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

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

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28 February, 2017

Years of false prophecies about polar bears have finally become unstuck

Happy International Polar Bear Day! Thriving polar bear populations have exposed the hubris behind global warming’s most beloved icon.

In 2005, international polar bear specialists decided that future sea ice loss due to human-caused global warming had replaced wanton over-hunting as the primary threat to polar bear survival.

It was the first time that such future risks were used to decide a species conservation status.

In 2007, American government biologists insisted that by 2050, when summer sea ice would cover 42% less of the Arctic than it did in 1979, polar bears in ten populations most at risk would be wiped out.

Almost 20,000 bears would be gone by mid-century and by 2100, the species would be on the brink of extinction.

The process had already begun, the experts said, and it would only get worse.

Polar bears became a global warming icon, the preferred symbol of the consequences of burning fossil fuels.

The media, with the help of polar bear specialists and conservation organizations, made sure we were aware of each incident that signaled the dying of the species.

A few polar bears were reported to have drowned in a storm – expect more and more bears to drown during long swims across open water, we were told.

Photographers filmed a bear or two breaking through thin ice, and suggested yet another way drowning deaths could occur.

A few photos of starving bears made headlines, usually accompanied by the suggestion that perhaps hundreds more were in the same condition.

A few incidents of cannibalism also made headlines, again with the implication that dozens more were going unreported across the Arctic, as polar bears became desperate with hunger.

This frenzy of dire news went on unchecked until 2007, when the first reports on polar bear studies undertaken since 2004 were made public.

Surprisingly, the news from a new Davis Strait study wasn’t grim but encouraging.

Not until about 2013, however, as more studies were completed, did it become clear that polar bears really were thriving.

Unfortunately, the media weren’t so keen on good news: if positive results were reported at all, the encouraging aspects were downplayed or dismissed, often using quotes from polar bear specialists themselves.

It was as if polar bear scientists and their government funders wanted the public in the dark about the good news.

What was going on?

Summer sea ice had indeed declined – more than expected, in fact.

By 2016, it was apparent that potentially devastating ice levels had come decades sooner than experts predicted.

By September 2007 sea ice extent was about 43% less than it had been in 1979 – a magnitude of decline not expected until mid-century, and every year after was almost as low, or lower.

Polar bears had been living through their dire sea ice future since 2007.

Yet no more drowned polar bears were documented, no more bears than normal starved to death, no unusual spikes in cannibalism occurred, and not a single polar bear population was wiped out.

Polar bear photos still led media stories about starving bears, sea ice loss, and the threats of global warming but they were photos of fat, healthy bears.

By 2015, new studies showed that several populations once thought to be declining had increased in size or remained stable.

In 2005, the official global polar bear estimate was about 22,500.

By 2015, it had risen to about 26,500 but only part of that was a real increase.

However, by early 2017, the results of two studies of bears in high-risk regions were made public: they never made the mainstream papers, but they changed the picture.

Polar bear numbers in one half of the Barents Sea, had increased by 42% between 2004 and 2015, suggesting the entire population grew, by about 1100 – an increase not included in the official global estimate.

A survey of Baffin Bay bears, completed in 2013, showed that the population had not declined by 25% as expected but increased by 36% – adding about 750 more bears to the global total.

The formerly small population in Kane Basin more than doubled.

Now we know that between 2005 and 2015, the estimated size of polar bear populations in the two ecoregions that experts thought would be wiped out by years of low summer sea ice had grown by more than 3100.

The global average had risen to about thirty thousand bears, far and away the highest estimate in more than 50 years.

So why did the models devised by polar bear experts get it so wrong?

First, it appears that sea ice conditions and food abundance in early spring have been very good for polar bears despite the decline in summer ice extent.

Polar bears consume 8 months worth of food during early spring, which makes it the critical feeding period.

Second, it appears the experts assumed that when summer sea ice was present, polar bears ate more seals than they actually do.

Adult bearded and harp seals are virtually the only seals that rest on the ice from about mid-May to October because most ringed seals (the primary prey species of polar bears) have left the ice to feed.

Broken pack ice in summer leaves these adult seals many escape routes, which means most polar bears eat very little over the summer whether they spend those months on the sea ice or on shore.

It turns out summer is not a critical feeding season for polar bears.

Lastly, seal pups in many areas are more abundant than they were in the 1980s.

Less summer ice in the Chukchi Sea, for example, has meant more ringed seal pups in spring for polar bears to eat because these seals do most of their feeding in open water.

In short, the claim that summer sea ice is essential habitat for polar bears has been scuttled by their continued health through years of low ice coverage.

Evidence does not support the claim that loss of summer sea ice, regardless of the cause, is a major risk for polar bear survival.

Polar bear specialists vastly underestimated the resilience of polar bears when they modeled future survival and many of the assumptions they made were wrong.

Thriving polar bear populations have exposed the hubris behind global warming’s most beloved icon and “the plight of the polar bear” has become an international joke.

Humpback whales were recently taken off the US Endangered Species List because their population size indicated a strong recovery from past over-hunting.

Polar bears have done the same and are not currently threatened with extinction.

A thorough external review of the polar bear status issue is now required -  not only because it’s the right thing to do but because it may help restore public support for science and conservation.



If environmentalism is a religion, violence is its central tenet.

The largely white, privileged, “protesters” occupying a river bed in North Dakota to try and stop construction of a modern energy pipeline were told to leave this week by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Being spoiled rich kids, they didn’t take the news well.  They set fire to the camp, unleashing rampant pollution into the atmosphere and into the very river bed they claimed they were protecting.

The arson attack also sent two kids to the hospital.  A 17-year-old girl was severely burned by environmentalists and had to be airlifted to a hospital.  A little seven-year-old boy was also burned by environmentalists.

The environmentalists’ temper tantrum resulted in the burning-down of 20 buildings and a car.

The Dakota Pipeline protesters are hated by the very Native Americans they claim to represent.  The media narrative is the pipeline crosses Indian lands and the movement is a Native American protest.

In reality the pipeline is hundreds of miles away from the reservation and many tribe members despise the protesters, who consider the protests to be nothing more than a fun “Burning Man”-style festival.

The environmentalists behind the arson attack that wounded two kids have also tried to kill police officers on multiple occasions.  They have been caught trying to stampede wild buffalo into police and throwing bombs at officers.  One girl had her arm blown apart.  Protesters claim it was from a flash grenade thrown by police.  Police point out they do not have flash grenades, and she was among a group of protesters lighting propane tanks on fire and throwing them at officers.

Another environmentalist was arrested and faces charges after trying to shoot and kill police officers.

The protesters call themselves “water protectors,” but they built their camps directly in the very river bed they claim they are protecting.  That will unleash toxic waste into the river when the winter snows melt and water fills the river bed.

These “water protectors” have also dumped barrels of raw sewage directly into the ground, and have abandoned around 300 cars, which will leak oil into the ground.

That would be the very thing they claimed they were protesting.  There are now fears the environmentalists have turned the riverbed into a toxic waste site.

Most of the environmentalists eventually left the camp, but only after they were given free hotels and food paid for by North Dakota taxpayers.

Many of the protesters were paid to commit acts of violence and disruption, and have no plans to pay North Dakota’s income taxes on their illicit paychecks.


GIGO-based energy and climate policies

It’s like formulating public safety policies using models based on dinosaur DNA from amber

Paul Driessen

Things are never quiet on the climate front.

After calling dangerous manmade climate change a hoax and vowing to withdraw the USA from the Paris agreement, President Trump has apparently removed language criticizing the Paris deal from a pending executive order initiating a rollback of anti-fossil-fuel regulations, to help jumpstart job creation.

Meanwhile, EPA Administration Scott Pruitt says he expects quick action to rescind the Clean Power Plan, a central component of the Obama Era’s war on coal and hydrocarbons. The US House Committee on Science, Space and Technology is reopening its investigation into NOAA’s mishandling or tampering with global temperature data, for a report designed to promote action in Paris in 2015.

Hundreds of scientists signed a letter urging President Trump to withdraw from the UN climate agency. They warn that efforts to curtail carbon dioxide emissions are not scientifically justified and will kill jobs and exacerbate US and international poverty without improving the environment or stabilizing climate.

Hundreds of other scientists told Mr. Trump he must not waver on climate stabilization efforts or make any moves to defund government or university climate research. Hundreds of businessmen and investors told the President failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk.

Over in Britain, Members of Parliament say efforts to build a low-carbon economy have led to a 58% rise in electricity prices since 2006, sending manufacturing and jobs overseas, to countries that are under no obligation to reduce fossil fuel use or CO2 emissions. MPs are also angry that carefully hidden “green subsidies” will account for nearly one-fourth of sky-high residential electricity bills by 2020.

All of this is a valuable reminder that the Climate Crisis & Renewable Energy Industry is now a $1.5-trillion-a-year business! And that’s just for its private sector components, the corporate rent-seekers.

This monstrous price tag does not include the Big Green environmentalism industry, the salaries and pensions of armies of federal, state, local, foreign country and UN bureaucrats who create and coordinate climate and renewable energy programs, or the far higher electricity and motor fuel costs that businesses and families must pay, to cover the costs of “saving people and planet from climate ravages.”

Earth’s climate is likely changing somewhere, as it has throughout planetary and human history. Our fuel use and countless other human activities may play a role, at least locally – but their role is dwarfed to near irrelevance by powerful solar, oceanic, cosmic ray and other natural forces. Moreover, real-world ice, sea level, temperature, hurricane, drought and other observations show nothing outside historic fluctuations. Unprecedented disasters exist only in the realm of hypotheses, press releases and computer models.

So there is no reason to cede control over our livelihoods and living standards to politicians, activists and bureaucrats; replace reliable, affordable fossil fuel energy with expensive, unreliable renewables; destroy millions of jobs in the process; and tell billions of impoverished people they must be content with solar ovens, solar panels, wind turbines, and health, nutrition and living standards little better than today’s.

There is no reason to honor the document that President Obama unilaterally signed in Paris. As Dr. Steve Allen observed in a masterful analysis: “The decisive action promised in the treaty that is not a treaty consists of governments, most of them run by dictators and thieves, promising, on an honor system, to take steps of their own choosing, to change future weather patterns, and then coming up with ways by which they can measure their own progress and hold themselves accountable by their own standards for the promises they have made, on penalty of no punishment if they break their word.”

Mainly, Allen continues, the Paris con is about “taking money from taxpayers and consumers and businesspeople and electricity ratepayers, and giving it to crony capitalists; and taking money from people in relatively successful countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries, to benefit governing elites.”

India alone wants hundreds of billions of dollars in climate “adaptation and reparation” money from industrialized nations that are supposed to slash their fossil fuel use, CO2 emissions and economic growth, while pouring trillions into the Green Climate Fund. Meanwhile, India, China and other rapidly developing nations are firing up hundreds of coal-fueled power plants, burning more oil and gas, and emitting more CO2, to industrialize their countries and lift their people out of abject poverty – as well they should.

So just follow the money – and power-grabbing. That is the real source of the religious fervor, the Catechism of Climate Cataclysm, behind the vehement denunciations of President Trump for having the gall to threaten the global high priests who drive and profit from climate change fear mongering.

Those forces are desperate and determined to keep their power and money train on track. They’re ramping up indignation and cranking out “research” to justify their demands. For example:

Expert Market (whose core expertise is helping companies compare prices for postage meters, coffee machines and other B2B products) has just released a study purporting to show which US states will suffer most “from Trump’s climate change denial” and America’s “climate change inaction.”

The total cost will be $506 billion by 2050, just for hurricane and other real estate damages, extra energy costs, and more frequent and severe droughts. “Vermont emerged as the state worst equipped to handle the cost,” the study contends, while Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas are also “severely at risk.” California and New York are among those best able to endure the imminent chaos.

It sounds horrific – and it’s intended to be, the better to pressure the White House and Congress to codify and enforce the nonbinding provisions of the Paris non-treaty, and retain Obama-era anti-hydrocarbon energy policies. But the entire exercise is a classic example of Garbage In/Garbage Out (GIGO) black box computer modeling, carefully crafted to ensure the justifications required for a predetermined political outcome, especially the monumental “nationwide green initiatives” that Expert Market supports.

Thus, carbon dioxide will drive rapidly rising global temperatures that will warm the planet enough to increase sea surface temperatures dramatically – spawning more frequent, more damaging hurricanes, and melting polar ice caps enough to raise sea levels 23 inches by 2050, the Expert Market experts assert.

Global warming measured in hundredths of a degree over the past 19 years will suddenly be replaced by runaway heat waves. Seas now rising at 7 inches per century will suddenly climb at ten times that rate over the next three decades, sending storm surges far inland. Major US land-falling hurricanes that have been absent now for eleven years will suddenly proliferate to unprecedented levels.

How Vermont and the other top-five “worst equipped” states – all of them inland – will be affected by any of this is anyone’s guess. But the model says they’re at risk, so we must take drastic action now.

Soaring temperatures will increase demand for air conditioning, and thus raise household energy costs, says Expert Market. CA, NY and other “green” state electricity costs are already twice as high as those in coal and gas-reliant states. Imposing wind and solar initiatives on fossil fuel states would likely double their family and business energy costs, but that factor is not included in its calculations.

Droughts “will become more frequent and severe” in states already afflicted by arid conditions – assuming all the dire CO2 depredations, and ignoring both those states’ long experience with drought cycles and how California’s years-long drought has once again given way to abundant rainfall.

The Expert Market study is symptomatic of the politicized assumptions and data manipulation that have driven climate models and disaster scenarios since the IPCC began studying manmade climate chaos.

Indeed, the entire climate chaos exercise is akin to basing public safety policies on computer models that assume dinosaur DNA extracted from fossilized amber will soon result in hordes of T rexes running rampant across our land. We deserve a more honest, rational basis for policies that govern our lives.

Via email

Take Back Al Gore's Nobel And Give It To The Fracking Industry

Climate Change: U.S. output of so-called greenhouse gases continues to decline, a new report shows. Even so, global warming activists are likely to be disappointed. The drop has nothing to do with their pet cause, alternative energy.

That's right. The Environmental Protection Agency's yearly greenhouse gas emissions report noted that after rising slightly in 2013 and 2014, greenhouse gas output fell in 2015 — the most recent full year for which data are available.

OK, but maybe it was a one-year fluke? Hardly.

First off, the drop was significant in size — 2.2% on an annual basis, far too big to be a fluke or statistical anomaly.

Second, as the folks at The American Interest helpfully point out, "U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions hit a 25-year low over the first six months of 2016, continuing the progress that the EPA says we made in 2015."

So it's continuing. More important, The Hill reminds, "The EPA attributed the overall decline to lower carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, which itself came about because of less coal consumption in favor of natural gas, warmer winter weather that decreased heating fuel demand and lower electricity demand overall."

This continues a long-term trend for the U.S. of lower greenhouse gas emissions. Ironically, while the U.S. was pilloried for not ratifying the Tokyo Accord (though then-Vice President Al Gore ostentatiously signed it, despite knowing that the Senate wouldn't ratify it) to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, it is the only major industrial nation actually slashing its output.

Since the Kyoto Accord was struck in 1997, Energy Department data show, U.S. output of greenhouse gases plunged 7.3%, even though real U.S. GDP over that time has grown a whopping 52%. We're greener today than we have been in decades.

Go figure.

For all this progress, we can thank the fracking business, which has given U.S. industry and homes access to massive amounts of cheap, relatively clean natural gas. It may yet make possible a U.S. industrial renaissance — and bring back jobs now done overseas, not by government trade protectionism but by pursuing free-market energy policies that will lead to ever more energy at lower prices.

Global warming crusader Al Gore won a Nobel Prize merely for his profit-making activities as a green activist. Here's an idea: If the Nobel committee geniuses really want to reward those who've done the most to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they should give Gore's Nobel to the U.S. fracking industry.


New German wind turbine destroyed by a gust of wind

It was put up in 2014 so had a life expectancy of 20 years.  The big blow was associated with a low pressure system. Other nearby turbines were not affected

Das Sturmtief „Thomas“ ist in der Nacht von Donnerstag auf Freitag über die Region gefegt – und hat zum Teil schwere Schäden angerichtet.

Man könnte es wohl als ironische Laune der Natur bezeichnen: Ausgerechnet eine Windböe hat in der Nacht von Donnerstag auf Freitag ein Windrad im Windpark Laubersreuth bei Münchberg total zerstört. Wie von starker Hitze geschmolzen hängen die Flügel nun nach unten. „Zwei Rotorblätter sind komplett aufgespreißelt. Ein Flügel hat sich sogar um das Maschinenhaus gewickelt“, berichtet Sabine Scherer, deren Familie das Grundstück an der A 9 gehört.

Erst am Morgen als sie mit ihrem Hund spazieren gehen wollte, habe Scherer den Schaden bemerkt. Ganz im Gegensatz zu ihrer Nachbarin. Die wurde schon in der Nacht von einem „ganz komischen Geräusch“ wach gehalten, wie sie Scherer erzählte. „Sie dachte, gleich fliegt das Dach davon.“ So penetrant sei der Krach gewesen.

Das zerstörte Windrad gehört der Windpark Laubersreuth GmbH & Co. KG mit Sitz in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Warum ausgerechnet diese Anlage so stark in Mitleidenschaft gezogen wurde, wird nun ein Gutachter klären, sagt der Geschäftsführer Christian Struck auf Anfrage unserer Zeitung. Denn zwei andere Windräder, die unmittelbar neben dem zerstörten stehen und ebenfalls 140 Meter hoch sind, laufen nach wie vor einwandfrei. Die kaputte Windkraftanlage wurde 2014 aufgestellt und ist demnach „nagelneu“, wie Struck erklärt. Eigentlich sollte sie 20 Jahre dort stehen.



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

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


27 February, 2017

Shub Niggurath on the "pause"

Shub Niggurath has been having a look at the Warmist responses to the Rose/Bates revelations about Tom Karl's "pausebuster" paper.  He finds that the Warmist responses just dodge the issue.  They say that the overall effect of their adjustments is to REDUCE warming.  But that is only true of the whole of the period since 1880.  But neither Bates nor Rose were talking about the 1880+ period.  They were talking about the 21st century only.  The Warmists are arguing with a straw man, not the Bates/Rose revelations.  That suggests that they have no answer to the Bates/Rose revelations.

Niggurath also shows WHY the NOAA adjustments tended to reduce temperatures overall.  It is because there was rather a lot of warming in the first half of the 20th century -- far too much to suit global warming theory.  So NOAA reduced temperatures at the far end of the range and increased them at the recent end of the range -- in order to get that nice picture of a  generally rising trend line.  It's fakery all the way.

But nowhere is the central Rose/Bates claim addressed -- that 21st century sea surface temperatures were unreasonably adjusted upwards.  Niggurath has all the details here.  It will be interesting to see what happens if Trump puts a real scientist in charge of NOAA.

Aggressive cuts to Obama-era green rules to start soon: EPA head

U.S. President Donald Trump's administration will begin rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations in an "aggressive way" as soon as next week, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency said on Saturday - adding he understood why some Americans want to see his agency eliminated completely.

"I think there are some regulations that in the near-term need to be rolled back in a very aggressive way. And I think maybe next week you may be hearing about some of those," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told the Conservative Political Action summit in Washington DC.

Pruitt added the EPA's focus on combating climate change under former President Barack Obama had cost jobs and prevented economic growth, leading many Americans to want to see the EPA eliminated completely.

"I think its justified," he said. "I think people across this country look at the EPA much like they look at the IRS. I hope to be able to change that."

Pruitt was confirmed as EPA head last week. His appointment triggered an uproar among Democratic lawmakers and environmental advocates worried that he will gut the agency and re-open the doors to heavy industrial pollution. He sued the EPA more than a dozen times as his states' top attorney and has repeatedly cast doubt on the science of climate change.

But his rise to the head of the EPA has also cheered many Republicans and business interests that expect him to cut back red tape they believe has hampered the economy.

Pruitt mentioned three rules ushered in by Obama that could meet the chopping block early on: the Waters of the U.S. rule outlining waterways that have federal protections; the Clean Power Plan requiring states to cut carbon emissions; and the U.S. Methane rule limiting emissions from oil and gas installations on federal land.

A Trump official told Reuters late Friday that the president was expected to sign a measure as early as Tuesday aimed at rescinding the Waters of the U.S. rule.

Pruitt said in his comments to the CPAC summit that rule had "made puddles and dry creek beds across this country subject to the jurisdiction of Washington DC. That's going to change."

He also suggested longer-term structural changes were in store at the EPA. "Long-term, asking the question on how that agency partners with the states and how that affects the budget and how it effects the structure is something to work on very diligently," Pruitt said.

Like Trump, he said cutting regulation could be done in a way that does not harm water or air quality.


500 inches and counting: Snow has clobbered California ski resorts this winter

Must be global warming

The snow is so high that it buried chairlifts and ski patrol shacks at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort in California.© Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort The snow is so high that it buried chairlifts and ski patrol shacks at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort in California.

The snow amounts in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range this winter are difficult to wrap your head around. In many cases topping 500 inches, they are some of the highest totals in memory.

At the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort, seven feet fell in just the past week. The snow is so high that it buried chairlifts and ski patrol shacks.

Snow blankets the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows resort, which has been hit with 565 inches (47 feet) of the white stuff this season

The resort has received 565 inches (47 feet) this season, including a 45-year record of 282 inches in January. On Thursday, it announced that its ski area would remain open through July 4. Since 1962, it will mark just the fourth instance of Independence Day skiing (the other years were 1998, 1999, and 2011), according to a resort spokesperson.

Other ski areas in the Sierra Nevada also have seen mind-boggling amounts of snow


Climate Change ‘Lunacy’ Called a Gift to Conservatives

For conservatives, the “lunacy,” “wrongness,” and “criminality” of climate change theories is the gift that keeps on giving, the executive editor of the London branch of Breitbart News Service said Thursday during a panel discussion at the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Three major strands characterize the climate change movement, James Delingpole said during the CPAC panel, sponsored by E&E Legal Institute and titled “Fake Climate News Camouflaging an Anti-Capitalist Agenda.”

Delingpole identified these three strands as a sort of religious view that sees man “as a cancer and blight to the planet,” a “follow the money” component in which well-placed individuals “make money off scams” at public expense, and a political component that exists, he said, because “the left has always wanted to find scientific justification to tax and regulate us and control our lives.”

Joining Delingpole were Steve Milloy, a lawyer and author who founded the website, and Tony Heller, who has written under the pseudonym Steven Goddard at the blog Real Science, which he founded. John Fund, a columnist for National Review, acted as moderator.

When he was on a panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2008, Fund recalled, he noticed that activists there were substituting the words “climate change” for “global warming.”

He asked audience members to explain the change, and it turned out to be “a very uncomfortable question,” Fund said. “If you ask a question innocently enough, the truth comes out.”

Since the planet isn’t always warming, environmental activists found that they had more flexibility to advance their agenda under the more generic label of “climate change,” he said.

Looking to the future of energy policy, Thursday’s CPAC panelists said they found cause for encouragement with the Trump administration.

Milloy credited President Donald Trump for a professed willingness to “abolish the EPA” and for recognizing the Environmental Protection Agency has committed “regulatory overreach.” He said he anticipates the Trump administration will “turn loose the American energy industry.”

Environmental activists have made a concerted effort to circulate “fake climate news” in recent years, but the technique is not exactly new, Heller said.

The 1692 witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, may have been brought on in part by a spell of cold weather, he suggested.

Citizens blamed alleged witches for lower-than-average temperatures, according to some news reports.

Panelists also discussed the “climategate scandal” involving emails leaked to the internet from the University of East Anglia in Great Britain in 2009. The emails showed that some university researchers appeared willing to manipulate scientific data to exaggerate global warming.

Such manipulation of scientific data is often at the root of “fake news,” panelists agreed.

CPAC, the largest annual national gathering of conservative activists, runs from Wednesday to Saturday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington.


More Warmist prophecy in Australia

Summer is already past its peak so where is the bleaching?

The Great Barrier Reef could be struck by its worst-ever blast of coral bleaching as early as this year, experts have warned.

Sea temperatures around the reef near Queensland, Australia, have reached a year-long high, putting coral at risk of extreme heat stress, according to a UN report.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority warned that the reef is more at risk now than it was just before its previous worst-ever bleaching last year, when a quarter of all coral was killed off.

It said a 'lack of planning' for climate change was to blame.

The report, which was presented to the UN on Friday, said that 'unprecedented severe bleaching and mortality of corals in 2016 in the Great Barrier Reef is a game changer'.

The vast coral reef is under pressure from agricultural run-off, the crown-of-thorns starfish, development and climate change.

Last year swathes of coral succumbed to devastating bleaching, due to warming sea temperatures, and the reef's caretakers have warned it faces a fresh onslaught in the coming months.

Canberra updated the UN's World Heritage committee on its 'Reef 2050' rescue plan in December, insisting the site was 'not dying' and laying out a strategy for incremental improvements to the site.

But an independent report commissioned by the committee concluded that the government had little chance of meeting its own targets in the coming years, adding that the 'unprecedented' bleaching and coral die-off in 2016 was 'a game changer'.

'Given the severity of the damage and the slow trajectory of recovery, the overarching vision of the 2050 Plan... is no longer attainable for at least the next two decades,' the report said.

Shallow-water corals in the north of the 1,400-mile (2,300-kilometre) long reef were affected, although central and southern areas escaped with less damage.

The government has pledged more than £1.2 billion (US$1.5 billion) to protect the reef over the next decade, but researchers noted a lack of available funding, with many of the plan's actions under-resourced.

The latest assessment comes after the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority warned the Queensland State government of an 'elevated and imminent risk' of mass-bleaching this year, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

With heavy use of coal-fired power and a relatively small population of 24 million, Australia is considered one of the world's worst per capita greenhouse gas polluters.

Researchers highlighted that the government's rescue plan does not do enough to address climate change, noting that 'new coal mines pose a serious threat' to the reef's heritage area.

While the plan has a strong focus on improving water quality, environmental groups too have been critical of the government for inactivity on global warming.

'These independent experts have given UNESCO a far more accurate assessment of progress than the rose-coloured-glasses version released by the Australian and Queensland Governments late last year,' said World Wildlife Fund Australia head of oceans Richard Leck.

But Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg told the ABC the government had been 'very successful to date' in implementing the reef's 2050 plan.

'Climate change is the number one threat to the reef together with water quality issues,' he said, citing the government's ratification of the Paris agreement, the world's first universal climate pact, as part of the 'broader' efforts to reduce stress on the reef.



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

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


26 February, 2017

Dakota Access oil pipeline camp cleared of protesters

Authorities on Thursday cleared a protest camp where opponents of the Dakota Access oil pipeline had gathered for the better part of a year, searching tents and huts and arresting three dozen holdouts who had defied a government order to leave.

It took 3½ hours for about 220 officers and 18 National Guard members to methodically search the protesters’ temporary homes and arrest people, including a man who climbed atop a building and stayed there for more than an hour before surrendering.

Native Americans who oppose the $3.8 billion pipeline established the Oceti Sakowin camp last April on federal land near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to draw attention to their concerns that the project will hurt the environment and sacred sites — a charge that Dallas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners disputes. The camp gained increased attention starting in August after its population had grown and authorities made their first arrests. At its height, the camp included thousands of people, but the numbers had dwindled during the winter and as the fight over the pipeline moved into the courts.

The Army Corps of Engineers said it needed to clear the camp ahead of spring flooding, and had ordered everyone to leave by 2 p.m. Wednesday. The agency said it was concerned about protesters’ safety and about the environmental effects of tents, cars, garbage, and other items in the camp being washed into nearby rivers.

Most protesters left peacefully Wednesday when authorities closed the camp, but some stayed overnight in defiance of the government order.

As police in full riot gear worked to arrest the stragglers Thursday, cleanup crews began razing buildings on the square-mile piece of property at the confluence of the Cannonball and Missouri rivers.

Authorities chose to enter the camp ‘‘cautiously and tactfully’’ to ensure the safety of both officers and protesters, according to Highway Patrol Lieutenant Tom Iverson. The arrests were a last resort, he said. ‘‘We did not want this. Unfortunately, there were some bad actors that forced us into this position,’’ he said.

Only one person resisted arrest; otherwise there were no major incidents and there were no injuries, Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said.

Energy Transfer Partners began work on the last big section of the oil pipeline this month after the Army gave it permission to lay pipe under a reservoir on the Missouri River. When complete, the pipeline will carry oil through the Dakotas and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois.


UK: £450m lost over failed green power programme

Minister who backed plan now works in sector

Britain is wasting hundreds of millions of pounds subsidising power stations to burn American wood pellets that do more harm to the climate than the coal they replaced, a study has found.

Chopping down trees and transporting wood across the Atlantic Ocean to feed power stations produces more greenhouse gases than much cheaper coal, according to the report. It blames the rush to meet EU renewable energy targets, which resulted in ministers making the false assumption that burning trees was carbon-neutral.

Green subsidies for wood pellets were championed by Chris Huhne when he was energy and climate change secretary. Mr Huhne, 62, was jailed in 2013 for perverting the course of justice


NY’s Legislators Rise Up Against Governor Cuomo’s Crony ‘Green Energy’ Boondoggle

(At least ) two notions from famous Americans come to mind when contemplating New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $8 billion flight of unilateral crony “green energy” fancy.

Playwright George Bernard Shaw noted: “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”  And American social scientist William Graham Sumner penned in 1883 “The Forgotten Man” – in which he rightly identifies the “forgotten men” as the citizens paying for the government fiascos in which politicians engage.

What brings these men’s wise words to a New York state of mind?: “Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a unilateral mass expansion of government – in the name of fighting global warming…oops, I mean climate change: ‘The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) earlier Monday passed a new set of standards that by 2030 is supposed to ensure that half of New York’s energy needs are met by renewable methods, ranging from solar and wind, as well as hydro and nuclear power.’”

Is that gi-normous “green energy” increase possible? Not so much as it is highly improbable: “As of 2015, New York only generated 11% of its energy via renewables. A tally it has taken them decades – and tens of billions of subsidy dollars – to attain. And now they have mandated a nearly 500% increase – in only fifteen years. Predicated, again, upon energy sources that require massive, ongoing government cash infusions – and in most instances take more energy to produce than they provide.”

The lofty “green energy” goals nigh certainly won’t happen – but the massive taxes to pay for the attempt certainly will: “(T)he Public Service Commission also included a new (energy) tax worth $8 billion.”

That is a HUGE tax increase.  And where does most of that robbed-from-Peter-the-Forgotten-Man money go?  To Cuomo’s Paul: “(D)ownstate energy consumers bore a disproportionate burden of the cost of state subsidies that will support three upstate nuclear power plants.”

Wait – who?: “(The tax) money will go to plant owner Exelon, a Chicago-based Fortune 100 company with annual revenues of over $34 billion.”

So let’s run the checklist.  Cuomo unilateral government power grab?  Check.  Executed in the name of global warming climate change – the Greatest Scam on Earth?  Check.  Containing completely unrealistic government-mandated “green energy” goals?  Check.  And monstrous tax increases?  Check.  With the tax hike coin taken from faceless citizens – going to a government crony?  Check.

Cuomo’s mandate-and-tax-riddled “green energy” plan is a guaranteed disaster-to-be.  It must be stopped.  Thankfully, New York’s legislators – the Forgotten Men’s representatives – are rising up to stop it.

Behold S. 4417.  Sponsored by state Republican Senator Tony Avella, it strikes right at the heart of Cuomo’s true objective, and the only thing that gets his boondoggle off the ground – the mammoth tax increase: “(It) would direct the state PSC to repeal any electric rate increase ‘where such increase is a subsidy to upstate nuclear power plants.’”

New York’s legislature should get behind Senator Avella’s bill – which frees the Empire State from Cuomo’s cronyism – and pass it.

Time’s a-wasting – for New York’s legislature to get out in front of and prevent Cuomo’s monumental tax-money-wasting.  They absolutely should not waste one moment more.

New York’s Peters and Forgotten Men will thank you.


California Rains on 'Settled Science'

Californians are scratching their heads at a seemingly relentless deluge of rain — something that amounted to little more than wishful thinking this time last year. A multi-year drought hit the state’s agriculture system hard, but this winter, to everyone’s surprise, rainfall came. And came. And then came some more. According to this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor report, “As of February 21, the daily Sierra Nevada snowpack was 186% of average for the date and 151% of the April 1 climatological peak.” Precipitation there is anywhere from 223% to 230% of average.

Do problems continue? Sure. Particularly in southern California, low water levels persist, as noted by the Drought Monitor: “Even though the reservoirs were responding quite favorably, they still have a long way to go before we can classify this area as drought-free.” Nevertheless, the report continues, “With the removal of … D3 [extreme drought], D2 [severe drought] is now the worst drought condition in the state; August 6, 2013 was the last time California had no D3.” Contrast this to last February, when NOAA reports that 61% of the state fell under extreme conditions. Californians waited a long time for this. And depending on who their source was for news, they thought it would never come.

For example, in June 2016, BuzzFeed ran this alarming headline: “El Niño Is Dead And California Could Be ‘In A Drought Forever.’” After underwhelming rains during last winter’s El Niño and the expectation of drier than average conditions typically experienced during La Niña (this season’s episode), the article dramatically foreshadowed what alarmists wrongly predicted was a perma-drought, not unlike what they prophesied for Texas.

NASA climatologist Bill Patzert defeatedly stated, “We are in a drought forever. I can’t think of any scenario where we would have six wet El Niño years in a row, which would top out all the reservoirs and the ground water supply.” Apparently, we don’t need to. This year shattered expectations, once again demonstrating how much we still don’t know about the climate.

Of course, California could fall back into another expansive drought. Or maybe this summer’s predicted El Niño will behave like normal and keep the bounty coming for months and years to come. Only time will tell. But recent developments should teach us to expect the unexpected and not fall victim to ridiculous predictions that serve only to advance partisan interests.


Hundreds of scientists urge Trump to withdraw from U.N. climate-change agency

MIT’s Richard Lindzen says policies cause economic harm with ‘no environmental benefits’

More than 300 scientists have urged President Trump to withdraw from the U.N.’s climate change agency, warning that its push to curtail carbon dioxide threatens to exacerbate poverty without improving the environment.

In a Thursday letter to the president, MIT professor emeritus Richard Lindzen called on the United States and other nations to “change course on an outdated international agreement that targets minor greenhouse gases,” starting with carbon dioxide.

“Since 2009, the US and other governments have undertaken actions with respect to global climate that are not scientifically justified and that already have, and will continue to cause serious social and economic harm — with no environmental benefits,” said Mr. Lindzen, a prominent atmospheric physicist.

Signers of the attached petition include the U.S. and international atmospheric scientists, meteorologists, physicists, professors and others taking issue with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC], which was formed in 1992 to combat “dangerous” climate change.

The 2016 Paris climate accord, which sets nonbinding emissions goals for nations, was drawn up under the auspices of the UNFCCC.

“Observations since the UNFCCC was written 25 years ago show that warming from increased atmospheric CO2 will be benign — much less than initial model predictions,” says the petition.

Mr. Trump said during the campaign he would “cancel” U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement, which was ratified in September by former President Barack Obama over the objections of Senate Republicans, who argued that the accord requires Senate ratification under the U.S. Constitution.

Myron Ebell, a Competitive Enterprise Institute scholar who led the Trump transition team on the Environmental Protection Agency, told reporters last month in London that the president would pull out of the Paris Agreement.

Advocates for climate change policies have called for Mr. Trump to honor the agreement, under which nations agree to enact policies to keep the increase in global temperatures this century under 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

Last week the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reaffirmed its support for the Paris Agreement in a letter to Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, saying the agreement is “urgently needed if we are to meet our common and differentiated responsibilities for the effects of climate change.”

More than 700 companies and investors have signed onto a statement urging Mr. Trump to abide by the Paris accord coordinated by nine environmental groups, including the American Sustainable Business Council, the Environmental Defense Fund and the World Wildlife Fund.

“Failure to build a low-carbon economy puts American prosperity at risk. But the right action now will create jobs and boost US competitiveness,” said the statement on “We pledge to do our part, in our own operations and beyond, to realize the Paris Agreement’s commitment of a global economy that limits global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.”

Challenging the catastrophic climate change narrative, Mr. Lindzen describes carbon dioxide as “plant food, not poison.”

“Restricting access to fossil fuels has very negative effects upon the wellbeing of people around the world,” he says in his letter.

“It condemns over 4 billion people in still underdeveloped countries to continued poverty.”



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

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


24 February, 2017

Trump readies slew of new orders targeting EPA

President Trump is planning to issue executive orders this week to begin rolling back the centerpiece of President Obama's climate change agenda with several other regulations.

Trump is expected to soon issue the orders targeting regulations put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency, including the Clean Power Plan, which directs states to cut greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

The EPA climate plan was halted a year ago by the Supreme Court until the courts can rule on litigation by 28 state attorneys general, the coal industry and hundreds of individual companies and industry groups.

The order is expected to direct the agency to redo the climate change rule, which would be different from asking the agency to rescind the regulation altogether. Ultimately, direction on what to do about the greenhouse gas rule will have to come from the courts.

But Trump isn't planning on stopping there. The president also will issue a separate order targeting the EPA's Waters of the U.S. Rule, which greatly expanded the agency's jurisdiction over waterways to include everything from major waterways to drainage ponds on private lands. Both the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the U.S. Rule have been long-time targets of the Republican Party.

Reports also say to expect a third Trump action to end the Department of Interior's moratorium on new coal mining leases put in place by the Obama administration.

EPA officials told Reuters that they were told to expect the executive actions shortly after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was confirmed, but the exact timing of the orders is unknown.

Pruitt was confirmed by the Senate on Friday and sworn in as the nation's 14th EPA administrator. He addressed EPA employees briefly Tuesday during his first full day as as head of the agency.


Pruitt's EPA Will Be Better for Property Rights, States.

His Rule of Law record is exactly why ecofascists hate him so much

The sky is falling, and the oceans will soon cover the land. That is what Chicken Little leftists would have us believe following the confirmation of former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as director of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The hysterical warnings from the anti-free market crowd were as ludicrous as they were predictable; Pruitt is a conservative, so he wants dirty water, dirty air, toxic land and he will allow corporations free rein to dump chemical sludge into our pristine waterways.

In reality, Pruitt is not a conservative hardliner at all. Unlike many conservatives, he doesn’t want to get rid of the EPA, but believes it can play a vital role in protecting the environment. What makes Pruitt unacceptable to the radical Left is his respect for the constitutional power of the states to direct their own affairs, his record of fighting to protect private property rights, and his respect for the Rule of Law.

For decades progressives have used federal agencies, and the mountains of regulations they generate, to achieve through the federal bureaucracy (if not the courts) what they have been unable to achieve at the polls. The EPA has become one of the most dangerous of all federal agencies, not only abusing its power but destroying the lives of innocent Americans in the process.

Just ask Andy Johnson, a Wyoming farmer who sued the EPA after he was fined $16 million for building a small fishing pond on his property. After having done his due diligence and receiving all necessary permits and approvals to build a small pond on his property, the EPA claimed Johnson violated federal law, arguing his pond was subject to the Clean Water Act. After years of harassment and threats by the agency, Johnson reached a settlement last May where all charges and fines were dropped in exchange for planting willow trees around the pond to prevent erosion.

Johnson’s story is just one of thousands like it, and progressive environmentalists fear Pruitt because not only has he promised to end such abuses, but as Oklahoma attorney general he filed 14 lawsuits against the EPA to stop these types of abuse.

In a recent interview, Pruitt explained his philosophy of protecting the environment while simultaneously protecting property rights: “I reject this paradigm that says we can’t be both pro-environment and pro-energy. We are blessed with great national resources, and we should be good stewards of those. But we’ve been the best in the world at showing you do that while also growing jobs and the economy. Too many people put on a jersey in this fight. I want to send the message that we can and will do both.”

In a departure from the radicalism of the Obama administration, Pruitt sees it as his job to enforce the law as written, rather than create law through regulatory fiat or “sue and settle” (getting friendly organizations to sue before a friendly judge, and create law through the ruling). Pruitt argues, “Agencies exist to administer the law. Congress passes statutes, and those statutes are very clear on the job EPA has to do. We’re going to do that job.”

In light of that philosophy, Pruitt has already begun to roll back Obama administration excesses and abuses. He is withdrawing from the Clean Power Plan (Obama’s climate regulation scheme geared toward destroying the fossil fuel industry), and the 2015 Waters of the United States rule, through which the Obama EPA quite literally claimed the authority to regulate and control every single stream, creek, pond or mud hole as a tributary to a “navigable waterway.” He also declared his agency will review the Clean Air Act to determine whether it even has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide, which has been the lynchpin of the progressive effort to give government control over industry.

Instead, says Pruitt, his focus will be on cleaning up the air and water of the United States to correct and prevent problems like the lead poisoning of the Flint, Michigan water supply, and the unfolding failure of the Oroville Dam in California, which is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk. He also wants to revamp the EPA’s process for producing environmental data to make it scientifically driven rather than ideologically driven, in order to restore trust in the reports produced by his agency.

He also acknowledged the primary role of the states in keeping the environment safe, arguing for federalism: “Every statute makes clear this is supposed to be a cooperative relationship. … Congress understood that a one-size-fits-all model doesn’t work for environmental regulation, and … the state departments of environmental quality have an enormous role to play.” He vehemently opposes the position of the Obama EPA, which saw the states as “a vessel of federal will.”

So while career progressives in the EPA seek to undermine their new boss, and while Hollywood elitists like Susan Sarandon wring their hands and declare Pruitt’s appointment to be the “end of the EPA,” average Americans can sleep soundly. There is now a man at the head of that agency who wants to make sure they have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, while also making sure bureaucratic thugs don’t ruin their lives if they decide to build a pond or clear brush off their land.

And that is welcomed news indeed.


NASA to Stop Shilling for Big Green, Restart Exploring Space…

“And would sir like a regular or large fries, with that? And how about a McFlurry?”

I do hope that Gavin “Toast” Schmidt, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), followed the advice I gave him a few months back. Because it now looks very much as if he and many of his colleagues are about to face exciting new job opportunities, hopefully in areas best suited to their talents, such as the challenging world of fast-food retail.

Yes, as we predicted, NASA is going to be stripped of the two main roles it enjoyed under the Obama administration – Muslim outreach and green propaganda – and return to its original day (and night) job as an agency dedicated to space exploration.

    The U.S. Senate passed legislation recently cutting funding for NASA’s global warming research.

