, longer-living, less exhausted, and more nutrient-packed than any of our ancestors. Yet there’s an epidemic of pessimism. Barely a day goes by when we are not told that life was better in some distant, pastoral, pre-modern era, when men hunted for meat, women cooked it, and they spent the rest of their time banging drums and dancing around fires.

We’re forever being informed that as a direct consequence of our creation of a comfortable, convenient society, the world will come to an end. The technology-frying Y2K bug didn’t get us. Neither the avian flu nor swine flu outbreaks—which, we were warned, would spread like wildfire, thanks to the modern evils of manmade flight and globalization—killed anywhere near as many millions of people as the World Health Organization predicted.

But climate change will surely finish us off. Brought about by our gluttonous exploitation of fossil fuels, designed to sustain our unsustainable lives of flying, city-building, and conspicuous consuming, the warming of the planet will be nature’s ultimate revenge against what the granddaddy of modern environmentalism, James Lovelock, labeled a “serious planetary malady.” That’s us: human beings.

Why are we so down on the spectacular world we have created—and so convinced that it could all come crashing down at any minute? Why do so many influential thinkers, who are surrounded by the kind of luxuries previous generations could never have envisaged—running water, fresh fruit out of season, constant light, telephones, mobile telephones—spend their days telling us how terrible everything is?

Matt Ridley, in his stirring new book The Rational Optimist, teases out the contradiction between our increasingly comfortable lives and the intellectual climate of deep, dark pessimism. With simplicity, clarity, and verve, he stands up for “the bright side of human endeavor” in a book that feels like an act of intellectual rebellion against the tyranny of misery gripping this young century.

Eschewing both the “don’t worry, be happy” self-help approach and the angry, graph-obsessed nitpicking of climate-change skeptics (who can be just as annoying as climate-change alarmists), Ridley’s “rational optimism” is based on an historic analysis of what is unique about human beings and why we have been able to improve our living standards so vastly.

His contrast between how we live today and how people lived just a few decades ago should, by all rights, be enough to perk up even the most miserable of miserabilists. Yes, there’s still poverty, he writes, especially in Africa, but overall “this generation of human beings has access to more calories, watts, lumen-hours, square feet, gigabytes, megahertz, light years, nanometers, bushels per acre, miles per gallon, food miles, air miles, and of course dollars than any that went before.”

There are more people (or “mouths to feed,” as the pessimists insultingly refer to us) than ever, yet we are better fed and healthier than ever, too. Since 1800, Ridley points out, the world population of human beings has risen sixfold—from 1 billion to over 6 billion—yet in the same period, average life expectancy has more than doubled and average real income has risen ninefold. In just the past 50 years, the average human “earned nearly three times as much money (corrected for inflation), ate one-third more calories of food, buried one-third as many of her children, and could expect to live one-third longer.”

Life expectancy—the surest measure that we are doing something right—has risen exponentially over the past 200 years. It was static for millennia. In classical Greece and Rome, average life expectancy was 28. In pre-Columbian North America, it was 25 to 30. In medieval Britain, it was 30. In the early 20th century, the global average life expectancy was 30 to 45. In the 1920s, Ridley points out, demographers confidently predicted that average life expectancy could never exceed 65 “without intervention of radical innovations or fantastic evolutionary change in our physiological make-up.” To those demographers, the thought of millions or even billions of human beings, worker and wealthy man alike, living into their 70s and 80s was unthinkable. But it has happened—and then some. Today, life expectancy in Japan is 82.6. In Iceland, it is 81.8. In Spain, it is 80.9, in Britain, it is 79.4, and in the U.S., it is 78.2.

Yet such is the depth of pessimism today that even mankind’s successful delaying of the Grim Reaper’s visit is seen as a Bad Thing. It has led to an “aging crisis,” we are told, or an “aging timebomb,” whereby Western societies will soon be packed with sick, feeble old people who drain social and economic resources. This is a mean-spirited and inaccurate generalization, says Ridley. For example, one American study found that disability rates in people over 65 fell from 26.2 percent to 19.7 percent between 1982 and 1999. The risk of cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease still increases with age, but these illnesses now occur later in life—on average ten years later than they did in the 1950s—and they are not as necessarily fatal as they once were.

We are wealthier than ever before, too. “Stuff” might be a dirty word these days. Oprah Winfrey, billionaire, even talks about the disease of “stuff-itis.” But this stuff has made our lives more pleasant and fun. Even the poor have benefited. In 1958, when J.K. Galbraith wrote about “the affluent society,” he was mainly talking about the American middle classes with their cars, washing machines, maybe even TVs. Today, Ridley points out, among Americans officially designated as “poor,” 99 percent have electricity, running water, and a fridge; 95 percent have a television; 71 percent have a car; and 70 percent have air conditioning.

Some people—usually well-off commentators, people like Oprah—scoff at the little guy’s desire for more and more stuff. Yet we underestimate how these things have improved human life. How much backbreaking female drudgery was wiped out by the invention of the washing machine? How many man-hours have been saved by the availability of cars for shopping, school-drops, and visiting relatives? How much healthier is our food, and longer-lasting, now that virtually everyone in the Western world has a refrigerator?

But, say the pessimists, these leaps forward have come at a high price: human happiness and environmental integrity. A “small cottage industry” of intellectuals now warns that increased wealth is making us sad and even sick, says Ridley. And today’s veritable army of Green activists never tires of telling us that we have raped Gaia and polluted the planet through our creation of this stuff that we’re all so desperate to get our grubby hands on.

Ridley convincingly argues that both camps are wrong. With academic rigor, he picks apart the studies upon which the “affluenza” theories are based, with their small samples and contradictory findings, and cites larger, more thoroughly critical studies into wealth and happiness. He concludes, “All told, [there appears to be] an important relationship between economic growth and growth in subjective wellbeing.”

In short, being better off does, generally speaking, make us happier. And, says Ridley, while the environment might be taking some serious body-blows in China right now, in the longer developed West, it is improving. “In Europe and America, rivers, lakes, seas, and the air are getting cleaner all the time. ... American carbon monoxide emissions from transport are down 75 per cent in twenty-five years.” And so on. The more developed a society is, the more resources that can be devoted to cleaning up the environment. Once China and India reach the West’s level of development, the better their air and water quality will become.

But what about those developing nations and the not-even-remotely developing nations in Africa—life hasn’t improved very much for them, has it? In fact, says Ridley, there has been improvement—not enough, but improvement nonetheless. Even in urban China, “90 percent of people now have electric light, refrigerators, and running water.” Today, life expectancy in India is 69.89—still way too low for the liking of anyone who considers himself a humanist, but better than the brutish, desperately short lives that many Indians lived a century or two ago.

And Africa? Ridley admits that for the “rational optimist,” African poverty is an “acute challenge.” So, he says, is climate change. But contemporary pessimism, with its profound disdain for the gains of human history, is possibly the biggest barrier to facing these challenges and overcoming them. He passionately argues that while aid has brought some benefits to Africa, it cannot possibly “start or accelerate economic growth”—and what Africa really needs is “better living standards, and these come chiefly from economic growth.”

Yet today’s intellectual outlook is so hostile to growth that few would dream of arguing for industrial revolutions and economic breakthroughs in Africa, even those are the very things it needs if it is to become “more like us.” Likewise, the challenge of climate change requires more and better technology in order to offset those aspects of human behavior that have a polluting impact on the environment. Yet contemporary curmudgeons have a powerful anti-technology streak, which means that those wringing their hands over climate change are also likely to say dismiss techno-solutions.

Ridley’s important book shoots down the culture of doom that stands in such stark contrast to the generally optimistic arc of human history. Indeed, the biggest block to progress today might just be pessimism itself—the fashionable, self-indulgent, misanthropic mindset of the comfortable opinion-forming classes of the West.


Green protectionist folly

Labor, business, environmentalist alliance sneaks in new trade barriers

Under environmental disguises, industry and labor unions are running parallel campaigns with environmentalists seeking to roll back free trade. For years, "green" groups have been pushing for environmental trade restrictions in developed countries such as the United States. Carbon tariffs, forestry import bans and certification requirements on the origin of products have become regular fixtures of environmentalists' demands.

Now their cause is being adopted increasingly by labor unions, which have found environmentalism a back door for protecting their members' jobs from competition, and by industry, which has found them a way to cut import competition to help make a buck.

A regular player is the Blue Green Alliance: a collusion of labor unions - from steelworkers to service-sector employees - and green groups such as the Sierra Club. They're pushing for government support to create "green" jobs by stopping forestry imports. They're also becoming particularly activist. This week, Blue Green launched a 17-state tour from California, arguing "The Job's Not Done" to push for the greater adoption of renewable-products and climate-change legislation. But the snag is that the groups also want carbon tariffs introduced.

Regardless of progress with government, green groups are pushing their agenda down the business supply chain. They pushed the office-supply retailer Staples to introduce a "sustainable paper" procurement policy that highlights the campaigns of the World Wildlife Fund and the Rainforest Alliance and sets tight restrictions on where paper products can be sourced and on certification requirements. Office Max has signed on as a member of green groups such as Greenpeace and the Rainforest Alliance and also requires certification of its paper products.

Not that industry's hands are clean.

Despite protests on the impact of imports from China on its industry, the paper giant Kimberly-Clark "has announced that they will expand their manufacturing facilities in China," according to a briefing paper from the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute, "No Paper Tiger." Yet in Australia, Kimberly-Clark's subsidiary KCA has taken the Australian government to court to force the introduction of green-trade restrictions on imports from Indonesia and China.

They're trying to have it both ways.

There is a reason to believe the greens, labor unions and industry converted to the green cause are starting to get the ears of lawmakers. In 2008, campaigns to amend the Lacey Act, requiring obligations on importers to identify the source of wood products, succeeded. Since then, the Obama administration has shown sympathy for going further.

Now the Australian equivalents are working in tandem to replicate U.S. groups' Lacey Act success through the Labor government. Before the last federal election, the forestry union donated $25,000 to the Labor Party around the same time the party committed to "greater policing and enforcement of an effective national ban on the sale of illegally logged timber imports."

The Labor government is seeking re-election, and the minister for forestry, Tony Burke, announced this week that he would implement trade bans and heavy regulation on timber imports if re-elected. Following his announcement, industry, unions and green groups all rushed in with applause and called for the minority Liberal Party to announce the same commitment.

In pushing its campaign, the forestry union argued openly for consumers to buy Australian-made paper products "[so] thousands of Australian workers [are] paid properly [and] more of your money stays in Australia."

But green protectionism will come with heavy costs.

If green trade barriers are erected to limit imports from high-growth, developing-country markets, the loss of consumer markets will also diminish their attractiveness as investment destinations for developed-country capital. The risk of escalation also exists, with developing countries seeking avenues to retaliate against developed-country exports.

Then there's the impact on consumers.

Australian Customs concluded that the downward pressure from Indonesian and Chinese products could cut prices between 5 percent and 42 percent. Such downward pressure isn't good for companies seeking fat profits - but it is good for everyone who needs to buy paper. Similar downward price pressure is likely in the United States.

But if green groups, labor unions and industry have their way, their green regulation won't be designed to make prices cheaper. It will be designed to make you pay more.


Wood to Coal to Oil to Natural Gas and Nuclear: The Slow Pace of Energy Transitions

In the wake of the Macondo well blowout, we are hearing renewed claims that we must quit using oil, that we must win “the oil end game.” In addition, there are the continuing calls for drastic reductions in carbon-based fuel consumption, and those calls are being amplified thanks to the drought and record-setting heat that has affected parts of the globe in recent weeks.

Those calls may be heartening to some of the true believers that oil is bad, coal is bad, and natural gas is only slightly less bad. But here’s the reality: energy transitions are protracted affairs, occurring over decades, or even centuries. [...]

The transition away from oil, coal, and natural gas will be a decades-long process because the companies that produce those commodities are getting ever-better at finding and exploiting them. The oil and gas industry provides a clear example of this. For about a century, analysts have been forecasting an end to the supply of petroleum. And they have consistently been proven wrong. Why? Because the companies that produce oil and gas continue innovating.

While environmental groups and energy analysts publicize the inventiveness of entrepreneurs working to improve wind, solar, and other alternative sources of energy, they seldom mention the ongoing innovations that are occurring on the hydrocarbon side of the ledger. And in doing so, they frequently forget the sheer size of the industry that is constantly searching for techniques that can get oil and gas out of the ground and do so faster and cheaper. [...]

While the oil and gas industry continues to improve the techniques that allow companies to drill wells deeper, faster, with greater precision, at ever-lower costs, the coal industry continues to show its resilience. Although oil passed coal as the most important source of US energy back in 1950, coal hasn’t gone away. In fact over the past few years, thanks to soaring global demand for electricity, coal has enjoyed a resurgence. Although we now live in the Age of Oil, the Age of Coal hasn’t yet passed. The reason for coal’s enduring popularity is that it provides huge quantities of the essential commodity of modernity: electricity.

Over the past two decades, global electricity consumption has grown faster than any other type of energy use. Since 1990, electricity use has increased about three times as fast as oil consumption. In their thoughtful 2005 book, The Bottomless Well, Peter Huber and Mark Mills declare that “Economic growth marches hand in hand with increased consumption of electricity – always, everywhere, without significant exception in the annals of modern industrial history.”(18)

Electricity is the energy commodity that separates the developed countries from the rest. Countries that can provide cheap and reliable electric power to their citizens can grow their economies and create wealth. Those that can’t, can’t. The essentiality of electricity takes us back to coal. Love it or hate it, coal provides the cheapest option for electricity generation in dozens of countries around the world. In heavily populated developing countries like China, India, and Indonesia – all of which have large coal deposits – the need for increased electric generation capacity is acute. And those countries (India and China in particular) will continue using coal until they can ramp up their nuclear power sectors.

So, yes, the calls to move away from carbon-based fuels are loud and frequent. But facts are better than dreams. And a look back at history shows that coal, oil, and natural gas are going to be with us for a long time to come.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


19 August, 2010

One Of Our Hemispheres Is Missing!

The earth’s southern hemisphere is now in the winter season, and it is proving to be a severe one. There have been many deaths of people, animals, fish, and crops. But you haven’t heard about that from the northern hemisphere media.

As far as the media is concerned, there is no southern hemisphere. All the media coverage is about fires in Russia, Arctic ice melting, glaciers calving icebergs, heat waves on the U. S. east coast, and other “weather” occurrences up north. So let me bring you up to date on the highlights from down south.

June 17, 2010, “500 African penguins freeze to death in South Africa”.“Nearly 500 rare African Penguins have died in the past 24 hours as a result of extremely cold weather in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.” Here

July 19, 2010, “South Africa, Freezing Cold destroys several 100 (sic) Solar Thermal Systems”. Here

August 5, 2010, “Snow in Brazil, below zero Celsius in the River Plate and tropical fish frozen”. Here.

August 6, 2010, “Chilly in Chile: South America Hit by Cold Snap”. Here, Here, and Here

Temperatures in eastern Bolivia fell to 0 Celsius. Fish in rivers that normally flow at 20 C froze to death in water temperatures down to 6 C. Millions of fish, turtles, reptiles, and birds have died, the river waters are undrinkable, and the government closed them to fishing for at least a year. Normally these winter cold snaps last for a few days at a time. This “Surazos” (a cold wind from Argentina) lasted for 8 days.

The total death toll among people and animals across Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Brazil is rising. A meter of snow across Patagonia and along the Andes is hampering communications. Many people have died across southern South America, and the livestock toll is in the millions. True numbers won’t be known until the snow melts.

Citrus and avocado crops in Chile have been damaged by frosts, and fruit exports may be reduced by 40%.

August 9, 2010, “Australians shiver through the coldest winter morning in 30 years.”

“Sydney was blanketed in frost on Wednesday as the city shivered through the coldest June morning in nearly 30 years, with temperatures at just 4C (39F).” Here

Meanwhile, the Southern Ocean ice cover is 1.3 million square kilometers above the mean value (1979 to 2008, since measurements began), and growing. This balances out the Arctic ice cover, giving us a global ice cover of almost 20 million square kilometers. See WUWT Ice Page Here.

These reports are from local sources. The mainstream media rule seems to be “If it doesn’t support our agenda, don’t report it.” For their practical purposes, the globe stops at the equator. Not only do they shut out scientific dissent, but also the cold hard facts from half the globe.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

America’s New Coal Boom -- in spite of the Greenies

Utilities across the USA are building dozens of old-style coal plants that will cement the industry's standing as the largest industrial source of climate-changing gases for years to come. An Associated Press examination of U.S. Department of Energy records and information provided by utilities and trade groups shows that more than 30 traditional coal plants have been built since 2008 or are under construction.

The construction wave stretches from Arizona to Illinois and South Carolina to Washington, and comes despite growing public wariness over the high environmental and social costs of fossil fuels, demonstrated by tragic mine disasters in West Virginia, the Gulf oil spill and wars in the Middle East.

The expansion, the industry's largest in two decades, represents an acknowledgment that highly touted "clean coal" technology is still a long ways from becoming a reality and underscores a renewed confidence among utilities that proposals to regulate carbon emissions will fail. The Senate last month scrapped the leading bill to curb carbon emissions following opposition from Republicans and coal-state Democrats.

"Building a coal-fired power plant today is betting that we are not going to put a serious financial cost on emitting carbon dioxide," said Severin Borenstein, director of the Energy Institute at the University of California-Berkeley. "That may be true, but unless most of the scientists are way off the mark, that's pretty bad public policy."

Federal officials have long struggled to balance coal's hidden costs against its more conspicuous role in providing half the nation's electricity.

Hoping for a technological solution, the Obama administration devoted $3.4 billion in stimulus spending to foster "clean-coal" plants that can capture and store greenhouse gases. Yet new investments in traditional coal plants total at least 10 times that amount — more than $35 billion.

Utilities say they are clinging to coal because its abundance makes it cheaper than natural gas or nuclear power and more reliable than intermittent power sources such as wind and solar. Still, the price of coal plants is rising and consumers in some areas served by the new facilities will see their electricity bill rise by up to 30 percent.

Industry representatives say those increases would be even steeper if utilities switched to more expensive fuels or were forced to adopt emission-reduction measures.

Approval of the plants has come from state and federal agencies that do not factor in emissions of carbon dioxide, considered the leading culprit behind global warming. Scientists and environmentalists have tried to stop the coal rush with some success, turning back dozens of plants through lawsuits and other legal challenges.

As a result, current construction is far more modest than projected a few years ago when 151 new plants were forecast by federal regulators. But analysts say the projects that prevailed are more than enough to ensure coal's continued dominance in the power industry for years to come.

Sixteen large plants have fired up since 2008 and 16 more are under construction, according to records examined by the AP. Combined, they will produce an estimated 17,900 megawatts of electricity, sufficient to power up to 15.6 million homes — roughly the number of homes in California and Arizona combined.


U.S. Elections: Republican Candidates Knock Global Warming

Fueled by anti-Obama rhetoric and news articles purportedly showing scientists manipulating their own data, Republicans running for the House, Senate and governor’s mansions have gotten bolder in stating their doubts over the well-established link between man-made greenhouse gas emissions and global warming.

GOP climate skeptics have held powerful positions on Capitol Hill in recent years, including the chairmanship of the House Energy and Senate Environment panels. But they’ve typically been among the minority. Now, they could form a key voting bloc, adding insult to injury for climate advocates who failed to pass an energy bill this year.

Environmental groups fear that adding more voices to the skeptic camp could further polarize the debate and make it more difficult at all levels of government to pass legislation curbing carbon dioxide emissions, especially if coupled with the defeat of standard-bearers such as Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

Ron Johnson, running against Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold (D), is the latest in a line of Republicans to take a shot at the validity of global warming. “I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change," Johnson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday. "It's not proven by any stretch of the imagination."

Johnson told the newspaper that the climate change theory was “lunacy” and blamed changes in the Earth’s temperature to “sunspot activity or just something in the geologic eons of time."

Similar remarks have been heard from GOP candidates in all parts of the country even as mainstream climate scientists defend their work from a steady line of attack.

Four independent reviews have concluded that the so-called “Climategate” e-mails stolen last fall from a United Kingdom research unit showed nothing more than a frank discussion (sic) among scientists working through large and complicated sets of data. And while the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has admitted it erred in its 2007 report by citing a report concluding Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035, the Nobel Prize-winning U.N. organization said the mistake didn’t undermine its larger body of work.

Former Republican Rep. Steve Pearce, running for his old seat in southern New Mexico, told POLITICO that climate scientists should be questioned more thoroughly because of the stolen e-mails. “I think we ought to take a look at whatever the group is that measures all this, the IPCC, they don’t even believe the crap,” Pearce said in Artesia, N.M. “They’re the ones who say in the e-mails we’ve got to worry about this, keep these voices quiet. If they don’t believe it, why should the rest of be penalized in our standard of living for something that can’t be validated?”

Sharron Angle, the GOP opponent for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, said on her website in June that she thought legislation to curb greenhouse gases “is based on an unscientific hysteria over the man-caused global warming hoax.”


Australian conservative leader still doubts planet is getting hotter

TONY ABBOTT has restated his sceptical views on climate change, and suggested the world may be getting cooler, as the Australian Academy of Science released a new report warning of the future impact of global warming.

The Opposition Leader said he accepted "that climate change is real", but he did not back away from his view, based in part on the work of the Australian climate sceptic Ian Plimer, that the world is getting colder.

Asked by the ABC's Four Corners if he still disputed that humans are responsible for climate change, Mr Abbott said: "Sure, but that's not really relevant at the moment. We have agreed to get a 5 per cent emissions reduction target."

He suggested he harboured doubts about the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations body charged with collating global warming research.

"I certainly think that there is a credible scientific counterpoint but, in the end, I'm not going to win an argument over the science, I'll leave that to the scientists," he told Four Corners. "I have pointed out in the past that there was that high year a few years ago, and … if you believe the various measuring organisations, [the temperature] hasn't increased, but again the point is not the science, the point is how should government respond and we have a credible response that will achieve a 5 per cent reduction by 2020 and the government doesn't."

Mr Abbott was referring to global temperatures in 1998, which coincided with a heat-inducing El Nino cycle, and by some measures was slightly hotter than 2005.

Neither the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, nor Mr Abbott, could say when Australia's greenhouse gas emissions needed to peak if the country was to achieve its minimum agreed emissions cut of 5 per cent by 2020.

The Coalition has pledged to meet the commitment principally by paying farmers to absorb more carbon dioxide into the soil, though it insists that its payments do not constitute a "carbon price".

The Labor Party will also attempt to soak up more carbon in the soil, but says its preferred mechanism for cutting emissions is still an emissions trading scheme, which it will consider introducing in 2013.

The renewed argument over the science of climate change comes as a study of 300 federal, state and local government political leaders, by the University of Queensland, suggests sharp differences in beliefs and understanding around global warming between the Coalition and Labor parties.

Coalition MPs were less likely to believe climate change is happening, and showed less trust in scientists, although the results reflected only those who decided to take part in the survey. Forty-one federal MPs, 101 state MPs and 69 local government representatives took part.

The results showed 38 per cent of Coalition politicians believed the world was getting warmer because of human-induced carbon emissions, compared with 57 per cent of non-aligned politicians, 89 per cent of Labor politicians and 98 per cent of Greens.

"This difference is unlikely to have occurred by chance," said Dr Kelly Fielding, of the university's Institute for Social Science. "What it shows is that a much higher proportion of Liberal-National politicians are uncertain in their views, whereas on average the Labor politicians are more likely to agree with the statements made by scientists."



Four current articles below:

Australia's Green party is far-Leftist

The big parties' panicked abandonment of climate change has effortlessly transformed the Greens. They are now two days from winning more power than they've ever dreamed of.

The Greens are almost certain to win the balance of power in the Senate for the first time. This will make them the arbiter of any legislative disagreement between Labor and Liberal and put them in a prize negotiating position.

And the betting markets make the Greens favourite to win their first seat in the House of Representatives on Saturday, giving them power to propose laws.

This is the Greens' big chance to go from fringe to mainstream. So what is Brown's vision? The Greens have policies on a great deal more than climate change.

Their tax policy, for instance, prefers less tax from the GST and more from income taxes. Specifically, it commits the party to raising the top income tax rate from 45 per cent to 50 per cent. And it demands company tax rise from 30 per cent to 33 per cent.

Would Brown actively pursue these proposals, or are they dead letters, like Labor's long-ignored platform to socialise industry?

Brown not only vigorously advanced the case for "a much more equitable tax system" yesterday, he also pledged a cap on executive salaries of $5 million. And he promised to force a future Labor government to extract an extra $2 billion in mining taxes to pay for education.

The Greens, in other words, are unabashedly advocating a greater redistribution of income. As opposition parties sniff power, they usually soften radical policies and become more centrist. Not the Greens.

Brown said he would "look at the imbalance in our trade agreements". He attacked the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement and signalled hostility to the agreements Australia is negotiating with Japan and China.

The Greens support Labor's broadband network, but want to go further. Where Labor will build the network, then privatise it within five years, the Greens will seek to keep it in state ownership permanently.

Taken together, the Greens are bringing alive the old Labor commitment to redistributive socialism. And yesterday Brown said it was actually redistribution of wealth - not climate science - that was the reason he helped block the Rudd government's emissions trading scheme.

He helped defeat Australia's only realistic attempt at an ETS, he said, because Rudd's proposed compensation for carbon emitters, "the biggest polluters," was too much.

The Greens are often accused of being a watermelon party - green on the outside but a socialist red in the middle. Not true. The party's leader showed yesterday that it's actually more like a tomato, red not just on the outside but all the way to the centre.


Felled by an invidious green plot

"The conscience-less dishonesty of the green movement"

This is the chilling story of how green activists targeted and finally brought down John Gay, the visionary former chairman of the Tasmanian timber company Gunns, damaged the company and helped wreck the state economy.

It contains a clear warning for the rest of Australia of what lies in wait as emboldened environmental activists move on to new bogus campaigns against their next targets: the "wild rivers" of Cape York at the expense of indigenous enterprise, the fishing industry, farming or, catastrophically, the coal industry.

In Gay's downfall is everything you need to know about the conscience-less dishonesty of the green movement, and how its war on progress is camouflaged as concern for nature.

"I'm not bitter with the company," says Gay, who resigned in May. "I had to leave Gunns because the institutional investors were targeted by the greens and kept pressuring me to resign, and I just wasn't prepared to put my wife and two kids through any more [of the] thuggery in the green movement. They've damaged Tasmania and did their best to damage my credibility."

The third-generation Tasmanian sawmiller left school at 15 to work with his father, before building his own sawmill and being headhunted at 28 by Gunns, a family-owned timber milling and hardware store business in Launceston then turning over about $10 million a year. He became the managing director, transforming Gunns into a top 50 company with a market capitalisation of $900 million by 2003, when it was one of the best-performing companies on the stock exchange.

Gay bought the company back from the multinational Rio Tinto, becoming a hero of the working people of Tasmania.

But the international green movement and the Australian Wilderness Society fought a relentless campaign to bring the company to its knees and destroy Gay. They let loose violent feral protesters who chained themselves to trees and sabotaged logging equipment; protesters with placards picketed the ANZ Bank, which had undertaken to finance Gay's proposal for a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley, but pulled out at the last minute.

And they had environmentalists in suits successfully traduce Gay to cowardly institutional investors who earlier this year dumped Gunn's shares, halving the value of the company in a week.

Greenies in suits also went to Japan, destroying Gunn's markets for its woodchips, threatening - in an oh-so-reasonable way - companies which used pulp sourced from Tasmania's forests to make paper. Afraid their brands would be trashed, Gunns' Japanese customers dropped Tasmania like a hot potato.

Then there was the personal vilification. Gay describes it as "torture" for his wife, Erica, and adult son and daughter, with his home under assault two or three nights a week for years - from smoke bombs under the house, stink bombs at the front door, dead possums in the yard, people rattling the gates late at night and screaming abuse from the street. His wife was spat at in the supermarket and the Tasmanian media sat on the fence as a good man's reputation was destroyed. "My wife and kids were tormented … I had to put in a security system so my wife could feel safe," he says.

Today Gay will say nothing bad about Gunns. But he must view with dismay what has happened since he left, with its wineries and hardware stores sold off at rock-bottom prices, and its capitulation to the green movement.

Like any quasi-religious force, the environmentalists needed an arcadia to save and a demon to fight. The cute island state and the "rapacious logger" fitted the bill. Gay was a godsend to them. An unreconstructed working man, who never completed high school and believed in honest work and fair play, he saw the world as rational and straightforward, rather than an insane place of spin, mirage and hidden agendas.

His friend of 45 years, and a former director of Gunns and former Liberal premier of Tasmania, Robin Gray, says: "John is a very, very decent bloke, very generous, but he's been painted as a dreadful uncaring person. "People who should know better were influenced … by green activists … who went to the chief executive of the ANZ Bank, which had given commitments to fund the pulp mill … The movement against him finally cost him his job."

The former premier Paul Lennon says the Tasmanian economy is "under extreme stress, the timber industry is on its knees". "Unemployment in Tasmania is 6.3 per cent. When I was in politics two years ago, it was 4 per cent. And we were one of the fastest-growing places in the country, but Tasmania is small and vulnerable to big shocks. We need projects like the pulp mill to underpin the economy."

Lennon blames the then environment minister, Malcolm Turnbull, for "sitting on his hands" over approval for the pulp mill before the 2007 election, under the onslaught of a campaign in his eastern suburbs Sydney seat of Wentworth by the businessman Geoffrey Cousins, who appeared out of nowhere to wage a virulent campaign against the mill. The delay, Lennon says, stopped the pulp mill in its tracks. Gunns is now in closed-door negotiations with the Wilderness Society over whether it will be allowed to continue with the mill.

"Who is actually going to believe that environmental management is going to be better in Indonesia or Malaysia," Lennon says. The campaign "exposes the real agenda of Greens". "The Greens believe in shrinking the economy. We've found in Tasmania [that] they always find a way to oppose projects - they always try to slow down growth."

One Tasmanian political insider says Gay's failure was that he was "out of touch with the way to operate a modern business". "He's a lovely bloke but he didn't have the skills or the layers of bureaucracy, or the PR people you need to manage the campaign for the pulp mill.

"He just thought a pulp mill was a good idea for Tasmania. It would create jobs, and he was going to build the best, most environmentally friendly one in the world. He couldn't understand why people were putting obstacles in his path."

Gay thought truth would win out. Now he lies in bed at night and worries about the logging contractors he couldn't save, who borrowed money to buy equipment and have lost their livelihood.

Gay refused to kowtow to irrational green bullying, and his demise stands as an object lesson.

What the green movement has done to Tasmania's timber industry, it will do to the rest of the country. Those purported 13 per cent of people planning to vote for the Greens on Saturday had better understand exactly what they are voting for. It's not about saving trees. It's about "moving backwards" to the dark ages.


Push to silence the Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney after his criticism of Greenies

If a leading churchman cannot offer an interpretation of his own church's doctrine, we are back in Tudor times

The recent stoush [metaphorical punchup] between Cardinal George Pell and the Australian Greens prompts the question “Where is the Australian Tax Office when you need them?” According to Derek Mortimer, principal of DF Mortimer & Associates, a boutique law firm working exclusively for Not for Profit organisations, if the ATO cannot effectively monitor and regulate charities, it fails them.

Currently the ATO serves as a de facto regulator of charities. Through its tax ruling system, churches and other charities are prohibited by the ATO from engaging in party political activities like encouraging the public to vote against a particular party. There is a good reason for this prohibition. Charities need to keep their independence. The values and policies of political parties and charities can align sometimes, but not always.

Charities that take political sides can find their values compromised. In my opinion, this has happened to Cardinal Pell and the church he represents. In apparent defiance of the ATO’s own tax rulings Cardinal Pell is reported as saying the Greens are “anti-Christian”. But as the Greens have pointed out, at least some of their values and policies align squarely with Christians.

There appears to be no immediate, public effort by the ATO to restrain Cardinal Pell from making party political statements. Perhaps it is unreasonable to expect the ATO to do so. Yet the ATO has been travelling through the court system against a self described “activist” organisation called “Aid/Watch Incorporated”. The ATO says this organisation has a political purpose and cannot be charitable. The High Court heard the case in June and judgment will be handed down later this year. The independence of the ATO becomes compromised where it acts against one charitable organisation but does not appear to act against another.

Nor does the ATO have a formal complaints process for the public to complain about a charity’s apparent breach of tax rulings.

In Britain a member of the public can lodge a complaint about a charity engaging in party political activities with the independent charity regulator, the Charity Commission. The Commission may send the charity a warning letter (in the nature of a gentle reminder of obligations) and can also commence a more formal regulatory case report and in worse cases, revoke charity registration and consequent fiscal privileges . The Commission has been publicly active in the lead up to the recent British general elections, to investigate and rule on complaints about charities engaging in party political activities.

In January this year the Productivity Commission restated what the Australian charity sector has for many years been calling for; some form of charity regulator independent from the ATO. The ATO provides many useful services to charities, but if the ATO cannot effectively monitor and regulate charities, it fails them.


Despite the Greenies, large houses make sense

If the Greenies dropped their objection to "sprawl", their insistence on "dumb growth" and their opposition to land use changes, it might be different

ONE of the current social themes is that the consumer is to blame for wanting a big home. The new social order - excuse me if I get on my hobby horse for a second or two - wants us to buy something smaller and magically make our housing problems disappear.

Sadly, too few of those who clog up the blogosphere with urban commentary understand the economics of new housing or the decision-making process of a rational buyer.

Recent statistics published by CommSec show that Australia has the largest homes in the world, with the average floor area of a new dwelling (including townhouses but excluding apartments) topping 214sq m, up from 150sq m just 25 years ago.

The average floor area of new free-standing houses also set a record at 245sq m. Our homes are much larger than those in Europe and even many American cities.

Why has this occurred? It is simply economics. The actual land component of a new house-and-land package is very high and fixed. The land usually costs two-thirds of the total purchase price. This is particularly the case for basic or entry level new housing.

For example, the land component of a basic $375,000 house-and-land package in Queensland could cost as much as $250,000. In contrast, a 150sq m three-bedroom base level house on that land would cost about $135,000 or about $2500/sq m as a total price (including the price of the land).

Now a larger 250sq m four-bedroom house with a study might cost $175,000, making the total package cost $425,000. The buyer gets 100sq m of extra house for just $50,000 more. The total end price per square metre has now dropped to $1700, or 30 per cent less.

Here is the real rub. Assuming that the buyer can afford to pay the extra deposit and fund a $425,000 house-and-land package, all it costs - assuming a 10 per cent deposit and using today's rates - is an extra $10 a day in mortgage payments.

The new home buyer can now own a home that is two-thirds larger for just $70 a week. To upsize the house, as outlined in the example above, would cost the buyer an extra $3640 a year.

Given the high cost of land in and around our capital cities, the trend towards larger new homes makes economic sense. Consumers are just acting in their own interests and are making rational decisions to choose a larger and more valuable home for what is a small additional out-of-pocket expense.

Unless there are real economies in the land content, for example a plentiful supply of subdivided land to keep land prices keen, building a small house on a more traditional-sized suburban block of land is often not the best value for money.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


18 August, 2010

Paper: Sea Level Rise Not Accelerating

A paper published yesterday in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, confirms other studies of tide gauge records which show that there has been no statistically significant acceleration in sea level rise over the past 100+ years, in contrast to statements of the IPCC and Al Gore. Sea levels have been rising naturally since the peak of the last major ice age 20,000 years ago, and the rate of rise began to decelerate about 8,000 years ago:

Reconstruction of regional mean sea level anomalies from tide gauges using neural networks

Authors: Manfred Wenzel, Jens Schrter

The 20th century regional and global sea level variations are estimated based on long-term tide gauge records. For this the neural network technique is utilized that connects the coastal sea level with the regional and global mean via a nonlinear empirical relationship. Two major difficulties are overcome this way: the vertical movement of tide gauges over time and the problem of what weighting function to choose for each individual tide gauge record. Neural networks are also used to fill data gaps in the tide gauge records, which is a prerequisite for our analysis technique. A suite of different gap-filling strategies is tested which provides information about stability and variance of the results.

The global mean sea level for the period January 1900 to December 2006 is estimated to rise at a rate of 1.56 0.25 mm/yr which is reasonably consistent with earlier estimates, but we do not find significant acceleration.

The regional mean sea level of the single ocean basins show mixed long-term behavior. While most of the basins show a sea level rise of varying strength there is an indication for a mean sea level fall in the southern Indian Ocean. Also for the the tropical Indian and the South Atlantic no significant trend can be detected. Nevertheless, the South Atlantic as well as the tropical Atlantic are the only basins that show significant acceleration. On shorter timescales, but longer than the annual cycle, the basins sea level are dominated by oscillations with periods of about 50–75 years and of about 25 years. Consequently, we find high (lagged) correlations between the single basins.

Note: The 1.56 mm/yr non-accelerating rate of sea level rise would result in sea levels 6 inches higher than the present in 100 years. The oscillations noted in this study correspond to the typical full and half-cycle lengths of the natural Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the natural 60-year climate cycle. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation warm phase has been shown to produce a marked temporary rise in global mean sea levels.


'Big Solar' Struggles To Find Home In California

Once again, there's no such thing as a happy Greenie

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has set an ambitious plan that requires a third of the state's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020. But a fight over where to build large clean-energy projects is slowing the green revolution.

One of these battlegrounds is Panoche Valley, ringed by rolling, scrub-covered hills. Located in California's rural San Benito County, the area was used mostly for cattle grazing, and it has escaped the notice of many Californians. Until now.

Michael Peterson, CEO of Solargen Energy, was drawn to this slice of Central Valley ranchland because it gets almost as much sun as the scorching Mojave Desert. This valley seemed less controversial than the Mojave, which has become a nightmare for many solar entrepreneurs because of its protected national monuments and desert tortoises. For Peterson, the Panoche Valley seems perfect for large solar projects.

"When we had an engineer come who'd built a lot of different solar [projects] around [the region], we took him down to the property. And his comment was, 'Wow. God made this to be a solar farm,' " Peterson says, laughing.

Peterson wants to build one of the nation's biggest solar facilities of its kind. It would power about 120,000 homes. Another benefit of the project: Huge transmission lines already run right through Panoche Valley, making it unnecessary to build costly new power lines.

"It's key. It's everything," he says. "If you don't have it, the land is only as good as the ability to connect to the power."
More In The Series

So far, five cattle ranchers have agreed to sell their land to Peterson's company, but not everyone thinks Solargen's plan is such a green idea.

"They would like to build an industrial project that extends the entire length of the valley," says Kim Williams, who moved to the Panoche Valley about four years ago to run an organic egg business called Your Family Farm. "Once you take the vegetation off the soil, the high winds are just going to be whipping up the topsoil and creating dust."

Williams is among several critics, including local chapters of the Audubon Society, that say the project would ruin the character of the valley and harm wildlife. Hints of lawsuits and requests to extend the environmental review process by some of these critics have slowed down Solargen's application.

It turns out this valley floor is teaming with creatures — some of them, like the blunt-nosed leopard lizard, are endangered. Solargen's investors have spent more than $7 million gathering information for a required environmental impact report. They have hired more than 20 biologists to conduct wildlife surveys.

Mike Westphal, an ecologist for the Bureau of Land Management, gives a brief overview of the Panoche Valley site and proposed plans for a solar farm.

Solargen has offered to buy another 11,000 acres adjacent to the proposed solar array. The idea is that animals, threatened by the project, could relocate to this land. But critics like Williams don't buy that argument. "It would be impossible to ask the animals living on the floor to just move," Williams says.

Time Running Out

Similar debates over land use are playing out across California, and that has created a juggernaut of big solar and wind proposals — more than 200 are waiting approval. Michael Picker, the governor's renewable energy adviser, is trying to hurry the process in order to obtain billions of dollars in subsidies.

"Everybody wanted to step up the pace in order to capture these federal stimulus dollars and to leverage the private investment from banks and from other kinds of investment," he says. But time is running out — to qualify, projects must break ground before the end of this year.


Britain's green taxes could treble by 2020, costing taxpayers more than 16billion a year

Taxes to pay for contentious climate change policies are set to treble over the next decade, soaring to more than 16billion a year. The hike is the equivalent of 4p on the current rate of income tax, a report from think tank Policy Exchange claimed.

By 2020 the tax take from green levies will be roughly equivalent to total public spending in England on both the police and fire services, the figures show.

Householders will pay 4.3billion in taxes on their energy bills by 2015 – more than double the 2billion they will pay this year. This will soar to 6.4billion by 2020, or around 280 for every household.

Firms will also be hit hard, with energy prices rising from 3.7billion to 9.9billion in the next decade.

The think tank warned that poorer households tended to spend more on energy so would have more of their meagre income swallowed up by taxes levied on household bills.

The policies which are driving up tax are intended to support either carbon emissions reduction or the promotion of renewable energy.

But the report argues many of them do little to curb global warming because they pay householders to produce power uneconomically through technologies such as solar panels.

Policy Exchange’s head of environment and energy, Dr Simon Less, said: ‘Climate policies need to be much more cost-effective, to maximise the impact of available resources on carbon reduction.’

A Department for Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: ‘We need an energy mix which is as affordable as possible for householders and avoids the UK becoming dependant on imports and volatile fossil fuel prices.’


More than half of Britain's wind farms have been built where there is not enough wind

It's not exactly rocket science – when building a wind farm, look for a site that is, well, quite windy. But more than half of Britain’s wind farms are operating at less than 25 per cent capacity. In England, the figure rises to 70 per cent of onshore developments, research shows.

Experts say that over-generous subsidies mean hundreds of turbines are going up on sites that are simply not breezy enough. Britain’s most feeble wind farm is in Blyth Harbour in Northumberland, where the nine turbines lining the East Pier reach a meagre 4.9 per cent of their capacity.

Another at Chelker reservoir in North Yorkshire operates at only 5.3 per cent of its potential, the analysis of 2009 figures provided by energy regulator Ofgem found. The ten turbines at Burton Wold in Northamptonshire have been running for just three years, but achieved only 19 per cent capacity. Europe’s biggest wind farm, Whitelee, near Glasgow, boasts 140 turbines. But last year they ran at less than a quarter of their capacity.

The revelation that so many wind farms are under-performing will be of interest to those who argue that they are simply expensive eyesores.

Michael Jefferson, the professor of international business and sustainability who carried out the analysis, says financial incentives designed to help Britain meet green energy targets are encouraging firms to site their developments badly. Under the controversial Renewable Obligation scheme, British consumers pay 1billion a year in their fuel bills to subsidise the drive towards renewable energy.

Turbines operating well under capacity are still doing well out of the scheme, but Professor Jefferson, of the London Metropolitan Business School, wants the cash to be reserved for the windiest sites. He said: ‘There is a political motivation to drive non-fossil fuel energy, which I very much respect, but we need more focus.’

He suggests that the full subsidy be restricted to turbines which achieve capacity of 30 per cent or more – managed by just eight of England’s 104 on-shore wind farms last year. Those that fall below 25 per cent should not be eligible for any subsidy. Professor Jefferson said: ‘That would focus the mind to put them in a sensible place.’

Britain has 2,906 wind turbines spread over 264 sites. But a further 7,000 are planned for the next 12 years to meet European targets on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Nick Medic, of Renewable UK, which represents the wind industry, said talk of efficiency was ‘unhelpful’. He added: ‘Other types of energy, from hydro to nuclear, operate at 50 per cent efficiency at best due to factors including maintenance shut downs and fluctuating demands.’


180 degree turn: Now global warming causes FEWER hurricanes!

The plain fact is that it's all speculation

Recent research shows that the color of the ocean can have a big influence on the occurence of hurricanes -- the greener the ocean, the more hurricanes. And that's a good thing. The ocean's tint comes from the presence of chlorophyll, the green pigment in phytoplankton that helps the organisms convert sunlight into food, and thus forms the foundation of the oceanic food chain, as well as a prime environment for hurricanes. However, as we recently pointed out in another study, warming temperatures of the oceans are having a negative impact on phytoplankton populations, which have dropped 40% over the last 60 years. And that means fewer hurricanes as well.

According to a press release from the American Geophysical Union, "In a simulation of such a change [in color of the ocean] in one region of the North Pacific, the study finds that hurricane formation decreases by 70 percent. That would be a big drop for a region that accounts for more than half the world's reported hurricane-force winds."

Anand Gnanadesikan, a researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton, New Jersey, and his team are publishing the study in the next issue of Geophysical Research Letters. They describe how a decrease in chlorophyll concentration, and thus a drop in the greenish hue of the ocean, directly causes a drop in the formation of hurricanes in that area.

The discovery occurred when the team used computer simulations of real conditions of chlorophyll concentrations in the North Pacific, and simulations where chlorophyll concentrations in the subtropical gyre of the of the North Pacific were set to zero. They found that the absence of chlorophyll in the subtropical gyre modified air circulation and heat distribution patterns enough that hurricane formations were impacted. Outside the gyre, hurricanes increased by 20%, yet there was a 70% decrease in storms further north -- more hurricanes would hit the Philippines and Vietnam, but fewer would make landfall in South China and Japan.