    The House is expected to pass the bill, and President Trump will likely sign it. Supporters say it “re-balances” NASA’s budget back toward space exploration and away from global warming and earth science research. Republicans plan to end the more than $2 billion NASA spends on its Earth Science Mission Directorate.

    “By rebalancing, I’d like for more funds to go into space exploration; we’re not going to zero out earth sciences,” Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, told E&E News. “I’d like for us to remember what our priorities are, and there are another dozen agencies that study earth science and climate change, and they can continue to do that.”

Before we shed too many tears for the plight of Gavin Schmidt and the rest of his global warming research team, though, let’s just pause to reflect on how much damage they have done to the cause of honest science over the years and what eye-wateringly vast quantities of our money they have wasted.

A good place to start is this excellent piece by Steve Goddard, entitled The Pause Is Real: NASA Temperatures Aren’t.

Here is the damning chart that says it all:

How did a supposedly respectable government agency get away with such blatant fraud?

Well, one answer is that it was encouraged to do so by the US government which paid its Earth Science research division $2 billion a year, while giving only $781.5 million and $826.7 million to its astrophysics and space technology divisions. Obama wanted “global warming” to be real and dangerous: and – lo! – thanks to the magic of his crack prestidigitators at NASA, NOAA and the rest, it was.

But the longer answer is that this is what happens when green ideologues are allowed to infiltrate and hijack government institutions. As we’ve reported before, NASA has been caught out fiddling temperature data on “an unbelievable scale”. So too has NOAA. That’s because their global warming departments are mostly run by true believers – scientists who want to show the world that global warming is a major threat in urgent need of more grant funding, regardless of what the actual temperature data shows. Hence the many, many adjustments.

This has done tremendous damage not just in the US but across the world because it has enabled green propagandists to point at the dodgy adjusted data from NASA and NOAA and claim: “The Experts say…”

Now, thanks to Donald Trump, that fraud is about to come to a sudden and painful end. It never ceases to amaze and nauseate me that more people, especially on the right, aren’t more grateful for what is being done here.

While mainstream media commentators on both left and right bloviate about Trump’s style (clearly they prefer Obama’s empty rhetoric) and stoke up fake news stories about Russian plots, Trump is busily getting on with one of the most valuable and important missions ever conducted by a US president: he is putting an end to the biggest and most expensive scientific scam in history.

Oh, and he is also working wonders for property rights and business by rescinding such damaging regulations as the Waters Of The US and the Climate Action Plan.

    A source briefed on the matter told The Washington Post one of the orders “will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rewriting the 2015 regulation that limits greenhouse-gas emissions from existing electric utilities” and order “the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing.”

    Trump will issue a second order instructing the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rewrite the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule that expanded federal control over rivers, streams and wetlands — even those on private property.

If ever a swamp needed draining, it’s the swamp of the $1.5 trillion environmental scam. This could have gone on for ever and ever. Our grandchildren ought to be properly grateful to President Trump that it didn’t.


More speculations and surmises

What if ....

In Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday, the IPCC named the team of 86 experts from 39 countries that will author the investigation on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the impact of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.

The Special Report, which is due to be published in 2018, was commissioned by the Paris agreement COP21 in 2015. It will be a robust scientific report into ways to arrest global warming levels by assessing research and highlighting policy options available to support the achievement of a climate safe, equitable and sustainable world.

Head of UC’s Department of Political Science and International Relations and director of the Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination: Hei Pu?waitanga research group, Assoc Prof Hayward will be using her expertise in the field of sustainable development, poverty eradication, and reducing inequalities.

“We need interdisciplinary thinking to address complex serious problems, and it is heartening to see recognition for the way Arts and Humanities can also assist us in tackling some of our world’s greatest challenges,” she says.

While Assoc Prof Hayward is the only New Zealander on this IPCC special report team, she says other New Zealanders are expected to be nominated to write later reports.

Professor Ian Wright, UC Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), observed that an international perspective and community engagement are key drivers for the future of the institution.

“This type of activity, where UC academic expertise is being used to underpin mitigation strategies to a critical global issue, underlines the fact that the University of Canterbury is engaging with local, regional, national and international communities, including business.”


Greens cowardice on Islam, other key issues, matches their ignorance

Chris Kenny discusses Australia's Green party:

Islam is the most feminist religion. Wind energy is reliable. Border security is unnecessary. The US alliance is inimical to our national interest. The Australian is a race-baiting newspaper.

The Australian Greens have strayed so far from reality in their post-truth universe that they must have become confused between the real world and a flashback to some trip in the 70s.

They have become the lunatics at the bottom of the garden shouting at the moon.

It would be hilarious if it weren’t so dangerous, amusing if it wasn’t so damaging to our nation. “The Australian, or as it may be better described, the Q Society Gazette,” said Greens senator Nick McKim in the Senate today, “has become little more than a loss-making, race-baiting rag.”

Not only do these political fringe dwellers combine with Labor and crossbench senators to undermine the nation’s fiscal position and economic future, but they meddle incessantly and odiously in identity politics, fuelling resentment and division, and spitting bile at mainstream voters, their concerns and their values.

This latest foray from Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, and McKim has come after today’s page one article by Caroline Overington about Yassmin Abdel-Magied.

Overington revealed how taxpayers had funded the writer’s tour to majority Muslim nations in North Africa and the Middle East to promote her book and her views.

It was highly relevant and topical given Abdel-Magied’s appearance on Q&A on Monday night, when she attempted to justify sharia law, and, astonishingly, said Islam was “the most feminist” religion.

In return for its reporting on this issue, this newspaper was singled out by the Greens leader who claimed we had attacked Abdel-Magied and that our reporting was fuelling tensions around Islam.

Overington revealed Abdel-Magied’s tour took her to a range of countries where women are treated appallingly.

She did nothing but put salient facts into the debate. She can’t do much about her skin colour but Overington is neither middle-aged nor male and anyone who reads her work knows she is a strong feminist.

McKim and Di Natale, on the other hand, are white non-Muslim men eager to parade their tolerance for Islam while wilfully blind on equality for women behind the veil.

Their cultural and political cowardice is matched only by their ignorance.



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

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


23 February, 2017

Fake news at the NYT

The article below appeared in the NYT as "How an Interoffice Spat Erupted Into a Climate-Change Furor".  In the best traditions of the Green/Left it is an attempt to discredit scientific dissent by "ad hominem" abuse.  It refers to the Bates revelations about the Tom Karl "pause" paper but has no science in it at all.  It is just an extended effort to discredit the motives of Bates. 

It gives no answer to the important allegation that Karl constructed his temperature database by using invalid ocean temperature measurements and mentions not at all the Fyfe et al. paper, in which some prominent Warmist scientists also distanced themselves from the Karl paper. The article is a closing of the ranks, nothing more.  It is a desperate attempt to trivialize an important issue of scientific integrity.

A few weeks ago, on an obscure climate-change blog, a retired government scientist named John Bates blasted his former boss on an esoteric point having to do with archiving temperature data.

It was little more than lingering workplace bad blood, said Dr. Bates’s former co-workers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Dr. Bates had felt he deserved his boss’s job at NOAA, they said, not the demotion he received.

“He’s retaliating. It’s like grade school,” said Glenn Rutledge, a former physical scientist at NOAA who worked with Dr. Bates.

But in what seems like a remarkable example of office politics gone horribly wrong, within days the accusations were amplified and sensationalized — in the pages of the British tabloid The Mail on Sunday — inciting a global furor among climate-change deniers.

The Mail claimed that Dr. Bates had revealed fraud in important research by NOAA that supports the widely held belief that climate change is real. “How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data,” the article’s headline said.

The scientific community swiftly shot down the accusations, and affirmed the accuracy of the research. And Dr. Bates himself later stated in an interview with a business news site that he had not meant to suggest that his former boss had played fast and loose with temperature data. “The issue here is not an issue of tampering with data,” Dr. Bates said.

Still, Dr. Bates has emerged as a hero to some conservative media outlets and politicians, and among climate-change deniers on Facebook and Twitter.

The Texas congressman and longtime climate skeptic Lamar Smith posted a link to a summary of the claims multiple times on Twitter. The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, which Mr. Smith heads, took up the controversy at a hearing.

NOAA itself is now bringing in independent investigators to review Dr. Bates’s claims. “NOAA takes seriously any accusations that its policies and procedures have not been followed,” a spokesman, Scott Smullen, said in a statement.

Dr. John Bates, a retired government scientist, at his home in Arden, N.C. His criticism of a former boss on an esoteric point about archiving temperature data resulted in a furor among climate-change deniers. Credit Chris Bott
Dr. Bates did not respond to repeated requests for comment nor to detailed questions about the incident and his former co-workers’ characterizations.

Interviews with six of his former colleagues at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, including two former bosses, painted a picture of a room filled with brilliant scientists, and — like many workplaces — its fair share of mundane professional spats and jealousies.

Dr. Bates was demoted from a managerial role in 2012 under Thomas Karl — the lead author of the study Dr. Bates has questioned — after complaints over Dr. Bates’s professional conduct, according to the former colleagues and supervisors. He also became frustrated that his efforts to enforce strict procedures in the archiving of climate data were not getting as much attention as he had hoped.

“He was often heard saying that he, not Karl, should be running the center,” said Marjorie McGuirk, former chief of staff at the data center.

At the heart of the furor is a study led by Dr. Karl, the former director of NOAA’s data center. The NOAA center handles the nation’s trove of climate and weather data. Dr. Karl’s study had refuted earlier work suggesting that global warming had slowed earlier in this century.

According to the article in The Mail, Dr. Bates claimed that the study relied on problematic data. The researchers threw out good data on sea temperatures recorded on buoys, and “corrected” it with what he said was bad data from ships, Dr. Bates said, according to The Mail.

“You never change good data to agree with bad, but that’s what they did — so as to make it look as if the sea was warmer,” he was quoted in The Mail as saying. The Mail on Sunday article also argued that the study had been rushed into the journal Science to influence the 2015 Paris climate deal, in which world leaders agreed to curb planet-warming emissions.

David Rose, the author of The Mail on Sunday article, said in a Twitter correspondence that he stood by his reporting.

The Mail on Sunday, together with its sister tabloid, The Daily Mail, in the past has been accused of publishing work that disputed the widely held scientific belief that warming is the result of human activity.

The outcry over Dr. Bates’s claims points to a push by some in the right-wing media to cast doubt on established climate science, and to dispel public support for emissions regulations. Breitbart, the right-wing website formerly run by Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist, repeatedly played up Dr. Bates’s claims. “John Bates has provided the smoking gun,” it reported. Fox News called the accusations “explosive.”

Rick Perry, the former Texas governor who is President Trump’s pick for energy secretary, at his conformation hearing last month. Mr. Perry, once a climate-change denier, now acknowledges that the climate is warming. Credit Al Drago/The New York Times
Breitbart and Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.

“I think there’s already been enormous damage,” said Bob Ward, a researcher at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. “What they’re trying to do is to slow the pace of action on climate change.”

In his interview with the site E&E News this month, Dr. Bates stated that the issue wasn’t with data tampering. Rather, he said, his issue was that some of the processed data used in the report wasn’t subsequently archived in accordance with strict protocols that Dr. Bates had developed. In other words, it was a filing problem, not a science problem.

The paper’s authors disputed that strict archiving of the calculations was necessary, because all of the original data used in the report was properly archived. And the data was subsequently made available to other researchers, said Tom Peterson, a research meteorologist who is a co-author of the study with Dr. Karl.


Sea Level Rise: A Reason to Drown in Fear?

The debate isn't so much over the facts of warming but how to respond

The quibbling over how much warming the world has actually seen is back in the news thanks to new allegations from Dr. John Bates, a former NOAA scientist who says the agency used bogus techniques to discredit the recent global warming pause. Given the long history of accusations against the agency — including longstanding charges of rewriting logbook data — these assertions should be investigated, regardless of what may or may not turn up. Perhaps the agency is guilty, or perhaps not.

But let’s set aside for a moment the wrangling over the magnitude of warming and lay out what everyone can agree on. We know unequivocally that global temperatures have gradually warmed for more than a century now. (This acknowledgement, by the way, reveals the Left’s slandering of conservatives as “climate deniers” to be all the more vindictive). We also know that periods of cooling or static measurements have occasionally interrupted this gradual warming, but it hasn’t been enough to reduce the overall upward trend. And finally, we know that global carbon dioxide emissions have risen to slightly more than 400 parts per million (ppm), an increase from 340 ppm in the early 1980s.

It’s what to extract from this information that results in harsh disagreement and even indignation. How much of the warming is natural? How much is cyclical? How much (if any) is driven by CO2? If it’s a mix of man-made and cyclical effects, which one is disproportionately to blame for meteorological changes? The Left, in addition to blaming climate change for what it says are worsening droughts and burgeoning heat waves, worries that sea levels, aided by the acceleration in ice loss, will wreak havoc on coastlines and nearby lowlands.

In truth, it’s admittedly a bad time for sea ice concentration. A few years ago, Antarctica was almost routinely, it seemed, breaking records in ice coverage. So it might come as a surprise today to learn that it’s now at a record low. In fact, both the North and South Poles are measuring historically low percentages. According to a large number of scientists, the continuation of global warming means coastal areas are in for a nightmare scenario. What does the data say?

Last June, NOAA reported, “Sea level has been rising over the past century, and the rate has increased in recent decades. In 2014, global sea level was 2.6 inches (67 mm) above the 1993 average — the highest annual average in the satellite record (1993-present). Sea level continues to rise at a rate of about one-eighth of an inch (3.2 mm) per year, due to a combination of melting glaciers and ice sheets, and thermal expansion of seawater as it warms.” And according to a February 2016 USA Today report, ocean levels overall increased by 5.5 inches during the 20th century.

Think about that. The rate at last check was one-eighth of an inch per year and mere inches when all added up. Assuming this is true — not to mention even accurate, considering these are such minuscule measurements for a vast swath of geography — that’s hardly what we would call a crisis, and it’s worth noting too that the way this stuff is measured has been revolutionized over time. That said, both poles are experiencing higher-than-average ice melt today, which presumably will affect this rate. But just how much?

In the same report, NOAA went on to estimate “that there is very high confidence (greater than 90% chance) that global mean sea level will rise at least 8 inches (0.2 meter) but no more than 6.6 feet (2.0 meters) by 2100.” And that’s taking into account rather extreme scenarios. Some people, particularly those along the coast, understandably worry about this (though a significant number of Americans actually enjoy the more pleasant effects of global warming, like milder winters). The question isn’t so much that global temperatures — and to a smaller degree the oceans — are rising, but why. Furthermore, how do we respond?

This is where policy disagreements come in. The bottom line is that this debate could come down to whether we want to adapt to climate change or instead attempt to mitigate its effects. NOAA says the rate at which seas are expected to rise “depends mostly on the rate of future carbon dioxide emissions and future global warming.” We contend there are very legitimate reasons to embrace CO2. Though for the most part temperatures and carbon dioxide emissions have risen in tandem, emissions alone can’t explain the periodic temperature drops and stagnations. And completely eliminating those emissions would be futile — and immensely expensive. But economic control, after all, is the real climate agenda.

As The Daily Signal’s Katie Tubb observes, “[C]limate sensitivity modeling used by the EPA shows that totally eliminating all carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. would reduce warming by only 0.137 degree Celsius by the end of the century, and only 0.278 degree Celsius if the entire industrialized world totally eliminated all carbon dioxide emissions.” Moreover, the greening of deserts and an abundance of food for trees and vegetation are surely welcome benefits.

Whether the globe is warming or cooling, there are benefits and setbacks to both, as history demonstrates. And humans who expect to have the ability to balance the climate are significantly less realistic than those who advocate adapting, like we always have, to what comes next. Americans didn’t abandon certain areas altogether because of earthquakes; they figured out how to create stronger and more flexible structures. The same goes for places prone to tornadoes and hurricanes. Remember, temperatures have not risen at the rate at which they were projected, and the future of sea levels are equally uncertain.

Game-changing global cooling didn’t happen like the CIA and Time magazine and others warned in 1974, nor will an ice age happen by 2021, as The Washington Post forecast in 1971. On the flip side, the New York Times' 1969 warning “that the ocean at the North Pole may become an open sea within a decade or two” didn’t happen either. So take predictions with a grain of salt.

In any case, even if the threat is real, adaption creates far more economic opportunities than forcing hundreds of millions into destitution through costly taxation and regulation. So go ahead and build your beachfront home. We’ll figure out, through innovation, how to protect it if we ever reach that point. Or maybe we could just get Barack Obama to finally cash in on his 2008 promise about the “moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow…”


Dakota Access Pipeline protesters cost North Dakota taxpayers $33 million

Last summer, hordes of professional leftists, ne’er-do-wells, thugs, and drug users descended upon North Dakota intent upon “helping” the tribes opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline, which is being developed by Energy Transfer Partners.

The self-important radicals dubbed themselves “water protectors.”  In their view, the $3.8 billion pipeline had to be stopped because of their fervent belief in global warming and the possibility that, one day, the pipeline might leak and pollute the water.

This motley crew has been far from ideal neighbors. One activist complained that others in the group were consuming tribal resources without contributing sufficiently and seemed to view the protest as little more than a Burning Man festival. Another activist advised potential protesters not to bring alcohol or drugs and told them that “you are not on vacation.”

Due to the protesters, the tribe’s casino has seen a decline in business, which has caused a shortfall of millions of dollars in the tribe’s budget.

And the tribe is not the only one paying the price for the protest. According to a state estimate, state and local taxpayers were responsible for paying nearly $33 million to deal with the protests as of Feb. 10. With the imminent arrival of flooding season, federal authorities have ordered the squatters to leave.

In early Dec. 2016, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dave Archambault II, asked protesters to leave, but hundreds chose to ignore his request. Previously, the tribal chairman had expressed concern over the fact that protesters were digging latrines in the flood plain, which could result in waste being washed into the Cannonball River.

As if that was not bad enough, protesters have also burned tires. What kind of environmentalists burn tires — willfully releasing carbon and noxious chemicals into the atmosphere?

The left, including many in the media, would have you believe that these protesters have been peaceful. The facts are otherwise. Over the past several months, protesters have flagrantly defied government orders; blocked state and county roads and railroad tracks; attacked police with pepper spray; pointed lasers at police; thrown rocks, bottles, bricks, feces, burning logs, and Molotov cocktails, among other things, at police; intentionally stampeded hundreds of bison toward police; and burned county vehicles. One protester even shot at police.

Unsurprisingly, many — over 700, in fact — have been arrested. Of those arrested, many had criminal records, and more than 90 percent were from out of state. Of course, the protesters have complained bitterly about the police response to the protesters’ criminal actions.

Nor have police been the protesters’ only targets. Protesters have sabotaged or burned construction vehicles and equipment; cut ranchers’ fences allowing bison to escape; harassed farmers and ranchers; and killed cows and bison. In one disturbing incident, protesters ran a pipeline construction worker off the road and chased and surrounded him until he was extricated by federal agents.

According to one estimate last fall, protesters had caused $10 million of damage to construction equipment. Protesters and their supporters have also phoned in numerous death threats to a local county government and local businesses.

As the number of protesters has dwindled, another problem has grown: the protesters’ piles of garbage. The tribe, working together with local and state authorities, is in the process of removing an estimated 4.5 million pounds of garbage and debris — much of it still frozen. The process was expected to take weeks; but, with snow already beginning to melt, time is running out.

About 200 vehicles, which were abandoned by protesters, are also being removed. Knowing time is of the essence, protesters continue to cause problems: just last week, they blocked several sanitation trucks from entering their camp.

Rick Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government, stated, “President Trump must investigate the funders of these polluting protesters and to send them the bill for the mess the protesters created. It is unacceptable for these costs to be borne by taxpayers and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.”


Our children have been brainwashed about global warming

It’s all about destroying capitalism

Yes, our people have been brainwashed from K to BA from ignorant teachers and professors who, themselves, were brainwashed before them. Nowhere in the news media or schools have the following subjects been exposed:

Christiana Figueres, the U.N.’s top climate change official, says that it’s not about the climate. It’s about redistribution of the wealth and the destruction of capitalism. In simpler terms, she intends to replace free enterprise, entrepreneurial capitalism with UN-controlled, centralized, socialized One World government and economic control.

Papal Advisor Naomi Klein admits in her much-publicized screed that ‘Global Warming’ is all about anti-capitalism and nothing to do with science.

Ottmar Edenhofer, lead author of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (2007), summed up the situation quite clearly. Speaking in 2010, he advised: “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.”

Head of the EPA Gina McCarthy admitted during a U.S. House hearing that anti-coal CO2 regulations attached to EPA’s so-called “Clean Power Plan” wouldn’t have any measurable impact on global warming. She testified, “We see it as having had enormous benefit in showing sort of domestic leadership as well as garnering support around the country for the agreement we reached in Paris.”

Also mentioned was a quote from former U.S. Senator and chief climate envoy during the Clinton administration, Timothy Wirth, which shows how Democrats unconditionally stick behind climate change to forward its progressive agenda. “We’ve got to ride the global warming issue,” Wirth said. “Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing.”

The late Dr. Stephen Schneider’s heartfelt rationalization for climate-change advocacy involved his stated position that climate scientists must necessarily “offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have” so as to “capture the public’s imagination” by “getting loads of media coverage” as a means to advance the cause.

Maurice Newman, the chairman of Australia’s business advisory council said the UN was using false models showing sustained temperature increases to end democracy and impose authoritarian rule.

“The real agenda is concentrated political authority,” Newman wrote in an opinion piece published in the Australian newspaper. “Global warming is the hook. It’s about a new world order under the control of the UN…. “It is opposed to capitalism and freedom and has made environmental catastrophism a household topic to achieve its objective.”

Today’s folks have heard over and over from such sterling non-scientists as Barack Obama, Al Gore, and John Kerry that the global warming fiction is, in fact, the truth. It’s refreshing that we now have a president who actually speaks the truth, which is: 1) CO2 is not a pollutant and 2) CO2 does not cause global warming.

We can only hope.


Climate Models Are Warming Earth Two Times Faster Than Reality

Climate models show twice as much warming during the 21st Century than what’s actually been observed, according to a new report highlighting the limitations of global climate models, or GCMs.

“So far in the 21st century, the GCMs are warming, on average, about a factor of 2 faster than the observed temperature increase,” Dr. Judith Curry, a former Georgia Tech climate scientist who now runs her own climate forecasting company, wrote in a report for the U.K.-based Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Curry has been one of the foremost critics of climate models, arguing that while they can be useful, there are too many uncertainties and issues to rely on models for public policy decisions.

Curry’s report gives a detailed rundown of why models can be useful for modeling complex climate systems, but also points out that GCMs fail to capture natural variability in the climate.

“The reason for the discrepancy between observations and model simulations in the early 21st century appears to be caused by a combination of inadequate simulations of natural internal variability and oversensitivity of the models to increasing carbon dioxide,” wrote Curry.

Climate models assume carbon dioxide is the control knob for average global temperature and fail to take into account “the patterns and timing of multidecadal ocean oscillations” and “future solar variations and solar indirect effects on climate,” Curry explains.

Models also “neglect of the possibility of volcanic eruptions that are more active than the relatively quiet 20th century” and suffer from an “apparent over-sensitivity to increases in greenhouse gases,” Curry continues.

Global warming skeptics have been pointing out problems with climate models for years, but only recently have scientists taken a hard look at modeling’s actual predictive powers.

A group of scientists admitted in early 2016 that the 15-year “pause” in global warming threw a wrench into climate model predictions, forcing some to go back to the drawing board to see what went wrong.

“There is this mismatch between what the climate models are producing and what the observations are showing,” John Fyfe, Canadian climate modeler, told Nature in 2016. “We can’t ignore it.”

But climate model problems predate the recent warming “pause.” Chip Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels, climate scientists at the libertarian Cato Institute, have long criticized most climate models, which they say have not accurately predicted global temperature rises for the past six decades.

In late 2015, Michaels and Knappenberger published research comparing observed rates of global surface temperature warming since 1950 to predictions made by 108 climate models.

They found the models predicted much higher warming rates than actually occurred from rising carbon dioxide emissions.

Even the recent string of “record warm” years are below what most climate models predicted. A recent El Nino temporarily brought global average temperature in agreement with most climate models, but the globe is expected to cool in the coming years as the tropics cool.

And that’s only surface temperature readings. A similar mismatch exists between satellite-derived temperature readings and model predictions.

Climate scientists John Christy and Roy Spencer manage a prominent satellite-derived temperature data set out of the University of Alabama, Huntsville. Their data showed no warming for about two decades — a streak only broken by the recent El Nino warming event.



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22 February, 2017

Hurrah! Trump scrapping NASA climate research division in crackdown on ‘politicized science’

The crooks are going

Donald Trump is poised to eliminate all climate change research conducted by Nasa as part of a crackdown on “politicized science”, his senior adviser on issues relating to the space agency has said.

Nasa’s Earth science division is set to be stripped of funding in favor of exploration of deep space, with the president-elect having set a goal during the campaign to explore the entire solar system by the end of the century. This would mean the elimination of Nasa’s world-renowned research into temperature, ice, clouds and other climate phenomena.

Nasa’s network of satellites provide a wealth of information on climate change, with the Earth science division’s budget set to grow to $2bn next year. By comparison, space exploration has been scaled back somewhat, with a proposed budget of $2.8bn in 2017.

Bob Walker, a senior Trump campaign adviser, said there was no need for Nasa to do what he has previously described as “politically correct environmental monitoring”. “We see Nasa in an exploration role, in deep space research,” Walker told the Guardian. “Earth-centric science is better placed at other agencies where it is their prime mission.

“My guess is that it would be difficult to stop all ongoing Nasa programs but future programs should definitely be placed with other agencies. I believe that climate research is necessary but it has been heavily politicized, which has undermined a lot of the work that researchers have been doing. Mr Trump’s decisions will be based upon solid science, not politicized science.”


Heavy reliance on other countries for "green" Britain's electricity supply

More than two kilometres down a dark, dank tunnel deep inside a Norwegian mountain, the air is thick with dust and the smell of explosives. A pair of red laser beams pierce the blackness, providing guide marks for a drilling machine to bore a computer-programmed pattern of 30 holes into the rock.

“Once the drilling starts it gets really noisy,” Nigel Williams says. “They go four metres into granite. Think of the power needed to do that. They are massive machines.” The resulting holes will be packed with explosives and then detonated. Three such blasts extend the tunnel by ten metres each day.

It forms a crucial part of National Grid’s key project: to build the world’s longest subsea power cable. Like a giant extension lead, the £1.4 billion, 450-mile North Sea Link interconnector will plug Britain into the Norwegian grid, enabling it to import 1.4 gigawatts of electricity, enough to power 750,000 homes. From Blyth in Northumberland, the cable will stretch across the North Sea before winding its way through 60 miles of fjords until the seabed comes to an abrupt halt on the far side of this mountain, 50 miles northeast of Stavanger. The cable will run through the tunnel, now close to completion, and then cross a lake to Kvilldal, home to Norway’s biggest hydroelectric power plant, where it will connect with the grid.

While Britain is facing increasing challenges keeping the lights on as old coal and nuclear plants close and intermittent wind and solar take their place, plants such as Kvilldal mean that Norway’s grid is practically overflowing with cheap and reliable green power.

“From a UK perspective, wind and volatility has picked up and has become a real headache,” Mr Williams, National Grid’s project director for North Sea Link, says. “These interconnectors can provide flexible services to support changes in output very quickly.”

Britain has 4GW of interconnectors, but the government has backed the development of up to a further 9GW. Ofgem, the regulator, offers financial support through a new “cap and floor” system to guarantee domestic developers such as National Grid, which is building the link jointly with Statnett, its Norwegian counterpart, a minimum return.

Critics have questioned whether foreign power imports can be relied upon in a crisis. Even Norway’s usually plentiful hydropower supplies, which mean that its wholesale power prices typically are only half of British levels, can run short and push up prices in a dry year. Thor Anders Nummedal, project director for Statnett, says that any water shortages would hit only in the spring, after the UK’s winter demand peak. In fact, he says, the interconnector will allow Norway to import wind power from Britain when there is surplus. “Then we don’t have to use water and we can store it and use it later,” he says. “Imports from the UK will enable us to avoid price shocks.”

Ensuring that the interconnector is reliable also means going to great lengths to protect it from the kind of damage suffered by one of the UK’s existing interconnectors, which was severed by a ship’s anchor last year. The cable will be laid in 80-mile stretches, reeled off the back of a ship at more than six miles a day. Once each stretch is on the seabed, a robotic machine the size of a tank will crawl along its length at a rate of two metres a minute, blasting water down beneath it with the force of 500 patio jet washers and creating a trench into which the cable can fall.

Work at sea is due to begin from Britain in 2018 and Norway in 2020 — provided that the cable is made in time. Development of new interconnectors and offshore wind farms around Europe mean that there is fierce demand for the specialist cables. About five inches, or 13cm, in diameter, they consist of a copper core wrapped in paper and soaked with oil, then coated in lead, tape, steel and plastic to insulate and protect it. Delays to cable supply, meaning that it cannot be laid in calmer summer weather, represent the biggest risk to the project’s schedule and could increase the cost up to more like £1.8 billion, according to Mr Williams.

If all goes to schedule, the link should start operating in December 2021, in time to make good on Mr Nummedal’s light-hearted promise to “turn on the power and light up the Norwegian Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square”.

That’s assuming that the cable works to begin with. “Only when you plug in and you turn the voltage up at the converter ends, only then will you test the cable,” Mr Williams says. If there is a fault, most likely at the join between two sections, a remotely operated vehicle will be sent down to sever it and pull the ends up to the surface to be linked afresh. Nobody wants that to happen.

“Do it once, do it well,” Mr Williams says. “You never want to see that cable again.”

Progressing by making connections

Interconnectors represent a small but rapidly growing part of National Grid’s business (Emily Gosden writes). The utility giant already co-owns Britain’s existing subsea power cables linked to France and the Netherlands, but there are more in the pipeline. As well as the new North Sea Link to Norway, it is building the Nemo link to Belgium, is preparing to build an interconnector to Denmark and a second to France.

“It’s our growth area,” Jon Butterworth, head of National Grid’s non-regulated business, says. “We are actively looking at more interconnectors.” Indeed, the company has early plans for a link crossing part of the northern Atlantic to Iceland and is understood to be considering second links to the Netherlands and Norway.

The projects offer the potential for higher returns than the Grid’s core domestic power and gas networks. It could earn up to 8 per cent for the North Sea Link, compared with about 4.5 per cent on most of its regulated business, using Ofgem’s post-tax real project return figures.

However, the expansion has fuelled concerns about a potential conflict of interest between National Grid’s role as system operator, advising the government on keeping the lights on, and its commercial interest in developing interconnectors.


Global  warming not happening in China

How often have we heard that extreme weather is a sign of global warming?

In one of the most comprehensive studies on trends in local severe weather patterns to date, an international team of researchers found that the frequency of hail storms, thunderstorms and high wind events has decreased by nearly 50 percent on average throughout China since 1960.

The team analyzed data from the most robust meteorological database known, the Chinese National Meteorology Information Center, a network of 983 weather observatories stationed throughout China's 3.7 million square miles. Meteorologists have been collecting surface weather data through the network since 1951 or earlier, which provided the researchers an unprecedented look at local severe weather occurrences.

"Most of the data published on trends in severe weather has been incomplete or collected for a limited short period," said Fuqing Zhang, professor of meteorology and atmospheric science and director, Center for Advanced Data Assimilation and Predictability Techniques, Penn State. "The record we used is, to the best of our knowledge, the largest, both in time scale and area of land covered."

The team, who report their findings today (Feb. 17) in Scientific Reports, found that the strength of the East Asian Summer Monsoon decreased at a rate strongly correlated to that of severe weather throughout the same time period. The monsoon is an annually recurring, long-term weather phenomenon that brings warm, moist air from the south to China in the summer, and cooler air from the north to China in the winter. A monsoon's strength is measured by calculating the average meridian wind speed in this area.

"We believe that changes in monsoon intensity are affecting severe weather in the area because of the strong correlation we found, but we cannot say the monsoon is the exclusive cause," said Zhang. "A monsoon is one of the major drivers of severe weather because it affects the three necessary 'ingredients' for severe weather, which are wind shear, instability and triggering."

Wind shear is the difference between the wind speed and direction at different altitudes. Because a monsoon brings southerly winds into China, a weaker summer monsoon would decrease the overall low tropospheric wind shear. The weaker monsoons would also bring less warm, moist air from the south—one of the most common sources of instability in the atmosphere. A common triggering mechanism for severe convective weather is lifting by the front, a high temperature gradient across the monsoon, and this would also be reduced in a weaker summer monsoon.

Some studies suggest that climate change may be one of the reasons that the Asian Summer Monsoon weakened. One factor in monsoon formation is the difference between the temperature above land and the temperature above adjacent ocean or sea. A warming climate would affect the difference between these two and, as a result, simulations show that this could continue decreasing the monsoon's strength. However, the team noted that other major changes in the area—such as an increase in industrialization and air pollution in China in the 1980s—might have played a significant role in the region's atmospheric changes and could affect the severe weather.

While a decrease in severe weather might sound beneficial, it may not always be a good thing.

"There are many natural cycles that rely on severe weather and the precipitation it brings," said Qinghong Zhang, professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, Peking University, lead author of the study, who conducted this research while on sabbatical at Penn State. "A decrease in storms could potentially lead to an increase in droughts. Also, some theorize that while the frequency of severe weather decreases, their intensity could potentially increase. We cannot say if this is true yet, but it is something we will analyze in the future."

This was the first study in its level of detail because of the amount of data collected by the Chinese National Meteorology Information Center. The study also showed that occurrences of hail remained relatively steady from 1961 through the 1980s before plummeting.

"The frequency of thunderstorms and high winds decreased gradually over the time period we studied, but not hail," said Qinghong Zhang. "This is something we don't fully understand at this point but plan to investigate more."


Global warming: Be fair to both sides

The public is vastly misinformed on the global warming/climate change issue, because of the utter one-sidedness of the media's coverage. I know doom and gloom sells, but whipping up hysteria with headlines about rising seas, melting glaciers and climbing temperatures is irresponsible and dangerous. 1970s headlines threatened a new ice age, 1980s headlines warned us of population growth that would lead to global starvation, and now we are told we'll burn to death because of carbon-dioxide emissions. 

To present the debate fairly, first the two protagonists must be identified. They are the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control and the Nongovernmental Panel on Climate Control. The IPCC is a branch of the United Nations. It is not a scientific panel. Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, its former chairman, explains: "We are an intergovernmental body, and we do what the governments of the world want us to do. If the governments decide we should do things differently and come up with a vastly different set of products, we would be at their beck and call." Another U.N. climate official, Ottmar Edenhofer, stated that the goal of environmental policy is to "redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy."

The NIPCC is a group of nongovernment scientists. According to its website, the NIPCC "seeks to objectively analyze and interpret data and facts without conforming to any specific agenda." The NIPCC is funded by special interests specifically to counter the claims coming from the IPCC. I am not insinuating that either one of these groups is right or wrong, but rather that the media should inform the public of the players. 

Second, presenting the debate in an antagonistic manner ignores the fact that there is common ground and scientific agreement between some of the players on the two sides. Both state that the climate has always changed and always will. They agree that there was a "pause" in global warming from 1998 to 2015. It is also agreed that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, the accumulation of which warms the lower atmosphere. And there's consensus that the Industrial Revolution produced a new source of carbon-dioxide emissions. They also agree that a temperature increase of about 0.7 degrees centigrade may (my emphasis) have occurred in the 20th century.

The ongoing debate is fueled by science issues. The most contentious is exactly how much the industrial (read human) carbon-dioxide emissions contribute or will contribute to warming. There is also debate as to whether humans have caused any dangerous warming for the past 50 or so years. And finally there is considerable doubt as to whether the various computer models used by the IPCC can accurately predict the climate 100 years from today.

Use these suggestions as a basis for fair and honest coverage. This is a political debate and should be presented as such. If you have an opinion about global warming, remain flexible, because the science is most certainly not settled.  


Australia: Coal proves its worth while the Left tilts at windmills

[Former Leftist leader] Kevin Rudd breezed into the Sky News studio in Canberra last week to decry the lack of “deep, strong, committed national leadership” since the electorate’s foolish ­decision to turf him out of office.

It was “nuts” to remove the carbon tax, he said. “Where we are now can be summed up in three words: dumb, dumb, dumb.”

Australia’s energy market could be dumber still if Labor wins office and pursues its vanity target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030. The plight of South Aus­tralia, the canary in the turbine blades, demonstrates what happens when an economy becomes hostage to unreliable sources of power.

Yet Rudd was unapologetic. Coal? Don’t get him started. “The message for coal, long-term globally, is down and out,” he informed us. We need “a heavy mix of renewables”, which was why he was proud that the government had introduced the renewable ­energy target.

In the real world, the one outside Rudd’s brain, the RET is nothing to be proud of. It is one of the most expensive public policy disasters of the century, market intervention on a massive scale with unfair and unintended con­sequences that will haunt Aus­tralians for decades.

Rudd, determined to tackle the era’s “greatest moral challenge”, upped the target by more than 450 per cent in an uncosted promise before the 2007 election.

It was crazy, as the Productivity Commission politely tried to tell him in a 2008 submission. The target would not increase abatement but would impose extra costs and lead to higher electricity prices, the commission warned.

It would favour existing technologies — namely wind and solar — while holding back new ideas that might ultimately be more ­successful.

Rudd, of course, knew better. Not for the last time, he ignored the Productivity Commission and pushed ahead with his renewable target of 45,000GWh by 2020, of which 41,000GWh would come from large-scale wind and solar.

If the policy was designed to punish Australian consumers, it was a roaring success. Household electricity bills increased by 92 per cent under the Rudd-Gillard governments, six times the level of ­inflation.

Rudd went further, spending $4.15 billion on dubious clean ­energy boondoggles. He put $1.6bn into solar technologies, delivered $465 million to establish the research institute Renewables Australia, gave $480m to the Nat­ional Solar Schools Program to give schools “a head start in tackling climate change and conserving our precious water supplies”. Easy come, easy go; the money tree seemed ripe for picking.

The cost of meeting Rudd’s windmill and solar fetish has been extraordinary. Wind-generated power is roughly three-times more expensive than traditional energy, and large-scale solar even pricier.

It has taken cross-subsidies of $22bn to keep renewables viable, according to a 2014 review for the federal government. The economy-wide cost was put at $29bn.

It amounts to industry welfare on steroids. Corporations that jumped on the clean energy gravy train have benefited from assistance on a far greater scale than that we once lavished on the car industry.

Wind farm operators work in splendid isolation from the risk and uncertainty that trouble ordinary businesses. Their share price is not driven by supply and demand for electricity, but by the funny-money world of large-scale generation certificates.

When the LGC spot price shot up from $52 in July 2015 to $86, the value of Infigen’s stock ­quadrupled.

Coal energy producers, on the other hand, saw their fortunes decline. The Alinta power station closed at Port Augusta in May last year, ground down by operating losses of about $100m.

The result of Labor’s ill-considered RET policy should shame the social justice party into silence. Shareholders in the likes of Infigen have grown rich by squeezing coal operators out of business with all that entails: the loss of 440 jobs at Port Augusta, for example, and the threat the closure presents to jobs in other South Australian industries.

They have grown rich through a scheme that has made the electricity grid more unstable and reduced the reliability of supply.

They have grown rich through a scheme that has more than doubled the cost of running an air­conditioner, a detail that probably won’t trouble Infigen’s executives on the 22nd floor of their five-star energy-rated Pitt Street, Sydney, headquarters but would make life uncomfortable for a pensioner surviving on $437 a week in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

On paper, the case for abolishing the RET is strong. Deloitte’s estimates the reduction in electricity prices would add $28.8bn to GDP by 2030 and create 50,000 jobs.

The politics of liberalising the energy market would be punishing, however, and all but impossible to negotiate through the Senate.

The status quo — a 23.5 per cent renewable target by 2020 — will require doubling the capacity of wind and solar and will further erode the viability of coal plants. The doubling of energy future ­prices that followed the announcement of the closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood power station is a sign of things to come.

Rudd’s claim that coal is “down and out” will come as news to the Japanese government, which is planning up to 47 coal-fired, high-energy, low-emissions plants burning high-quality Australian black coal.

It would be viable in Australia, too, if energy providers enjoyed a free market. With gas prices high, ultra-supercritical coal generation would fill the demand for base-load power.

Yet the uncertainty of Labor’s greener-than-thou policies — not just a 50 per cent RET but a price on carbon, too — could yet make the end of coal a self-fulfilling prophecy.



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

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


21 February, 2017

Strange science

The article below says that global warming cools the temperature in the Pacific and that a cooler Pacific is likely to produce centuries of drought in California.  It appeared just 4 months before the current floods: A very large predictive failure. 

But it was a nutty article anyway.  The Pacific is the world's largest body of water.  Why should global warming cool it?  How can something global leave out the Pacific or even a large part of the Pacific? The authors could have avoided the egg currently residing on their faces if they had questioned their finding that warming causes ocean cooling.  Such an absurd finding should have led them to question whether or not something was wrong with their research methods.  There clearly was.

Prolonged California aridity linked to climate warming and Pacific sea surface temperature

Glen M. MacDonald et al.


California has experienced a dry 21st century capped by severe drought from 2012 through 2015 prompting questions about hydroclimatic sensitivity to anthropogenic climate change and implications for the future. We address these questions using a Holocene lake sediment record of hydrologic change from the Sierra Nevada Mountains coupled with marine sediment records from the Pacific. These data provide evidence of a persistent relationship between past climate warming, Pacific sea surface temperature (SST) shifts and centennial to millennial episodes of California aridity. The link is most evident during the thermal-maximum of the mid-Holocene (~8 to 3?ka; ka = 1,000 calendar years before present) and during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) (~1?ka to 0.7?ka). In both cases, climate warming corresponded with cooling of the eastern tropical Pacific despite differences in the factors producing increased radiative forcing. The magnitude of prolonged eastern Pacific cooling was modest, similar to observed La Niña excursions of 1o to 2?°C. Given differences with current radiative forcing it remains uncertain if the Pacific will react in a similar manner in the 21st century, but should it follow apparent past behavior more intense and prolonged aridity in California would result.


CA: Global warming causes droughts, global warming causes floods.  Is there anything it can't do?

Credulous journalists below just parrot what the incompetent scientists say

With California having its most rainy winter in years, residents have relied on emergency spillways and other precautions for the past two weeks.

The night of Feb. 11, the Oroville dam filled with rain and its emergency spillway was used for the first time. The dam’s emergency spillway, however, collapsed. The residents of Oroville and surrounding towns downstream were ordered to evacuate immediately.