Climate Change In Germany Has Become “A Loser Topic”

I couldn’t help but to relish the story that follows.

The German European Institute For Climate and Environment (EIKE) brings our attention to a report by the publicly funded NDR German television news show Panorama concerning the state of climate science and politics today in Germany. If you’re a climate activist, things just couldn’t be worse.

In summary the topic of climate change in Germany has gone far beyond its shelf-life. It is used up and no longer draws a bit of interest from the public. As the clip shows, the German public has grown tired of the constant barrage of climate alarmism, and is now ber-bored by it. Editors have since taken climate news off the front pages. The public doesn’t want to hear it anymore, editors fret.

At 0:36 of the clip, normal citizens are asked about climate change. The reaction: they couldn’t care less about it. Indeed some even say warmer is better. Climate change? No worries at all!

The depth of public apathy has left climate activists and experts like Professor doom & gloom Hans Joachim Schellnhuber frustrated, depressed and resigned. Schellnhuber at the 1:39 mark: "Just a few years ago it was so that when a meteorological extreme occurred, the phones would be ringing off the hook. Today hardly anyone calls; climate change has quasi become taboo."

Nobody wants to talk about it. And after the disaster that was Copenhagen, neither do the political leaders. In Schellnhuber’s view, the optimism in achieving a climate treaty is gone. That was clearly visible at the recent UN Climate Conference in Bonn. Says Karsten Sach, leader of the German negotiating delegation: "Everyone knows we’ve reached a dead-end".

The media has lost interest in reporting on the constant failure by policymakers. At the 3.56 mark, accompanied by gloomy music, a chart shows how the number of reports on climate change appearing in three major centre-left newspapers has dwindled. The hype is over. The public is fatigued, fed up, and disinterested.

Editor Dagmar Dehmer of Berlin’s Der Tagesspiegel says somberly: "Editors know the topic is important, but it’s not topic no. 1 at the moment. Climate is no longer on the front pages, and is not viewed as an earth-moving topic."

The video clip then moves to a car-tuning meet, where one auto-tuning enthusiast says: "Nobody cares about it".

And what about Chancellor Angela Merkel? Climate change has become a thorn in her side. She associates the issue with failure and hopelessness. Says Tagesspiegel editor Dagmar Dehmer at the 5:38 mark: "Climate change has become a loser topic. And Angela Merkel wants nothing to do with it".

Yet, Merkel’s minister of environment insists that climate change is an important topic for the future.

For the future, yes. But not for today. The report ends with relaxed vacationers chuckling when asked by the journalists about the threats of climate change.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


17 August, 2010

Warmists get it wrong again

Prominent Warmist "scientist" Mark Serreze stated: "As the climate warms, the summer melt season lengthens”. BUT:

Summer has come to a premature and frosty end at Santa’s workshop. It has been the coldest summer on record north of 80N, and temperatures have dropped below freezing ahead of the average date. The entire ice covered region is now below freezing.

It also appears that the summer melt season will be the shortest on record. The maximum was reached very late in March, and it appears likely that we are headed for an early minimum.

Mark Serreze at NSIDC has stated: "As the climate warms, the summer melt season lengthens …”. He was also reported as saying: "Mark Serreze of the center forecast the ice decline this year (2010) would even break 2007’s record."

Another interesting fact is that we are almost certain to see a large increase in the amount of multi-year ice (MYI) next year. The reason being that almost all of the 1-2 year old ice (turquoise) in the NSIDC map below will become classified as MYI next spring.

We have seen a remarkably rapid recovery from the 2008 low volume.

PIOMAS continues to report record low volumes of ice, despite all evidence to the contrary. The image below shows in red how far off the mark their August 15 forecast was. Their modeling error will get much worse over the next two weeks – because they model much of the thick multi-year ice in the Beaufort Sea and Arctic Basin as only a few tens of centimetres thick.

With the cold temperatures, ice area loss has almost stopped. However, ice extent continues to drop – because the Arctic Oscillation has turned negative and winds are compacting the ice towards the pole. This bodes well for continued growth of ice in 2011.

PIPS shows average ice thickness increasing, due to the compression of the ice.

There has not been a lot of ice loss during August. The modified NSIDC image below shows in red, areas that have lost ice since August 1. Note that the Greenland Sea appears to have lost ice. This is due to the fact that there has been very little transport out of the Arctic Basin through the Fram Strait, which again bodes well for ice gain in 2011.

The modified NSIDC image below shows ice gain since 2007.

NSIDC maps continue to show more gain (16%) than their graphs (10%.) I have not been able to get a satisfactory explanation from them about the cause of that discrepancy. DMI shows a 25% gain in 30% concentration ice over 2007.

Academic theories about the Northwest Passage becoming a commercial shipping opportunity appear pretty clueless.

“The plans that you make can change completely,” he says. This uncertainty, delay, liability, increased insurance and other costs of using the Northwest Passage are likely to deter commercial shipping here. A ship with a reinforced hull could possibly make it intact through the passage. But if it got stuck, it would cost thousands of dollars for an icebreaker like the Amundsen to come to the rescue. So even if the Northwest Passage is less ice-choked than before, the route may not become a shipping short-cut in the near future, as some have predicted.

The South Pole will almost certainly set a record for most sea ice this season. It is almost there, and there are still several months of growth remaining.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Warmist scientist admits he can't prove what he believes

Today, the New York Times takes its turn with extreme weather and global warming. The article has this wonderful quote from Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist at NASA and blogger at Real Climate: "If you ask me as a person, do I think the Russian heat wave has to do with climate change, the answer is yes. If you ask me as a scientist whether I have proved it, the answer is no — at least not yet".

This neatly sums up the first of two reasons why I think that the current debate over whether greenhouse gas emissions caused/exacerbated/influenced recent disasters around the world is a fruitless debate. It is not a debate that can be resolved empirically, but rather depends upon hunches, speculation and beliefs. Debates that cannot be resolved empirically necessarily involve extra-scientific factors. There is nothing unusual such "post-normal" situations, as they are common, but like Gavin Schmidt we should be clear about when we are in such a context.

While I have no illusions that the inane debate over causality of specific physical events will continue as long there is weather, there should be no ambiguity in the fact that researchers who have looked for a signal of increasing GHGs in increasing disaster losses (whether measured in dollars or in lives) have yet to see such a signal. It would be scientifically incorrect to claim that GHGs have been shown to account for any portion of the damage or suffering resulting from recent events....

The debate over global warming and extremes has been well characterized as "climate porn." And like porn it is not going away anytime soon.


Warmists go Biblical

Russia is on fire, and Pakistan is under water. Scientific studies have not convinced the climate change-deniers to act to save the planet. Perhaps an imaginative game change is what is called for. "Global weirding" is one such imaginative breakthrough, but let's not rule out the fire and flood imagery of Armageddon, especially as apocalyptic imagery can well symbolize the mounting security threat nations face because of the social, political and economic chaos of accelerating climate change.....

While weird weather comes and goes, what's really very weird is that the floods in Pakistan and the Russian fires may even be connected. Meteorologists who are observing the atmosphere above the northern hemisphere are blaming an unusual pattern in the jet stream. The jet stream stalled, allowing weather systems to sit still. "Temperatures rocketed and rainfall reached extremes."

But what might really break through in terms of the popular imagination connecting fire and flood and mounting threat from world-wide chaos is biblical apocalyptic. These events can been seen as signs of a global environmental catastrophe of biblical proportions. Revelation 8: 12 tells of the "woes" to come at the apocalypse; the text sounds like it was taken from the weather report in western Russia where fires are devastating the country's wheat crop. When the first trump sounds, "there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up."

A fifth of Pakistan is under water, and floods are ravaging parts of Asia. Rampaging floods make their appearance in the apocalypse, pouring out death on the hapless inhabitants of the earth. "Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river." Rev. 12: 15

The 'world-ending' imagery of the earth burning up and snakes spewing water over the land is judgment for the sinful acts of humankind. Failure to act decisively to stop, and perhaps even, over time, reverse the worst effects of global weirding is sin, pure and simple. And the earth will exact revenge for this desecration. In fact, already is exacting such revenge.

The resulting chaos is a huge and potentially catastrophic security threat. It's positively apocalyptic.


Oh No! Global warming now wiping out languages

Stephen Pax Leonard will soon swap the lawns, libraries and high tables of Cambridge University for three months of darkness, temperatures as low as -40C and hunting seals for food with a spear. But the academic researcher, who leaves Britain this weekend, has a mission: to take the last chance to document the language and traditions of an entire culture.

"I'm extremely excited but, yes, also apprehensive," Leonard said as he made the final preparations for what is, by anyone's standards, the trip of a lifetime.

Leonard, an anthropological linguist, is to spend a year living with the Inughuit people of north-west Greenland, a tiny community whose members manage to live a similar hunting and gathering life to their ancestors. They speak a language – the dialect is called Inuktun – that has never fully been written down, and they pass down their stories and traditions orally.

"Climate change means they have around 10 or 15 years left," said Leonard. "Then they'll have to move south and in all probability move in to modern flats." If that happens, an entire language and culture is likely to disappear.

There is no Inughuit written literature but a very strong and "distinctive, intangible cultural heritage", according to Leonard. "If their language dies, their heritage and identity will die with it. The aim of this project is to record and describe it and then give it back to the communities themselves in a form that future generations can use and understands."

The Inughuits thought they were the world's only inhabitants until an expedition led by the Scottish explorer John Ross came across them in 1818.

Unlike other Inuit communities they were not significantly influenced by the arrival of Christianity in Greenland – so they retain elements of a much older, shamanic culture – and their life is not very different now to how it always has been. Many of the men spend weeks away from home hunting seals, narwhal, walruses, whales and other mammals. And while they have tents, they still build igloos when conditions get really bad.

Their language is regarded as something of a linguistic "fossil" and one of the oldest and most "pure" Inuit dialects.


NZ sceptics launch legal challenge over climate change data

And big science replies with its usual assertions

SCIENTISTS have hit back at climate change sceptics, with a paper affirming the case that greenhouse gas emissions from human activities are the main cause of warming. The Australian Academy of Science yesterday went on the front foot to clear up confusion after challenges to warming theories.

It came as New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research faced a legal challenge by sceptics group Climate Science Coalition. The coalition has launched high court action over the institute's climate data.

Academy past president Kurt Lambeck said the scientific statement aimed to boost climate change understanding. The role of CO2 in the atmosphere was well understood and unless greenhouse gas emissions were reduced, an upward trend in global temperatures would continue...

Scientists say it is important to have debate on climate change, but spurious attacks were taking up an increasing amount of time to debunk.

In NZ, the coalition's statement of claim calls for the country's temperature record to be set aside and for NIWA to produce a "full and accurate" temperature record.

NZ Climate Change Research Institute senior researcher Professor Andy Reisinger said NIWA had checked its records, validated long-term trends with thousands of meteorological stations around the world and answered innumerable queries.

"The coalition has not put forward any clear and consistent scientific arguments against this local or global temperature trend; has not published its views in scientific peer-reviewed journals; has not disclosed its own scientific methods by which it claims to show that there has been a cooling rather than warming; and its members have little credibility," Prof Reisinger said.

"The High Court action will cost taxpayer money to defend the obvious against the obscure and ridiculous."

Massey University's Ralph Sims said he had yet to find a recent peer-reviewed paper authored or co-authored on climate science by coalition commentator Bryan Leyland.


British Met office takes a tumble

Beaten by an amateur who gathers his own facts and sticks to them

The Met Office's forecasts were guaranteed to drive Simon Cansick and his neighbours into a deep depression. It seemed the professional weather experts could never get it right.

So 47-year-old Mr Cansick decided to see if he could do better himself. He bought his own weather station, positioned it on the roof and linked it to the internet.

He provides live information - automatically updated every three seconds - 24 hours a day. And it has proved so accurate that farmers in the North Yorkshire village of Duggleby, near Malton, are ignoring the Met Office forecasts in favour of his readings.

'As a country we're obsessed by the weather so we naturally check the forecast every day and plan things round it, only to find out that the forecasters got it wrong,' he said.

'It just ends up spoiling the day. A lot of the information collated by the Met Office for this area is based on what is happening in Scarborough, which is by the sea.

Mr Cansick, an accountant, spent 1,000 on his meteorological equipment. He now provides data for wind speed, gust speed, temperature, rainfall and cloud height. The website,, offers predictions for the next 24 hours, graphs on recent conditions and even historical data.

He also plans to set up a service which measures and records soil temperatures - vital information for arable and horticultural producers. And he hopes to extend his weather predictions from one day to five.

Sadly for the rest of the country, however, he confines his forecasts to within a ten-mile radius.

'Certainly, in terms of the correct weather conditions, our readings are more accurate than the published ones,' said Mr Cansick, who lives with his wife Emma, 34, and their 11-month-old daughter Emily.

'The local farmers used to check the Met Office forecasts every day. 'If it was due to be nice and sunny they'd head down to the fields, get the combine harvester out and then, more often than not, it would pour down with rain. 'As a result their entire day was interrupted and ruined because of a dodgy weather forecast.'

Unsurprisingly, Mr Cansick's efforts received a frosty reception from the Met Office. Forecaster Charles Powell said: 'Every observation we have has a standard location where we can get consistency of accuracy and reliability.

'Putting measuring instruments on your roof isn't technically the best place to have them because they might absorb more sunlight and therefore record a temperature a few degrees hotter than it actually is.'



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


16 August, 2010

Temperature proxies don't work

Yet they are central to the Warmist argument. No "hockeystick" without them

A reader draws attention to an important study on proxy reconstructions (McShane and Wyner 2010) in the Annals of Applied Statistics (one of the top statistical journals):

A Statistical Analysis of Multiple Temperature Proxies: Are Reconstructions of Surface Temperatures Over the Last 1000 Years Reliable?

It states in its abstract:

We find that the proxies do not predict temperature significantly better than random series generated independently of temperature. Furthermore, various model specifications that perform similarly at predicting temperature produce extremely different historical backcasts. Finally, the proxies seem unable to forecast the high levels of and sharp run-up in temperature in the 1990s either in-sample or from contiguous holdout blocks, thus casting doubt on their ability to predict such phenomena if in fact they occurred several hundred years ago.


This should knock Warmism into a cocked hat -- but it won't, of course

The Week That Was (To August 14, 2010)

Excerpt from Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Last weekend a major ice berg broke off the Petermann Glacier on Greenland about 620 miles south of the North Pole. This is the largest ice berg to break off from Greenland in 48 years. Initial reports did not attribute this event to “global warming” and Professor Andreas Muenchow of the University of Delaware, who has been studying this glacier noted it had been growing for the past 7 to 8 years.

However, almost immediately some climate scientists were informing Congress that this was only the beginning. According to Professor Richard Alley of Penn State, we may pass a ‘tipping point’ in ten years and a rise in temperatures of 2 to 7 degrees C would wipe out Greenland’s ice sheet and sea levels will rise be some 23 feet (3 meters) submerging coastal cities. (Please see "Greenland Glacier Calving and Sea Level” by Nils-Axel Morner. Dr. Morner points out that this rate of sea level rise is many times greater than what occurred with the great ice of the Northern Hemisphere melted. The referenced article also points out that according to ice core borings, in the past 10,000 years Greenland has been as much as 2.5 C warmer than today.

Also perplexing is that the ice cores show the current temperature is almost minus 31C. A warming of 7C would bring it to minus 24C, hardly the melting point of ice.


Book of the Week: Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science by Ian Plimer exemplifies why so few geologists are on the great global warming express. By what some consider a slight of hand, the vaunted Summary for Policymakers by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) covers the carbon cycle for the past 50 years of the earth’s climate history. Plimer covers the carbon cycle for past 4,000 million years. Changes in the sun, earth, ice, water, and air of earth’s climate history are detailed in Heaven and Earth. Fiery volcanoes, slush ball earth, drastic changes in the carbon dioxide / oxygen composition of the atmosphere are all part of the remarkable tapestry of the history of this planet. Yet, life formed, changed it, and survived.

Perhaps Australia’s pre-eminent academic geologist, Plimer exposes the weak physical evidence of the IPCC in claiming that man is causing unprecedented and dangerous “global warming.” which, by focusing on the past 50 years, diverts attention from major inconsistencies in this hypothesis. The IPCC cannot explain that ice ages existed when the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was many times greater than today and many times greater than man could possibly make it by burning fossil fuels. The IPCC cannot explain why in the past 10,000 years the earth experienced periods warmer than today even though the IPCC asserts that carbon dioxide was roughly stable until the 20th Century.

During times of high carbon dioxide concentrations, life flourished. It did not stagnate or was threatened as the IPCC suggests. Plimer demolishes the fear due jour by US EPA and NOAA claiming “ocean acidification” from human carbon dioxide emissions will destroy much of ocean life. He describes oceans as complex chemical solutions in rough balance and that sea floor rocks and sediments of the earth are an important part of this balance which makes the oceans alkaline. [EPA experiments of dropping hydrochloric acid into sea water do not capture this vital balance.] As Plimer describes, millions of years of undersea volcanic activity emitting massive quantities of sulfuric acid and carbon dioxide directly into the oceans have failed to acidify them and man’s carbon dioxide emissions will not. [Side note: The volcanic hot deep sea vents that are rich in sulfuric acid and carbon dioxide feed a form of life that is dependent on chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis.]

Although not for the casual reader, Heaven and Earth reveals much of what is ignored in commonly expressed climate science and is important for serious study of this complex subject.


The State of Earth's Climate 2009: How can so many people be so wrong?

Guest editorial by Sherwood Idso, Keith Idso, and Craig Idso

In a "Highlights" report of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's State of the Climate in 2009 document, which was prepared under the direction of the U.S. National Climatic Data Center, we can read the principal findings of what the document describes as the work of "more than 300 scientists from 48 countries." Their primary conclusion, as stated in the Report's first paragraph, is that "global warming is undeniable," and the Report goes on from there to describe "how we know the world has warmed." But this, and all that follows, tells us next to nothing about what has caused the warming, which is the crux of the whole contentious matter.

The Report next states, for example, that "recent studies show the world's oceans are heating up," which is fine; but then -- as if hoping no one will question them -- the Report says the oceans are warming, "as they absorb most of the extra heat being added to the climate system from the build-up of heat-trapping gases," which contention is far from a proven fact, and is -- in fact -- merely an hypothesis .... and a bad one at that, as we shall soon see.

Another fault of the Report is its hyping of "melting Arctic sea ice," while it remains silent on the state of Antarctic sea ice, which has been doing just the opposite as it has grown in extent.

Likewise, a major inconsistency of the Report is its stating, with respect to temperature, that "a particular year can experience record-breaking highs and lows in any given location," while, "as a whole, global climate continues to warm." This is very true; and it can also do so while, as a whole, global climate cools or remains unchanged.

And it implies the same thing for all types of weather phenomena (such as droughts, floods, hurricanes, etc.), which means that the occurrence of any unusually dramatic weather phenomenon in any "particular year" should imply nothing about the long-term trend of that phenomenon or the presumed trajectory of the global climate within which it is embedded.

Yet the Report goes on to describe six such extreme events that occurred in the "particular year" of 2009, which would have to have been done for no other reason than to imply that these weather extremes were caused by global warming, which flies in the face of their earlier contention that record-breaking low temperatures in any year say nothing about the long-term thermal tendency of the planet.

Last of all, the Report states that "people have spent thousands of years building society for one climate and now a new one is being created -- one that's warmer and more extreme," which leads us to wonder ....

How could more than 300 scientists from 48 countries possibly be so wrong? Any student of history and palaeoclimate well knows that earth's climate has changed dramatically over the past "thousands of years." During the central portion of the current interglacial period, for example, many parts of the planet were a few to several degrees Centigrade warmer than they currently are.

And only a thousand years ago, the Medieval Warm Period was holding sway. Although many of the scientists of Climategate infamy tried mightily to make that period of warmth "go away," the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change has for quite some time now posted a review of a different research project every single week that testifies to the reality of the Medieval Warm Period.

And that ever-growing body of research is demonstrating beyond any doubt that there was a several-hundred-year interval of warmth back then that was at many different times (stretching from decades to centuries), and in numerous places (throughout the entire world), significantly warmer than the Report's highly-touted first decade of the 21st century, and at a time when the atmosphere's CO2 concentration was far less than it is today.

What makes this particular failure of the Report so doubly damning is the fact that it claims that each of the "more than 30 different climate indicators" it has analyzed "is placed into historical context." That is obviously not true.

And for a parameter so central to the core of the global warming discussion as temperature to not be put into proper long-term context is inexcusable, although quite understandable, especially when one realizes the implications it would hold for the Report's unfounded contentions about the present state of earth's climate.

SEPP SCIENCE EDITORIAL #25-2010 (Aug 14, 2010)

The Holocene Temperature History of Northern Europe

The little ice age was exceptionally cold and some warming following that was to be expected. CO2 levels and temperature also shown to be out of phase

Discussing: Seppa, H., Bjune, A.E., Telford, R.J., Birks, H.J.B. and Veski, S. 2009. Last nine-thousand years of temperature variability in Northern Europe. Climates of the Past 5: 523-535.

Seppa et al. (2009) combined 36 nine-thousand-year-long pollen-based July and annual mean temperature reconstructions for the portion of Europe stretching from the Norwegian Atlantic coast to 26E in Estonia and Finland and from 57N in Southern Fennoscandia to 70N, the latter 5000 years of which temperature reconstruction they compared to a stacked chironomid-based July mean temperature record based on data obtained from seven Fennoscandinavian sites.

Seppa et al. report that "the stacked records show that the 'Holocene Thermal Maximum' in the region dates to 8000 to 4800 cal yr BP and that the '8.2 event' and the 'Little Ice Age' at 500-100 cal yr BP are the clearest cold episodes during the Holocene," while the graphical representations of their data clearly indicate that the Little Ice Age was the colder of the two major cold episodes

Yet again, here is another major analysis of multiple paleotemperature records that reveal the Little Ice Age to have been the coldest interval of the entire Holocene. And with 20th-century global warming starting from the current interglacial's coldest point in time, it is only natural to expect that the ensuing warming would be rather substantial, irrespective of what the air's CO2 content might have been doing concurrently. And so it was.

But does the fact that the atmosphere's CO2 concentration rose substantially over the 20th century while air temperature also rose substantially (albeit more haltingly) not suggest that the CO2 increase was driving the temperature increase? Not at all; because over the prior seven thousand years, when Seppa et al.'s data show Northern European temperatures to have been steadily falling, earth's atmospheric CO2 concentration was slowly but surely steadily rising. And you can't get much more out of phase than that.


Another Green/Left boondoggle on life support

The Washington Examiner's Barbara Hollingsworth has some good news, the Dem's planned golden goose called the Chicago Climate Exchange is running out of money and laying off employees.
Reuters reports that a lack of Senate action on cap-and-trade legislation is forcing the Chicago Climate Exchange to lay off about half of its remaining "really talented" 50-employee staff.

The first round of layoffs by owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc., which acquired CCX in April for $604 million, began July 23 when about 20 people were let go. Employees were reportedly told that the American marketplace for carbon credits was being "restructured."

The only surprise is that Richard Sandor, who founded CCX in 2003 and was dubbed a Time Magazine "Hero of the Environment" in 2007, is being retained as an advisor. "Voluntary" trading of greenhouse gas emissions on CCX has all but dried up and prices have plunged from a high of over $7 per ton in 2008 to just 10 cents now, making recent stock market losses look rosy by comparison. Not exactly what Sandor, who once predicted a $10 trillion worldwide carbon market, expected would happen.

The biggest losers have been CCX's two biggest investors - Al Gore's Generation Investment Management and Goldman Sachs - and President Obama, who helped launch CCX with funding from the Joyce Foundation, where he and presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett once sat on the board of directors.


Peer review a very unreliable process

In my experience of peer review, the reviewers often don't seem even to read the paper -- JR

The Swiss online NZZ here has a report on the peer-review process and the problems plaguing it. Peer-review has become a leading topic in science in Europe and all over the world. The NZZ starts off: "Irritated by multiple scandals over the last years, many scientists are up in arms over the peer-review of scientific articles and are hoping for improvement... Many say there’s a need for reform."

Scientists say manipulation is as easy as pie. As a whole, the field of science is becoming overwhelmed by the flood of papers seeking publication. The NZZ writes that according to a Finnish study, already in 2006 1.35 million peer-reviewed papers were published, and the trend is accelerating: "And it is unclear whether the current large-scale peer-review process yields the correct, important results every time. Also publishers and peer-reviewers can make mistakes, as hanky panky like copying text and manipulating charts is especially easy in today’s computer age."

The NZZ does not name any particluar science field here, or anywhere else in the report. But for those familiar with climate science and the CRU e-mails, it sounds all too familiar.

The topic of peer-review has gained much importance over the years, as it’s the lifeblood of scientific careers. That’s one reason why the recent European Science Forum in Turin in early July was so jam packed.

The NZZ asks: Is the current system the best we have?

Based on a 2009 study by Adrian Mulligan of Elsevier publishing, the NZZ reports that one third of the scientists replied with yes, one third with no, and the other third were undecided. The survey sampled 4000 scientists.

With those results one could reasonably assume that half are not really convinced by the peer-review process. That tells me it needs to be reformed. There are many problems with it. The NZZ mentions some of them.

For example, some scientists say that papers do not even get reviewed by experienced scientists, but are often passed down to younger, less experienced colleagues who don’t really know how to do it.

The NZZ writes about being able to reproduce results: "Increasingly, peer reviewers are no longer able to reproduce the results of studies on their own – because the time and effort simply would be too much. Philip Campbell of Nature brought up that point in Turin."

Campbell says errors will always get by peer-reviewers, and sometimes even outright fraud. But that’s rarely the case, as studies such as one from Daniele Fanelli of the University of Edinburgh 2009 in the journal PLoS ONE shows. NZZ writes: "According to the results, an average of 2% of scientists admitted to having made at least one falsification. And up to 34% admit to having committed a dubious act."

Plagiarism is another problem. Fortunately, plagiarism-recognition software such as CrossCheck help to detect plagiarism. The software is based on publication data-banks.

Diagram manipulation is detected using the algorithms in programs for graphic processing. Other offences committed include ghostwriting, including co-authors who did not take part in the study and salami publication.

In my view, the NZZ report places too much of the blame on the sheer volume of papers that need to be reviwed and on human nature, and completely ignores the political aspects that have corrupted the process.

But in the end, its conclusion is correct: Peer-review needs to be reformed, as for now there is no other alternative system available.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


15 August, 2010

Piers Corbyn on SatelliteGate

Corbyn seems to be the world's most accurate weather forecaster, basing his forecasts mostly on celestial events and rejecting any influence from CO2.

He comments below on the recent absurdities found in satellite temperature measurements and notes that whenever faults are found in climate data, the errors are always in the direction of overstating warming!

WELL DONE to all involved in this SATELLITEGATE expose!

It helps explain puzzles many have had including some I had - namely that even with the Solar-Lunar climate driver I developed recently (although there are other factors too) smoothed world temperatures (both land and reported satellite) over recent years especially this year/last decade (?) seemed 'too high'.

This revelation further confirms something I and Tom Harris said on Russia Today TV Feb (5th) 2010 namely that WE JUST DO NOT reliably KNOW what world temperatures are and have been doing over the last decade or century. See Laura Emmet's superb ClimateGate report here (Video)

We do know local things of course like it has been and is very hot in Russia and has been astoundingly cold in parts of South America and Australia compared with normal, but these monstrous data blunders will obscure rational discussion and temperature reportage.

The climate hype industry will do everything in its power to put a lid on this one. Imagine if it were found the satellite data had been reading minus 200F in Michigan etc and that had been used in input for world averages, THERE WOULD BE FRONT PAGE NEWS AND ENRAGED QUESTIONS IN EVERY ELECTED (and unelected) PUBLIC FORUM IN THE WORLD coupled with public sackings of the scientists involved and the most dire 'end of the world' warnings possible and redoubled calls for carbon supertaxes

The key questions are:-

Why are ALL the errors and tricks in data collection and processing found since Climategate broke of the sort which make temperatures too high?

How bad is this error and how long has it been going on for?

Are there other errors in satellite data?

What parts of the globe does it mainly concern?

WHEN and HOW will we get a reliable world temperature data set; and just WHAT is the best (most reliable) data set around?

Could it be that the world temp peak (believed) of around 1998 - 2003 was no higher than that around 1935-1940?

Are we actually heading for the next ice age as lake Michagan boils according to [satellite] measurements?!


Corbyn also comments on the recent Russian heatwave here. Excerpt:

"The present and recent superheat in Russia, superfloods in Pakistan and supercold in much of South America (Odd we haven't heard much about that bit of 'Climate Change') might be new to them but they are nothing new to the world and are part of essentially PREDICTABLE natural solar-magnetic lunar cycles."

Blacklisted Scientist Challenges Global Warming Orthodoxy

I am not sure how much got lost in translation in the following summary of Miskolczi's work but he clearly rejects the absurd yet orthodox notion that a gas (such as CO2) can "trap" anything

Today Hungarian atmospheric physicist Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi, says he has found and proven that the IPCC and their experts are wrong in their theory about how the greenhouse effect works. In the process, he has shown that changing CO2 concentrations are not the determining factor the IPCC and other scientists claim.

Over the last 20 years Miskolczi achieved several results which prove that the greenhouse effect in the Earth’s atmosphere is completely dependent on energy. The IPCC would have the world believe that it is the ingredients of the atmosphere which matter more than the energy, and that it is rising levels of CO2 that are causing global warming.

Working with a number of sets of temperature and humidity data from all over the world, Miskolczi has found that the greenhouse effect is a balance of energy dependent primarily on the sun. This is something reasonable people have recognized for some time but haven’t been able to prove without the same sort of heavy science and math the IPCC experts have been using.

Those who disagree with the IPCC’s conclusions have needed some form of proof to back their positions. Until now, those proofs have been too few in number to slow Anthropogenic Global Warming’s (AGW) momentum backed with billions of dollars. Solid science which can be verified and recreated has been needed and Miskolczi claims that his research has finally provided just that. New mathematical equations seem to have put the players in this climate game into their proper places.

To put it very simply, Dr. Miskolczi has described previously unknown properties of our atmosphere.

Unfortunately it isn’t as clean and easy as E=mc2. The very complexity of climate science has been used to kick sand into the eyes of the public, blinding us to alternative theories whether they are correct or not. The science is so difficult to follow that no one can refute the IPCC without discussing concepts most of the public don’t have the time or desire to learn. So by default the IPCC has owned the conversation and the playing field. What’s more, they have some big allies in supporting positions.

At the time of his original discovery Dr. Miskolczi was a contractor for NASA and had published many times in renowned journals with his colleagues there; he resigned his position in 2005 when NASA refused to publish work contradicting AGW.

Despite being blacklisted by the scientific community supporting AGW, he has continued his research proving and refining his results. However, this same community is also the one which peer reviews work like this. When a scientist is tossed off this team, they can’t get their work reviewed and pushed to the press as being “peer reviewed.” Despite this handicap Miskolczi has persevered, just this month publishing yet again, this time proving with observations that the greenhouse effect is actually stable.

Miskolczi does not appear to be saying that global warming or cooling doesn’t occur. Instead, he shows that CO2 does not and cannot increase the surface temperature of the Earth independently of incoming energy. In his paper he provides a graph spanning 61 years from 1948-2008. It shows that the greenhouse effect remains constant while CO2 concentrations have risen. Miskolczi has found physical proof that the greenhouse effect works differently than previously thought and it isn’t affected by changes in carbon dioxide.

Lacking now is an honest scientific community’s review of his work, something hard to get once you have been kicked off the team.

The American and international press have also ignored this publication. Though more articles appear daily contradicting the IPCC, this single decisive discovery, if true, completely dismantles the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Amazingly it has yet to make the front page.

For more information Dr. Miskloczi’s latest paper can be found here: Ferenc Miskolczi: The stable stationary value of the earth’s global average atmospheric Planck-weighted greenhouse-gas optical thickness (Energy & Environment Vol. 21 No 4, 2010 August Special Issue: Paradigms in Climate Research), and is available at Multi-Science Publishing Co., Great Britain.


Greenland Glacial Calving and Sea Level

Last week another alarmist story appeared in the Guardian quoting Richard Alley, professor at the once great Penn State University in which it reported on the natural calving of a large chink of the Petermann glacier in Greenland. They noted "Greenland shed its largest chunk of ice in nearly half a century last week, and faces an even grimmer future, according to Richard Alley, a geosciences professor at Pennsylvania State University.

"Sometime in the next decade we may pass that tipping point which would put us warmer than temperatures that Greenland can survive," Alley told a briefing in Congress, adding that a rise in the range of 2-7 C would mean the obliteration of Greenland's ice sheet."

We asked a real expert on sea level, Nils-Axel Morner to comment. Here is what he had to say:

No ”huge rise in sea level” to foresee: Observation rules out modelling

Recently, “a panel of leading geoscientists told the US Congress” that sea level is likely to rise by 7 metres within this century. What nonsense, we must say. Not only, is this against observational facts, it is also against physics.

At the Last Ice, the huge ice caps over Europe and North America had their southern margins way down at mid latitudes (at Hamburg in Europe and at New York in North America). When climate changed, the ice melted at a very rapid rate. At Stockholm, for example, the ice margin was displaced northwards at a rate of about 300 m per year. Indeed, an enormous speed.

Still, global sea level did not rise more than about 10 mm per year or 1 metre in a century. This rate sets the absolutely ultimate physically frame of any possible sea level rise today. Any claim exceeding this value must be classified as sheer nonsense. It is as simple as that.

The Greenland Ice Cap did not melt during the postglacial hypsithermal (some 5000 to 8000 years ago), when temperature was about 2.5 oC higher than today. Nor did it melt during the Last Interglacial when temperature was about 4 oC higher than today. As to time, it would take more than a millennium (with full thermal forcing) to melt the ice masses stored there.

The panel also talk about a possible “tipping point”. Well, the only event of that type we can be fairly sure about, seems to be the approaching turn from a Solar Maximum (just passed) to a Solar Minimum (calculated at around 2040).

The view presented by the panel is another sad expression of IPCC propaganda. What they say is not founded in geoscientific knowledge and physical laws.

The World is far too full of real problems that call for immediate consideration to waste time on wild exaggerations.


Reports of the Earth’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated

Here’s a letter to the New York Times Book Review by Don Boudreaux, a Professor of Economics:

Reviewing Andrew Beahrs’s book about Mark Twain’s culinary tastes, William Grimes remarks that the author of Huckleberry Finn lived in “a country soon to be overwhelmed by industrialized agriculture and ecological catastrophe” (“Your Tired, Your Poor and Their Food,” August 8).

“Ecological catastrophe?!” Mr. Grimes confuses his fashionable suppositions with actual history. A genuine ecological catastrophe would have made human existence a nightmare in the 100 years since Mr. Twain’s death. Instead, the past century has witnessed unprecedented improvements in living standards.

Agricultural output is several times higher today, both in absolute amount and in yield-per-acre. Available supplies of nearly all minerals continue to increase. Americans of all income levels are much better fed, much better clothed, much better housed, and much better cared for medically. The automobile cleaned America’s streets of the dung and flies that once cursed denizens of cities and towns. Electricity and petroleum have replaced far-filthier coal and wood as major sources of household energy. Perhaps most significantly, life expectancy in 2010 is 30 years longer than it was in 1910.

Let’s hope that this “catastrophe” continues.


The Incandescent Bulb Ban: Another Regulatory Overreach

Is the modern incandescent light bulb ready to retire from society and find its final resting place in the halls of the American History Museum? Politicians seem to think so, but consumer behavior indicates otherwise. According to an article in The New York Times,
Despite a decade of campaigns by the government and utilities to persuade people to switch to energy-saving compact fluorescents, incandescent bulbs still occupy an estimated 90 percent of household sockets in the United States. Aside from the aesthetic and practical objections to fluorescents, old-style incandescents have the advantage of being remarkably cheap.

The government solution to replace incandescent bulbs is to regulate them out of the marketplace and forcefully restrict consumer choice. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 placed stringent efficiency requirements on incandescent bulbs in an attempt to phase them out between 2012 and 2014 and replace them with more expensive but more energy-efficient bulbs, the most popular being compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs).

Critics of CFL bulbs argue that exposure to mercury vapor is dangerous if the bulbs are broken, and others complained about CFL bulbs causing migraines and epilepsy attacks, resulting in medical groups asking for exemptions for those with health problems. Proponents of CFL bulbs argue that the increased energy efficiency will offset the higher sticker price, but critics argue it will take an exceptionally long time where people use lights infrequently, such as closets and attics.

In effort to meet tougher regulations, the new incandescent light bulbs are also selling at record rates, but also at record prices. A new bulb presented by Philips Lighting’s Halogena Energy Savers is selling at 20 times the price of a standard bulb ($5 compared to 25 cents)—an immense price increase for a 30 percent efficiency improvement. However, the new bulbs last three times as long as a standard bulb, bringing the price ratio down to less than seven times the price of a standard bulb.

Although this law could mean the end of a century-old industry and all the jobs that go with it, bulb manufacturers are demonstrating a remarkable resilience against needless regulations through market innovation. Yet there is only so much that the industry can do to stay a step ahead of legislation, and whether incandescent bulbs will survive the government’s regulatory whip remains to be seen. A few dollars more here and there may not seem like much, but CFLs sell at around $1 each. Although fluorescent bulbs are currently not favored by households, they could soon become the chosen bulb, an unnatural leaning that will create false information for the light bulb market.

If consumers truly preferred fluorescents to incandescents, they would purchase them without any legal incentive. Yet they do not. Many prefer the soft yellow lighting of incandescents to the unnaturally white light of fluorescents. More might prefer the simple affordability of incandescents. Demand for cheap incandescent light bulbs is not going to change because of legislation (and, in fact, could lead to hoarding), so the only option left to environmentalists is to remove the incandescent light bulb from the market altogether and make it impossible for consumers to light their houses inexpensively.

This is one example of the absurdity of federal regulations and how bureaucrats pointlessly try to change human behavior. The regulatory burden grew tremendously during President George W. Bush’s tenure and is only getting worse under President Obama’s. It is a trend that restricts freedom and choice in the marketplace and costs taxpayers billions of dollars. It is a trend that the government should reverse.


In the “green” economy, the poor pay more

Cap-and-trade legislation has died, with little hope of resurrection for a long time to come. What the representatives of the people cannot accomplish, however, the Environmental Protection Agency can.

The EPA’s Lisa Jackson has denied ten petitions filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Republican attorneys general from Texas and Virginia, and other conservative groups. The petitioners asked the EPA to reconsider its finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare, and therefore must be regulated under the Clean Air Act. The EPA has refused to reconsider, and plans to regulate emissions from new cars and trucks this year, and emissions from power plants next year. The state of Texas is now threatening not to conform to the new regulations.

Christians believe that when God created the world and created people in His image, He gave mankind a mandate to be stewards of the creation. Therefore, Christians should be especially concerned about treating the natural world with care and respect. At the same time, the stewardship responsibility includes all of the resources we have – nature, the ecosystem, and technology; as well as our bodies, talents, and relationships with other people.

People of faith have no intention or desire to pit these responsibilities against one another. When a proposal to improve the environment negative consequences for our economic and technological ability to steward our resources and care for people created in God’s image, Christianity teaches that we should investigate whether the environmental policy is truly necessary to accomplish its stated goal, and whether it is possible to care for the environment in a way that also enhances human life and productivity.

To restrict energy usage is to restrict human ability to productively steward God’s creation. God ordained work as a good thing for Adam and Eve to do in the garden of Eden before sin came into the world. For this reason, Christians believe that productive cultivation of natural resources can improve, rather than damage, the health of God’s creation.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency generally treats human economic activity as climate enemy number one. Unfortunately, discussing climate issues through the EPA bureaucracy does not lend itself to a full and open investigation of the options and issues at stake. The legislative branch set up the bureaucracy in such a way that it can make difficult policy choices without facing electoral accountability. Joe Postell of The Heritage Foundation has explained why the progressive movement began setting this system in place several decades ago:

"The progressives sought to circumvent representative government by transferring power from Congress to a newly created fourth branch of government, our modern bureaucracy. Congress would no longer make laws but merely pass bills that consist of assignments to agencies. The actual laws then would be passed by agencies in the form of "rules" carrying the full force of law."

If the EPA believes it knows the best way to promote “public health and welfare,” it will not easily admit that it might be. EPA officials may have the best of intentions for crafting the best policy, but there’s no guarantee that they are safe from the lure of self-interest, much less from their own fallibility.

For instance, the EPA believes that regulating emissions will improve the American economy by creating “green” jobs. The evidence, however, does not support this line of reasoning. The government simply cannot create jobs in one industry without destroying jobs elsewhere. For every “green” job Spain has created by subsidizing wind and solar energy, it has destroyed 2.2 jobs created by the private sector. Green jobs have done nothing to improve Spain’s 19 percent unemployment rate. Denmark actually spends more money on creating jobs in the wind energy industry than the jobs actually pay.

Politicians in the United States have already tried unsuccessfully for years to create technological innovation by legislative mandate, and there’s no logical reason to expect that more government mandates will produce efficient energy technology.

Rather than stimulating the American economy, full regulation of carbon emissions will damage it severely. Essentially, a cap or a regulatory burden on carbon emissions would create energy scarcity, making it just as expensive to purchase energy from fossil fuels as it is to purchase energy from “renewable” sources. The supply of efficient energy would drop in order to encourage production and consumption of inefficient energy, and prices would skyrocket as a result. Politicians themselves, including Barack Obama as a presidential candidate, have admitted that skyrocketing prices are a crucial component of the carbon regulation strategy.

Under the cap-and-trade bill considered by the House of Representatives, the average American family would likely face a 90 percent increase in electricity prices, according to research done by The Heritage Foundation. Gasoline and natural gas prices would also rise by over 50 percent. The economic impact of EPA regulation would be even worse than the impact of cap-and-trade legislation, because regulation would involve more compliance, administrative, and legal costs.

Skyrocketing energy prices would cause the prices of most other goods and services to rise as well, because energy is the lifeblood of the economy. Almost nothing happens – no manufacturing, no transportation, and no sales – without energy.
For people who already have plenty of money – think John Kerry and Bill Gates – this is not much of a problem. But economically vulnerable groups already spend much larger portions of their budgets on basic necessities than do those who are better off. The poor have less discretionary income to spend on things they don’t absolutely need, and therefore less room to breathe when expenses rise.

This economic burden would come in addition to other financial woes caused by carbon regulation. An economy struggling under dramatic decreases in employment, household income, and national GDP would make it even more difficult for low-income families to cover expenses, especially utilities. Families who could not afford to heat or cool their homes, especially the elderly, would risk their health and could end up homeless. After inability to pay rent, inability to pay utilities is the most common cause of homelessness.

The Environmental Protection Agency justifies this onerous economic burden with its finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare. However, its proposed regulation of emissions could endanger public health and welfare even more. Christian doctrine teaches that it is not acceptable to treat the poor unjustly, or take from them the ability to earn their own living and to productively steward the resources God has given them. Rather, we should investigate whether human economic productivity could be an ally rather than the enemy of our natural resources.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


14 August, 2010

Official: Satellite Failure Means Decade of Global Warming Data Doubtful

by John O'Sullivan

The fault was first detected after a tip off from an anonymous member of the public to climate skeptic blog, Climate Change Fraud (view original article) (August 9, 2010).

Caught in the center of the controversy is the beleaguered taxpayer funded National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA’s Program Coordinator, Chuck Pistis has now confirmed that the fast spreading story on the respected climate skeptic blog is true.

However, NOAA spokesman, Program Coordinator, Chuck Pistis declined to state how long the fault might have gone undetected. Nor would the shaken spokesman engage in speculation as to the damage done to the credibility of a decade’s worth of temperature readings taken from the problematic ‘NOAA-16’ satellite.

‘NOAA-16’ was launched in September 2000, and is currently operational, in a sun-synchronous orbit, 849 km above the Earth, orbiting every 102 minutes providing automated data feed of surface temperatures which are fed into climate computer models.

NOAA has reported a succession of record warm temperatures in recent years based on such satellite readings but these may now all be undermined.

World-renowned Canadian climatologist, Dr. Timothy Ball, after casting his expert eye over the shocking findings concluded, “At best the entire incident indicates gross incompetence, at worst it indicates a deliberate attempt to create a temperature record that suits the political message of the day.”

Great Lakes Sees Unphysical Wild Temperature Fluctuations

Great Lakes users of the satellite service were the first to blow the whistle on the wildly distorted readings that showed a multitude of impossibly high temperatures. NOAA admits that the machine-generated readings are not continuously monitored so that absurdly high false temperatures could have become hidden amidst the bulk of automated readings.

In one example swiftly taken down by NOAA after my first article, readings for June and July 2010 for Lake Michigan showed crazy temperatures off the scale ranging in the low to mid hundreds - with some parts of the Wisconsin area apparently reaching 612 F. With an increasing number of further errors now coming to light the discredited NOAA removed the entire set from public view. But just removing them from sight is not the same as addressing the implications of this gross statistical debacle.

NOAA Whitewash Fails in One Day

NOAA’s Chuck Pistis went into whitewash mode on first hearing the story about the worst affected location, Egg Harbor, set by his instruments onto fast boil. On Tuesday morning Pistis loftily declared, “I looked in the archives and I find no image with that time stamp. Also we don't typically post completely cloudy images at all, let alone with temperatures. This image appears to be manufactured for someone's entertainment.”

But later that day Chuck and his calamitous colleagues now with egg on their faces, threw in the towel and owned up to the almighty gaffe. Pistis conceded,

“I just relooked and (sic) the image again AND IT IS in my archive. I do not know why the temperatures were so inaccurate (sic). It appears to have been a malfunction in the satellite. WE have posted thousands if (sic) images since the inauguration of our Coatwatch (sic) service in 1994. I have never seen one like this.”

But the spokesman for the Michigan Sea Grant Extension, a ‘Coastwatch’ partner with NOAA screening the offending data, then confessed that its hastily hidden web pages had, indeed, showed dozens of temperature recordings three or four times higher than seasonal norms. NOAA declined to make any comment as to whether such a glitch could have ramped up the averages for the entire northeastern United States by an average of 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit by going undetected over a longer time scale.

Somewhat more contritely NOAA's Pistis later went into damage limitation mode to offer his excuses,

“We need to do a better job screening what is placed in the archive or posted. Coastwatch is completely automated so you can see how something like this could slip through.”

In his statement Pistis agreed NOAA’s satellite readings were “degraded” and the administration will have to “look more into this.” Indeed, visitors to the Michigan Sea Grant site now see the following official message:

"NOTICE: Due to degradation of a satellite sensor used by this mapping product, some images have exhibited extreme high and low surface temperatures. “Please disregard these images as anomalies. Future images will not include data from the degraded satellite and images caused by the faulty satellite sensor will be/have been removed from the image archive.”

NOAA further explained that cloud cover could affect the satellite data making the readings prone to error. But Pistis failed to explain how much cloud is significant or at what point the readings become unusable for climatic modeling purposes.

As one disgruntled observer noted,

“What about hazy days? What about days with light cloud cover? What about days with partial cloud cover? Even on hot clear days, evaporation leads to a substantial amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, particularly above a body of water. How can this satellite data be even slightly useful if it cannot "see" through clouds?”

Top Climatologist Condemns Lack of Due Diligence

The serious implications of these findings was not lost on Dr. Ball who responded that such government numbers with unusually high or low ranges have been exploited for political purposes and are already in the record and have been used in stories across the mainstream media, which is a widely recognized goal.

The climatologist who advises the military on climate matters lamented such faulty data sets,

“invariably remain unadjusted. The failure to provide evidence of how often cloud top temperatures "very nearly" are the same as the water temperatures, is unacceptable. If the accuracy of the data is questionable it should not be used. I would suggest it is rare given my knowledge of inversions, especially over water.“

How Many other Weather Satellites Are Also ‘Degraded’?

A key issue the government administration declined to address was how many other satellites may also be degrading. ‘NOAA-16’ is not an old satellite - so why does it take a member of the public to uncover such gross failings?


Weather blocker: jet stream stops and causes disasters

I think even Warmists would be hard put to show exactly how CO2 blocks the jetstream -- and they can explain ANYTHING!

The devastating Russian heatwave and Pakistan floods are caused by one unusual weather pattern - the static jet stream, meteorologists say.

The northern hemisphere jet stream, a fast-moving high-altitude air current, circles the earth from west to east. But in the past month, a "blocking event" has brought the jet stream to a halt, keeping weather patterns stationary over certain countries.

"Over Pakistan, the weather pattern is just staying with the monsoon, and the monsoon is bringing drenching rains," meteorologist Josh Fisher said. "But this jet stream is also bringing dry air from eastern Africa right up into Russia and this continuous heatwave is allowing the wildfires to build."

The effects of the stalled jet stream across Europe and the US have been catastrophic. In early July in the eastern states of the US and Canada, a heatwave caused numerous deaths and power cuts.

In Pakistan, about 1600 people have died since floods struck in July and early August, while about 14 million are struggling to cope with the consequences of the natural disaster, the UN and Pakistani government said.

In Russia, an unprecedented heatwave has triggered about 557 wildfires and left the capital Moscow cloaked in heavy smog. Moscow's daily mortality rate has doubled to about 700, the city's health department head said, with city morgues almost full.

Mr Fisher said the Rossby waves - spinning wind currents that give the jet stream its wavy form by pushing it north and south - are responsible for the stalled jet stream. The waves have been stronger this year, working against the jet stream and bringing it to a halt.

This blocking pattern, while difficult to predict, usually lasts about eight to 11 days, he said. "The one that brought the hot temperatures to the US lasted over a week, while the current one affecting Pakistan and Russia has been persisting for already around eight days and could last for a few more days."

But less is known about what triggers this abnormal activity. Climate change has been cited as one possibility, but scientist Gerald Meehl of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Colorado told the New Scientist magazine there was no way to test the theory, as the resolution in climate change models was too low to replicate weather patterns such as blocking events.

Another cause could be low solar activity, Mr Fisher said. Low solar activity has already been linked to an increase in cold winters in Europe, with activity on the sun declining since 1985, Professor Mike Lockwood of the University of Reading said in findings published in April.


Another climate pow-wow achieves nothing

The August climate talks in Bonn

At the beginning of the climate conference in Bonn, Germany, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres called on delegates to do what was “politically possible” and make “incremental” progress. By most accounts, the Bonn talks fell short of even these modest goals. Rifts between poor countries and rich nations that were papered over in Copenhagen reopened leaving delegates with more to debate at the final climate conference in Tianjin, China before the year-end Cancun summit and less common ground from which to begin discussions.

Contentious topics grew more heated and previously settled issues were reconsidered. China continued to claim that international monitoring of its emissions would interfere with its sovereignty. Developing countries sought to make the emissions targets they’d agreed to in Copenhagen voluntary, while insisting that rich countries’ reductions remain mandatory. Some poor nations also sought to increase the amounts of money pledged for climate change mitigation from the long-term goal of $100 billion a year by 2020 and short-term goal of $10 billion a year by 2012. (Although US deputy special climate envoy Jonathan Pershing said they were seeking "staggering sums out of line with reality," the pledged figures now seem less substantial when compared with China’s plan to spend some $70 billion a year for a decade on renewable energy investments and the costs of rebuilding after climate-related disasters in Pakistan and Russia.)

Each dispute added contentious pages to the climate text under discussion, which must now be whittled back down in the Tianjin talks in October. This "tit for tat" diplomacy, as the European Union's co-lead negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger described it, caused the working draft to double in size from 17 to 34 pages.

The only thing all negotiators seemed to agree upon was that their efforts in Bonn had been unsuccessful. "These negotiations have if anything gone backwards," said the EU's climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard. “All parties seem to be having a difficult time coming to convergence and the text is larger than it has to be,” America’s Pershing told the press. He claimed that during the talks some countries had been “walking back from progress made in Copenhagen." Dessima Williams of Grenada, who served as the spokeswoman for the 43-nation Association of Small Island States, concurred: "There seems to be some backsliding. This is very lamentable and very unhealthy."

The Guardian’s John Vidal tried to find the thinnest sliver lining in the very dark clouds over Bonn. Referring to the controversial Danish text, which would have sidelined the UN and abandoned the Kyoto Protocol, and the nonbinding Copenhagen Accords that President Obama helped cobble together at the last minute of the previous climate summit, Vidal suggests that perhaps “what we are seeing is the welcome, overdue correction to last year's kamikaze global diplomacy which fatally destabilised the global talks and ended in the Copenhagen fiasco. This analysis would say the negotiations are back on track, the majority of world countries are involved as opposed to just a few, and, with a fair wind and a raised level of ambition by everyone, it could lead to a much more balanced agreement.”

But neither he--nor I--are much swayed by this rose tinted view: “More likely is that the level of ambition for Cancun will be reduced further with no more than a package of agreements negotiated and all the tough stuff put back until next year. Or 2013. Or 2014,” Vidals concludes. That, he says, would be “the nightmare scenario”--an outcome that the squabbling in Bonn has made all the more likely.

While Figures and UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon both attempted to put a brave face on the Bonn talks, they could not succeed in securing more emission reduction pledges. Worse, many existing commitments were thrown into question. The most recent report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that developed nations must make 25-40 percent reductions below the 1990 benchmark by 2020 to stave off the worst effects of climate change. The now-weakened pledges made after Copenhagen were estimated to only amount to a cut of 12 to 19 percent, well short of the safe reduction range. Any climate meeting that does not bring the political promises closer to the scientifically requisite reductions can only be viewed as a failure.


British local Councils "Should Not Tackle Climate Change"

Councils in the UK should do "absolutely nothing" to tackle climate change unless a stringent global deal on reducing carbon emissions is reached through the United Nations, which includes developing as well as developed countries - according to Lord Lawson.

Insisting that such an agreement would be unlikely due to India and China's need to rapidly increase economic growth - in order to bring tens of millions of citizens out of poverty - the chairman of the Global Warming Policy Foundation claimed that town halls were wasting resources by promoting renewable energy schemes and greeninitiatives.

"For now, energy is carbon based because it is cheaper than anything else and it makes no sense to decarbonise unless everybody is doing it; it's lunacy to go it alone when China is building a new coal power station every week," he said, speaking at the LGA annual conference.

"It would cost the British economy 50bn a year up to 2050 to meet the requirementsof the UK Climate Change Act. Local authorities should do absolutely nothing to tackle climate change. Your money could be put to far greater use."

Lord Lawson said northern Europe would actually greatly benefit from continued warming and urged public servants to focus on adaptation rather than mitigation. He also highlighted Met Office figures showing that global temperatures had not risen at all in the last decade - although, he admitted they had gone up by 0.75 degrees over the last 150 years since the industrial revolution.

Countering his views, founding member of the Tyndall Centre professor Andrew Watkinson told delegates that 10 years was too short a period to identify weather trends and this explained the stabilisation in temperature.

"The climate science is sound and last winter was the second warmest globally despite the bad weather experienced here in the UK," said Watkinson, also a professional fellow of the University of East Anglia.

"We could see temperature rises in the future of between 1-4 degrees as a result of greenhouse gases - way beyond what humans on earth have experienced before, so local authorities have to take on the science and show leadership with new forms of energyas well as adaptation and mitigation measures."

Watkinson revealed that some scholars thought the global population could shrink from six billion to one billion if the worst effects of climate change came to fruition and parts of the southern hemisphere became inhabitable.

But Lord Lawson rejected these claims insisting that more extreme warming periods had occurred during Medieval and Roman times and that sea levels were not rising rapidly anymore."There has certainly been skulduggery with the science; it's totally one-sided - ignoring the benefits of global warming and exaggerating the downsides," he added."Climate change is like a new religion and there are some people who see it as a way to undermine capitalism."


A gullible Ethics Prof.

Open letter from Climate Depot's Executive Editor Marc Morano to Penn State Ethics Prof. Donald A. Brown

Dear Professor Brown:

You have recently been making the news with some very unique and serious claims regarding man-made global warming. You have made the laughable claim that Senate's failure to pass cap-and-trade the “worst ethical scandal...and a moral lapse of epic proportions.”

Sadly, this claim alone proves that your understanding of science and economics is what is truly the “worst ethical scandal” here.

How would passing a climate bill that was 'scientifically meaningless' improve ethics or morality or the climate? See: Even Obama's EPA admits cap-and-trade bill 'will not impact world CO2 levels'

You spend most of your “science” argument trying to convince the public of dangerous man-made global warming by noting that the Earth has been warming. Wow. So in your simplistic scientific mind Warming = Human caused. Sorry Professor that is not a very deep and well thought out argument.

You claim: “2010 is the hottest year so far and the last decade is the hottest on record.”

Oh really? How long does “so far” go? You are aware that these are land based temperature data and we are talking minute fractions of a degree. See: Climate Depot's full statement to USA Today on 'Hottest' Year And Arctic Ice: NOAA's Jay Lawrimore 'should be ashamed of himself' -- 'Declaration that we are experiencing the 'hottest' year is purely a political statement. Lawrimore knows that these statistics are merely tenths of a degree or LESS'

If you had cared to look at satellite data you would find that 2010 is not even the “hottest year” in the last 12 years, let alone of all time. Why do you cherry pick your evidence?

You resort to pure climate astrology when you claim: “More wildfires are being seen around the world...Droughts and floods are increasing in intensity and frequency...Storm damage is rising as predicted.” Once again, wow! As Prof. Roger Pielke Jr. has noted, claims like yours “have a status similar to interpretations of Nostradamus and the Mayan calendars.”

Tell me Professor, which of the below worst floods on record were caused by carbon dioxide?

Date... Location... Dead

1887, September-October Hwang Ho (Yellow) River, China Over 900,000

1939 North China 500,000

1642 Kaifeng, Honan Province, China Over 300,000

1099 England and the Netherlands 100,000

1287, December 14 The Netherlands 50,000

1824 Russia 10,000

1421, November 18 The Netherlands 10,000

1964, November-December Mekong Delta, South Vietnam 5,000

1951, August 6-7 Manchuria 4,800

1948, June Foochow, China 3,500

You claim: 'Fire seasons start earlier and are harder to contain" Wow, it must be rising Co2 from mankind, right? But then again, your assertions don't hold up. See: 'Global warming theory doesn't come anywhere close to explaining why it's so darn hot this summer in Moscow...confluence of several naturally-occurring atmospheric circulation patterns'

How about land use issues? See: Russia's Fires 'Caused In Large Part By Forest Mismanagement'

Do you ever ponder other factors, or are you “ethically bound” to cut and paste really lame talking points of global warming claims?


Australia's future productivity and the Greens’ agenda

The Coral Sea, east of the Barrier Reef, covers an area of 972,000 Sq. Km. . (About the same area as South Australia). It is a highly prospective oil and gas area. Now declared a no fishing, no go area.

In order for the water to run to waste in the name of “preserving the river”, the farmers in the Murray Darling irrigation area are to have their irrigation water supplies cut by 60%. Thus rendering Australia’s largest food bowl, and the farmers, to a state of irrelevance.

Bob Brown says that the greatest blot on Australia’s environmental reputation are the power houses fed by Yallourn Valley brown coal. These power houses produce Australia’s cheapest clean power and industrialised Victoria. He insists that they be closed by 2020.

All of the above are green initiatives.

And, Green’s Senator Christine Milne stated on a recent ABC 7.30 Report programme: “…….we want to see a carbon price as quickly as possible because we want transformation of the whole economy and society”.

Australia’s uranium reserves are the world’s largest. Nuclear Energy is cheap, clean and safe. Already there are some 438 Nuclear Power stations world wide with 61 more being built, and 250 more being proposed.

Labor is entrenched in its resistance to opening new uranium mines, and developing a Nuclear Industry here, because of their affiliation with the Greens.


Greenie logic: According to chief Greenie Bob Brown, power stations are a “great blot on Australia's environmental reputation” but building solar plants that blot out hundreds of square miles of the landscape – including valuable agricultural and residential land – while sending electricity prices through the roof is a good environmental practice!


For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


13 August, 2010

Has the IPCC cast a horoscope for planet earth?

Astrologers make their predictions vague so that SOMETHING will confirm them. Warmists do better than that: ANYTHING confirms their predictions. Comment below by Prof. Roger Pielke, Jr

The World Meteorological Organization has issued he following statement: "Several regions of the world are currently coping with severe weather-related events: flash floods and widespread flooding in large parts of Asia and parts of Central Europe while other regions are also affected: by heatwave and drought in Russian Federation, mudslides in China and severe droughts in sub-Saharan Africa. While a longer time range is required to establish whether an individual event is attributable to climate change, the sequence of current events matches IPCC projections of more frequent and more intense extreme weather events due to global warming."

Even though the IPCC report can be parsed in many ways, I await the textual exegesis that supports the claim that the "sequence of current events matches IPCC predictions." This will be difficult given that the IPCC didn't even make projections for 2010. I welcome in the comments efforts to justify the claim by the WMO.

I am coming to the conclusion that there is something about the climate issue that makes people -- especially but not limited to academics and scientists -- completely and utterly lose their senses. The WMO statement is (yet) another example of scientifically unsupportable nonsense in the climate debate. Such nonsense is of course not going away anytime soon.

But because various unsupportable and just wrong claims are being advanced by leading scientists and scientific organizations, it would be easy to get the impression that on the issues of extreme events and climate change, IPCC science has a status similar to interpretations of Nostradamus and the Mayan calenders.


'Climate Astrology' Takes Hold

Here are two scientists who have accurately described this faith based climate “science”:

Japanese scientist Kanya Kusano, a Program Director and Group Leader for the Earth Simulator at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science & Technology, has publicly declared that man-made climate fear promotion is now akin to “ancient astrology.”

Mathematical physicist Dr. Frank J. Tipler, Professor of Mathematical Physics, astrophysics, at Tulane University, agrees with Kusano. “Whether the ice caps melt, or expand --- whatever happens --- the AGW theorists claim it confirms their theory. A perfect example of a pseudo-science like astrology,” Tipler wrote on May 15, 2009. “It is obvious that anthropogenic global warming is not science at all, because a scientific theory makes non-obvious predictions which are then compared with observations that the average person can check for himself,” Tipler explained.

"As we know from our own observations, AGW theory has spectacularly failed to do this. The theory has predicted steadily increasing global temperatures, and this has been refuted by experience. NOW the global warmers claim that the Earth will enter a cooling period,” Tipler wrote.

'Medieval mystics...Palm readers and fortune tellers'

Scientist Dr. Doug Hoffman mocked warming predictions: "The whole enterprise is reminiscent of Medieval mystics claiming to predict the future while spouting gibberish," Hoffman, a mathematician and engineer, who worked on environmental models and conducted research in molecular dynamics simulations, wrote on October 13, 2009. "Palm readers and fortune tellers stand as good a chance as any in this game," Hoffman added.

Even religious leaders have recognized the scientific transition to paganism. See: Catholic Cardinal George Pell in 2006: 'In the past, pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions' ....

Now, quite simply anything that happens can be blamed on man-made global warming! The warming fear pushers have now sunk to the level of blaming prostitution on man-made global warming. Your daughter becomes a hooker, blame global warming!

If you are former Vice-President Al Gore, you can now claim man-made global warming is 'causing heavier downfalls of both rain and snow', never mind the fact that his 2006 movie “An Inconvenient Truth” never once warned of coming blizzards or record cold. (For counter see: Gore's February 'Un-Truths': No increase in moisture content...a definite declining trend over the last 60 years – the opposite of what Al Gore claims')

One of the biggest scientific laughingstocks when it comes to man-made global warming has turned out to be Obama's Nobel Prize Winning Energy Secretary Stephen Chu. Chu has descended into a deep faith-based science without peer among cabinet officials. Chu now apparently believes “predictions” are some sort of “proof” or “evidence” of what the Earth will be like 100 years from now.

Chu told a conference in California his prognostication. “At no other time in the history of science have we been able to say what the future will be 100 years from now,” Chu, the soothsayer, declared according to a June 28, 2009 article in Palo Alto Online News.

See: Obama's 'Climate Astrologer': Energy Sec. Chu claims he knows 'what the future will be 100 years from now' - June 28, 2009

Is science speaking into Sec. Chu's ear and telling him of what the future holds? Chu has reduced his scientific expertise to that of a televangelist who claims he hears God speaking to him.

The question looms: Shouldn't Sec. Chu be touting these scary predictions of the year 2100 on a boardwalk with a full deck of Tarot Cards? Imagine if a senior cabinet official in 1909 had stated he knows for certain what the climate and energy mix of the year 2009 will be. Any such cabinet official making such wacky statements would be laughed out of 1909 America, but in 2010 America, that same person gets some sort of odd scientific respect.


Superheat in Central Russia no indication of future climate catastrophe -- expert

Weather once again becomes climate when it suits the Warmists. Nobody mentions that while Russia is baking, South America is freezing amid record cold. So there is no "global" warming. Russia and South America roughly cancel one-another out.

Below is my rough translation of a report from Russia in German. I had time to do only the first two paragraphs but you get the idea -- JR

The abnormal heat which this summer has central Russia firmly in its grip is no indication of a future climate catastrophe and no pointer to a decisive climate change -- rather it is a precedented natural occurrence. So Mikhail Kabanov, Corresponding Fellow of the Academy of Sciences and adviser to the Institute for Climate and Environmental Monitoring, told RIA Novosti on Wednesday on Novosibirsk.

The fluctuations in this or the other direction in this or that region are entirely explained by the instability of the climate system. This changes regularly and produces various anomalies, including extreme ones. The weather conditions this years are just a testimony to that, said the expert

More HERE (A few more bits translated here)

Target: Monckton

Lord Monckton is under attack, a sure sign that he’s winning on warming. Monckton fights back and refutes Prof. Abraham

Have you noticed the kicking around that CFACT Advisor Lord Christopher Monckton's been getting lately? Add to the title “Viscount of Brenchley,” “whipping boy du jour.” Seldom a recent day goes by without some new name calling or conspiracy theory attacking Lord Monckton echoing through the left-wing blogosphere.

Why is Chris Monckton the victim of a global warming attack campaign? Effectiveness. Few have been so brilliantly effective at debunking the global warming scare as this compellingly articulate British Lord.

Lord Monckton does his homework. He scours the scientific literature. He devours every word and graph. He is in constant contact with a vast network of leading scientists throughout the world. He wades past the executive summaries and masters the details. He checks the math, checks the logic, and checks the consistency of what is claimed about our climate. He synthesizes global warming science and policy raising vital questions that provoke thought in the mind of any expert or layman with an open mind.

Despite the nearly unimaginable sums available to the global warming folks – despite their command of the media, the politicians in their thrall and the carbon profiteers lining up at the taxpayer's trough, Lord Monckton and his allies are winning. Like the child who revealed that the Emperor had no clothes, Lord Monckton wakes the good sense of those who hear him. The public has caught on.

The warming propaganda machine has lost its momentum and is desperate to get it back. They want to silence Lord Monckton and remove him from the field. To that end they'll say anything. They attack his title hoping we won't notice that every British Viscount has a right and by long tradition is called “Lord.” They attack his graphs and charts, hoping we won't bother to learn that most of his data comes straight from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the sources it cites. Lord Monckton had hoped that by using the IPCC's data warming advocates would be forced to debate the merits. Sadly, they continue to alternate between mocking the data and restating their conclusions as received wisdom. Yet when granted a fair forum for debate, it is Monckton who triumphs. Just weeks ago his team of experts were voted the winners in a warming debate at the Oxford Union – a treasured haven of free thought.

Last year Lord Monckton gave a presentation on global warming in St. Paul Minnesota that became a sensation on YouTube. This inspired Prof. John Abraham of the University of St. Thomas to attack his presentation in a lengthy video. Lord Monckton has refuted Prof. Abraham using his own medium. The first of a series of videos setting the record straight are being released today and we invite you to view them.

As CFACT has said before, the chain of logic behind global warming claims does not hold up. Lord Christopher Monckton will neither be silenced, nor ignored. As Mahatma Gandhi told us, "first they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."

SOURCE. (Video at link)

The “Green” Assault on America Continues

At the end of the Cold War, there was an influential sentiment in academic and business circles that the nation-state was going to lose its central position in world politics that it had held since the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The nation would be assaulted from both above and below. Globalization would shift authority to “higher” planes like the United Nations, while sub-national interest groups would pursue their own agendas indifferent or hostile to society. Allegiances would shift. Corporations would follow profits, not the flag, and non-government organizations (NGOs) would place ideology above country.

Most Americans have paid little attention to such musings, even though they have been affected by them. The “globalization” of production has seen the offshoring of jobs, but few people feel any allegiance to business firms. They live in societies, not corporations. In the midst of the worst economic downturn since the 1970s, what is on the public’s mind is how things are going here, in the United States. Citizens expect their government to protect their prosperity and security; rebuild the national economy, and protect them from foreign rivals.

If it holds that the “cap and trade” legislation that would have increased the cost of energy, thus crippling economic recovery, is dead in this Congress, then the integrity of the nation-state has survived. The Senate could not find a majority that was willing to sacrifice American progress for the “benefit” of the outside world. But the nation’s future is still endangered from the UN and the NGOs.

The third round of UN “climate change” negotiations this year was held August 2-6 in Bonn, Germany. Over 3,000 people attended. These included delegates from 178 governments, but also representatives from hundreds of NGOs. The purpose was to continue work on a binding treaty to be adopted in Cancun, Mexico in early December. The agreement would subordinate national economic growth to a “global” framework that would redistribute wealth and power in accord with an ideological program.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) poses the same unacceptable terms for the United States and the other Western industrial nations as has been the case since it was created in 1994. The new Executive Director is Christiana Figueres, an anthropologist from Costa Rica who has worked with the UNFCCC since its establishment. She believes “More stringent actions to reduce emissions cannot be much longer postponed and industrial nations must lead.” Her country is not, however, one of those designated to reduce emissions and suffer a fall in living standards as a result.

Though 190 entities have signed the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, only 37 (virtually all European) are considered “industrial economies” subject to mandatory emission cuts under the agreement. The rest could sign on without any obligation other than to pressure the Western countries to go into economic decline. The Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) is one of the primary forums meant to pressure the West to make more crippling cuts beyond 2012. Fortunately, the United States has not ratified Kyoto. Even President Barack Obama could not accept an unbalanced agreement based on it in Copenhagen last year.

Yet, the UNFCCC continues on the two-track system where all the costs are to be borne by the developed countries while the mass of developing countries—led by China, India, Brazil and South Africa, remain free of anti-growth mandates. The developed countries are only urged to limit the growth of emissions, rather than be required to reduce them. The developed states are to transfer technology and capital to the developing states and watch passively as industries migrate from countries with restrictions to those who remain free and open for growth.

The developed countries are expected to provide the developing world with $30 billion by 2012 and $100 billion per year by 2020 to fund “climate adaptation” programs. ‘Developing nations see the allocation of this money as a critical signal that industrialized nations are committed to progress in the broader negotiations,” said Figueres. Indeed, this year’s negotiations seem much more focused on how to grab a slice of this financial pie than about climate change, a topic hardly anyone really cares about because it is widely regarded as hokum. The big issue is whether the funds will be distributed through the UNFCCC or the World Bank.

NGO Friends of the Earth opposes the World Bank because it is “controlled by rich countries and is the largest international lender for fossil fuel projects.” The Green NGOs have consistently favored the claims of the developing countries at the UN, continuing their antipathy towards the economic success of the “rich” Western world. Hatred for the U.S. and Western civilization in general is what spawned the environmentalist movement in the first place out of the “anti-imperialist” New Left of the 1960s. The first Earth Day was in 1970. Its rallies were attended by the same activists who were burning American flags protesting the expedition against communist sanctuaries in Cambodia that year.

The theme was that the U.S. must be brought down, both at home and abroad. Reducing America’s wealth would reduce its power, which the New Left considered an evil influence on the world. As aging Weather Underground radical Jeff Jones wrote in 2008, “There can be no solution to the world’s environmental crisis as long as Americans enjoy their rapacious and engorged standard of living at the expense of the health and survival of billions of other.” He traced this feeling back to 1969, when Students for a Democratic Society “famously announced that those of us living in the heart of the imperial empire were going to have to give some of it back.”

The global redistribution scheme at the UN will hopefully fail to produce a treaty this year for the same reason it failed last year; the clash of national interests. But the Green NGOs will still be hard at work trying to cripple the U.S. economy from within, pushing for higher energy taxes, and blocking new coal and nuclear power plants, oil drilling and refineries, and in some cases even the construction of windmills and solar farms.

As Darren Samuelsohn wrote in Politico Aug. 7, Green groups “are hoping to defend and expand on state and regional climate laws and compacts, including a carbon market for power plants operating in the Northeast and emerging systems in the West. And they will work at the state public utility commission level to make carbon dioxide emissions a crux in reviewing permits for new and existing coal-fired power plants.” Enormous sums are being mobilized. “The Sierra Club is spending $18 million and has 100 people across the country working on challenges to coal-fired electricity, said Michael Brune, the group’s executive director. He hopes to increase the budget to $25 million next year,” reported Samuelsohn. The Environmental Defense Fund was cited as having spent $20 million on “cap and trade” lobbying. The Union of Concerned Scientists, who spent the Cold War trying to disarm America, is now working to impoverish it.

The irony is that those who give the most to these Green groups probably enjoy the kind of life-styles the radicals wish to end. It is Lenin’s old adage with a twist; the donors are buying the rope that will be used to hang them.

For those Americans who do not want their lives to be made worse, or for their children to grow up in a country unable to provide the same opportunities for advancement as were open to previous generations, the need is to defeat the Greens at all levels, global, national and local. While it may be impossible to understand why some people turn against their country; the task is not to understand them, but to stop them. The head-shrinkers can deal with them later, once the path is cleared for the rest of the country to move forward.


The EPA Must Be Stopped!

By Alan Caruba

On August 12, the Environmental Protection Agency sent out a press release, “EPA Proposes Rules on Clean Air Act Permitting for Greenhouse Gas Emissions”.

It is a frontal attack on the U.S. economy that is currently in the throes of a decline that has not been seen since the Great Depression. If the EPA succeeds in this Big Lie, the provision of affordable energy in America will cease.

“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing two rules to ensure that businesses planning to build new, large facilities or make major expansions to existing ones will be able to obtain Clean Air Act permits that address their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

The Clean Air Act does not cover carbon dioxide (CO2) which the EPA deems the primary GHG. This is because poses no threat to the environment and, indeed, is a vital and essential element of the environment insofar as all vegetation from a blade of grass to a giant Sequoia tree is dependent on it for growth.

Moreover, the proposed regulation of CO2 is based on the global warming fraud that says that it is responsible for a significant warming of the planet. There is not a scintilla of proof of this and, indeed, the Earth is presently in one of its natural cycles of cooling, not warming. Thus, there is no scientific justification for the regulation of carbon dioxide no matter how many times the EPA says there is.

The EPA release says “projects that will increase CHG emissions substantially will require an air permit.”

If American industry, particularly the targeted “power plants and oil refineries”, are required to get GHG permits, it will put yet another huge sector of the nation’s economy under the thumb of the most insidious exponents of the global warming fraud, enemies of any economic growth.

“The Tailoring Rule covers large industrial facilities like power plants and oil refineries that are responsible for 70 percent of the GHGs from stationary sources,” says the EPA news release.

What it doesn’t say is that this power to regulate that does not exist in the present Clean Air Act.

It will cause electricity costs to skyrocket along with gasoline and all other oil derivatives. It will utterly wreck the U.S. economy that is already in dire straits.

If an invading nation had imposed these kinds of restrictions on Americans, we would be in the streets with guns and any other means to fight them.

There is NO global warming. Carbon dioxide plays NO role in this non-event. This is regulation by deception, by lies, by the arrogance of environmentalists who view the human race as a cancer on the planet. And, naturally, they have waited until Congress has gone on recess to “propose” this attack on the nation.

Take action! Contact your Representatives and Senators. Drown the White House in protests. The EPA must be stopped!



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


12 August, 2010

Dormouse craziness in Britian

Development blocked because dormice MIGHT be there -- even though there is no sign of any

The humble dormouse is potentially standing in the way of the development of a 12m Morrisons supermarket in Wadebridge, Cornwall.

Morrisons, one of three retailers proposing sites around the town, wants to build a store on the local football club ground. To gain permission it has offered to provide a replacement ground at nearby Bodieve. But the possibility that dormice, a European Protected Species, are inhabiting that site has led planning officers to recommend the council refuse permission.

The local planning officer said the football club development should be refused as "there is a reasonable likelihood of dormice being present".

Although no dormice have been found, they have been spotted 2km away. The local planning committee meets to rule on Morrisons' application on Thursday.

Stephen Frankel, a spokesman for campaign group Love Wadebridge, said: "These companies are very powerful. They want to ignore us, but it seems they cannot ignore our dormice."

Morrisons said it had commissioned a local ecologist to carry out a dormouse survey. It said it had asked Cornwall Council to defer its decision on its planning application until the survey had been completed.

A spokesperson said: "At this stage, no evidence has been produced to show there is a dormouse presence on the site. However, our scheme, should it be granted consent, would provide for a significant amount of new dormouse habitat."


British businesses facing a wave of green taxes

Thousands of British businesses will be liable for significant fines and charges under a new government “green tax” scheme. Companies that fail to register their energy use by next month will be hit with fines that could reach 45,000 under the little-known rules.

Those that do participate in the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) initiative by declaring their energy use will face charges for every ton of greenhouse gas they produce. These payments are expected to average 38,000 a year for medium-sized firms, and could reach 100,000 for larger organisations.

Surveys have shown that thousands of businesses are unaware they are supposed to be taking part, or even that the scheme exists at all.

The imposition of new charges and fines will put pressure on firms at a time when economists are warning of a “double dip” recession as companies, consumers and the public sector all cut their spending.

Business leaders criticised the CRC — which was created by Labour but implemented by the Coalition — as “complex and bureaucratic”. One accused ministers of swinging “a big hammer” at companies and questioned whether it would have any environmental benefits.

Under the scheme, any company or public sector organisation that consumes more than 6,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy a year – meaning a power bill of about 500,000 – must register its energy use by the end of next month. From April, firms will need to buy permits for each tonne of carbon dioxide emitted. For those using 6,000MWh, that could mean 38,000.

The scheme is intended to create a financial incentive to cut energy use, and those organisations that record the biggest reductions will get bonuses, funded by penalties imposed on those with the worst record.

Of about 4,000 organisations estimated to qualify for the scheme, only 1,229 have registered to date, leaving thousands at risk of fines. Missing the Sept 30 deadline will mean an immediate 5,000 fine, and 500 for each day after that, up to a maximum of 45,000.

Another 15,000 smaller organisations are also required to register and could be expected to buy permits in the future. If they miss the September deadline, they face fines of 500.

WSP Environment & Energy, a consultancy firm, estimated that a total of 7,500 businesses would miss the deadline.

Greg Barker, the energy and climate change minister, who is overseeing the scheme said yesterday: “I understand the original complexity of the scheme may have deterred some organisations and I want to hear suggestions as to how we can make the scheme simpler in the future.”

Executives and business groups said that the scheme had been poorly communicated and publicised, leaving many companies in the dark.

One recent survey suggested that 53 per cent of executives had not even heard of the CRC and did not know whether their firm was affected.

The Environment Agency, which will run the scheme for the Government, has refused even to publish a list of the companies that are required to register, citing the Data Protection Act.

The Coalition is pressing ahead with the CRC despite Conservative pledges to cut red-tape on businesses.

Business groups said the paperwork and costs involved in complying with the CRC scheme could put a significant new burden on companies already struggling in an uncertain economic climate. The Bank of England is expected to underline fears about the economy today with forecasts for faltering economic growth and persistent inflation.

Yesterday, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply reported a slowdown in British manufacturing exports to Europe.

Bob Jarrett, of the BHF-BSSA Group, a trade body that represents thousands of independent shops, said ministers had not done enough to explain or justify the CRC. “We’ve only come across this in the last few weeks, and yet the deadline is at the end of next month. The Department for Energy has not given this nearly enough publicity,” he said.


What the Chinese really think of 'Man Made Global Warming'

One of the great lies told us by our political leaders in order to persuade us to accept their swingeing and pointless green taxes and their economically suicidal, environmentally vandalistic wind-farm building programmes is that if we don’t do it China will. Apparently, just waiting to be grabbed out there are these glittering, golden prizes marked “Green jobs” and “Green technologies” – and if only we can get there before those scary, mysterious Chinese do, well, maybe the West will enjoy just a few more years of economic hegemony before the BRICs nations thwack us into the long grass.

This is, of course, utter nonsense. The Chinese do not remotely believe in the myth of Man-Made Global Warming nor in the efficacy of “alternative energy”. Why should they? It’s not as if there is any evidence for it. The only reason the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming myth has penetrated so deeply into Western culture is… No. I’m going to save that stuff for my fairly imminent (Nov?) book on the subject which I hope you’re all going to buy.

What do the Chinese think about CAGW? Well, until now it was largely a question of educated guesswork, based on inferences like the fact that it was the Chinese who derailed the Copenhagen negotiations. But thanks to a new book called Low Carbon Plot by Gou Hongyang we know exactly what the official view is.

Ozboy – one of the finest commenters in this parish as well as proprietor of the Liberty Gibbet website – sets the scene nicely:
The argument [that China leads the world in renewable energy technology investment] rings a little hollow when you consider Beijing plans to build coal-fired power stations at the equivalent rate of one Australia, per year, for the next twenty-five years. The reputed Chinese fascination with renewable energy looks at best, a very long-term fallback position; at worst, a faade.

That’s what makes what you’re about to read even more startling. It’s a book called Low Carbon Plot, by Gou Hongyang and, as it’s freely available in China’s government-controlled bookstores, carries Beijing’s nihil obstat. No English translation is currently available, but our own China correspondent, Locusts, has translated the introduction from the original Mandarin, and (not entirely without risk to himself) has asked me to make it publicly available on this forum. At four thousand words, it’s a little long to insert onto a blog page, but you can navigate to it from the Rare Scribblings menu option at the top, or just click here.

It’s not so much an eye-opener as it is a bombshell. If true, it shows the Chinese government as rejecting CAGW in its entirety, believing it a conspiracy between Western governments and business to protect their own way of life, at the expense of the entire developing world—in other words, 80% of the world’s population.

Ozboy does not exaggerate. Here, for example, is the author’s damning verdict on the Climate Change industry. Noting the irony of the spate of freezing cold weather that greeted the Copenhagen summit, the author wrily notes:
It was as if the freezing cold winter was having a laugh at all of these “Global Warming” theories. If the world was warming at an ever quickening pace, as all of these environmentalists say, then whence from such extreme cold? Whenever there are any doubts about Global Warming, it is almost as though environmentalists turn everything around and claim that this is too, a result of Global Warming. The Greenhouse Effect has turned in to a big basket, no matter what bad thing it is, just chuck it in.

He is even more damning about solar power in which, let it not be forgotten, China is supposed to be the world’s most shining example of just how well it can work. First, he neatly captures the wishy-washy, John-Clare-esque pastoral utopianism which drives greenies to throw commonsense out of the window and pursue “renewable energy” regardless of all the facts:
Isn’t this the most beautiful thought possible, no pollution, everywhere is just greenery mountains and rivers, people won’t need to worry about coal mines collapsing, no need to worry about forests being chopped down, no need to worry about rising sea levels submerging island nations. It is as if, if only humanity could adopt clean energy, then all of our problems would be resolved with one sweep of the knife. But is the result really thus?

There is a very real problem staring everybody in the face. Solar power, wind power, can they be implemented on a large scale? Can they provide large scale industries with enough electricity? Can they supply trains with the power to fly along the tracks?

It is obvious, that the answer is in the negative.

He then – rather daringly, I think – weighs into the environmental unsoundness of this supposedly clean energy source:
Is solar power really clean? Investigations show that the base silicon that solar panels rely on is extracted via a energy intensive, heavily polluting industry. And where is this industry based? China.

China has already become the world’s biggest photovoltaic industrial market. The most important ingredient in solar power is polycrystalline silicon. The efficiency of manufacturing the panels is rather low, and a lot of pollution is generated as a by-product. When local industries started producing polycrystalline silicon, they were mostly reliant on outdated technology. Apart from high energy consumption, for every ton of pure polycrystalline silicon created, there were also more than 8 tons of ammonium chlorid[adized] silcon as by-product, as well as [other shit that a cursory look at google translate doesn't answer].

The prosperity of China’s solar power industry, at the price of the environment of those rather weak distant regions, in order to attract commerce and investment, in order to collect tax revenue, very many environmental appraisal programmes have not yet been strictly implemented.

Here is the author eloquently demolishing the Carbon = Poison meme:
Will the increase in Carbon Dioxide definitely lead to the planet warming? Although there have been many many reports published by research institutes that verify this, but from the viewpoint of the history of man, and scientific method, the theories have not yet achieved scientific proof.

But, after many years of repeated indoctrination from every kind of propaganda machine, and the mixing together of environmental pollution and the exhaustion of natural resources, people have already formed a conditioned reflex, when the wind blows, the grass bends with it, and quickly hang these things on the hook of “carbon”, and attempted to get rid of carbon at a faster rate. We need to start peeling, and get back to the real world, and cannot stick labels everywhere. “Carbon” is the same “carbon” it was before, we must not get in to too much of a fluster. It is with polluted water/effluent, acid rain, destructive logging and waste with which we must struggle over the long term.

And here he is concluding that it is a fiendish plot – a new Cold War to all intents and purposes – by the West to suppress the economic growth of the BRICS nations.

Behind the back of the demonizing of “carbon”, we must recognize that it is the sinister intention of the Developed Countries to attempt to use “carbon” to block the living space of the Developing Countries.

There is only one Earth, natural resources are limited. If according to current technological conditions, and Developing Countries had the same living standard as Developed Countries, then we’d need at least 3 to 5 Earth’s to satisfy our appetites. This is what Developed Countries are most afraid of, the development of the Developing Countries poses an enormous threat to their way of lives.

In 2008, the price of foodstuffs substantially increased, a certain President actually said that the primary reason was because suddenly, one day, 300 million Indians started to eat two bowls of rice, and one billion Chinese started to drink milk.

In the eyes of some Westerners, the many developing countries have absolutely no right to enjoy the same standard of life as them.

If we really are equal, are of one mind, and together protect the Earth – our garden, we really can see a beautiful utopia in the future. But the Developed countries do not in the slightest wish to take any responsibility, they have set up double standards over “carbon emissions”, everywhere reflecting their arrogance and selfishness.

Behind “the Carbon Plot” is national interest, it is the bitter struggle for the right to existance for every country.

At this time, we again see the struggle between two camps, Europe, the USA and other developed countries, and China, India, Brazil, and Russia as the representatives of the Developing Countries, owing to their common interest, now walking closely together.

Personally, I think his conclusion says more about BRICs chippiness and paranioa than it does socio-political actualite. The CAGW scam owes much more to an attempted power grab by the left in order to achieve “environmentally” in the 21st century what it couldn’t achieve economically in the 20th Century, viz: total state control of the means of production, in the guise of ecological correctness.

But it doesn’t really matter whether the author is right or wrong in what he thinks. What matters is simply that this IS how the Chinese think, which, whether you love China or loathe it is fantastically good news for those of us in the realist/sceptics camp. China, after all, is the world’s future dominant economic power and, this being so, it makes an absolute nonsense of attempts by the EU and the US to hamper our industrial growth by imposing on our economies eco-taxes and eco-regulations which the Chinese intend to ignore completely.

This truth hasn’t hit home yet: not in the EU; not in the Cleggeron Coalition; not in Obama’s USA. Here’s my bet. The first to see sense on this will be whichever Republican administration takes over from Obama’s one-term presidency in 2012. From that point on – by which time we’ll have had two more exceptionally cold winters to concentrate our minds – British and European environmental policy will look increasingly foolish and irrelevant.


Australia: "Glare" stops solar panel plan

How dare the sun be so glary?

A STATE Government-backed scheme to use the sun to power towns in Queensland's scorched Outback has run into the dust due to concerns about the light. Cloncurry in the state's northwest was meant to be the centrepiece of a radical $30 million plan to use solar energy to heat water and generate electricity, cutting carbon emissions and reliance on diesel – and eventually taking the town off the grid.

But The Courier-Mail can reveal that three years after its launch, instead of a forest of 8000 mirrors the project consists only of four test panels and a fake tower behind a locked gate.

It was forecast that by now, a "groundbreaking" 10-megawatt solar thermal power plant would be using steam from water heated in a graphite block to drive a turbine to generate electricity. It should have been supplying power to the homes of 4828 residents.

The Government, which faces criticism over a series of expensive infrastructure blunders, is blaming the project's failure on concerns about light pollution. Boffins are now looking into concerns that residents could be exposed to blinding light from the plant.

Energy Minister Stephen Robertson has broken the official commercial-in-confidence line of the state's commercial partner, Sydney-based Lloyd Energy Storage, to reveal the technological glitch. "There was a glare issue exceeding what they consider to be appropriate levels," he said. "If the glare issue cannot be addressed the project will be moved somewhere else in Cloncurry or it will not proceed."

The State Government earmarked $7 million for the project. Of that, $900,000 had been spent so far, he said. "We are talking about a sunrise industry here, no pun intended," Mr Robertson said. "Sometimes we've got to take a risk with taxpayers' money to prove up this new technology."

He admitted the "timelines had blown out", and said the University of Melbourne had been commissioned by Ergon Energy and Lloyd Energy to prepare an independent report into "glare issues". He said the report would be finalised and publicly released later this month.