CSUN professor of hydrogeology Ali Tabidian said this is one of the major issues with global warming, which is causing such extreme weather. When it comes to floods, Tabidian said, they’re going to be bigger and more frequent.

He also said dams and levees are based on years of data. So engineers do their best to take this information into account when they’re designing precautions. However, the type of rain and climate happening now is not in the data from the past because of global warming.

“A lot of flood control projects, these are based on old data,” Tabidian said.

Not only is global warming an issue, but urbanization is as well. According to Tabidian, with urbanization there is an increase of asphalt and a decrease in soil. Therefore, when it rains, there’s not as much soil to absorb it. All the extra water will flow into lakes and rivers.

“With so many homes and shopping centers, it’s unbelievable and going to generate more runoff and bigger floods,” Tabidian said.


High efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal-fired power

Deploying high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal-fired power plants is a key first step along a pathway to near-zero emissions from coal with carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS). HELE technologies are commercially available now and, if deployed, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the entire power sector by around 20%.

What does improving efficiency mean?

Improving efficiency increases the amount of energy that can be extracted from a single unit of coal. A one percentage point improvement in the efficiency of a conventional pulverised coal combustion plant results in a 2-3% reduction in CO2 emissions.

What can be achieved?

Moving the current average global efficiency rate of coal-fired power plants from 33% to 40% by deploying more advanced off-the-shelf technology could cut two gigatonnes of CO2 emissions now, while allowing affordable energy for economic development and poverty reduction. Two gigatonnes of CO2 is equivalent to:

* India's annual CO2 emissions

* Running the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme for 53 years at its current rate, or

* Running the Kyoto Protocol three times over

In addition to significant benefits from reduced CO2 emissions, these modern high efficiency plants have significantly reduced emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulphur dioxide (SO2 ) and particulate matter (PM). Beyond the climate benefits of reduced CO2 emissions, reduction in these pollutants is of additional importance at the local and regional level to address air quality and related health concerns.

Supercritical & Ultrasupercritical Technology

New pulverised coal combustion systems – utilising supercritical and ultra-supercritical technology – operate at increasingly higher temperatures and pressures and therefore achieve higher efficiencies than conventional PCC units and significant CO2 reductions. Supercritical steam cycle technology has been used for decades and is becoming the system of choice for new commercial coal-fired plants in many countries.

Research and development is under way for ultra-supercritical units operating at even higher efficiencies, potentially up to around 50%. The introduction of ultra-supercritical technology has been driven over recent years in countries such as Denmark, Germany and Japan, in order to achieve improved plant efficiencies and reduce fuel costs.


Canada: Murray Energy CEO claims global warming is a hoax, says 4,000 scientists tell him so

Murray Energy Chairman and CEO Robert Murray on Friday claimed global warming is a hoax and repeated a debunked claim that the phenomenon cannot exist because the Earth's surface is cooling.

Murray appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box" to discuss Republicans' rollback of an Obama-era rule that would have restricted coal mining near waterways. President Donald Trump signed the measure on Thursday in front of Murray and a group of Murray Energy workers.

Murray Energy is the country's largest coal miner. Many of its mines are in Appalachia, a region that would suffer some of the biggest impacts of the rule. Murray also successfully sued to delay implementation of the Clean Power Plan, which would regulate planet-warming carbon emissions from power plants.

Asked about the economic analysis behind President Barack Obama's energy regulations, Murray said, "There's no scientific analysis either. I have 4,000 scientists that tell me global warming is a hoax. The Earth has cooled for 20 years."

It was not immediately clear who the 4,000 scientists Murray referenced are.

Asked for clarification, a spokesperson for Murray Energy sent links to the Manhattan Declaration on Climate Change, which says "human-caused climate change is not a global crisis," and the Global Warming Petition Project, a list of science degree holders who don't think humans cause climate change.

Murray's claim that there is no scientific analysis behind climate change is not true.

A landmark 2013 study assessed 4,000 peer-reviewed papers by 10,000 climate scientists that gave an opinion on the cause of climate change. It showed 97 percent of the authors attributed climate change to manmade causes.

The above is a false claim.  The "landmark" Cook study in fact showed that two thirds of climate scientists took no position on global warming.  Read the abstract for yourself here


Australian Leftist leader fails to specify cost of his  renewables policy when asked four times

Bill Shorten has declined to be specific about the cost of Labor’s goal to have 50% of Australia’s electricity generated from renewable sources by 2030.

In an early morning radio interview on Wednesday, Shorten was asked four times about the cost to consumers of executing such a transition, but the Labor leader deflected, pointing to the costs of not acting.

With the Coalition intent on making energy policy a point of sharp partisan difference, Malcolm Turnbull pounced on the interview, telling reporters in Canberra the Labor leader had admitted “he had no idea what his reckless renewable energy target would cost, or what its consequences would be.”

“He confirmed precisely the criticism that we’ve made about Mr Shorten, that he is literally clueless on this subject, mindless, just like South Australia has been.”

Labor’s 50% by 2030 policy is not a RET, it is an “aspiration”. Labor’s election policy says the 50% national goal would work in concert with state-based RET schemes, which the prime minister has blasted consistently since a storm plunged South Australia into a statewide blackout last year.

During an interview with the ABC Shorten was pressed repeatedly about the practical consequences of the shift – the costs to consumers of executing such a significant transition in Australia’s energy mix.

Shorten attempted to explain the broad rationale for increasing renewables in Australia’s energy mix, and he said Labor believed there was “a range of levers which assist, from having an emissions intensive scheme and the energy intensity scheme in the energy industry, having a market trading scheme and an emissions trading scheme [and] looking at the rate of land clearing.”

“Our answer is very, very straightforward. We think the cost of not acting is far greater.”

“We don’t think we could sustain the cost as the Liberals are saying, of building new coal-fired power generation on the scale which Mr Turnbull is saying and we don’t think that, from insurance to drought to extreme weather events, that we can simply go business as usual.”

Australian National University research associate Hugh Saddler in July 2015 estimated Labor’s policy would increase wholesale market prices by four cents per kWh above present levels in every state market except South Australia.

By signing on to the Paris climate agreement, the Turnbull government has committed Australia to reducing emissions by 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2030. Meeting those targets will impose costs on consumers.

The government has been advised by numerous experts that its Direct Action climate policy will not allow Australia to meet the Paris targets, and adopting an emissions intensity scheme, a form of carbon trading, would allow Australia to reduce emissions from energy at the least cost to households and businesses.

The government has thus far rejected that advice.



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

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


20 February, 2017

The war on coal is over with Scott Pruitt in at EPA, sets stage for 2018 Senate elections

The Senate confirmed Scott Pruitt on Friday to run the Environmental Protection Agency.  Vote was 52 to 46

Ever since his time as Oklahoma Attorney General, Pruitt has fought the EPA at every turn throughout the country. Pruitt joined 11 other Republican Attorneys General in 2013 to fight against the sue and settle lawsuits of the EPA which provided the agency with wide latitude over the enforcement of environmental law, where environmental groups sue the EPA and to avoid further litigation, the parties settle the suit and the EPA is given permission to address the issue with newly expanded powers.

There will also be an opportunity for the EPA to reconsider the 2009 Carbon Endangerment Finding, defining carbon dioxide as a harmful pollutant under the Clean Air Act, which has been used to justify the continual implementation of regulations that expand the agency’s power and wage a war on coal via the new and existing power plant rules.

The EPA has successfully forced states to regulate the coal industry as an extension of the Clean Air Act, and given itself far more oversight than ever intended.

This assault on coal has placed burdens on the economy that Pruitt has consistently seen as both unattainable and unnecessary, arguing in 2014 in response to a new EPA regulation on emission controls that “The EPA can’t force utility companies to actually incorporate emission control measures unless they’re achievable through technology. And here, there really isn’t any demonstrated technology that will see a reduction of 30 percent… this is coerced conservation.”

Pruitt’s constant defense against this coercion by the agency built by the Obama Administration allowed all 52 Senate Republicans to back him Thursday morning as his confirmation process moved forward. However, Republicans were not alone in their favor for Pruitt.

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp both voted in support of Scott Pruitt as well, and this vote could be what saves them in 2018 as Democrats defend a whopping 25 Senate seats. Even Democrats are starting to learn that the war on coal is hurting the jobs of their constituents and polluting the economies of their states.

The Washington Post reported in Dec. 2016 that West Virginians were “euphoric” and “thrilled” by Trump’s win noting that “Before the price of coal collapsed, before the number of working miners in the state fell to a 100-year low of 15,000, miners could make $60,000, even $75,000 a year, without a high school education. Walmart money doesn’t come close.”

In states with a strong mining industry, a senator’s vote for Pruitt is a vote to return economic possibility and the American dream to thousands of workers.

Even Heidi Heitkamp has been consistently willing to oppose her Democratic establishment when it comes to assisting her constituents in getting back to work. In 2015 Heitkamp argued “EPA’s over-reaching policy won’t work for North Dakota. We now have EPA in the driver’s seat dictating how we generate and transmit electricity, and that’s a dangerous road to go down.”

Constituents in states like North Dakota and West Virginia were integral in developing a support base for Trump that Democrats willfully ignored. Heitkamp and Manchin have proved that they are listening to their people, other Democrats would be wise to do the same.

The rust belt was integral to Trump’s election in part because of their reliance on coal; for states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Indiana, three of which Trump won, Trump was the easy decision to get the people back to work and make the economy stable once again. Yet all four of these states have Democrats in office, all up in 2018 as well, who voted against Pruitt: Sherrod Brown, Bob Casey, Mark Warner and Joe Donnelly.

In a statement, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning blasted these senators as “those politicians who voted against the Pruitt nomination told the workers in their states they prefer San Francisco radical environmentalist campaign cash over the votes and livelihoods of their constituents.”

Clearly, Heitkamp and Manchin are focused on creating jobs for their constituents and retaining their position in 2018, and proof was their vote for Pruitt. Brown, Casey, Warner and Donnelly, not so much.

President Obama led the war on coal, and now Scott Pruitt is about to end it as EPA Administrator. The work he has done in Oklahoma sets the stage for ending EPA overreach and in doing so, he can force other Democrats in the Senate to actually start listening to their constituents — or else face the music in 2018.


Demon coal

Coal is a gift that we have in abundance.  The vast reserves of coal guarantee the United States energy for hundreds of years.  Coal is efficient.  No fuel, other than uranium, is cheaper.  Coal burns clean in modern plants.  Strip-mining coal in the modern way improves the landscape.  According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. demonstrated coal reserve base is 477 billion 2,000-pound tons, enough for more than 500 years at current consumption rates.

In the eyes of the diminishing crowd of believers in catastrophic global warming, coal is evil, a demon.  Why?  Because it is mostly carbon, and when coal is burned, carbon dioxide (CO2) is created.  CO2 is supposed to create a disaster.  As the predicted disaster (global warming) fails to materialize, a new disaster (extreme weather) is invented. The disasters that never materialize are blamed on CO2 and indirectly on coal.

Apocalyptic ideology needs scapegoats.  Coal and CO2 serve well.  According to the Sierra Club, demon coal will destroy our world and poison our children.  If the Sierra Club only offered mountain meadows and wildflowers, it would be pretty boring and wouldn't raise $100 million every year.  Demons and conspiracies are the stuff that raises big money.

The CO2 released by burning coal is wonderful stuff.  Plants breathe CO2, and if there is more CO2 in the air, the plants breathe easy, grow faster, and need less water.  Greenhouse operators put CO2 generators in their greenhouses because more CO2 helps plants thrive.  Worldwide agriculture is going strong, partly because the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased from about 0.03% to 0.04%.

The idea that "science" proves that CO2 is a demon is most plausible to people with limited exposure to down and dirty science.  Down and dirty science is at its dirtiest when it is seeking money or protecting its money.  Former president Dwight Eisenhower, in his 1961 farewell address, anticipated global warming:

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present - and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

Eisenhower's fears have materialized. A not so elite alliance of climate scientists and federal bureaucrats has captured public policy, demonizing CO2 and predicting a global disaster.  Around 2010, the disaster narrative shifted from "global warming" to "extreme weather."  That should have closed down the demonization of CO2.  It's not fair to keep changing disasters.  But they had to change their disaster, because global warming stopped beginning in 1998.  By 2010, the revision of the predicted disaster was well underway.

The failure of global warming to continue after 1998 is powerful evidence that the theories predicting disastrous global warming from CO2 are simply wrong and that the amount of warming that might happen is likely negligible or beneficial.  Global environmental data suggests that global warming is a scare story whose time has passed. The failure of the globe to warm for the last two decades is validated by satellite temperature measurements, the most reliable form.

In 2015, an attempt was made to erase the global warming pause by re-analyzing ocean temperatures.  That attempt has been discredited by angry whistleblowers.

Psychologically, extreme weather is a good choice for a disaster. It seems that weather is becoming more extreme because the memory of previous extreme weather episodes fades with time.  Scientifically, extreme weather clashes with global warming.  According to global warming theory, the poles are supposed to warm more than the tropics, decreasing the temperature difference between the tropics and the poles.  But weather is driven by that temperature difference.  Less temperature difference due to global warming should result in less energy available to drive weather.  But extreme weather is an elastic concept.  If the weather is nice and uneventful for long periods, that is extreme, too.  In the U.S., it is clear that extreme weather is decreasing.

The promoters of dubious science like to add conspiracy theories to discredit objections.  Anyone who disagrees with them is part of the conspiracy.  In the case of global warming skeptics, they are supposedly part of a conspiracy promoted by the fossil fuel companies.

The Harvard professor Naomi Oreskes deserves the title of global warming conspiracy queen.  According to Dr. Oreskes, the oil companies, in league with certain right-wing scientists, belonging to the military-industrial complex, are plotting to spread disinformation critical of the absolutely clear and true science of global warming that has been devised by very sincere and nice scientists.  She even made a movie about it.

Dr. Oreskes should get in touch with the many inventors of high-mileage carburetors whose inventions are allegedly being suppressed by the oil companies.  Also interesting are the people who claim that General Motors bought up and closed down all the trolley car lines so people would have to buy cars and buses.

The organization that hates coal more than any other is the Sierra Club.  Every scrap of literature produced by the Sierra Club on the subject of coal includes a picture of a backlit smokestack.  By photographing a smokestack emitting harmless condensing steam with the sun behind the smokestack, the steam can be made to look like black smoke.

It is rare to see black smoke coming from a smokestack.  Polluting smokestacks disappeared many decades ago.  Below is a picture of the John W. Turk generating plant in Arkansas.  Nothing visible comes out of the smokestack even while it is burning 300 tons of coal per hour.  Noxious substances in the flue gas have been scrubbed down to a low level by pollution control equipment.

In a modern plant that burns coal to generate electricity, the principal polluting substances - sulfur, particulates, nitrogen oxides, and mercury - are removed from the flue gas and reduced to low levels before the gas enters the smokestack. The ash left over after the coal is burned is buried in a safe landfill.  In spite of being overregulated by the government, and demonized by the Sierra Club, modern coal plants are highly reliable and generate electricity cleanly and cheaply.  The carbon dioxide emitted is harmless and increases agricultural productivity.

By using coal to generate electricity, natural gas, a premium fuel, can be reserved for low-duty cycle, peaking power plants, for powering transportation, for domestic heating, or to be exported to customers in Asia.  Natural gas should not be squandered by using it to generate base load electricity when vast coal supplies are available.

But, if you listen to the Sierra Club, coal is a dirty and outdated fuel.  Rather than suggesting natural gas or nuclear, the normal alternatives to coal, the Sierra Club wants us to use windmills to generate electricity.  The Sierra Club is especially interested in offshore wind:

Offshore wind produces no air or water pollution as it generates electricity. Coal plants, by contrast, pollute our air with soot and smog that cause or worsen respiratory illnesses, heart disease, and asthma. Asthma from coal plant pollution is estimated to cause3,000,000 lost work days and 554,000 asthma attacks each year, 26,000 of which are severe enough to require an emergency room visit. Coal plants also dirty our water with toxic mercury that can cause birth defects, neurological disorders, and developmental delays in children.

The medical claims that the Sierra Club attributes to modern coal use are false or at least astronomically exaggerated.  Note the fake, nearly exact numbers for asthma attacks and emergency room visits.

The problem with wind power is that it stops when the wind stops.  You have to have alternative plants to take up the load. With wind power, you don't replace the fossil fuel infrastructure.  It keeps on working, as a backup, part-time and at great cost.


If THIS isn’t evidence of SABOTAGE against Trump, I don’t know what it is

By Allen West

I was driving down I-45 from Dallas to Houston Friday morning I heard this very disturbing news.

As reported by The Week, “In a last-ditch effort to block the confirmation of President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency director nominee Scott Pruitt, EPA employees have resorted to calling their senators.

(Ahead of) Pruitt’s confirmation vote… employees at the agency (were) growing increasingly worried about the possibility of a new boss who has vowed to “get rid of” the EPA and who sued the EPA “at least 14 times” while he was Oklahoma’s attorney general, The New York Times reported.

“It seems like Trump and Pruitt want a complete reversal of what EPA has done. I don’t know if there’s any other agency that’s been so reviled,” said EPA lawyer Nicole Cantello. “So it’s in our interests to do this.”

The bold and blatant effort is out of the ordinary, and perhaps unprecedented. “I’ve been here for 30 years, and I’ve never called my senator about a nominee before,” an EPA employee in North Carolina told The New York Times. Former EPA employee Judith Enck said the rebellion reveals how desperate EPA employees are to block Pruitt. “EPA staff are pretty careful. They’re risk-averse,” Enck said. “If people are saying and doing things like this, it’s because they’re really concerned.”
Former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt was indeed confirmed as the new Director of the EPA on Friday, obviously to the chagrin of the employees of the agency he’s about to lead.
What type of bizarro world are we living in where government employees of an agency are now calling to block the nominations of their future boss? Haven’t these folks EVER heard of the Hatch Act (which prevents government employees from lobbying)?

This is purely political activity and it should not and must not be tolerated. However, this abhorrent behavior has been playing out quite often in these early days of the Trump administration. There’ve been reported instances of similar actions in the Department of Defense and State, and we all know someone is leaking classified information to the liberal progressive media in order to undermine — no, sabotage — the peaceful transition of government.

These are government employees whose salaries are paid for by the American taxpayer. They should not be using their positions as political platforms, which is what the Hatch Act seeks to prevent. This just goes to further lend credibility to this belief that there’s some sort of residual rear guard, Obama shadow government left in place to create chaos for the incoming Trump administration.

Can you just imagine if, in February 2009, there were government agency employees calling their Senators, demanding they block Obama cabinet and agency appointees? The liberal progressive media would be going apoplectic! Instead they’re busy frothing over President Trump’s impromptu press conference from Thursday. Yes, it is the media’s fault they’re losing credibility and are hardly trusted. A story such as this should be receiving immense coverage, but instead, these rogue employees are being heralded as heroes and courageous by the leftists.

It’s time some very serious actions take place, and the government unions are not going to like what I say. These folks cannot see themselves any longer as being impervious to suffering any consequences to their actions. Not just this, but also the failures of government inefficiency — a reason why there are so many government hired contractors.

These government employees must be fired.

They cannot operate in this realm of feeling “untouchable” any longer. Their paychecks are signed by us, the American taxpayer. They don’t work for any political party, cause, or in advancement of an ideology. They are part of the swamp, the bureaucratic administrative state, and there is no place more indicative of that than the IRS and the EPA. This agency in the past eight years was used as an ideological agenda weapon of mass destruction.


US Congress launches a probe into climate data that duped world leaders over global warming

Revelations by the Mail on Sunday about how world leaders were misled over global warming by the main source of climate data have triggered a probe by the US Congress.

Republican Lamar Smith, who chairs the influential House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology, announced the inquiry last week in a letter to Benjamin Friedman, acting chief of the organisation at the heart of the MoS disclosures, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

He renewed demands, first made in 2015, for all internal NOAA documents and communications between staff behind a controversial scientific paper, which made a huge impact on the Paris Agreement on climate change of that year, signed by figures including David Cameron and Barack Obama.

The paper – dubbed the ‘Pausebuster’ – claimed that contrary to what scientists had been saying for several years, there was no ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in the rate of global warming in the early 21st Century, and that in fact it had been taking place even faster than before.

The ‘pause’ had been seized on by climate sceptics, because throughout the period, carbon dioxide emissions continued to rise.

This month, this newspaper revealed evidence from a whistleblower, Dr John Bates, who until the end of 2016 was one of two NOAA ‘principal scientists’ working on climate change, showing that the paper based its claims on an ‘unverified’ and experimental dataset measuring land temperatures, and on a then newly issued sea-temperature dataset that is now to be withdrawn and replaced because it exaggerates both the scale and speed of warming.

The ‘Pausebuster’ paper’s claims were trumpeted around the world when it was published by the journal Science in June 2015, six months before the UN Paris climate-change conference. Its assertions were highlighted in scientific briefings to officials who hammered out the Agreement – which commits the developed world to sweeping greenhouse-gas emissions cuts and pledges an additional £80 billion every year in ‘climate-related’ aid to poor nations.

In his letter to NOAA, Congressman Smith expresses frustration that previous demands for documents about the Pausebuster were not met, although his committee took the unusual step of issuing a legal subpoena. NOAA’s decision to withhold the documents was, he wrote, ‘without any justification in law’.

As for the revelations by this newspaper, Mr Smith said they ‘raise additional questions as to whether the science at NOAA is objective and free from political interference’. NOAA has said it intends to bring in ‘independent outside parties’ to investigate the Pausebuster and the flawed datasets.

Last week Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring at the UK Met Office, admitted that notwithstanding the Pausebuster, it was clear ‘the slowdown hasn’t gone away’.

The ‘pause’ is clearly visible in the Met Office’s ‘HadCRUT 4’ climate dataset, calculated independently of NOAA.

Since record highs caused last year by an ‘el Nino’ sea-warming event in the Pacific, HadCRUT 4 has fallen by more than half a degree Celsius, and its value for the world average temperature in January 2017 was about the same as January 1998.


Polar bear numbers still on the rise

Polar bear populations are still growing despite global warming, according to new research.

The new population estimates from the 2016 Scientific Working Group are somewhere between 22,633 to 32,257 bears, which is a net increase from the 2015 number of 22,000 to 31,000. The current population numbers are a sharp increase from 2005’s, which stated only 20,000 to 25,000 bears remained — those numbers were a major increase from estimates that only 8,000 to 10,000 bears remained in the late 1960s.

Until the new study, bear subpopulations in the Baffin Bay and Kane Basin (KB) were thought to be in decline due to over-hunting and global warming. The new report indicates this is not the case.

Scientists are increasingly realizing that polar bears are much more resilient to changing levels of sea ice than environmentalists previously believed, and numerous healthy populations are thriving.

Predictions that bears would die due to a lack of sea ice have continuously not come to pass. Recent rumors about polar bear extinction underscore another time when scientists discovered the creatures possess higher resilience to changing levels of sea ice than previously believed. Another new study by Canadian scientists found “no evidence” polar bears are currently threatened by global warming.

“We see reason for concern, but find no reliable evidence to support the contention that polar bears are currently experiencing a climate crisis,” Canadian scientists wrote in their study, published in the journal Ecology and Evolution.

Polar bears became an icon for environmentalists who claimed that melting Arctic sea ice could kill thousands of bears. Former Vice President Al Gore heavily promoted this viewpoint by featuring polar bears swimming for their lives and drowning in his 2006 film on global warming.

Fears about global warming’s impact on polar bears even spurred the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to say that the bear was “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act in 2008. Polar bears were the first species to be listed over possibly being harmed in the future by global warming.

Scientists, however, have increasingly been questioning alarmists as there are way more polar bears alive today than 40 years ago.

In fact, polar bears have likely survived past ice-free periods in the Arctic. There is no evidence of large scale marine life extinctions in the Arctic in the past 1.5 million years, despite the Arctic going through prolonged periods with no summer ice cover.



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

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


19 February, 2017

Sea ice around Antarctica hits record low as NASA captures the moment massive iceberg the size of Manhattan breaks away from  giant glacier

Once again a single event is being hailed as proof of global warming.  But you cannot logically do that.  A global theory requires global evidence.  You can have warming in one place while it is cooling elsewhere -- for no net effect.  And it IS cooling elsewhere.  I repeat once again the graph showing ice GROWTH in Greenland.  The authors below slide around the Greenland data by saying: "At the other end of the planet, ice covering the Arctic Ocean has set repeated lows in recent years."  It sure has -- in recent years but not this year.  Greenies sure can be slippery.

And breaking ice shelves of course do not raise the water level by one iota.  They are FLOATING ice.  Check your Archimedes.

Also note that West Antarctica is normally more prone to melting than the rest of Antarctica -- probably due to greater subsurface vulcanism

Sea ice around Antarctica has shrunk to the smallest annual extent on record after years of resisting a trend of man-made global warming, preliminary U.S. satellite data has revealed.

Ice floating around the frozen continent usually melts to its smallest for the year around the end of February, the southern hemisphere summer, before expanding again as the autumn chill sets in.

This year, sea ice extent contracted to 2.287 million square kilometres (883,015 square miles) on Feb. 13, according to daily data from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

That extent is a fraction smaller than a previous low of 2.290 million sq kms (884,173 square miles) recorded on Feb. 27, 1997, in satellite records dating back to 1979.

It comes as NASA revealed stunning images of a huge area of ice breaking off from the Pine Island Glacier.

Pine Island Glacier is one of the main glaciers responsible for moving ice from the interior of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet to the ocean.

The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured these images of Pine Island Glacier's floating edge before and after the recent break.

The top image shows the area on January 24, 2017, while the second image shows the same area on January 26.

About a kilometer or two of ice appears to have calved (broken off) from the shelf's front.

Mark Serreze, director of the NSIDC, said he would wait for a few days' more measurements to confirm the record low.

'But unless something funny happens, we're looking at a record minimum in Antarctica. Some people say it's already happened,' he told Reuters.

'We tend to be conservative by looking at five-day running averages.'

In many recent years, the average extent of sea ice around Antarctica has tended to expand despite the overall trend of global warming, blamed on a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, mainly from burning fossil fuels.

People sceptical of mainstream findings by climate scientists have often pointed to Antarctic sea ice as evidence against global warming. Some climate scientists have linked the paradoxical expansion to shifts in winds and ocean currents.

'We've always thought of the Antarctic as the sleeping elephant starting to stir. Well, maybe it's starting to stir now,' Serreze said.

World average temperatures climbed to a record high in 2016 for the third year in a row. Climate scientists say warming is causing more extreme days of heat, downpours and is nudging up global sea levels.

At the other end of the planet, ice covering the Arctic Ocean has set repeated lows in recent years.

Combined, the extent of sea ice at both ends of the planet is about 2 million sq kms (772,200 square miles) less than the 1981-2010 averages for mid-February, roughly the size of Mexico or Saudi Arabia.

The shocking new NASA images show the reality of the problem, as Pine Island Glacier has shed another block of ice into Antarctic waters.

The loss was tiny compared to the icebergs that broke off in 2014 and 2015, but the event is further evidence of the ice shelf's fragility.


Canada: The public backlash rises as the credibility of high-cost low-carbon policies collapses

Despite what you might hear from certain Canadian politicians, governments everywhere are starting to back away from anti-carbon policies as the backlash from voters continues to mount. We see it in Germany where they’ve begun returning to coal power. We see it in the cancellation of green subsidies in the U.K., Portugal and Spain. And there are even signs of it in Ontario, which suspended plans for $3.8 billion in new renewable contracts.

Something largely lost in the media flurry over President Trump’s executive orders was the Republican Congress’s unravelling of notable fossil fuel regulations. The House passed two resolutions last week: one rescinding “war-on-coal” water-quality standards, and another rescinding a rule requiring energy companies to report payments made to governments to extract oil, gas and minerals.

This is just the start. The Republicans will roll back more regulations. President Trump will likely withdraw from the Paris COP21 agreement with its weak, King-Canute-like commitments to keep temperatures rising no more than 1.5 degrees by 2100. The United States will likely decline to advance climate policies for at least four more years. But is it behaving any differently than other countries?

In a recent National Bureau of Economic Research paper, Yale University economist William Nordhaus, a strong proponent of climate policies, shows that government efforts have globally done little to reduce GHG emissions. Only the EU has implemented national carbon policies and even those were very modest. Nordhaus aptly calls all the empty talk from so many governments, from South America to Scandinavia, the “Rhetoric of Nations.”

Nordhaus argues that the original Kyoto accord target of limiting temperature increases to no more than two degrees by 2100 is now infeasible. An increase limited to two-and-a-half degrees is technically feasible but “would require extreme, virtually universal global policy measures.” His optimal path to achieve decarbonization with more aggressive policies, without completely suffocating economic growth, requires letting the global temperature rise by an expected 3.5 degrees by 2100.

Governments have a major credibility problem: they’re overpromising and under-delivering. As I’ve written in this space before, Canada’s “commitment” to reduce GHG emissions by 30 per cent from 2005 levels is certain to fail, even if the optimistic environment minister insists that target is but a “minimum.”

There is, of course, a reason why governments are backing away from carbon policies: voters don’t like them. This becomes apparent the moment the public understands that increasing carbon prices comes at a cost. And the phase-out of oil, gas and coal jobs don’t end up replaced by green jobs, as politicians promised they would.

Take the example of Ontario’s renewable energy policies, which have imposed high energy costs by phasing-out coal and subsidizing wind and solar energy. Sole-sourced, non-competitive contracts awarded to producers of wind and solar power have become extremely expensive. Adding to that cost, for every megawatt of intermittent solar and wind energy added to the grid, another megawatt (or close to it) of reliable base-load power — natural gas or nuclear — must be added as well, for those many days without enough wind or sun. When there’s too much wind, solar or other power, as often happens, Ontario has had to pay producers to curtail production, or dump electricity at a loss into the markets of neighbouring competitors.


Now trees are bad?

Scotland was originally heavily forested

Some of Scotland’s greatest landscapes could be threatened by plans to expand tree coverage to a quarter of the country, according to an alliance of countryside campaigners.

The Scottish government has set an ambitious target of increasing woodland cover from 17 per cent to 25 per cent by 2050. The SNP administration has also pledged to plant 10,000 extra hectares of trees by 2022 as part of its strategy to combat climate change.

However, groups representing mountaineers and gamekeepers have forged an unlikely partnership to oppose the plans.

Mountaineering Scotland (MS) and the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) have submitted a joint letter expressing concern to Roseanna Cunningham, the environment secretary.


Britain receives final warning on ‘shameful’ air pollution levels

The European Commission has threatened Britain with court action and hundreds of millions of pounds in fines for persistently breaching EU limits on air pollution.

In a move described as shameful for the UK, the commission sent a “final warning” yesterday, accusing the country of failing to address breaches in 16 areas, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow.

Britain is one of five EU countries served with the warning over illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide, which causes heart and lung diseases. Diesel cars — representing a third of those on British roads — are a big source of NO2. Air pollution from sources including road traffic, industry, farming and construction sites is linked to the early deaths of about 40,000 people a year in Britain.


Could the EPA be gone by this time next year?

Liberals are losing their minds over a new bill in Congress, and it’s only one sentence long. It reads:

“The Environmental Protection Agency shall terminate on December 31, 2018.”

Introduced by freshman Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), it comes after a series of potentially deadly cases in which people and the environment were poisoned by the EPA. Not only did EPA officials spill three million gallons of toxic waste into a Colorado river, they were caught conducting banned human medical experiments in which people were forced to inhale poisonous car exhaust, using the same methods used in suicides.

Gaetz’s legislation has three co-sponsors: Reps. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), and Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.)



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

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


17 February, 2017

Another brainless Warmist overgeneralization

It never stops.  Warmists point to some unusual event somewhere and conclude from that that the globe is warming.  But climate is NOT uniform.  The temperature can be rising in one place while it is falling elsewhere.  And that is what we see below.  Part of Arctic Norway has warmed up a bit and that is presented as evidence of global warming. 

In fact other parts of the Arctic -- Greenland -- are getting colder.  See the ice cover graph below.  These attempts to generalize from one instance are statistical and brainless rubbish, albeit rubbish that is all to common among Warmists.  Global evidence is needed to support a global theory

In the Arctic something odd is taking place. Temperatures in Spitzbergen, on the Norwegian island of Svalbard, hit a balmy 4C on Monday,

At this time of year they should be around minus 16C. Instead locals are having to adapt to a fast-changing environment, one that leaves Norway’s environment minister Vidar Helgesen in a sweat.

“What is happening now is a harbinger of things to come, we are seeing drastic changes,” he tells Climate Home in an interview.

“One of our major glaciers is retreating one metre a day, two kilometres in five years. It’s happening very fast and the world should take note.

“This will happen faster in the Arctic. We know a 2C rise in global average temperatures means up to 4C in the Arctic.”2

The unusual conditions should alarm all governments, he says, given the Arctic’s influence on global weather patterns and the evolving links between climate change and issues such as conflict and migration.


Trump's likely science adviser calls climate scientists 'glassy-eyed cult'

The man tipped as frontrunner for the role of science adviser to Donald Trump has described climate scientists as “a glassy-eyed cult” in the throes of a form of collective madness.

William Happer, an eminent physicist at Princeton University, met Trump last month to discuss the post and says that if he were offered the job he would take it. Happer is highly regarded in the academic community, but many would view his appointment as a further blow to the prospects of concerted international action on climate change.

“There’s a whole area of climate so-called science that is really more like a cult,” Happer told the Guardian. “It’s like Hare Krishna or something like that. They’re glassy-eyed and they chant. It will potentially harm the image of all science.”

Trump has previously described global warming as “very expensive … bullshit” and has signalled a continued hardline stance since taking power. He has nominated the former Texas governor Rick Perry, a staunch climate sceptic, as secretary of energy and hopes to put the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) under the leadership of Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general, who has been one of the agency’s most hostile critics.

John Holdren, Barack Obama’s science adviser, said Happer’s outspoken opinions would be a “substantial handicap” for a job that has traditionally involved delivering mainstream scientific opinion to the heart of policymaking.

“Every national academy of science agrees that the science is solid, that climate change is real,” he said. “To call this a cult is absurd and … an insult to the people who have done this work.”

Happer also supports a controversial crackdown on the freedom of federal agency scientists to speak out about their findings, arguing that mixed messages on issues such as whether butter or margarine is healthier, have led to people disregarding all public health information.

“So many people are fed up of listening to the government lie to them about margarine and climate change that when something is actually true and beneficial they don’t listen,” he said, citing childhood vaccines as an example. “The government should have a reputation of being completely reliable about facts – real facts.”

Happer dismissed concerns that Trump is “anti-science”, saying he had a positive impression of the president during their January meeting. “He asked good questions – he was very attentive, actually,” he said.

Climate change was mentioned but was not the main focus of discussions, according to Happer, who revealed that Trump had expressed support for solar energy in areas like Arizona “where it makes sense”.

“His comments were that of a technically literate person,” he said. “He wasn’t ideologically opposed to renewables; he wasn’t ideologically in favour of them either.”

Unlike many of his scientific peers, Happer is in favour of contentious legislation aimed at reining in the ability of federal agency staff to hold press conferences, give television interviews and promote their findings on official websites.

The “Secret Science Reform Bill”, which is being pushed by the Texas Republican Lamar Smith, chairman of the House science, space and technology Committee, would require federal agencies to publish all the raw data underpinning any proposed regulations and for new findings to be scrutinised extensively by outside experts before being announced. However, critics view the bill as an attempt to strip federal agencies of autonomy and reduce their regulatory powers.

“There is this special need for government science to be especially clean and without fault,” said Happer. “It’s OK to have press conferences, but before you do that you should have the findings carefully vetted.”

When asked for examples of where the current vetting process has failed, Happer cited a recent controversy surrounding a high-profile paper published by National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) scientists showing that global surface temperatures had risen again after temporarily levelling off.

Earlier this month, a retired Noaa scientist, Robert Bates, accused his former colleagues of rushing out the paper ahead of the UN conference, prioritising political impact over scientific rigour – although Bates later clarified that he had an issue with timing and transparency rather than “tampering with data”.

“This disappearance of the hiatus in global warming, which was trotted out just before the [UN] Paris conference … it was clearly just a political fanfare,” said Happer. “We shouldn’t be doing that. They were fiddling with the temperature records to make the hiatus go away.”

Happer argues that climate monitoring, such as the collection of CO2 and atmospheric temperature data, is valuable and should be continued. However, he claims that the overall threat posed by global warming has been overplayed by scientists swayed by a political agenda and power-hungry civil servants.

“There’s a huge amount of money that we spend on saving the planet,” he said. “If it turns out that the planet doesn’t need saving as much as we thought, well, there are other ways you could spend the money.

“When you talk about fossil fuel companies being motivated, well, there’s nobody more motivated than the people working for the federal government,” he added. “You can’t rise in the American bureaucracy without some threat to address.”

Happer said he began to question the emerging consensus view on climate change while working as director of research at the Department of Energy as part of the George W Bush administration. Climate scientists would “grudgingly” present their work to administrators, he claims, while those in other fields would share their results with enthusiasm.

“I would ask questions but they were evasive and wouldn’t answer,” he said. “This experience really soured me on the community. I started reading up and I realised why they weren’t answering the questions: because they didn’t have good answers. It was really at that point that I began to get seriously worried about climate as a science.”

Concerns about the Trump administration’s apparent disregard for mainstream scientific thinking on climate change has triggered a wave of activism, including plans for a science march in various cities.

However, Happer said that the public, who may view scientists as part of a privileged elite, may be less sympathetic.

“There’s a potential downside [to the march] of them being seen as a greedy bunch of spoiled people,” he said. “I don’t think they’re that way myself, but it could be easily twisted into that kind of narrative.”


What are they trying to hide?

The children of the light love the light, but the children of the darkness love the darkness -- John 3:19-21

Judicial Watch, a conservative group, has used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to sue for the privileged email correspondence of nine climate scientists employed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

On January 27, 2017, the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) filed a brief in the District of Columbia federal District Court urging the court to protect the communications between these scientists.

Why Do These Emails Matter?

In 2013, a leaked draft of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report stated that the rate of global warming had slowed between 1998 and 2012. Though the final report stated that “trends based on short records are very sensitive to the beginning and end dates and do not in general reflect long-term climate trends,” climate contrarians latched onto the idea of a “pause” in warming to bolster their position: If global warming has stopped, there is no need to curb fossil fuel use or take any other action to combat climate change.

The hiatus was rebutted in 2015 when Thomas Karl and his colleagues at NOAA published a paper in Science based on updated, more accurate data that demonstrated that there was no pause in global warming. In fact, warming from 2000 to 2015 was at least as great if not greater than that of the last half of the 20th century.

Other researchers have corroborated Karl et al.’s conclusions. Most recently, a 2017 Science Advances study by Zeke Hausfather, a climate scientist at Berkeley Earth, validated Karl et al.’s findings using independent data from satellites, buoys and free-floating Argo floats, and reached the same conclusions about the rate of global warming.

Soon after Karl et al. published their study, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology — who disputes the scientific consensus on climate change — subpoenaed the scientists’ documents and communications. He alleged that NOAA had readjusted historical temperature readings to suit the Obama administration’s political agenda, that the scientists had engaged in “suspicious” behavior, and that this had “broad national implications.”

NOAA supplied some documents to Smith, but refused to turn over the scientists’ confidential email correspondence.

In late 2015, Judicial Watch sued for the scientists’ emails under the Freedom of Information Act, a law designed to ensure transparency in government. Judicial Watch states it “is investigating how NOAA collects and disseminates climate data that is used in determining global climate change.”


Plastic bags cause global warming?

Like how?

New York City shoppers can put away their coin purses if they want to continue to use plastic bags. Gov. Cuomo Tuesday signed a bill to impose a moratorium blocking the city from imposing a controversial 5-cent fee on plastic disposable bags.

Cuomo, who released a lengthy statement on the issue, said the city law that was due to go into effect on Wednesday was “deeply flawed” even if the intent to clean up the environment was a good one.

The governor said he’s creating a task force to come up with a uniformed statewide plan to deal with “the plastic bag problem.”

Gov. Cuomo torn on whether to block plastic bag fee
"New York — like the rest of the nation — is currently struggling with the environmental impact of plastic and paper bag waste, particularly with a focus on plastic bags,” Cuomo said. “Plastic bags are convenient, but not without financial and environmental costs.”

Supporters of the moratorium criticized the bag fee as nothing more than a tax that would hurt lower-income people.

“I'm absolutely thrilled that the madness has been put on hold and I hope that during the next year that maybe we can come up with something that is more acceptable to both sides of this,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn).

Opponents of the delay, including Mayor de Blasio, had argued the fee would benefit the environment.

Brooklyn assemblyman wants plastic bags banned in New York
De Blasio, appearing on NY1 Tuesday night, called the moratorium a mistake “because we need to do something to address global warming right here in this city.”

He said the goal of the fee, which he made clear was initially a City Council idea, was to change people’s behavior to get away from using plastic bags, which clog landfills.

“Now we have a status quo that’s not going to get us anywhere,” de Blasio said.

City Council spokeswoman Robin Levine accused Cuomo and the state Legislature of imposing their will on the issue over that of the City Council.

NYC's proposed bag fee divides father, son who are Albany pols
"Instead of protecting the autonomy of the New York City Council and our legislative process, Gov. Cuomo has added to the rampant dysfunction that is Albany by putting cheap politics ahead of our environment and the will of the people who actually live in New York City,” Levine said.

Levine said that the Council would have been willing to earmark a portion of the bag fee for environmental purposes had Cuomo and the Legislature granted the authority to do so.

“The New York City Council's Bring Your Own Bag law would have stopped the scourge of plastic bags in our City, and this ridiculous state law undermines New York City's authority, hurts New Yorkers and sets a dangerous precedent for our city and every other locality in the state,” she said.

Cuomo, who last week called it a “complicated” issue, legally had until Saturday to sign or veto the moratorium bill that the Legislature passed last week.

But with the city law imposing the bag fee set to go into effect on Wednesday, Cuomo acted Tuesday.

“While there are no doubt institutional political issues at play, and while New York City's law is an earnest attempt at a real solution, it is also undeniable that the City's bill is deeply flawed,” Cuomo said.

He called the provision that merchants keep the 5-cent fee as profit “the most objectionable.”


The Australian Left's 50 per cent renewable energy aim suddenly gets complicated by the political heat

Labor’s renewable energy policy used to be so simple it could be reduced to street-march chants.