He could not say if it was the four panels on the outskirts of Cloncurry that had been deemed "too glary" or those of another project. The company is trialling the same technology at Lake Cargelligo in NSW.

Premier Anna Bligh touted the project for Cloncurry in November 2007, aiming to take a personal interest. Lloyd Energy and the SMEC Group were to contribute $24 million. Subject to feasibility studies, the system was expected to be suitable for any remote town or towns on the fringe of grid power, such as Thargomindah, Quilpie, Cunnamulla, Normanton, Charleville or Julia Creek.


Ye're all going to dieeee

Die, I tell you, die ... ye're all going to die, die a most horrible death ... die, yes you ... die. And so reports the BBC: "Many more people will die of heart problems as global warming continues, experts are warning," they tell us.
"Climate extremes of hot and cold will become more common and this will puts strain on people's hearts, doctors say ... A study in the British Medical Journal found that each 1C temperature drop on a single day in the UK is linked to 200 extra heart attacks."

"Heatwaves, meanwhile, increase heart deaths from other causes, as shown by the events in Paris during summer 2003."

The worst of it is that these people are serious and so is the BBC. They cannot see how stupid they look, how stupid they sound, and how stupid they are. In fact, they are beyond stupid. They are barking mad.

Amongst other things, I wonder if any of them know what a Saturated Adiabatic Lapse Rate is [The higher up you go, the colder it gets], and what thus happens when you drive from the coast (altitude 0ft) to my home, altitude a smidgin short of 1000ft? Are they really saying that this puts people at risk of a heart attack?

It is these people that are the real health hazard – they sap our life energy with their constant, sterile diet of scare stories. But if they are so in love with the idea of death, they should embrace it and save us leading them there. I am sick to the back teeth of them.


Invasion of the invasive species!

Local biodiversity is increasing

Here’s a fact that I suspect most people don’t know: Wherever we humans have gone in the past two centuries, we have increased local and regional biodiversity. Biodiversity, in this case, is defined as increasing species richness. Yet, “the popular view [is] that diversity is decreasing at local scales,” Brown University biologist Dov Sax and University of California, Santa Barbara biologist Steven Gaines report [PDF].

Ample scientific evidence shows that this popular view is wrong, however. For example, more than 4,000 plant species introduced into North America during the past 400 years grow naturally here and now constitute nearly 20 percent of the continent’s vascular plant biodiversity.

The fear among opponents of "invasive species" is the aggressive outsiders will cause a holocaust among the native plants. That might initially seem reasonable because there are a few species, like kudzu, purple loosestrife, and water hyacinth, that grow with alarming speed wherever they show up. But that doesn't mean other species are in danger. “There is no evidence that even a single long term resident species has been driven to extinction, or even extirpated within a single U.S. state, because of competition from an introduced plant species,” Macalester College biologist Mark Davis notes [PDF]. Yet this spurious threat of extinction persists as one of the chief reasons given for trying to prevent the introduction of exotic species.

Meanwhile, there are plenty more examples in which local and regional species richness has been increasing. Introduced vascular plants have doubled the species richness of the plant life on most Pacific Islands. In fact, the species richness of some islands has increased so much that they now approach the richness of continental areas. In New Zealand 2,000 introduced plant species have taken up residence with the islands’ 2,000 native species and only three native plant species have gone extinct. The opening of the Suez Canal introduced 250 new fish species into the Mediterranean Sea from the Red Sea which resulted in only a single extinction.

Researchers find increases in species richness on the local level as well. Sax and Gaines cite studies [PDF] which find that a corner of West Lancester in Britain has seen a dramatic rise in plant species diversity over the past two centuries, gaining 700 exotics while losing 40 natives. They note that reptile and amphibian diversity has increased slightly in California. Mammal diversity has increased on many oceanic islands, and in Australia and North America. Freshwater fish diversity has increased significantly in many drainages throughout the U.S.

Birds are different. Many species, especially those endemic to isolated islands, have gone extinct, largely due to habitat loss and predation from humans or introduced predators such as rats. Nevertheless, Sax and Gaines note that “net bird diversity (in spite of large changes in species composition) has remained largely unchanged on oceanic islands.” In other words, despite extinctions of endemic species, the number of avian species on any given island remains about steady because new species are introduced to them.

So why then are so many ecologists and environmentalists on a jihad against introduced species? Of course, some introduced species do cause harm to the environment. They become pests (which means they set up shop where we don’t want them to) or cause disease in people or creatures we care about. But the vast majority of introduced species blend in more or less unobtrusively with the natives. The main objection to spreading non-native species seems to be aesthetic.

For example, Birmingham University biologist Phillip Cassey and colleagues respond to the evidence of rising local and regional biodiversity by complaining that many of the birds that a visitor from the U.K. would encounter in New Zealand are the same species found back home. “The same is true for floras and faunas around the world,” lament [PDF] Cassey and colleagues. “It is the biological equivalent of flying from Seattle to Paris and going to Starbucks for your coffee.”

Fair enough. But this is not a scientific argument. Sax and New Mexico University biologist James Brown correctly observe that whether the impacts of introduced species “are considered to be positive or negative, good or bad is a subjective value judgment rather than an objective scientific finding. Scientists are no more uniquely qualified to make such ethical decisions than lay people.” Cassey may wish to quaff his caf au lait at Les Deux Magots while others enjoy their Venti Caf Misto in the familiar purlieus of a Parisian Starbucks.

Nevertheless, aesthetic reasons are still reasons and science can be validly deployed in their service. Some people may prefer landscapes restored to a condition prior to the introduction of outside species. As Davis and his colleague Stony Brook University biologist Lawrence Slobodkin point out [PDF], architecture uses mathematics, physics, and engineering to achieve aesthetic and social goals. “Perhaps ‘ecological architecture’ might be a more apt characterization of the work of ecological restoration,” they suggest. “Because the term acknowledges the central role played by both values and science.”

Ultimately, Davis argues that the good news from biology is that the “globalization of the Earth’s biota will not lead to a world composed of zebra mussels, kudzu, and starlings.” Instead, while in the future different regions of the world will be more similar in their floras and faunas, Davis concludes, “At the same time, they will become more diverse, in some cases much more diverse.”



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


11 August, 2010

An ancient Earth like ours -- despite FIVE TIMES as much atmospheric CO2

Geologists reconstruct the Earth’s climate belts between 460 and 445 million years ago and find they were like ours -- findings published in a peer reviewed publication. The complete lack of logic in the last sentence below was needed to get it published, of course

An international team of scientists including Mark Williams and Jan Zalasiewicz of the Geology Department of the University of Leicester, and led by Dr. Thijs Vandenbroucke, formerly of Leicester and now at the University of Lille (France), has reconstructed the Earth’s climate belts of the late Ordovician Period, between 460 and 445 million years ago.

The findings have been published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA – and show that these ancient climate belts were surprisingly like those of the present.

The researchers state: “The world of the ancient past had been thought by scientists to differ from ours in many respects, including having carbon dioxide levels much higher – over twenty times as high – than those of the present. However, it is very hard to deduce carbon dioxide levels with any accuracy from such ancient rocks, and it was known that there was a paradox, for the late Ordovician was known to include a brief, intense glaciation – something difficult to envisage in a world with high levels of greenhouse gases. “

The team of scientists looked at the global distribution of common, but mysterious fossils called chitinozoans – probably the egg-cases of extinct planktonic animals – before and during this Ordovician glaciation. They found a pattern that revealed the position of ancient climate belts, including such features as the polar front, which separates cold polar waters from more temperate ones at lower latitudes. The position of these climate belts changed as the Earth entered the Ordovician glaciation – but in a pattern very similar to that which happened in oceans much more recently, as they adjusted to the glacial and interglacial phases of our current (and ongoing) Ice Age.

This ‘modern-looking’ pattern suggests that those ancient carbon dioxide levels could not have been as high as previously thought, but were more modest, at about five times current levels (they would have had to be somewhat higher than today’s, because the sun in those far-off times shone less brightly).

“These ancient, but modern-looking oceans emphasise the stability of Earth’s atmosphere and climate through deep time – and show the current man-made rise in greenhouse gas levels to be an even more striking phenomenon than was thought,” the researchers conclude.

Reference: Vandenbroucke, T.R.A., Armstrong, H.A., Williams, M., Paris, F., Zalasiewicz, J.A., Sabbe, K., Nolvak, J., Challands, T.J., Verniers, J. & Servais, T. 2010. Polar front shift and atmospheric CO2 during the glacial maximum of the Early Paleozoic Icehouse. PNAS


Skeptical paper now accepted by an academic journal

After lots of shifty objections from other journals

By Steve McIntyre

CA readers are aware that Ross and I twice submitted a comment on Santer et al 2008 to International Journal of Climatology (both available on, showing that key Santer results (which were based on data only up to 1999) were overturned with the use of up-to-date data. These were both rejected (but have been posted up on Ross has now led a re-framed submission, applying an econometric methodology for the analysis. This is available, together with SI and data/code archive here.

Although key Santer et al 2008 results are invalid with up-to-date data, they have been widely cited as showing that there is no inconsistency between models and observations in the tropical troposphere (e.g. CCSP, EPA), as had been previously believed/argued by some.

IJC reviewers and editor Glenn McGregor took the position that the invalidity of key Santer results was not of interest to the climate science community. They proposed all sorts of other investigations as a precondition for publication – many of them interesting enterprises and suggestions, but all very time consuming and not relevant to the simple issue of whether key Santer results were overturned with up-to-data.

The reviewers of our first submission refused to permit the editor to provide us with their actual reviews, requiring the editor to paraphrase their reviews.

In our second try, one of our reviewers objected to us using Santer et al 2008 methods in a comment on Santer et al 2008. He argued that the S08 methods were incorrect (blaming Douglass et al for leading them down a “cul-de-sac”) and condemned our demonstration that their results fell apart with up-to-date data as a “descent away to meaningless arguments”. He argued that our comment on S08 should instead use “diagnostic” of Santer et al 2005.

The history of our comment was somewhat played out in the Climategate letters. In one Climategate email, Peter Thorne of the UK Met Office, a Santer coauthor, who appears to have been one of the reviewers who rejected our submission, wrote to Phil Jones notifying him of the rejection of our submission, using the defamatory term “Fraudit”.

Santer’s campaign for support for his obstruction of my data requests accounts for many Climategate letters. As members of the editorial board of Climatic Change, Santer had previously co-operated with Phil Jones in 2004 in ensuring that Climatic Change did not require Mann et al to comply with reviewer requests for supporting data and code.

Santer did ultimately place some of the requested material online. Despite Santer’s whining and delaying, this archive was very useful as it enabled co-author Chad Herman of the excellent treesfortheforest blog to benchmark his own emulation of Santer’s calculations and to create a fresh archive of PCMDI runs. Chad’s archive is FAR more usable for statistical analysis than endlessly re-processing PCMDI and may well have use for interested parties over and above the analysis in this article. (Remind me to discuss this at greater length).

After a certain point, Ross gave up on us being able to publish the simplest of comments at IJC and re-framed the analysis with “new” econometric methodology and submitted to Atmospheric Science Letters. There was a Team reviewer, but the editor permitted Ross to respond and used his own judgment on the response – this is what is referred to in Climategate letters as a “leak” in the journal network.

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

U.S. electricity blackouts skyrocketing

While Greenies obstruct the building of any new generators except windmills -- and they don't like windmills much either

New York's Staten Island was broiling under a life-threatening heat wave and borough President James Molinaro was seriously concerned about the area's Little League baseball players.

It was last July's Eastern heat wave and Consolidated Edison was responding to scattered power outages as electricity usage neared record highs.

So, authorities followed Molinaro's suggestion to cancel that night's Little League games, which were to be played under electricity-sucking stadium lights.

"Number one, it was a danger to the children that were playing out there in that heat, and secondly it would save electricity that people would need for air conditioning in their homes," said Molinaro, who'd been forced to sleep at his office that night because of a blackout in his own neighborhood.

Throughout New York City, about 52,000 of ConEd's 3.2 million customers lost power during the heat wave. Triple-digit temperatures forced residents like 77 year-old Rui Zhi Chen, to seek shelter at one of the city's 400 emergency cooling centers. "It felt like an oven in my home and on the street," Chen said.

Experts on the nation's electricity system point to a frighteningly steep increase in non-disaster-related outages affecting at least 50,000 consumers.

During the past two decades, such blackouts have increased 124 percent -- up from 41 blackouts between 1991 and 1995, to 92 between 2001 and 2005, according to research at the University of Minnesota. In the most recently analyzed data available, utilities reported 36 such outages in 2006 alone.

"It's hard to imagine how anyone could believe that -- in the United States -- we should learn to cope with blackouts," said University of Minnesota Professor Massoud Amin, a leading expert on the U.S. electricity grid.


Sea Level rise most likely to level out

There is of course some levelling out already -- but not over the sort of period considered below

We are sure you’ve heard that sea level is rising? We conducted a web search on “Global Warming and Sea Level” and nearly 3.5 million websites are immediately located. And before you conduct the search yourself, you already know what you will find. The earth is getting warmer due to the buildup of greenhouse gases, the warmer sea water expands causing sea level to rise, and most of all, you will read all about the ice melting throughout the world pouring fresh water into ocean basins causing sea level to rise far more. Alarmists insist that the worst is just around the corner, and the sea level rise will accelerate or even quickly jump to a new level given some catastrophic collapse of large sheets of ice near the fringes of the polar areas. Coastlines will be inundated, the human misery will be on a Biblical scale, ecosystems will be destroyed … this goes on for millions of websites!

Back in August of 2008, scientists from all over the world attended a workshop entitled “Empirical Constraints on Future Sea-Level Rise” and they just published a summary of their findings in the Journal of Quaternary Science. Somewhere along the way, they decided to refer to the group as “PALSEA” for PALeo SEA level working group.

The PALSEA group begins their article noting:
The eustatic sea-level (ESL) rise predicted for the 21st century represents one of the greatest potential threats from climate change, yet its magnitude remains a subject of considerable debate, with worst-case scenarios varying between 0.59m and 1.4m. In general, the basis for this debate revolves around the uncertainties in the dynamical behaviour of ice sheets (such as loss of buttressing through ice shelf break-up or enhanced ice flow through water lubrication of the ice sheet base), which may lead to a nonlinear sea-level response to climate change.

Note that the authors are talking about worst-case scenarios leading to “0.59m and 1.4m”; if the trend of the past 50 years continues (from Figure 1), sea level will rise around 0.20 meters (around 8 inches) by 2100. The PALSEA team notes that measuring sea level can be tricky “Because changes in ice mass will also cause changes in regional (due to gravitational and rotational feedbacks) and global (due to volume) sea level, the changes in sea level at a particular coastline record the difference between vertical motions of the land and sea, commonly referred to as relative sea-level (RSL) changes. Such isostatic effects are a function of the distance from the large ice sheets.”

Now for the good stuff! The PALSEA team states that
Given a broad range of emission scenarios the IPCC AR4 predicted global warming of between 1.18C and 6.48C during the 21st century. The last time that a global warming of comparable magnitude occurred was during the termination of the last glacial period (TI).

Furthermore, they write
Given this evidence for periods of rapid warming during TI, at least some of this warming occurred on decadal to centennial timescales. Because of the general similarity between the magnitude and rate of warming predicted for the 21st century and the warming that occurred during certain periods of TI, it is interesting to consider rates of sea-level rise during TI as a case study of the response of sea level to climate change.

The PALSEA group presents the graphic below (Figure 2) showing three different rates of sea level rise following an increase in temperature. As seen there, sea level could rise exponentially (as suggested by many climate change alarmists), it could rise linearly, or it could rise and then level off (the “asymptoting” curve).

Here’s what they conclude:
Therefore, we suggest that option 1 (exponential sea-level rise) is extremely unlikely. …An exponential increase in rates of sea-level rise with respect to temperature would result in 21st-century sea-level rise an order of magnitude larger than estimates using alternative patterns of response – it is an important result that the palaeo-sea-level data rule out such a response.

Finally, they write “the palaeo sea-level data suggests that sea-level rise related to current warming may be rapid at first and slow over time.”

Basically, their analysis of what happened in the past favors the “asymptoting” curve that is quite different from the exponential curve favored by those proclaiming the worst is yet to come! Mother Nature showed us in the past how sea level responds to warming

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

Antarctic temperatures have never been stable

It is said frequently that the climatic data for Antarctica for the past 30 years – the period for which records are far superior to previous times - shows clear signs of mankind’s influence. However, it is important to look at such changes in a historical context. This is important else we attribute any and every change seen in the past few decades to mankind alone. When it is done today’s changes are seen in a new light.

Never Stable

Antarctica’s climate has never been stable, and there have many significant changes in the past few thousand years, indeed the past few hundred as well. Proxy indicators from ice cores show abrupt alterations in atmospheric circulation and temperature. One of the most dramatic changes was the intensification of the circumpolar westerly winds between 6000 and 5000 years ago and between 1200 and 1000 years ago.

Going back even further there is strong evidence for dramatic changes obtained the synthesis of ice core isotope proxy records for temperature showing that there was a warm period, much warmer than Antarctic is today, between 11,500 and 9000 years ago, a period sometimes referred to as the early Holocene climatic optimum. The ice sheets responded to this warmth. Analysis of grounding lines in the marine-based parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet, at the head of the Ross Ice Shelf, show that the sheets started to retreat to their current position from a position close to the edge of the current Ross Ice Shelf 7000 - 9000 years ago.

It is also clear that the climate of the Earth’s polar regions are linked. Intensification of atmospheric circulation in the Northern Hemisphere (indicated by a stronger Siberian High and northern circumpolar circumpolar westerlies and a deeper Icelandic Low) and to a lesser degree in the Southern Hemisphere (stronger circumpolar westerlies and deeper Amundsen Sea Low) occurs 8200 - 8400 years ago. Date from Siple Dome (West Antarctica) and the Greenland Ice Sheet Project ice core climate proxies for northern and southern circumpolar westerlies show remarkably concurrent major intensification periods between 6000 and 5000 years ago and starting 1200 - 600 years ago. It appears that Antarctic events start earlier and less abruptly than those in Greenland.

The most dramatic changes in atmospheric circulation during the Holocene noted in the Antarctic are the abrupt weakening of the southern circumpolar westerlies 5200 years ago and intensification of the westerlies and the deepening of the Amundsen Sea Low starting 1200–1000 years ago.

Following the early Holocene warming Siple Dome data indicate significant cooling between 6400 and 6200 years ago, followed by relatively milder temperatures over East Antarctica 6000 – 3000 years ago that lasted until about 1200 years ago in the Siple Dome area. There then seems to have been a flattening and a slight decline in temperature starting 1200 – 1000 years ago, followed by warming in the last few decades.

Penguin Optimum

The timing of these climatic changes can also be deduced from observations of abandoned Adelie penguin colonies along the coast of Victoria Land. This is because penguins depend on sea ice extent. Research into penguin rookeries suggest a ‘‘penguin optimum’’ associated with a warmer climate and less sea ice between 4000 and 3000 years ago. This ‘optimum’’ ended abruptly 3000 years ago, as the inland lakes began to fill and the coastal lakes began to decrease in size. It seems the abandoned rookeries were reoccupied between 1200 and 600 years ago, also suggesting warming along the southern Victoria Land coast.

The abrupt climate change commencing 1200 – 1000 years ago is the most significant Antarctic climate event of the past 5000 years. Its onset is characterised by strengthening of the Amundsen Sea Low and the southern circumpolar westerlies with cooling both at Siple Dome. It is this event that provides the underpinning for centennial and perhaps shorter-scale natural variability upon which future climate change over Antarctica might operate.

In the past 300 years there has been major changes in what appears to have been a significant shift in atmospheric circulation above the entire trans-Antarctic region between about 1700 and 1850. Concurrently there has been abrupt climate change in the North Atlantic as well as a significant change in atmospheric circulation in the North Pacific.


Australian Greens promoting death taxes

“There are only two certainties in life: death and taxes.” It’s a phrase that originated more than 200 years ago (first attributed to Benjamin Franklin) and it still holds true today. But did you know an Australian political party is trying to combine life’s two certainties?

The Australian Greens advocate the re-establishment of an estate tax as part of their economic platform, which the Greens are taking to the upcoming federal election. Estate taxes, otherwise known as death duties, were a common part of Australian life for most of the 20th century, and forced individuals to pay tax on a deceased family member’s estate, mainly their property and other valuable possessions. The United States still enforces an estate tax today.

Exemptions and thresholds were implemented to spare low and average income earners from much of the burden, but Queensland abolished estate taxes in the late 1970s, and by the mid 1980s, the Commonwealth and other states had followed Queensland’s lead.

The Greens’ proposal to reintroduce an estate tax promises to “protect the family farm, the family home and small business with a threshold of $5 million”, but it is hard to understand why a party so strongly dedicated to protecting vulnerable members of society plans to tax the dead in order to enforce its social policy.

Also, in contrast with both major parties’ pledges to cut company taxes once the budget bottom line improves, the Greens plan to increase the company tax rate to 33 per cent, which would irreparably harm productivity and lead to a death of a different kind: the figurative death of the Australian economy. They also seek to impose a higher rate of tax on the Australian mining industry.

For a party growing in influence and poised to hold the balance of power in the Senate from July 2011, the Greens’ policies warrant further examination. Their estate tax plan is nonsensical and would only increase the hardship and sorrow suffered by grieving families after the death of a loved one, and force many sons and daughters to either sell their business, bring in partners, borrow more, downsize or lay off staff.

As US magazine Investors Business Daily editorialised this year, people “should not be punished because they work hard, become successful and want to pass on the fruits of their labour, or even their ancestors’ labour, to their children”. An estate tax can also be a disincentive for people and businesses to save and invest, and, rather ironically, can even be considered harmful to the environment, as an American review argued in 1998.

Perhaps it’s time to add a third certainty to the list to join death and taxes – bizarre Greens economic policy.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


10 August, 2010

US Government in Massive New Global Warming Scandal – NOAA Disgraced

Global warming data apparently cooked by U.S. government-funded body shows astounding temperature fraud with increases averaging 10 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Official Warmists are well-known for "adjusting" their data but this is ludicrous

By John O'Sullivan

The tax-payer funded National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has become mired in fresh global warming data scandal involving numbers for the Great Lakes region that substantially ramp up averages.

A beleaguered federal agency appears to be implicated in the most blatant and extreme case of climate data fraud yet seen. Official records have been confirmed as evidence that a handful of temperature records for the Great Lakes region have been hiked up by literally hundreds of degrees to substantially inflate the average temperature range for the northeastern United States.

The web pages at the center of this latest climate storm were created by NOAA in partnership with Michigan State University.

Someone under the pseudonym ‘Sportsmen’ anonymously tipped off skeptic blog, Independent analysts affirm the web pages as genuine. In his email the faceless whistleblower explains that what precipitated the scoop was “a rather dubious report in the media that the Great Lakes temperatures have risen 10 to 15 degrees, I found it was downright laughable.” (Just a few examples of media hysteria here and here and here and here)

He continues, “ Prior to this report I would frequent the ‘Coastal Watch’ temperature maps for northern Lake Michigan. When this report came out it dawned on me that the numbers didn't match what I had been reading on the Coastal Watch temperature page.”

Under a scheme called ‘Sea Grant’ NOAA collaborates with national universities to compile an official federal temperature record. In this instance, the partnersip is with Michigan University’s ‘Coastal Watch.’

Together the two institutions show temperature maps for northern Lake Michigan registering an absurd 430 degrees Fahrenheit -yes, you read it right –that’s four hundred and thirty degrees-and this is by no means the highest temperature recorded on the charts.

In the heated debate about Earth’s ever-changing climate you certainly don’t need to be scientist to figure out that the Great Lakes would have boiled away at a mere 212 degrees so something has seriously gone awry inside this well-funded program.

In addition to its civilian employees, NOAA research and operations are supported by 300 uniformed service members who make up the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps. But don’t bet on anyone being court-martialled over this latest global warming fiasco.

Paid for entirely from federal taxes, the shamed public body’s key responsibilities include warning of dangerous weather and protection of ocean and coastal resources, and conducts research to improve understanding and stewardship of the environment.

Michigan State University Also Complicit in Fraud?

The worst evidence of hyper-inflated global warming data is on a web page entitled, ‘Michigan State University Remote Sensing & GIS Research and Outreach Services.’

While another web page identifies that Michigan State University’s ‘Coastal Watch’ site is officially connected to NOAA thus implicating both institutions in a climate data conspiracy. At the bottom of the web page mention is made of ‘Sea Grant’ that is described as a “unique partnership of public and private sectors that combines research, education and technology transfer for public service.“

The legend further boasts that such data is shared across “a national network of universities meeting the changing environmental and economic needs of Americans in coastal ocean and Great Lakes regions.”

NOAA Makes it White Hot in Wisconsin

But our intrepid anonymous whistleblower wasn’t done yet. He pointed out that Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, really got cooking this July 4th around 9:59AM, according to NOAA and Coast Watch. It was there, at the bottom left row of the temperature data points, that the records reveal on that day a phenomenally furnace-like 600 degrees Fahrenheit. (Click here if CoastWatch link does not work or disappears)

Further analysis of the web pages shows that the incredibly wide temperature swings were occurring in remarkably short 10-hour periods-and sometimes in less than 5 hours. Strangely, none of the 250 citizens of the 78 families living in the village appeared to notice this apocalyptic heatwave during their holiday festivities.

Hidden Data Spike Hikes Heating Averages

But our sharp-eyed stranger comments, “ As I understand it, the current available Gif data maps are several for the latest dates, but the archives have less dates to choose from. It's possible that in the past these numbers were incorrect but in the archive system you do not see the numbers that could have been in gross error.”

So it may reasonably be inferred climate fraudsters had a perfect opportunity here to fraudulently apply overcooked and overlooked data so that America’s Joe Public would be none the wiser that a few climate numbers vastly ramped up the national temperature averages.

Laughably, NOAA publishes a caveat at the bottom right corner of their web page warning about their data is “Not to be used for navigation purposes!”

The current head of NOAA is Dr. Jane Lubchenco, nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate on March 19, 2009 and is the first woman to serve as NOAA administrator. On her appointment Lubchenco declared that science would guide the agency and that she expects it to play a role in developing a green economy. You can say that again!

Readers now interested in doing their own detective work may wish to peruse the further data found here and here to further ascertain whether climate doomsayers have rigged more ‘real world’ temperatures in a shabby scheme to win support for green energy tax hikes. If you find anything be sure to drop Lubchenco a line here.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

CO2 is Not a Pollutant but a Huge Benefactor

By Joseph D’Aleo. Small excerpt only below

There is a wild debate in the skeptic community on whether CO2 plays a role in climate changes over time and if so how much. I am going to avoid getting embroiled in that discussion because no one knows, including the IPCC, which starts with the basic assumption that it does, that we understand the forcing and proceeds from there. They back into the forcing in their models which are seriously flawed with very poor understanding of the clearly important factors of water in all its forms in our atmosphere and in the role of the sun and oceans. Even with seriously contaminated surface observation data , their models are failing miserably even just a decade or two into the runs.

There was a very similar divisive argument in the meteorological community in early to middle part the last century as Dr James Fleming of Colby College documented in the book “Historical Perspectives on Climate Change”. The pertinent chapter was on the web and can be found here. This was before models and was based on theory as the write-up documents.

As a Synoptic Meteorologist and Climatologist over the years I have let the data do the talking. The data says that CO2 plays little or no role in climate change - which is cyclical and relates far better with the cycles in sun and ocean.

When correlating CO2 with temperature trends in various periods of cyclical warming and cooling the last 110 years we find a negative correlation from the late 1800s to 1917 (-0.35), positive from 1917 to 1940 (+0.43), negative during the WWII and post WWII boom from 1940 to around 1975 (-0.40), positive from 1975 to around 2000 (+0.36) and negative in the short period to 2009 (-0.56).

The Russian scientists Klashtorin and Lyubushin (2003) found a similar alternating pattern comparing GLOBAL temperature trends and World Fuel Consumption. They found a +0.92 from 1861 to 1875, a -0.71 from 1875 to 1910, +0.28 from 1910 to 1940, -0.88 from 1940 to 1975, +0.94 from 1975 to 2000.

In the paper they projected a reversal post 2000 which has verified. This on again, off-again correlation suggests that CO2 is not the primary climate driver. Since the solar TSI and ocean multidecadal cycles are much better correlated, they are more likely candidates.

As opposed to be a pollutant or an agent of harm, CO2 is a blessing, a plant fertilizer that has supported an agricultural revolution. Nurseries use CO2 to boost plant growthy in greenhouses, pumping it in at levels maybe 3 times ambient levels.

Just the increase in the last century has improved crop yields as shown by NASA greening studies and the UN’s own graph.

More HERE (See the original for links and more graphics)

More Warmist hatred

A Daily Kos contributing editor has suggested that “Steve Milloy and his buddies” commit suicide or be euthanized apparently for the crime of opposing global warming alarmism.

Amid a rant on his blog about skeptics “carpet-bomb[ing] newspaper editorial pages with climate change disinformation…], Steven Alexander, who writes for Daily Kos under the nom-de-plume “Darksyde,” wrote that: "… if only Milloy and his buddies could check into one of the [Soylent Corporation's] lovely medical suites for a short nature movie and a glass of wine…"

The reference is to the assisted suicide scene in the 1973 movie Soylent Green, starring Charlton Heston.

The Clarity Digital Group, which owns, removed the offensive posting immediately upon notification.

Former Washington Post reporter David Weigel was recently fired from the paper for privately writing on the Journolist listserv that Matt Drudge should “… set himself on fire.”

Now Alexander has publicly wished a similar fate for climate skeptics.

If you wonder why the skeptics fight so vigorously against the greenshirts, the sort of intolerance exhibited by Alexander over a mere difference in opinion is one reason. God help us all, if they prevail.


Even Greenies are getting skeptical

A new national poll of green consumers found that belief in global warming is declining, and even the worst nightmare scenarios would not change people’s minds or behaviors.

The poll, one of four annual surveys conducted by Shelton Group, surveyed 1,098 Americans who at least occasionally buy green products and found only about half believe climate change is occurring and caused by human beings.

Asked whether they agreed with the statement, “Global warming or climate change is occurring and it is primarily caused by human activity,” 52% of green consumers agreed, compared to 49% of U.S. consumers overall. That’s down significantly from a year ago when 58% of all U.S. consumers agreed.

Respondents who disagreed, or were undecided, were then asked, "Which of the following scenarios would convince you that climate change is a real and immediate threat and cause you to make dramatic changes in your lifestyle? You wake up one morning and find out that…" followed by a list of nightmare scenarios. These included: The polar ice cap has completely melted, kids can no longer play outside in the summer and Nebraska is turning into a desert.

The top two responses were: "None of these would convince me" at 27%; and "One or more of these would convince me but I would be unlikely to make changes" at 24%.

“That means over half of those who are unconvinced about global warming are either unlikely to change their mind or unlikely to change their ways, no matter what happens,” said Suzanne Shelton, CEO of Shelton Group....


Lessons from the Horizon blowout: more hype than harm

Only two weeks after BP began capping the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout, people have begun to ask, "Where's the oil?" The fact that skimmer ships sent out to clean the water of oil are unable to find oil to clean is leading the mainstream media to question whether environmentalists tried to exploit this unfortunate event by making it seem worse than it really was for political reasons.

The Gulf oil spill was a disaster for many reasons. Eleven lives were tragically cut short. Millions of dollars of equipment was destroyed. Several million barrels of oil rather being put to productive spewed into the Gulf. While we don't yet have a full accounting of the environmental damage the oil spill might ultimately cause, there is no question that the gulf's wildlife, the shore and the region's fisheries and recreation industries have suffered.

Environmentalists hyped the spill - in the absence of good evidence - variously as "America's Chernobyl," (Sierra Club), as "an unprecedented environmental disaster," (Natural Resources Defense Council) and "an unprecedented ecological and human tragedy," (Environmental Defense).

Echoing the environmentalist's claims, on several occasions, President Obama has called the Horizon blow out "the worst environmental catastrophe in U.S. history." Fortunately, these are proving gross overstatements, since the damage from the spill is proving far less than their frightful claims.

For instance, the Horizon blowout has killed far less than 1 percent of the number of birds killed by the Exxon Valdez spill. And while we've heard horror stories and seen pictures of oil coated marine mammals, it turns out to be the same pictures shown over and over again since wildlife response teams have only collected three visibly oil coated dead mammals thus far. It's true that about 350 acres of Louisiana's valuable coastal marshes have been soaked by oil. However, this far less that the 15,000 acres of wetlands lost each year due in no small part to the Federal programs including: the cutting of channels and canals for transport and the Army Corps stranglehold on the Mississippi's path of flow; federally subsidized flood and hurricane insurance that encourages people to develop (and redevelop after storms) coastal wetlands; and federal agriculture subsidies that encourage overproduction and the overuse of pesticides and fertilizers - the runoff of which contributes each year to the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Despite the spill, the region's fish and shrimp have tested clean, prompting the gradual lifting of the harsh restrictions that had shut down the fishing and shrimping industries.

Environmentalists hyped the spill in an attempt to push the Senate to pass the largest energy tax in history. Though the Senate's energy bill had nothing to do with the safety of offshore oil rigs, the Green lobby tried to link the two in the public's mind. Fortunately, neither the public, nor ultimately, many Senators were buying it.

Unfortunately, environmentalists were successful in convincing the Obama Administration to shut down new offshore oil and gas production after the spill. This was despite that fact that the scientific panel which President Obama appointed to recommend a response, said that a moratorium was unjustified and could make a bad situation worse. Though, the Administration's moratorium was struck down by two separate courts as illegal, in the meantime, offshore oil rig workers, their suppliers, and associated industries joined Gulf fishermen and hotel employees in the unemployment line. Thirty-three offshore rigs were shuttered. And the public coffers suffered a significant loss of revenues.

Theories for why the damage from the blowout has not been as great as expected range from the surface evaporation of much of the oil, to microbes eating it, to the currents and the dispersants simply dissipating the oil faster and to a greater degree than anticipated. One possibility that few people are discussing is that we simply never had a reliable estimate of how much oil was spilled. While it was almost certainly a larger amount than BP and the government originally claimed, it was also likely considerably less than gargantuan claims made by environmentalists.

It is too soon to tell what long-term harms, if any, may result from the spill, but for the moment, it appears that we can all be thankful that the worst doomsday claims made by the green lobby have little relation to reality. The spill, as bad as it was, was another instance of environmentalists playing the role of Chicken Little. The sky was not falling, though we did experience some rough weather.


Can all states be “particularly vulnerable” to global warming?

One of the most frequent tricks used by global warming alarmists to induce a state legislature to pass costly carbon dioxide restrictions is to claim the particular state is “particularly vulnerable” to global warming for various reasons, justifying costly, state-specific action.

“Particularly vulnerable” is a relative term, of course, and not all states can be “particularly vulnerable” relative to each other.

For example, the July 22 Nashville Tennessean claims, “The Southeast is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change.” However, a quick Google search for “global warming” and “particularly vulnerable” shows a plethora of states, regions, and groups alleged to be “particularly vulnerable” to global warming. A partial list includes:

The Northeast
The Southeast
The Southwest
The Gulf Coast
The Atlantic Coast
The Great Plains
Native Americans
Senior citizens
Rural areas
Developing nations
Developed nations
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
Rhode Island

The Tennessean is not entirely to blame for its disingenuous claim of the Southeast being “particularly” vulnerable to global warming. After all, the newspaper is merely reporting the claims of a new report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Of course, EPA is the source for many of the other “particularly” vulnerable claims above, as well.

While “particularly vulnerable” is used as a rallying cry in various states to push for state-specific global warming laws, the truth of the matter is that “particularly vulnerable” has become an absolutely meaningless term. If all states are “particularly vulnerable,” then none are.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


9 August, 2010

Glacier calves: Warmists get aroused

Every time a big iceberg breaks off a glacier, Wamists in their illogical way hail it as a sign of global warming. But, if anything, it proves the opposite

1962: Chunk of Greenland ice shelf calves into 230 square-mile island.

2010: Second-largest Greenland glacier calves into 100 square-mile island.

With climate change being blamed for, gasp!, a hot summer, shouldn't these "islands of ice" be increasing in a so-called warming world? Sadly for alarmists (and CNN), this glacier is actually growing which causes increased calving!

That's because the Petermann Glacier, from which the latest ice island broke off, has been getting larger over the last 8 years, which is the primary cause for the creation of these floating islands of ice. They literally snap off under their own enormous weight. Just ask Obama's chief science advisor, John Holdren.

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

Probably not the ‘hottest year’

Who needs those pesky thermometers?

James Hansen of NASA, an ardent believer in man-made warming, announced recently that “The 12-month running mean global temperature in the Goddard Space Institute analysis has reached a new record in 2010 . . . NASA, June 3, 2010. The main factor is our estimated temperature change for the Arctic region.” The GISS figures show that recent temperatures in the Arctic have been up to four degrees C warmer than the long-term mean.

Should we be alarmed? Probably not very.

My esteemed colleague Art Horn, at the Energy Tribune blog, has blown the whistle on Hansen and GISS. He points out that GISS has no thermometers in the Arctic! It has hardly thermometers that are even near the Arctic Circle. GISS estimates its arctic temperatures from land-based thermometers that supposedly each represent the temperatures over 1200 square kilometers. That’s a pretty heroic assumption.

Meanwhile, the Danish Meteorological Institute is publishing sea-surface temperatures from the Arctic showing a cooling trend in the Arctic oceans during melt season since about 1993. Clearly, we have no accurate measure of the real temperatures and trends in the Arctic at this moment. Probably that’s not very important. The Russians say that the Arctic has its own 70-year climate cycle. The files of the New York Times, in fact, are filled with stories from the 1920s and 1930s, clearly showing that the Arctic was as warm then as now.

But this is the moment when proposed energy taxes would start to scuttle 85 percent of the energy which powers the modern world and its lifestyles. Global climate alarmists, Hansen among them, are playing a desperate and short-sighted game of “pass the energy taxes.”

President Obama says energy taxes are a high priority—perhaps high enough to ramp up his “health care reform” strategy. In a lame-duck Congressional session, after the November elections, Congress persons who had already lost their seats, would vote to saddle America with energy taxes that would triple our electric bills and, according to a Harvard study, drive gas prices to $7 per gallon.

The energy taxes are intended to make fossil fuels expensive! The idea is to deliberately drive fossil fuel prices high enough to force us to stop using them. Then we’re supposed to depend on costly and erratic solar and wind power. (Biomass can never produce much energy: biofuel crops would take too much land, and we can’t make ethanol out of cellulose sources.)

The man-made global warming believers have invested 20 years in their campaign to convince us of CO2-driven climate calamity. To their chagrin, the earth’s temperatures started to trend downward in 2007.

The sunspot index, which has a much stronger correlation with our thermometer record than CO2 (79% versus 22%) started predicting the cooling in 2000. The sun is still in a long cold-predicting minimum.

In 2008, NASA itself told us that Pacific had shifted into its cooling mode. The history of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation indicates a 30-year cooling phase, the opposite of the 1976–1998 warming trend.

They’re panicked about losing the whole ball game. They feel they must get an energy tax on the books before the earth has a chance to resume the recent-and-predicted cooling trend. They imagine that if the law gets on the books, a restart of the cooling wouldn’t push the next Congress to repeal the energy tax!

They might even be right, though it seems a stretch given the American people’s already-massive Obama-debt and the demonstrated history that tax cuts grow the economy and tax increases strangle it.

It’s a desperate time, not for the earth, but for the global warming campaigners.


Statistician tests a central IPCC assertion

And finds that the data contradict it


Gridded land surface temperature data products are used in climatology on the assumption that contaminating effects from urbanization, land-use change and related socioeconomic processes have been identified and filtered out, leaving behind a “pure” record of climatic change.

But several studies have shown a correlation between the spatial pattern of warming trends in climatic data products and the spatial pattern of industrialization, indicating that local non-climatic effects may still be present.

This, in turn, could bias measurements of the amount of global warming and its attribution to greenhouse gases. The 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) set aside those concerns with the claim that the temperature-industrialization correlation becomes statistically insignificant if certain atmospheric circulation patterns, also called oscillations, are taken into account. But this claim has never been tested and the IPCC provided no evidence for its assertion. I estimate two spatial models that simultaneously control for the major atmospheric oscillations and the distribution of socioeconomic activity. The correlations between warming patterns and patterns of socioeconomic development remain large and significant in the presence of controls for atmospheric oscillations, contradicting the IPCC claim. Tests for outlier influence, spatial autocorrelation, endogeneity bias, residual nonlinearity and other problems are discussed.....


Direct testing refutes the IPCC’s assertion that “the correlation of warming with industrial and socioeconomic development ceases to be statistically significant” upon controlling for atmospheric circulation patterns.

The correlations are quite robust to the inclusion of atmospheric circulation indicators, confirming the presence of significant extraneous signals in surface climate data on a scale sufficient to account for about half the observed upward trend over land since 1980.

As discussed in the underlying papers by deLaat and Maurellis and McKitrick and Michaels, socioeconomic activity can lead to purely local atmospheric modifications (such as temporary increases in local particulates and aerosols) as well as land-surface modifications and data inhomogeneities, and these can cause apparent trends in temperature data that should not be interpreted as general climatic changes. As was noted half a century ago by J. Murray Mitchell Jr., “The problem remains one of determining what part of a given temperature trend is climatically real and what part the result of observational difficulties and of artificial modification of the local environment.” (Mitchell Jr., 1953).

The results herein show that this longstanding concern is likely still relevant, and the hypothesis used by the IPCC to dismiss it cannot be supported by the data. A substantial fraction of the post-1980 trends in gridded climate data over land are likely not “climatically real” but result from data quality problems and local environmental modifications.

Statistics, Politics, and Policy, 2010

Greenpeace as a criminal organization

Slandering the Alberta oilsands is a very profitable business for Greenpeace

They must have had a good laugh over at Greenpeace’s headquarters in Amsterdam when they heard about the Alberta government’s latest plan to defend the oilsands. Last week, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach announced a $268,000 advertising campaign to counter global anti-oilsands propaganda.

Just to put that in perspective, the government of Alberta will reap more than $7 billion in energy taxes this year. So Stelmach is spending 0.0038% of that to defend the oil industry. For comparison, Stelmach spent $22 million — almost a hundred times as much — designing a fancy new logo and slogan as part of a three-year “rebranding” of the province.

Even more bizarre is that most of the ads will run in Alberta — pretty much the last place that needs convincing. But even if the ads ran in America, $268,000 is a joke. A single 30-second ad during the Super Bowl, for example, costs more than $3 million.

Greenpeace is more effective. The day after Stelmach announced his master plan, Greenpeace activists climbed out of the top of the Calgary Tower and unfurled a huge anti-oil banner. The news and pictures instantly spread around the world, earning millions of dollars worth of free media coverage.

As always, Greenpeace immediately asked for donations for their stunt. Its websites around the world published breathless accounts of their bravery — with a call for money on every page.

This isn’t their first oilsands trespass-for-dollars scheme. Last fall, Greenpeace activists broke into several oilsands mines and a processing plant, getting free publicity every time. Expect more.

So how should Alberta fight back? Debating Greenpeace doesn’t work. They’re not interested in other opinions. The answer is simple: Follow the money. Greenpeace’s budget last year was nearly $270 million. They need to bring in more than $700,000 a day just to keep the lights on.

Slandering the oilsands is very profitable for them — and it doesn’t carry the risks that campaigning against Saudi Arabia’s oil fields would, or China’s nuclear plants. Which is why Greenpeace doesn’t try stunts there.

If their oilsands break-ins had costly consequences, Greenpeace would move onto other, more lucrative projects. Oilsands producer Suncor had the right idea when they sued Greenpeace for $1.5 million over their 2009 trespass.

But there is a legal tool Stelmach has that Suncor doesn’t: The Criminal Code. Currently, only the little people at Greenpeace are ever charged, for minor crimes like mischief and, in the case of the Calgary Tower, break and enter. Many of those arrested are in their 20s, and are let off with a slap on the wrist.

In the meantime, Greenpeace makes enormous profits off the scheme. They can always find more cannon fodder to do their dirty work.

But there is a section of the Criminal Code designed for such a conundrum: Section 467.1, which allows for the prosecution of a “criminal organization.” A criminal organization is defined as one whose main activity is the “commission of one or more serious offences that, if committed, would likely result in the direct or indirect receipt of a material benefit, including a financial benefit, by the group.” Break and enter, for example, is considered a “serious offence.”

Greenpeace operatives have been charged dozens of times in Alberta alone. The law is clear. To be convicted under Section 467.1, the crime organization’s leaders don’t need to know the exact details of the offences being committed, or even the identity of the people involved.

The list of factors for courts to consider includes the repeated use of a name (Greenpeace banners always feature their logo); the receipt of a benefit (Greenpeace always fundraises off their stunts); and repetition of these activities (almost a half-dozen times in the past two years). The law applies to members of the organization anywhere around the world.