“What do we want?” “Fifty per cent renewable energy.” “When do we want it?” “2030.”

But now it has been complicated by the intensification of the political debate over energy security, and Labor has had to lose the simplicity of a “target” with the addition of terms such as “aspirations” and “goals”.

It no longer sounds like a guaranteed destination.

“What do we want?” “An aspirational approach to renewable energy goals.” “When do we want it?” “Some time in the future we hope but first we have to see where we are in 2020.”

Try chanting that. In fact, try defending and defining it in a political debate.

“What we have is, there are two Labor policies: there’s the renewable energy target and there’s the goal of getting to 50 per cent renewable energy,” shadow treasurer Chris Bowen told Sky News yesterday.

“Now 50 per cent renewable energy is underpinned by a range of policy measures.”

Tested on definitions Mr Bowen said: “Well, there’s the renewable energy target and then we have the 50 per cent aspiration which is separate to our renewable energy target.”

Today opposition environment spokesman Mark Butler had a crack at explaining the policy but also seemed to add qualification to qualification.

The aim, from what he told Radio National, seems to be to promote the shift to renewables with the wish and the hope the momentum will produce the goal in 15 years. The hope is that a combination of early backing and the retirement of fossil fuel generators will see Australia coasting to 50 per cent renewable energy use.

Well, that’s the aspiration. There is not dedicated plan to fix a target for 2030.

First task is to reach 23.5 per cent renewables by 2020, as proposed by the Paris Agreement Australian signed last year. By then, the task will have been done, said Mr Butler.

“By the 2020s though, this technology on all the modelling will be able to stand on its own two feet, compete in the market without subsidy from government or without subsidy effectively from consumers through a government legislated scheme, providing that there is a proper policy framework that gives investors a long term price investment signal that is compliant with our carbon pollution reduction efforts,” he said.

That momentum combined with emission reduction targets, Mr Butler said, “will require, in my very clear view, about half of our electricity by 2030 will be zero emissions”.

The political debate, which has been condemned by industry and the ACTU, also had hidden the fact there isn’t much difference between Labor and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Mr Turnbull said Monday: “Renewables have a very big place in Australia’s energy mix and it will get bigger. The cost of renewables is coming down.”

The key difference is the Government has yet to offer a “target” as the Prime Minister knows that would require some form of emissions trading, and Coalition colleagues wouldn’t allow that.



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

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


16 February, 2017

More on the Bates revelations about the NOAA paper by Tom Karl

The writer below says that the Bates revelations have one and one only important implication:  That unvalidated data was used.  In my career as a psychometrician, I too often railed against the unvalidated data often used by my fellow social scientists.  So I agree that use of unvalidated data means that the conclusions of that particular study cannot be accepted. 

I don't think the problem ends there, however.  I think it unlikely that the data used CAN be validated.  The revelation about the best measurements of sea surface temperature not being used do, I think, have that implication. They imply that the data body used was constructed to defraud

It is sometimes said science is all about data… observation, measurement, experiment, measurement… But that is NOT the whole story. To ensure data is reliable and understood, we’ve developed standard units of measure, and document procedures used to obtain and record measurements. The intention is to make sure BOTH the data AND collection methods can be reliably understood and used by others. The fleshed out version of this is the scientific method, and is integral to, and indispensable in the advance of science. It works because it helps eliminate bias and protect the integrity of both data and process. Any departure from rigorous adherence to these principles may or may not adversely affect data. But it increases the risk, and introduces doubt as to the overall integrity. And any subsequent reliance on this data must not assert confidence levels beyond the weakest preceding link. For example, it would be inaccurate or dishonest to claim 100% certainty on results that can only be replicated 50% of the time.

So let’s wind forward…

There has been much suck-and-blow blather in the aftermath of the David Rose column on the whistleblower allegations by former NOAA scientist John Bates. I won’t rehash the article, other than to say Rose does seem eager to sensationalize speculative results rather than the details, but that in no way negates the seriousness of the allegations stated. What I want to discuss is the allegations and impacts. Rose is not the story. Bates is not the story. The story is the circumvention of procedures put in place to protect the integrity of the data, and hence the reputation of the NOAA. From John Bates:

Predictably, both the “consensus” and skeptic camps largely missed the mark in jumping to defend or attack positions. There were a flurry of hastily written newspaper and blog reports on “bad data“, “data manipulation“, and “data tampering“. Bates’ report didn’t say data was deliberately compromised (he mentioned a “thumb on the scale” which he later seemed to walk back), but that the presentation may have been biased, and adherence to protocol was haphazard. These of course are different things. This opened the door for the usual suspects from the other side to rush out reports showing the NOAA data was largely in agreement with other datasets, directing the discussion away from the presentation and protocol questions to “The data checks out. See? No problem.” This was cleverly, cynically, and all too accurately highlighted by Gavin Schmidt:

Let there be NO mistake: Regardless of the best efforts of Schmidt and friends to paint this as just deniers denying, if NOAA followed THEIR OWN established protocols, there would be no story.

Now the hordes of hyperactive and secure-in-their-ignorance columnists, tweeters and bloggers from the periphery join in with escalations of character attacks, dishonest misdirections, and deliberately uncharitable interpretations of innocuous statements. The Guardian chipped in with a nastily biased bit:

Referring back to the Science Insider piece…

Just one little problem: They provide no evidence that Bates said anything about being wary of skeptics. He said “people”. And as both skeptic and consensus camps have seemingly derailed in their rush to the wrong conclusion, it could easily mean either, or more likely both.

I could go on at length about the ridiculous obfuscation and mean spirited BS thrown about during any attempted discussion of the allegations (most of which have not been denied, but rather downplayed) but I’ll save that for a separate post. That’s just another distraction from the real issue at hand.

No, the issues are as Bates outlined: “Ethical standards must be maintained”. There can be no confidence in data without confidence in the procedures surrounding collection and storage of data. And persons or organizations that place no value in these procedures further erode confidence. This happens repeatedly:

This is damaging to public confidence in climate science in particular, and government programs in general. And rightfully so. There are many billions in public funds that need to be allocated to the best possible effect. At a minimum, these continued scandals damage public willingness to invest resources required. And potentially more damaging, errors lead to resources that could have been better spent (poverty, etc) being wasted to no benefit.

Perhaps in this case no data was harmed. I hope not. But if we don’t take these matters seriously eventually there will be damages. And not just to a database.


Hans Rosling: humanism by numbers

The Swedish statistician was a powerful antidote to our Malthusian times

Hans Rosling, the Swedish doctor and statistician who died on Tuesday, has rightly been the subject of glowing obituaries ever since. With great imagination and humour, Rosling made understanding the world through the use of statistics more enjoyable and more enlightening than perhaps anyone else. But while his ability to bring numbers to life was a great talent, the message he conveyed about the state of humanity was even more important.

Essentially, Rosling told a story of a world in which things have been getting better for almost everyone. In making this point, Rosling wasn’t alone. Others, like Indur Goklany, Matt Ridley and Steven Pinker (and, of course, spiked), have, in various ways, pointed out the benefits of a richer, better educated and more peaceful world. Nonetheless, Rosling was certainly rowing against the stream in an age where many of the elite and influential commentators were obsessed with climate change and overpopulation. Human beings were screwing up the planet on the one hand while, on the other, billions of people were doomed to lives that would be nasty, brutish and short.

Rosling pointed out the great strides that have been made in the past 200 years. In the early 19th century, almost everyone – apart from the very richest people on the planet – was poor and unhealthy. They had few possessions, no education and were destined to die young by modern standards. Living past 40 would be unusual. But thanks to the Industrial Revolution and continuing material progress, countries started to get richer and healthier, starting with the UK and the Netherlands, but soon spreading across Europe and America.

As former colonies achieved independence in the decades after the Second World War, they too started to become richer. Life expectancy has shot up in developing countries and they are, for the most part, converging with the living standards and longevity of the richest developed countries. Of course, there are still plenty of places where this needs to go a lot further – particularly poor countries that are blighted by war – but the trend is clear: things are getting better.

Moreover, Rosling was clear that it is industrialisation that we have to thank for all that. His entertaining TED talk about washing machines is a case in point. His eco-worrier students would proudly proclaim that they had forsworn the motor car for the sake of the planet. But as Rosling pointed out, every one of them still needed a washing machine. He recounted the moment in his childhood when his parents finally bought an automatic washing machine, an event so momentous that it demanded a family gathering. Just a couple of generations ago, his grandmother would have washed clothes by boiling water on a fire and scrubbing each garment by hand – still the greatest chore for billions of women around the world.

All that labour is saved thanks to electricity, running water and the liberation that is the washing machine. And the washing machine is in turn the product of a whole host of other industries from steel mills to chemical refineries. And what comes out of washing machines, he asked? Books. When women are freed from hours of laundry, they have time to read books to their children, offering another kind of liberation: education. The most pressing question we face, therefore, is how everyone on the planet can enjoy the freedom that comes from washing machines and other labour-saving devices.

This human-centred outlook was what made Rosling’s statistics and presentational skills matter. There are plenty of ways of making data look entertaining. Rosling’s contribution was to put that gift to the service of making the case for more development. The world’s most high-profile neo-Malthusians, Paul and Anne Ehrlich, did Rosling the greatest compliment by rubbishing his ideas, calling him ‘a confused statistician’ and claiming – as they have done for decades – that extreme poverty would be the lot of the great majority of humanity when the inevitable civilisational collapse occurs. Rosling showed that industrial and technological progress could solve the big problems facing humanity, if we didn’t do anything so stupid as to turn away from these powerful, welfare-enhancing tools.

The Ehrlichs are back in vogue, feted by the Royal Society – supposedly the bastion of rational, scientific thought. The leader of the UK’s main opposition party, Jeremy Corbyn, once signed a Commons motion that claimed that ‘humans represent the most obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised and lethal species ever to inhabit the planet’ and looked ‘forward to the day when the inevitable asteroid slams into the Earth and wipes them out thus giving nature the opportunity to start again’. The most backward, misanthropic ideas are still very much mainstream. Hans Rosling was a powerful antidote to such thinking and will be greatly missed. RIP.


Cutting carbon emissions in Mass. may increase them elsewhere

A Baker administration plan to cut harmful greenhouse gases could have the unintended consequence of boosting carbon emissions across the rest of New England, say some environmental advocates and representatives of the energy industry.

The plan was designed to comply with a landmark 2016 Supreme Judicial Court decision that requires specific limits on sources of greenhouse gases. But while the regulations might help the state curb emissions, they could cause electricity production to be diverted to less efficient power plants outside the state that might use more polluting energy sources, such as coal or oil, critics say.

At a recent hearing at the state Department of Environmental Protection, Dan Dolan, president of the New England Power Generators Association, called the proposed rules “fundamentally flawed.”

“While Massachusetts plants have their ability to operate severely curtailed, electricity demand will still have to be met,” said Dolan, who represents the state’s coal and natural gas industries. “So plants in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and other states that are less efficient and higher emitting will run more. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Environmental advocates acknowledge the proposed rules could, in the short term, increase emissions in neighboring states. They support the proposal overall, but are urging the state to revise the rules to make that less likely.

State officials declined to answer questions about the rules’ potential to increase emissions in other New England states, but issued this statement:

“Through a robust comment period and public hearings around the state, Mass. DEP looks forward to engaging with stakeholders in an effort to ensure that the final rules are thoughtfully designed and effectively implemented.”

The rules would require power plants in Massachusetts to reduce emissions 2.5 percent each year, starting in 2018. Once they reach their annual pollution limits, they would be required to shut down.

The regulations would also cap emissions for the state’s fleet of vehicles, other parts of the transportation sector, natural gas mains used by utilities, and gas-insulated switch gear, such as circuit breakers.

Critics say the draft regulations would ultimately force the operator of the regional grid to draw a greater portion of its electricity from dirtier plants. ISO New England, an independent company that runs the grid, must seek power from the most efficient plants — those that provide the cheapest electricity with the least emissions — before looking elsewhere.

When the company can no longer obtain energy from those sources to keep the lights on, it turns to the region’s remaining coal and oil plants, which pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Under the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, the state must reduce emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 percent below that threshold by 2050.

Last May, the state’s highest court ordered the Baker administration to limit overall emissions from specific sources, such as vehicles and power plants, and set annual limits on those emissions.

State officials say Massachusetts has already cut emissions by nearly 20 percent below 1990 levels. But environmental advocacy groups dispute that figure and say it doesn’t account for the closing of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in 2019, which is likely to result in more carbon emissions from other energy sources.

Concerns about rising emissions in New England aren’t hypothetical. In 2015, the year after the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant closed, the region saw emissions rise for the first time in five years.

Environmental advocates acknowledge that whatever increase in emissions elsewhere might result from Massachusetts’ rules, it would disappear when more energy from offshore wind, hydropower, and solar facilities is brought online. And the increase, known in the industry as “leakage,” would be minor, they say. Overall, they praise the scope of the proposed rules.

“It would be worth the possibility of a small rise in emissions, because we would be sending a clear, strong signal to the market that the future of power in Massachusetts will be clean and renewable,” said David Ismay, a senior attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation .

Ismay and other environmental advocates are drafting suggestions for revised regulations that they say would reduce the likelihood of a rise in emissions. Their plan would create a kind of auction system that would allow power plants to trade emission allowances. That would encourage the grid to use newer, more efficient plants, such as one recently built in Salem, they say.

The system would be similar to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program that allows plants across the region to swap pollution allowances.

“The leakage argument is historically something of a ‘sky is falling’ one that power companies frequently make in opposition to new climate initiatives, and was made by opponents” of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Ismay said.

Since the initiative began in 2008, it has led to reduced emissions and lower energy prices, said Peter Shattuck, director of the clean energy initiative at the Acadia Center, an environmental advocacy group in Boston.

“While there may be some offsetting increases in emissions beyond Massachusetts’ border, the Commonwealth has to set its own policy course,” Shattuck said. “If we’d been looking over [our] shoulder at what other states were doing, we might never have pursued health care reform, marriage equality, or the Global Warming Solutions Act itself.”

But power plant companies warn the proposed rules, which the state is required to issue in August, could threaten their viability in Massachusetts. Dynegy, a Houston energy company that owns nearly one-third of the state’s power plants, said the rules could force it to shutter its plants and eliminate hundreds of jobs.


British commuters warned of air pollution risk

Travelling by public transport exposes commuters to up to eight times as much air pollution as those who drive to work, a groundbreaking study found.

In the latest evidence of the health risks posed by rising traffic levels, researchers found that drivers commuting in diesel cars did the most harm to the wellbeing of other travellers — producing six times as much pollution as the average bus passenger.

The authors said that the results revealed a “violation of the core principle of environmental justice” because those who contributed most to air pollution in cities were least likely to suffer from it. People in poorer areas, who are more reliant on buses to get to work, suffer greater exposure than those in wealthier neighbourhoods, who are more likely to commute by car, according to the study by the University of Surrey.

Air pollution causes 40,000 premature deaths a year in Britain and diesel vehicles are a large contributor to the problem, producing high levels of particulates and toxic nitrogen oxides, which can cause respiratory disease and heart attacks. Of Britain’s 5.4 million asthma sufferers, two thirds say that poor air quality makes their condition worse.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, is due to introduce a £10 daily “toxicity charge” on pre-2005 diesel cars in central London this year and has called for a national scrappage scheme to encourage diesel drivers to buy cleaner vehicles. The government will publish a plan in April for tackling air pollution after the previous one was ruled inadequate by the High Court.

The latest study involved commuters wearing air pollution monitors who undertook hundreds of journeys by car, bus and Tube. Bus passengers were exposed to concentrations of particles, known as PM10, which were five times higher than those experienced by car commuters. Levels of PM2.5 fine particles, which can be more lethal as they are drawn deep into the lungs, were twice as high on buses as in cars. Bus journeys were typically 17-42 minutes longer than car journeys, meaning that bus passengers were exposed to higher levels of pollution for longer. Motorists tend to keep windows closed and are protected by filters stopping particles and dust from entering the interior. Bus passengers, by contrast, are subjected to pollution at stops when the doors are opened, often in places where queues of idling vehicles are pumping out high levels of toxic gas and particles.

Diesel buses on average produce three times as many particles per mile as diesel cars but they typically carry 20 times as many people.

The authors calculated that the emissions produced per person by a diesel car containing two people were six times higher than by a bus containing 40 people and travelling the same distance. Tube passengers had the shortest journeys but were exposed to eight times the level of PM10 pollution as car commuters and five times as much PM2.5 pollution.

The researchers did not measure pollution experienced by people who walked to work but said that they could experience high exposure because of the time spent beside traffic. The study found that passengers on the Underground’s District line, whose trains have closed windows, were exposed to far lower concentrations of particles than those on trains with open windows. Particle levels were much higher on trains with open windows in deep tunnels.

People using public transport were also exposed to more pollution than car commuters because they spent time at bus stops and at stations or walked on busy roads to complete their journeys, the study found. Levels of pollutants in the morning peak were up to 43 per cent higher than in the afternoon peak.

Prashant Kumar, who led the study published in the journal Environment International, said: “We found that there is definitely an element of environmental injustice among those commuting in London, with those who create the most pollution having the least exposure to it.”

Parts of southeastern England could experience high air pollution today because strongly easterly winds have swept pollutants across the Channel from the continent, the Met Office said.


The Carbon-Tax Scam

I have nothing but respect for former Secretaries of State Jim Baker and George Shultz, but come on, gentlemen: You’ve been snookered.

These two esteemed gentlemen are endorsing a tax scam that would be one of the largest income-redistribution schemes in modern times. It would do considerable and lasting damage to the U.S. The justification for the tax is that it will save the planet by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, but it won’t even do that.

The Baker-Shultz plan would impose on America a carbon tax, which would be a tax on American energy consumption. Since energy is a central component of everything that America produces, it would make the cost and thus the price of everything — and I mean everything — produced in America more expensive. It is a tax that only China, India, Mexico and Russia could love.

The tax is highly regressive, so the remedy that the two call for is a quarterly check from the Social Security Administration for every American. They call this a dividend. Somehow they have come to the conclusion that two really bad ideas paired together make for a good idea.

So let’s get this straight: We are going to tax the producers of the economy and then give the money to people who don’t produce, and somehow this isn’t going to negatively affect the economy. If that makes sense, then why not adopt a 100 percent tax on production and then redistribute the money to everyone?

My colleague Katie Tubb at The Heritage Foundation has noted another glaring flaw with the carbon tax. While it is true that a carbon tax is a much more efficient way to cap carbon-dioxide emissions than the mishmash of EPA regulations, renewable energy standards and subsidies for wind and solar power, there’s a strong likelihood that the carbon tax would end up not being a replacement for these economically destructive policies. Instead, it would simply be another addition to the regulations. It is naive in the extreme to think otherwise.

I’ve been somewhat open to a carbon tax in the past. The idea of replacing our current, economically destructive tax system with something less economically destructive is attractive. But the reality is that even a carbon tax perfectly administered is a poor substitute for the strong tax and regulatory reform that is currently possible.

But the green plan proposed by these former Reagan statesmen would not cut a single tax rate, meanwhile giving the Left a massive new tax regime. How could any conservative support this plan?

Even worse is that the Baker-Shultz plan does close to nothing to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions or to lessen the threat — if one exists — of global warming. Whether or not the U.S. reduces its carbon emissions has close to zero impact on worldwide carbon-dioxide emissions. This is because China and India are building coal-burning energy plants at a frantic pace. The Wall Street Journal reported in November that new coal production in China in the next few years will create more carbon dioxide emissions than the entire energy production of Canada. India isn’t far behind.

So it is a fairy tale that China and India and other fast-developing nations have any commitment to reducing their fossil fuel use. As Donald Trump would say, they are laughing at America behind our backs. They would be absolutely gleeful about the proposed U.S. carbon tax. Raising the cost of production for U.S. goods and services will transfer more production to China and India. We will get relatively poorer, and they will get relatively richer.

And if you are a global-warming worrier: This carbon-tax would drive global greenhouse-gas levels up, not down. We have clean-coal regulations. None of the developing nations do. The less America produces, the worse off the planet is.

The best way to reduce global greenhouse gases is for the U.S. to produce more of our domestic energy, not less. We have very cheap and abundant natural gas (thanks to fracking), and we should export it all over the world. The U.S. has reduced carbon emissions more than any other nation not because of regulations or green-energy subsidies but because of shale gas. Let’s sell it to every corner of the globe, get rich and save the planet.

The Baker-Shultz plan will do nothing to save the planet, but it will surely make America poorer.



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

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


15 February, 2017

Legendary Motor Developer Calls Electric Cars An “Environmental Fraud” …”Dangerous False Path”!

Professor Friedrich Indra has been retired since 2005 and is considered to be one of the world’s leading engine developers. The 76-year old used to work for Audi and General Motors.

In a recent interview with the online FOCUS news magazine he raised a lot of eyebrows by stating that he thinks electric mobility is a “dangerous false path”, claiming that the electric car “does not solve a single environmental problem” and that it “contributes nothing to climate protection”.

Indra calls the claims that electric cars are CO2-free “absurd”.

Fake efficiency

Citing an earlier stiudy by a Professor Spicha, Indra says that the well-to-wheel-CO2 of an electric car in Germany is in fact 1.6 times worse than the conventional internal combustion engine. The CO2 perforamnce of an electric car in China is even four to five times worse when it comes to consumption, and that does not mention the huge energy quantities needed for manufacturing the batteries that electric cars need, which would be enough to power a conventional automobile 30,000 kilometers, he told FOCUS.

Electric cars also have the problems of recycling the batteries, as they are a long way from being fully recyclable.

According to Indra, internal combustion engines have made “very impressive progress“, saying: “The motors are continuously getting more powerful and more fuel efficient.” The engine expert believes that the final solution is “CO2-neutral synthetic fuels. They need as much CO2 for for their manufacture as emitted when in operation.”

The “second greatest environmental fraud”

When it comes to hybrid automobiles, Indra opinion is harsh, calling the plug-in-hybrids “the second greatest environmental fraud because the determination of the fuel consumption does not even include the power that was previously needed to charge up the car.” This is how “sportscars using the technology come up with perverse values like 3.1 liters consumption per 100 km [80 mpg]”.

In the interview Indra rails against what he calls “widespread hatred against internal combustion engines” among the media and policymakers, who he says exploited the VW emissions test cheating affair to spread more hate against the internal combustion engines. He thinks the scandal was played up by the media and is “completely disassociated from fact“. Never has “industry and policymaking acted so irrationally“. He believes politicians are in for a rude awakening once the true costs start coming in.

In the meantime in some countries the market share by pure electric cars is already retreating. That’s also going to happen with the plug-in-hybrids after all the ‘rich people’ are supplied with these cars.”

He says the claimed “success” of electric cars in China and Norway is due to massive government subsidies: “No country in the world can afford that over the long-term. That will level off once again, as is already the case in Norway.”


Race to save badly damaged California dam before MORE rainfall

For years, Warmists blamed the recent California semi-drought on global warming.  So how do they explain the huge rainfall CA is having now?  Are we now having global cooling?  Or was it all just more dishonest propaganda?

Authorities in California were so sure the Oroville Dam was going to catastrophically collapse that they abandoned their command post on Sunday evening.

At a press conference on Monday, the Acting Chief of the Department of Water Resources Billy Croyle revealed the situation had become so perilous he ordered his staff to flee.

Officials also admitted they are in a race against time to drain up to 50-feet of water from the stricken Oroville Dam before a storm hits on Wednesday.

Almost 200,000 people were frantically ordered on Sunday to evacuate along a 40-mile stretch of the Feather River below the dam after authorities said its emergency spillway could give way.

A gaping 250-foot chasm was expected to collapse and unleash a 30ft 'tsunami' tidal wave that could have killed thousands and left nearby towns under 100ft of flood water.

Tens of thousands of panicked residents took to the freeways, causing total gridlock on the roads and sending anxiety levels soaring as they wondered if the dam would burst while they were sat in their cars.

'Everyone was running around; it was pure chaos,' Oroville resident Maggie Cabral told CNN affiliate KFSN on Sunday.

'All of the streets were immediately packed with cars, people in my neighborhood grabbing what they could and running out the door and leaving. I mean, even here in Chico, there's just traffic everywhere.'

On Monday, Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said the evacuation below the nation's tallest dam will not end right away.

He added that they are working on a plan to allow residents to return home when it's safe - but offered no timetable for when they would be allowed to go home.

He added that so far there have been zero reports of looting in any of the evacuated towns.

Honea also said more than 500 Butte County jail inmates were safely transferred to Alameda County Jail farther south.

And as officials rushed to release water from the dam and fix the spillway, the empty abandoned cities resembled ghost towns after the forced evacuations.


Skeptical Mass. meteorologist fired but many meteorologists question climate change science

They observe changes in the atmosphere like astronomers study the stars, analyzing everything from air pressure to water vapor and poring over computer models to arrive at a forecast.

But for all their scrutiny of weather data, many meteorologists part ways with their colleagues — climate scientists who study longer atmospheric trends — in one crucial respect.

Many remain skeptical about whether human activity is causing climate change, as underscored by the recent departure of Mish Michaels from WGBH News

Michaels, a former meteorologist at WBZ-TV, lost her job as a science reporter at WGBH’s show “Greater Boston” this week after colleagues raised concerns about her views on vaccines and climate change. She had previously questioned the safety of vaccines and the evidence that human activity was causing global warming, both widely held views in the scientific community.

A national survey last year by researchers at George Mason University in Virginia found that just 46 percent of broadcast meteorologists said they believed that climate change over the past 50 years has been “primarily or entirely” the result of human activity. By contrast, surveys of climate scientists have found that 97 percent attribute warming to human activity.

The upcoming Atlanta climate summit offers a viable way to push back when basic science and truthful discourse are at risk.

“Weather forecasters are people, too, and their political ideology plays a role in their views,” said Ed Maibach, who directs the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason and oversaw the study. “So conservative forecasters tend to be more skeptical than liberal forecasters.”

Among those skeptics is Tim Kelley, who has issued weather forecasts on New England Cable News (NECN) since 1992.

Kelley describes himself as a “student of climate change,” but says his experience with the variability of computer models has made him skeptical that anyone can predict how greenhouse gases will change the environment in the coming decades.

“How can their computer models be better than ours?” he said. “We look at computer projections all the time, and we know how off they can be.”

Kelley acknowledges the climate is changing, but like many skeptics questions whether rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the reason. He believes most of the changes are natural, not man-made.

“I’m much less alarmed by global warming than most people,” he said. “I’d rather it be warmer.”

Kelley said he was deeply concerned by Michaels’ apparent firing.

“It’s alarming that you can be scapegoated or branded as a denier,” he said. Officials at WGHB didn’t return messages seeking comment.

Maibach, whose study was funded by the National Science Foundation, said that 99 percent of the 646 broadcast meteorologists he surveyed acknowledged that the earth’s climate is changing.

While many meteorologists are unconvinced about climate change, the profession as a whole has grown more accepting of the scientific consensus on climate change, surveys show. A study he just completed, though not yet published, found an increase in the percentage of meteorologists that attributed climate change to human activity.

In a separate survey of members of the American Meteorological Society, Maibach found that 67 percent said they thought climate change is entirely, largely, or mostly caused by human activity. About 20 percent of the group’s members work for broadcast stations.

Despite the shift, environmental advocates are disturbed about the sizeable ranks of broadcast meteorologists who remain skeptics, particularly given their public influence.

“It’s definitely concerning,” said Bernadette Woods Placky, director of Climate Matters, a New Jersey program that seeks to help meteorologists reflect climate change in their reports. The group provides broadcast-ready graphics and educational materials to 375 of the nation’s 2,200 TV meteorologists.

Placky said she tells skeptics that there’s a vast difference in the data that weather forecasters and climate scientists use in their computer models. Unlike weather forecasts, climate models are far broader in scope, she said.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out in the public, and meteorologists have a lot going on,” she said. “But they should know that climate models take into account the entire climate system.”

Paul Gross, a meteorologist with WDIV-TV in Detroit for the past 34 years, said he tries to help viewers understand that while weather is a reflection of day-to-day changes, climate change is caused by the slow accumulation of those changes over time.

“Weather is the little picture; climate is the big picture,” he said. “This shouldn’t be a politically motivated conversation that seeks to confuse the public.”

Rob Eicher, a former weekend meteorologist at WHDH-TV in Boston, said viewers shouldn’t put too much stock in weather forecasters’ views on climate change.

“It’s like asking a podiatrist for help when you have chest pains,” he said. “It’s a different specialty.”

He also pointed to politics as the cause of many skeptical forecasters, especially those who work at stations run by right-leaning owners.

“What people need to understand is that there’s a completely different set of physics in understanding weather and climate changes,” he said. “We can predict tides years and years in advance, but I can’t tell you what the wave heights will be in a few days from now. Climate deals with much larger issues.”


Biofuel Blunder: Navy Should Prioritize Fleet Modernization over Political Initiatives

For the past several years, the President and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus have directed the U.S. Navy to dedicate increasingly precious budgetary resources to establish a “green fleet”—i.e., to replace conventional diesel fuel for ships with biofuels harvested from organic material.

Supporters claim that instability in the fossil fuel market justifies paying more for unproven technologies, but this initiative will in effect cause fiscal instability in an already unstable Department of Defense budget.

Most Capable Fleet, Not Green Fleet

While the Navy is officially embracing biofuel use as a tool to decrease its dependence on fuels from the volatile Middle East, there are good reasons why the Navy should keep relying on conventional fuels.

Diesel Will Be Plentiful. The American petroleum sector is currently undergoing a booming revival, and new sources of fuel such as shale will decrease demand for diesel elsewhere in the U.S. economy. This will help secure sources of diesel to be readily available to the U.S. military.

No Established International Infrastructure. That could cause considerable challenges given the Navy’s global reach. It might be difficult or even impossible to refuel a “green” ship in foreign waters, because a foreign biofuel infrastructure capable of meeting the Navy’s needs is almost non-existent. Even if the U.S. builds its own supply chain for the Navy, it would still have to rely on diesel if refueling in foreign ports.

Increased Corrosion. Studies have shown that biofuels are more corrosive than regular diesel and can therefore increase maintenance costs within the Navy’s fleet.[1] This would only worsen the current fleet’s dire situation, since inspection failures are already occurring at an alarming rate within the fleet.[2] Increasing average age of U.S. fleet; delayed, deferred, and underfunded modernization; and use of fuels with potentially harmful consequences is a recipe for a fleet readiness crisis.

Increased Expenses. Biofuels are disproportionately more expensive than conventional fuels. A gallon of biofuel costs $26, whereas the Department of Defense purchases diesel at about $3.60 per gallon. Many argue that this rate will decrease over time as biofuel production increases, but in the interim, the Navy’s readiness would be further damaged by wasting precious resources on biofuels that are seven times more expensive than the Navy’s conventional fuels—not including the increased maintenance costs.

An Already Unstable Funding Environment. Even in a fiscally robust environment, biofuels are not a wise allocation of the Pentagon’s funds. The U.S. military is currently facing serious funding reductions due to sequestration, which was mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Under these cuts, the Navy will be unable to sustain its current shipbuilding rate, which has already been below the necessary level for a number of years.

As defense spending is projected to keep decreasing into the future, the Navy’s budget becomes even more fragile. Naval Surface Warfare Director Rear Admiral Tom Rowden projected that the fleet could fall to 257 ships—around 50 less than the Navy’s requirement—by 2020.[3] Yet the Navy will still be required to replace the aging ballistic missile submarine fleet and maintain 10 carrier air wings, as both are the key elements of U.S. strategic posture.[4]

Biofuels currently do not consume much of the Pentagon’s topline budget; however, it is essential that the organization scrutinizes any and all programs, no matter how small or large. Fleet readiness is of utmost importance to the Navy and the security of this nation. Programs jeopardizing readiness in order to support unproven science with questionable results should be eliminated.


Australia's winter wheat crop looks set to be the largest ever recorded

Looks like the food shortages that Greenies are always predicting will have to be postponed once again.  From Malthus to Hitler to Paul Ehrlich to the New York Times the false prophecies never cease

It’s been a record-breaking winter season for Australian grain producers with the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) sharply revising its production estimates for wheat, barley, canola and chickpeas higher in its latest Australian crop report, released on Tuesday.

ABARES estimates that total Australian winter crop production increased by a mammoth 49% in 2016–17 to 58.9 million tonnes, some 12 higher than the previous estimate offered in December.

“The revision was the result of yields being higher than anticipated and reaching unprecedented levels in most regions,” it said, adding “generally favourable seasonal conditions pushed national winter crop production to a new record high”.

By crop, ABARES said wheat production is estimated to have increased by 45% to a record high of 35.1 million tonnes. Barley production was up even more, jumping by 56% to 13.4 million tonnes, again a record high.

Canola production rose by 41% to 4.1 million tonnes, equalling the record of 2012–13, while chickpea production increased by 40% to 1.4 million tonnes, again a record high.

A record breaking season for Australia;s major crops, and one that bodes well for agricultural output in Australian GDP.

This table shows the estimated production levels for 2016/17, comparing the results to those seen in the previous two years:



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

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


14 February, 2017

What fun! John Cook rides again!

He is the author of the famous 97% claim and a most energetic defender of Warmism.  And he certainly is a crook Cook.  He makes a great pretence of science by reporting known facts but ignoring or leaving some things out. He then pretends that he has proven global warming.

But his latest is a superb example of psychological projection. He takes some well-known examples of psychological defence mechanisms and purports to find examples of them among climate skeptics.  But exactly those same mechanisms are common among Warmists.  An excerpt:

I’m a cognitive psychologist interested in better understanding and countering the techniques used to distort the science of climate change. I’ve found that understanding why some people reject climate science offers insight into how they deny science. By better understanding the techniques employed, you can counter misinformation more effectively.

Every movement that has rejected a scientific consensus, whether it be on evolution, climate change or the link between smoking and cancer, exhibits the same five characteristics of science denial (concisely summarized by the acronym FLICC). These are fake experts, logical fallacies, impossible expectations, cherry picking and conspiracy theories. When someone wants to cast doubt on a scientific finding, FLICC is an integral part of the misinformation toolbox.

He points to no specific examples of each fallacy among skeptics so, very briefly, let me point out how those fallacies apply to Warmists:

* Fake experts:  Al Gore

* Logical fallacies:  Some extreme weather events imply a general increase in extreme weather events

* Impossible expectations:  No change is too small to be worth noticing.  Even temperature changes in the hundredths of one degree mean something.  No change is small enough to prove temperature stasis

* Cherry picking:  Looking at only a short run of temperature records.  The Central England Temperature record goes back to 1659 and shows no trend

* Conspiracy theories:  Big oil is behind climate skepticism

Perhaps most amazing in Cook's latest screed is the way he refers to his own 97% paper.  He accurately describes it as showing that:

"Among the papers stating a position, 97 percent agreed that humans are causing global warming"

He completely skates over the fact that two thirds of the papers he examined took no position on global warming.  So only ONE THIRD of all scientists, and not 97%, agreed with global warming.  It's typical Cook.  He quotes facts but ignores their full implications.

And, as far as I can see,  that goes for all of the other claims in his paper.  For instance:  He wades in to the uproar generated by the David Rose article which questioned a paper by NOAA's Tom Karl.  He implies that Rose is wrong and the Karl paper is right.  So there has been no C21 temperature "pause".  He "forgets" to mention that, in the Fyfe et al. paper, some prominient Warmist scientists also distanced themselves from the Karl paper.  Cook is so unbalanced it is a wonder he doesn't fall over.

Cook really is a crook Cook.  David Rose replies to his critics below.

How can we trust global warming scientists if they keep twisting the truth

David Rose

They were duped – and so were we. That was the conclusion of last week’s damning revelation that world leaders signed the Paris Agreement on climate change under the sway of unverified and questionable data.

A landmark scientific paper –the one that caused a sensation by claiming there has been NO slowdown in global warming since 2000 – was critically flawed. And thanks to the bravery of a whistleblower, we now know that for a fact.

The response has been extraordinary, with The Mail on Sunday’s disclosures reverberating around the world. There have been nearly 150,000 Facebook ‘shares’ since last Sunday, an astonishing number for a technically detailed piece, and extensive coverage in media at home and abroad.

It has even triggered an inquiry by Congress. Lamar Smith, the Texas Republican who chairs the House of Representatives’ science committee, is renewing demands for documents about the controversial paper, which was produced by America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the world’s leading source of climate data.

In his view, the whistleblower had shown that ‘NOAA cheated and got caught’. No wonder Smith and many others are concerned: the revelations go to the very heart of the climate change industry and the scientific claims we are told we can trust.

Remember, the 2015 Paris Agreement imposes gigantic burdens and its effects are felt on every household in the country. Emissions pledges made by David Cameron will cost British consumers a staggering £319 billion by 2030 – almost three times the annual budget for the NHS in England.

That is not the end of it. Taxpayers also face an additional hefty contribution to an annual £80 billion in ‘climate aid’ from advanced countries to the developing world. That is on top of our already gargantuan aid budget. Green levies and taxes already cost the average household more than £150 a year.

The contentious paper at the heart of this furore – with the less than accessible title of Possible Artifacts Of Data Biases In The Recent Global Surface Warming Hiatus – was published just six months before the Paris conference by the influential journal Science.

It made a sensational claim: that contrary to what scientists have been saying for years, there was no ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the early 21st Century.

Indeed, this ‘Pausebuster’ paper as it has become known, claimed the rate of warming was even higher than before, making ‘urgent action’ imperative.

There can be no doubting the impact of this document. It sat prominently in the scientific briefings handed out to international negotiators, including EU and UK diplomats.

An official report from the European Science Advisory Council stated that the paper had ‘refined the corrections in temperature records’ and shown the warming rate after 2000 was higher than for 1950-99.

So, flawed as it was, the Pausebuster paper unquestionably helped persuade world leaders to sign an agreement that imposes massive emissions cuts on developed countries.

No wonder, then, that our revelations were met with fury by green propagandists. Some claimed the MoS had published ‘fake news’. One scientist accused me of becoming the ‘David Irving of climate change denial’ – a reference to the infamous Holocaust denier.

Yet perhaps more damaging is the claim from some in the green lobby that our disclosures are small beer. In fact, their importance cannot be overstated. They strike at the heart of climate science because they question the integrity of the global climate datasets on which pretty much everything else depends.

The whistleblower is a man called Dr John Bates, who until last year was one of two NOAA ‘principal scientists’ working on climate issues. And as he explained to the MoS, one key concern is the reliability of new data on sea temperatures issued in 2015 at the same time as the Pausebuster paper.

It turns out that when NOAA compiled what is known as the ‘version 4’ dataset, it took reliable readings from buoys but then ‘adjusted’ them upwards – using readings from seawater intakes on ships that act as weather stations.

They did this even though readings from the ships have long been known to be too hot.

No one, to be clear, has ‘tampered’ with the figures. But according to Bates, the way those figures were chosen exaggerated global warming.

And without this new dataset there would have been no Pausebuster paper. If, as previous sea water evidence has shown, there really has been a pause in global warming, then it calls into question the received wisdom about its true scale.

Then there is the matter of timing. Documents obtained by this newspaper show that NOAA, ignoring protests by Dr Bates, held back publication of the version 4 sea dataset several months after it was ready – to intensify the impact of the Pausebuster paper. It also meant more sceptical voices had no chance to examine the figures.

Our revelations showed there was another problem with the Pausebuster paper – it used an untested experimental version of the dataset recording temperatures on land, which had not been properly archived and made accessible to other scientists.

This was a fundamental breach of mandatory rules under NOAA’s Climate Data Records programme, which Bates had devised. Is it sharp practice? Certainly it carries the stench of ‘Climategate’ in 2009, when leaked emails showed scientists colluding to hide data and weaknesses in their arguments.

It is important to acknowledge the MoS did make one error: the caption on a graph, showing the difference between NOAA’s sea data records and the UK Met Office’s, did not make clear that they used different baselines. We corrected this immediately on our website.

The only ‘fake news’ in our revelations is the claim that they don’t matter.

In truth, they are hugely damaging, for they suggest an agreement made by figures such as Barack Obama and David Cameron rested in part on research that had not been published with integrity.

This is an age where many have come to question the role of experts. Restoring trust demands transparency.

In climate science, this means being open about the fact there are still critical uncertainties: not about the basic proposition that the world is warming, thanks in part to humans, but about the speed at which this is happening; and when it is likely, left unchecked, to become truly dangerous.

Al Gore famously said: ‘The science is settled.’ It is not.

We cannot allow such a vital issue for our future to be mired in half truths and deceptions.


Greenland has gained nearly 500 billion tons of ice this winter, blowing away all prior records and many @NASA lies


Can a children's lawsuit force action on climate change?

On Friday, President Trump was named the lead defendant in a lawsuit brought by 21 US students – one as young as nine – against the US government.

The case, Juliana v. United States, was first filed in 2015 with President Barack Obama listed as lead defendant, so the switch to Mr. Trump is largely procedural.

But the plaintiffs are seeking a court order that will compel the US government to drastically curb carbon emissions. With the change from Mr. Obama to Trump, they’re now taking on an administration that looks askance at climate science.

This marks the latest shift in a years-long legal campaign that aims to move beyond political inaction on climate change by establishing a Constitutional right to a stable climate.

"The US is most responsible for climate change, so it's really the most important case in the world right now on the issue," said Julia Olson, lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

The group sponsoring this lawsuit, Our Children’s Trust, has been attempting to litigate climate-change action since 2011, when young plaintiffs affiliated with the group filed lawsuits or regulatory petitions in all 50 states.

While these cases differed in their specifics, they all sought to apply the public trust doctrine – the concept that the government owns and must maintain natural resources for the public’s use – to the atmosphere, and, by extension, compel state governments to implement policies that would drastically reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The group has had some success. In September 2016, after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court sided with the group, Gov. Charles Baker issued an executive order directing the state government to establish emissions-reductions regulations by August 2017, and prepare a "comprehensive energy plan" within two years. 

But elsewhere, judges saw greenhouse-gas reductions as a matter for the legislatures, not the courts.

In New Mexico, for instance, the state appeals court ruled that, "where the State has a duty to protect the atmosphere under ... the New Mexico Constitution, the courts cannot independently regulate greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere as Plaintiffs have proposed.”

Robert L. Wilkins, judge for the US District Court in the District of Columbia, echoed these thoughts on the federal level, ruling that "federal courts have occasionally been called upon to craft remedies that were seen by some as drastic.... But that reality does not mean that every dispute is one for the federal courts to resolve, nor does it mean that a sweeping court-imposed remedy is the appropriate medicine for every intractable problem.”

But last November, a federal judge in Oregon ruled that a case brought by Kelsey Juliana and 20 other young plaintiffs could proceed to trial. Judge Ann Aiken grounded her ruling in the Fifth Amendment's promise that "no person ... shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."

She wrote, "Where a complaint alleges governmental action is affirmatively and substantially damaging the climate system in a way that will cause human deaths, shorten human lifespans, result in widespread damage to property, threaten human food sources, and dramatically alter the planet's ecosystem, it states a claim for a due process violation."

The trial will begin in Judge Aiken’s courtroom later this year. The plaintiffs' attorney, Ms. Olson, is confident that the case will proceed to – and win in – the Supreme Court, as reported by Slate’s Eric Holthaus.

But legal experts caution that the trial and appeals process could take years, and that the Trump administration will likely want to drag it out for as long as possible.

And even the landmark legal victory sought by Our Children’s Trust might not mean the end of the story. The decades-long struggle to desegregate cities through busing and other programs revealed the difficulties of translating court orders into workable public policy – especially when doing so impacts citizens' day-to-day lives.

Even so, after years of legislative inaction on the issue, environmental activists are looking for outside-the-box solutions, and many see new hope in Our Children’s Trust.

As Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University, told Slate, "There is no question that [Judge Aiken’s] decision, in both its eloquence and its bold declaration of a new constitutional right, breaks new ground."


Deep green climate evangelist resigns from Australia's  Climate Change Authority over coal power

Should we be concerned?  Hardly.  He's about as dedicated a Greenie as they come.  And, as such,  he is a great prophet of doom.  So much so that he shoots himself in the foot at times. He says, for instance, that "the world is on a path to a very unpleasant future and it is too late to stop it".  If it is too late why bother?  Why not just give up his Greenie warbling and kick the cat?

The Turnbull government's recent embrace of coal-fired power shows it has "abandoned all pretense of taking global warming seriously", Climate Change Authority member Clive Hamilton said, explaining why he resigned from the agency.

Professor Hamilton, who teaches public ethics at Charles Sturt University, sent his resignation letter to Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg on Friday, saying it was "perverse" that the government would be boosting coal when 2016 marked the hottest year on record.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull used his National Press Club speech last week to call for support for so-called "clean coal-fired power plants" to provide "reliable baseload power" while meeting Australia's carbon emissions goals.

Professor Hamilton said the comments were "completely irresponsible and perhaps the sharpest indicator yet just how completely Malcolm Turnbull has capitulated to the hard right of the Liberal Party".

"If the new coal-fired power plants were built, it would make the government's already weak 2030 [carbon] reduction target unattainable," he said in his letter.

"Deeper cuts in the subsequent decades, essential to limit the worst impacts of warming, would be off the table.

"Professor Hamilton told Fairfax Media the authority "no longer has any role in the development of climate change policy in Australia".

Mr Frydenberg said the government was "unapologetic that our priority as we transition to a lower emissions future is energy security and affordability".

"We are smashing our 2020 target by 224 million tonnes and we have an ambitious 26 to 28 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030 on 2005, which on a per capita basis is one of the highest in the G20," he said.

The Senate blocked repeated efforts by Abbott government to scrap the authority. In October 2015, then environment minister Greg Hunt appointed five new members including Wendy Craik as chairwoman in a move the Greens said amounted to a stacking of Coalition-leaning appointees.

"In its first years, the authority did great work," Professor Hamilton said, including recommending Australia should aim to cut 2000-level emissions by 40-60 per cent by 2030.

The current government target is for a cut of as much as 28 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, which amounts to about 20 per cent below 2000 levels.

The authority, though, "has become a shadow of its former self", particularly since the departure of former Reserve Bank governor Bernie Fraser as its chairman, Professor Hamilton said.

Last September, Professor Hamilton and fellow authority member David Karoly, issued a dissenting report, accusing the authority of failing to give the government independent advice.

The two claimed its Special Review of Australia's climate goals and policies was based on "reading from a political crystal ball" rather than meeting its own terms of reference.



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

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


13 February, 2017

Global warming data comes from a very narrow clique

Scott Adams is mostly right below.  Published climate data is a long way from the raw data and doing the transformation is the work of a very few scientists (or alleged scientists).  The edited climate data is however readily available to all and even that data can be embarrassing to Warmists -- the tiny magnitude of the changes, for instance

One of the most famous statistics in the world of politics is the claim that 97% of climate scientists agree with the idea that humans activity is boosting CO2 to dangerous levels.

Critics say the 97% is misleading, because the critics like to include in their own list the scientists that are working for energy companies. The industry-paid scientists and engineers have less credibility, say the critics of the climate science critics.

Recently I retweeted a link to a climate science whistleblower. I don’t have any way to evaluate his claims. But his story did a good job of illustrating the flow of data from the measuring devices all the way to the published papers and then to your brain. And what I got out of that was that very few people have direct access to the measuring devices and the original data. Let’s say 1% of climate scientists are actually involved in generating the temperature data and deciding what to include, what to smooth, what to replace, and so on. Apparently you can measure Earth’s temperature a number of ways, from ice core samples, to satellites, to ocean buoys, to land thermometers. I might be missing a few. Oh, and each of those methods probably change a bit over time, so you have some apples-to-oranges comparisons if you look at history.

In other words, even the 1% involved in direct measurements might not be involved in all the different forms of it.

What follows next is pure speculation, based on my years of experience in corporate America and my understanding of human nature. But it seems to me that 99% of the 97% are relying on the accuracy and honesty of the 1% who actually produce the temperature measurements. Sure, the other scientists read the papers, and see whatever "adjustments" were made by the authors. But that seems like opening the hood of the car, looking at the outside of the engine, and determining that it’s all good on the inside.

Speaking of my corporate experience, this reminds me of a situation when I worked for the phone company. 100% of the employees believed that one of the Executive Directors in our group was a PhD in some sort of technology field. After all, he said he was, and the Human Resources group does background checks before hiring. So he had to be a PhD, right?

But it turns out he was a con man. He had no PHd. The Human Resources group was two years behind in their background checks. When they caught up with him, he was fired immediately.

I’m open to correction on my assumption that the 97% of climate scientists depend on the accuracy and honesty of the handful of people with direct access to the data. Let me know if I got that wrong. If I’m wrong, that supports my point that non-scientists such as myself can’t be expected to have useful opinions on science topics.

You just witnessed a little trick I learned from President Trump. I gave myself two ways to win and no way to lose. You should try it. It works every time.


Swift repeal of Greenie rules leaves former staffers steaming

These frustrated little authoritarian bureaucrats who believe they are entitled to tell others what to do deserve more than steaming.  How about letting them go as no longer needed?

Joe Pizarchik spent more than seven years working on a regulation to protect streams from mountaintop removal coal mining. It took Congress 25 hours to kill it.

The rule is just one of dozens enacted in the final months of the Obama administration that congressional Republicans have begun erasing under a once-obscure law — much to the dismay of agency staffers who hauled those regulations through the long process to implementation.

"My biggest disappointment is a majority in Congress ignored the will of the people," said Pizarchik, who directed the Interior Department’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement from 2009 through January. "They ignored the interests of the people in coal country, they ignored the law and they put corporate money ahead of all that."

The arrival of a Republican president opened the door for GOP lawmakers to employ a rarely used legislative tool, the Congressional Review Act of 1996, to nullify executive branch regulations issued since mid-June. The act allows lawmakers to sandblast recently enacted rules with a simple majority vote — as they did last week to the stream regulation, which the Interior Department had completed in December.

President Donald Trump is expected to sign off on that repeal, along with others moving through the Capitol.

Congress has successfully used the 1996 law only once before, but Republicans are wielding it now to slash away potentially dozens of late-term Obama rules. That has left officials who spent years working on those rules feeling rubbed raw.

"It’s devastating, of course," said Alexandra Teitz, a longtime Democratic Hill aide who joined Interior’s Bureau of Land Management in 2014 as a counselor to the agency’s director and worked on a rule to curb methane waste from oil and gas production. A House-passed Congressional Review Act resolution targeting that rule awaits action in the Senate.

Pizarchik and other former Obama administration officials called the rapid repeal process intensely unfair. The 1996 law says any repeal must come within 60 legislative days after a rule becomes final.

"If there had been more time and Congress had not rushed this through but had actually deliberated on what was in the rule, [then] the results would have been different," Pizarchik said.

But proponents of the repeal process maintain that it is a blunt but necessary tool.

"It’s important that Congress have a say in the rules that are applied in this country," said James Gattuso of the Heritage Foundation. "The CRA just makes it easier for Congress and the president to make sure the rules and actions of the agencies reflect their priority."

The House took up a repeal resolution for Pizarchik’s stream rule shortly before 2 p.m. Feb. 1. The Senate wrapped up its vote — all Republicans but one were joined by four Democrats — shortly after 3 p.m. Feb. 2.

That’s about as fast as a measure can clear Congress, and the swiftness has former Obama officials wondering if lawmakers even understood the regulations they voted to kill.


Don't suffer weather amnesia

Climate Skeptic Willie Soon Addresses Packed Audience in L.A.

LOS ANGELES — Dr. Wie-Hock "Willie" Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics addressed a gathering of the American Freedom Alliance on Thursday night at the Luxe Hotel, describing the current state of debate about climate change as "spitting science in the face" and "treating science like a piece of rubbish."

Mixing humor and science, he entertained the gathering as he made the case for skepticism about climate change.

He began by mocking the degree to which carbon dioxide was treated like a toxic gas by proponents of radical policies on climate change. "Next it will be oxygen, it will be anything that you want on the chemical table," he joked.

"The Sun is a primary driver of climate change — and has a far greater impact than changes in CO2," he said, in a slide presented to the packed audience of about 100 conservatives.

Another slide added: "Climate science is dangerously corrupted and co-opted by multiple anti-science forces and players."

To the amusement of the audience, Dr. Soon played a clip of Al Sharpton mocking him on MSNBC, pointing to research funding he had received from fossil fuel companies. "It is really, truly, a badge of honor, Rev. Al Sharpton, to be accused by you of a conflict of interest," he said.

Dr. Soon called much of the reporting about his work in the mainstream media "fake news." And he mocked the fads and fashions that have sprung up around climate change.

For example, he said, the "locavore" movement, which stressed eating locally-produced food to save energy, actually increased greenhouse gases, because of the energy efficiencies achieved by larger and more established farms that benefited from economies of scale.

He also mocked California politicians for their statements on science — especially Governor Jerry Brown and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 1977, he pointed out, Gov. Brown had warned of a drought of "immeasurable magnitude" — a meaningless phrase, in scientific terms.

The movement toward renewable energy sources, he said, was not a sign of progress, but regression toward the lower energy densities of the pre-industrial age. He also likened belief in carbon "pollution" to the superstitious beliefs of primitive civilizations, illustrating his point with a 1933 newspaper article describing a drought in Syria that was blamed by locals on yo-yo toys.

He then launched into his data-heady scientific presentation in earnest. For all the focus on carbon dioxide, the most important greenhouse gas in the climate system was water vapor, he said. And carbon dioxide, he noted, was not a "pollutant," as the term was conventionally used.

While it was true that the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide had been increasing, he said, and had passed 400 parts per million, the dominant effect of water vapor had helped flatten the greenhouse effect, such that the rise of global surface temperatures had slowed significantly.

He said that some climate scientists manipulated graphs to make climate change seem more severe than it was — for example, by representing temperature anomalies rather than absolute temperatures.

His latest work, he said, was in understanding how temperature data sets were constructed. He and his colleagues were examining data gathered in rural areas, to remove the distortion of measurements in urban areas. They found that there was, in fact, some surface temperature warming, albeit less severe than conventional data sets showed. But the effect, he said, was more likely the result of fluctuations in energy output from the sun, which in turn affected water vapor.

The major effect of cutting carbon dioxide emissions to zero, he said, would be "to kill and hurt poor people and greatly harm animals and the environment."

In the past, Dr. Soon noted, the left had attacked his research because he had taken funding from fossil fuel companies. He cited the New York Times as one of his chief antagonists, after it ran a disparaging profile of him in 2015.

As a result, he said, he had not accepted any funding for his latest research on the composition and manipulation of climate data sets.


Green Energy Is Causing Power Shortages In Europe During An Awful Winter

Over-reliance on green energy and freezing winter weather triggered serious power shortages across Europe.

European Union nations, including Greece and Hungary, hoarded power due to the cold winter weather. That hoarding triggered shortages that cut off electricity to tens of thousands of homes and sent power prices soaring to record levels.

Temperatures across southern Europe are expected to drop below freezing again next week. The continent has been unable to meet electricity demand, as green energy tends to go offline in the cold. Solar power, for example, tends to produce less energy in the winter because the days are shorter.

"What I see in the Balkans is clear evidence that everybody first secures its own consumption and only then, if they’re in a position to do so, they’ll help the others," Andras Totth, the deputy CEO of the Hungarian utility MVM, told Bloomberg.

Europe has increasingly invested in green energy in recent years, which has created big problems preventing blackouts during the winter.

The average European spent 26.9 cents per kilowatt-hour on electricity during the last full year of data, while the average American only spent 10.4 cents, according to an analysis of government data previously published by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Even EU nations where power is relatively cheap pay a lot more for power than any U.S. state. Great Britain, for example, pays an average of 54 percent more for electricity than Americans paid last year. Much of the expense comes from subsidies for green energy, which account for roughly 7 percent of British energy bills, according to government study released last July.

Power prices are so absurdly high on the continent that cutbacks have already been made. Denmark’s new government pledged to reduce the amount of money it spends on "green" energy by 67 percent in December, and Germany plans to abandon the construction of new wind power plants by 2019.

Green energy subsidies and mandates have greatly increased the price of electricity throughout Germany, especially, which has some of the continent’s highest power prices. The German government has mandated that the nuclear reactors be replaced with wind or solar power, but the estimated cost of doing so is over $1.1 trillion.


West Australian Leftists back down on "renewable" energy target

The power outages in "green" South Australia are giving them jitters. Any hint of going down the South Australian path would paint a target on their backs

WA LABOR is attempting to climb down from a 50 per cent renewable energy target committed to in October, which Liberal ministers have swarmed upon as evidence of its economic vandalism.

Recordings have emerged of Labor energy spokesman Bill Johnston telling the National Environmental Law Association State conference in October the party had a clear target for the proportion of energy it intended to derive from renewable sources.

"The Labor Party’s target is at least 50 per cent by 2030," Mr Johnston told the conference during a Q and A session.

"We don’t believe that that is going to push up prices because we believe it will be done on a competitive basis and, as I say, I think setting a target leads to policy action and I think there are a lot of policy actions that are required."

The emergence of the tape comes as renewable energy leader South Australia, grappling with a heatwave, is hit by more widespread power outages in the latest of a series of rolling blackouts.

The State endured a complete blackout in October which prompted furious national debate over its near-met target of 50 per cent renewables and its ramifications for secure energy supplies and household electricity prices.

WA Labor released a statement on Thursday quoting Mr Johston saying it "will not introduce a State-based renewable energy target"

"We aspire to have more renewable energy," the statement said.  "After the election, we will sit down with industry and the community to see what is achievable and affordable."

The statement said WA Labor would "co-invest to develop a diverse economy and new jobs" in coal mining town Collie and other regional communities.

Energy Minister Mike Nahan said Labor was clearly "ideologically driven" towards the 50 per cent RET by 2030, which would devastate WA’s economy.

"In WA we are an energy-intensive State, we process minerals, we have hot weather, we have air conditioning and we live in a modern society where we rely on energy for almost everything we do," he said.

Dr Nahan said the Liberals had overseen uptake of about 13 per cent renewables driven mainly by solar power, and was committed to a COAG target of 23.5 per cent by 2020. "But at the same time going forward we will commit to our coal industry, and large gas," he said.

Dr Nahan said wind was unreliable as an energy source because it often dropped during hot weather, when electricity consumption was highest.

Malcolm Turnbull yesterday lumped in WA Labor’s plan for a 50 per cent renewable energy target with his broader warnings about the threat to electricity prices and reliability of supplies posed by reliance on wind and solar power.

He pointed to Wednesday night’s black out in South Australia as the product of favouring ideology ahead of efficient and objective management of energy.

"Labor is drunk on Left ideology on energy and they are putting Australians’ livelihoods, their businesses and their households at risk," the Prime Minister said.

Social Services Minister and former WA treasurer Christian Porter told 6PR WA Labor’s plans would be "a disaster for WA business and households".

"It will have the only and inevitable outcome of ratcheting up household electricity prices and making business very difficult to run in WA," he said.

"A 50 per cent RET from State Labor is a political millstone that will sit round their neck this campaign. I’m astonished they would even contemplate going there."



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

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


12 February, 2017

Trump's election and the impact on New England's energy industry

President Trump promises to bring big changes to how and where we get our energy, driven in part by his fossil fuel fandom and a self-professed skepticism about man-made climate change.

But figuring out the long-term impact on New England's energy industries is complicated, especially with Trump's team still being assembled. He has picked leaders for several key agencies. Most notably, former Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex Tillerson is now secretary of state, and former Texas governor Rick Perry has been chosen to run the Department of Energy. But the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, down to two of five members as of last Friday, lacks a quorum. That means it can't make major decisions until Trump appoints at least one new commissioner.

Regardless of what happens in Washington, Massachusetts and nearby states will be able to keep advancing several significant energy policies unimpeded. The region already has aggressive greenhouse gas controls that will be in place even after the Clean Power Plan - an Obama administration creation aimed at curbing power plant emissions - goes away as expected under Trump's Environmental Protection Agency. Also, Massachusetts' plans to tap into huge amounts of hydropower in Canada and offshore wind power south of Martha's Vineyard are moving ahead.

But even with those programs in place, there's plenty of uncertainty about the impact the change in administration will have on the energy sector here.

Research and startups

Experts say the greatest local impact could be felt among the Boston area's universities and early-stage clean-tech firms. The millions of dollars that the federal government spends annually on research grants could be a prime Trump target. At particular risk is the ARPA-E grant program, which funds high-tech energy research and is administered by the Department of Energy. Massachusetts has been the second largest recipient of ARPA-E funds after California, with more than $150 million flowing to the state since the program's inception in 2009.


Trump is fond of coal. New England power generators, not so much. Only about 1 percent of the regions's electricity still comes from coal. Brayton Point, Massachusetts' last coal-fired power plant, is closing in June. Trump's election isn't going to change that. Connecticut's final coal plant is scheduled to be converted to natural gas, and Eversource is selling two coal-run plants in New Hampshire that face an uncertain future. Environmental rules have played a role in coal's demise, but the competition from cheap natural gas is the primary reason it's no longer in demand here.

Natural gas

A proliferation of natural gas power plants in New England helped keep a damper on energy prices, but the plants also created a new set of issues. Most notably, the region's constrained pipeline system is creeping closer to its cold-weather capacity. That's why pipeline operator Spectra Energy teamed up with utilities Eversource and National Grid for a massive - and controversial - expansion project known as Access Northeast. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has shown a willingness to approve large pipeline projects in the face of local opposition; witness last month's approval of another Spectra project that included a much-maligned Weymouth compressor facility that will help regulate the flow of gas in the area. Jim Grasso, a government relations consultant who works with energy-industry clients, says Access Northeast is more likely to materialize under a Trump presidency than it would have been if Hillary Clinton had won the election.

But the biggest hurdle Access Northeast faces isn't getting permits - it's the project's $3 billion-plus price tag. And it's not clear if Trump can help with financing. Efforts to pass on the costs to electricity ratepayers last year met resistance from the state Supreme Judicial Court, which ruled against the idea, and later from regulators in other New England states.


State officials are moving ahead with a bidding process for "clean energy" contracts aimed at prompting at least one major new power line to be built that will bring Canadian hydropower into southern New England.

Eversource spokeswoman Caroline Pretyman says the Department of Energy is weighing its request for a permit for the company's Northern Pass project in New Hampshire that would allow the power line to cross the border into Canada. The federal agency will make a recommendation, she said, but ultimately, the decision would be Trump's. (New Hampshire officials also will have a say.) Energy experts predict Trump would be predisposed to approve such a project, despite the fact the power would come from a foreign source. A similar transmission line, one that would connect Canadian hydropower to the New York City area, was included on a recent list of infrastructure priorities reportedly circulated by the Trump transition team.


Congress in late 2015 extended the life of a federal tax credit program that many solar developers use to finance projects, but it's scheduled to be phased out over the next several years.

Some clean-energy experts fear the tax credit could get jettisoned amid the wholesale restructuring of the government's tax codes envisioned under Trump's leadership and the Republican-controlled Congress. Others say they would be surprised if Congress revisited energy tax credits so soon after extending them.

Meanwhile, state officials control two other types of incentives for solar developers, and those are likely to be slowly pared. At the same time, however, the state's legal requirements for utilities to purchase certain amounts of renewable power will continue to grow each year, regardless of who is in the White House.


As with solar projects, wind farm developers often bank on a set of federal tax credits that Congress extended in late 2015. It's possible these incentives could come under scrutiny as part of a Trump tax overhaul. He's been critical of the wind power industry's subsidies. But like solar developers, wind farm developers will continue to benefit from the state's steadily increasing requirements for renewable energy purchases. The state has a law on the books that allows for up to 1,600 megawatts in long-term contracts with future offshore wind farms - that's roughly enough power for more than 600,000 homes.

Those wind farms would be built in federal waters, and three developers - including one with ties to investment bank Goldman Sachs, and another owned by private equity giant Blackstone Group - already have secured lease rights. It's possible that the Trump administration could slow the progress of any projects because they come under federal jurisdiction. But that would also irritate the Wall Street types that have invested in these projects.


Dakota Access Pipeline Easement Marks a New Day for US Energy

The final easement granted on Wednesday by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to complete the Dakota Access pipeline project sent a clear signal to our nation: Infrastructure development is once again a priority.

Last November, America chose a president who campaigned on rebuilding America's infrastructure, encouraging energy development, and championing job creation. Now, only weeks into his administration, President Donald Trump's actions have matched his campaign promises.

Four days after his inauguration, the president signed an executive order for expedited approval of the Dakota Access pipeline easement. Two weeks later, the easement has been granted.

This stands in stark contrast to the actions of President Barack Obama, whose disregard for the rule of law last fall halted the completion of the legally permitted Dakota Access pipeline.

This sent a chilling message to the private industries that finance, develop, and complete all required regulatory reviews to build roads, bridges, transmission lines, pipelines, wind farms, and water lines.

The message was that when top government officials and lawless mobs decide to obstruct a legally permitted pipeline project that is more than 90 percent complete, no infrastructure project is safe.

Few people outside North Dakota can comprehend the chaos this conflict brought to my state. It became a cause c‚lŠbre, bringing thousands of political activists, anti-oil extremists, and movie stars to an area south of Bismarck where they illegally camped on federal land.

These protestors damaged bridges and construction equipment, burned tires, threatened law enforcement and area residents, and blocked progress on the pipeline's construction.

Except for a few hundred still in the area, these protesters are mostly gone.

Yet today, the nearby Standing Rock Sioux members and state and county crews are feverishly cleaning up the mess of personal belongings, trash, and human waste they left behind-an estimated 250 truckloads that must be hauled to the Bismarck landfill.

They are hoping to beat next month's spring thaw on the floodplain where they camped, so that the trash left behind by these "water protectors" doesn't pollute the Missouri River.

There is a poignant and absurd irony about this situation. Those claiming to be the true protectors of land and water turned out to be the only threat to the environment.

With the easement to finish the Dakota Access pipeline now granted, it's time to get to work and finish this $3.7 billion private project that will deliver as many as 570,000 barrels of oil a day from northwestern North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to connect to existing pipelines in Illinois.

This important piece of energy infrastructure will enhance America's energy security and put Americans back to work.

I am grateful for the president's commitment to projects like this that are so vital to our nation.

It sends a strong signal of a new era of cooperation between the federal government and private businesses that are committed to moving our nation forward with new critical infrastructure creating greater job opportunities for Americans.


Being anti-energy is being anti-humanity

The IPCC wants the world to stop using coal, oil and natural gas -- and a dramatically lower world population

Everything you need to know about how perverse and dangerous the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is, is summed up in its latest report. Released on November 2, it issued the same tired, old and untrue claims of "severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems."

The IPCC wants the world to stop using coal, oil and natural gas, saying that they must be "phased out almost entirely" by the end of the century. The report reeks of their contempt for humanity.

Losing electricity, no matter where you live, is losing every technology that enhances and preserves your life. You lose the ability to cool or warm your home, apartment, or workplace. You lose the ability to keep food safe in your refrigerator and freezer. You most certainly lose the lighting. You lose the ability to turn on your computer or television. Indeed, to use everything you take for granted.

Since the discovery and generation of energy with coal, oil, and natural gas, generations have lived lives not only different from all who preceded them, but better in so many ways, not the least of which is extended life expectancy. Nations with energy are places where people live longer, healthier lives. They are also wealthier nations where the energy translates into industry, jobs, transportation, and all the other attributes of modern life.

Although we usually don't associate energy with morality, Alex Epstein has. His book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels ($27.95, Portfolio, an imprint of the Penguin  Cover - Moral Case for Fossil FuelsGroup), is the finest case for the role coal, oil and natural gas has played in our lives and the positive, emancipating impact they have had on humanity. Everyone should read it.

"I hold human life as the standard of value," says Epstein. "I think that our fossil fuel use so far has been a moral choice because it has enabled billions of people to live longer and more fulfilling lives, and I think the cuts proposed by the environmentalists in the 1970s were wrong because of all the death and suffering they would have inflicted on human beings."

"Eighty-seven percent of the energy mankind uses every second comes from burning one of the fossil fuels: coal, oil or natural gas." That has not stopped environmentalists from denouncing coal and oil as "dirty" or because their use generates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. What they never tell you is how small those emissions are and that they play an infinitesimal role to influence the Earth's weather or climate. They never tell you that the Earth has centuries more of untapped reserves. The modern world could not exist without them.

"In the last 80 years, as CO2 emissions have most rapidly escalated, the annual rate of climate-related deaths worldwide fell by an incredible rate of 98%. That means the incidence of death from climate is 50 times lower than it was 80 years ago."

Epstein points to "the power of fossil-fueled machines to build a durable civilization that is highly resilient to extreme heat, extreme cold, floods, storms, and so on" to demonstrate the foolishness of those who oppose their use. Primary among them is the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. As part of its 40th session, in early November the IPCC adopted the final "synthesis" report of its Fifth Assessment Report.  This full-scale update calls for the reduction of energy worldwide. They base this on the claim that "human influence on the climate system is clear."

CFACT NY air banner no global warming 17 years yIt is not clear. Despite the CO2 emissions, the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for the last 19 years, during the same time the IPCC's "climate experts" and others were telling us the Earth was going to become dangerously warm.

Epstein reminds us that, "In 1972, the international think tank, the Club of Rome, released a multimillion-copy-selling book, The Limits of Growth, which declared that its state of the art computer models had demonstrated that we would run out of oil by 1992 and natural gas by 1993 (and, for good measure, gold, mercury, silver, tin, zinc, and lead by 1993 at the latest.)

It is essential to understand that every one of the "global warming" predictions made in the 1980s and the decades since then has been WRONG. Every one of the computer models on which those predictions were based was WRONG.

A younger generation graduating from high school this year has never spent a day when the overall temperature of the Earth was warming. The Earth's natural cooling cycle is based on a natural low cycle of solar radiation. The Sun is generating less heat. Indeed, the Earth is nearing the end of the Holocene cycle, one of warmth for the past ten thousand or more years that has given rise to human civilization.

Epstein's book is more than just philosophical opinion. It is based on documented facts regarding fossil fuel use. At one point he quotes Paul Ehrlich who, in his 1968 Ehrlich book, The Population Bomb, declared that "the battle to feed humanity is over."  Epstein notes that in 1968 the world's population was 3.6 billion people. "Since then it has doubled, yet the average person is better fed than he was in 1968. This seeming miracle was due to a combination of the fossil fuel industry and genetic science." Farming today is mechanized and that requires fuel!

The claims that Epstein debunks are accompanied by the fundamental truths about fossil fuel use and science. His book, comprehensible to anyone whether they have any knowledge of science or not, should be on everyone's reading list.
At the heart of environmentalism and its "save the Earth" agenda is the reduction, if not the elimination, of humans from planet Earth.


Poland To Take EU To Court Over Global Warming Rules

Poland threatened to sue the European Union (EU) over its global warming regulations, according to documents seen by Reuters.

An EU deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030, fulfilling its pledge to the United Nations, poses problems for EU member-state Poland. Reducing emissions may harm Poland's coal industry - a critical industry for the country.

Poland is challenging the legal basis for the EU's global warming rules, and is determined to bring the case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), though an unnamed source doesn't think Poland will go that far.

"[T]o challenge the legal basis (of EU climate policy) is extreme even for Poland," an anonymous EU official told Reuters.

EU global warming rules require unanimous consent from all 28 member-nations, meaning that Poland could block them. Poland repeatedly opposed EU measures to combat global warming and has fought the bloc on coal subsidies.

If passed, the EU resolution mandates that 15 percent of Poland's energy come from "green" sources by 2020. Poland presently generates nearly 90 percent of its electricity from coal power, making it the second largest coal consumer in Europe. Green energy accounts for less than 5 percent of energy production in 2012.

Poland is currently governed by the conservative and anti-EU Law & Justice party, the first political party to win enough seats in parliament to govern alone since the Soviet Union collapsed. Poland does not have a single member of a left-wing party in parliament.

Law & Justice generally opposes wind and solar energy and favors an energy policy that emphasizes tariffs targeted at Russian natural gas. It has even advocated for a moratorium on the construction of new wind power turbines and supports dismantling of any wind plant within three kilometers of a residential area.

Environmental groups like Greenpeace have repeatedly criticized Law & Justices energy policy ideas, claiming that the country's CO2 emission reductions are insufficiently ambitious.

The EU has committed by 2030 to reduce its carbon emissions by 40 percent and increase "green" energy production to 27 percent of energy consumption. Due to these mandates, the cost of electricity for the average European is 57 percent higher than the cost of electricity for the average Pole. Both the United States and Poland pay about the same amount for electricity.


Australia: Perth has second-wettest day ever

One recollects prominent Australian Warmist Tim Flannery predicting that Perth would become a ghost town because its rains will dry up.  He hasn't got a clue about climate.  He is a palaeontologist who knows a lot about ancient kangaroos but not much else.  He's just another Green/Left propagandist and false prophet

Perth has come close to having its wettest-ever day as heavy rain in WA's southwest caused flash flooding and left more than 9000 properties without power.

Perth had more than 114mm of rain in the 24 hours to Friday morning, which is slightly shy of the record 120.6mm that fell on February 9, 1992.

The unseasonal weather also resulted in the city reaching only 17.4C on Thursday, making it Perth's coldest February day ever.

A Western Power spokesman there 2900 homes were still without electricity on Friday morning.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Catherine Schelfhout said there would be risks of flooding in the upper Swan River in coming days.



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

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


10 February, 2017

Welcome to "green" electricity.  South Australia shows the way

It's high summer in Australia.  S.A. turned off its last coal-fired station in the middle of last year.  This is the fourth time since then that there has been a power outage.  On this occasion the atmospheric high pressure cell that brought the heat wave also caused the wind to stop blowing, bringing the output from all the wind farms to almost nothing.  So green power makes it likely that you will lose power just when you most need it. No AC! 

The small gas-powered Pelican point generator is privately owned and usually runs well below capacity for cost reasons.

SA POWER Networks was ordered on Wednesday night to restore electricity to about 40,000 households and businesses after supplies were deliberately cut amid soaring temperatures.

Power to customers across the state was switched off from 6.33pm under "rotational load shedding" orders from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) "due to lack of available generation supply in SA", SA Power Networks said. About 45 minutes later electricity was restored after SA Power Networks announced that AEMO had ordered it to return supply.

"AEMO has called an end to load shedding, we are restoring power," the supplier said.

As customers reacted with outrage, the blame game immediately began.

State Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said: "Every South Australian has a right to be angry. We had spare capacity in the SA generation market and the market didn’t turn that generation on."

"The second unit at Pelican Point (power station) could’ve been turned on last night, it had gas, was ready to go and it wasn’t turned on. The national market isn’t working," he said.

"We (the State Government) have been taking advice from the market operator and others but after last night we have to reassess. We will do what’s necessary to make sure SA has sufficient generation," Mr Koutsantonis said.

"It’s my understanding that AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) was made aware more generation was available and chose not to turn that generation on. Serious questions have to be asked about why we had generation available that wasn’t used."

The temperature was still above 40C when the rolling blackouts began at 6.33pm to conserve power supplies as homeowners used airconditioners for relief from the heat.

SA’s power reliability will again be under scrutiny given a series of major blackouts, including a statewide failure in September.

An SA Power Networks spokesman said they were acting on instructions from AEMO in response to insufficient generation supply in SA. "We don’t generate," he said. "This is not an SA Power Networks issue — we are the muggins in the middle between the customer and generation supply."

SA Liberal frontbencher Simon Birmingham said it was "yet another example that the South Australian Government can’t keep the lights on". "It’s a chronic failing that can only hurt investment confidence in the state," Mr Birmingham said.

"It’s a demonstration that ad hoc state-based renewable energy targets have gone too far — when reliability can’t be maintained on a day the likes of which SA faces numerous times every single summer."

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said the blackout "is yet another example of Jay Weatherill’s failed experiment". "Because of the lack of base load generation there literally wasn’t enough electricity being produced to power the state," he said.

"It’s time Labor both federally and at a state level recognised its high renewable energy targets are putting at risk energy security and affordability."

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) issued a statement, saying at 6.33pm on Wednesday "approximately 100 megawatts (MW) of local load shedding was instructed in South Australia to maintain the security of the power system."

It said "load shedding" — affecting about 40,000 homes and businesses — was "instructed by AEMO to avoid damage to network equipment due to potential overloading."

At 7pm AEMO gave permission to restore the 100 MW of load, and at about 7.10pm electricity supply had been restored.

Angry customers who lost power on dinner time took to social media to express their outrage with the electricity system. They also noted that, yet again, businesses were losing money due to uncertain electricity supplies.

The public also took full advantage of Premier Jay Weatherill’s "Q & Jay" life Facebook session on Wednesday night, with critical comments pouring in.

Among them Anthony Hunter wrote: "Here’s a question, why are we having load-shedding power cuts right at this moment, when it’s only one day of hot weather. "Surely the hottest state in Australia can handle one day of heat?"


The Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance has risen +100 billion tons above the 1990-2013 average

Jan 20-Feb 7,2017


Bill Nye wants to ‘save the world’ by explaining to your kids how science works, despite not being an actual scientist

Netflix is launching a new show confidently titled "#bill nye Saves the World" where Nye will explain complicated topics like global warming to kids as he understands it. The show wants to illustrate how #Climate Change impacts everything from politics to pop culture, but from his "special blend of lab procedure" and quirky guests.

He also wants to refute what he considers are non-scientific claims by industry leaders, politicians, and religious leaders. By doing that, he’ll be "saving the world." There’s just one problem: Nye is a not a scientist and his track record is dreadful.

Since ending his first show in the early 2000s, Nye has been on a quest to convince as many people as he can that climate change is the world’s greatest threat. But schoolchildren aren’t interested in demagoguery, but rather "how and why" things tick. And parents may be wondering if a climate activist should be spreading his gospel to their children. He also brings with him over a decade of controversial assertions that may prove daunting to overcome.

Epic fail

In a heavily publicized experiment, Nye tried to demonstrate how carbon dioxide (CO2) warmed up the atmosphere. He put a thermometer in a sealed container filled with excess amounts of CO2. He then used a heat lamp to warm up the container and watched as the temperature rose. That, he said, was proof that CO2 is overheating the planet. But what Nye proved wasn’t CO2’s response to radiation like the sun, but rather the "convective" properties of any gas.

Genuine scientists who replicated his experiment used Argon as an experimental control gas (a staple in #Science) and just like the CO2, it heated up as well. The problem was that Argon has no infrared properties; Nye’s experiment only proved the "processes related to convective heat transfer," which play no role in global warming. That didn’t stop Al Gore from incorporating the debunked experiment into his Climate Un-Reality Project to train his climate warriors.

Climate doubters un-American

He also said that politicians who doubt global warming were unpatriotic in order to shame them. In a well-publicized interview, Nye said Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution proved his point. He said this section alone should compel lawmakers to "promote the progress of science and useful arts." Not quite.

The constitution actually reads, "To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries." It has nothing to do with science and everything to do with patents and copyrights.

Skeptics should be jailed

Nye even said the energy revolution of the early 1900s was "akin to human slavery" and climate skeptics should be jailed for ruining his quality of life. He said doubts about global warming affected his existence as a public citizen.

And when Sarah Palin said Bill Nye was not a scientist, the liberal media leapt to his defense proclaiming her remarks were untrue. But Bill Nye was what one journalist described as a "professional lab-coat wearer."  He has never published a single peer-reviewed paper and has spent most of his time talking about how great science is instead of doing it.

Not surprisingly, he graduated from college as a mechanical engineer. He makes science look and feel good, which allows others to call him "the Science Guy." In other fields, Nye would be known as a science presenter.

He’s tweeted that there’s been more severe weather despite that being statistically untrue and said climate deniers were responsible for keeping global warming out of the last election. But he has admitted that skeptics have been surprisingly successful even if he thinks the "science" is on his side. Which he’ll be teaching to your children starting on April 21.


The Purpose Of The Military Is To Defend The Homeland, Not Promote Wind Turbines

Gore's malign influence, which consistently reflected the views of the most radical environmentalists, was manifest repeatedly in foreign policy issues that had scientific, technological or environmental elements.

"The business of America is business," President Calvin Coolidge famously said. He might have added that the business of the nation’s military is to defend America—not the promotion of radical environmentalism. (Duh.) An editorial in Monday’s Wall Street Journal offers an example of how that simple axiom was pushed aside  by the Obama administration, which over the objections of the military gave the green light to a huge wind farm in North Carolina that will interfere with the functioning of a sophisticated U.S. Navy radar surveillance system.

The radar installation, Relocatable Over-the-Horizon Radar (ROTHR), monitors over two million square miles and is an integral part of our homeland security. It can detect and track criminal operations, terrorist threats, and menacing activity of unfriendly nations throughout the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico and in northern South America.

The North Carolina ROTHR, one of the nation’s two sites, uses high-frequency radar waves bounced off a layer of the atmosphere (the ionosphere) to provide long-range over-the-horizon radar coverage. The system is difficult to operate reliably because high-frequency waves are susceptible to interference from lightning almost anywhere in the world, and the reception of signals changes throughout the course of the day and the seasons.

The last thing such a system needs is another interfering variable, but as described in the Wall Street Journal:

The Navy—informed by MIT and government studies—has long held that wind farms within a 28-mile radius of a ROTHR site interfere with its ability to function. In 2011 the Spanish wind-turbine manufacturer Iberdrola nonetheless applied to build a giant wind farm in North Carolina near the Virginia border. The farm’s more than 100 turbines, some more than 500 feet tall, would fall within 28 miles of the ROTHR site, some as near as 14 miles.

Not surprisingly, U.S. military officials opposed a massive wind turbine project in such close proximity to their sensitive radar installation, but they were overruled by the Obama White House. What could have been the countervailing factor? Well, the preamble in the agreement with Iberdrola reads, in part, "it is an objective of the DoD to ensure that the robust development of renewable energy resources . . . may move forward in the United States."

The Department of Defense is supposed to be a cheerleader for "renewable energy resources," at the cost of compromising national security? At least Obama advisors Valerie Jarrett and John Holdren didn’t substitute Priuses for Humvees in Iraq and Afghanistan, although I wouldn’t have put it past them.

This was not the first time that Democrats in power have indulged in irresponsible eco-babble and nonsense that endangered the nation. In April 1996, Secretary of State Warren Christopher announced that thereafter, environmental concerns would become coequal with national security and economic issues in U.S. foreign relations. Several major initiatives were part of this policy, including international agreements and conventions, strategically distributed largess from the State Department and Agency for International Development and new "environmental hubs" at selected U.S. embassies, which would promulgate the environmental gospel according to Vice-President Al Gore.

Secretary Christopher singled out the Biodiversity Treaty, which then-Undersecretary of State Tim Wirth characterized as having "top priority among all treaties" and agreements awaiting confirmation. Never ratified by the U.S. Senate, that international agreement--largely a product of the corrupt United Nations Environment Program and various European Union puppets in developing countries--was a concoction that only a science-challenged radical like Gore could love: a volatile combination of ignorance of science and ideological, heavy-handed environmental and foreign policy that, had it been implemented by the United States, would have been detrimental to our economy and to scientific and technological innovation.

The treaty’s Cartagena Biosafety Protocol, which incorporates the bogus "precautionary principle," governs R&D and commerce in genetically engineered organisms used in agriculture. It has inhibited advances in crop genetics worldwide in the nations that signed it, especially in poorer countries. (Unnecessary case-by-case regulation, poverty and government corruption are an inauspicious combination.)

scientific, technological or environmental elements.
To create and sustain the base of information necessary to justify his views, Gore enlisted the resources of the intelligence community. John Deutch, coordinator of all U.S. intelligence activities (and consummate yes-man), signed on: "I intend to make sure that environmental intelligence remains in the mainstream of U.S. intelligence activities," he said. "Even in times of declining budgets, we will support policymakers."

Gore's malign influence, which consistently reflected the views of the most radical environmentalists, was manifest repeatedly in foreign policy issues that had scientific, technological or environmental elements. He directed his minions in various government departments to pursue an international agreement that would have delegated to various "green" international organizations authority to regulate "hazardous chemicals." The new system would have lumped together chemicals of low intrinsic toxicity with pesticides, industrial lubricants and other more toxic substances--and thereby made the former guilty by association.

Many federal agencies joined in this Clinton Administration environmental shell game. The Agency for International Development provided a kind of "slush fund" for the schemes of radical environmentalists. The agency's foreign aid funds were used to undermine market economies abroad and put American businesses at a competitive disadvantage. In Indonesia, for example, AID gave more than $1.3 million to the local chapter of Friends of the Earth (virtually its entire operating budget) for its campaign against New Orleans-based Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold. The environmental organization accused the mining company of polluting an Indonesian river, destroying crops and inciting military attacks on civilians. None of these accusations was substantiated. In addition, through U.S. environmental activists, Friends of the Earth successfully lobbied the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, a federal agency that promotes business abroad by insuring companies against the risk of nationalization, to cancel Freeport's $100-million policy.