What do you think would make Greenpeace’s executives stop laughing? A few amateur newspaper ads, and arresting some college kids? Or the prosecution of senior Greenpeace executives here in Canada — and in Amsterdam, too?



The latest news is most countries in the world are backing out of the pseudo scientists' wishes for limits on greenhouse gases and global warming legislation. Most industrial countries realize it is too expensive an endeavor to partake in at a time when the world's economy is teetering on collapse, since over two hundred billion dollars would be needed from wealthy countries to help poor countries conform to proposed climate change rules. Poor countries also do not need any more restrictions on industrialization than they now have which would limit what little growth they may have.

The actual quote of money needed from industrial countries is one hundred billion dollars, but all realize that the cost is expected to double or even triple in the coming years if all were to get on board. Such fantastic amounts of money have to come mostly from the American taxpayers in the form of double gasoline prices, tax amounts equal to energy use amounts of all energy bills, higher prices for all goods and services and across the board tax State and Federal tax hikes for all Americans.

In this time of having the worst economy since the Great Depression with most people just scraping by from day to day and some not making it at all, it is insane for any rational individual to even consider anything which would lessen what economy we have.

The whole premise of this pseudo science movement relies on the pretext of cutting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. CO2 isn't even a pollutant, but a natural gas existing in the atmosphere. The greatest CO2-making machines in the world are human beings, which breathe out CO2 after each breath of air. There are currently about eight billion people living on the face of this planet and billions of other species of air-breathing creatures living along with us, which says in itself that biological entities are the largest emitters of CO2, with all else coming in a very distant second. So to go along with the global warming pseudo science is inane since air breathing entities are the main culprits of greenhouse gases.

We would be in essence accepting taxation on a deliberately invented problem which cannot be resolved other than eliminating half of the world's population.

The global warming idiots still want us to believe that climate change is responsible for all of the Earth's extreme weather phenomena over the past few decades. However for those who know weather and climate and have a lifetime of observation to compare over the years find that there have always been extremes in weather multiple times in any given year and records prove that. There may be record breaking heat, massive flooding, and many devastating storms occurring in the world today, but the fact is such extreme weather has been going on since the planet developed an atmosphere. Most weather records of extremes in all categories were recorded many decades ago.

Recently global warming pseudo scientists have said the world's warming is definitely human caused and the sun has nothing to do with it because solar activity has been in a low period for decades. This is an outright lie since we have had more solar activity happening in the last fifteen years than at any time in previous history.

Their claim of the world having been warmer over the last two decades is also a lie since actual records differ with their predisposed computer generated models of the same time period.

The polar ice packs vary from year to year and have since we have been keeping records, and today's ice packs are well within the range of variance showing no real actual receding ice. The same can be seen in many mountainous areas where glacier ice packs are. In all instances, any reduction of ice is caused by lack of precipitation rather than temperature.

This brings us to the fact that climates are in constant flux and have been since the beginning of time. The only difference between weather and climate is the fact that weather constantly changes, whereas climate changes over the course of many years. This can be seen in Egypt where the area of the Pyramids show a much wetter and more moderate temperate climate in the area thousands of years ago.

Of course there is more CO2 in the atmosphere today than even fifty years ago because much of the world's great rain forests have been cut, thus allowing more CO2 to remain in the atmosphere since no trees are there to breathe it in and convert it into oxygen.

This whole global warming lie is really all about making money from citizens who have very little to give. It is also part of a larger plan involving government control over the world's masses, which will boil down to how many children we are allowed to have, what type of transportation we will use, the type of food we eat, our life style, and ultimately who will be selected for a euthanasia program, under the guise of protecting the whole by eliminating the few who are no longer productive in society.

We must realize the whole idea of global warming and climate change is a pseudo science motivated by a political agenda rather than fact-based hard science.


Australia: Are Greenies now experts on theology?

Greens' policies more Christian than Cardinal George Pell, says Greenie leader Bob Brown. I accept that Bob may be an expert on global warming theology but I suspect that a Cardinal knows more about Catholicism than Bob does.

Bob also seems to be a one-man opinion poll: Not good polling methodology

AUSTRALIA'S Catholic leader Cardinal George Pell has taken up the rhetoric of the extreme right and his views do not represent mainstream Christian thinking, Greens leader Bob Brown says.

Senator Brown says Australian Greens' policies are much closer to mainstream Christian ideals than the Sydney Archbishop's ideas. He was responding to criticism of the Greens by Cardinal Pell in an opinion piece published in News Ltd newspapers yesterday.

Cardinal Pell wrote the Greens were hostile to the notion of the family and the party would allow marriage regardless of sexuality or gender. He said the Greens were "thoroughly anti-Christian".

Senator Brown, in reply, said Cardinal Pell's "anti-Christian" claim was a lie, and that he had fallen out of touch with his people. "The good archbishop has forgotten the ninth commandment, which is 'thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour'," Senator Brown said. "He's lost the ethic of the golden rule and the Greens have kept it.

"The Greens are much closer to mainstream Christian thinking than Cardinal Pell. "That's why he's not standing for election and I am."

The Catholics the senator spoke to support an end to discrimination, he said. "They support compassion to asylum seekers and they support the BER (Building the Education Revolution) scheme, like the Greens do," he said. "Cardinal Pell opposes those things."

Senator Brown said the archbishop's views on gay marriage were "discriminatory and biased". "The majority of Catholics support equality in marriage (as do) the majority of Christians in Australia," he said.

"The Greens are with the majority but both the big parties, like Cardinal Pell, are opposed to 21st Century majority thinking in Australia. "He's lost contact with his own voters ... his own Catholic majority in this country."

In his article, Cardinal Pell wrote the Greens' once claimed that humans are simply another smarter animal - an ethic designed to replace Judeo-Christianity. He said some Greens are "like watermelons, green outside and red inside". "A number were Stalinists, supporting Soviet oppression," he wrote.

Senator Brown said Cardinal Pell had "taken up the rhetoric of the extreme right in Australia". "That is not new but he has become very politically active against the compassion and the environmental commonsense of the Greens policies," he said.


The column in the Sunday Telegraph by His Eminence does not now seem to be online at its original source so I excerpt it below. He headed his column with "The Greens are Anti-Christian". In answer to the question of how people should vote in the coming election, he replied:

First of all they should look at the policies and personal views of the individual candidates. Good and wise people are needed in the major political parties. Many, including myself, are concerned about the environment and so my second point was to urge my listeners to examine the policies of the Greens on their website and judge for themselves how thoroughly anti-Christian they are.

In 1996 the Green leader Bob Brown co-authored short book, The Greens, with the notorious philosopher Peter Singer (now at Princeton University) who rejects the unique status of humans and supports infanticide as well as abortion and euthanasia. They claimed humans are simply another smarter animal so that humans and animals are on the same or similar levels depending on the level of consciousness.

This Green ethic is designed to replace Judaeo-Christianity. Some Greens have taken this anti-Christian line further by claiming that no religious argument should be permitted in public debate. Not surprisingly they are often consistent on this issue, welcoming Christian support for refugees, but denying that any type of religious reasoning should be allowed on other matters.

One wing of the Greens are like watermelons, green outside and red inside. A number were Stalinists, supporting Soviet oppression. A few years ago they even tried unsuccessfully to use the privileges committee of the NSW Legislative Council to silence religious voices in public debate.

The Greens are opposed to religious schools and would destroy the rights of those schools to hire staff and control enrolments. Funding for non-government schools would be returned to the levels of 2003-04. Already in Canberra, Green pressure was one factor in the attacks on Calvary Hospital because they were not providing abortions.

We all accept the necessity of a healthy environment, but Green policies are impractical and expensive, which will not help the poor.

For those who value our present way of life, the Greens are sweet camouflaged poison.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


8 August, 2010

A new doctrine for the Methodist Church: Global warming

Who cares about that silly old Bible with its old-fashioned fairy stories? We want MODERN fairy stories!

Anyone who has observed the way the belief in man-made global warming has become for many a new religion might be intrigued by a lengthy document published by the Methodist Church, in the hope that next year it will become official Methodist policy.

Entitled Our Hope in God’s Future, it kicks off by proclaiming that “the theological task is to reflect on modern scientific accounts of the threats posed by climate change in the context of affirming the triune God as creator and redeemer of the universe”. “What is required of God’s people,” it goes on, “is repentance.” The first step must be “confessing our complicity in the sinful structures which have caused the problem”.

The document makes it clear that all good Methodists must take as their new Bible the latest report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, along with the famous report by Lord Stern. Inspired by this holy writ, like any Old Testament prophet it reels off all those familiar apocalyptic warnings of the catastrophes sinful mankind is bringing on the planet – floods, droughts, hurricanes, killer heatwaves, melting ice caps, sea levels rising by 20 feet (although they did get that one from the prophet Gore).

One cannot imagine how they left out plagues and swarms of locusts, since they could have found biblical evidence for this in the IPCC report. But, of course, only the most devout disciple will still believe in all these apocalyptic predictions anyway, since in every case there is plenty of sound science to suggest they are no more than scare stories.

Quite what the Methodist faithful are supposed to do to avert all these disasters, the document doesn’t make clear, apart from droning on, just like Chris Huhne, about the need to work for salvation by creating a “low-carbon economy”.

But one thing that is clear is that the authors of this document have completely abandoned the core principle of Arminian theology that led John Wesley to set up the Methodist church in the first place — namely that “no works of human effort can cause or contribute to human salvation”. Perhaps if these Methodists want to start a new religion they should just join Greenpeace, which got there before them.


The Week That Was (To August 7, 2010)

Excerpts from Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

Quote of the Week: “The report emphasizes that human society has developed for thousands of years under one climatic state, and now a new set of climatic conditions are taking shape.”

The quote of the week came from the NOAA report released on July 28, the day before EPA’s declaration that it will not reconsider its finding that carbon dioxide emissions are harmful to human health and welfare. Virtually weekly, physical evidence mounts that over the past 10,000 years the earth has experienced periods warmer than today – the last one was the Medieval Warm Period and cold periods such as the Little Ice Age. Yet, NOAA maintains that the earth’s climate has been virtually stable for thousands of years.

This goes to the crux of the political issue – the systematic disregard by publically funded scientists of contradictory physical evidence. Be it by hockey sticks, use of carefully selected time frames, calculation of past temperatures by computer models with highly speculative assumptions, or any other means, a code of silence infects publicly funded climate science.

The public has a right to know all the science not just selected parts of it, as in the NOAA report. A right ignored by publically funded scientists. (Please see the excerpt of Bob Carter’s article “Closing out dissent”)


The Number of the Week is +0.49C. This is the temperature anomaly for July, 2010 from UAH Globally Averaged Satellite-Based Temperature of the Lower Atmosphere as reported by Roy Spencer. The temperature for July is 0.49C above the mean for the past 32.5 years. Temperatures continue to be slightly below, but not statistically significantly so, than the record for the satellite measurements set in 1998, which was a strong El Nio year. The 2009 – 2010 El Nio appears to be over. Sea surface temperatures are falling. It remains to be seen if atmospheric temperatures will fall later this year.

We can all be thankful that Roy Spencer and John Christy adamantly believe that the public should be informed of the results of science – not selected parts of it.


With little or no government support, George Mitchell spent almost 20 years and his own money to develop a means of “fracking” shale to extract natural gas. If the method can be successfully applied elsewhere, then many areas of the world with no “recoverable” hydrocarbon reserves will have abundant reserves. The method is proving successful around Fort Worth, Texas and in the Eastern US.

The method uses water and sand mixed with small amounts of chemicals. Already the anti-energy groups are attacking the method because it uses millions of gallons of water per well and some questionable chemicals. Even though the process takes place thousands of feet below the water table and below aquifers for drinking water, these groups are playing on fear of contamination of drinking water. Clearly, proper treatment of surface waste water from the process is needed. But this should be determined by science, not by fear.

Also of concern is the role that the Federal Government, particularly the EPA, may decide to play. Continued success in this privately funded enterprise will render many alternative energy schemes of Federal and state governments even more financially impractical. Will governments allow it?


Who's afraid of radiation?

Our attitude to ionising radiation is irrational, and easing safety limits would do far more good than harm

The word "radiation" frightens people, and little wonder. Ever since the cold war, the prevailing view has been that ionising radiation can do real harm to us without being seen or felt - and should be avoided at all costs. In fact radiation is much less harmful than we feared. Given the availability of carbon-free nuclear power, this makes a sea change in our view of radiation rather urgent.

Fear of radiation grew alongside descriptions of what might happen in the event of a nuclear war. In earlier decades there was genuine scientific uncertainty about radiation's long-term health effects, and scientists were unable to be reassuring. So, driven by universal popular concern, tight regulation was imposed to minimise public exposure.

Since 1950, public dose limits have been tightened by a factor of 150. Currently, the internationally recommended limit is 1 millisievert per year above the natural background level of about 2.5 millisieverts per year. For comparison, a typical CT scan might give you a dose of 5 millisieverts and a simple dental or limb-fracture X-ray 1/100th of that.

Much has been learned over the past half century from clinical medicine, radiobiology and accidents like Chernobyl. There is no doubt that a very high single dose is fatal, as the fate of the initial 237 firefighters at Chernobyl illustrates. Within a few weeks, 28 died, and 27 of those had received doses in excess of 4 sieverts.

However, many people receive much higher doses than this, albeit under very different circumstances. When a cancer patient is treated with radiation in a radiotherapy clinic, the tumour dies after absorbing a dose of more than 40 sieverts. During the treatment, healthy tissue and organs near the tumour get an incidental dose of some 20 sieverts, which is 20,000 times the recommended annual limit and at least five times the dose that proved fatal at Chernobyl.

How can tissue survive this friendly fire? A radiation dose is the same in principle, whether received in a hospital or elsewhere. But the critical point is that the therapeutic dose is spread over four to six weeks, giving cells time to repair the damage. Each day the healthy cells receive about 1 sievert, and just manage to repair themselves. The tumour cells receive a higher dose, and just fail to do so.

So much for acute effects, but what about longer-term ones? Very rarely, the damage is misrepaired, and the resulting error may eventually lead to cancer. To find out how often this happens, we need to compare the lifelong health data of a large number of people, some of whom have received a significant radiation dose and some who have not.

The nuclear bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 provide us with the data we need. About 66 per cent of the original inhabitants of the two cities survived to 1950, since when their individual health records have been extensively studied.

By 2000, 7.9 per cent of them had died of cancer, compared with 7.5 per cent expected from rates found in similar Japanese cities over the same period (Radiation Research, vol 162, p 377). This shows that the extra risk caused by radiation is very small compared with the background cancer risk, and less than the 0.6 per cent chance of an American citizen dying in a road traffic accident in 50 years.

Not surprisingly, those who received higher doses developed more cancers. But those subjected to doses less than 0.1 sievert showed no significant increase in solid cancers or leukaemias. Nor did they suffer an increase in the incidence of deformities, heart disease or pregnancy abnormalities. So there is a practical threshold of 0.1 sievert for any measurable effect due to a single acute dose.

Given what we now know, from radiotherapy to the legacy of the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is clear that radiation safety limits are far too conservative. Evidently, our bodies have learned through evolution to repair or eliminate damaged cells, with a low failure rate. I suggest the upper limit might be reset at a lifetime total of 5 sieverts, at no more than 0.1 sievert per month. That would be a fraction of a radiotherapy dose, spread over a lifetime.

Such a revision would relax current regulations by a factor of 1000. This may seem excessively radical to some, especially those in the safety industry who have spent 60 years trying to reassure the public by regulating against all avoidable sources of radiation - which, after all, is what society asked them to do.

But common sense says that extra precautions are most needed when we know least, and in a reasoned approach to any new technology we should start with a cautious limit which may be relaxed later, as instrumentation improves and our appreciation of it grows. The regulation of ionising radiation has resolutely gone in the opposite direction, driven by fear.

Changing the limits would bring practical benefits. Radiation safety is a major contributor to the cost of nuclear power, so any relaxation should lead to big cost reductions. Given that we urgently need to develop carbon-free energy sources, that is hugely beneficial.

It should also lead to a more sensible attitude to nuclear waste. If treated properly, the quantities are small, it become harmless after a few centuries, and it may be buried at moderate cost. In any event, the effect of radioactive waste is a small matter compared with the global influence of carbon dioxide and leaked hydrocarbons. We should re-examine the environmental risks of radiation with the same radical attitude that is required for our own health.


The RES is a hoax, a fraud, and a rip-off

By S. Fred Singer, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

The US Senate’s proposed Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) would force electric utilities to generate a large and increasing percentage of their power from wind and solar – rising to 15% by 2021. These goals resemble those of the Waxman-Markey bill that barely passed the House in June 2009. It’s disturbing that some Republicans on the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted for ACELA (American Clean Energy Leadership Act). If the Senate were to take up an energy bill, it is likely that Sen. Brownback (R-KS) will introduce an amendment for RES.

Now, it is quite clear that wind and solar are not economic -- and probably never will be competitive, even when fuel prices rise significantly. So the RES mandate would mean that all of us taxpayers would support even more the RE rent-seekers and lobbyists, who are already milking the government for subsidies and tax-breaks for the construction of wind farms and solar energy projects.

In addition, electricity users (rate payers) would pay more for electric power to cover the higher cost. The so-called “feed in tariff” would force utilities to buy expensive wind and solar electricity and average the cost into the rest of the power produced. The consumer, meaning all of us, would pay for this boondoggle. It’s just a huge transfer of money, yet another regressive tax on consumers, with the electric utilities forced to become tax collectors.

The hoax part of the RES is that “clean electricity” is being advertised as a way to save the earth from the ‘dreadful fate’ of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). To accept this outlandish proposition, one would have to believe that the carbon dioxide generated in the burning of fossil fuels has a noticeable influence on climate.

The data argue against it. The constantly advertised “scientific consensus” is phony; it does not exist. The evidence that the UN climate panel, the IPCC, puts forward in support of AGW is pitifully inadequate—and wrong. It is easy to show that no credible evidence exists; just look at the summary of the NIPCC report “Nature, not human activity, rules the climate.” It is available for free on the Internet here

The fraud relates to the idea that energy produced without CO2 emission is “clean.” This word ‘clean’ is being misused, and that’s a huge part of the problem. Of course, removing genuine pollutants like sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides and mercury from smokestacks is a real clean up. It is already mandated by the Clean Air Act and being pursued adequately. But CO2 is not a pollutant – in spite of the claims of the EPA in its ‘Endangerment Finding’ – which has yet to be tested in court. CO2 is neither toxic nor irritating nor visible—nor a climate forcer of any significance, so the idea that we have to stop emitting CO2, or capture and sequester it, is a pure fraud.

And finally, the whole scheme is a financial rip-off. We all know that wind and solar energy are intermittent. If their use should rise beyond the present few percent, we would require either on-site storage of electricity or large standby capacity, probably fueled by expensive natural gas, to kick in when the wind kicks out. Either scheme would impose huge additional costs.

The biggest part of the swindle is that the RES is being sold on the basis of creating “green jobs.” But since when does wasting money create productive jobs? Why not leave it with consumers who can save and invest it to create real jobs. A study conducted in Spain, which has gone overboard on renewable energy, shows that each so-called green job displaces between two and three real jobs.

In any case, the manufacture of wind turbines and photovoltaic cells is now in the hands of lower-cost Chinese industry. So the green jobs in the US would consist of sweeping the mirrors clean from dust and dirt and fixing the blades and gearboxes of the turbines when they fail.

In all of this, the proposed legislation ignores nuclear power, which is not only “clean” in the sense of not emitting carbon dioxide, but is also competitive in price with most fossil fuels. Nuclear is most likely to become the major source of electric power once low-cost fossil fuels are depleted. Yet ACELA explicitly says that new nuclear power and updates to existing nuclear facilities and generation from municipal solid waste incineration are not included in the base quantity.

The hypocrisy of the RES advocates is appalling. It’s OK for the taxpayer to subsidize low-carbon energy that doesn’t work (wind, solar) but not low-carbon energy that does work (nuclear).

SEPP SCIENCE EDITORIAL #24-2010 (Aug 7, 2010)

Dumb Policies Just Keep Coming: Ethanol

Paul Driessen

If 10% ethanol in gasoline is good, 15% (E15) will be even better. At least for some folks.

We’re certainly heading in that direction – thanks to animosity toward oil, natural gas and coal, fear-mongering about global warming, and superlative lobbying for “alternative,” “affordable,” “eco-friendly” biofuels. Whether the trend continues, and what unintended consequences will be unleashed, will depend on Corn Belt versus consumer politics and whether more people recognize the downsides of ethanol.

Federal laws currently require that fuel suppliers blend more and more ethanol into gasoline, until the annual total rises from 9 billion gallons of EtOH in 2008 to 36 billion in 2022. The national Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) also mandates that corn-based ethanol tops out at 15 billion gallons a year, and the rest comes from “advanced biofuels” – fuels produced from switchgrass, forest products and other non-corn feedstocks, and having 50% lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than petroleum.

These “advanced biofuels” thus far exist only on paper or in laboratories and demonstration projects. But Congress apparently believes passing a law will turn wishes into horses and mandates into reality.

Create the demand, say ethanol activists, and the supply will follow. In plain-spoken English: Impose the mandates and provide sufficient subsidies, and ethanol producers will gladly “earn” billions growing crops, building facilities and distilling fuel.

Thus, ADM, Cargill, POET bio-energy and the Growth Energy coalition will benefit from RFS and other mandates, loan guarantees, tax credits and direct subsidies. Automobile and other manufacturers will sell new lines of vehicles and equipment to replace soon-to-be-obsolete models that cannot handle E15 blends. Lawmakers who nourish the arrangement will continue receiving hefty campaign contributions from Big Farma.

However, voter anger over subsidies and deficits bode ill for the status quo. So POET doubled its Capital Hill lobbying budget in 2010, and the ethanol industry has launched a full-court press to have the Senate, Congress and Environmental Protection Agency raise the ethanol-in-gasoline limit to 15% ASAP. As their anxiety levels have risen, some lobbyists are suggesting a compromise at 12% (E12).

Not surprisingly, ethanol activism is resisted by people on the other side of the ledger – those who will pay the tab, and those who worry about the environmental impacts of ethanol production and use.

* Taxpayer and free market advocates point to the billions being transferred from one class of citizens to another, while legislators and regulators lock up billions of barrels of oil, trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, and vast additional energy resources in onshore and offshore America. They note that ethanol costs 3.5 times as much as gasoline to produce, but contains only 65% as much energy per gallon as gasoline.

* Motorists, boaters, snowmobilers and outdoor power equipment users worry about safety and cost. The more ethanol there is in gasoline, the more often consumers have to fill up their tanks, the less value they get, and the more they must deal with repairs, replacements, lost earnings and productivity, and malfunctions that are inconvenient or even dangerous.

Ethanol burns hotter than gasoline. It collects water and corrodes plastic, rubber and soft metal parts. Older engines and systems may not be able to handle E15 or even E12, which could also increase emissions and adversely affect engine, fuel pump and sensor durability.

Home owners, landscapers and yard care workers who use 200 million lawn mowers, chainsaws, trimmers, blowers and other outdoor power gear want proof that parts won’t deteriorate and equipment won’t stall out, start inadvertently or catch fire. Drivers want proof that their car or motorcycle won’t conk out on congested highways or in the middle of nowhere, boat engines won’t die miles from land or in the face of a storm, and snowmobiles won’t sputter to a stop in some frigid wilderness.

All these people have a simple request: test E12 and E15 blends first. Wait until the Department of Energy and private sector assess these risks sufficiently, and issue a clean bill of health, before imposing new fuel standards. Safety first. Working stiff livelihoods second. Bigger profits for Big Farma and Mega Ethanol can wait. Some unexpected parties recently offered their support for more testing.

Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Joe Barton (R-TX) and Fred Upton (R-MI) wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, advising her that “Allowing the sale of renewable fuel … that damages equipment, shortens its life or requires costly repairs will likely cause a backlash against renewable fuels. It could also seriously undermine the agency’s credibility in addressing engine fuel and engine issues in the future.”

* Corn growers will benefit from a higher ethanol RFS. However, government mandates mean higher prices for corn – and other grains, as corn and switchgrass incentives reduce farmland planted in wheat or rye. Thus, beef, pork, poultry and egg producers must pay more for corn-based feed; grocery manufacturers face higher prices for grains, eggs, meat and corn syrup; and folks who simply like affordable food cringe as their grocery bills go higher.

* Whether the issue is food, vehicles or equipment, blue collar, minority, elderly and middle class families would be disproportionately affected, Affordable Power Alliance co-chairman Harry Jackson, Jr. points out. They have to pay a larger portion of their smaller incomes for food, and own older cars and power equipment that would be particularly vulnerable to E15 fuels.

* Ethanol mandates also drive up the cost of food aid – so fewer malnourished, destitute people can be fed via USAID and World Food Organization programs.

Biotechnology will certainly help, by enabling farmers to produce more biofuel crops per acre, using fewer pesticides and utilizing no-till methods that reduce soil erosion, even under drought conditions. If only Greenpeace and other radical groups would cease battling this technology. However, there are legitimate environmental concerns.

* Oil, gas, coal and uranium extraction produces large quantities of high-density fuel for vehicles, equipment and power plants (to recharge batteries) from relatively small tracts of land. We could produce 670 billion gallons of oil from Arctic land equal to 1/20 of Washington, DC, if ANWR weren’t off limits.

By contrast, 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol requires cropland and wildlife habitat the size of Georgia, and for 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuel we’d need South Carolina planted in switchgrass.

* Ethanol has only two-thirds the energy value of gasoline – and it takes 70% more energy to grow and harvest corn and turn it into EtOH than what it yields as a fuel. There is a “net energy loss,” says Cornell University agriculture professor David Pimental.

* Pimental and other analysts also calculate that growing and processing corn into ethanol requires over 8,000 gallons of water per gallon of alcohol fuel. Much of the water comes from already stressed aquifers – and growing the crops results in significant pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer runoff.

* Ethanol blends do little to reduce smog, and in fact result in more pollutants evaporating from gas tanks, says the National Academy of Sciences. As to preventing climate change, thousands of scientists doubt the human role, climate “crisis” claims and efficacy of biofuels in addressing the speculative problem.

Meanwhile, Congress remains intent on mandating low-water toilets and washing machines, and steadily expanding ethanol diktats. And EPA wants to crack down on dust from livestock, combine operations and tractors in farm fields.

“With Congress,” Will Rogers observed, “every time they make a joke it’s a law, and every time they make a law it’s a joke.” If it had been around in 1934, he would have added EPA. Let’s hope for some change.


Argentina Has Colder Winter Than Antartica, Spurring Record Power Imports

Argentina is a large country with a population mostly of European origin. I'm guessing that they won't be convinced to sign on to any global warming treaty any time soon

Argentina is importing record amounts of energy as the coldest winter in 40 years drives up demand and causes natural-gas shortages, prompting Dow Chemical Co. and steelmaker Siderar SAIC to scale back production.

Electricity supplied from Brazil and Paraguay rose to a daily combined record of about 1,000 megawatts on July 12, while consumption peaked at 20,396 megawatts three days later, according to Buenos Aires-based energy broker Cammesa. Shipments of liquefied natural gas are set to double this year.

Dow, Siderar and aluminum maker Aluar Aluminio Argentino SAIC are among companies closing plants, cutting output or seeking alternative energy sources after temperatures in parts of Argentina fell below those of Antarctica on July 15. Rising demand is exacerbating a shortage that began six years ago as economic growth accelerated and energy investment fell. The shortage is boosting costs as companies spend more to guarantee supplies.

“The situation is getting worse, because the shortage period is growing every year,” Gerardo Rabinovich, a director at the General Mosconi Energy Institute in Buenos Aires and an adviser to the opposition Radical Party, said in a telephone interview. “When this started in 2004, it lasted for about a week, then it was two weeks and now it’s more than a month.”

In July, temperatures in Buenos Aires were, on average, 1 degree Celsius below the usual low and high of 8 and 14 degrees (46 and 57 degrees Farenheit), with temperatures plummeting to about 2 degrees Celsius on July 15.

Renewed Cold

Also on July 15, temperatures in Mendoza, the wine- producing region in western Argentina, fell as low as -8.9 degrees Celsius below the temperature registered that day in the Argentine-controlled area of the South Pole, according to a national weather institute report.

Argentina is bracing for a renewed polar front this month. On Aug. 1, almost half of the country’s 23 provinces registered temperatures below zero, while the northern city of La Quiaca on the border with Bolivia fell to minus 10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit.) The average low predicated through Aug. 5 is 1 degree, according to the National Weather service.

Dow closed a polyethylene plant in July and reduced operations at another facility to minimum capacity after gas supplies were rationed by the government, said Soledad Echague, a spokeswoman for the Midland, Michigan-based company in Buenos Aires. The cuts were more severe than the company had expected, she said.



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7 August, 2010

Warmists and dinosaurs

By: James Isanhart []

The debate over Climate change is another very heated debate which has captured the views of billions across the globe; on one side we have a multitude of cataclysmic claims and another emerging group claiming – “It is a natural cycle”. Could it be the so called consensus of Climate science maybe wrong?

What are we to make of this when so much seems to be at stake? After all it’s not like we are talking about a simple thing like the GFC, we are talking about the possible destruction of our planet. Is the prudent thing to do to immediately enact a Carbon trading scheme just to be on the safe side? You know, use precaution, because the Earth and our children are counting on us to do what is imperative and nobly right. If the Earth may be in peril should we not implement a price on carbon even if energy prices rise and cause economic uncertainty?

On the other hand, we have the Climate Sceptics (there is even a new political party called, the Climate Sceptics) also known as Climate Deniers (in a pejorative way). Their main argument goes something like this: “The climate is always changing and the recent, albeit miniscule uptick in global temperatures is nothing to be alarmed about”. This reasoning does not give me the warm and fuzzies; after all the Earth cannot wait for us to take action. Can it?

In this debate we have to rely upon scientists for our information. That is all well and good, but what are we to make of scientific findings, which seemingly are more and more linked with politics? More people are starting to speak out and believe that the science behind the ever increasing climate scare stories are losing their credibility because it has adopted an authoritarian tone, and has let itself be co-opted by politics.

Can it be so many expert scientists could be wrong and maybe, just maybe, the so called Climate Change Deniers could be right? No, it cannot be so. A consensus of Climatologist throughout the world could not be wrong!

The history of science is not one without famous blunders having taken place throughout our past. Galileo spent more than twenty years under house arrest for having the temerity to question the noted experts (Priests) of his era about whether the sun or the earth was the centre of the solar system.

Climate scientists of today are all learned experts with a special depth of knowledge which surpasses the knowledge of other scientific disciplines. Or are they?

In the early 70’s a young geologist named Walter Alvarez noticed a pronounced layer of reddish clay which were between two layers of limestone. He took a sample of this clay and asked a nuclear chemist friend of his, Frank Asaro, to analyse it in an effort to better understand its composition.

Frank Asaro the nuclear chemist, and Walter Alvarez the geologist determined the clay contained a high concentration of a very rare element called iridium, an element only found in space objects, like meteorites, comets, or asteroids. They immediately came to the conclusion that a large object collided with the earth approximately 65 million years ago causing the mass extinctions of the dinosaurs in a short period of time. It was conclusive, was it not?

However, the paleontological community of scientists thought this information was an outrageous heresy as all real palaeontologist knew the dinosaurs died out over millions of years, not in a quick extinction. The consensus of the paleontological community was united in questioning this meddling in their area of expertise.

It was around 1990 when a geologist, named Gene Shoemaker, discovered an impact crater near the Yucatan coast of Mexico which had high levels of iridium. When confronted with the crater discovery palaeontologists still had a hard time accepting that they were wrong. Gene Shoemaker noted, “It was like our findings were against their religion.”

Twenty years elapsed between the discovery of the iridium clay layer and the locating of the impact crater before a majority of the paleontological community gave their blessing to this new science. Even today there are holdouts in the paleontological community who still do not support the impact theory to explain the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.

What is to be learned about climate science from this story? Sometimes the experts get it wrong and sometimes the non-experts get it right.

I do not feel for one minute the paleontological community had any nefarious intent by questioning the new science. That is how science works, by questioning and defending a position based upon the science each party knows. In a similar way, I do not feel the climatology community is wrong to strongly defend their scientific consensus, especially as it relates to the environment.

However, maybe – just maybe – the climate sceptics, many of whom are established scientists in their own fields, have judged the climate change story correctly.

World renowned scientific leaders including Freeman Dyson, Ivar Giaever (Nobel Prize), Robert Laughlin (Nobel Prize), Edward Teller, Frederick Seitz, Robert Jastrow and William Nierenberg have each come forward with their respective doubts about manmade global warming claims authored by the now discredited consensus of United Nations sponsored climatologists.

I for one do not believe we should institute a carbon tax of any kind at this time as the history of scientific consensus is not one to hang our whole economic future on.

Received by email from the author. Mr. Isanhart lives in Rhodes, NSW, Australia and has been involved in environmental matters for over 30 years

Aaaargh! Controlling Soot Might Quickly Reverse a Century of Global Warming

This is NOT what Greenies want to hear

A massive simulation of soot’s climate effects finds that basic pollution controls could put a brake on global warming, erasing in a decade most of the last century’s temperature change.

Compared to the larger, longer term task of getting greenhouse-gas pollution under control, limiting soot wouldn’t be hard. Unlike new energy technology and profound changes in lifestyle, the tools — exhaust filters, clean-burning stoves — already exist.

“Soot has such a strong climate effect, but it has a lifetime in the atmosphere of just a few weeks. Carbon dioxide has a lifetime of 30 to 50 years. If you totally stop CO2 emissions today, the Arctic will still be totally melted,” said Stanford University climate scientist Mark Jacobson. If soot pollution is immediately curtailed, “the reductions start to occur pretty much right away. Within months, you’ll start seeing temperature differences.”

Jacobson’s simulation, currently in press at the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, is the latest in a line of studies showing a powerful climate role for fine soot, also known as black carbon. (That’s a somewhat misleading appellation, since some carbon is brown, and the pollution in soot contains a host of other compounds.)

Soot comes from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, and also from the burning of wood or dung for fuel. Crop residue and forest-burning are another major source. When aloft, the dark particles absorb sunlight, raising local temperatures and causing rain clouds to form, which in turn deprive other areas of moisture. When soot lands on snow or ice, its effects are magnified, because melts reveal fresh patches of heat-absorbing dark ground.

In 2003, a NASA simulation blamed soot for 25 percent of the past century’s observed warming. A study last year suggested that soot was responsible for almost half of a 3.4-degree Fahrenheit rise in average Arctic temperatures since 1890 — a greater rise than anywhere else on Earth.

Soot also appears to be a culprit in drastic melts of Himalayan glaciers which provide water to much of South Asia, and in disrupting the monsoon cycles on which the region’s farmers rely. The United Nations puts the soot-related death toll at 1.5 million people annually.

Jacobson’s simulation, the culmination of 20 years of research on the dynamics of soot and its interaction with local, regional and global climate dynamics, reinforces those findings. It also studies a question implicit in the earlier studies, but not yet modeled: What would happens if soot pollution stopped?

“If you just eliminate soot, you get a significant climate benefit, and you can do it on a short time period, because soot has a life of just a few weeks,” said Jacobson. “You don’t get the full response for a while, as there are deep ocean feedbacks that take a long time, but it’s a lot faster than controlling CO2.”

Jacobson simulated the effects of curtailing soot from fossil-fuel emissions, something that’s already possible with tailpipe and smokestack filters. He simulated the effects of replacing wood- and dung-burning cookfires with clean-burning stoves. And he simulated both advances simultaneously.

If soot disappeared overnight, average global temperatures would drop within 15 years by about 1 degree Fahrenheit, maybe a little more. That’s about half the net warming — total global warming, minus cooling from sun-reflecting aerosols — experienced since the beginning of the industrial age. The effect would be even larger in the Arctic, where sea ice and tundra could rapidly refreeze.

“It will take some decades to phase down fossil-fuel emissions, so reducing dirty aerosols [soot] while we are doing that may help retain Arctic sea ice,” said NASA climatologist James Hansen, one of the first researchers to study soot dynamics. But he emphasized that soot control is only a stopgap measure. “We should reduce soot for several reasons, especially its health effects, but it is only a modest help in controlling global warming,” he said.

Nevertheless, soot could ease the delay between controlling greenhouse gas emissions and cooling. It might also help “avoid tipping points — nonlinear, abrupt and potentially irreversible climate change, especially in the Arctic,” said Erika Rosenthal, a climate policy expert at the progressive nonprofit Earthjustice.

Soot-control policy, however, is scattered. According to Jacobson, climate policymakers have paid little attention to soot. Compared to well-studied greenhouse gases, its climate role is new and unfamiliar. “There are international efforts to limit greenhouse gases, but they completely ignore soot as something to control from a climate perspective,” said Jacobson.

The draft international climate treaty negotiated last year in Copenhagen doesn’t contain soot-specific provisions, but the United Nations Environmental Program is meeting in February to discuss policy options on soot. A relatively little-known U.N. effort called the Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution has also established a black-carbon working group.

In the United States, a rare bipartisan environmental bill sponsored in 2009 by climate skeptic James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) and environmentalist Barbara Boxer (D-California) foundered after its inclusion in massive energy legislation that recently died in Congress. It would have required the EPA to study and possibly regulate black-carbon emissions.

In anticipation of these legislative difficulties, the EPA was charged this year with launching a black-carbon study. More immediately, Congress is now debating reauthorization of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, a federal program that pays for putting clean tailpipes on diesel-fuel–burning automobiles, a prime source of black carbon. According to Rosenthal, the program has been fantastically successful, with retrofit requests exceeding available funds by $2 billion.

Controlling crop and forest burns isn’t so easy, but clean stoves could be provided to the developing world for relatively little money. “We have the technology now. It’s a matter of implementing it,” said Rosenthal.

“It’s low-hanging fruit,” said Jacobsen. “It’s straightforward to address, and it can be addressed.”

Images: 1) Rennett Stowe/Flickr. 2) Average global air temperature decline following elimination of fossil-fuel–based soot (dotted line) and fossil-fuel– plus biofuel–based soot (solid line).

Citation: “Short-term effects of Controlling Fossil-Fuel Soot, Biofuel Soot and Gases, and Methane on Climate, Arctic Ice, and Air Pollution Health.” By Mark Jacobson. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, in press.


Texas defies EPA on regulation of greenhouse gases

At the very least this will tie the issue up in the courts for years -- time enough for a new administration and a new head of the EPA

Texas officials warned U.S. EPA this week they won't change or reinterpret their air pollution laws to comply with federal greenhouse gas regulations, arguing that the Obama administration's climate rules are illegal.

EPA plans to begin regulating stationary sources of greenhouse gases next January and asked states to inform the agency by this week whether they would need to change state laws or regulations to comply with federal policies.

But Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Chairman Bryan Shaw and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) blasted EPA for unlawfully attempting to force states to "pledge allegiance to its rules." The dispute marks the latest in a series of altercations between the Obama EPA and Texas as federal officials have moved to overhaul the state's air permitting program.

"In order to deter challenges to your plan for centralized control of industrial development through the issuance of permits for greenhouse gases, you have called upon each state to declare its allegiance to the Environmental Protection Agency's recently enacted greenhouse gas regulations -- regulations that are plainly contrary to United States law," the officials wrote in a letter (pdf) sent Monday to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and EPA's Dallas-based Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz.

"On behalf of the state of Texas, we write to inform you that Texas has neither the authority nor the intention of interpreting, ignoring, or amending its laws in order to compel the permitting of greenhouse gas emissions," the Texas officials say.

Specifically, the officials are taking issue with EPA's "tailoring" rule for greenhouse gases. The tailoring rule seeks to substantially raise the Clean Air Act's permitting thresholds for greenhouse gases from the current limits of 100 or 250 tons per year. Without the rule, even small facilities would be required to obtain greenhouse gas permits when the agency officially begins to regulate tailpipes' greenhouse gas emissions in January.

"Instead of acknowledging that congressionally set emission limits preclude the regulation of greenhouse gases, you instead re-write those statutorily-established limits," the letter says.

EPA air chief Gina McCarthy told Greenwire in June that the final tailoring rule was written to allow states to avoid regulating except in the narrow way her agency intended (Greenwire, June 2).

"We wrote it after talking to the states and realizing that some of the rulemaking uses the same exact language, and if we interpreted that language at the federal level to mean that you don't need to regulate, except the way in which the tailoring rule has designed it, that you can simply decide when to use our interpretation and move forward," she said. "And we know that many of the states are perfectly comfortable doing that."

For states that can't or won't immediately comply with the rules, EPA is planning to use its authority to bring them into compliance with federal rules. The agency sent a proposal to the White House regulatory review office last month that seeks to guarantee authority for federal implementation plans, or FIPs, that could replace state programs if the states do not comply with federal requirements by the deadlines (E&ENews PM, July 9).

For states that do not align with the federal program, EPA could issue FIPs to curb emissions or issue sanctions including the withholding of federal highway funding.

The battle between Texas and EPA "is going to be a shootout at the O.K. Corral," Becker said. But he said EPA won't give up without a fight. "I think that EPA is very serious about taking this forward," he said.


A Call for Energy Realism

The fossil-fuel economy won’t disappear anytime soon

In the summer of 2008, at a time of widespread anger over historically high oil prices, Al Gore challenged his countrymen “to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within ten years.” This wildly ambitious goal recalled Richard Nixon’s proclamation, issued amid the 1973 global oil shock, that the United States would aim to become fully energy independent by 1980. It also brought to mind Jimmy Carter’s pledge, made during his famous 1979 “malaise” speech, that America would “never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977,” and would seek to cut its reliance on imported oil in half by 1990. For those keeping score, foreign oil accounted for 35 percent of U.S. consumption in 1973 — and 63 percent in 2009.

As University of Manitoba professor Vaclav Smil writes in his new book, Energy Myths and Realities, the various targets proposed by Nixon, Carter, and Gore collided with the harsh reality that “energy transitions are inherently prolonged affairs lasting decades, not years.” It was probably not until the late 1890s, he notes, that fossil fuels provided half of all global energy. While we commonly think of the 1900s as the “oil century,” oil did not become the world’s largest primary energy supplier until 1965; and during the 20th century as a whole, it contributed slightly less energy than coal did.

“In global terms,” says Smil, “1800–1900 was still a part of the millennia-long wooden era, and 1900–2000 was (albeit by a small margin) the coal century.” Commercial oil production started in the 1860s, but it took roughly eight decades for the black stuff to gain even a quarter of the global primary energy market. As for the U.S. market, coal became America’s biggest primary energy supplier in 1885, Robert Bryce writes in Power Hungry, and it held that crown for 65 years. In the early 20th century, its domestic market share reached as high as 90 percent. Oil did not surpass coal as the top U.S. supplier until 1950; its rise was driven largely by the automobile revolution and military needs during World War II.

By 1958, natural gas had eclipsed coal to become America’s second-largest primary energy source, says Bryce, managing editor of the online journal Energy Tribune and a Manhattan Institute senior fellow. But then, regulatory interventions hindered its growth and gave new life to the U.S. coal industry. In recent years, coal demand has been soaring in China, India, and other developing countries. Smil points out that coal’s portion of the global primary energy market was higher in 2008 than it was in 1973. Over the next 20 years, those hoping for a decline in worldwide coal consumption will almost certainly be disappointed.

Just look at the International Energy Agency projections. In its latest “World Energy Outlook,” released in November 2009, the IEA estimated that, if government policies stayed constant, global demand for coal would increase by 53 percent between 2007 and 2030. Over the same period, coal’s share of global electricity generation would swell from 42 percent to 44 percent, while that of renewable fuels would go from 18 percent to 22 percent. Total energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions would jump by 40 percent, with coal-power emissions growing by 60 percent. Coal would still be “the dominant fuel of the power sector,” and fossil fuels generally would still be “the dominant sources of energy worldwide.”

They will also remain the dominant sources in America. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reckons that, based on current government policies, fossil fuels will account for 78 percent of overall U.S. energy use in 2035, compared with 84 percent in 2008. Coal will provide 44 percent of U.S. electricity generation (down from 48 percent in 2008), and renewables will provide 17 percent (up from 9 percent in 2008). To be sure, the extension of certain tax subsidies and the establishment of muscular greenhouse-gas regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency could boost the market share of renewable technologies and further reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels. But even if the U.S. launches an aggressive renewable-energy drive, its reliance on oil and coal will persist well into the future.

Indeed, the promise of renewables has consistently been oversold by the political class. Solar and wind energy both suffer from major structural deficiencies. As Bryce observes, they are “incurably intermittent” and very difficult to store, and have low power density. Because of their low density, solar and wind “require huge swaths of land — which often becomes unusable for other purposes.” Smil offers a balanced assessment of wind power: “Conversion of wind’s kinetic energy by large turbines can become an important contributor to the overall electricity supply, but, except for relatively small regions, it cannot become the single largest source, even less so the dominant mode of generation.”