We have likely seen the last of such irresponsible, dangerous policies in the name of environmentalism. The influence of Generals Kelly and Mattis in the Trump cabinet (secretaries of Homeland Security and Defense, respectively) should ensure that.  


Solar Inconvenient Truth: Ivanpah Plant a Big Fossil Fuel User

The BrightSource Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Facility, which uses 320,000 mirrors to create thermal energy, still qualifies under state rules as an alternative energy source, despite using about 1.4 billion cubic feet of natural gas a year, according to a report by the Press Telegram.

The California Air Resources Board’s most recent analysis reportedly found that during Ivanpah’s second year of operation, carbon emissions from gas, used to focus Ivanpah’s mirrors at night, jumped by 48.4 percent, to 68,676 metric tons.

The joint venture between BrightSource Energy, NRG, Google and Bechtel was approved by the Obama administration as its biggest alternative-energy project on public lands. The project also received $1.6 billion in taxpayer loan guarantees, and $600 million in federal tax credits, to reduce carbon emissions by 400,000 tons of carbon-dioxide emissions per year.

NRG operators also assured California that the project would create 2,636 jobs during the project’s construction, and pay $300 million in state and local tax revenues over the life of the project.

But carbon emissions data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration demonstrats that natural gas consumption at Ivanpah increased by about 7 percent in the first three quarters of 2016, compared to the prior year.

The 450 California power plants, manufacturing facilities and other operations in the state facilities that produce 25,000 or more metric tons of carbon dioxide per year are required to slash carbon dioxide emissions, or buy pollution credits, either from those that shut down activities, or from designated alternative energy producers.

Southern California Edison, PG&E, and other utilities are under a state mandate to acquire 33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and 50 percent by 2030.

Ivanpah is designated as a renewable source because it uses 352,000 mirrors to reflect sunlight onto three thermal boilers at the top of large towers. That, in turn, creates steam power that causes huge electric turbines to spin to generate electricity.

But Ivanpah claims that natural gas must be burned at night and during overcast days as a maintenance requirement to heat the towers and keep the turbines online. It also claims this hybrid solution improves the length of time and the amount of solar electricity generated each day. Critics now refer to the hybrid plant as another fossil fuel scam.

David Knox, spokesman for the plant’s operator, Houston-based NRG Energy, told Riverside Press-Enterprise reporter Daniel Danelski that the reason for natural gas use increase was Ivanpah’s increasing its electrical generation: "The reason for this is that the more the units run, the more we use the auxiliary boilers to support that increased operation."

David Lamfrom, California desert manager for the National Parks Conservation Association, warned Solar Industry magazine: "We obviously made a mistake here." Not only does the project consume 5.6 square miles of undisturbed public land that is home to the endangered desert tortoise, but Ivanpah has also become one of the larger burners of fossil fuel in California.

Tensions between solar generators and NPCA environmentalists have grown since former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, based on the supposed success of Ivanpah, announced the approval of the 350 megawatt Midland Solar Energy Project in Nevada, and the 100 megawatt Quartzsite Solar Energy Project in Arizona.

Ivanpah has an exemption from state rules to qualify as an alternative energy source, because only 5 percent or less of its electrical generation is due to daylight burning of natural gas, according to the California Energy Commission.

Earlier, Breitbart News noted that Ivanpah fell 55 percent short of its 2014 electrical generation goal of 940,000 megawatt hours, but it did incinerate about 28,000 wild birds. Both issues have improved, but the use of natural gas is far higher than the original business plan.



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

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


9 February, 2017

Big foot-shoot:  New baseline shows SLOWER warming

The galoots behind the study below seemed to have been unhappy that 19th century steam trains might have affected the baseline against which global warming was measured.  They argued that temperatures in the period 1720-1800 would be a better criterion for what the temperature was before industrial influences cut in.

So they did the work of getting their new baseline temperature.  But what did they find? They found that the temperature in this pre-industrial period was "likely 0.55–0.80°C cooler than 1986-2005".  That compares with the usual agreed figure of about two thirds of a degree for global warming so far. 

So at the lower end the new baseline shows LESS warming than previous studies.  They were a little bit cowardly, however, in that they stated a range rather than a single figure.  Previous authors have chosen a single most likely figure.

It's a bit rough but we could take an average of their two extremes as a single figure.  In that case we are back to the two thirds of a degree already accepted. So we are left with two possible conclusions from their study.  In the modern warming period, the amount of warming is uncertain or that it is still just about the two thirds already agreed. 

But here's the killer: The conventional estimate of warming shows warming of two thirds of a degree over a period of around 100 years -- which is certainly a trivially slow warming.  But the baseline in the new work is around 300 years ago.  So if a change of two thirds of a degree over one century is trivial, what is the same change over a 300 year period?  It looks like these guys have really shot warmism in the foot. 

But in their usual way, most Warmists will simply choose the starting point that suits them.  Sad for them that an earlier starting point did not help.

The authors must have known they were on dangerous ground so they included the El Nino effect (2015/2016) in their estimate of current temperature.  But that is rubbish and is increasingly being recognized as such.  But it's the only way they could get their final estimate of a one degree rise

Estimating changes in global temperature since the pre-industrial period

Ed Hawkins et al.


Better defining (or altogether avoiding) the term ‘pre-industrial’ would aid interpretation of internationally agreed global temperature limits and estimation of the required constraints to avoid reaching those limits.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process agreed in Paris to limit global surface temperature rise to ‘well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels’. But what period is ‘pre-industrial’? Some-what remarkably, this is not defined within the UNFCCC’s many agreements and protocols. Nor is it defined in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) in the evaluation of when particular temperature levels might be reached because no robust definition of the period exists. Here we discuss the important factors to consider when defining a pre-industrial period, based on estimates of historical radiative forcings and the availability of climate observations. There is no perfect period, but we suggest that 1720-1800 is the most suitable choice when discussing global temperature limits. We then estimate the change in global average temperature since pre-industrial using a range of approaches based on observations, radiative forcings, global climate model simulations and proxy evidence. Our assessment is that this pre-industrial period was likely 0.55–0.80°C cooler than 1986-2005 and that 2015 was likely the first year in which global average temperature was more than 1°C above pre-industrial levels. We provide some recommendations for how this assessment might be improved in future and suggest that reframing temperature limits with a modern baseline would be inherently less uncertain and more policy-relevant.


NOAA agrees to review scientist’s claim that data manipulated to discredit warming ‘pause’

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday that it would review a whistleblower’s allegations that the agency manipulated climate data in order to eliminate the global warming “pause” for political reasons.

The whistleblower, John Bates, who retired in December as principal scientist of the National Climatic Data Center, rocked the climate change debate Sunday with his claim that a top NOAA climate scientist selectively used data to discredit the global warming hiatus in a key 2015 study.

“NOAA is charged with providing peer-reviewed data to the American public and stands behind its world-class scientists,” a NOAA spokesman said in an email. “NOAA takes seriously any allegation that its internal processes have not been followed and will review the matter appropriately.”

SEE ALSO: Climate change whistleblower alleges NOAA manipulated data to hide global warming ‘pause’

Mr. Bates laid out his allegations in a lengthy article Saturday on the Climate Etc. blog, run by former Georgia Tech climatologist Judith Curry, and in a Sunday interview with the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail.

He criticized the June 2015 “pausebuster” paper’s lead author, Thomas Karl, then director of the National Centers for Environmental Information, for what Mr. Bates described as a failure to archive and document his climate data sets.

“Gradually, in the months after [the paper] came out, the evidence kept mounting that Tom Karl constantly had his ‘thumb on the scale’ — in the documentation, scientific choices, and release of data sets — in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy,” Mr. Bates said in his Saturday post.

The paper refuting the 1998-2013 “pause” in global temperature increases was published six months before the Paris Climate Summit, a priority of the Obama administration’s environmental agenda.

Ms. Curry called Monday on the NOAA inspector general to evaluate the claims made by Mr. Bates, adding that he has “more revelations” coming as well as “more detailed responses to some of the issues raised above.”

“Other independent organizations will also want to evaluate these claims, and NOAA should facilitate this by responding to FOIA requests,” Ms. Curry said.

She cited the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, which has tangled with NOAA over document disclosure related to the “pausebuster” paper.

“The House science committee has an enduring interest in this topic and oversight responsibility,” Ms. Curry said. “NOAA should respond to the committee’s request for documentation including emails.”

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Mr. Karl said the archiving process “takes a long time” and denied that he had hurried along the paper to coincide with the summit, saying, “There was no discussion about Paris.”

Mr. Bates has since engaged in a back-and-forth on Climate Etc. with other scientists, including “pausebuster” co-author Thomas Peterson, about the details of his claim.

Several scientists have come to Mr. Karl’s defense, arguing that other research has borne out the study’s conclusions. Climate scientist Peter Thorne, who has done work for NOAA, argued that Mr. Bates was “not involved in any aspect of the work.”

“John Bates never participated in any of the numerous technical meetings on the land or marine data I have participated in at NOAA NCEI either in person or remotely,” Mr. Thorne said on Icarus.

Mr. Bates responded that Mr. Thorne was not a federal employee and therefore was unable to participate in government-only meetings, “and certainly never attended any federal meetings where end-to-end processing was continuously discussed.”

Meanwhile, Ms. Curry said she hoped “policies can be put in place to keep this from ever happening again.”

“Under the Obama administration, I suspect that it would have been very difficult for this story to get any traction,” she said. “Under the Trump administration, I have every confidence that this will be investigated (but still not sure how the MSM will react).”


Trump Agrees With Princeton Physicist That Global Warming Is A ‘Cult Movement’

President Donald Trump told a candidate to be his top science adviser that he agreed global warming had become a “cult movement in the last five or 10 years.”

Princeton University physicist Will Happer met with Trump in January about a week before the inauguration. He told Trump he believed man-made global warming had been “exaggerated,” to which Trump replied: “I agree with you.”

“Very briefly. I said, ‘I’m sure you know my position that I think climate change has been tremendously exaggerated—its significance. Climate is important, always has been, but I think it’s become sort of a cult movement in the last five or 10 years,’” Happer told The Scientist (TS) in a wide-ranging interview.

“So in just a sentence or two, I said, ‘That’s my view of it,’” Happer said. “And he said, Well, I agree with you. But that’s all we discussed.”

Happer is a candidate to be one of Trump’s top science advisers, though it’s unclear where his official post will be. For example, Happer could head White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy or even sit on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Happer served as the director of the Office of Energy Research at the Energy Department (DOE) under former President George H.W. Bush. So, maybe Happer could be asked to head DOE’s Office of Science.

Happer is a prominent skeptic of man-made global warming — in fact, he believes more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a good thing since it stimulates plant life. He’s said the world is in a CO2 “drought” and fought the Obama administration’s labeling it as a “pollutant.”

One of Happer’s goals, if he’s asked to join the Trump administration, would be fixing currently perverse incentives that come with government-funded science.

“One of the problems with the programs for the last 15 or 20 years was, unless you promised that your results were going to bring some sort of alarming new evidence that people were driving the planet to extinction by releasing CO2, you couldn’t get funding,” Happer told TS.

“That was really sick,” he said. “You shouldn’t have funding decisions based on whether you expect to get alarmist results from the applicant. And that’s the way it was.”

TS pushed back, asking Happer for examples of this, to which Happer responded: “I told you it was an anecdote, but my impression is it’s been in the last 10 years.”

Happer may not have had any concrete examples, but his interview comes amid allegations from a whistleblower that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists manipulated climate data to show more warming in order to influence policymakers.

Dr. John Bates, the former principal scientist at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., said NOAA scientists toyed with data in a 2015 study “to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”


Left-Wing Media Furious Cartoons Aren’t Indoctrinating 5-Year-Olds About Global Warming

A parental advice columnist for left-leaning news site Slate argues that cartoons are “ignoring” global warming.

“After a few more questions, I discovered that he’s never heard any of his favorite science shows mention climate change or global warming,” Melinda Wenner Moyer, a science writer and parental advice columnist for Slate, wrote in an article.

“Which is strange, because according to overwhelming scientific consensus, climate change is one of the most important environmental issues of our time,” she wrote. “My son can tell you everything you ever wanted to know about red pandas, except for the fact that their very existence is being threatened by the changing climate.”

Moyer asked Nickelodeon for examples of its programming that covered global warming, and the network sent her six examples of shows that talked about related subjects, like wind and solar power or littering. The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) said they focus on teaching “foundational science concepts,” and further, determine programming based on the “the most age-appropriate way to serve our audience” and do not often cover global warming, consequently .

Moyer refers to one example in her child’s favorite cartoons discussing global warming. In that program, Professor Hootsburg claims that as “the Earth gets warmer and warmer, big storms get bigger and bigger.”

Moyer, however, ignores the many kids shows dealing environmental issues, including Captain Planet, the Octonauts and the Smoggies.

Several government-funded studies suggest children are the most susceptible to environmentalism. Research run on 30 Girl Scout troops in northern California found that having the kids engage in energy-saving activities had a “lasting impact on family energy consumption” for at least eight months after the end of the program.


Australia needs to wake up to climate change racket

Now we hear from an eminent whistleblower with America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that the organisation used dodgy data to claim the “pause” in global warming from 1998 never existed, and had rushed to publish without the usual checks in order to influence the Paris Agreement on climate change.

This latest scandal comes on top of previous embarrassments for the climate alarm community. There was the 2009 “climategate” batch of leaked emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia that were published on a Russian website three weeks before the Copenhagen summit, revealing a staggering level of fraud, manipulation, and deceit.

Another batch of leaked emails, dubbed Climategate 2.0, a couple of years later, showed eminent climate scientists conspiring to have PhDs stripped from their sceptic rivals, to have journal editors fired for publishing papers they didn’t like, and colluding with the media to slant coverage.

All the fakery adds up to the conclusion that the whole global warming crusade isn’t about science, but politics — and big money.

The NOAA scandal couldn’t have come at a better time for US President Donald Trump to strengthen his resolve to ditch the Paris climate agreement stitched up by his predecessor, Barack Obama.

And in turn Trump’s defection should encourage the Turnbull government to tear up our own Paris climate agreement which they foolishly ratified in November, after Trump won the US presidential election.

Tony Abbott is right: even though it was his government which made the deal, he recognises the changed circumstances of the world. We need to scrap the unreasonably punitive renewable energy targets of 26-28 per cent we have committed to abide by in 2020.

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg keeps telling us it’s a better deal than the Labor Party’s 50 per cent renewable energy target, but that’s not the point.

Low-cost, coal-fired energy has underpinned this nation’s prosperity. With our abundant resources we should be the world’s low-cost energy superpower, as Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce keeps saying.

Higher RETS equal higher electricity prices, and an unreliable power supply, which is the death-knell to business, as we are seeing in South Australia.

By kowtowing to climate nonsense, successive governments have proven they have no intention of putting Australia first, and this is what is driving the Hanson phenomenon. Scrapping the United Nations control of our energy mix would be an enormous morale boost to the country.



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

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


8 February, 2017

Politics and science are a toxic combination

Rt. Hon. Viscount Ridley

Alternative facts have no place in climate-change research. Greater integrity is essential if the scandals are to stop

Back in December, some American scientists began copying government climate data onto independent servers in what press reports described as an attempt to safeguard it from political interference by the Trump administration. There is to be a March for Science in April whose organisers say: “It is time for people who support scientific research and evidence-based policies to take a public stand and be counted.”

Well, today they have a chance to do just that, but against their own colleagues who stand accused of doing what they claim the Trump team has done. Devastating new testimony from John Bates, a whistleblowing senior scientist at America’s main climate agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, alleges that scientists themselves have been indulging in alternative facts, fake news and policy-based evidence.

Dr Bates’s essay on the Climate Etc. website (and David Rose’s story in The Mail on Sunday) documents allegations of scientific misconduct as serious as that of the anti-vaccine campaign of Andrew Wakefield. Dr Bates’s boss, Tom Karl, a close ally of President Obama’s science adviser, John Holdren, published a paper in 2015, deliberately timed to influence the Paris climate jamboree. The paper was widely hailed in the media as disproving the politically inconvenient 18-year pause in global warming, whose existence had been conceded by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) two years earlier.

Dr Bates says Mr Karl based the “pausebuster” paper on a flawed land-surface data set that had not been verified or properly archived; and on a sea-surface set that corrected reliable data from buoys with unreliable data from ship intakes, which resulted in a slightly enhanced warming trend. Science magazine is considering retracting the paper. A key congressional committee says the allegations confirm some of its suspicions.

Dr Bates is no “denier”; he was awarded a gold medal by the US government in 2014 for his climate-data work. Having now retired he writes of “flagrant manipulation of scientific integrity guidelines and scientific publication standards”, of a “rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy” and concludes: “So, in every aspect of the preparation and release of the data sets leading into [the report], we find Tom Karl’s thumb on the scale pushing for, and often insisting on, decisions that maximize warming and minimize documentation.”

This is more than just a routine scientific scandal. First, it comes as scientists have been accusing President Trump and other politicians of politicising science. Second, it potentially contaminates any claim that climate science has been producing unbiased results. Third, it embarrasses science journalists who have been chronicling the growing evidence of scientific misconduct in medicine, toxicology and psychology, but ignored the same about climate science because they approve of the cause, a habit known as noble-cause corruption.

Colleagues of Mr Karl have been quick to dismiss the story, saying that other data sets come to similar conclusions. This is to miss the point and exacerbate the problem. If the scientific establishment reacts to allegations of lack of transparency, behind-closed-door adjustments and premature release so as to influence politicians, by saying it does not matter because it gets the “right” result, they will find it harder to convince Mr Trump that he is wrong on things such as vaccines.

Besides, this is just the latest scandal to rock climate science. The biggest was climategate in 2009, which showed scientists conspiring to ostracise sceptics, delete emails, game peer review and manipulate the presentation of data, including the truncation of a tree-ring-derived graph to disguise the fact that it seemed to show recent cooling (“hide the decline”). The scientists concerned were criticised by two rather perfunctory inquiries, but have since taken to saying they were “exonerated”.

There was the case of the paper the IPCC relied upon to show that local urban warming was not distorting global data sets, which turned out to be based partly on non-existent data from 49 Chinese weather stations; the Scandinavian lake sediment core used “upside down” to imply sudden warming; the chart showing unprecedented recent warming that turned out to depend on a single larch tree in Siberia; the southern hemisphere hockey-stick chart that had been created by the omission of inconvenient data series; the Antarctic temperature trend that turned out to depend on splicing together two weather station records.

Then there was the time when a well known climate scientist, Peter Gleick, stole the identity of a member of a think tank so he could leak confidential documents along with a fake one. Stephan Lewandowsky had to retract a paper about the psychology of climate scepticism that seemed to be full of methodological flaws and bizarre reasoning.

And don’t forget Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC for 13 years and often described as the “world’s top climate scientist”. He had to retract his “voodoo science” dismissal of a valid finding that contradicted claims from Dr Pachauri’s own research institute about Himalayan glaciers, which had led to a lucrative grant. That scandal resulted in a highly critical report into the IPCC by several of the world’s top science academies, which recommended among other things that the IPCC chairman stand down after one term. Dr Pachauri ignored this, kept his job and toured the world while urging others not to, before resigning over a personal scandal allegation.

I have championed science all my adult life. It is humankind’s greatest calling. That is why I deplore those who drag down its reputation by breaching its codes of conduct for political reasons, and I have no time for those excusing these enormities. They foment anti-intellectualism and play directly into the hands of people such as Mr Trump. Under the Obama administration,” says Professor Judith Curry, Dr Bates’s colleague, “I suspect that it would have been very difficult for this story to get any traction.” Yikes.

Dr Bates calls for more ethics teaching in science and for “respectful discussion of different points of view” — which we were emptily promised after climategate. It is time for the many brilliant scientists who are discovering great insights into quasars and quarks, Alzheimer’s and allergies, into neurons, fossils, telomeres and ice ages, to “take a public stand and be counted” against the politicisation of some science within their own ranks.


Big new German coal-fired power plant going ahead

The German Muenster district court on Thursday granted an emission-control permit to Datteln 4, a hard-coal fired power station under construction by utility Uniper that has been held up by an intense legal battle with environmentalists.

Uniper said it aims to begin supplying electricity and district heating from the 1,050 megawatts plant in western Germany in the first half of 2018.

The project goes back to 2009, aims to replace ageing installations taken offline by Uniper, and initially was aimed to start producing in 2011.


Japanese government planning to build 45 new coal fired power stations to diversify supply

The Japanese government is moving ahead with its plans to build up to 45 new coal fired power stations. The power plants will utilise high energy, low emissions (HELE) technology that use high-quality black coal.

Japan is the largest overseas market for Australian coal producers, taking more than a third of all exports.

Tom O'Sullivan, a Tokyo based energy consultant with Mathyos Global Advisory, said in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, Japan started importing more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia.

But he said the move to more coal fired power was because coal was cheaper than LNG, and the energy security was priority for the government.

"Japan needs to import 95 per cent of all its energy sources," he said. "So it's trying to diversify its fuel sources and it doesn't want to be too reliant on any one market."

Japan has ratified the Paris Climate Agreement and committed to a 26 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.

But Mr O'Sullivan said Japan was yet to price carbon emissions.   "Although Japan spent $US36 billion dollars on commercial solar power last year, and is planning much more, there is no carbon price," he said.

    "So at this stage there is no incentive to not build coal fired power station, unlike other countries and states that can have a price as high as $US35-40 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted."

Mr O'Sullivan said while community and environmental groups had expressed concerns about the construction of a major coal power station, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was firmly behind the plans.

He said the decision would ensure the use of coal in Japan would continue well into the middle of the century. "These guys [private companies] are not going to go ahead and [put money into] in large capital investments unless they have a 30-year depreciation period," he said. "So if they're building these coal power plants now it is reasonable to expect them to be still on the books by the end of 2050."


Australia’s Chief Scientist labels Trump’s censoring of environmental data as ‘Stalinist’

He ignores the blatant dishonesty of the American climate establishment that motivates Trump's attempt to stem the flow of Green/Left fake news.  In typical Green/Left style, he tells only half the story.  He has outed his own politics

Australia’s Chief Scientist has likened US President Donald Trump’s censoring of environmental data to Soviet Dictator Joseph Stalin.

Dr Alan Finkel was speaking at the Chief Scientists’ roundtable discussion at the Australian National University on Monday when he said “science is literally under attack”, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

"The Trump administration has mandated that scientific data published by the EPA must undergo review by political appointees before they can be published,” Dr Finkel said during the discussion.

Adding that the Trump administration’s decision to bar the EPA from sending out press releases or placing new content on its website was “reminiscent of political officers in the old Soviet Union”.

"Every military commander there had a political officer second guessing his decisions,” he said, making a reference to Joseph Stalin and Trofim Lysenko, a soviet agrobiologist.

“Stalin loved Lysenko's conflation of science and Soviet philosophy and used his limitless power to ensure that Lysenko's unscientific ideas prevailed."

He also stated modern science had no room “for political control” and expressed his gratitude that no Australian political figure had ever tried to censor him.

"Frank and fearless advice - no matter the views of the political commissars at the EPA,” he said.


Global cooling? Snow falls in Kuwait for 'first time ever'

Snow fell on Kuwait on Thursday morning for the first time in the country's history, pictures sent to Middle East Eye show.

Footage sent to MEE showed snow flakes falling in the Gulf state, where temperatures have plummeted in recent days.

Temperatures in Kuwait soar up to 50C in the summer months and even in winter 20C is the norm. However, on Thursday the temperature was as low as 3C.

There is no record of snow having fallen in Kuwait before, although the emirate has experienced hail and frost in the past when temperatures have fallen in the winter.

A Kuwaiti told MEE that Thursday's snow was a first for the country.

"I asked my grandfather, he said there has never been snow before," they said, preferring to remain anonymous. "Everyone is surprised."



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

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


7 February, 2017

Peer reviewed article in academic journal rejects Warmism

The authors are "slayers" -- scientists who reject any temperature effect of CO2 at all.  Most skeptics allow some influence of CO2 but on both theoretical and empirical grounds believe the effect to be trivial or negligible.  As the article is a comprehensive review of the evidence, it must carry some weight.

Role of atmospheric carbon dioxide in climate change

By Martin Hertzberg, Hans Schreuder


The authors evaluate the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) consensus that the increase of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is of anthropogenic origin and is causing dangerous global warming, climate change and climate disruption. The totality of the data available on which that theory is based is evaluated. The data include: (a) Vostok ice-core measurements; (b) accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere; (c) studies of temperature changes that precede CO2 changes; (d) global temperature trends; (e) current ratio of carbon isotopes in the atmosphere; (f) satellite data for the geographic distribution of atmospheric CO2; (g) effect of solar activity on cosmic rays and cloud cover. Nothing in the data supports the supposition that atmospheric CO2 is a driver of weather or climate, or that human emissions control atmospheric CO2.


American Geophysical Union waffles on Tom Karl paper

Short summary of the careful wording below:  "Who cares?"

Early today, AGU’s former Board member John Bates published a letter outlining what he believes to be mismanagement of climate science data in a highly-cited scientific paper, “Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus” (Tom Karl, et al. 2015). A story about that letter was also published in The Daily Mail, a daily newspaper published in the U.K.

The implications of these pieces will unfold over time, and many questions remain to be answered. What, if any response on AGU’s part will be constructive is yet to be determined. However, I do want you to know that we are very closely monitoring the situation, have considered the possible implications, and will be sharing any new information or response by AGU with you here. We stand ready to be an authoritative resource for Congress and others on climate science, scientific integrity and data.

I also want you to know that, while climate science knowledge is evolving, these reports do not change our fundamental understanding of climate change. The Karl study updated the NOAA global temperature record, but there have been many other studies, using other, independent global temperature records, that have improved our understanding of the climate system and anthropogenic climate change since then. For example, all independent records now show that the past two years were the warmest years on record.

In addition, I want you to know that AGU remains committed to serving as a leader in data and transparency in science. We have long supported open well-managed data in the Earth and space sciences. As indicated in our position statement, these data are a world heritage and should be treated as such. We co-led the development of the Coalition for Publishing Data in the Earth and Space Sciences (COPDESS), which connects Earth and space science publishers and data facilities to help translate the aspirations of open, available, and useful data from policy into practice. And, AGU has developed a Data Management Assessment Program, which helps data repositories, large and small, domain specific to general, use best practices to assess and improve their data management practices.

I know many of you will have concerns or questions about this news, and I strongly encourage you to share those thoughts with us here, or in an email to

UPDATE (5 February, 12:36 p.m.): I want to clarify – AGU’s position on the scientific consensus on climate change and the need for openness and transparency in science is firm. As we stated “while climate science knowledge is evolving, these reports do not change our fundamental understanding of climate change,” and “AGU remains committed to serving as a leader in data and transparency in science.”

As to the merits – or lack thereof – of the allegations made in John Bates’ post about data mismanagement, within NOAA, that discussion is and will continue to unfold in dialogue among scientists, such as in this article by Zeke Hausfather from Berkeley Earth and this blog post from the Irish Climate Analysis and Research Units.

AGU has been and will continue to be a vocal voice in support of scientific integrity in the new Administration:

AGU believes that the merits of the Karl et al. (2015) should be and have been discussed in appropriate peer-reviewed scientific journals. We note that the main results of that study have since been independently replicated by later work. In the meantime, we will continue to stand up for the credibility of climate science, the freedom of scientists to conduct and communicate their science.

The purpose of our posts on this topic – past, present, and future — are to make you aware of this development affecting climate science and scientific data management. We are closely monitoring how this will play out among policymakers and influencers.

For example, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology issued a misleading press release. These types of statements by policymakers that attempt to take one study/dispute and blow it out of proportion are both unhelpful and misleading. We will be working with the science committee to demonstrate the scientific consensus on climate change and to encourage them not to interfere with the scientific process.


A Libel Suit Threatens Catastrophe for the Climate of Public Debate

The First Amendment provides robust protection for political and scientific debate, but it faces a new threat from a climate activist determined to silence his critics. In a case pending before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, Penn State professor Michael Mann is waging an aggressive campaign of lawfare, accusing of defamation those who dare to question his work. So far, the courts have given this assault on free speech a green light.

Mr. Mann is famous as the creator of the “hockey stick” graph, which portrays a dramatic trend in global warming over the past century. Numerous critics have cast doubt on the quality and accuracy of his work. They argue that his historical temperature proxies are unreliable, his data presentation misleading, and his statistical techniques skewed.

Even among those who support the theory of global warming, some have singled out Mr. Mann’s work as sloppy and exaggerated. David Hand, a former president of Britain’s Royal Statistical Society, has written that Mr. Mann’s technique “exaggerated the size of the blade at the end of the hockey stick,” which corresponds to the 20th-century temperature rise.

Not content to answer his critics in the public square, Mr. Mann has sued them. One target of his lawsuit is the political magazine National Review, which published a 270-word blog post criticizing Mr. Mann as “the man behind the fraudulent . . . ‘hockey-stick’ graph.” His lawsuit objects to the magazine’s decision to quote a critic who wrote that Mr. Mann “could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data.”

National Review moved to dismiss the suit, citing a phalanx of Supreme Court precedent. The Constitution obviously does not allow crippling damages to be imposed for voicing one’s opinion, however vehemently or caustically. Punishing such criticism because a jury disagrees with it does not aid the search for truth, but impedes it by stifling conflicting views. As the liberal Justice William Brennan observed: “Truth may not be the subject of either civil or criminal sanctions where discussion of public affairs is concerned.” Such speech “is the essence of self-government.”

As a federal court once put it in the particular context of scientific controversies: “More papers, more discussions, better data, and more satisfactory models—not larger awards of damages—mark the path toward superior understanding of the world around us.” Even a meritless defamation suit can be an effective weapon to intimidate critics and shut down debate through ruinous litigation costs.

In this case the trial court refused to dismiss Mr. Mann’s libel suit. Judge Natalia Combs Greene ruled that the defamation claims were “likely” to succeed because “to call his work a sham or to question his intellect and reasoning is tantamount to an accusation of fraud,” when in fact Mr. Mann “has been investigated by several bodies (including the EPA)” which determined that his research was “sound and not based on misleading information.” For procedural reasons, the case was reassigned to Judge Frederick Weisberg, who largely adopted Judge Green’s reasoning.

Appellate courts, which exist to reverse such legal error, in this case compounded it. National Review was supported in friend-of-the-court briefs by such unlikely allies as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Washington Post and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Yet a panel of the D.C. Court of Appeals—Judges Vanessa Ruiz,Corinne Beckwith and Catharine Easterly—held in December that Mr. Mann’s suit should proceed to a jury. The court again relied on various “official” investigations that had cleared Mr. Mann of misconduct, including an inquiry by the federal government. Speech that disagrees with the government is at the core of the First Amendment’s protection—though not in this court’s topsy-turvy world.

National Review has filed a petition for rehearing along with its co-defendants, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Rand Simberg. If the full court of appeals does not correct the error and end this assault on the First Amendment, the case will doubtless proceed to the Supreme Court.

Those hoping Mr. Mann prevails because they agree with him about global warming are missing the point. If he succeeds in diminishing the right to free speech, he and his fellow climate activists have just as much to lose. Mr. Mann has attacked his critics for peddling “pure scientific fraud,” engaging in what he calls “the fraudulent denial of climate change,” and taking “corporate payoffs for knowingly lying about the threat climate change posed to humanity.” He accused Fox News of trying to “mislead its viewers” through a “deceptive” report about climate change.

None of this is particularly polite, but it is common in the cut-and-thrust of public debate. If such caustic criticism is now to be fair game for legal action, big oil companies and other well-heeled interests can launch their own lawsuits asking juries in Texas or Oklahoma to silence Mr. Mann and his allies.

The logic of Mr. Mann’s position threatens to convert political and scientific debate into a litigation free-for-all, with all sides seeking to sue one another into submission instead of resolving differences through the free exchange of ideas. For those who care about the spirit of open inquiry at the heart of the scientific enterprise, it is scarcely possible to imagine a greater legal disaster than the prospect of Mr. Mann’s succeeding on his claims.


The hidden agendas of sustainability illusions

Absurd, impractical sustainability precepts are actually a prescription for government control

Paul Driessen

As President Trump downgrades the relevance of Obama era climate change and anti-fossil fuel policies, many environmentalists are directing attention to “sustainable development.”

Like “dangerous manmade climate change,” sustainability reflects poor understanding of basic energy, economic, resource extraction and manufacturing principles – and a tendency to emphasize tautologies and theoretical models as an alternative to readily observable evidence in the Real World. It also involves well-intended but ill-informed people being led by ill-intended but well-informed activists who use the concept to gain greater government control over people’s lives, livelihoods and living standards.

The most common definition is that we may meet the needs of current generations only to the extent that doing so will not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainability thus reflects the assertion that we are rapidly depleting finite resources, and must reduce current needs and wants so as to save raw materials for future generations.

At first blush, it sounds logical and even ethical. But it requires impossible clairvoyance.

In 1887, when the Hearthstone House became the world’s first home lit via hydroelectric power, no one did or could foresee that electricity would dominate, enhance and safeguard our lives in the myriad ways it does today. Decades later, no one anticipated pure silica fiber optic cables replacing copper wires.

No one predicted tiny cellular phones with superb digital cameras and more computing power than a 1990 desktop computer or 3-D printing or thousands of wind turbines across our fruited plains – or cadmium, rare earth metals and other raw materials suddenly required to manufacture these technological wonders.

Mankind advanced at a snail’s pace for thousands of years. As the modern fossil-fuel industrial era found its footing, progress picked up at an increasingly breathtaking pace. Today, change is exponential. As we moved from flint to copper, to bronze, iron, steel and beyond, we didn’t do so because mankind had exhausted Earth’s supplies of flint, copper, tin and so on. We did it because we innovated – invented something better, more efficient or practical. Each advance required different raw materials.

Who today can foresee what technologies future generations will have 25, 50 or 200 years from now? What raw materials they will need? How we are supposed to ensure that those families meet their needs?

Why then would we even think of empowering government to regulate today’s activities today based on the wholly unpredictable technologies, lifestyles, needs, and resource demands of distant generations? Why would we ignore or compromise the needs of current generations, to meet those totally unpredictable future needs – including the needs of today’s most impoverished, energy-deprived, malnourished people, who desperately want to improve their lives?

Moreover, we are not going to run out of resources anytime soon. A 1-kilometer fiber optic cable made from 45 pounds of silica (Earth’s most abundant element) carries thousands of times more information than an equally long RG-6 cable made from 3,600 pounds of copper, reducing demand for copper.

In 1947, the world’s proven oil reserves totaled 47 billion barrels. Over the next 70 years, we consumed hundreds of billions of barrels – and yet, in 2016 we still had at least 2,800 billion barrels of oil reserves, including oil sands, oil shales and other unconventional deposits: at least a century’s worth, plus abundant natural gas. Constantly improving technologies now let us find and produce oil and natural gas from deposits that we could not even detect, much less tap into, just a couple decades ago.

Sustainability dogma also revolves around hatred of fossil fuels, and a determination to rid the world of them, regardless of any social, economic or environmental costs of doing so. And we frequently find that supposedly green, eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives are frequently anything but.

U.S. ethanol quotas eat up 40% of the nation’s corn, cropland the size of Iowa, billions of gallons of water, and vast quantities of pesticides, fertilizers, tractor fuel and natural gas, to produce energy that drives up food prices, damages small engines and gets one-third less mileage per gallon than gasoline.

Heavily subsidized wind energy requires standby fossil fuel generators, ultra-long transmission lines and thus millions of tons of concrete, steel, copper, rare earth metals and fiberglass. The turbines create chronic health problems for people living near them and kill millions of birds and bats – to produce intermittent, wholly unreliable electricity that costs up to 250% more than coal-based electricity.

For all that, on a torrid August 2012 day, Great Britain’s 3,500 giant wind turbines generated a mere 12 megawatts of electricity: 0.032% of the 38,000 MW the country was using at the time.

The United Kingdom also subsidizes several huge anaerobic digesters, intended to convert animal manure and other farm waste into eco-friendly methane for use in generating electricity. But there is insufficient farm waste. So the digesters are fed with corn (maize), grass and rye grown on 130,000 acres (four times the size of Washington, DC), using enormous amounts of water, fertilizer – and of course diesel fuel to grow, harvest and transport the crops to the digesters. Why not just drill and frack for natural gas?

That brings us to the political arena, where the terminology is circular, malleable, infinitely elastic, the perfect tool for activists. Whatever they support is sustainable; whatever they oppose is unsustainable; and whatever mantras or protective measures they propose give them more power and control.

The Club of Rome sought to build a new movement by creating “a common enemy against whom we can unite” – allegedly looming disasters “caused by human intervention in natural processes” and requiring “changed attitudes and behavior” to avoid global calamities: global warming and resource depletion.

“Building an environmentally sustainable future requires restricting the global economy, dramatically changing human reproductive behavior, and altering values and lifestyles,” said Worldwatch Institute founder Lester Brown. “Doing this quickly requires nothing short of a revolution.”

“Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake, the use of fossil fuels, electrical appliances, home and workplace air conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable,” Canadian arch-environmentalist Maurice Strong declared.

“Minor shifts in policy, moderate improvements in laws and regulations, rhetoric offered in lieu of genuine change,” former Vice President Al Gore asserted – “these are all forms of appeasement, designed to satisfy the public’s desire to believe that sacrifice, struggle and a wrenching transformation of society will not be necessary.” Environmental activist Daniel Sitarz agreed, saying: “Agenda 21 proposes an array of actions intended to be implemented by every person on Earth. Effective execution of Agenda 21 will require a profound reorientation of all humans, unlike anything the world has ever experienced.”

“Sustainable development,” the National Research Council declaimed in a 2011 report, “raises questions that are not fully or directly addressed in U.S. law or policy, including how to define and control unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, and how to encourage the development of sustainable communities, biodiversity protection, clean energy, environmentally sustainable economic development, and climate change controls.” In fact, said Obama science advisor John Holdren, we cannot even talk about sustainability without talking about politics, power, and control. Especially control.

Of course, the activists, politicians and regulators feel little pain, as they enjoy salaries and perks paid by taxpayers and foundations, fly to UN and other conferences at posh 5-star resorts around the world, and implement agendas that control, redesign and transform other people’s lives.

It is We the Governed – especially working class and poor citizens – who pay the price, with the world’s poorest families paying the highest price. We can only hope the Trump Administration and Congress will dismantle and defund sustainable development, the alter ego of cataclysmic manmade climate change.

Via email

Global warming Game; The Hidden Agenda

If one utilises the principles of mass psychology in the same manner as one uses them in the financial markets to analyse the issue of global warming; well, something starts to stink?  If there is too much noise being made about the issue and the masses are buying the nonsense and that is an immediate red flag.

What we have learned from the investing arena can be applied to any other field, and we have long since learned that if someone is trying to force something down your throat that there is usually a hidden agenda, especially if corporations and governments are backing the so-called proposition.  The governments do nothing for the good for their people; the only thing they are concerned with is lining their pockets with as much money as they can.

Close to 32,000 scientists signed this petition stating that the Global warming story line is total rubbish.  If scientists don’t believe in this hypothesis, and they have the credentials to understand the theory behind these claims, then logic dictates that a rational individual should take the same route. 

The main players here are corporations and politicians.  Politicians are nothing but paid corporate prostitutes, therefore, the only time you can trust these two groups is when their lips are not moving.  This Video below reveals the depth of this scam and the length the top shadowy players will go to in order to get what they want; ultimately they are only concerned with money and power.

What the media refuses to tell you about Global warming

Even Green Peace Co-founder believes that Global warming is being used to sell the masses a bag of expensive goods. scam

As a result of this push to prevent global warming, many sectors have taken it to the chin; the sector that has taken the most brutal punishment is the coal sector. Coal consumption is not going to drop, Asia will continue to embrace coal as its cheap and new coal plants are almost as efficient as nuclear plants.



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

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


6 February, 2017

Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data

I and many others said at the time that the Karl paper was full of heroic assumptions and wild improbabilities.  And I now understand why a lot of Warmist bigshots distanced themselves from it in the Fyfe et al. paper. Note that  German scientists also concluded that Tom Karl's "adjustments" were not validated  

The Mail on Sunday today reveals astonishing evidence that the organisation that is the world’s leading source of climate data rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.

The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers.

But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.

It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr Bates devised.

His vehement objections to the publication of the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he describes as a ‘blatant attempt to intensify the impact’ of what became known as the Pausebuster paper.

His disclosures are likely to stiffen President Trump’s determination to enact his pledges to reverse his predecessor’s ‘green’ policies, and to withdraw from the Paris deal – so triggering an intense political row.

In an exclusive interview, Dr Bates accused the lead author of the paper, Thomas Karl, who was until last year director of the NOAA section that produces climate data – the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) – of ‘insisting on decisions and scientific choices that maximised warming and minimised documentation… in an effort to discredit the notion of a global warming pause, rushed so that he could time publication to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy’.

Dr Bates was one of two Principal Scientists at NCEI, based in Asheville, North Carolina.

Official delegations from America, Britain and the EU were strongly influenced by the flawed NOAA study as they hammered out the Paris Agreement – and committed advanced nations to sweeping reductions in their use of fossil fuel and to spending £80 billion every year on new, climate-related aid projects.

NOAA’s 2015 ‘Pausebuster’ paper was based on two new temperature sets of data – one containing measurements of temperatures at the planet’s surface on land, the other at the surface of the seas.

Both datasets were flawed. This newspaper has learnt that NOAA has now decided that the sea dataset will have to be replaced and substantially revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming. The revised data will show both lower temperatures and a slower rate in the recent warming trend.

The land temperature dataset used by the study was afflicted by devastating bugs in its software that rendered its findings ‘unstable’.

The paper relied on a preliminary, ‘alpha’ version of the data which was never approved or verified.

A final, approved version has still not been issued. None of the data on which the paper was based was properly ‘archived’ – a mandatory requirement meant to ensure that raw data and the software used to process it is accessible to other scientists, so they can verify NOAA results.

Dr Bates retired from NOAA at the end of last year after a 40-year career in meteorology and climate science. As recently as 2014, the Obama administration awarded him a special gold medal for his work in setting new, supposedly binding standards ‘to produce and preserve climate data records’.

Yet when it came to the paper timed to influence the Paris conference, Dr Bates said, these standards were flagrantly ignored.

The paper was published in June 2015 by the journal Science. Entitled ‘Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus’, the document said the widely reported ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ was a myth.