Compared with solar and wind, nuclear and natural-gas energy boast much higher power density and can deliver far greater capacity. Bryce argues that they are the true “fuels of the future,” though he concedes that nuclear plants are extremely costly to build and take a long time to become operational. Therefore, he urges a short-term expansion of natural-gas production and a long-term transition to nuclear. While Smil predicts that “an early and substantial nuclear comeback is unlikely either in North America or in Europe” — partly for economic reasons, and partly because of perennial concerns over plant safety and the disposal of radioactive waste — he affirms that “nuclear generation is the only low-carbon-footprint option that is readily available on a gigawatt-level scale.”

Even if previous energy transitions moved at a slow, incremental pace, might we be able to accelerate them in the years ahead? Smil acknowledges that we now “possess incomparably more powerful technical means to effect faster energy transitions than we did a century or a half century ago.” But there is a crucial caveat: “We also face an incomparably greater scale-up challenge. While the shares of new energies in the global or the U.S. market remain negligible, the absolute quantities needed to capture a significant portion of the total supply are huge because the scale of the coming global energy transition is of an unprecedented magnitude.”

Over the next few decades, he explains, replacing half of all fossil-fuel energies with renewable energies would mean replacing the equivalent of approximately 4.5 billion tons of oil. This would effectively require “creating de novo an industry whose energy output would surpass that of the entire world oil industry that took more than a century to build.” Smil also addresses the ten-year plan laid out by Al Gore: Even if America had the necessary high-voltage transmission interconnections, it would entail the construction of 1,740 gigawatts of new wind- and solar-power capacity — in other words, “1.75 times as much as [America] built during the past fifty or more years.”

Our current national energy debate is heavy on passion and hyperbole; it could use a sizable dose of historical perspective and empirical reality. In that sense, Smil and Bryce have done a valuable service. Their new books should be mandatory reading for U.S. policymakers.


The Global Warming Fleecing of American Taxpayers

By Alan Caruba

As the BP oil spill slips off the front pages, replaced by daily reports of Lindsey Lohan’s release from jail; as Chelsea Clinton’s marriage is no longer news; as the war in Afghanistan loses traction with the public; and as Barack Obama pauses to review his declining approval rates, it is time once again to ask, whatever happened to global warming?

Here’s an update. On the basis of legitimate—-not government funded—-science, it is as dead as Marley’s ghost.

There actually was global warming. It began around 1850 as a Little Ice Age receded from America and Europe. From about the 1500s on, it caused the Thames to freeze over in London, widespread crop failures, the fall of the French monarchy, and the tribulations of Washington’s troops in Valley Forge, among many other notable historic events. The Earth continued to warm, very moderately, until the 1990s.

That warming period is over. The Earth’s overall temperatures have been falling for the past decade and, since the Earth is at an end of an interglacial cycle between full-blown ice ages, we better hope it doesn’t tip over into a new one any time soon. The current cooling is attributed to another well known cycle, that of sunspot activity. Fewer sunspots means a cooler climate on Earth.

Plainly stated, there isn’t a damned thing anyone on Earth can do about this latest cooling, nor was the alleged “global warming” due to “anthropogenic” causes, i.e., anything and everything attributable to human beings.

Putting aside the fact that the creatures of the Earth exhale carbon dioxide after breathing in oxygen and that various technologies based on coal, oil and natural gas generate it along with natural events like forest fires, carbon dioxide (CO2) plays virtually no role whatever so far as the climate is concerned.

It is, however, along with oxygen, the most important gas in the Earth’s atmosphere since it is the “food” on which all vegetation, from forests to jungles, crops of every description, and grandma’s favorite potted plant depends. No CO2 means no life on Earth.

Despite this, a huge global warming industry has emerged thanks to the lies put forth by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The release in November 2009 of thousands of emails between a very small band of so-called climate scientists who provided the IPCC its falsified data was immediately dubbed “Climategate.”

“Global warming”, a hoax and a fraud, had nothing whatever to do with climate and everything to do with the creation of a scam called carbon trading.

By assigning a value to the amount of CO2 emissions produced by the production of electricity and the manufacturing of everything, “carbon credits” can be bought and sold on exchanges set up to trade in them. There is money to be made in “alternative energy” production such as solar and wind farms, or in biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. To justify this, any use of coal or oil has to be demonized.

The worst part of all this is the role that governments have played in furthering this greatest of all Ponzi schemes wherein carbon becomes a commodity.

Here’s where it gets very interesting for a cash-strapped United States of America where jobs are disappearing faster than ever since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In an interesting paper published by the Science & Public Policy Institute, “Climate Money”, some astonishing and appalling facts are laid out by Joanne Nova, its author.

“The U.S. government has spent over $79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, administration, education campaigns, foreign aid, and tax breaks.”

“Carbon trading worldwide reached $126 billion in 2008. Banks are calling for more carbon trading. And experts are predicting the carbon market will reach $2-$10 trillion making carbon the largest single commodity trade.”

Based on her analysis of the money allocated to the global warming scam, “In total, over the last 20 years, by the end of fiscal year 2009, the U.S. government will have poured in $32 billion for climate research—-and another $36 billion for development of climate-related technologies. These are actual dollars, obtained from government reports, and not adjusted for inflation.”

Among the billions spent by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, otherwise known as the Stimulus Act, $7 billion was allocated to “carbon sequestration experiments.” That is taking CO2 out of the atmosphere and burying it.

This is as idiotic as it gets, especially when one considers that, despite $30 billion spent on pure science research, “no one is able to point to a single piece of empirical evidence that man-made carbon dioxide has a significant effect on the global climate.”

All that money, taxes paid by Americans, has been a complete and total waste.

It’s time to stop, but it will not stop if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has his way and pushes through a stripped-down version of the former Cap-and-Trade bill that had been pronounced dead on arrival in the Senate.

There are powerful vested interests devoted to fleecing the American taxpayer and they, not you, are represented in Congress and, in particular, in the Obama White House. This is why the Environmental Protection Agency is doing everything it can to secure the authorization to regulate “greenhouse gas emissions.”

If that should occur energy costs will, as President Obama has said, "skyrocket." It will mark the irreversible economic decline of the nation.


Climate of emissions trading cools

Comment from Australia -- where the Left have now put global warming on the backburner much more decisively than is the case in America

WE all know both Labor and the Coalition have jettisoned plans to implement an emissions trading scheme to tame climate change. But Australia is not alone in failing to put a price on carbon. Global warming fatigue is setting in all over the world.

Canada's cap-and-trade legislation is going nowhere. Japan's weak and divided government has temporarily shelved its ETS in parliament. French President Nicolas Sarkozy's carbon tax is blocked by the Constitutional Council. Public opinion polls show higher climate scepticism in Britain than in western Europe, North America and the Antipodes. Even when an ETS has been implemented, as in the case of the European Union, the policy has been a debacle: a collapsed carbon price, higher energy prices, and increased emissions during the first three years in operation.

China's leaders, far from leading the world to a low-carbon future, won't sign a legally binding global deal, because they want to grow their economy and reduce poverty on the back of the cheapest form of (carbon) energy.

Senior Indian politicians, meanwhile, criticise US officials when they push for Delhi to adopt binding emissions targets.

Nowhere is the changing climate more evident than in the US. Last month, congress could not even agree to a climate bill to debate on the Senate floor before a vote. Nor was it simply conservative Republicans who opposed what is called "cap and tax". Democrats from states heavily dependent on coal, oil and manufacturing are overwhelmingly opposed to Al Gore's agenda. When the House passed a climate bill a year ago, one in five Democrats opposed the legislation.

Meanwhile, even prominent global warming believers have come out against the ETS. US environmental lobby groups Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth; the ETS intellectual architect Thomas Crocker; NASA climate scientist James Hansen, among others, have repudiated the concept of cap and trade, saying it protects the big polluters while doing virtually nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Washington's failure to act this year represents a missed opportunity. If the US, where liberal Democrats control the White House and have super majorities in the House and Senate, can't legislate a tiny 4 per cent cut to emissions of 1990 levels by 2020 (with loads of loopholes and pork to industry), what are the chances of comprehensive climate reform when Republicans make likely gains in the House and Senate in November's mid-term elections?

All is not lost. The Environmental Protection Agency could use the 1990 Clean Air Act to regulate emissions, but such action would probably get bogged down in litigation for years. Beijing has also announced it will introduce domestic carbon trading programs and it has invested heavily in renewable energy, but any efforts to reduce emissions are outweighed by China's meeting the demands of its rapidly industrialising economy.

The Kyoto protocol expires in 2012. But the global momentum towards a genuine international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Mexico later this year is rapidly slowing. Get ready for another Copenhagen.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


6 August, 2010

Pesky! Ship find shows present Arctic Sea Ice conditions similar to 1853

Maybe even a bit colder now than 150 years ago

The international news media are hailing the archaeological find of a British naval ship the HMS Investigator on July 25 in an area far north (600 km) of the Arctic Circle that was previously unreachable due to sea ice. The HMS Investigator was abandoned in 1853, but not before sailing the last leg of the elusive Northwest Passage. The ship had been sent on a rescue mission for 2 other ships mapping the Northwest Passage. Now, thanks to "climate change," archaeologists working for Parks Canada were finally able to plot a small window of time this summer to allow passage to the ship's location:
Parks Canada had been plotting the discovery of the three ships for more than a year, trying to figure out how to get the crews so far north. Once they arrived and got their bearings, the task seemed easier than originally thought. It took little more than 15 minutes to uncover the Investigator, officials told The Globe and Mail last week. “For a long time the area wasn’t open, but now it is because of climate change,” said Marc-Andr Bernier, chief of the Underwater Archaeology Service at Parks Canada.

Interesting that the ship was lost in 1853, right at the end of the Little Ice Age, and coincidentally just 3 years after the start of the HADCRU global temperature record, from which we are led to believe the earth has warmed about 0.7C. If we are seeing "unprecedented" global temperatures and changes in Arctic sea ice, how did the HMS Investigator get this far north at the end of the Little Ice Age?


A Critical Review of Global Surface Temperature Data Products

Layman's summary: The data used to calculate 20th century global temperature is a crock -- JR

By Dr. Ross McKitrick


There are three main global temperature histories: the combined CRU-Hadley record (HADCRU), the NASA-GISS (GISTEMP) record, and the NOAA record. All three global averages depend on the same underlying land data archive, the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN). CRU and GISS supplement it with a small amount of additional data.

Because of this reliance on GHCN, its quality deficiencies will constrain the quality of all derived products. The number of weather stations providing data to GHCN plunged in 1990 and again in 2005. The sample size has fallen by over 75% from its peak in the early 1970s, and is now smaller than at any time since 1919. The collapse in sample size has not been spatially uniform. It has increased the relative fraction of data coming from airports to about 50 percent (up from about 30 percent in the 1970s). It has also reduced the average latitude of source data and removed relatively more high-altitude monitoring sites.

GHCN applies adjustments to try and correct for sampling discontinuities. These have tended to increase the warming trend over the 20th century. After 1990 the magnitude of the adjustments (positive and negative) gets implausibly large.

CRU has stated that about 98 percent of its input data are from GHCN. GISS also relies on GHCN with some additional US data from the USHCN network, and some additional Antarctic data sources. NOAA relies entirely on the GHCN network.

Oceanic data are based on sea surface temperature (SST) rather than marine air temperature (MAT). All three global products rely on SST series derived from the ICOADS archive, though the Hadley Centre switched to a real time network source after 1998, which may have caused a jump in that series. ICOADS observations were primarily obtained from ships that voluntarily monitored SST. Prior to the post-war era, coverage of the southern oceans and polar regions was very thin. Coverage has improved partly due to deployment of buoys, as well as use of satellites to support extrapolation. Ship-based readings changed over the 20th century from bucket-and-thermometer to engine-intake methods, leading to a warm bias as the new readings displaced the old. Until recently it was assumed that bucket methods disappeared after 1941, but this is now believed not to be the case, which may necessitate a major revision to the 20th century ocean record. Adjustments for equipment changes, trends in ship height, etc., have been large and are subject to continuing uncertainties. Relatively few studies have compared SST and MAT in places where both are available. There is evidence that SST trends overstate nearby MAT trends.

Processing methods to create global averages differ slightly among different groups, but they do not seem to make major differences, given the choice of input data. After 1980 the SST products have not trended upwards as much as land air temperature averages. The quality of data over land, namely the raw temperature data in GHCN, depends on the validity of adjustments for known problems due to urbanization and land-use change. The adequacy of these adjustments has been tested in three different ways, with two of the three finding evidence that they do not suffice to remove warming biases.

The overall conclusion of this report is that there are serious quality problems in the surface temperature data sets that call into question whether the global temperature history, especially over land, can be considered both continuous and precise. Users should be aware of these limitations, especially in policy sensitive applications.

See full report here.

Ross also notes the following on another paper:

You might be interested in a new paper I have coauthored with Steve McIntyre and Chad Herman, in press at Atmospheric Science Letters, which presents two methods developed in econometrics for testing trend equivalence between data sets and then applies them to a comparison of model projections and observations over the 1979-2009 interval in the tropical troposphere. One method is a panel regression with a heavily parameterized error covariance matrix, and the other uses a non-parametric covariance matrix from multivariate trend regressions. The former has the convenience that it is coded in standard software packages but is restrictive in handling higher-order autocorrelations, whereas the latter is robust to any form of autocorrelation but requires some special coding. I think both methods could find wide application in climatology questions.

The tropical troposphere issue is important because that is where climate models project a large, rapid response to greenhouse gas emissions. The 2006 CCSP report pointed to the lack of observed warming there as a “potentially serious inconsistency” between models and observations. The Douglass et al. and Santer et al. papers came to opposite conclusions about whether the discrepancy was statistically significant or not. We discuss methodological weaknesses in both papers. We also updated the data to 2009, whereas the earlier papers focused on data ending around 2000.

We find that the model trends are 2x larger than observations in the lower troposphere and 4x larger than in the mid-troposphere, and the trend differences at both layers are statistically significant, suggestive of an inconsistency between models and observations. We also find the observed LT trend significant but not the MT trend.

SOURCE. (See the original for links)

Arctic cooler in 1989 than in 1870 -- says Leftist paper

The Czech media just informed the nation about another study that rules out the industrial activity as the cause of the bulk of the 20th century climate change. "Warming is not related to the mankind's industrial activity, a study shows ("

That's a pretty clear title, isn't it? ;-) You may find it even more remarkable if I tell you that is a top left-wing news server on the Czech Internet - with loose institutional links to Prvo, the newspapers that used to belong to the Communist Party - and that the story above is the "story of the day" on the server's main page.

If you want to have an idea about the discussion under the article, the most favorably rated comment (Goodvotes - Badvotes = +200 within an hour) was written by Mr Martin Pol?ek. It says: "So at the end, it turns out that our president was right. Who will apologize to him for all the mockery?"

A vast majority of the other comments are anti-AGW, too. The readers point out that the Goreo-Bursk green industrial complex (Bursk is the most famous among the ex-chairmen of the Czech Green Party that was just eliminated from the Parliament) is highly profitable so these folks are unlikely to make a U-turn anytime soon.

The story is based on an article: Kononov, Friedrich, Bttger: "Regional Summer Temperature Reconstruction in the Khibiny Low Mountains (Kola Peninsula, NW Russia) by Means of Tree-ring Width during the Last Four Centuries" -- previously mentioned at Climate Audit, Science Centric, and Science Daily.

"A tree-ring reconstruction of the summer temperatures at the Kola peninsula - near Murmansk and the Arctic (Polar) Circle - by a German-Russian team has shown diverse changes of the Arctic temperatures in a recent century or so. The period 1630-1840 has crystallized as a Little Ice Age. The years 1935-1955 turned out to be the warmest ones while the years prior to 1990 were cooler than those around 1870. Warming returned after 1990."


Biogeochemical Feedbacks as Important as CO2

Yet more factors that the modellers left out

According to a new report in Nature Geoscience, scientists are beginning to realize that previously ignored aspects of the terrestrial biosphere can act as key regulators of atmospheric chemistry and climate. Not only that, changes in the biosphere can happen quickly—in the course of a few decades. “Although interactions between the carbon cycle and climate have been a central focus, other biogeochemical feedbacks could be as important in modulating future climate change,” states the report. Because a number of these feedbacks can have a cooling effect, the impact on global warming predictions could be earthshaking. The problem is, these feedbacks are only poorly understood and they are so interrelated that modeling them will be difficult, if not impossible.

The efforts of climate scientists, particularly the ones who blame human CO2 emissions for global warming, have concentrated on the carbon-cycle and the impact of greenhouse gasses on climate. In a new review paper, entitled “Terrestrial biogeochemical feedbacks in the climate system,” A. Arneth et al. delve into other, less studied factors involved in climate regulation. The paper surveys recent progress in understanding terrestrial biogeochemical feedbacks and their linkages, and provides an estimate of the potential magnitude of those feedbacks. Motivation for the review was stated this way:
Research into land–atmosphere exchange processes in climate science has traditionally focused on the surface radiation budget and its effects on sensible and latent heat fluxes, and more recently on carbon-cycle–climate interactions1. But many more bidirectional land–atmosphere fluxes modulate atmospheric composition and climate. Biogeochemical feedbacks are intrinsic to the climate system, owing to the nonlinear stimulation of all biological processes by increasing temperatures. Many biogeochemical processes also respond to changes in atmospheric composition and precipitation. Biogeochemical cycles are therefore strongly affected by anthropogenically forced climate change and other human activities.

The interesting point here is that most of the feedbacks listed have been pretty much ignored by climate modelers, due to the ill defined nature of the mechanisms. “During past periods of climate change, vegetation cover and interactions between the terrestrial biosphere and atmosphere changed within decades.” state Arneth et al.. “The overall magnitude of the biogeochemical feedbacks could potentially be similar to that of feedbacks in the physical climate system, but there are large uncertainties in the magnitude of individual estimates and in accounting for synergies between these effects.”

Much more HERE

The Temperature Decline That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Let’s look at the NOAA claim that the surface temperature increased .11 C during 2000-2009. Although they did everything possible to hide this information from the public, media, politicians, and even fellow scientists, by the late 2000s even die-hard alarmists were eventually forced to accept that the surface temperature record showed no warming as of the late 1990s, and some cooling as of about 2002. In other words, overall, for the first decade of the 21st century, there was either no warming, or no warming and even some cooling.

One of the consistent themes in the Climategate emails was consternation that the planet wasn’t warming as expected

One of the consistent themes in the Climategate emails was consternation that the planet wasn’t warming as expected by the models (that is, about 0.2C per decade). For example, as early as 2005 the then head of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), Phil Jones, wrote in an email: “The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only seven years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.”

Fellow Climategate emailer and IPCC contributor Kevin Trenberth wrote to hockey-stick creator Michael Mann in 2009: “The fact is that we cannot account for the lack of warming at the moment and it’s a travesty that we can’t.” Note the date: 2009, the last year of the decade. As far as Trenberth knew‚—and he should have known as a leading IPCC author‚—the planet hadn’t warmed for several years up to that time.

Even Tim Flannery, author of the arch-alarmist The Weather Makers, acknowledged in November 2009: “In the last few years, where there hasn’t been a continuation of that warming trend, we don’t understand all of the factors that creates Earth’s climate, so there are some things we don’t understand, that’s what the scientists were emailing about. ... These people [the scientists] work with models, computer modeling. When the computer modeling and the real world data disagree you have a problem.”[1] [italics added]

Yes, you do have a problem, to the point where, in February 2010, after he’d been suspended as head of the CRU following the Climategate scandal, and in an attempt to restore his reputation as an honest scientist, Jones came a bit clean in an interview with the BBC. For example, Jones agreed with the BBC interviewer that there had been “no statistically significant warming” since 1995 (although he asserted that the warming was close to significant), whereas in his 2005 email he was at pains to hide the lack of warming from the public and even fellow researchers.

The planet has been cooling

Jones admitted that from 2002-2009 the planet had been cooling slightly (-0.12C per decade), although he contended that “this trend is not statistically significant.” In short, as far as Jones knew in February 2010‚—and as the keeper of the Hadley-CRU surface temperature record he was surely in a very good position to know‚—the planet hadn’t warmed on average over the decade.

In the BBC interview, Jones calculated the overall surface temperature trend for 1975 to 2009 to be +0.16C per decade. Since that includes the warming years 1975-1998, it seems incredible that NOAA could manufacture a warming of 0.11C for 2000-2009, as shown in this graph from the 2009 NOAA report:

To show this level of warming, NOAA must have included the January-March 2010 El Nino. A surge in warming at the end of the decade would tend to pull the 2000-2009 average up, but this doesn’t negate the fact that for almost all of the last decade, the planet did not warm.

Curiously, another part of the NOAA website directly contradicts the NOAA report. On its site, NOAA offers a gadget that lets browsers check the temperature trend in the continental United States for any two years between 1895 and 2010. Here’s what the graph shows for the years 2000-2009 in the United States:

This graph shows a temperature decline of 0.73Fahrenheit (-0.4C) for 2000-2009 in the U.S. To get a perspective on how large a decline this is: the IPCC estimates that the temperature increase for the whole of the 20th century was 1.1F, or 0.6C. In other words, at least in the United States, the past decade’s cooling wiped out two-thirds of the temperature gain of the last century.

While the U.S. isn’t, of course, the whole world, it has the world’s best temperature records, and a review of the NOAA data since 1895 shows that in the 20th century the U.S. temperature trends mirrored, quite closely, the global temperature trends. So, for example, between 1940-1975, a global cooling period, the NOAA chart showed a temperature decline of 0.14F (-0.07C).

In other words, it stretches credulity to the breaking point to believe that the global temperature trend from 2000-2009 could be a full 0.51C‚—half a degree Celsius‚—higher than the temperature trend for the United States (that is, -.4C + .11C).

Until NOAA issues a correction (which isn’t likely), the cooling of the past decade, which has been such an embarrassment to the hypothesis that human-caused carbon emissions will cause runaway warming, is gone, conjured away by a wave of the NOAA climate fairy’s magic wand.

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

A reply to some L.A. Times nonsense

The article "Climate skeptics confuse, paralyze" from the Los Angeles Times, needs rebuttal. The article said "a consensus of climate scientists" identified human-caused greenhouse gases as causing global warming. Historically, "consensuses of scientists" have agreed on statements such as these:

* There are only four elements -- air, earth, fire and water.

* The Earth is flat.

* The sun orbits around the Earth.

* We are entering an ice age (1975).

Consensus is not proof. Honest questioning and testing is. We cannot test whether man is causing global warming, but we can honestly question the idea, using facts such as:

* Scientists report that ice-age sea levels were 175 metres below today's. At the bottom of the Black Sea and offshore of our West Coast are evidence of human settlement at some time in the recent past when sea levels were lower. We cannot know whether we are on the upslope, peak, downslope or bottom of one of the scores of climate change cycles between then and now.

* There are large, unpetrified trees on open ground in the Arctic, far north of today's tree line. They grew there at some time just a geological eye-blink ago, when our hemisphere was much warmer.

* Greenland's Viking farms are now under thick ice.

* There was a "little ice age" for several hundred years ending in the 19th century, long before heavy industrialization and cars.

* Water vapour is more than five times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide. The climate modellers do not know how to account for it, nor for clouds, in their models.

* CO2 is not a pollutant but is a vital component of all Earth's life cycles.

The Times article goes on to say the skeptics are "working hand in hand with big energy companies that profit from the filthy status quo."

We don't know who these people are who work with the oil companies, but I personally have not had a recent call from Tony Hayward, the disgraced outgoing BP boss.

The Times also refers to "a raging international debate."

What debate? The skeptic side has been implacably suppressed. Points:

* A big meeting of "skeptical" scientists, held to develop an objective "consensus" of their side, was little, if at all, reported.

* Skeptical scientists have been denied access to background data for the infamous and now discredited "hockey stick" graph upon which the "consensus" was once based. Evidently some of the data had been invented by the graph's originators to suit their preconceptions.

* In his book An Appeal to Reason (2008), Lord Nigel Lawson reports difficulty in getting it published. One publisher wrote: "My fear, with this cogently argued book, is that it flies so much in the face of the prevailing orthodoxy that it would be very difficult to find a wide market." Note: "fear."

Critics are so afraid of loss of professorships, project funding or citations that they fear to speak.

How can one not be a skeptic when:

* Scientific fraud has been used by the warm-mongers. Apologists papering over the evidence of bias in the "climategate" e-mails merely sound pathetic; the authors of those e-mails clearly attempted to suppress dissent. Further, it was a panel from the University of East Anglia that absolved the University of East Anglia of blame.

* One melodramatic part of a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report forecasting the melting of Himalayan glaciers by 2035 was not even sloppy science but pure fiction.

* There is gross conflict of interest. Schemes such as emissions trading are elaborate methods of transferring billions of dollars out of solvent countries such as Canada to poorly governed, improvident, in some cases blatantly kleptocratic nations.

Yes, the climate is changing because it always is. No, we do not and cannot know if man is causing it. Yes, we are destroying our planet. No, frantic, horrendously expensive efforts to limit CO2 won't fix that.

The soul of science is to hypothesize, test, challenge, debate honestly and objectively. This, unhappily, has not been the history of the global warming controversy. The Times article is proof.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


5 August, 2010

Cosmic ray fluctuations DO affect clouds

Supporting in real life Svensmark's experimentally supported theory. It's difficult reading for non-specialists but below is the journal abstract. A Forbush decrease is a decrease in cosmic rays reaching earth due to eruptions from the sun. A Kolmogorov Smirnoff one sample runs test is a simple statistical test used in many disciplines that shows how unusual a sequence of similar events is. I have paragraphed the abstract to make it a bit easier to follow

Since cloud cover is known even to Warmists as an influence on temperatures, this provides an explanation of HOW the sun affects climate. We've known for a couple of hundred years that there was a correlation between solar activity and climate changes but in the absence of a connecting mechanism, Warmists have been able to dismiss the correlation as happenstance. Changes in gross solar output are tiny percentagewise so that alone could not be the explanation

A correlation study of high-altitude and midaltitude clouds and galactic cosmic rays by MIPAS-Envisat

By Susanne Rohs et al.

The cloud index (CI), the cloud occurrence frequency (Occ), and the extinction data (Ext) of the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding instrument on board Envisat (MIPAS-E) from July 2002 to March 2004 are used to investigate a possible link between galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) and midaltitude and high-altitude clouds (CI, Occ: 9–18 km, Ext: 12–24 km).

The zonally averaged data with 3 km vertical resolution are averaged over six major Forbush decrease (FD) events and subsequently correlated with the Climax neutron monitor data (CNM). In order to allow for nucleation and growth of ice particles, time lags from 0 to 5 days are applied.

We find several weak but statistically significant correlations with an excess of positive cloud-GCR correlations. Introducing a time lag does not enhance the correlations significantly.

Subdividing the data in a global grid with 30 90 3 km resolution shows higher correlations in some regions. The investigation of the individual FD events yields a heterogeneous picture.

Overall, there is a weak tendency toward a positive cloud-CNM correlation. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov test shows that for time shifts from 0 to +5 days a weak GCR-cloud effect is evident in the MIPAS-E measurements.

An estimation of the impact of this effect delivers that a 15% increase in CNM would result in a small decrease in CI (corresponding to an increase in cloud opacity) which is most pronounced at 9 km altitude (−9% to +0.5%). For log(Ext) a decrease of −5 to 0% is calculated at 12 km altitude which shifts toward weak positive values at higher altitudes.

JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 115, D14212, 19 PP., 2010. The implications are spelled out a bit more fully here

More pesky news about the Arctic: No sign of climate change in Arctic vegetation -- same as it was in the late '30s

Discussing: Prach, K., Kosnar, J., Klimesova, J. and Hais, M. 2010. "High Arctic vegetation after 70 years: A repeated analysis from Svalbard". Polar Biology 33: 635-639.


In a review of ecological and evolutionary responses to recent climate change, Parmesan (2006) wrote that "nearly every Arctic ecosystem shows marked shifts due to climate change," and as a result, the authors decided to see if such was the case at a study site in the High Arctic located at 7838'N, 1645'E, near Brucebyen at the Adolfbukta Bay in central Spitsbergen (Svalbard), where the vegetation had been carefully surveyed, identified and mapped in the 1930s and the results published by Acock (1940).

What was done

In the summer of 2008, Prach et al. repeated the vegetation mapping and identification of species "on the same strip of land 2,042 x 521 meters in size, as surveyed by Acock in 1936-1937 and using the same methods."

What was learned

The four researchers, all from the Czech Republic, report that their work "did not reveal any changes in vegetation, since a previous study in 1936-1937, that could be attributed to climate change."

What it means

Prach et al. write that they "endorse the opinion that the vegetation on Svalbard is still resistant to climate fluctuations, in line with a statement of Jonsdottir (2005): 'Svalbard ecosystems are adapted to extreme fluctuations in climate on different temporal scales and can thus be regarded as rather robust'."

Then, quoting Parmesan (2006), who said that "nearly every Arctic ecosystem shows marked shifts due to climate change," they conclude their paper by writing that "based on the results presented here, we wanted to note that some Arctic ecosystems still show no evident change."

We would only add that maybe it just hasn't warmed as much in this High Arctic land as the world's climate alarmists would have us believe, which is also suggested by Prach et al.


Warmists getting all wet these days

With the Arctic, the Himalayas and the Amazon basin all getting a bit pesky these days, Warmists and their media dependants are giving more attention to the oceans. But even the oceans are not helping if you look at the actual evidence

A plethora of media articles this morning claim global warming is killing off phytoplankton, which forms the base of the oceans' food chain. The problem with these articles is they are all based on a single, very shaky study that is contradicted by many more rigorous studies that have reached the opposite conclusion.

To reach the conclusion that global warming is harming phytoplankton, researchers had to rely on indirect indicators of past phytoplankton populations, spotty and geographically incomplete samples for current phytoplankton populations, and speculative theories tying the alleged reduction in phytoplankton populations to global warming.

By contrast, many studies in the peer-reviewed scientific literature have shown that higher temperatures and/or higher amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide benefit rather than harm phytoplankton. For example:

In 2005, Journal of Geophysical Research published a paper by scientists who examined trends in chlorophyll concentrations, which are the building blocks of ocean life. The French and American scientists reported “an overall increase of the world ocean average chlorophyll concentration by about 22 percent” during the prior two decades of increasing carbon dioxide concentrations.

In 2007, Global Change Biology published a paper by scientists who observed that higher carbon dioxide levels correlate with better growth conditions for oceanic life. The highest carbon dioxide concentrations produced “higher growth rates and biomass yields” than the lower carbon dioxide conditions. Higher carbon dioxide levels may well fuel “subsequent primary production, phytoplankton blooms, and sustaining oceanic food-webs,” the scientists reported.

In 2008, Biogeosciences published a paper by scientists who had subjected marine organisms to varying concentrations of carbon dioxide, including abrupt changes of carbon dioxide concentration. The ecosystems were “surprisingly resilient” to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide, and “the ecosystem composition, bacterial and phytoplankton abundances and productivity, grazing rates and total grazer abundance and reproduction were not significantly affected by CO2-induced effects.”

For some strange reason, the media largely ignored these peer-reviewed studies showing global warming is benefiting phytoplankton, but are running amuck with articles claiming the sky is falling based on the single, more speculative claims of phytoplankton harm.


The blatant lies about temperature and illness continue

Perhaps because mankind evolved in tropical Africa, people actually handle warm weather a lot better than cold weather. You can't tell the Warmists that, though

“Global warming” is rapidly increasing Northern Hemisphere temperatures, as it does every summer, but alarmists in the media are doing their best to make it seem like summer heat waves never occurred before. They are also misleading people into believing hot temperatures kill more people than cold temperatures.

An article in the Tuesday, July 27 Washington Post claims “High temperatures claim more lives in the United States than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and lightning combined – about 700 a year, according to official estimates.”

Perhaps, but what about high temperatures in comparison to low temperatures?

BBC News and Department of the Interior analyst Indur Goklany have published two separate papers this year documenting how cold weather kills far more people than hot weather.

Federal mortality statistics show 800 more people die every day in December, January, and February than occurs on an average day during the rest of the year. The winter months kill 72,000 more U.S. citizens than the spring-summer-autumn average.

The three months with the lowest mortality are the hot-weather summer months of June, July, and August.

Heart attacks and strokes are major culprits. As temperatures cool, blood vessels contract to preserve heat and blood composition changes. As a result, BBC News notes, the heart has to work harder to pump blood and blood is more likely to clot.

Additionally, cold weather makes the human respiratory more susceptible to viruses. Compounding matters, influenza becomes more resistant to the human immune system when temperatures fall.

A July 28 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution references the July 27 Washington Post article and takes the claims a step further.

“We’d better get used to miserable, scorching summers. We can stop using the term ‘heat wave’ to describe what will become a routine pattern of high temperatures, overtaxed electricity grids and epidemics of heat strokes. According to NASA, all but one of the ten hottest years on record were since 1999,” writes Cynthia Tucker.

According to National Weather Service data, however, record high temperatures were prevalent the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s than they are today. The warming that has occurred (much of it overstated by placing temperature stations on asphalt, next to buildings, etc.) has primarily been during the winter and at night. High temperatures are not getting hotter, but rather the much more deadly extreme low temperatures are becoming more moderate.


Panic! Mt Everest is melting! Australia's public broadcasater says so

Except that they have no evidence for the claim

In early June we requested ABC substantiate claims it made in its report titled, Melting ice making Everest climbs dangerous, that: "Studies show temperatures are rising faster at Mount Everest than in the rest of South Asia." We requested ABC provide details of the studies. ABC have now replied with the following (the full reply is shown with the original post):

Received 2 August 2010

"On receipt of your complaint, we have investigated whether it could be established that a significant error had been made that warranted correction, as required by section 5.2.2(c)(ii) of the ABC’s Editorial Policies. Audience and Consumer Affairs note that studies do appear to show temperatures are rising faster at Mount Everest than in the rest of South Asia, as illustrated in Table 10.2 of the Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007. See here

In view of this, we are unable to conclude that a significant error has been made which warrants correction. However, should you have specific further information which you feel is relevant to our decision on this point, we would be happy to consider it."
We have sent ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs the following email:

The ABC report states: "Studies show temperatures are rising faster at Mount Everest than in the rest of South Asia." You have now provided the IPCC table 10.2 as a reference for this information, however for South Asia this table indicates temperature rise in Sri Lanka at "2C increase per year in central highlands " while the annual increase for the Himalaya is given as "0.09C per year in Himalayas".

Clearly the values for Sri Lanka greatly exceed those of the Himalaya, and Sri Lanka, not the Himalaya, is the area where temperatures are rising faster in South Asia. Clearly both trends are also worthy of further journalistic inquiry for if continued both would greatly exceed IPCC forecasts.

Table 10.2 can be viewed directly here

We wait ABC's reply. In the meantime we are investigating the source of the warming trends proposed for the Himalayas cited by the IPCC. The three references provided for the Himalaya trends in Table 10.2 are as follows...

Strangely and contrary to IPCC practice, only one of these is peer reviewed and it deals with precipitation, not temperature; the other citations are conference presentations. The actual temperature values quoted in the table originate from the following paper:

Shrestha, Arun B.; Wake, Cameron P.; Mayewski, Paul A.; Dibb, Jack E.. Maximum Temperature Trends in the Himalaya and Its Vicinity: An Analysis Based on Temperature Records from Nepal for the Period 1971--94. Journal of Climate, 9/1/99, Vol. 12 Issue 9 pp:2775-2786

This paper makes for interesting reading. It appears that the stations used to calculate Himalayan trends come from east Nepal and on face value these do not appear to confirm the warming trends claimed.... the closest weather station to Mt Everest used in the Shrestha et al 1999 paper is Chialsa, 59 km away. ABC's claims that "Studies show temperatures are rising faster at Mount Everest than in the rest of South Asia" are based on a study that has no data at Mt Everest!

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

Enviro torture

DDT eliminated bedbugs in the first place but now that bedbugs are back in major Western cities (particularly NYC) maybe DDT will be brought back too

Do you have a bedbug problem? This actually might be a good thing. Not for you, of course. But it might be good for millions of poor people.

Increasingly, bedbugs bother more rich people in influential parts of America. This might be what finally wakes people up to the damage done by enviro-morons who spread poisonous smears against the pesticide, DDT.

Paul Driessen explains that if new York City residents discover bedbugs, the city’s Bedbug Advisory Board recommends a bedbug team and an educational Web site. Residents, it advises, should monitor and report infestations. Use blowdryers to flush out (maybe 5 percent of) the bugs, then sweep them into a plastic bag and dispose properly. Throw away (thousands of dollars' worth of) infested clothing, bedding, carpeting and furniture.

Hire (expensive) professionals who (may) have insecticides that (may) eradicate the pests -- and hope you don't get scammed.

But thanks to New Yorkers’ bedbug problems Eco-myths are being replaced with more informed discussions about the alleged effects of DDT and other pesticides on humans and wildlife.

Thankfully, bedbugs haven't been linked to disease … But [now] imagine what it's like for some 2 billion people who live 24/7/365 with insects that definitely are responsible for disease: malarial mosquitoes.

Malaria infects more than 300 million people annually. For weeks on end, it renders them unable to work, attend school or care for their families -- … It kills more than a million annually, most of them children and mothers.

Fortunately, we don’t have that problem in America, because we killed off America’s malaria carrying mosquitoes by spraying the insecticide DDT. DDT is not anywhere near as dangerous as Rachael Carson’s Silent Spring led us to believe.

DDT is the most powerful, effective, long-lasting mosquito repellant ever invented. Spraying the eaves and inside walls of mud huts and cinderblock homes every six months keeps 80 percent of the flying killers from entering. It irritates most that do enter, so they leave without biting, and kills any that land.

Yet many aid agencies refuse to encourage, endorse or fund spraying. … Since the Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT in 1972, billions have been stricken by malaria and tens of millions have died. This is intolerable.

... We can no longer leave those decisions to anti-chemical activists in unaccountable pressure groups and government agencies. These zealots are making decisions that affect the quality of life for millions of Americans -- and life itself for billions of poor people worldwide.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


4 August, 2010

Some strange logic

See the the last sentence below

TOURISTS and residents at a popular vacation resort in the French Alps have been warned that they could be drowned if a giant water pocket under a glacier on Mont Blanc bursts.

The pocket, under the Tete-Rousse glacier on the French Alpine slopes, contains the equivalent of 26 Olympic swimming pools and was described by the National Center for Scientific Research as a “pressure cooker.”

It would take just 15 minutes for the pocket to flood St. Gervais valley, a noted vacation spot and home to 3000 people, researchers said.

There would be “a brutal emptying of water which carries along everything in its path,” said Christian Vincent, a geophysics engineer with the center. Vincent said a torrent of mud six to eight times bigger than the original volume of water would be created if the water was released.

At least 175 valley dwellers were drowned by an estimated 80,000 cubic meters of water the last time a similar pocket burst, on July 12, 1892.

The pocket, which contains 65,000 cubic meters of water, was discovered by scientists using magnetic resonance imaging. Glaciologists will spend two months trying to pump out 25,000 cubic meters of water from one part of the pocket and hope to obtain a precise location for the remaining 40,000 cubic meters.

Vincent said that the most likely explanation for the formation of the pocket was a period of particularly cold temperatures within the glacier, freezing the water’s escape routes. This may be a result of global warming, which has reduced the snow covering on the glacier and exposed it to the cold.


So where did all that extra "cold" come from that was exposed by the global warming? And was there global warming in 1892 as well?

Predictive accuracy: Proof that the Sun controls our weather and climate

Generating accurate predictions is the ultimate test of a scientific theory. Astrophysicist Piers Corbyn shows that solar-based theory does so. The Warmists have never predicted anything accurately yet. Britain's Met office tried but failed so badly that they now make forecasts only a few days ahead

When I think of all the evidence I have been presented with over the past several years regarding the main driver of our climate, one man stands tall. That would be Piers Corbyn, founder of in the UK. He does long range weather and climate predictions and his accuracy is amazing, especially for the extreme events all based on the Sun.

I had seen his forecasts on the web but I had my first chance to talk with him in person at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change in New York put on by the Heartland Institute. It was March and Piers had saved his first public trial forecast in the USA for the conference.

The prediction was for a record Midwest snowfall in the middle of March, then 2 or 3 weeks away. There was nothing about it from the national weather people. This forecast was way out there. What was more the data for the prediction was available more than a month, as much as 3 months in advance and it was based on the Sun! It was such an extreme prediction that it made eyeballs roll.

For those of you who recall that storm, you know it came true. Did it ever! Since then I have observed the outcomes of the predictions Piers has made and he has been amazing in his performance. There have been a few misses but his success is around 85% around the world and a bit higher in the USA. He regularly posts on You Tube, so you can see his predictions come true several times during the year. Let’s get to the discussion:


That pesky Medieval Warm period keeps popping up -- and not only in the North Atlantic region

Discussing: "Ely, L.L. 1997. Response of extreme floods in the southwestern United States to climatic variations in the late Holocene. Geomorphology 19: 175-201.

What was done

In an attempt to determine the environmental origins of extreme flooding events throughout the southwestern United States, according to the author, "paleoflood records from nineteen rivers in Arizona and southern Utah, including over 150 radiocarbon dates and evidence of over 250 flood deposits, were combined to identify regional variations in the frequency of extreme floods," which information "was then compared with paleoclimatic data to determine how the temporal and spatial patterns in the occurrence of floods reflect the prevailing climate."

What was learned

Ely reports that "long-term variations in the frequency of extreme floods over the Holocene are related to changes in the climate and prevailing large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns that affect the conditions conducive to extreme flood-generating storms in each region," which changes, in her view, "are very plausibly related to global-scale changes in the climate system."

With respect to the Colorado River watershed, for example, which integrates a large portion of the interior western United States, she writes that "the largest floods tend to be from spring snowmelt after winters of heavy snow accumulation in the mountains of Utah, western Colorado, and northern New Mexico," such as occurred with the "cluster of floods from 5 to 3.6 ka," which occurred in conjunction with "glacial advances in mountain ranges throughout the western United States" during the "cool, wet period immediately following the warm mid-Holocene."

The frequency of extreme floods also increased during the early and middle portions of the first millennium AD, many of which coincided "with glacial advances and cool, moist conditions both in the western U.S. and globally." Then came a "sharp drop in the frequency of large floods in the southwest from AD 1100-1300," which corresponded, in her words, "to the widespread Medieval Warm Period, which was first noted in European historical records." With the advent of the Little Ice Age, however, there was another "substantial jump in the number of floods in the southwestern U.S.," which was "associated with a switch to glacial advances, high lake levels, and cooler, wetter conditions."

What it means

In distilling her findings down to a single succinct statement, and speaking specifically of the southwestern United States, Ely states that "global warm periods, such as the Medieval Warm Period, are times of dramatic decreases in the number of high-magnitude floods in this region."


Judith Curry still has fire in her belly: Still standing up for the scientific method and against science as power politics

It sounds like she has a genuine concern for the environment instead of a political motivation. The interview below seems to be from a site with some sympathy for Warmism

Judith Curry, a climate scientist at Georgia Tech, has a knack for setting off tremors in the climate blogosphere. There was a lot of rumbling last week after Curry got into a rather contentious exchange with Gavin Schmidt and readers at Real Climate. Other notables, such as Joe Romm and William Connolley jumped into the fray. All this was precipitated by a review of Andrew Montford’s book, The Hockey Stick Illusion, posted at Real Climate. As Roger Pielke Jr. observed, these debates over the hockey stick controversy “can be arcane, technical and simply impenetrable due to years upon years of perceived slights, a practice of in-group shorthand and a chorus of followers on either side cheering on the spectacle.”

Last week’s ritual bloodletting of Curry in blogland was remarkable for how unrestrained it was. I am struck by the phenomena of this respected climate scientist who is being met with increasingly derisive scorn from prominent members of her own community and from many climate advocates. I’m curious as to what drives her to keep engaging in what appears to be a very lonely battle.

Earlier today, we had an email exchange, in which I pressed Curry to explain what is driving her to keep banging away on certain issues and themes.

KK: Why do you feel the need to revisit the hockey stick debate? It’s not central to our understanding of climate science, nor does it factor into the policy debate. The general public is surely not paying attention to it anymore. So why do you feel so compelled to defend this particular book by Andrew Montford?

JC: I am not so much defending this book as recommending that people read it. Climate scientists can learn a lot from Montford’s book. Not in terms of who is “right” or “correct” in terms of the science (that is still being debated), but how to avoid unnecessary conflict in the climate debate. While the hockey stick is not of any particular scientific importance, Montford’s book explains why the hockeystick became a big deal, owing to the IPCC’s choice to make the hockey stick a visual icon for the IPCC in its marketing of the IPCC. Therefore, in the public’s mind, challenges to the hockeystick metaphorically became challenges to the entire global warming argument.

And the Climategate emails, while not illuminating any actual scientific misconduct, provided a view into the underbelly of how the consensus was actually built: upon human judgment that was influenced by petty rivalries, a sense of self importance, a political agenda, and the brutal dismissal and even sabotage of competing viewpoints. Not a pretty picture.The fundamental mistake made by the climate researchers involved in the hockey stick debate was to mistake McIntyre et al. as merchants of doubt (a la Oreskes and Collins), when instead they were motivated over a concern for public accountability of the research. The response of the climate researchers to McIntyre and McKittrick, by attacking their qualifications and motives rather than trying to work with them or at least understand what they were trying to say, backfired big time and arguably culminated in Climategate.

KK: I’m still trying to understand what gave rise to this latest round of Curry bashing?

JC: My hypothesis is that the level of vitriol in the climate blogs reflects the last gasp of those who thought they could influence national and international energy policy through the power politics of climate science expertise. The politics of expertise is about how scientific information is used in the policy making process, including how diverging viewpoints are interpreted and how science is weighed relative to values and politics in the policy debate.

The problem comes in when the “power” politics of expertise are played. Signals of the “power” play include: hiding uncertainties and never admitting a mistake; developing a consensus with a high level of confidence; demanding that the consensus receive extreme deference relative to other view points; insisting that that science demands a particular policy; discrediting scientists holding other view points by dismissing them as cranks, trivializing their credentials and say that they are not qualified to hold an opinion; and attacking the motives of anyone that challenges the consensus.

Sound familiar? In the case of climate change, the authoritarianism of “science tells us we should . . . ” could not withstand the public perception of scientists engaging with pressure groups, lack of transparency that meant people were unable to evaluate the information themselves, and then the climategate affair that raised questions about the integrity of the scientists.

Romm quickly honed in on the view that it was far more important to discredit me than Montford or McIntyre. Romm is “America’s fiercest” practitioner of the power politics of climate expertise, making brutal attacks on scientists and others that diverge from climate orthodoxy. My comments rankle so much with Romm because I used to be in the stable of experts that he cited. My putting the spotlight on uncertainties and too much confidence, plus listening to other view points and posting on rival blogs, and now calling people out on the power politics of science issue, has to be mighty uncomfortable for Romm. Romm didn’t just stop with his “Shootout at the RC corral” post. Now he has dredged up an interview I gave a few months ago to a Brazilian reporter. I wrote out my replies to the questions of the Brazilian reporter. My answers were then translated into Spanish. Which were then translated back to English. Has anyone ever played the game of telephone?

KK: I question if there is really this breach of trust between the climate science community and the general public. Again, the average person is probably not paying much attention to these fractious debates between skeptics and a subset of the climate science community. I mean, every profession gets dinged by its share of controversies. The foundation for anthropogenic global warming rests on numerous solid pillars, which you agree with. So how is that a batch of intemperate emails and a decade-old scientific controversy over the hockey stick can rock this foundation, which is what you seem to be arguing?

JC: Evidence that the tide has changed include: doubt that was evidenced particularly by European policy makers at the climate negotiations at Copenhagen, defeat of a seven-year effort in the U.S. Senate to pass a climate bill centered on cap-and-trade, increasing prominence of skeptics in the news media, and the formation of an Interacademy Independent Review of the IPCC. Concerns about uncertainty and politicization in climate science are now at the forefront of national and international policy. There is an increasing backlash from scientists and engineers from other fields, who think that climate science is lacking credibility because of the politicization of the subject and the high confidence levels in the IPCC report. While these scientists and engineers are not experts in climate science, they understand the process and required rigor and the many mistakes that need to be made and false paths that get followed.

Further, they have been actively involved in managing science and scientists and in assessing scientists. They will not be convinced that a “likely” level of confidence (66-89% level of certainty) is believable for a relatively new subject, where the methods are new and contested, experts in statistics have judged the methods to be erroneous and/or inadequate, and there is substantial disagreement in the field and challenges from other scientists. The significance of the hockey stick debate is the highlighting of shoddy science and efforts to squash opposing viewpoints, something that doesn’t play well with other scientists. Energy Secretary and Nobel Laureate Steven Chu made this statement in an interview with the Financial Times:

First, the main findings of IPCC over the years, have they been seriously cast in doubt? No. I think that if one research group didn’t understand some tree ring data and they chose to admit part of that data. In all honesty they should have thrown out the whole data set.

But you don’t need to be a Nobel laureate to understand this. I have gotten many many emails from scientists and engineers from academia, government labs and the private sector. As an example, here is an excerpt from an email I received yesterday: “My skepticism regarding AGW has been rooted in the fact that, as an engineer/manager working in defense contracts [General Dynamics], I would have been fired, fined (heavily) and may have gotten jail time for employing the methodology that [named climate scientists] have used.”

KK: Are you suggesting that the methodology of certain climate scientists rises to the level of a crime? Also, I have to ask you to defend this assertion that the failures of Copenhagen and the Senate climate bill are somehow tied to rising skepticism of climate change by policymakers. I don’t see the evidence for that, though I realize that climate skeptics make for convenient scapegoats by advocates such as Joe Romm.

JC: I am not suggesting that at all. Scientists make mistakes all the time, that is actually how science progresses, provided that the mistakes are acknowledged and learned from. If you want to understand the palpable impact of Climategate on European (particularly Dutch) politics, read this paper.

Skepticism has been rather unfortunately defined to be anyone who diverges from IPCC orthodoxy, not only in terms of the science, but in terms of accepting the policies that science “tells us” we must have. The revolt is more in the sense of breaking this linear link between science and policy (see also this post by Pielke Jr.).

KK: The majority of comments at both Real Climate and Climate Progress were quite disparaging of you, which in my mind, speaks more to their readerships, since I have no way of knowing how the respective blog hosts chose to moderate the comments. After experiencing this latest blogospheric hazing, you have to wonder, what’s the point? Are any of your colleagues advising you to move on to a more constructive venue, and if so, what would that be?

JC: Well, first I have to comment on the moderation of RC and CP on this. They chose comments that consisted of personal attacks, while rejecting many comments that were supportive of my viewpoints or asked challenging questions. The reason that I know what comments were rejected because many of these people subsequently posted on climateaudit or emailed me. In one instance, a comment was rejected by CP from someone who had previously made a guest post at RC. So this reflects not only on their readership, but reflects specific choices made by the moderators at RC and CP, that I personally interpret as an attempt to discredit me.

The point is this. I have gotten hundreds of emails from practicing scientists and engineers in a range of different fields and holding positions in academia, government, and the private sector. I have also had discussions with a number of climate researchers who are concerned about the politicization of the field and the overconfidence in the IPCC. They are encouraging me to continue standing up for the scientific method and against the politicization of science. I’m sure that there are some of my colleagues that don’t like it or wonder what the point is, but they are not talking to me about it. I am getting feedback from scientists that like what I’m doing.

In terms of something more productive to do, I would encourage climate scientists to reflect on how to dig out from the hole we’ve dug for ourselves. Time to listen to some new ideas and some new experts. This time, I suggest listening to a plurality of viewpoints, and for scientists to make sure their data and methods are transparent to the public. And stop trying to simplify all this into a straight climate change science drives global energy policy strategy, which was misguided and nave, to say the least.

The real problem is sustainability, which is a complex confluence of ecosystems, food, water, energy, population growth, finite natural resources, and the desire for economic development. Sustainability is a value that nearly everyone can share. The fundamental spatial unit of sustainability is the region, which makes it easier for people to identify their common concerns and secure their common interests.

Yes, there are global elements to all this in terms of climate change and finite natural resources, and the realization that regional instabilities can have global consequences. It’s not a simple problem, and there is no silver bullet, but there are millions of little solutions that can all add up. Climate change needs to be considered as but a single element in the context of all these issues. And independently of the broader sustainability issues, we need rational energy policies that account not only for environmental issues, but also economic and national security issues.

Once you start thinking about sustainability and the broader issues of energy policy as the main challenges, and not climate change, then the overwhelming barrier of politics and economics becomes less monolithic. And more importantly, climate science can get back to being science rather than being about politics. My citations of Feynmann on the RC thread were to remind people of the difference. Climate science is a fascinating and important scientific problem. Lets step back and figure out how to do a better job so that our field can regain the respect of the Nobel laureates in physics, scientists and engineers from other fields, and credibility of the public. Most importantly we need to stop playing the power politics of climate science by saying “Here is what science says we must do” and start saying “Here is our best understanding, and here is where our uncertainties are . . .”

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Climate Profiteers

While the oil and gas companies are bearing the brunt of taxation, regulation and environmental angst, others are doing just fine, thank you. If you think cap-and-trade is dead, just follow the money.

According to a recently released Center for Responsive Politics review of reports filed with the U.S. Senate and U.S. House, General Electric and its subsidiaries spent more than $9.5 million on federal lobbying from April to June — the most it's spent on lobbying since President Obama has been in office.

Why? As the fight over cap-and-trade grows, so does lobbying. Since January, GE and its units have spent more than $17.6 million on lobbying — a jump of 50% over the first six months of 2009.

GE is just one of many organizations and individuals that stand to make money if cap-and-trade makes it through Congress. GE makes wind turbines, not oil rigs, and has a vested interest in shutting down its fossil fuel competitors.

In an Aug. 19, 2009 e-mail obtained by Steve Milloy of, General Electric Vice Chairman John Rice called on his GE co-workers to join the General Electric Political Action Committee "to collectively help support candidates who share the values and goals of GE."

And what are those goals, and just what has GEPAC accomplished thus far? "On climate change," Rice wrote, "we were able to work closely with key authors of the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill, recently passed by the House of Representatives. If this bill is enacted into law, it will benefit many GE businesses."

GE is a member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, which advocates cap-and-trade legislation and leads the drive for reductions of so-called greenhouse gases. One of its subsidiaries was involved in Hopenhagen, a campaign by a group of businesses to build support for the recent Copenhagen Climate Conference, which was supposed to come up with a successor to the failed Kyoto Accords.

To be fair, coal and gas companies lobby too, both out of self-preservation and self-interest.

But they produce a useful product that creates jobs and boosts GDP. Alternative energy, even after huge subsidies, adds little to our energy mix. Evidence suggests alternative energy is a net job loser, siphoning resources from productive areas of the economy.

Renewable energy sources like wind, solar energy and biomass total only 3% of our energy mix. Spain's experience is that for each "green" job created, 2.2 jobs are lost due to the siphoning off of resources that private industry needed to grow.

There's money to be made in climate change even if the climate doesn't change, and the profit motive may now be the main driver of cap-and-trade.

The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) was formed to buy and sell carbon credits, the currency of cap-and-trade. Founder Richard Sandor estimates the climate trading market could be "a $10 trillion dollar market."

It could very well be if cap-and-trade legislation like Waxman-Markey and Kerry-Boxer are signed into law, making energy prices necessarily skyrocket, and as companies buy and trade permits to emit those six "greenhouse" gases.

As we have written, profiteering off climate change hysteria is a growth industry as well as a means to the end goal of fundamentally transforming America, as the President has said was his goal.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus has called climate change a religion whose zealots seek the establishment of government control over the means of production. It reminds him, he said, of the totalitarianism he once endured.

After the Climate-gate scandal broke, Lord Christopher Monckton, a former science adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, said of the scientists at Britain's Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and those they worked with: "They're criminals." He also called them "huckstering snake-oil salesmen and 'global warming' profiteers."

Like the scientists who lived off the grant money they received from scaring us to death with manipulated data, others hope to profit off perhaps the greatest scam of all time.


Von Storch: "The concept that science tells politics what’s necessary has failed"

Here is an outstanding interview given by Prof. Hans von Storch, one of Germany’s leading climate scientists, in an interview with Germany’s Handelsblatt (Germany’s equivalent to the Wall Street Journal) yesterday.

Although a warmist, Professor Hans von Storch, much to his credit, has always kept an open ear and mind to serious climate sceptics. Here are some paraphrased excerpts of yesterday’s HB interview.

HB: Are today’s hot and cold extreme events a sign of global warming?

HvS: It’s important to keep weather separated from climate. The media have certainly been focussing more on the weather. And unfortunately there are plenty of activists who like to connect heat waves and storms with climate change. And then these activists wonder why sceptics do the same when there’s a cold winter, using it as evidence against warming. It’s intellectually low. The fact of the matter is that it is trending warmer.

HB: Who recommends the scientists for participation in the IPCC?

HvS: In Germany it’s the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Reactor Safety and the Ministry of Research and Science in Bonn. Here one can apply to participate, and this is what I’ve done. I offered to be a part of WG2. That’s where most of the errors occurred and I’d like to help out this time around to prevent such errors from happening again. My name has been sent, along with 80 others, to the IPCC in Switzerland.

HB: The IPCC has come under fire because it dramatised climate change. How can we prevent such errors and what should quality control look like?

HvS: We have to look very closely at the literature that is handed to us. We have to be very careful with grey literature. It has to meet the highest scientific standards. Under no circumstances can literature from interest groups like reinsurers, coal industry or environmental groups be accepted.

HB: And what about the WWF’s Amazon Rainforest report?

HvS: One cannot claim that this was a neutral scientific report. The IPCC made that mistake, and it cannot be blamed on the WWF, who have legitimate interests.

HB: Could there be a benefit in allowing studies from interest groups?

HvS: I would not agree to that. In WG2 it would not be necessary to include material from interest groups. There’s already enough scientific literature at hand.

HB: And what about critical opinions from the scientific community? In the wake of the hacked e-mails from the CRU, some scientists complained that their publications had been blocked.

HvS: Here we have to differentiate between 2 kinds of gate-keeping. In the case of the Climate Research Unit, it is alleged, or indeed it was attempted, to keep an article with a contrary opinion from being published. Thus it was possible to assure that some results would not flow into the IPCC report.

In the IPCC report itself, minority opinions also must be allowed to be shown. We have to determine just where there is consensus, and where there are contrary opinions. This has to be done scientifically, without any prejudice.

HB: A report for the political decision makers probably has to be summarised: But isn’t that walking on a tight rope between what is scientifically exact and what the politicians understand?

HvS: A summary by the scientists for the politicians is in my opinion, not necessary. The summary emphasis takes place at a later time when the decision makers wish to present the matter to their clientel. The politicians that I’ve been involved with know what climate research is about –and especially on questions of adaptation. Personally I’m quite impressed by their competence.

HB: Last fall after errors were found in the IPCC report and the disclosure of the CRU e-mails, climate science skidded off track and came under heavy fire.. What does this branch of science need to do in order to regain respect?

HsV: There are two strategies – and I’m afraid not much is happening for the most part. It is simply being claimed that evil media outlets and the fossil fuel industry are behind the unjust discrediting of the science. But this assertion simply is not sustainable. In the past, climate science attempted to work too much with catastrophe reports. But that bubble blew last fall. As a result, trust suffered immeasurably.

We have to take a critical view of what happened. Nothing ought to be swept under the rug. Some of the inquests – like in Great Britain - failed at this. They blew an opportunity to re-establish trust.

The second strategy us scientists have to consider is what role it is we wish to play. Are we supporters of a certain political process, or supporters of a certain brand of politics? I’m emphatically for the first, whereby we are the providers of special knowledge. We must not say that this is right, and that is wrong. This is not the competence of a climate scientist. We are merely experts in climate dynamics, and not specialists for competing political or ethical problems. Fundamentally a debate has to take place. That’s what climate scientists want, and that is what is expected from the public.

HB: Is there a danger that climate science falls on the wayside because the sceptics take up very popular slogans against the subject of anthropogenic climate change?

HsV: Many alarmists do the same– both sides don’t hold back much. We have to accept the challenges the sceptics present and step into the debate with them in order to win them over.

Many physicists, chemists, engineers or geologists have open questions about climate change which they view as unanswered. Here there is a considerable and legitimate potential at hand, which unfortunately is not addressed often enough. Instead, they sometimes get attacked and called sceptics, which only serves to aggravate them. It’s no way to build trust. We have to find a way back to a reasonable discussion.

HB: Do you have any hope that progress can be made with the next IPCC report with respect to climate protection, especially after the spectacular failure of Copenhagen?

HsV: I don’t expect that the next IPCC report will significantly improve the chances for a comprehensive climate protection program. The last report was already so emphatic that there is no way to top it. The concept that science tells politics what’s necessary has failed. We have to give up on the idea of making an agreement from top down for 150 countries, and that they will abide by it. Change has to come from the bottom.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


3 August, 2010

The Burning Woman Festival of Global Warming: Step up to the stake, Ms. Curry

Judith Curry, who has been kind enough to give interviews here before, has now crossed the line in the minds of the climate hysterics who have polluted this discussion with invective and hatred for so long.

Her crime has been to read a book. Really. The book is The Hockey Stick Illusion by Andrew Montford, who blogs under the nom de guerre (it's a war now...) of Bishop Hill. The book, which reads like a detective thriller (it has been described as Stieg Larssen without the lesbian sex, which is just about the best one-line review in history), chronicles the exposure of Michael Mann's famous Hockey Stick chart as irretrievably flawed.

Curry will pay--she's already paying, in fact. She is now being described as a skeptic, a denialist, someone who has gone over to the Dark Side. Tim Lambert, who runs a blog that is arguably the worst of the climate hysteria genre, has a post up on his site devoted to criticism of Curry. The comments there are summed up by this: "Her comments at RC and CP do not read like those of a scientist, or even of a rational person. They read like those of the typical denialist."

Now get this straight. Curry is not pronouncing that Montford's book is the definitive source. She does not endorse the book. (I do, but I'm not a respected climate scientist...) Curry's crime--what makes here a `denialist' and `skeptic' and `irrational'--is to say that people should read the book to get an understanding of what happened, how it happened and why it's important.

Judith Curry actually had to say that people should read a book. That's because some of the hysterics published phony studies saying it was not necessary to read a book to understand why they were right and their opponents were wrong. I am not making that up. Everybody from Brian Angliss to Michael Tobis is inventing reasons why they don't need to read criticism of the position they support--that Michael Mann is a saint and the Hockey Stick chart is a holy relic.

There is no better vignette explaining the intellectual dishonesty of the hysterical position, championed by Joe Romm and Tim Lambert, supported by Real Climate, Tamino and Michael Tobis, and egged on from the sidelines by Eli Rabett and countless commenters.

Montford's book shows how Steve McIntrye identified the errors in sample selection and analysis that made the Hockey Stick chart untrustworthy, and the efforts Michael Mann and his colleages went to to hide the defects of their study (which led to Climategate, which Montford covers at the end of his book).

Montford's book is good. Curry's recommendation to the community that they read it is a very good recommendation. I have seen too many defenses of the consensus and attacks on its opponents that showed an appalling ignorance of what happened to think otherwise.

Judith Curry is a respected climate scientist (who does not dispute the theory or existence of climate change due to human emissions of CO2). She holds respectable positions and has published well-respected papers in the literature.

She's getting dragged through the mud by political hacks for the crime of telling these hacks that they should read what exactly their opponents are saying.

As I said above, there is no episode in all the climate wars that shows more clearly the cheap partisan political nature and moral bankruptcy of hacks like Joe Romm, Real Climate, Tim Lambert, Tamino and Eli Rabett. The question now is will Curry get burnt at the stake professionally and personally before people say `that's enough'?


New Study Undermines EPA Endangerment Finding

A new study by University of Guelph (Canada) Professor Ross McKitrick (see here) shows that the temperature data upon which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) relied in its Endangerment Finding has significant flaws and uncertainties that undermine that Finding.

Since the EPA Endangerment Finding is the basis for far-reaching EPA greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation, the McKitrick study also undermines EPA's decision to regulate. The study also undermines confidence as to whether any particular year or decade is the warmest "on record."

EPAs Endangerment Finding to a large extent was based on EPA's analysis of 20th century temperature records. According to EPA, these records show a warming trend in the latter three decades of the century of fractions of a degree Fahrenheit per decade. EPA believes this trend is of sufficient enough magnitude as to necessarily be caused by human emissions of GHGs. But Professor McKitrick reveals a number of significant problems in the underlying data sets. Any of these problems introduce a margin of error that is comparable to, if not greater than, the very trend that EPA perceives and therefore may eliminate or significantly lessen the trend on which EPA relies.

Professor McKitrick reviews how both land and sea surface temperature records were created for the 20th century. He finds that the methodology by which temperatures were determined and the geographic regions covered have changed substantially over the years, with the result that different records have essentially been spliced together to create a single, continuous global record.

The fact that different types of records have had to be combined in an attempt to create a single record is not surprising because, historically, land-based temperature monitors and the methods used to measure sea surface temperatures were not designed as part of a systematic and standardized program to produce comparable data that could be used to produce a long-term global climatic record. They were designed instead to produce reasonably accurate local data.

The combination of these different data sets requires data adjustments so that the data "it" with each other. These adjustments are based on uncertain assumptions that introduce a high margin of error in the overall record.

The temperature trend for the last three decades of the 20th century, which EPA says was of such magnitude as to be unequivocally caused by human-emitted GHGs, was just 0.30F per decade. This cmpares with warming rates of 0.25F per decade during a number of 30-year periods spanning the 1910s to the 1940s, which EPA says were not caused by human-emitted GHGs. Thus, temperature increases of a mere 0.05F per decade are given decisive weight by EPA in concluding that
anthropogenic GHGs caused warming during the 20th century. Professor McKitrick, however, shows that the uncertainties in the data undermine confidence in the accuracy of temperature differences this small and therefore the conclusions that EPA reaches.

Based on the McKitrick study, Peabody Energy Company has today filed a petition (see here) with EPA under the Information Quality Act (IQA) in which it asks EPA to correct the temperature records on which the Endangerment Finding is based and to reconsider its GHG regulations. The IQA requires agencies to correct information that it uses for regulation.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The Tree Ring Circus

John Dawson presents below the story of the hockey stick fraud in a highly readable form that should be easily accessible to the average reader

The Hockey Stick Illusion is the shocking story of a graph called the Hockey Stick. It is also a textbook of tree ring analysis, a code-breaking adventure, an intriguing detective story, an expos‚ of a scientific and political travesty, and the tale of a herculean struggle between a self-funded sceptic and a publicly funded hydra, all presented in the measured style of an analytical treatise. The hero of the story is Steve McIntyre, honourably assisted by fellow sceptics, especially by Ross McKitrick. The villain is Michael Mann, dishonourably assisted by global warming alarmists, especially by his "Hockey Team". The bare bones of the Hockey Stick story are as follows.

In its First Assessment Report published in 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented the conventional view of climate history: that around a thousand years ago there was a Medieval Warm Period, followed by a Little Ice Age, followed by the Current Warm Period that has not yet reached the temperatures experienced during the Medieval Warm Period. In 1995 the IPCC's Second Assessment Report presented that view again but introduced some doubt about the Medieval Warm Period, suggesting that further investigation was required. It had dawned on global warming crusaders that the Medieval Warm Period was a huge problem for the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) hypothesis and that fame and fortune awaited a scientist who could get rid of it.

The scientist who took the prize was a brash and ambitious American paleoclimatologist, Dr Michael Mann. With two of his more senior colleagues, Mann set about investigating the earth's temperature over the last millennium by scouring the world's research projects that had detected past temperatures by way of temperature "proxies" such as tree rings. The amount of data they collated and the sophistication of their statistical analysis, claimed Mann, ensured that their conclusions would be more "robust" than those of previous studies. Their first peer-reviewed paper (MBH98) was published in the prestigious journal Nature in 1998 and their second (MBH99) was published in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) in 1999. The graphed summation of these papers wiped the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age out of the picture and replaced them with a flat-lined handle declining slightly from 1000 to 1900 then bending upwards into a twentieth-century blade of rapidly rising temperatures.

This "Hockey Stick" graph was immediately seized by AGW crusaders. Typical of the reaction was that of Gerry North of Texas A&M University who enthused: "The planet had been cooling slowly until 120 years ago, when, bam!, it jumps up . We've been breaking our backs on [greenhouse] detection, but I found the 1000-year records more convincing than any of our detection studies." Almost overnight the Hockey Stick became the new gold standard of paleoclimatology.

As we now know (or will know after reading The Hockey Stick Illusion) what glittered was not gold but fool's gold. The Hockey Stick was not "robust". It was the product of a pseudo-scientific mindset, faulty data selection, erroneous data identification, dubious statistical methodology, flawed mathematics, a perverted peer-review process, a frenzied propaganda campaign and unscrupulous defence mechanisms. But so insatiable was the demand for this product that it swept all before it and challengers into the sceptic sin-bin.

Michael Mann was an incorrigible scientist, but he was an indomitable politician. His hegemony over paleo-climatologists, peer reviewers, journal editors, and some key politicians and lobbyists was none too subtle but amazingly effective. He quickly became a referee for eleven scientific journals and three grant programs, he was appointed scientific adviser on climate change to the US government, and he appeared regularly in the media. His crowning achievement was his appointment by the IPCC as contributing author of a number of chapters of the Third Assessment Report, and lead author of its "Observed Climate" chapter.

As Hans von Storch understated it, to have a scientist who already dominated a debate also authorising the key review of that debate was a sure road to trouble; the situation demanded the involvement of scientists who really were independent. As McIntyre stated it, this situation would be entirely unacceptable in a commercial situation, and in fact illegal outside a banana republic.

Since it would have been too blatant, even for Mann, to have his own paleoclimatology papers as the only ones to be taken seriously in the IPCC report, he sought the collaboration of paleoclimatologists from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit who had been doing tree ring analysis for many years. So Mann and his American colleagues joined forces with Phil Jones and his English colleagues to form an informal alliance that came to be known as the "Hockey Team". After some initial argy-bargy the pecking order was sorted out: Mann was captain, Phil Jones vice-captain and the team's all-for-one-and-one-for-all effort and prestige were harnessed to spearhead the cause of galvanising the world's attention on "the great moral and economic challenge of our time", as Kevin Rudd described AGW alarmism.

While expressing doubts and concerns amongst themselves from time to time, the team was driven inexorably on by Mann's bluster about their common commitment to "the science" and the need to fend off dark forces he imagined being aligned against them by big energy companies, and references to the support the team could count on from unidentified "friends in high places". But the team was driven past the point of no return-the scientists' reputations and careers became so attached to the Hockey Stick that its defence overwhelmed their professional integrity and scientific objectivity. Time and again the goal of enshrining the Hockey Stick as the robust "consensus" view took precedence over due scientific process and disclosure.

The English members of the team produced some tree ring graph lines that could be added to Mann et al's graph to bolster its intergovernmental credentials. When evidence of the Medieval Warm Period became apparent it was rationalised away as likely to be localised rather than worldwide. When proxy tree ring graph lines declined inexplicably in the late twentieth century they were cropped short and replaced with instrumental lines-sometimes the replacement was noted, sometimes it was hidden. Borehole studies that showed higher temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period than during the Current Warm Period were shunted out of the picture, except for a consolation prize of being used to demonstrate rising temperatures since the Little Ice Age.

When the Third Assessment Report was released to great fanfare in 2001 the Hockey Stick was its centrepiece, appearing seven times in the report. The version that appeared in the "Synthesis Report", as the finale to its "Summary for Policy Makers", was particularly awesome. A single line traced northern hemisphere temperatures along a nine-century handle, then bent upward through the twentieth century, then continued skyward through the twenty-first century to make a blade nearly as high as the handle was long. The graph's caption began:

Variations of the Earth's surface temperature: years 1000 to 2100. From year 1000 to year 1860 variations in average surface temperature of the Northern Hemisphere are shown (corresponding data from the Southern Hemisphere not available) reconstructed from proxy data (tree rings, corals, ice cores, and historical records). The line shows the 50-year average, the grey region the 95% confidence limit in the annual data .

The Hockey Stick was quickly adopted as the AGW crusaders' banner. It appeared on posters, PowerPoint presentations, in schools, on trucks, and in 2002 it was referred to in a pamphlet sent to every household in Canada to promote ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. In his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore showed it as dramatic "evidence" and claimed that all scientists agreed with its message. Others said: well, all legitimate scientists anyway. And woe betide any scientist or politician who disagreed.

A few scientists and statisticians and journalists and politicians refused to be cowed. Not many of them were financed by public institutions. None involved in the Hockey Stick war were financed by big energy companies, despite the mantra recited by the likes of Mann and Gore that they all were. (Personally I think sceptics should be financed by big business as a counterbalance to the almost limitless public funding for climate alarmism.) Steve McIntyre had worked for a mining company, but his work on the Hockey Stick was done from home and was self-funded.

During his career McIntyre had applied his Oxford education in mathematics to data analysis and the auditing of statistically analysed surveys of prospecting and mining projects. When he retired he educated himself in paleoclimatology, then decided to cast an auditor's eye over the Hockey Stick. This required that he examine the data on which the research papers were based and the methods that had been employed to analyse it, so he e-mailed Michael Mann to ask for them.

Mann responded politely and arranged for a colleague to send some data. It was not enough data to do a proper audit, but it was enough for McIntyre to start detecting significant problems with the Hockey Stick, which he started exposing on the web. From then on his requests for the information required to audit papers were ignored, fobbed off, delayed, obstructed, belittled, rejected or grudgingly complied with in part. He doggedly persisted with the frustrating time-consuming process of politely pursuing researchers, their employers, journals and freedom-of-information claims, in order to gain access to information that should have been made readily available according to the policies of the journals and institutions involved. With a few exceptions the non-disclosure reality confounded the full-disclosure policy that is essential to the pursuit of scientific truth.

With only part of the data and procedures available to him, McIntyre's first task was to fill in the gaps as best he could by working backwards from the graphs to try and figure out how they had been arrived at. This task made me think of a code breaker with a coded message and some idea of what it might mean who then has to decipher what the code is. Not until he had broken the code could McIntyre start examining what it had been used to do and analyse whether its results were valid. This required many hours of trial and error using sophisticated statistical analysis programs-at least they sound sophisticated to a layman like me.

McIntyre's discoveries were numerous, and startling, and damning. When he started posting them on the web, the Hockey Team scathingly dismissed them as ignorant nonsense that would never get past a peer review; but as soon as McIntyre and fellow Canadian Ross McKitrick had their first peer reviewed paper (MM03) published in Environment and Energy the debate escalated into a Hockey Stick war. Mann furiously orchestrated a campaign of denunciation and sabotage. His "friends over at Nature", as he called them, treated McIntyre and McKitrick particularly badly, accepting their paper, delaying it, then rejecting it and publishing Mann's exculpatory corrigendum instead.

While their paper was languishing at Nature the Canadians were constrained from responding to attacks by the team. Mann declared that a paper by Scott Rutherford "completely discredited" MM03. But in 2005 McIntyre and McKitrick had their second paper published in Energy and Environment (MM05EE) and another one in Geophysical Research Letters (MM05GRL) and another one in a Dutch magazine. Mann's response was to claim that Energy and Environment was not a legitimate scientific journal and that MM05GRL had "managed to slip through the imperfect peer review filter at [GRL]". He didn't explain how he knew this about the allegedly confidential peer review process, but thanks to Climategate we know the sort of influence he could wield over that process, and what sort of filter he had in mind.

The war that raged between McIntyre and the hydra, in the journals, on the net, and in the media, came to a head, to one of them at least, when Mann once again refused to disclose his computational codes. As long as McIntyre had to rely solely on the codes he had broken, Mann could claim that he hadn't got them right, so McIntyre asked Mann to provide the right ones-and was again refused. Hence Mann's stance amounted to: no one can understand my methods and reproduce my results without my codes, and I am not going to allow anyone else to examine or use them.

When Mann's ridiculous statements on this matter (for example, that big oil companies were behind the request and that he would not be intimidated) were reported in the Wall Street Journal the tussle became political. The key politicians involved were Joe Barton, a sceptic, and Sherwood Boehlert, an AGW alarmist. To cut a long story short, Barton set up the Wegman committee to investigate and Boehlert set up the North committee to investigate.

The Wegman panel was made up of three statisticians from three different universities, none of whom had any professional connection to paleoclimatology or the AGW debate. The North panel was made up of eleven paleoclimatologists and two statisticians, most of whom had been professionally connected to the IPCC or the Hockey Team, some of them closely connected. So this jury was well and truly stacked in Mann's favour. He acknowledged this to Keith Briffa in an e-mail urging him to appear before it as a witness:

"I think you really should do this if you possibly can. The panel is entirely legit[im]ate, and the report was requested by Sherwood Boehlert, who as you probably know has been very supportive of us in the whole Barton affair . The panel is solid. Gerry North should do a good job in chairing this, and the other members are all solid. Christy is the token skeptic, but there are many others to keep him in check".

But despite its AGW bias, when the North panel presented its report in June 2006 it acknowledged that the Hockey Stick's depiction of temperatures before 1600 was invalid. It reported that the Hockey Stick depended on bristlecone pine proxies that "should be avoided for temperature reconstructions". That its reliance on single validation statistics was unacceptable. That its short-centring methodology was biased, towards a hockey stick shape. That it used methodology that was "unconventional" and "problematical" such that it "introduced certain distortions"-that is, was wrong. And more. It concluded that: "Some of these criticisms are more relevant than others, but taken together, they are an important aspect of a more general finding of this committee, which is that uncertainties of the published reconstructions have been underestimated." This was a highly euphemistic summary of the report's specific findings. The panel made no criticism of McIntyre or McKitrick or of the papers they presented.

Since the Wegman panel had not been stacked with AGW crusaders with allegiances to the team or the IPCC, and since its brief was confined to Mann's Hockey Stick rather than to climate history as such, its report was not compromised like the North report. (A brief summary of its findings may be found here.)

The Wegman report identified a hard core of seven authors and a "social network" of forty-three authors with direct ties to Mann, and reported that this network had compromised independent research, perverted the peer review process, and so tied researchers to their public positions that they had become incapable of reassessing them. It criticised the team's isolation from mainstream statisticians in other disciplines, and its grudging and haphazard release of the data required for verification of its findings. Most importantly it found that "the decentered methodology" used to produce the Hockey Stick "is simply incorrect mathematics", that the Hockey Stick has "a validation skill not significantly different from zero", and that its obliteration of the Medieval Warm Period and contention that the 1990s was the hottest decade in a millennium were "essentially unverifiable".

The team attacked the Wegman report on the grounds that it was not peer reviewed, which was ridiculous since it was a peer review-a proper independent one by three of the most distinguished statisticians in the country. And they made maximum use of the wiggle room in the North report summary. Although it had validated McIntyre and McKitrick's criticisms of Mann's data selection and methodology in the body of the report, its brief was to form an opinion about the world's temperatures over the last 2000 years, and the panel was not about to explicitly contradict the IPCC in this regard. It got around the conflict of interests by deciding that there was evidence other than Mann's Hockey Stick that twentieth-century warming is "para-normal". What they didn't do, however, was to scrutinise that "other evidence" very carefully, because of the examples they presented, all bar one included bristlecone pines in their data sets, which they had agreed should not be used. It was in fact those bristlecones and other "Mannian parlor tricks", as McIntyre called them, that produced the hockey stick effect in all their "other evidence".


Oppenheimer's immigration scare was recycled from a 1970's global COOLING scare

Earlier this week a new paper was published for the National Academy of Sciences by Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton professor and lead author of the forthcoming IPCC report. Oppenheimer made the following claim in his paper: "Between 1.4 million and 6.7 million Mexicans could migrate to the U.S. by 2080 as climate change reduces crop yields and agricultural production in Mexico...The number could amount to 10% of the current population of Mexicans ages 15 to 65."

Flashback to 1975, when a Newsweek article called "The Cooling World" published a similar claim from the National Academy of Sciences: "There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production - with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now.

35 years ago environmentalist were claiming that our agriculture was doomed due to upcoming freezing temperatures. Today, they've only changed their tune by saying increasing temperatures will destroy crops, and tacking on the threat of mass migration to cause more alarm.

Phelim was invited on to the Neil Cavuto show to rebut these ridiculous claims. The newest claims are worse than the Global Cooling scare because they ignore what history taught us from the medieval warm period-warmer temperatures brings prosperity to nations.

Additionally, Oppenhiemers' research methods have been referred to as "guesswork piled on top of 'what ifs.'" In short, the type of research we've come to expect from IPCC authors.

As Phelim said, "Immigration is the last great hope of these alarmists."

More HERE (See the original for links & video)

Honesty breaking out?

A Warmist says that his fellow Warmists will have to play down that science thang if they want to persuade people to act on Warmist scares

The battle to get Americans to accept the science behind climate change has been "lost," an expert at the Aspen Environment Forum declared Wednesday, but there's still a way to win the war to reduce carbon emissions.

Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, said leaders on climate change need to concentrate on changing behavior in ways that appeal to people - and also happen to reduce carbon emissions.

"Climate scientists - stop talking about climate science. We lost. It's over. Forget it," Foley told a surprised audience during a featured panel discussion on the last day of the three-day forum.

He said he likes nothing more than addressing conservatives and trying to win them over. "I like to walk into rooms like that and say, `Forget about climate change. Do you love America?'

"And they'll go, `Yeah.' I'll say, `Doesn't it kind of tick you off that we borrow money from China, send it to Saudi Arabia to prop up this energy industry ... You're pushing a lot of buttons. They agree on that," Foley said.

Environmentalists and climate deniers should stop fighting and take action they agree on, even if they approach the issue from different sides, he said.

"The skepticism around climate change has created a trap for us," Foley said. "Stop digging yourself into the hole. Get out of it. Talk about it a different way. Reframe the issue."

The Environment Forum was presented by The Aspen Institute and National Geographic Magazine. It attracted more than 300 attendees along with scores of speakers in its third year. The first two days featured dire assessments of various environmental maladies, from the oceans acidifying to the challenge of feeding a hungry planet when the population is supposed to surge from 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050.

Wednesday was designed to look more at solutions. Foley was part of a panel assessing how behavior can be changed to encourage stewardship of the planet in a time of "anthropocene," or the time when humans are the dominate evolutionary force on Earth.

The key to cultivating that change is stopping the battle over whether or not science backs the concept of climate change, Foley said. A handful of audience members challenged the wisdom of his strategy, insisting that people must be educated about the details of climate change science before they truly get behind efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Foley stuck to his claims. Discussing changes in global mean temperature makes people's eyes glaze over and does little to help them understand the issue, he said. "Talk about things that matter - food, water, your way of life, the place you live, that kind of thing. "I'm not saying ignore the issue. Turn it around, reframe it," Foley persisted.

About 10 percent of Americans will align with you if you rally around climate change, he later added, but 70 percent will be on your side if you talk about energy security.

The stakes in the debate are too high for bickering. Foley said meaningful action must be taken to ease carbon emissions in less than a decade.

Another panel member, Rev. Richard Cizik, president of New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, agreed that the war on climate change must be waged in ways people can understand.

People will only change behavior when they are uncomfortable with something happening in their lives or the world - and if they're given a solution that works. "You have to be really careful because if you give them an answer that doesn't work and doesn't resonate, then you're in trouble," Cizik said.


"Brown Wash"

"Brown Wash" is a new hate-speech term describing climate skepticism dreamed up by Warmists attached to Australia's Green/Left public broadcaster, the ABC. They say that "Brownwashers" should be prosecuted for fraud.

Such threats seem to have faded away in most of the rest of the world but the mental world of many ABC "intellectuals" still seems to be fixed somewhere in the old East Germany so their polemical primitivism is no great surprise.

My immediate response is "Bring it on". I am sure most skeptics would LOVE to present their case before a court -- where it is evidence, not abuse, that counts.

Meanwhile, however, Jo Nova has some derisive comments on the ABC effusions. The ABC Talking Head concerned was Kellie Tranter:

Kellie Tranter attacks imaginary deniers who she doesn't name, cite, or reference. All her inferences and innuendo are backed up by assertive confidence, a pile of convenient guesses, and nothing else. Everything she accuses the Deniers of is something that those on the Big Scare Campaign do-and if the Deniers do it at all, those who sell-the-scare do it 100 times more.

And countermanding her legal speculation: sanctions for those who provide inaccurate or misleading information are surely more appropriate for the workers who are paid by the citizens to give balanced and careful reporting - rather than those who offer a product for voluntary purchase in the private market.

The citizens are, after all, forced to pay for the services of the Department of Climate Change, the CRU, the CSIRO, BOM and ABC. No citizen is forced to buy Heaven and Earth. The official organisations are chartered to provide the whole truth, not just their favorite parts. Who in their right mind expects a single speech or book from a private individual to encompass the entirety of scientific knowledge?

Last time I looked, there were no laws saying non-fiction items must be impartial and unbiased.

The Brown-washing article was incorrect, inaccurate, based on fallacies of ad hominem, reasoned by mere authority, and was stocked with countless unsubstantiated claims about imaginary malfeasant authors. It's so vacant, and lacking in any reasonable argument that it doesn't just reflect not-too-well on the author, it begs us to ask why our tax dollars are being used to propagate this kind of abject literary and logical failure.

I'm not calling for anyone to be silenced, it's just a question of value for money.Why did the editors of ABC Unleashed think a generic unresearched smear was worth publishing?

It's the sheer lack of research that marks this as mindless. Tranter addresses her imaginary unnamed denier, imagining how rich they must be becoming: "Now suppose you're a "brown washer" and you put yourself up as an expert on the issue of climate change. You knock up a book on the subject. You're paid to deliver lectures, and you're using the lectures to promote your profession or trade as an author. Hundreds attend and many purchase your book because they are relatively unsophisticated in scientific matters and want to know more. You're in "trade or commerce"."

But as I noted in Climate Money, the money for those with lectures, books, junkets and committees vastly outdoes the rewards of skepticism by 3500 : 1. It's not just a vague ad hom by Tranter, its so wrong, it springs back to hit those she defends who write the manifestos of doom instead. Al Gore is making millions from things proven in court to be wrong, and Tranter seems to think that's ok.

This point had already been negated by well referenced material already published on. the Drum [an ABC site] itself.

Tranter doesn't just do inadequate research, she must have actively avoided reading anything written by the group she writes about. She might despise "deniers" but watch her become one while talking to her imaginary friend: "You don't mention, nor do you offer any evidence to refute or alternative hypotheses to explain, that carbon dioxide affects global temperature due to the well-known greenhouse effect, or that no known factor apart from greenhouse gases can account for the past century of warming - not solar cycles, nor cosmic rays, not magnetic fields, not urban heat effects."

Tranter sure can muster the bluster. Skeptics don't even mention evidence.? With 10 seconds of Googling, a ten year old could prove her wrong.

Try to imagine which skeptical book Tranter actually read: was it Heaven and Earth with 2000 references? Could it be Steve Goreham's Climatism with er. only 1079 end notes. I guess it wasn't Bob Carter's new book Climate: The Counter Consensus, because its references and notes run for 57 pages.

I'm not suggesting an argument is right because it has hundreds of references, but if Tranter wanted to research whether skeptical books are based on evidence, she might actually have to thumb through one. Her imaginary-theoretical-skeptic offers no evidence, but that's just it, anyone can write about their imaginary friends, let's not use taxpayers dollars and pretend their opinion is worthy of a national discussion.

Skeptics don't just discuss the evidence, we discuss what evidence itself is. (And also what it's not.) Has Tranter heard of the word empirical?

We could ask Kellie why she didn't bother reading a single skeptical argument before trying to smear the unpaid grassroots volunteers who are trying to save her freedom and money. She's pinned her status to defending one scientific theory without reading anything from the prosecution. Perhaps she answers this herself: "Why don't you deal with this evidence? Could it be incompetence or ignorance, that you're not aware of it? Could it be ineptitude or cowardice, that you can't answer it or won't try to? Could it be cowardly self-interest, that facing it would make the premises of your arguments untenable and your output unsaleable? Could it be calculated deception, that acknowledging scientific truth would invalidate your fallacious assertions and hence your entire position, so that self preservation requires that you deny its existence?"

Except I wouldn't suggest anything so dark and premeditated. It's more Pavlovian. Tranter has learned that in the right circles you can say baseless smears and you win applause. She's just being obedient.

More HERE (See the original for links)


For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


2 August, 2010

The Week That Was (to July 31, 2010)

Excerpts from Ken Haapala, Executive Vice President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)

On Thursday afternoon, the ten groups that petitioned EPA to reconsider its finding that carbon dioxide emissions endanger public health and welfare received notice that the petitions have been denied. This was not unexpected.

The notice quotes the May 2010 report of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, Advancing the Science of Climate Change:

"[T]here is a strong, credible body of evidence, based on multiple lines of research, documenting that climate is changing, and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities... . Climate change... poses significant risks for – and in many cases is already affecting – a broad range of human and natural systems."

The June 5, 2010 TWTW’ Science Editorial discussed this report. “The report … claims that the climate is warming and that the cause is human.” “The first claim of this federally funded $6-million exercise is meaningless and trivial, the second claim is almost surely wrong. Their recommendation is that the United States should put a price on carbon to staunch emissions of CO2; it is pointless, counterproductive, and very costly.”

Clearly, the leadership for the National Academy of Sciences has placed that venerable organization in the camp of those demanding expansion of government power and control over the American economy. This entire exercise requires abandoning knowledge of the earth’s history.

The EPA notice opens with this sentence: “EPA determined in December 2009 that climate change caused by emissions of greenhouse gases threatens the public's health and the environment.” [Bold face added] The Constitution discusses protecting public health and welfare, not the more nebulous term the environment which could be used to justify regulation of virtually all human activity.