Less than two years earlier, a blockbuster report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which drew on the work of hundreds of scientists around the world, had found ‘a much smaller increasing trend over the past 15 years 1998-2012 than over the past 30 to 60 years’. Explaining the pause became a key issue for climate science. It was seized on by global warming sceptics, because the level of CO2 in the atmosphere had continued to rise.

Thanks to today’s MoS story, NOAA is set to face an inquiry by the Republican-led House science committee.

Some scientists argued that the existence of the pause meant the world’s climate is less sensitive to greenhouse gases than previously thought, so that future warming would be slower. One of them, Professor Judith Curry, then head of climate science at the Georgia Institute of Technology, said it suggested that computer models used to project future warming were ‘running too hot’.

However, the Pausebuster paper said while the rate of global warming from 1950 to 1999 was 0.113C per decade, the rate from 2000 to 2014 was actually higher, at 0.116C per decade. The IPCC’s claim about the pause, it concluded, ‘was no longer valid’.

The impact was huge and lasting. On publication day, the BBC said the pause in global warming was ‘an illusion caused by inaccurate data’.

One American magazine described the paper as a ‘science bomb’ dropped on sceptics.

Its impact could be seen in this newspaper last month when, writing to launch his Ladybird book about climate change, Prince Charles stated baldly: ‘There isn’t a pause… it is hard to reject the facts on the basis of the evidence.’

Data changed to make the sea appear warmer

The sea dataset used by Thomas Karl and his colleagues – known as Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperatures version 4, or ERSSTv4, tripled the warming trend over the sea during the years 2000 to 2014 from just 0.036C per decade – as stated in version 3 – to 0.099C per decade.

Individual measurements in some parts of the globe had increased by about 0.1C and this resulted in the dramatic increase of the overall global trend published by the Pausebuster paper.

But Dr Bates said this increase in temperatures was achieved by dubious means. Its key error was an upwards ‘adjustment’ of readings from fixed and floating buoys, which are generally reliable, to bring them into line with readings from a much more doubtful source – water taken in by ships. This, Dr Bates explained, has long been known to be questionable: ships are themselves sources of heat, readings will vary from ship to ship, and the depth of water intake will vary according to how heavily a ship is laden – so affecting temperature readings.

Dr Bates said: ‘They had good data from buoys. And they threw it out and “corrected” it by using the bad data from ships. You never change good data to agree with bad, but that’s what they did – so as to make it look as if the sea was warmer.’

ERSSTv4 ‘adjusted’ buoy readings up by 0.12C. It also ignored data from satellites that measure the temperature of the lower atmosphere, which are also considered reliable. Dr Bates said he gave the paper’s co-authors ‘a hard time’ about this, ‘and they never really justified what they were doing.’

Now, some of those same authors have produced the pending, revised new version of the sea dataset – ERSSTv5. A draft of a document that explains the methods used to generate version 5, and which has been seen by this newspaper, indicates the new version will reverse the flaws in version 4, changing the buoy adjustments and including some satellite data and measurements from a special high-tech floating buoy network known as Argo. As a result, it is certain to show reductions in both absolute temperatures and recent global warming.

The second dataset used by the Pausebuster paper was a new version of NOAA’s land records, known as the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), an analysis over time of temperature readings from about 4,000 weather stations spread across the globe.

This new version found past temperatures had been cooler than previously thought, and recent ones higher – so that the warming trend looked steeper. For the period 2000 to 2014, the paper increased the rate of warming on land from 0.15C to 0.164C per decade.

In the weeks after the Pausebuster paper was published, Dr Bates conducted a one-man investigation into this. His findings were extraordinary. Not only had Mr Karl and his colleagues failed to follow any of the formal procedures required to approve and archive their data, they had used a ‘highly experimental early run’ of a programme that tried to combine two previously separate sets of records.

This had undergone the critical process known as ‘pairwise homogeneity adjustment’, a method of spotting ‘rogue’ readings from individual weather stations by comparing them with others nearby.

However, this process requires extensive, careful checking which was only just beginning, so that the data was not ready for operational use. Now, more than two years after the Pausebuster paper was submitted to Science, the new version of GHCN is still undergoing testing.

Moreover, the GHCN software was afflicted by serious bugs. They caused it to become so ‘unstable’ that every time the raw temperature readings were run through the computer, it gave different results. The new, bug-free version of GHCN has still not been approved and issued. It is, Dr Bates said, ‘significantly different’ from that used by Mr Karl and his co-authors.

Dr Bates revealed that the failure to archive and make available fully documented data not only violated NOAA rules, but also those set down by Science. Before he retired last year, he continued to raise the issue internally. Then came the final bombshell. Dr Bates said: ‘I learned that the computer used to process the software had suffered a complete failure.’

The reason for the failure is unknown, but it means the Pausebuster paper can never be replicated or verified by other scientists.

The flawed conclusions of the Pausebuster paper were widely discussed by delegates at the Paris climate change conference. Mr Karl had a longstanding relationship with President Obama’s chief science adviser, John Holdren, giving him a hotline to the White House.

Mr Holdren was also a strong advocate of robust measures to curb emissions. Britain’s then Prime Minister David Cameron claimed at the conference that ‘97 per cent of scientists say climate change is urgent and man-made and must be addressed’ and called for ‘a binding legal mechanism’ to ensure the world got no more than 2C warmer than in pre-industrial times.

President Obama stressed his Clean Power Plan at the conference, which mandates American power stations to make big emissions cuts.

President Trump has since pledged he will scrap it, and to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

Whatever takes its place, said Dr Bates, ‘there needs to be a fundamental change to the way NOAA deals with data so that people can check and validate scientific results. I’m hoping that this will be a wake-up call to the climate science community – a signal that we have to put in place processes to make sure this kind of crap doesn’t happen again.

‘I want to address the systemic problems. I don’t care whether modifications to the datasets make temperatures go up or down. But I want the observations to speak for themselves, and for that, there needs to be a new emphasis that ethical standards must be maintained.’

He said he decided to speak out after seeing reports in papers including the Washington Post and Forbes magazine claiming that scientists feared the Trump administration would fail to maintain and preserve NOAA’s climate records.

Dr Bates said: ‘How ironic it is that there is now this idea that Trump is going to trash climate data, when key decisions were earlier taken by someone whose responsibility it was to maintain its integrity – and failed.’

NOAA not only failed, but it effectively mounted a cover-up when challenged over its data. After the paper was published, the US House of Representatives Science Committee launched an inquiry into its Pausebuster claims. NOAA refused to comply with subpoenas demanding internal emails from the committee chairman, the Texas Republican Lamar Smith, and falsely claimed that no one had raised concerns about the paper internally.

Last night Mr Smith thanked Dr Bates ‘for courageously stepping forward to tell the truth about NOAA’s senior officials playing fast and loose with the data in order to meet a politically predetermined conclusion’. He added: ‘The Karl study used flawed data, was rushed to publication in an effort to support the President’s climate change agenda, and ignored NOAA’s own standards for scientific study.’

Professor Curry, now the president of the Climate Forecast Applications Network, said last night: ‘Large adjustments to the raw data, and substantial changes in successive dataset versions, imply substantial uncertainties.’

It was time, she said, that politicians and policymakers took these uncertainties on board.

Last night Mr Karl admitted the data had not been archived when the paper was published. Asked why he had not waited, he said: ‘John Bates is talking about a formal process that takes a long time.’ He denied he was rushing to get the paper out in time for Paris, saying: ‘There was no discussion about Paris.’

They played fast and loose with the figures

He also admitted that the final, approved and ‘operational’ edition of the GHCN land data would be ‘different’ from that used in the paper’.

As for the ERSSTv4 sea dataset, he claimed it was other records – such as the UK Met Office’s – which were wrong, because they understated global warming and were ‘biased too low’.

Jeremy Berg, Science’s editor-in-chief, said: ‘Dr Bates raises some serious concerns. After the results of any appropriate investigations… we will consider our options.’ He said that ‘could include retracting that paper’.NOAA declined to comment.


NASA / NOAA Climate Data Is Fake Data

NOAA shows the Earth red hot in December, with record heat in central Africa.

(Graphic above from here)

The map above is fake. NOAA has almost no temperature data from Africa, and none from central Africa. They simply made up the record temperatures. See below for a graphic showing what Thermometer Data they have:

(Source of above graphic) 


"The ocean exerts a dominant control on atmospheric CO2 levels."

It's not coal-fired power stations after all!


Green movement 'greatest threat to freedom', says Trump adviser

The environmental movement is “the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world”, according to an adviser to the US president Donald Trump’s administration.

Myron Ebell, who has denied the dangers of climate change for many years and led Trump’s transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) until the president’s recent inauguration, also said he fully expected Trump to keep his promise to withdraw the US from the global agreement to fight global warming.

Ebell said US voters had rejected what he dubbed the “expertariat” and said there was no doubt that Trump thinks that climate change is not a crisis and does not require urgent action.

Trump has already replaced the climate change page on the White House website with a fossil-fuel-based energy policy, resurrected two controversial oil pipelines and attempted to gag the EPA, the Agriculture Department and the National Parks Service.

Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax” and “bullshit”, has packed his administration with climate-change deniers but appeared to soften his stance after his election win, saying there is “some connectivity” between human activity and climate change. However, he also claimed action to cut carbon emissions was making US companies uncompetitive.

Ebell, who has returned to his role at the anti-regulation thinktank the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said on Monday: “The environmental movement is, in my view, the greatest threat to freedom and prosperity in the modern world.”

The CEI does not disclose its funders but has in the past received money from the oil giant ExxonMobil. “Our special interest is, I would say, freedom,” Ebell said.

During the US presidential campaign, Trump pledged to withdraw from the climate change deal agreed by 196 nations in Paris in 2015, making the US the only country considering doing so. “I expect President Trump to be very assiduous in keeping his promises,” Ebell said.

Trump’s pick for secretary of state, the former ExxonMobil boss Rex Tillerson, appeared to contradict the president about leaving the climate agreement at his confirmation hearing, saying the US should keep “its seat at the table”.

“Who is going to win that debate? I don’t know but the president was elected and Tillerson was appointed by the president, so would guess the president will be the odds-on favourite,” said Ebell. “The people who elected him don’t want a seat at the table.”

“The people of America have rejected the expertariat, and I think with good reason because I think the expertariat have been wrong about one thing after another, including climate policy,” he said. “The expert class, it seems to me, is full of arrogance or hubris.”

“I don’t think there is any doubt that [Trump] thinks that global warming is not a crisis and does not require drastic and immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. The deal agreed by the world’s nations in Paris aims to hold the global temperature rise to well below 2C, a target that requires dramatic cuts in carbon emissions. Without this, the world’s climate experts concluded there will be “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” on people and the natural world.

Ebell, speaking in London, claimed that the motivation for climate action was protecting a special interest: “The climate-industrial complex is a gigantic special interest that involves everyone from the producers of higher priced energy to the academics that benefit from advancement in their careers and larger government grants.” The IMF has calculated that fossil fuels receive $10m every minute in subsidies, while the fossil fuel industry spends at least $100m a year on lobbying.

China’s president, Xi Jinping, recently reaffirmed his nation’s commitment to tackling climate change and said the nation’s green investments were already “paying off”. China pledged earlier in January to invest $360bn in renewable energy by 2020.

In an echo of Trump’s claim that climate change was a hoax invented by China, Ebell said: “China is making big investments in producing more solar panels and windmills, which they sell to gullible consumers in the western world, so that power and electricity prices will become higher and the Chinese economy will become more competitive.”


House votes to overturn Obama rule on natural gas 'flaring'

The Republican-controlled House voted on Friday to overturn an Obama administration rule that sought to reduce harmful methane emissions into the environment, part of the Democratic president's campaign to combat climate change.

Lawmakers voted 221-191 to roll back the Interior Department rule that had clamped down on oil companies that burn off natural gas during drilling operations on public lands. Three Democrats voted in favor of repealing the rule, which was finalized in November, while 11 Republicans opposed repeal.

Republicans argued that the rule is causing job losses in energy-dependent states across the West and is undercutting domestic energy production. The measure now goes to the Senate.

The House vote followed action in the Senate earlier Friday ending an Obama-era regulation that requires oil and gas companies to disclose payments to foreign governments for mining and drilling.

The House and Senate also gave final approval this week to a measure that eliminates a rule to prevent coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams.

The votes are among a series Republicans are taking under GOP control of Congress and the White House to reverse years of what they call excessive regulation during President Barack Obama's tenure. Rules on fracking, federal contracting and other issues also are in the GOP crosshairs.

Republicans said the natural gas rule costs energy companies more than $1 billion a year and costs states and the federal government million in lost tax payments.

"This rule is a needless burden on American families," said Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., who said the boom in natural gas production in recent years benefits "everyday Americans" by lowering energy costs and reducing air pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Energy companies frequently "flare" or burn off vast supplies of natural gas at drilling sites because it earns less money than oil. A government report said about 40 percent of gas being flared or vented could be captured economically and sold.

Gas flaring is so prevalent in oil-rich North Dakota that night-time flaring activity on drilling sites is visible in NASA photos from space.

Environmental groups and public health organizations opposed the rollback, saying the new rule will reduce the risk of ozone formation in the air and ozone-related health problems, including asthma attacks, hospital admissions and premature deaths.

Methane, the primary gas burned off during flaring operations, is strong contributor to climate change. It is about 25 times more potent at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, although it does not stay in the air as long. Methane emissions make up about 9 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to government estimates.

The oil industry has argued that new regulations are not needed for methane because the industry already has a financial incentive to capture and sell natural gas. Methane emissions have been reduced by 21 percent since 1990 even as production has boomed, according to the Western Energy Alliance, an industry group.



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

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


5 February, 2017

Australian Federal government plan for clean coal power

The very term "clean" coal is a monstrous crock.  The claim is that CO2 is "dirty".  But we all breathe CO2 out.  Do we breathe out dirt?  And the idea that you can capture and store it is equally absurd.  It's possible in theory but the engineering challenges would make it monstrously expensive

The Turnbull government is planning to help fund the construction of new clean-coal-fired power stations­ in an extraordinary meas­ure to intervene in the looming energ­y security and pricing crisis.

In a move to address the premature closures of state power plants, the federal government will look to either repurpose plants or directly invest in the construction of new-generation coal-fired plants in partnership with the ­private sector. A senior government source confirmed Malcolm Turnbull had asked late last year for options to fund “ultra-super-critical power plants” to provide clean-coal alternatives and lower fuel costs, which would not only ­alleviate price pressure for consumers and business but arrest the decline in Australia’s competitive advantage in manufacturing.

In a direct challenge to the Labor states, and drawing the polit­ical battlelines with Bill Shorten, the Prime Minister yesterday blamed “huge” renewable ­energy targets set by Labor governments for pushing power prices to the highest of any OECD country.

In his first national address of the year, Mr Turnbull accused Labor yesterday of a “mindless rush” to renewables, and hinted that the government would intervene to protect prices and security of supply with a path to state-of-the-art coal-fired technology.

The Australian has confirmed that Mr Turnbull and senior ministers, including Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg, have been in discussion­s since December on what exceptional measures the commonwealth could take to subsidise new coal-fired generation, as well as provide incentives to the states to lift the moratorium on new gas development, which is also having a crippling impact on reliability and prices.

“States are setting huge renewable targets, far beyond that of the national RET, with no consideration given to the baseload power and storage needed for stability,” Mr Turnbull said in a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday. “We will need more synchronous baseload power and, as the world’s largest coal exporter, we have a vested interest in showing that we can provide both lower emissions and reliable baseload power with state-of-the-art clean-coal-fired technology.”

Energy storage would also be a priority in the government’s ­energy policy, with Mr Turnbull claiming it had long been neg­lected in Australia.

“You’d think if anyone had a vested interest in showing that you could do really smart, clean things with coal it would be us, wouldn’t you? Who has a bigger interest than us? We are the biggest ­exporter. Yet we don’t have one power station that meets those requirements,” he said.

“This has got to be all about Australian families and Australian businesses, making sure that they can keep the lights on and, when they’re on, they can afford to pay the bill.

“And, yes, of course, we meet our emissions ­reduction targets.

“Nothing will more rapidly de-industrialise Australia and deter investment more than more and more expensive, let alone less ­reliable, energy.

“Australia is the world’s largest exporter of coal, has invested $590 million since 2009 in clean-coal technology research and demonstration, and yet we do not have one modern high-efficiency, low emissions coal-fired power station, let alone one with CCS?”

Industry Minister Arthur Sinodinos yesterday flagged the possibility of the $10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation being used to fund technology-neutral power sources, but would not reveal what the government might do.

“The whole issue is being looked at because we need now a systemic approach,’’ Senator Sinodinos told Sky News. “And Malcolm Turnbull I think is a good Prime Minister to do that.’’

Another government source close to the discussions said “it is very early days” but sites being raised as possibilities for new coal-fired power plants included in Queensland, the Hazelwood plant in Victoria, which is due to be mothballed next month, and the gas-fired plant site at Pelican Point in South Australia.

Scott Morrison, who recently led a push for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to include coal power as an option in the ­region as it transitions to higher levels of renewable energy, confirmed that new coal would be part of the government’s energy policy mix. “Coal is part of our energy ­future, coal is part of our security and energy security and affordability, and we will have more to say as time goes on but the Prime Minister made it very clear today that you cannot be technology ­dependent or biased in any way in this area nor can you be, frankly, resource dependent on these things,” the Treasurer said.

“It is about energy affordability, security and sustainability. That is what households, families need, it is what businesses need. And coal is part of that. We need to have an energy future that is inclusive of what has been one of our greatest energy advantages for 100 years.”

The Opposition Leader on Tuesday claimed his 50 per cent renewable energy target would create “real jobs ... for blue-­collar workers, jobs for engineers, jobs for designers’’.

Labor’s energy spokesman, Mark Butler, yesterday blamed the government for pushing up power prices because of uncertainty in the electricity market.

“Instead of addressing the investmen­t uncertainty facing the energy sector with sensible nation­al policy that would reduce the cost of electricity, improve reliability­ and cut pollution, the Prime Minister is actively causing prices to rise, security to suffer and pollution to grow,” he said.

But Mr Frydenberg said Labor had presided over a 100 per cent increase in power prices.

“Their record in government was a disaster,” the minister said. “Bill Shorten’s 50 per cent renewable energy target would require 10,000 wind turbines to be built between now and 2030.”

Latrobe City Council Mayor Kellie O’Callaghan welcomed Mr Turnbull’s statement, saying a clean-coal policy could mean a new power station to replace ­Hazelwood was back on the table.


Senate panel advances Trump EPA chief pick over Democrats' boycott

A Senate committee suspended rules on Thursday to approve U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, amid a boycott of his nomination by the panel's Democratic members.

John Barrasso, chair of the Senate's environment and public works committee, said the panel would "suspend several rules" temporarily to approve the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as EPA administrator.

Democrats on the committee boycotted Wednesday's meeting to approve Pruitt, saying that he doubts the science of climate change and has too many conflicts of interest with the companies he would be charged with regulating.

The full Senate will now vote on Pruitt's nomination. The date for that has not yet been confirmed, but with Republicans holding a majority in the Senate, the nomination will likely be approved.

Barrasso justified the move by saying that Pruitt, who sued the EPA 14 times as Oklahoma's top attorney, reflects the agenda of the president who won the 2016 election.  "Elections have consequences and a new president is entitled to put in place people who advance his agenda," he said.

Environmental groups, which have strongly criticized the choice of Pruitt, raised concerns that the nomination was pushed through to the full Senate.


Senate votes to block Obama coal rule

Senators voted 54-45 Thursday to kill an Obama administration coal mining rule, giving President Trump his first chance to formally take off the books an environmental rule from the previous administration.

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) challenge passed by the Senate undoes the Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule, a regulation requiring coal firms to clean up waste from mountaintop removal mining and prevent it from going into local waterways.

The coal industry and its congressional allies have looked for ways to kill the rule since Obama regulators began crafting it early in his term.

They argued the regulation would be such a financial hindrance for the coal industry that it would kill jobs in economically distressed areas of Appalachia already struggling due to the sector’s market-driven downturn. 

The Office of Surface Mining finalized the rule in December, and the GOP this week quickly introduced and voted on a CRA resolution taking the rule off the books and blocking regulators from writing a similar rule in the future.

The House passed the bill 228-194 on Wednesday night. Trump supports the legislation, Republicans said, meaning the rule will come off the books as soon as he signs it.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) were the only Democrats to support the measure in the Senate. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was the only Republican to vote against it.

“In my home state of Kentucky and others across the nation, the stream buffer rule will cause major damage to communities and threaten coal jobs,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Thursday, noting industry opposition and state lawsuits against the rule.

“We should heed their call now and begin bringing relief to coal country. Today’s vote on this resolution represents a good step in that direction.”

Environmentalists, public health advocates and Democrats broadly support the rule, saying it will protect waterways and prevent health risks for people living in coal-heavy areas.

“If you want to help miners, then come address their health and safety and their pension program,” Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said during floor debate

“You can protect the coal industry here with special interests and the amount of lobbying they do, or you can step up in a process and have a regulation that works for the United States of America so the outdoor industry and sportsman and fishermen can continue to thrive.”

The resolution will be the first CRA challenge undoing an Obama-era rule to hit President Trump’s desk.

The CRA, which gives Congress the power to undo rules shortly after they are finalized, is a rarely successful tool: It has only been used to undo a rule once, in 2001.

But Republicans have pledged to pass several CRA resolutions blocking late Obama rules this session.


Is Anything Wrong With Natural, Non-Man-Made Climate Change?

I recently asked an environmentalist this question: “If we found out that the planet was warming for purely natural reasons, would you be in favor of climate engineering to stop it, because the current temperature and sea level are the right ones for humans?”

He seemed appalled. “No, of course not, man,” he said.

“Thank you,” I said. And I meant it, because this fellow had just made a concession that is fatal to the central argument in favor of reducing carbon emissions: the risk of catastrophic climate change.

Climate alarmists are alarmed about the human impact on the climate.  Most of them are not, however, actually alarmed about climate change per se. That is why they have proposed virtually nothing that would protect anyone from natural climate change. In fact, if it turns out that temperatures and sea levels are rising for purely natural reasons, most environmentalists would probably be against doing anything to stop it, just liked the fellow I asked.

Of course, not all climate alarmists agree. Some of them do think that rising temperatures and sea levels are alarming regardless of what’s causing them to rise. Such voices are in a tiny minority, however, and the policy prescriptions that follow logically from their concerns have nothing to do with reducing carbon emissions. If we are worried about global warming regardless of its causes, then the right policy is adaptation (i.e., help people adjust to life at higher temperatures) and prevention (i.e. planetary climate engineering, by altering the atmosphere in ways that neutralize natural climate change).

Many climate alarmists, however, are like the fellow who unwittingly admitted that he’s not actually alarmed about climate change in and of itself, just climate change caused by human activity. The most radical of these environmentalists flatly deny that temperatures and sea levels could be rising partly for natural reasons. In other words, they deny natural climate change. Call them “climate deniers” for short, since they are denying that the climate is doing now what it has always done, namely change for natural reasons.

Ironically enough, it turns out that these climate deniers are also science deniers. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summarizes all of the climate science that climate alarmists use to justify their anti-carbon policies. It is the most authoritative source for environmentalists’ claims about the scientific consensus on climate change. On the link between human activity and climate change, the IPCC has this to say: “It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together.”

The same IPCC report says that current warming is “unequivocal” i.e.; there is virtually no doubt that the planet is warming. But the IPCC is not nearly so unequivocal about the causes. It cites human activity as the major cause of warming, but not necessarily the only cause. Scientists aren’t sure what the climate trend would be in the absence of human activity; it’s possible that carbon emissions have an even bigger warming impact than they fear, and the impact is being mostly absorbed by an underlying cooling trend; they just don’t know. The IPCC’s carefully qualified attribution statement recognizes that scientists don’t understand the climate well enough to quantify precisely the relative contribution of the various human and natural factors in the current warming trend.

The bottom line is that scientists are much more confident that the planet is warming than they are confident that they understand why the planet is warming. This only stands to reason. It is obviously easier to measure temperature change than to draw “unequivocal” conclusions about causation from the incredibly rich, complex, and often impenetrable picture that the climate data present. Those who think that the scientific debate is over are the real science deniers.

Uncertainty is not necessarily fatal to precautionary policies such as the widespread calls for reducing carbon emissions. Policies designed to guard against risks have to take uncertainty into account. But uncertainty is not an excuse for throwing rational cost-benefit analysis out the window. Through policies like the Paris Agreement on climate change, alarmists are proposing hugely expensive reductions in carbon emissions that would hit the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations hardest.

But the only benefit they propose is a reduction in warming that today’s scientists would not be able to measure, much less conclusively attribute to the policy. Warming could stop completely without any reduction in carbon emissions, and it could continue despite the elimination of all carbon emissions. Scientists don’t know what the future holds because they don’t understand natural climate variability well enough to say what the underlying climate trend would be today in the absence of human impact.

It’s very telling that climate alarmists never mention natural climate change. And yet the danger of natural climate change is all too real. Most people don’t realize that the last 9,000 years have been uncharacteristically stable compared to the violent climate changes in the 9,000 years before that. 18,000 years ago, the state of Wisconsin was under nearly two miles of ice. Average temperatures were 40 degrees Farenheit lower than they are today, when they suddenly began to soar. The glaciers that covered most of the northern hemisphere started melting away, and never stopped melting. Ocean levels rose 300 feet between 15,000 and 8,000 years ago; that’s less time than between Sumerian civilization and the present day. It is very likely that we are towards the end of a short warm period between major glaciations of the Pleistocene Ice Age, which has lasted 2.6 million years. Carbon dioxide levels are the highest they’ve been in 800,000 years, as we’re often told, but the baseline is that of a ice age that has brought carbon dioxide levels to their lowest point in 245 million years.

Climate alarmists generally don’t know any of this because they’re not really afraid of climate change. What they’re afraid of is fossil fuels. Some of them have been advocating renewable fuel standards since the 1970s, when the scientific doomsday fad was imminent oil scarcity. Others are socialists like Naomi Klein, who thinks that corporations are the height of human evil. Still others are simple proponents of government regulation like you find in every sector of the economy, the agents of government’s rapacious appetite for control. And still others are underdeveloped countries whose governments see the possibility of massive redistribution in a progressive scheme of decarbonization.

The one thing these people generally have in common is that they deny the present danger of natural climate change and they deny the many legitimate questions that remain about exactly what the climate science is telling us. They are the real climate deniers, the real science deniers, and that’s why they risk going down as just another doomsday fad.


A Scientists’ March on Washington Is a Bad Idea

The NYT says so

Talk is growing about a march for science on Washington, similar to the Women’s March. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times
Talk is growing about a March for Science on Washington, similar to the Women’s March the day after President Trump’s inauguration. It is a terrible idea.

Among scientists, understandably, there is growing fear that fact-based decision making is losing its seat at the policy-making table. There’s also overwhelming frustration with the politicization of science by climate change skeptics and others who see it as threatening to their interests or beliefs.

But trying to recreate the pointedly political Women’s March will serve only to reinforce the narrative from skeptical conservatives that scientists are an interest group and politicize their data, research and findings for their own ends.

I am a coastal geologist. I direct a center where our mission is to conduct scientific research and then communicate that science to elected officials, regulators, even private entities and the public. There is no question that the proposed March for Science will make my job more difficult and increase polarization.

Please understand, I don’t shy away from openly presenting the facts about the changing climate and rising seas. But I’ve learned that doing so is not without risk.

In 2010, I was a co-author of a report for North Carolina’s Coastal Resources Commission that said sea levels along the state’s coastline could rise by as much as 39 inches by the end of the century. That conclusion was based on the best peer-reviewed science and was intended to help policy makers plan for the future.

But it alarmed real estate and other economic development interests, which quickly attacked the report. The coastal commission ignored it. The authors, myself included, were widely slandered. And the Legislature passed a law that barred state and local agencies from developing regulations or planning documents anticipating a rise in sea level. “I think this is a brilliant solution,” the comedian Stephen Colbert said at the time. “If your science gives you a result that you don’t like, pass a law saying the result is illegal. Problem solved.”

You might think that the lesson I learned from that experience was to distrust the political establishment. No. What I learned was that most of those attacking our sea-level-rise projections had never met me, nor my co-authors. Not only that, most of the public had never met anyone they considered a scientist. They didn’t understand the careful, painstaking process we followed to reach our peer-reviewed conclusions. We were unknowns, “scientists” delivering bad news. We were easy marks for those who felt threatened by our findings.

A march by scientists, while well intentioned, will serve only to trivialize and politicize the science we care so much about, turn scientists into another group caught up in the culture wars and further drive the wedge between scientists and a certain segment of the American electorate.



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

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3 February, 2017

Scientists Criticize 'Hottest Year on Record' Claim as Hype

Claims that 2016 was “the hottest year on record” are drawing sharp criticism from scientists who say it reflects how global warming has become more social crusade than evidence-based science.

“The Obama administration relentlessly politicized science and it aggressively pushed a campaign about that politicized science,” said Steven E. Koonin, who served as under secretary for science in Obama’s Department of Energy from 2009 to 2011.

Koonin, a theoretical physicist at New York University who once worked for energy giant BP, also blamed a “happily complicit” media for trumpeting the now-departed Obama administration’s dubious claim.

The controversy began in mid-January when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a report declaring that “the globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for 2016 was the highest among all years since record-keeping began in 1880.”

NOAA fixed the 2016 increase at 0.04 degrees Celsius. The British Met Office reported an even lower rise, of 0.01C. Both increases are well within the margin of error for such calculations, approximately 0.1 degrees, and therefore are dismissed by many scientists as meaningless.

The reports, however, set the global warming bell towers ringing. Gavin Schmidt, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, was quoted at Climate Central referring to the past temperature record and saying “2016 has really blown that out of the water.”

Following the lead of the Schmidt and government press releases, USA Today wrote that “the planet sizzled to its third straight record warm year in 2016.” The New York Times’ front-page headline said, “Earth Sets Temperature Record for Third Straight Year.” The article declared that the latest readings were “trouncing” earlier numbers and the planet had thus “blown past” the previous records.

Such characterizations are absurd, according to Richard Lindzen, a meteorology professor at MIT and one of the world’s foremost skeptics that global warming represents an existential threat.

“It’s typical misleading nonsense,” Lindzen said in an e-mail. “We’re talking about less than a tenth of degree with an uncertainty of about a quarter of a degree. Moreover, such small fluctuations – even if real – don’t change the fact that the trend for the past 20 years has been much less than models have predicted.”

Koonin suggested the White House and the media could consider an alternative presentation of what’s happening.

“I think simply by having the government press releases on the changing climate be fulsomely scientific – that is, putting in all the relevant facts – we would see more genuine science in the media discussions,” he said.

As an example, he offered a headline that read, “Global Temperatures Up 0.0X for 2016; Within Margin of Error for Last N Years.” Rather than exclaim “Sea Levels Highest on Record,” Koonin said, the press releases could encourage, and perhaps media outlets accept, one that reads, “Sea Level Rose 0.1 Inches Last Year, Consistent With Century-Long Trend.”

But would that stir public opinion or sell papers?

“It’s not my job to sell papers,” Koonin said. “The White House positions, the press releases, the published stories – all of that is not exactly inaccurate but it is promoting something considerably less alarming or certain than the layperson might conclude from reading it all.”

The issue is not one of fake news or manipulated data but of emphasis.

The Times said it did not rely solely on data sets that showed a 0.01C increase. The paper’s coverage incorporated other studies that showed a greater increase in average temperatures, particularly those that take Arctic changes into account, said Justin Gillis, who covers global warming for The Times. Gillis provided a bar graph to RealClearInvestigations that showed three other conclusions reflecting higher temperature jumps than those recorded by NOAA and the British meteorology office in conjunction with East Anglia University, one of the world’s centers of global warming research.

Judith Curry, a former Georgia Tech scientist who left her academic post this month largely because of the charged politics surrounding global warming, said the other temperature data sets are less precise.

She said there are “some good reasons” why one of the British 0.01C sources elects not to extend its coverage to the Arctic Ocean. “There is little to no data, and the extrapolation methods are dubious,” Curry wrote in an e-mail.

Neither USA Today nor Schmidt replied to requests for comment.

In addition to Curry, Koonin and Lindzen, five other experts told RealClearInvestigations the layman’s understanding of the issue would improve if the Trump administration adopted a more neutral stance toward global warming stories. That would be certain to be interpreted as one of “denial” about global warming, and already several figures in the emerging Trump team have been denounced by The Times and others as climate deniers.

This rhetoric again obscures the real issue, according to the skeptics, who insist the important question for government and taxpayers isn’t global warming’s reality but rather its extent


The Global Warming Smoking Gun: 1910 to 1940

The global warming narrative is straightforward. Carbon dioxide, (CO2), released by burning coal, oil and natural gas, is increasing in the atmosphere. The increased concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause the globe to warm. The warming will create numerous bad effects. Therefore, we must reduce the emissions of CO2 by switching to green energy such as windmills, solar power and crops that can be burned for energy.

The global warming idea has caught on, at least in left-leaning circles. Millions of people believe that global warming is solid science. If you doubt the global warming idea, you will be accused of not believing in science. According to the promoters of global warming, doubters are like the people who put Galileo on trial, or the people who think the Earth is flat.

The global warming narrative consists of assertions, supposedly based on science, and proposed actions that will avert the (purported) disaster. The narrative is very fragile and is susceptible to collapse if the assertions or proposed actions are faulty.

There are a lot of faults in the narrative. For example, the alternative energy proposed is too expensive by an order of magnitude. Carbon dioxide increase could be stopped by switching coal electricity to nuclear electricity because it is only necessary to reduce CO2 emissions by about half, because the other half of the CO2 emitted disappears into the ocean. (See this.) But, most of the global warmers hate nuclear, so nuclear is not on the menu.

The global warming program to reduce CO2 emissions and change the world’s energy sources is a political impossibility because China and India are not going to participate beyond selling windmills to us and to the Europeans. China burns 4 times as much coal as we do.

Then, it is not clear that warming is a bad thing. It might be very beneficial. Some of the supposed bad effects, such as the oceans rising and flooding the coasts, are so silly as to be not deserving of refutation. It is well-established that adding CO2 to the atmosphere helps agriculture, because plants grow better, with less water, in an atmosphere with enhanced CO2.

The most vulnerable item in the global warming narrative is the assertion that CO2 is going to cause substantial warming. It is not unreasonable to expect CO2 to create warming. The real question is how much. The high priests of global warming, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC, say that doubling the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere will raise the average global temperature by 3 degrees Celsius or 5+ degrees Fahrenheit. The scientific basis for this claim is extremely shaky. The claim is based solely on computer models of the Earth’s atmosphere.

A perspective on the climate models from a prominent scientist, Kevin Trenberth, who is allied with the global warmers, can be seen here. He says there is a lot wrong with the models and the IPCC is not actually making predictions with the models.

The climate models include many approximations and assumptions that are not necessarily well grounded in atmospheric physics. As a result, there are many adjustable parameters the value of which must be set by a “tuning” process. The tuning is accomplished by running the models against the past, adjusting the parameters to make the model output agree with the known past climate. The past climate is also not well known in many respects, so estimating is used, and different modelers have different past climate estimates. The great danger is that the model may be tuned to agree with the past but then fail to predict the future. This can happen if the model is based on faulty assumptions, but that there is enough spare adjusting capacity inherent in the parameters so that the model can be forced to agree with the past even though the model is faulty.

The situation with the climate models used by the IPCC is that they cannot be made to even agree with the past climate. The illustration below is from the 2013 report of the IPCC (AR5: ). It plots the climate temperature observations against the averaged output of the various models used by the IPCC. There are two areas of serious disagreement illustrated by added annotation. From 1910 to 1940 the Earth warmed strongly, but the models do not generate a match to that warming. The other area of disagreement is the period starting in 1998 when global warming stopped, called the “Hiatus” or the “Pause.” The models project global warming continuing, not stopping in 1998.

The climate models attribute the strong warming trend from 1975 to 1998, the late 20th century warming, to the influence of CO2 (and minor greenhouse gases). However, the very similar warming from 1910 to 1940, the early 20th century warming, cannot be blamed on CO2 because in that less industrialized time there was not enough increase in CO2 to account for more than a tiny part of that warming. Although there are plenty of theories, the cause of the early 20th century warming is unknown. Some modelers incorporate speculative theories to try to make their models better match observations. But, the average of the models still cannot fit to the early 20th century warming. The obvious important question is how do we know the late 20th century warming was caused by CO2 and not by the same unknown force that caused the early 20th century warming?

The inability to explain the early 20th century warming, and the real probability that the late 20th century warming may be forced by factors other than CO2, constitute a smoking gun type of evidence, casting doubt on the predictions of global warming forced by CO2. Doubt concerning the viability of the climate models is further reinforced by the lack of warming during the last 18 years, the Hiatus.

What other forces may be driving the Earth’s climate? Exchange of heat with the oceans can potentially have a large effect on climate. Vast quantities of cold, salty water sink to the bottom of the ocean in the polar regions. That sinking water tends to warm the Earth because cold water is removed from the surface environment. However cold water is upwelling to the surface in various places. That cools the Earth. In the short term the sinking and up welling are not necessarily in balance, resulting in net storage or net emission of cold water from the subsurface ocean. The promoters of global warming try to use ocean heat storage to explain model failure. The ocean can “explain” any failure of the models. But, that is speculation because there are not good observations of the interchange of heat between the atmosphere and the oceans. The ocean influence cuts both ways, explaining away the model failures, or else providing an alternative, non-CO2, explanation for the warming and cooling of the Earth.

The sun may have an effect on the Earth’s climate not acknowledged by the models. It is known the sun has various cycles, the 11-year sunspot cycle being most prominent. It is known that an exceptionally cold period from 1645 to 1715, the Maunder Minimum, was accompanied by the near absence of sunspots. But good measurements of the sun only began in the satellite era, so we have a lack of knowledge concerning the effect of the sun. The Danish physicist, Henrik Svensmark, has a pretty good theory suggesting that cycles in the strength of the sun’s magnetic field modulate the arrival of cosmic rays to the Earth and the cosmic rays provide nuclei for the formation of cloud droplets. Clouds affect climate.

The pacific decadal oscillation changes the temperature of parts of the Pacific Ocean about every 30 years. It was only discovered in the 1990’s by a biologist investigating variation in the Alaska salmon catch. That and a similar oscillation in the Atlantic are probably driven by ocean circulation and may drive climate. There may be, and probably are, forces driving climate that are yet to be discovered.

As one professor said, to err is human, but to really foul up you need a computer.


Liberal Mega-Donor Tom Steyer Gives Up On Climate Change (Because No One Cares…)

Tom Steyer – the hedge fund guy with the annoying tartan tie – has decided to quit green advocacy politics and move “beyond climate change” in order to campaign on something – anything – that people actually give a damn about.

“We want to know what matters most to you, and what should be done,” he pleads, desperately, in a new video.

Let us pause for a moment and savour the man’s absurdity, chutzpah and brazen hypocrisy.

Here is a guy who, for the last decade, has been telling us that climate change is the most important issue of our time.

That’s why he spent millions of his personal fortune in the last two election cycles promoting liberal causes and supporting Democrat candidates: in order – as  he puts it on the website of his NextGenClimate SuperPac – to “prevent climate disaster.”

So what exactly has happened to make this great green philanthropist change his mind?

Did the planet stop warming? [well yes, actually, it pretty much did for the last 20 years, but that’s another story…]

Did mankind suddenly see sense and abandon the selfishness, greed and refusal to amend his lifestyle which has caused carbon-dioxide to reach levels unprecedented in the age of humans?

Did the mighty political power of all the nations who met in Paris to secure a climate deal in December 2015 result in an agreement so watertight and effective that the world was saved from the clutches of ManBearPig?

Nope. What happened was that this shyster opportunist – as I reported here, part of his vast fortune comes from his earlier investments in Big Coal – has simply reached the very expensive conclusion that no one gives a damn about the greenies’ imaginary climate problem.

    Steyer spent about $86 million in the 2016 election cycle, trying to get Democrats elected. Republicans, however, held onto both chambers of Congress, won the presidency and saw state legislature and governorship gains. NextGen spent about $56 million in 2016, according to campaign finance data.

    NextGen spent nearly $21 million in the 2014 election cycle, but only had a 38 percent rate of supporting winning candidates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Steyer spent more than $73 million of his personal fortune that election cycle only to see Republicans take control of the Senate.


Faced with U.S. retreat on climate change, EU looks to China

Faced with a U.S. retreat from international efforts to tackle climate change, European Union officials are looking to China, fearing a leadership vacuum will embolden those within the bloc seeking to slow the fight against global warming.

While U.S. President Donald Trump has yet to act on campaign pledges to pull out of the 2015 Paris accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions, his swift action in other areas has sparked sharp words from usually measured EU bureaucrats.

When Trump's former environment adviser, until the president's inauguration this month, took to a stage in Brussels on Wednesday and called climate experts "urban imperialists", a rebuke from Britain's former energy minister drew applause from the crowd packed with EU officials.

But with fault lines over Brexit, dependence on Russian energy and protecting industry threatening the bloc's own common policy, some EU diplomats worry Europe is too weak to lead on its own in tackling climate change.

Instead, they are pinning their hopes on China, concerned that without the backing of the world's second-biggest economy support for the global pact to avert droughts, rising seas and other affects of climate change will flounder.

"Can we just fill the gap? No because we will be too fragmented and too inward looking," one EU official, involved in climate talks, told Reuters. "Europe will now be looking to China to make sure that it is not alone."

The EU's top climate diplomat Miguel Arias Canete will travel to Beijing at the end of March, EU sources said. Offering EU expertise on its plans to build a "cap-and-trade" system is one area officials see for expanded cooperation.

Enticed by huge investments in solar and wind power in economies such as China and India, Germany, Britain and France are seeking closer ties to gain a share of the business.

But hurdles stand in the way of an EU clean energy alliance with China after the two sides narrowly averted a trade war in 2013 over EU allegations of solar panel dumping by China.

"We need to embrace the fact that China has invested very heavily in clean energy," Gregory Barker, climate change minister to former British Prime Minister David Cameron, told Reuters on the sidelines the environment conference in Brussels organized by conservative politicians.

"If America won't lead then it's clear that China will."


China's partnership with former U.S. President Barack Obama's administration helped get nearly 200 countries to support the Paris climate change pact in 2015.

That agreement, which looks to limit the rise in average global temperature to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels, entered into force late last year, binding nations that ratified to draft national plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

But despite Beijing's green policy drive, propelled by domestic anger over smog and the environmental devastation wrought by rapid economic growth, some EU officials are skeptical it can pull as much weight as the United States on climate issues.