The response to the petitions is some 590 pages long. In addition to the NAS study the notice references other studies including the IPCC Assessment Report, the 2009 study by the U.S. Global Change Research Program and a NOAA study released on July 28, 2010, no doubt especially prepared for the occasion. Also the notice references the three British inquiries into Climategate, the Netherlands assessment of the IPCC report, and the Penn State investigation of Michael Mann. It will not be a quiet August for those who have petitioned the courts to review the EPA endangerment finding.


It appears that US tax-and-cap is dead, at least for now. A clear indication is the speed in which many of the proponents are disavowing any association with Kerry-Lieberman. Of course the “greedy corporations” that participated in drafting the bill are receiving much of the blame. Little is said about the big corporations in the Green Industry that spent millions of dollars in promoting Kerry-Lieberman. These include National Resources Defense Council, Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Environmental Defense Fund and The Nature Conservancy. Future letters from these corporations soliciting donations will be an interesting read.

Still of concern is the possibility of an energy bill that includes a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES), namely solar and wind. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid states he does not have the votes for RES, but someone may try to sneak one in. RES will have disastrous economic consequences. The Federal government greatly contributed to the sub-prime mortgage disaster by requiring lenders to offer sub-prime loans, but consumers were not forced to take them. RES will require utilities to provide sub-prime electricity that the consumers will be forced to buy at premium prices.


EPA Climate Proposals Threaten Pursuit of Happiness and Justice

Paul Driessen

Environmental justice demands that the United States address global warming, the gravest threat facing minority Americans, insist the EPA, Congressional Black Caucus and White House. Are they serious?

The alleged threat pales next to unwed teen motherhood, school dropouts, murder and other crime. But even assuming human carbon dioxide emissions will cause average global temperatures to rise a few degrees more than they have already since the Little Ice Age ended, it is absurd to suggest that any such warming would harm minorities more than policies imposed in the name of preventing climate change.

Human activities have not replaced the complex natural forces that drove climate change throughout Earth’s history. But even if manmade greenhouse gases do contribute to planetary warming, slashing US emissions to zero would bring no benefit, because steadily rising emissions from China, India, Brazil and other rapidly growing economies would almost instantly replace whatever gases we cease emitting.

Most important, fossil fuels power the economic engine that ensures justice and opportunity in America today. Policies that make energy less reliable and affordable reduce business revenues and profits, shrink investment and innovation, imperil economic recovery, and hobble job creation, civil rights, and the pursuit of happiness and the American dream.

Whether they take the form of cap-and-trade, carbon taxes, restrictions on drilling and coal mining, or EPA rules under its claim that carbon dioxide “endangers” human health and welfare, anti-energy policies frustrate the natural desire of poor and minority Americans to improve their lives.

As to coping with higher temperatures, restrictive energy policies send electricity prices skyrocketing, making it harder for low-income households to afford air conditioning, and putting lives at risk. They send poor families back to pre-AC misery of bygone eras, like the 1896 heat wave that killed 1,300 people in New York City’s sweltering tenements. In wintertime, they make heating less affordable, again putting lives at risk.

I recently documented the connection between energy policies and civil rights. My “Justice through Affordable Energy for Wisconsin” report focuses on the Dairy State, where I grew up. However, its lessons apply to every state, especially the 26 that get 48-98% of their electricity from coal or have a strong manufacturing base. (The full report can be found at

Energy is the foundation for America’s jobs, living standards, and everything we make, grow, eat, wear, transport and do. Climate change bills, energy taxes and renewable energy mandates deliberately restrict supplies of reliable, affordable hydrocarbon energy – sending shockwaves through the economy.

Fossil fuels generate three-fourths of Wisconsin’s electricity, keeping costs low and enabling its $45-billion-a-year manufacturing sector to compete in a tough global marketplace. Hydrocarbons sustain thousands of jobs in agriculture, tourism and other sectors of the state’s economy. They ensure that hospitals and clinics can offer high-tech diagnostic, surgical and treatment services.

They enable school districts, families, churches, shops and government offices to operate in the black. Soaring fuel and electricity prices would force schools to spend millions more for buses, heating and lighting. That would mean higher taxes – or reduced music, sports, language and special education programs. Poor and minority neighborhoods would be impacted worst.

Small and minority businesses are often young and undercapitalized. Increasing their operating costs, while decreasing the disposable income of their customers, puts them on the verge of bankruptcy.

“A single worker in our Rhinelander fabrication plant can do the work of ten who do not have access to cranes, welding machines, plasma burners and all other machinery that allows us to cut, bend and fabricate steel up to six inches thick, and make all kinds of heavy equipment,” says Oldenburg Group executive vice president Tim Nerenz. But the machinery and facilities are energy-intensive. If energy costs rise, the company would have to cut wages and benefits or lay off workers, as contract prices are fixed and overseas competition is fierce.

Indoor pools and other facilities make tourism a year-round industry, sustaining local economies during frigid Wisconsin winters, making resorts like the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells popular jumping-off points for cross country skiing, snowmobiling and dining. Rising energy costs would reduce family vacations, hammer bottom lines, force layoffs, and cause foreclosures throughout these communities.

In every case, it is blue-collar workers, low and moderate income families, minorities and the elderly that are affected most severely.

Nor are these impacts likely to be offset by “green” jobs. As Spain, Germany and other countries have discovered, wind and solar power require constant infusions of money from increasingly strapped taxpayers and energy consumers. When the economy sours, the subsidies disappear, and so do the jobs.

Wind and solar electricity is expensive, intermittent and unreliable – necessitating expensive gas-powered backup generators, and further damaging family and business budgets. Plus, most of the jobs will be in China and India, where low energy and labor costs, and access to rare earths and other raw materials that America refuses to mine, supply wind turbine and solar panel factories that easily under-price US firms.

The entire cap-tax-and-trade, renewable energy and green-jobs edifice is a house of cards, propped up by claims that humans are affecting the Earth’s climate. As EPA and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson repeatedly assert, “Climate change is already happening, and human activity is a contributor.”

However, that is not the issue. The issue is whether our use of fossil fuels is now the dominant factor in global warming and cooling, and whether future manmade climate change will be catastrophic. There is no replicable or credible evidence to support that proposition.

Headline-grabbing disaster scenarios forecast for 50 or 100 years in the future are the product of speculation, assumptions, unreliable computer models, and articles by climate activists falsely presented as peer-reviewed scientific papers in IPCC reports, news stories and political speeches. As my Wisconsin study explains, they are not supported by actual data and observations regarding historic and current global temperatures, ice caps, glaciers, sea levels, rainforests or cyclical weather patterns.

Energy taxes and subsidies, renewable energy mandates, soaring prices for everything we need – and severe impacts on families, businesses, jobs, opportunities, living standards and basic civil rights – might be justified if we did indeed face a manmade climate disaster. But even then we should carefully examine the costs and benefits of any proposed actions.

We should determine whether slashing fossil fuel use will stabilize our planet’s ever-turbulent climate, and whether our limited resources might be better spent on adapting to future changes, natural and manmade, just as our ancestors did.

If global warming science is inaccurate, dishonest, slanted or fraudulent, there is even less justification.

We cannot have justice without opportunity, or opportunity without energy. We cannot have justice by sharing scarcity, poverty and skyrocketing energy prices more equally – especially on the basis of erroneous, speculative or manipulated climate science.

We must therefore be forever vigilant, to ensure that Congress does not slip cap-tax-and-trade proposals through during a post-election lame-duck session – and EPA does not shackle our economy and civil rights progress with its job-killing “endangerment” rules.


Is Temperature Spinning, Out of Control?

As we are told of yet another “hottest year on record”, our daily news reports are full of “hot testimony”, for example the heatwave in Moscow, Russia is described in this report:

“The heat has caused asphalt to melt, boosted sales of air conditioners, ventilators, ice cream and beverages, and pushed grain prices up. Environmentalists are blaming the abnormally dry spell on climate change. On ‘black’ Saturday, temperatures in Moscow hit a record high of 38 degrees Celsius with little relief at night, making this July the hottest month in 130 years. The average temperature in central Russia is 9 degrees above the seasonal norm.”

As usual, WWF regard this as proof of global warming: “Certainly, such a long period of hot weather in unusual for central Russia. But the global tendency proves that in future, such climate abnormalities will become only more frequent”, says Alexey Kokorin, the Head of Climate and Energy Program of the World Wide Fund (WWF) Russia.

He fails, of course, to say what caused the previous heat wave of similar magnitude 130 years previously, as was mentioned in the report. Such is the nature of environmental reporting these days, that such questions equally do not arise in the minds of those willing reporters who swallow every crumb of global warming thrown to them. Never ever mentioned are historical instances such as the seven month long European heatwave of 1540, when the River Rhine dried up and the bed of the River Seine in Paris was used as a thoroughfare.

It seems to be axiomatic, that whilst reports such as the Moscow Heatwave make the headlines, there is scant reporting in the popular media of the severe cold in the South American winter, with loss of life and livelihoods, due to temperatures in some places reaching minus 15 celsius, or 5 deg F.

“The polar wave that has trapped the Southern Cone of South America has caused an estimated one hundred deaths and killed thousands of cattle, according to the latest reports on Monday from Argentina, south of Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile and Bolivia. Even the east of the country which is mostly sub-tropical climate has been exposed to frosts and almost zero freezing temperatures.”

But not to worry, it is still global warming, as explained by the Moscow head of WWF:

”I think that the heat we are suffering from now as well as very low temperatures we had this winter, are hydro-meteorological tendencies that are equally harmful for us as they both were caused by human impact on weather and the greenhouse effect which has grown steadily for the past 30-40 years.”

The “cold is hot” approach can be traced back to a working document by the UK Tyndall Centre for Climate Change back in 2004, when they said:

* Only the experience of positive temperature anomalies will be registered as indication of change, if the issue is framed as global warming.

* Both positive and negative temperature anomalies will be registered in experience as indication of change if the issue is framed as climate change.

* We propose that in those countries where climate change has become the predominant popular term for the phenomenon, unseasonably cold temperatures, for example, are also interpreted to reflect climate change/global warming.

It certainly works for WWF and the mainstream media, although surprisingly, the UK Guardian did a slight volte face when it changed a headline from: “2010 on track to become warmest year ever“ to the slightly less dramatic “2010 could be among warmest years recorded by man”

Since, by decree of James Hansen, there were no reliable thermometers prior to 1880, this is a pretty short record in the overall scheme of things. However the UK Central England Temperature Record goes back to 1659, when the “non-existent” Little Ice Age was producing extremely low temperatures, with winter averages barely above zero deg C. A Press Release from 1698 could have said for example: 1698 – “Eight of the coldest years have occurred in the last 15 years”

An enterprising environmental journalist of the time could then have totally forgotten that period, and produced this headline, as temperatures recovered: 1733- The UK has heated by a massive 3.2 degrees over the last 4 decades,

There are many more temperature periods where such specious claims can be made, if the right starting and ending points are selected and of course they are all meaningless, as are the current headlines.

In fact the Central England temperature average for the thirty year period 1971-2000, was just 0.51 deg C higher than the thirty year period 1701-1730, some 270 years earlier. If you consider the impact of urban heat islands on the temperature record since that time, you can only ask, “what global warming”?

The average Central England summer average for 1961-90, the baseline period used by CRU, is actually –0.15 deg C lower than the summer average for 1721-1750, and under current definitions, thirty years counts as climate, but don’t tell anyone, it might spoil the story.


Proxies go up and proxies go down

Suggesting that they are not really measures of temperature at all

NASA blogger Gavin Schmidt as part of his ongoing attempt to rehabilitate Mannian paleoclimate reconstructions, characterized here as dendro-phrenology, has drawn attention to a graphic posted up at Mann’s website in November 2009. In this graphic, Mann responded to criticisms that his “no-dendro” stick had been contaminated by bridge-building sediments despite warnings from the author (warnings noted by Mann himself but the contaminated data was used anyway.) I’ll show this figure at the end of the post, but first I’m going to show the “raw materials” for this “reconstruction” and my results from the same data.

I’m going to show a lot of plots of “proxies” today. The intuitive idea of a proxy is that the thing being measured (tree ring width, sediment thickness, ice core O18, etc) has a linear relationship with a temperature “signal” plus low-order red noise. Therefore, if the temperature “signal” is a hockey stick, the various proxy plots should look like a hockey stick plus low-order red-noise. I encourage readers to look at the no-dendro no-Tilj data for Mann’s November 2009 example with that in mind. If the topics were being discussed by proper statisticians, the properties of the “noise” would be discussed, rather than ignored.

To illustrate the calculation, I’ve picked the AD1000 Mann 2008 data set as an example since it covers the MWP. I’ve used the late-miss version (calibration 1859-1949) to work through, since it will give a look at any potential “divergence problems” in non-dendro data.

There were 29 “proxies” in the data set- 11 sediments, 2 “documentary” (both Chinese), 9 speleo and 7 ice core. Eleven of these were annually resolved; the other 18 were “decadal” resolution. 22 were NH; 7 SH.

The first step in Mann’s algorithm is determining the orientation of speleo and documentary proxies through their after-the-fact correlation to instrumental data. (The orientation of other proxies is presumed to be known a priori). In this network, there were 11 speleo+documentary proxies and 5 of 11 were flipped. (Interestingly, it is possible in Mann’s algorithm for the same proxy to have opposite “significant” orientations depending on the calibration period.)

The next step is to screen out proxies that do not have a “significant” correlation to gridcell temperature. Although we’ve heard much invective against the meaningful of r^2 statistics from Mann, Schmidt and others in the context of MBH98, Mann then uses correlation (r) to screen series in Mann et al 2008. (Perhaps it is the squaring of the correlation statistic that Schmidt takes exception to.)

There were 16 proxies that “passed” Mannian significance: – 3 of 11 sediments, both “documentary (Chinese), 7 of 9 speleo and 4 of 7 ice cores. Seven of 11 annually resolved passed; nine of 18 decadally resolved passed. 12 of 22 NH passed; 4 of 7 SH passed.

In the figure below, I’ve plotted all 22 NH “proxies” (standardized), coloring the “rejected” proxies in green. I don’t think that anyone can reasonably look at these 22 series and say that the individual “proxies” can be reasonably interpreted as different linear transformations of a Hockey Stick plus low-order AR1 red noise or that the individual proxies look much like one another. They are a hodge-podge to say the least. This is the problem of proxy inconsistency that I’ve talked about frequently and that Ross and I reported in our comment at PNAS in Mann 2008. Mann either didn’t understand or pretended not to understand the problem, which is fundamental to the entire enterprise of proxy reconstructions and readily apparent merely by plotting the “proxies”.

While “ex post screening” by correlation is accepted as a given by realclimatescientists, ex-post screening by correlation is not a statistical procedure that is recommended or discussed in Draper and Smith or standard statistical texts. The tendency of this procedure to produce sticks from red noise is well known in the technical blogosphere (Jeff Id, David Stockwell, Lubos Motl and myself have all more or less independently noticed and reported the phenomenon, with David publishing a short note in an Australian mining newsletter that Ross and I cited in our PNAS comment. However professional climate scientists appear unaware of the effect and it remains unreported in the PeerReviewedLiterature.

The top left proxy (192) is an interesting one. It is Baker’s speleothem record from Scotland that was discussed at CA in early 2009 and here as an interesting example of Upside-Down Mann. In the orientation applied in Mann’s no-dendro no-Tiljander reconstruction endorsed by Gavin Schmidt, Scotland is shown as having experienced the unique phenomena of the Medieval Cold Period and Little Warm Age – bizarro Hubert Lamb, as it were.

The “proxies” show little evidence of an overall pattern, let alone a Stick.


BOOK REVIEW: "Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming" by James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore

Review by S. Fred Singer, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Anyone who has seen the smears on DeSmogBlog will find more of the same in this hastily-written book which continues to smear on an even larger scale. For example, on page 39 it describes me as a “tobacco-sponsored scientist” which is totally untrue.

Later, on page 80, it mentions me again as a “hard working climate change denier who has done no obvious scientific work in the field for years.” It lists me as an advisor to the organization “TASSC” (The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition) which is also completely untrue. In fact, I have never been associated with TASSC in any way --although I do commune with many of the other groups listed, all respected conservative think tanks.

I gladly take credit for conducting, in 1992, what may have been the first survey of expert opinions on global warming. It included all of the members of technical committees of the American Meteorological Society and showed, for the first time, the existence of considerable professional skepticism about global warming promotion. The 1995 Leipzig Declaration carries this further; and contrary to Hoggan, all of the signatures are on file. Of course, Leipzig was outdone by the Oregon Petition Project, which eventually garnered over 31,000 signatures from American scientists and engineers (p.108).

Not surprisingly, Hoggan puts a great deal of stock in the claims of journalist Ross Gelbspan, who asserts in his book “The Heat is On” that climate skeptics were drawing major financial support from coal and oil interests. While I cannot speak for others, this is simply not true in my case. And would it have mattered?

One whole chapter is devoted to my libel suit against one Justin Lancaster. Of course, Hoggan misrepresents the facts, which are fully laid out in the book “Politicizing Science” (Michael Gough, ed. Published by Hoover Institution, Stanford, 2003).

It all started when Al Gore was running for Vice President. He faced great embarrassment since his guru, Professor Roger Revelle, had published a somewhat skeptical article in an obscure journal, together with me and Chauncey Starr.

This led to an attack on Singer by Lancaster, a Gore groupie, who first claimed that Revelle was not a coauthor. When this did not work, he then claimed that Singer had taken advantage of Revelle’s advanced age.

When this didn’t work either, he was finally forced to retract and apologize in order to avoid a trial that would have cost him a great deal of money and ruined his reputation forever.

More recently, however, Lancaster has retracted his retraction and has left himself open to another lawsuit; but it may not be worthwhile to sue him. In any case, there is ample evidence in Revelle’s writings of his skeptical views on the global warming issue -- sufficient to undermine any claim that Lancaster might have.

Hoggan has his heroes, people like Gelbspan and Naomi Oreskes, who are fully expert in smearing people. And he also has his enemies, whom he tries to pull down: Freeman Dyson, Sallie Baliunas, Tim Ball, Stephen Milloy, and of course me.

But always it’s the same story: accusations of being in the pay of the oil industry or tobacco lobby or worse. Lyndon Larouche makes an appearance, in connection with a story about melting glaciers, traced to Singer’s website and based on a wrong reference. As a result, another Hoggan’s hero, British smear artist George Monbiot, is credited with breaking “one of the all-time-great climate disinformation stories” (p.162). We haven’t heard much from George Monbiot since exaggerations of glacier melt in the Himalayas was exposed.

It’s too bad that Hoggan’s book appeared just before ClimateGate broke. His book title would have fitted perfectly, by changing only a single word: “Climate Cover-up: The Crusade to Hype Global Warming.”

SEPP SCIENCE EDITORIAL #23-2010 (July 31, 2010)

Closing out dissent: The phenomena of disinvitation and the brotherhood of silence

by Bob Carter

Scientists who venture to make independent statements in public about environmental myths soon come to learn about two post-modern-science tactics used to suppress their views – namely, disinvitation and the application of a brotherhood of silence. How these tactics work is explained in this article.

The modus operandi

A member of the organising committee for one or another conference comes to one of my talks, or chances to meet a friend who has attended. Enthusiasm thereby arises for me to speak at the conference that is being planned. Prompted by the member, the conference committee approves an invitation, which I accept. Later, the Council or governing body of the society in question gets to “rubber stamp” the conference program and someone says: “Bob Carter as a plenary speaker! You must be joking”. The disinvitation follows, sometimes well after the talk has been written and travel booked.

In a variation on this, earlier this year I was invited by our ABC to contribute an opinion piece about climate change to their online blog site, The Drum. The piece was duly written and tendered, only to be declined.

Similarly, strong control has long been exercised by public broadcasters ABC and SBS against the appearance of independent scientists on their TV and radio news and current affairs programs. I first encountered this in 2007, when I participated in a broadcast discussion about Martin Durkin’s epoch-making documentary film, The Great Global Warming Swindle. Before the broadcast I had the astonishing experience of being successively invited, disinvited, prevaricated with and then finally invited to participate again, as competing interests inside the ABC battled, as they obviously saw it, to control the outcome of the panel discussion.

I have generally viewed these and similar experiences over the years as amusing irritations that go with the territory of scientific independence. But the matter starts to become offensive, and indeed sinister, when it transpires that scientists from CSIRO, and other IPCC-linked research groups in Australia, have been behind particular disinvitations; or, even more commonly, have refused to participate in public debate on climate change.

The same self-appointed guardians of the sanctity of IPCC climate propaganda also strive ceaselessly to prevent invitations from being issued in the first place. For example, when it was suggested to a Sydney metropolitan university that I might give a talk on the campus, their Distinguished (sic) Professor of Sustainability responded that:
he would not be interested in allowing anyone to present a point of view which did not support the fact that human-generated carbon dioxide has caused global warming.


Engineers Australia (Sydney)

On July 8th this year, at the invitation of the Chairman of the Electrical & ITE Branch, Engineers Australia Sydney, I delivered a lecture on climate change in Chatswood to an attentive audience of about 55 practicing engineers, retired engineers and engineering students.

EA (Sydney) run a series of about 22 such lectures every year for the continuing professional development of their members. The intent is to impart knowledge to the engineering fraternity on current subjects of interest, and lecturers are generally recognized as leaders in the field of the subject that they present.

When controversial topics are involved, the institute attempts to attract speakers who will illustrate different aspects of the debate, as indeed they did on this occasion. For the lecture that I delivered was intended to be one of a pair, in which the other speaker would explain the reasons behind the federal government's preference for using United Nations (IPCC) advice as the basis for Australian climate policy.

Significantly, CSIRO were asked, and declined, to provide such a speaker, thereby exemplifying the brotherhood of silence, i.e. the long-held ban that all IPCC-linked research groups strive to inflict upon independent scientists by refusing to debate with them as equals on a public platform. Earlier this year, CSIRO chairperson Megan Clarke boasted that her organisation had 40 persons involved in advising the IPCC, yet not one of them was available to talk to Australia’s major engineering professional institute? Pull the other one, Megan.

Well, if CSIRO is not prepared to explain the basis for government’s science policy then there’s always the universities, so a Director of the Climate Change Research Centre at another Sydney metropolitan university was approached to participate as the second speaker. He too declined on the grounds that the envisaged two-lecture format was "flawed", adding:
You would not have an "anti-gravity" person debate gravity and since there honestly is no debate in this space in SCIENCE the offer I made a little while ago of offering a full day to detail the science to your members stand(s).

Your society risks falling into the trap of the media in believing there is debate and that is sad, misleading and unfortunate.

This stance was supported by an experienced NSW power engineer who wrote to EA at about the same time to malign my professional standing, and who included, for good measure, a gratuitous remark about the well-regarded London publisher of my recent book on climate change, viz.:
It appears that Bob Carter is representative of the group of the relatively little-published 2% group of scientists who generally are not mainly working in real climate science (Bob Carter is a geologist not a climate scientist, and is published in You-tube and popular magazines, not peer-reviewed journals), who oppose the real climate science consensus. This appears to be correct based on your notice of the meeting and his website. In this case he does not deserve equal time to the 98% of scientists regularly published on climate change in peer-reviewed journals. There is no counter consensus! I question the wisdom of giving this man the Engineers Australia podium.

Furthermore, Stacey International is a publisher of popular works and has no specific scientific credibility.

These examples both involve the citation of private letters. Other engineers blatantly attain the same ends of denigration or censorship in full public gaze. For example, ANU’s Tony Kevin wrote recently in an invited address in Canberra to the Australian Council of Engineering Deans:
I am not going to dwell on climate change denialism. The science is in. Climate crisis denialism should simply be condemned as a socially disruptive cognitive disorder. It seduces people who are psychologically unwilling to admit limits to economic growth. Denialists cling to the arrogant “mechanical philosophy” of mankind’s infinite right and capacity to exploit and transcend his natural environment. Or, they suffer from a kind of morally indifferent, fatalistic nihilism.

Like other cognitive disorders that have in the past caused great suffering to humanity, climate denialism is impervious to observed facts. As the climate crisis worsens, denialism perversely flourishes even more, confusing the community and eroding public support for sound risk-averse policies.

Needless to say, all these statements, both the private and the public, are a confused farrago of mostly ad hominem nonsense. It is disturbing, to say the least, that organisations and persons who would be quick to claim professional status consider that it is their current duty to disparage, or to refuse to debate with, or to muzzle scientists whose views on climate change they apparently disagree with.

Disturbing too is the fact that for at least the last twenty years the practitioners of environmentalism and climate alarm have made it their business to exert special influence on our younger citizens. Many parents have shared the experience of being horrified by the imbalance of information that their children from time to time come home from school with about iconic environmental issues. The indoctrination continues, of course, at university, and through into the junior workforce.

An exemplary case follows next of the way in which the views of young Australians are manipulated.

AMUNC, Sydney

On March 18th this year (4 months ahead), I was invited by a student organizer to
speak as a panelist at the Asia-Pacific Model United Nations Conference 2010 being hosted by the Sydney University Model United Nations Society in July this year. The event is a large, annual tertiary student conference attended mainly by law and politics students …. Each year it attracts 500- 600 university students from across Australia, New Zealand, East and South-East Asia and beyond. AMUNC 2010 will be a celebration of academic excellence, youth diplomacy and cross-cultural understanding.

Model UN is a special form of tertiary student conference in which delegates engage in a simulation of the practices, actions and debates of a number of global multilateral institutions. Delegates represent assigned countries across a number of committees of the United Nations and associated bodies, from the archetypal Security Council to the International Court of Justice, International Monetary Fund and the World Health Organisation.

The invitation continued:
Issues related to the environment and the effects of climate change are now dominating discussions across all international institutions. As such, with your expertise on climate change and your position as an Adjunct Professional [sic] Research Fellow at James Cook University, the AMUNC 2010 Secretariat would be honoured to have you partake in our Environment and Technology panel discussion. The recent UN Climate Change conference in Copenhagen has provided much debate for university students and questions over the integrity of scientific evidence cited by governmental bodies and institutions such as the IPCCC are also on the rise. In response to this, our panel will be discussing issues surrounding Australia’s environmental policies, as well as the correlation between human activity and global warming, and other topics pertaining to climate change.

Having spent an entire professional career educating young persons, I was of course delighted to accept appointment to the panel on "The Challenge of Climate Change", the purpose of which is further outlined in the following programme extract:

The disinvitation

Arriving in Sydney on other business about a week before the conference, I received a letter from AMUNC Secretary General which, inter alia, conveyed the following:
In light of some concerns which have been brought to my attention, the AMUNC Secretariat have determined that there is a need to try and separate out the issues of climate change science and solutions to climate change. This is because the other speakers on the panel may lack the capacity to advocate the majority view on climate change in response to any arguments you might make. While we have endeavored to find a climate change scientist to include on the panel, because we have been unable to do so, there is a risk that discussion could become quite uneven.

As a compromise, one of our panelists, Dr Mark Diesendorf, who while not a climate change specialist, has agreed to debate with you on climate change science in the lead up to the Environment & Technology panel (so from about 13:00-13:20). I would propose this would include an opening statement from each, questions and answers from the audience followed by closing remarks. However this would mean that you would not be able to participate in the Environment & Technology panel as a speaker.

Between my initial invitation in March and the receipt of this letter I had published an entire book that “separate(s) out the issues of climate change science and solutions”; this was apparently an inadequate qualification to participate in the AMUNC panel. The sweet irony appeared to escape the Secretary General that the purpose of the pivotal Chapter 11 – in what has been described as “an enthralling book, a sunrise of calm analysis and penetrating good sense“ - was precisely to provide a sensible, effective and politically realistic policy path on climate change.

Much more HERE


For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


1 August, 2010

Mega-pesky: New German/Russian Temperature Reconstruction Shows NIL correlation With CO2 levels.

And it also shows that it is the sun wot did it. This would be the end of global warming if it were a scientific question. It is precisely (very selective) tree ring data that the Warmists rely on for their "hockeystick" -- yet once again we find in trees the sort of "decline" that Jones & Co. tried to "hide"

A new temperature reconstruction carried out by a team of German/Russian scientists has yielded interesting results. It finds no correlation over the last 400 years between atmospheric CO2 and the temperature in the Arctic regions studied.

Yuri Kononov of the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow and Michael Friedrich of the Institute of Botany, University of Hohenheim collect tree samples of Scots pine in the Khibiny Low Mountains of the Kola Peninsula in Arctic Russia

Recall that CO2 concentrations have been rising steadily since the start of the Industrial Revolution, 1870, yet the press release starts with: "Parts of the Arctic have cooled clearly over the past [20th]century, but temperatures have been rising steeply there since 1990"

Rising since 1990? That’s more than 100 years after the start of the Industrial Revolution. The press release continues: "The reconstructed summer temperature on Kola in the months of July and August has varied between 10.4C (1709) and [peaking at] 14.7C (1957), with a mean of 12.2C. Afterwards, after a cooling phase, an ongoing warming can be observed from 1990 onwards".

The temperature fluctuated between 10.4C and a peak of 14.7C in 1957 , and then cooled until 1990. The scientists say it correlated very well with solar activity until 1990. Then beginning in 1990, the temperatures started to rise rapidly again. Does anyone see a CO2 correlation there? I don’t.

The only time we have a correlation between CO2 concentrations and temperature is from 1990 until…? Unfortunately the press release does not even mention that. Until today? 2005? 2000? It really is annoying that they didn’t specify the end of the time scale. If the reconstruction was only up to 2000, then we are only speaking about a 10-year period - a completely meaningless time period. Even 20 years would be highly dubious.

I called UFZ early this afternoon here in Germany to try to find out, but the secretary said that all scientists had already left for the weekend.

UPDATE! The German press release now has the following graphic. The dataset ended 2001! The press spokesman just told me on the phone. So there was warming from 1990 until 2001! As you see, the graphic iteself is misleading. It almost looks as if the curve goes until 2010.

Press spokesman Tilo Arnhold informed by telephone that the dataset goes only up to 2001, yet the press release graphic clearly shows a curve beyond 2001

Interestingly, also, the graphic shows warming since 1650.

The press release also states: "What stands out in the data from the Kola Peninsula is that the highest temperatures were found in the period around 1935 and 1955, and that by 1990 the curve had fallen to the 1870 level, which corresponds to the start of the Industrial Age."

The temperature fell to 1870-levels by 1990? Wait a minute – the CO2 theory say it’s supposed to go up, and not down.

The team compared their Kola region data to Swedish Lapland and the Yamal and Tamimyr Penninsula temperature reconstructions: Here’s what they found: "The reconstructed summer temperatures of the last four centuries from Lapland and the Kola and Taimyr Peninsulas are similar in that all three data series display a temperature peak in the middle of the twentieth century, followed by a cooling of one or two degrees."

Cooling from the middle of the twentieth century until 1990. Cooling!

So if it’s not CO2, then what could be driving temperature? The press release goes on: "What is conspicuous about the new data is that the reconstructed minimum temperatures coincide exactly with times of low solar activity."

More HERE (See the original for links)

Data from yet another part of the world confirming big medieval climate change

Discussing: Escobar, J., Curtis, J.H., Brenner, M., Hodell, D.A. and Holmes, J.A. 2010. Isotope measurements of single ostracod valves and gastropod shells for climate reconstruction: Evaluation of within-sample variability and determination of optimum sample size. Journal of Paleolimnology 43: 921-938.

What was done

In the words of the authors, "sediment cores from Lakes Punta Laguna, Chichancanab, and Peten Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula were used to (1) investigate 'within-horizon' stable isotope variability (?18O and ?13C) measured on multiple, single ostracod valves and gastropod shells, (2) determine the optimum number of individuals required to infer low-frequency climate changes, and (3) evaluate the potential for using intra-sample ?18O variability in ostracod and gastropod shells as a proxy measure for high-frequency climate variability."

What was learned

The five researchers report that their results "allow calculation of mean isotope values and thus provide a rough estimate of the low-frequency variability over the entire sediment sequence," and these results indicated that "relatively dry periods were persistently dry [italics added], whereas relatively wet periods were composed of wet and dry times."

What it means

Escobar et al. state that their findings "confirm the interpretations of Hodell et al. (1995, 2007) and Curtis et al. (1996) that there were persistent dry climate episodes associated with the Terminal Classic Maya Period." In fact, they find that "the Terminal Classic Period from ca. AD 910 to 990 was not only the driest period in the last 3,000 years, but also a persistently dry period [italics added]." And in further support of this interpretation, they note that "the core section encompassing the Classic Maya collapse has the lowest sedimentation rate among all layers and the lowest oxygen isotope variability."

We additionally note, in this regard, that the AD 910 to 990 time period falls very close to the central section of the frequency plot of the time-of-occurrence of the Medieval Warm Period for many of the locations where it has been detected (to date) throughout the entire world, as may be seen from the Interactive Map and Time Domain Plot of our Medieval Warm Period Project, which observation suggests that the climate of the Yucatan Peninsula during that time period likely was also persistently warm. And that "double whammy" of persistent warmth and persistent dryness appears to have been just a bit too much for the Mayans of that trying time to endure.


That dreaded "ocean acidification": Jellyfish unaffected by large variations in pH and temperature

Discussing: "Winans, A.K. and Purcell, J.E. 2010. "Effects of pH on asexual reproduction and statolith formation of the scyphozoan, Aurelia labiata". Hydrobiologia 645: 39-52.


The authors write that "scyphozoans have two main stages in their life cycles, the benthic polyps and pelagic jellyfish." The polyps reproduce asexually by budding polyps and through the process of strobilation, in which ephyrae (juvenile jelly fish) are produced by transverse fission." And, as they continue, "like many other marine invertebrates, jellyfish have statocysts, balance organs that enable them to sense gravity," and they say that "inside these statocysts are numerous statoliths of trigonal crystals of calcium sulfate hemihydrate that are formed during strobilation."

What was done

Polyps produced by medusae collected from the moon jellyfish (Aurelia labiata) in Dyes Inlet, Washington (USA) were arbitrarily assigned (18 each) to one of six treatments comprised of all combinations of two water temperatures (9 and 15C) and three pH levels (7.2, 7.5 and 7.9), where they were allowed to develop under controlled conditions for 122 days.

What was learned

The two researchers report that "polyp survival was 100% after 122 days in seawater in all six temperature and pH combinations;" and because few polyps strobilated at 9C and "temperature effects on budding were consistent with published results," they say they "did not analyze data from those three treatments further." At 15C, there were also no significant effects of pH on the numbers of ephyrae or buds produced per polyp or on the numbers of statoliths per statocyst." However, they state that "statolith size was significantly smaller in ephyrae released from polyps reared at low pH."

What it means

Winans and Purcell conclude that "A. labiata polyps are quite tolerant of low pH, surviving and reproducing asexually even at the lowest tested pH," which degree of "acidification" is not expected to occur (even by climate alarmists) until about AD 2300.

But to not come up empty-handed with respect to potential bad news, they note that "the effects of small statoliths on ephyra fitness are unknown," which means that the phenomenon could bode poorly for earth's jellyfish.

On the other hand, they acknowledge that many organisms "may be able to acclimate or adapt to slowly changing pH conditions." And in this context they report that in Puget Sound "pH fluctuates from 7.2 to 9.6 in 2.4-meter deep water over the span of a couple of days," stating that "with such large pH fluctuations due to plant photosynthesis during the day and respiration at night, many organisms may be exposed to low pH conditions routinely." And, obviously, they are also successfully dealing with those low pH conditions routinely, as are an enormous amount of other marine organisms.


Global Temperature And Data Distortions Continue

by Dr. Tim Ball

Recent reports claim June was the warmest on record, but it seems to fly in the face of reports of record cold from around the world. Reports from Australia say, “Sydney recorded its coldest June morning today since 1949, with temperatures diving to 4.3 degrees just before 6:00 a.m. (AEST).” “Experts say it is unusual to see such widespread cold weather in June

In the southern hemisphere reports of cold have appeared frequently but rarely make the mainstream media. “The Peruvian government has declared a state of emergency in more than half the country due to cold weather.” “This week Peru’s capital, Lima, recorded its lowest temperatures in 46 years at 8C, and the emergency measures apply to several of its outlying districts.”

“In Peru’s hot and humid Amazon region, temperatures dropped as low as 9C. The jungle region has recorded five cold spells this year.

Hundreds of people – nearly half of them very young children – have died of cold-related diseases, such as pneumonia, in Peru’s mountainous south where temperatures can plummet at night to -20C.”

“A brutal and historical cold snap has so far caused 80 deaths in South America, according to international news agencies. Temperatures have been much below normal for over a week in vast areas of the continent.”

“It snowed in nearly all the provinces of Argentina, an extremely rare event. It snowed even in the western part of the province of Buenos Aires and Southern Santa Fe, in cities at sea level.” (Source)

Evidence of the cold is reflected in the fact that Antarctic ice is continuing to reach record levels. “Antarctic sea ice peaks at third highest in the satellite record”

The same contradictory evidence is happening in the Arctic. They claimed the most dramatic warming was occurring in the Arctic but this contradicts what the ice is doing. Ice continues its normal melt of the summer with a slowing rate slowed in the months of June and July. (Figure 1)

So where are the stories coming from? It goes back to the manipulation of temperature data by the two main generators the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) and the Hadley Climate Research Unit (HadCrut). They use data provided by individual countries of the World Meteorological Organization. This is supposedly raw data, but in fact it has already been adjusted for various presumed local anomalies.

But the arctic warming is even more problematic. The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) is the source of data for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change yet it tells us there is no data for the entire Arctic Ocean Basin. Figure 2 shows the diagram from their report.

So how do they determine that the Arctic is warming at all, let alone more rapidly than other regions? The answer is, with GISS at least, they use computer models to extrapolate. They do this by assuming that a weather station record is valid for a 1200 km region. Figure 4 shows the 1200 km smoothing results for the Arctic region. (The green circle is 80N latitude.)

Then we see what happens when the interpolation or smoothing is done using a more reasonable 250 km (Figure 5).

None of this is surprising because GISS have consistently distorted the record always to amplify warming. The problem of data adjustment is best illustrated by comparing the results of GISS and Hadcrut (Figure 6).

The Hadcrut data shows what Phil Jones, former Director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) confirmed to the BBC that global temperatures have not increased since 1998. However, the GISS data shows a slight warming over the period and a significant increase from 2007. How can two records both using the same weather data achieve such different conclusions? The simple answer is they use different stations and adjust them differently, especially for such things as the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE).

There is another problem.

The number of stations used to produce a global average was significantly reduced in 1990 and this affected temperature estimates as Ross McKitrick showed (Figure 7). He wrote, “The temperature average in the above graph is unprocessed. Graphs of the ‘Global Temperature’ from places like GISS and CRU reflect attempts to correct for, among other things, the loss of stations within grid cells, so they don’t show the same jump at 1990.” McKitrick got the idea for the problem from an article by meteorologist Joe D’Aleo.

The challenge is to produce meaningful long-term records from such interrupted data, but that is not the only problem because the loss of stations is not uniform. “The loss in stations was not uniform around the world. Most stations were lost in the former Soviet Union, China, Africa and South America.” This is may explain the distortions currently occurring because it adds to the distortions that already exist toward eastern North American and western European stations.

The pattern of temperatures of the Northern Hemisphere in the early spring and summer saw heat in eastern North America and Western Europe. There is a greater density of weather stations in these regions and they have the greatest heat island effect. The rest of the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere had cooler conditions but in the deliberately distorted record this was minimized.

McKitrick, Essex and Andersen, in “Does a global temperature exist?” concluded, “The purpose of this paper was to explain the fundamental meaninglessness of so-called global temperature data.” “But nature is not obliged to respect our statistical conventions and conceptual shortcuts.”

That is clearly the case this year and it confirms Alfred Whitehead’s observation that, “There is no more common error than to assume that, because prolonged and accurate calculations have been made, the application of the result to some fact of nature is absolutely certain”.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Global warming scam systematically propped up by Leftist journalists

The Journolist story demonstrates active, covert collaboration among leftists to plant political themes in the media. Long-time listeners of conservative talk radio are aware of audio montages where old-line media talking heads repeat verbatim a set of words that can't be anything other than shared talking points. A perfect example was the 2000-era Dick Cheney "gravitas" showcased by Rush Limbaugh.

It's one thing to ask how proper reporting of Obama might have changed the outcome of the election. I'll ask a bigger question: Did old-line media journalists share talking points to prop up the global warming issue?

In his August 2007 American Thinker article "Global Warming Propaganda Factory," Christopher Alleva described the coordinated efforts of the Society of Environmental Journalists: "I have often wondered how the media are in such lock step on Global Warming. Well, I wonder no more. Recently, I came across a website for the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ). This website is veritable tool box for any budding reporter assigned to the global warming beat. If you're an editor at the Palookaville Post, all you have to do is send your cub reporters to this site and they'll have everything they need to write an article that fits the template and action line perfectly."

In my own simpleminded quest to find out why skeptic scientists did not appear on one of the last bastions of fair-and-balanced news outlets, the PBS NewsHour, I received a reply from the PBS ombudsman in a phrase eerily repeated by others in the media dismissing the need to present skeptics: "Yes, we *could* have one of them [skeptics] in a story, or on a show, and have a representative of the "other side." But that would be false balance."

The concept of a "false journalistic need for balance" goes as far back as 1995, generated by a journalist named Ross Gelpspan and spread by a network of activists and institutions. The story is detailed in my American Thinker article earlier this month, "Smearing Global Warming Skeptics."

After writing that article, I still wanted to find out just how biased the NewsHour was in its global warming presentations, so I copied and counted online transcripts of the NewsHour going back to 1996. Out of 212 global warming-centered program segments, including some online background info pages, only three on-air segments had discussion of basic skeptic science, featuring Western Fuels CEO Fred Palmer, the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Chris Horner, and Joe Barton (R-TX), respectively, along with one web page. Barton's science quotes were very brief. All the other segments and web pages offered virtually no rebuttal to statements about man-caused global warming.

IPCC scientists Michael Oppenheimer, Stephen Schneider, and Kevin Trenberth spoke unopposed a great length about man-caused global warming seven, four, and two times, respectively. No skeptic scientists ever had an opportunity to present the myriad faults in the idea of man-caused global warming.

The most disturbing revelation was found in the December 5, 1997 interview of Fred Palmer, fourth-from-last paragraph: "MARGARET WARNER: ...but that because carbon dioxide, once it's up in the atmosphere, really doesn't disappear for a hundred years or more, that by the time the buildup gets enough--high enough to prove it--it's almost too late to do anything[.]"

Her statement seems eerily paraphrased from Ross Gelbspan's The Heat is On book, released earlier that same year, top of page 12: "And since carbon dioxide lingers in the atmosphere for one to two hundred years, it will continue to disturb the global climate long after we drastically cut our fuel emissions ... By the time we actually feel the heavy brunt of climate-driven catastrophes, it may well be too late for us to preserve any semblance of democratic order....."

The "Journolist" problem is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the manipulation of global issues by a small number of people.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

A "Green" government in Australia that is dangerously reluctant to do backburning to prevent wildfires

California is not alone

The NSW government is under fire for its "appalling" record on hazard reduction. The opposition said NSW must learn the lessons of the the 900-page Teague report on Victoria's Black Saturday disaster and massively increase backburning efforts in the state.

Opposition spokeswoman for emergency services Melinda Pavey accused the Keneally government of tying up the process of hazard reduction in "green tape". "If we can believe the government's own statistics, on average only around 115,000 hectares of hazard reduction has taken place in each of the past four years, representing a mere 0.4 per cent of fire-prone land in the state annually," Ms Pavey said. Royal commission chairman Bernard Teague said backburning in Victoria must be nearly tripled to bring the total area of public land backburnt to 5 per cent.

Ms Pavey called on the NSW government to increase funds to ensure backburning in NSW could be similarly expanded. "The $17 million the Keneally Labor government spends on hazard reduction each year represents only about 8 per cent of the Rural Fire Service expenses of $220.2 million, which is clearly not enough," she said. "With the smell of an election in the air the state Labor government has been desperately playing catch up during autumn and winter, however wet conditions have delayed this process."

Ms Pavey said there were now significant fuel loads in many areas including the Blue Mountains, central coast, south coast and the Monaro.

Emergency Services Minister Steve Whan said NSW would carefully review the final recommendations of the Teague report, saying the state had already developed strong fire prevention and management practices. "It is important that we now take stock of the events in Victoria and look at opportunities for further improvement as we continue to build on our experience and expertise in bush fire management."

Mr Whan said since Black Saturday NSW had introduced the nationally agreed system of fire danger ratings, which provide clearer information and trigger points for the public before a fire starts. [Big deal!]



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here



After much reading in the relevant literature, the following conclusions seem warranted to me. You should find evidence for all of them appearing on this blog from time to time:

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. 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.

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....

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.”

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

"The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it" -- H L Mencken

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

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

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


"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.

"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?

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.

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)

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

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.

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."