"We will make a lot of noises (about allying with China), but let's be honest we lost an ally - a major one," a senior EU energy diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity. "China's biggest issues are domestic ... It's clean water, air and food."

When the United States last took a step back on climate diplomacy, giving up on the 1997 Kyoto protocol on CO2 emissions under former U.S. President George W. Bush, Europe assumed leadership of global negotiations to cap planet warming.

It is among the first now to legislate on how to spread the burden among its member nations of its promise to cut emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

Talks are tough, though, particularly for coal-dependent nations such as Poland, and EU officials fear climate scepticism in the Trump administration may slow efforts.

"This may give the perfect excuse to a number of countries like Poland," another EU official said. "The deal has always been that we move when the big players (the United States and China) move."

Others are more sanguine, saying a U.S. retreat would dent, but not destroy, the current global momentum in tackling climate change - not least because cities, businesses and civil society are driving for change as much as governments.

"If the U.S. doesn't play the game, that's a problem. But it's a trade problem," an EU diplomat said. "Maybe European business will win out."

To date, there has been no sign that any other country is preparing to pull out of the Paris agreement. Days after Trump's election, almost 200 nations at the Marrakesh annual U.N. talks agreed a declaration saying that tackling climate change was an "urgent duty".


Contrary to reports, climate change doubter Ken Haapala is not guiding NOAA

The protege of Fred Singer, the grandfather of climate change skepticism, was said to have the keys to NOAA’s future. Democratic lawmakers feared he would steer the agency toward outright climate-change denial and appealed to the Trump administration to remove him.

But, according to the Commerce Department, which oversees NOAA, climate change doubter Ken Haapala never met with NOAA leadership and isn’t shaping its future.

“He has never stepped foot on the premises [as part of a transition team],” a department spokesman said.

But confusion arose as official documents list Haapala as a member of the Commerce Department landing team, which helped agencies plan for new leadership prior to the inauguration.

Haapala’s name appears on the website, as a Department of Commerce landing team member (see screenshot below). And, a separate document, prepared by NOAA’s internal transition team, includes Haapala and his biography (see screenshot below) among the landing team group.

But an NOAA spokesman said only a few people listed on the document actually had direct interactions with NOAA’s internal transition team. As for Haapala, the spokesman said: “We’ve had no contact with the guy. We’ve never seen the guy.”

Adding to the confusion, Haapala’s own organization, the Science and Environmental Policy Project, stated he joined the team as of Jan. 2: “Ken Haapala was asked to volunteer for a non-paid, temporary position on a Trump transition landing team. He responded as he would have for any major national candidate – Yes.”

But the Commerce Department spokesman insists Haapala never served, either on the landing team or on the beachhead team, which begins the implementation of the new administration’s policy after inauguration. “He never participated in staffing or policy discussions or any programmatic operations,” the spokesman said.

Haapala, reached by phone, would not “confirm or deny” participation on any transition team, and he said he was told to refer press to the Commerce Department.

In recent weeks, media and lawmakers were alarmed by the listing of Haapala on official documents and the fear he would influence NOAA’s climate-change activities.

On Jan. 12, E and E News published the story headlined, “Climate science denier on Commerce landing team.”

Twelve days later, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) wrote a letter to Trump, protesting Haapala’s appointment, calling it “extremely troubling.” The lawmakers said Haapala has no background in physical or natural science and “has made a career denying the science of climate change and advocating against actions necessary to protect Americans from its worst impacts.”

Science and Environmental Policy Project has promoted doubt about the seriousness of climate change since its inception in 1990. It was founded by Singer and the late Frederick Seitz, a renowned physicist. Haapala said Singer, 92, still serves as chairman but is “not as active” as he used to be in the organization.

Both Singer and Haapala have been vocal opponents of actions to curb climate change, arguing the human influence is small and that its effects are likely to be minimal and benign.

“[It’s] past time [to end the scare and] stop the madness of wasting great sums of money on EPA’s imaginary threat,” Haapala said in 2015.

Scientists and NOAA career staff have expressed concerns that the new administration will meddle in its communication of climate-change science. But Trump’s pick for secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross, has stressed that he will allow NOAA scientists to freely share their work and that he seeks to provide the public “with as much factual and accurate data as we have available.”

[Trump’s pick to lead Commerce Department says NOAA scientists can freely share their work]

The NOAA spokesman said the transition to the new administration has gone well so far. “We’ve had a very smooth transition,” he said. “We’re pleased with the interactions we’ve had so far.”



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

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


2 February, 2017

Action is needed to make stagnant CO2 emissions fall.  Why?

I have been pointing out for over a year that CO2 levels have stopped rising and admissions of that are starting to appear in the literature.  The figures from Mauna Loa and Cape Grim are too plain even for Warmists to deny and they haven't got around to fudging them yet.

But the article below says that static levels are not enough.  Levels have to decline.  But why?  We live in perfect comfort with the current levels.  So where is the need to reduce them?  The article below does not say.  It just asserts such a need.  The Warmists have a very profitable schtick and they don't want to let it go.  They can't accept that they have won their goal


2016 marked the third year in a row when global carbon dioxide emissions remained relatively flat, but actual declines won't materialize without advances in carbon capture and storage technology and sustained growth in renewables.


Without a significant effort to reduce greenhouse gases, including an accelerated deployment of technologies for capturing atmospheric carbon and storing it underground, and sustained growth in renewables such as wind and solar, the world could miss a key global temperature target set by the Paris Agreement and the long-term goal of net-zero climate pollution.

The finding, published in the Jan. 30 issue of the journal Nature Climate Change, is part of a new study that aims to track the progress and compare emission pledges of more than 150 nations that signed the Paris Agreement, a 2015 United Nations convention that aims to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius of pre-industrial levels -- the threshold that scientists have marked as the point of no return for catastrophic warming.

"The good news is that fossil fuel emissions have been flat for three years in a row," said Robert Jackson, chair of the Department of Earth System Science at Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences. "Now we need actual reductions in global emissions and careful tracking of emission pledges and country-level statistics."

In the new study, Jackson and his colleagues developed a nested family of metrics that can be used to track different national emissions pledges and thus global progress toward the objectives of the Paris Agreement.

Applying their method to the recent past, the researchers found that global carbon dioxide emissions have remained steady at around 36 gigatons of carbon dioxide for the third year in a row in 2016.

"The rapid deployment of wind and solar is starting to have an effect globally, and in key players such as China, the U.S. and the European Union," said Glen Peters, senior researcher at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research -- Oslo (CICERO) and lead author for the study. "The challenge is to substantially accelerate the new additions of wind and solar, and find solutions for effectively integrating these into existing electricity networks."

However, wind and solar alone won't be sufficient to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. When the researchers examined the drivers behind the recent slowdown, they found that most of them boiled down to economic factors and reduced coal use, mostly in China but also the United States.

In China, the decline in coal use was driven by reduced output of cement, steel and other energy-intensive products, as well as a dire need to alleviate outdoor air pollution, which is responsible for more than 1 million premature deaths annually.

The reasons for the decline in the United States were more complex, driven not only by a decline in coal use but also by gains in energy efficiency in the industrial sector and the rapid rise of natural gas and wind and solar power. "2016 was the first year that natural gas surpassed coal for electricity generation," said Jackson, who is also chair of the Global Carbon Project, which tracks the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by humans each year.

Looking to the future, the researchers predict that the greatest challenge to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement is the slower than expected rollout of carbon capture and storage technologies. Most scenarios suggest the need for thousands of facilities with carbon capture and storage by 2030, the researchers say, far below the tens that are currently proposed.

Jackson notes that carbon capture and storage technology will prove even more crucial if President Donald Trump follows through with his campaign pledge of resuscitating the nation's struggling coal industry.

"There's no way to reduce the carbon emissions associated with coal without carbon capture and storage," Jackson said.


Trump’s Climate Plans Just Made the Media’s Heads Explode

James Delingpole

I’ve just watched the London liberal media’s heads exploding like ripe watermelons.

It was great – a bit like that No Pressure video that the enviro-loons made a few years ago, only better because this time the victims weren’t blameless schoolchildren but grisly, puffed-up, righteously eco, Trump-and-Brexit-hating TV and newspaper Environment Correspondents, all of whom hate my guts. (They hate yours too, so don’t get smug.)

The occasion was a press conference hosted by the Global Warming Policy Foundation for Myron Ebell, head of the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency transition team. Satan’s Emissary, as liberals prefer to think of him.

Ebell had come to tell them about Trump’s plans for the environment and energy, which I won’t repeat here because you know them already. (It’s going to be beautiful, that’s all you need to remember.)

No, the reason I went wasn’t to hear what Ebell had to say but to watch how his audience reacted.

You know that scene in The Omen when Damien’s parents try to take him into a church? It was a bit like that. Or maybe the one in The Exorcist, where Regan’s head does a 360 degree spin.

They hated it. (Especially the bit where Ebell told them that Trump would definitely be pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate treaty) They couldn’t believe what they were hearing. They curled their lips. They laced their questions with the bitterest scorn. But they didn’t really tune into Ebell’s measured, silken, soft-spoken answers because, hell, they knew what he was saying just had to be wrong and they didn’t really understand what he meant anyway.

The reporter who set the tone – and if nothing else, you’ve got to admire his honesty – was the one from Channel 4 News who told Ebell: “It will occur to you that this room is full of people like myself who consider that nothing you say has any basis in fact. So what you’ve been telling us is essentially meaningless.”

Ebell replied with some painful home truths. “Elections are surprising things…” he began and went on to explain to the mystified audience why and how it was that Brexit happened and Trump happened.

Basically, he argued – perhaps channelling Michael Gove – people have had enough of the “Expertariat”. And with good reason: “The expert class is full of arrogance and hubris.”

I did debate with myself beforehand whether or not to a five hour round trip just to attend this one hour conference. (There was another Breitbart piece I’d been planning, which might have been cleverer or more interesting or got more traffic, I don’t know.)

But, hell, it was worth it for a number of reasons.

One was the joy of watching the feline Ebell goading the audience with his amused erudition, sweet politeness, and crushing one liners. He’s a cultured, fearsomely intelligent man: Cambridge-educated. (Bizarrely, he was a friend there of Oliver Wetwin, though I don’t think their politics much align these days.)

When the press essentially accused Ebell of representing evil oil interests, he replied by noting the vast power and corruption of what he called the Climate Industrial Complex – from grant-grubbing scientists to regulation-hungry rent-seeking businesses – which feeds on the global warming scam.

When someone invoked battery technology and Elon Musk, he quietly wondered how “the largest recipient of federal taxpayer subsidies in the history of the world” could be represented as any kind of role model.

When asked about the Endangered Species Act he replied – to audible gasps of disgust and hatred – that he’d been trying to reform it for years (without much success) because it didn’t do much for endangered species but did an awful lot of damage to private property and land use rights.

Perhaps the main reason for going, though, was to witness at first hand one of the main reasons why the Great Global Warming Scamsters have got away with so much for so long: the abject failure of the media to do its job and interrogate the alarmist narrative.

The press comes in for a lot of stick. But though I think that on the whole journalists are a lot more principled, brave, and committed species than they are generally given credit for, I’d certainly make an exception for those in the Energy, Environment, and Climate sectors.

With one or two exceptions – none immediately spring to mind, but I’m sure there some – they are a bunch of despicable fails. They’re far too much in bed with the environmental movement; far too ready to transcribe their stories almost verbatim from the press releases of Greenpeace and the WWF or whichever renewable energy outfit has given them the sweet-talk; and far, far too reluctant to question the bullshit fed to them by the compromised scientists who have been milking the climate scare for the last four decades.

Unfortunately, I arrived too late to catch the bit in the conference where someone asked Myron Ebell what Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s chief policy adviser, thought about climate change.

“Well you can get an idea from the fact that when he was at Breitbart the guy he recruited to write about it was James Delingpole…” Ebell said.

No wonder I got so many hate-filled glares when I poked my head into the crowded room, 15 minutes late.

The feeling’s mutual. But that’s OK because I’m on the right side of history, whereas their view of the world is toast. Welcome to the suck, guys. It’s only just beginning…


North Dakota wants hired pipeline protesters to pay state income taxes

After spending more than $22 million on the Dakota Access pipeline protest, North Dakota wants to make sure any paid activists remember to submit their state income taxes.

Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said his office is keeping an eye out for tax forms from environmental groups that may have hired protesters to agitate against the 1,172-mile, four-state pipeline project.

“It’s something we’re looking at. I can tell you I’ve had a number of conversations with legislators regarding this very issue,” said Mr. Rauschenberger. “[We’re] looking at the entities that have potential paid contractors here on their behalf doing work.”

It’s no secret that millions have been funneled into the six-month-old demonstration via crowdfunding websites, and that more than 30 environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club, Indigenous Environmental Network, Food and Water Watch, and Greenpeace, have backed the protest.

If national environmental organizations are paying protest personnel, they’re not saying so publicly. Still, Mr. Rauschenberger said red flags will be raised if he doesn’t start seeing W2 or 1099 tax forms from those affiliated with the protest arriving at his office.

“It’s something we could possibly pursue if we don’t see 1099s coming in for the activity,” Mr. Rauschenberger said.

The ongoing demonstration has been costly to the state. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota Democrat, issued a plea last week for federal help with unruly protesters, some still camped out on federal land, after President Trump moved to expedite the pipeline review.

“After five months of protests, over 600 arrests related to those protests, and more than $22 million in North Dakota taxpayer dollars spent on law enforcement resources to keep North Dakotans safe during the protests, state and local law enforcement agencies are in dire need of federal support,” Ms. Heitkamp said in her letter.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier has criticized “paid agitators” who crossed the line from peaceful protest to lawbreaking by trespassing on private property, blocking highways and bridges and throwing rocks, feces and burning logs at law enforcement.

“If an organization is directly paying someone to come and do activities on their behalf, even protesting — if they’re receiving income and they’re here in North Dakota performing activities for an organization, they owe income tax from Day One,” Mr. Rauschenberger said. “And that entity should be issuing 1099s. Just like a contractor.”

Whether protesters would be required to report income based on crowdfunding donations falls into more of a gray area, he said.
“I think a lot of people think that, ‘Oh, if something goes through GoFundMe, it’s just always considered a gift.’ But it can also be used as a way to funnel money just like an employer paying a contractor,” Mr. Rauschenberger said. “It can be a way to funnel money as well, and very well could be taxable. I’m not saying it is. I’m saying it could be. And it’s really on a case-by-case basis.”

He said the IRS has issued a “loose guidance” on crowdfunding. In general, such income is considered exempt if it represents a gift to be repaid, a purchase of an equity interest or a gift without any expectation of repayment.

Rob Port, who runs North Dakota’s Say Anything blog, said the crowdfunding donations are often framed as payment for services provided. He has tabulated at least $11.2 million in contributions to the DAPL protest.

“If those receiving the money didn’t use it in attempting to block the pipeline, I think those giving the money would be upset. They’d feel cheated,” said Mr. Port. “That certainly seems like a quid pro quo relationship to me. That seems like one person paying another person in pursuance of a specific endeavor.”

Several hundred protesters have braved the harsh North Dakota winter in their ongoing effort to stop the $3.8 billion project over fears about its impact on water quality.

The Standing Rock Sioux tribal council has asked occupiers to leave, citing environmental damage and looming spring flooding at some camps, even though the tribe has led opposition to the pipeline.

Mr. Rauschenberger emphasized that the state isn’t looking into the tribe’s financial relationship with protesters, only off-reservation activity. In addition, contributions such as food and shelter would be considered in-kind donations and not subject to taxation.

“The paper trail for something like that would be probably nonexistent,” he said. “We’d be looking at cash, whether it was a check, cash or debit card issued for performing services as opposed to more of the in-kind. It would be too difficult from an enforcement standpoint. We’d be looking at the cash money trail.”

Any paid protesters would owe income tax in North Dakota if their total income in 2016 exceeded $10,350.

Enforcing the tax code may also come down to whether the costs exceed the benefits. There are rumors that some of the thousands of protesters who moved in and out of camps starting in August were being paid with hard-to-track debit cards, and the state tax division has a staff of 128.

“It all comes down to resources,” Mr. Rauschenberger said.


Bad effects of a carbon tax

Tesla Motors Inc. founder Elon Musk is pressing the Trump administration to adopt a tax on carbon emissions, raising the issue directly with President Donald Trump and U.S. business leaders at a White House meeting Monday regarding manufacturing.

But what the article doesn’t mention is that such a tax would make his electric cars more financially attractive. It’s rather unseemly (and I’m bending over backwards for a charitable characterization) that a rich guy is pushing a tax on the rest of us as a way of lining his pockets.

What’s ironic, though, is that he’s probably being short-sighted because a carbon tax presumably would hit coal, and that’s a common source of energy for electrical generation. So while regular drivers would pay a lot more for gas, Tesla drivers would pay more at charging stations.

Some big oil companies also are flirting with an energy tax for cronyist reasons. An article in the Federalist notes that some of those firms support carbon taxes because they want to create hardships for their competitors.

…carbon taxes do not affect all fossil fuels equally. So just as some fossil fuels are much more carbon-intensive than others, here we can begin to understand how, beyond the benefits of predictability, a carbon tax might actually help some fossil-fuel providers… As a recent National Bureau of Economic Research working paper illustrates, for example, in the United States a tax on carbon would disproportionately impact the use of coal relative to natural gas for energy production. …Don’t be surprised, then, if some domestic producers of natural gas end up promoting a carbon tax, not only out of concern for regime stability but also out of a concern to make their product more competitive in the energy marketplace.

To be fair, I suppose that Musk and the energy companies might actually think energy taxes are a good idea, so their support may have nothing to do with self interest.

But it’s always a good idea to “follow the money” when looking at how policy really gets made in Washington.

Even more depressing, the adoption of one bad policy may lead to the expansion of another bad policy. More specifically, some proponents of energy taxes admit that ordinary taxpayers and consumers will be hurt. But rather than realize that a new tax is a bad idea, they decide to match a tax increase with more spending. Here is a blurb from a report by the American Enterprise Institute.

Using emissions and other data from 2013 and 2014, we also find that the revenue from the carbon tax could be enough to expand the EITC to childless workers and hold other low income households harmless, combining a regressive tax with progressive benefits.

This is not good. The EITC already is the fastest-growing redistribution program in Washington. Making it even bigger would exacerbate the fiscal burden of the welfare state.


Judge questions global warming

A jury was selected in Washington state on Monday in the first trial over a coordinated protest that disrupted the flow of millions of barrels of crude oil into the United States, a proceeding activists hope will serve as a referendum on climate change.

Activist Ken Ward says he will not dispute that he shut down a valve on the Kinder Morgan Inc’s Trans Mountain Pipeline near Burlington, Washington, but he will testify that such actions are necessary in the face of the government’s failure to address global warming.

“I am going to talk a little bit about climate science” during the trial in Skagit County Superior Court, said Ward, a former deputy director of Greenpeace USA and co-founder of Green Corps.

“I spent 30-some-odd years following only legal approaches,” Ward said in an interview. “It’s only been in recent years that the scale of the problem and lack of a political solution leaves no choice but direct action.”

Ward, 60, is charged with trespassing, burglary and sabotage. If convicted, he could face up to three decades in prison.

Officials, pipeline companies and experts said the protesters could have caused environmental damage themselves by shutting down the lines.

Judge Michael Rickert has barred Ward’s lawyers from formally mounting a “necessity” defence or arguing that his actions were justified in light of a looming environmental crisis.

“I don’t know what everybody’s beliefs are on [climate change], but I know that there’s tremendous controversy over the fact whether it even exists,” Rickert said. “And even if people believe that it does or it doesn’t, the extent of what we’re doing to ourselves and our climate and our planet, there’s great controversy over that.”

After the defence was denied, Ward said he was shocked that Rickert questioned the existence of global warming.

“We are in the late stages of global collapse,” he said, “and to have someone who is presumably as knowledgeable and aware as a judge should be blithely dismissing the biggest problem facing the world is chilling.”

Ward said he would try to use the “necessity” defence from the witness stand.

Ward was arrested in October when he and other activists in four states cut padlocks and chains and entered remote flow stations to turn off valves to try to stop crude from moving through lines that carry as much as 15 percent of daily U.S. oil consumption.

Supporters call Ward’s trial an “all hands on deck moment” for the climate change movement, which has also spawned protests of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipeline.

Last week U.S. President Donald Trump signed orders smoothing the path for those pipelines in an effort to expand energy infrastructure.

Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich said he expected the trial to be completed this week.



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

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


1 February, 2017

Have the Warmists already succeeded in their Quixotic quest?  Has the rise in CO2 stopped already?

The rather startling paper from last December below does not seem to have got much press.  I wonder why?  It implies that the job of limiting CO2 in the atmosphere has already succeeded. CO2 levels have already peaked.  So can all the Warmists go into retirement now -- and congratulate themselves on a job well done?

Reaching peak emissions

Robert B. Jackson et al.

Rapid growth in global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry ceased in the past two years, despite continued economic growth. Decreased coal use in China was largely responsible, coupled with slower global growth in petroleum and faster growth in renewables.


Role of terrestrial biosphere in counteracting climate change may have been underestimated

Something else not in  the models -- and its a big one

A new study analysed the extent to which changing land-use practices, such as deforestation, can affect carbon emissions.
Role of terrestrial biosphere in counteracting climate change may have been underestimated

New research suggests the capacity of the terrestrial biosphere to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) may have been underestimated in past calculations due to certain land-use changes not being fully taken into account.

It is widely known that the terrestrial biosphere (the collective term for all the world’s land vegetation, soil, etc) is an important factor in mitigating climate change, as it absorbs about 20% of all fossil fuel CO2 emissions.

But its role as a net carbon sink is affected by land-use changes such as deforestation and expanded agricultural practice.

A new study, conducted by an international team including scientists from the University of Exeter, has analysed the extent to which these changing land-use practices affect carbon emissions – allowing the levels of CO2 uptake by the terrestrial biosphere to be more accurately predicted.

The results, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, not only show that CO2 emissions from changing land-use practices are likely to be significantly higher than previously thought, but also imply that these emissions are compensated for by a higher rate of carbon uptake among terrestrial ecosystems.

Co-author Professor Stephen Sitch, from the University of Exeter, said: “The results imply that reforestation projects and efforts to avoid further deforestation are of the utmost importance in our pursuit to limit global warming to below 2oC, as stated in the Paris climate agreement.”

Co-author Professor Pierre Friedlingstein, from the University of Exeter said: "The terrestrial biosphere is the least constrained component of the global carbon cycle. It is often estimated as the residual from how much of our fossil fuel CO2 emissions remain in the atmosphere or are absorbed by the ocean. Also it's a source of carbon following deforestation but it's also a carbon sink as a response to atmospheric CO2 increase.

"This study is a bit of a good news/bad news story. Bad news first: It shows that land-use changes emissions are larger than previous estimates. God news is: this implies that the land carbon sink is also larger than assumed before."

Co-author Dr Tom Pugh, from the University of Birmingham, said: “Our work shows that the terrestrial biosphere might have greater potential than previously thought to mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon emissions from fossil fuels. However, to fully realise this potential we will have to ensure that the significant emissions resulting from land-use changes are reduced as much as possible.”


NY Times makes out climate change believers are forced to speak in hidden codes

More Fake News from the NY Times

Here’s a creative effort to sell the story that the people with billion dollar industries, all the academic positions and a sympathetic media entourage are going underground, forced to disguise their belief about “climate change”.

This is a death-throes type article, clutching for ways to pretend Global Worriers are still relevant, and to feed a fantasy that they might be the underdog:

In America’s Heartland, Discussing Climate Change Without Saying ‘Climate Change’

So while climate change is part of daily conversation, it gets disguised as something else.

“People are all talking about it, without talking about it,” said Miriam Horn, the author of a recent book on conservative Americans and the environment, “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman.” “It’s become such a charged topic that there’s a navigation people do.”

What really happened is that climate change is overused agitprop and people are tired of being beaten over the head with it. The first most compelling example the NY Times can find is a farmer called Doug Palen who talks about “carbon sequestration” in his soil (and what crop farmer wouldn’t?) Palen is painted as a “believer”: In short, he is a climate change realist. Just don’t expect him to utter the words “climate change.”

But this is the strongest statement he makes: “If politicians want to exhaust themselves debating the climate, that’s their choice,” Mr. Palen said, walking through fields of freshly planted winter wheat. “I have a farm to run.”

And he is so much of a believer “he didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton.” Need I say more?

Apparently anyone who discusses weather problems or ecology could be painted, via some kind of fantasy, as a believer in disguise who is hiding the topic of climate change.  This is the best they could do?

Palen may be a believer (who knows), but there’s no evidence of it in his quotes. The article goes to quite some length to tell us about him, but it’s all just good farming science. Palen has “a conservationist streak” and is a no-till farming advocate. He looks after his soil, and feels alienated by environmentalists because he uses chemicals. Palen even says he wants to “be left alone” by the EPA. He sounds like every skeptical farmer I know yet this is the guy painted as the star example of an underground believer?

Last week, Mr. Palen, the farmer, was again talking weather — if not climate change — at a conference of no-till farmers in Salina, Kan. Sessions included “Using Your Water Efficiently,” “Making Weather Work for You in 2017” and “Building Healthy Soil With Mob Grazing,” a practice that helps to fertilize the land.

As evidence the topic is too hot to discuss, The NY Times writer, Hiroko Tabuchi, tells us a science teacher has even suffered “car keying” (like that never happens) and once got a letter from a student saying: “Know that God’s love surpasses knowledge.” Scary stuff indeed. Why even mention these?

To be fair though, the teacher did get a book bag thrown at him, so now he asks students if they like light bulbs as a soft way to lead into climate talk –  as if climate science was anything like the science of light bulbs. (Light bulb models can predict things…)

Tabuchi manages to find some real believers who have realized they have to change their boring messaging. This also fits with my theory that ‘climate change’ is a dead dog topic on its way out. The last die-hards are repackaging the message, but few people care.


Gas from grass?

In December 2016, Biofuelwatch published a background briefing about Ecotricity’s “green gas from grass” (i.e. grass-based biomethane) proposals: “How Green is Ecotricity’s Green Gas from Grass”

Ecotricity has now sent us a response to this briefing.  You can read Ecotricity’s response and Biofuelwatch’s comments (in red) below or by downloading a pdf here.

Ecotricity’s response (black font) with Biofuelwatch comments (red font):


The launch of Ecotricity’s Green Gas campaign in November has  stimulated interest and discussion from many sources: farmers, environmentalists, supporters of sustainable agriculture, pro-fracking advocates and biofuel campaigners.

The purpose of the report is to explore what may be possible … and the potential opportunity for Britain.  And to start a debate about how Britain gets its gas in the coming decades. We welcome all feedback on our report, as part of that debate.

Biofuelwatch have challenged some elements of our report, and we are happy to respond to those here.

1) Biofuelwatch said: “According to Government figures total domestic demand for natural gas across the UK amounted to 292.4TWh.”

Ecotricity response: “That is the UK’s current annual domestic gas demand. However, our projections for the potential of green gas are not based on replacing current domestic gas demand – partly because growth in Green Gas won’t happen overnight and partly because our current consumption of gas has to change – we must be more efficient with it as with all forms of energy.  We stated clearly in the report that we have used a level of domestic gas demand in 2035 – of 219TWh.  National Grid go even further in their Future Energy Scenarios report, forecasting under their ‘Gone Green’ scenario that domestic gas demand could be reduced to 189TWh by 2030.”

Biofuelwatch comments: “Our report highlights the fact that Ecotricity’s figures rely on the assumption that future domestic gas use will significantly decline.  We had realised this after studying Ecotricity’s detailed “green gas” report, but we are concerned that this has not been made clear in much of the company’s publicity.  Thus, their “Campaign for Green Gas” webpage  states: “We can generate enough gas to power around 97% of Britain’s homes in our Green Gasmills, using a resource that will never run out – grass”.  It fails to say “…but only in several decades’ time and only if future Government policies drastically cut domestic gas use first”. 

Ecotricity’s petition claims: “We have a new option for making the gas we need, right here in Britain.” – rather than “a small proportion of the gas burned in the UK”, given that Ecotricity’s figure only relate to domestic gas use, which accounts for less than 40% of all gas burned in the UK, and then only to an optimistic forecast of greatly reduced future domestic gas demand. Those claims appear misleading to us, and we hope that Ecotricity will update all their publicity materials, as well as their petition text. We would also point out that Ecotricity’s ‘optimistic’ figure still relies on more UK land being used to grow grass for biomethane than is used to grow agricultural crops today.”

Biofuelwatch said: “Ecotricity’s forecast relies heavily on the assumption that domestic gas use will significantly decline between now and 2035.”

Ecotricity response: “Our report is clear on this; our calculations are based on this projected figure.  This forecast is based on a future scenario whereby Britain embraces wide-ranging energy efficiency measures in domestic homes.  One of the main ‘aims and purposes’ of Biofuelwatch is to “prioritise energy conservation and efficiency”. We share that aim.  And while we agree that current government policies on energy efficiency are not good enough, we believe that Britain can deliver the energy efficiency needed if the political will (and economic reality) is there. We believe it to be a realistic scenario. 

Biofuelwatch comments: “Yes, we believe that UK energy use can and must be reduced significantly, although the Government’s energy policies are sadly moving us in the wrong direction.  In the heating sector, Energy conservation and efficiency are by far the most effective ways of cutting greenhouse gas emissions – and they also address fuel poverty at the same time. Of course, there will always be a residual demand for heating.  Biofuelwatch believes that there are far better ways for meeting this than converting more than the UK’s total annual cropland area to biomethane.”

Biofuelwatch says: “Ecotricity’s planning application refers to a single peer-reviewed study, one which focuses on the potential for producing biomethane from grass in Ireland. According to that study, it would be possible to produce biomethane with an energy content of 103.7 Gigajoules (=28.81 MWh) from one hectare of Irish grassland per year.”

Ecotricity response: “Actually our calculations are not based on this Irish study from 2009 but are based on the latest real-world experience of technology providers in 2016 with whom we are in discussions, which show that a standard Green Gas Mill will produce around 44MWh per hectare of grass. Even so, our calculations do fall within the parameters of this Irish study.

In paragraph 3.27 the study bases their dry solids yield from grassland on a 22% dry matter basis (220g/kg) while acknowledging that a dry matter content as high as 33% (330g/kg) would be feasible. Through much of our calculations we have assumed a dry matter content of 32%, so out findings operate within the studies range. For example, the report assumed 12 tDS/ha based on 22% dry matter; we are however working on 17.5 tDS/ha based on 32% dry matter. Every other assumption is the same, but the result is a much larger biomethane yield in MWh/ha.

Biofuelwatch comments: “We have now changed the briefing.  It no longer says that Ecotricity relies on any peer-reviewed science.  Thank you for clarifying that the company’s figures rely entirely on unpublished industry statements.”

Biofuelwatch says: “Based on the figure from the Irish grass-to-biomethane study, 10.2 million hectares of land would be needed to replace all of the natural gas used for domestic heating and hot water with biomethane.”

Ecotricity response: “We have not used the Irish study to calculate the amount of land it would take to meet domestic gas demand but calculated it based on the real world experience of the latest technology providers showing a Green Gas Mill could produce around 44MWh per hectare and the projected 2035 demand figure of 219TWh. This gives a figure of just over 6 million hectares of land to produce the amount of green gas needed for domestic demand by 2035, (or less if we used National Grid’s 2030 figure of 189TWh).”

Biofuelwatch comments: “By comparison, the UK currently grows agricultural crops on 4.78 million hectares of land.”

Biofuelwatch says: “Grassland accounts for 72% of agricultural land in the UK, and the 10.2 million hectares needed to realise Ecotricity’s vision would require 92% of it.”

“Growing enough grass to heat our homes would therefore make the UK almost completely dependent either on meat and dairy imports, or on factory farming inside the UK with virtually all of the animal feed imported from abroad.”

More HERE 

‘Trump’s energy U-turn will benefit developing nations’

President Trump’s fossil fuel policy U-turn will benefit developing nations and the fuel poor.

That’s according to Myron Ebell, former Head of President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Transition Team, who told ELN he expected the President to follow through on his promise to pull out of the Paris Agreement.

Speaking at a press conference earlier today, he said: “President Trump promised during the campaign that the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty, so I assume he will do that. He seems very intent on keeping his promises so I have no reason to think that he won’t.

“I think that this is a very hopeful sign for the world. Not only is the US changing direction but I think it offers hope for a brighter future for people all around the world particularly those in developing countries who do not have access to modern energy or have very limited access to modern energy.”
Mr Ebell felt that despite criticism from environmentalists and even other governments, President Trump would not change his mind and was not worried about any economic fallout from the decision as he believes the markets will always drive investment.

“If any new energy technology is better and cheaper than coal, oil and natural gas, the market will take care of it. You don’t need government action, you don’t need government policies – if wind and solar power or some other renewable technology becomes a better buy than fossil fuels, then they will come to dominate the market quite quickly. That’s the way free markets work.”

Mr Ebell told ELN he expected huge staff cuts at the EPA, either voluntarily or via redundancy.

He also suggested that Donald Trump could pull the US out of the Paris Agreement signed by former-President Obama last year as soon as possible and probably by using an executive order.



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

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



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Context for the minute average temperature change recorded: At any given time surface air temperatures around the world range over about 100°C. Even in the same place they can vary by nearly that much seasonally and as much as 30°C or more in a day. A minute rise in average temperature in that context is trivial if it is not meaningless altogether. Scientists are Warmists for the money it brings in, not because of the facts

This site is in favour of things that ARE good for the environment. That the usual Greenie causes are good for the environment is however disputed. Greenie policies can in fact be actively bad for the environment -- as with biofuels, for instance

This Blog by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), writing from Brisbane, Australia.

I am the most complete atheist you can imagine. I don't believe in Karl Marx, Jesus Christ or global warming. And I also don't believe in the unhealthiness of salt, sugar and fat. How skeptical can you get? If sugar is bad we are all dead

And when it comes to "climate change", I know where the skeletons are buried

Antarctica is GAINING mass

Warmists depend heavily on ice cores for their figures about the atmosphere of the past. But measuring the deep past through ice cores is a very shaky enterprise, which almost certainly takes insufficient account of compression effects. The apparently stable CO2 level of 280ppm during the Holocene could in fact be entirely an artifact of compression at the deeper levels of the ice cores. . Perhaps the gas content of an ice layer approaches a low asymptote under pressure. Dr Zbigniew Jaworowski's criticisms of the assumed reliability of ice core measurements are of course well known. And he studied them for over 30 years.

The world's first "Green" party was the Nazi party -- and Greenies are just as Fascist today in their endeavours to dictate to us all and in their attempts to suppress dissent from their claims.

Was Pope Urban VIII the first Warmist? Below we see him refusing to look through Galileo's telescope. People tend to refuse to consider evidence— if what they might discover contradicts what they believe.

Warmism is a powerful religion that aims to control most of our lives. It is nearly as powerful as the Catholic Church once was

Believing in global warming has become a sign of virtue. Strange in a skeptical era. There is clearly a need for faith

Climate change is the religion of people who think they're too smart for religion

Some advice from the Buddha that the Green/Left would do well to think about: "Three things cannot be long hidden: The Sun, The Moon and The Truth"

Leftists have faith that warming will come back some day. And they mock Christians for believing in the second coming of Christ! They obviously need religion

Global warming has in fact been a religious doctrine for over a century. Even Charles Taze Russell, the founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, believed in it

A rosary for the church of global warming (Formerly the Catholic church): "Hail warming, full of grace, blessed art thou among climates and blessed is the fruit of thy womb panic"

Pope Francis is to the Catholic church what Obama is to America -- a mistake, a fool and a wrecker

Global warming is the predominant Leftist lie of the 21st century. No other lie is so influential. The runner up lie is: "Islam is a religion of peace". Both are rankly absurd.

"When it comes to alarmism, we’re all deniers; when it comes to climate change, none of us are" -- Dick Lindzen

The EPA does everything it can get away with to shaft America and Americans

Cromwell's famous plea: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken" was ignored by those to whom it was addressed -- to their great woe. Warmists too will not consider that they may be wrong ..... "Bowels" was a metaphor for compassion in those days

The plight of the bumblebee -- an egregious example of crooked "science"

Inorganic Origin of Petroleum: "The theory of Inorganic Origin of Petroleum (synonyms: abiogenic, abiotic, abyssal, endogenous, juvenile, mineral, primordial) states that petroleum and natural gas was formed by non-biological processes deep in the Earth, crust and mantle. This contradicts the traditional view that the oil would be a "fossil fuel" produced by remnants of ancient organisms. Oil is a hydrocarbon mixture in which a major constituent is methane CH4 (a molecule composed of one carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms). Occurrence of methane is common in Earth's interior and in space. The inorganic theory contrasts with the ideas that posit exhaustion of oil (Peak Oil), which assumes that the oil would be formed from biological processes and thus would occur only in small quantities and sets, tending to exhaust. Some oil drilling now goes 7 miles down, miles below any fossil layers

As the Italian chemist Primo Levi reflected in Auschwitz, carbon is ‘the only element that can bind itself in long stable chains without a great expense of energy, and for life on Earth (the only one we know so far) precisely long chains are required. Therefore carbon is the key element of living substance.’ The chemistry of carbon (2) gives it a unique versatility, not just in the artificial world, but also, and above all, in the animal, vegetable and – speak it loud! – human kingdoms.

David Archibald: "The more carbon dioxide we can put into the atmosphere, the better life on Earth will be for human beings and all other living things."


"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." --- Richard P. Feynman. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough - Michael Crichton

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" -- Karl Popper

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman

"The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it" -- H L Mencken

'Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action' -- Goethe

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” -- Voltaire

Lord Salisbury: "No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe soldiers, nothing is safe."

Calvin Coolidge said, "If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." He could have been talking about Warmists.

Some advice from long ago for Warmists: "If ifs and ans were pots and pans,there'd be no room for tinkers". It's a nursery rhyme harking back to Middle English times when "an" could mean "if". Tinkers were semi-skilled itinerant workers who fixed holes and handles in pots and pans -- which were valuable household items for most of our history. Warmists are very big on "ifs", mays", "might" etc. But all sorts of things "may" happen, including global cooling

Bertrand Russell knew about consensus: "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld, French writer and moralist (1613-1680)

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate" -- William of Occam

Was Paracelsus a 16th century libertarian? His motto was: "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself." He was certainly a rebel in his rejection of authority and his reliance on observable facts and is as such one of the founders of modern medicine

"In science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge; in religion it is condemned as heresy". (Bob Parks, Physics, U of Maryland). No prizes for guessing how global warming skepticism is normally responded to.

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus

"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." -- Thomas H. Huxley

Time was, people warning the world "Repent - the end is nigh!" were snickered at as fruitcakes. Now they own the media and run the schools.

"One of the sources of the Fascist movement is the desire to avoid a too-rational and too-comfortable world" -- George Orwell, 1943 in Can Socialists Be Happy?

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts -- Bertrand Russell

“Affordable energy in ample quantities is the lifeblood of the industrial societies and a prerequisite for the economic development of the others.” -- John P. Holdren, Science Adviser to President Obama. Published in Science 9 February 2001

The closer science looks at the real world processes involved in climate regulation the more absurd the IPCC's computer driven fairy tale appears. Instead of blithely modeling climate based on hunches and suppositions, climate scientists would be better off abandoning their ivory towers and actually measuring what happens in the real world.' -- Doug L Hoffman

Something no Warmist could take on board: "Knuth once warned a correspondent, "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it." -- Prof. Donald Knuth, whom some regard as the world's smartest man

"To be green is to be irrational, misanthropic and morally defective. They are the barbarians at the gate we have to stand against" -- Rich Kozlovich

“We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.“ – Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation

“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Leftists generally and Warmists in particular very commonly ascribe disagreement with their ideas to their opponent being "in the pay" of someone else, usually "Big Oil", without troubling themselves to provide any proof of that assertion. They are so certain that they are right that that seems to be the only reasonable explanation for opposition to them. They thus reveal themselves as the ultimate bigots -- people with fixed and rigid ideas.


This is one of TWO skeptical blogs that I update daily. During my research career as a social scientist, I was appalled at how much writing in my field was scientifically lacking -- and I often said so in detail in the many academic journal articles I had published in that field. I eventually gave up social science research, however, because no data ever seemed to change the views of its practitioners. I hoped that such obtuseness was confined to the social scientists but now that I have shifted my attention to health related science and climate related science, I find the same impermeability to facts and logic. Hence this blog and my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog. I may add that I did not come to either health or environmental research entirely without credentials. I had several academic papers published in both fields during my social science research career

Update: After 8 years of confronting the frankly childish standard of reasoning that pervades the medical journals, I have given up. I have put the blog into hibernation. In extreme cases I may put up here some of the more egregious examples of medical "wisdom" that I encounter. Greenies and food freaks seem to be largely coterminous. My regular bacon & egg breakfasts would certainly offend both -- if only because of the resultant methane output

Since my academic background is in the social sciences, it is reasonable to ask what a social scientist is doing talking about global warming. My view is that my expertise is the most relevant of all. It seems clear to me from what you will see on this blog that belief in global warming is very poorly explained by history, chemistry, physics or statistics.

Warmism is prophecy, not science. Science cannot foretell the future. Science can make very accurate predictions based on known regularities in nature (e.g. predicting the orbits of the inner planets) but Warmism is the exact opposite of that. It predicts a DEPARTURE from the known regularities of nature. If we go by the regularities of nature, we are on the brink of an ice age.

And from a philosophy of science viewpoint, far from being "the science", Warmism is not even an attempt at a factual statement, let alone being science. It is not a meaningful statement about the world. Why? Because it is unfalsifiable -- making it a religious, not a scientific statement. To be a scientific statement, there would have to be some conceivable event that disproved it -- but there appears to be none. ANY event is hailed by Warmists as proving their contentions. Only if Warmists were able to specify some fact or event that would disprove their theory would it have any claim to being a scientific statement. So the explanation for Warmist beliefs has to be primarily a psychological and political one -- which makes it my field

And, after all, Al Gore's academic qualifications are in social science also -- albeit very pissant qualifications.

A "geriatric" revolt: The scientists who reject Warmism tend to be OLD! Your present blogger is one of those. There are tremendous pressures to conformity in academe and the generally Leftist orientation of academe tends to pressure everyone within it to agree to ideas that suit the Left. And Warmism is certainly one of those ideas. So old guys are the only ones who can AFFORD to declare the Warmists to be unclothed. They either have their careers well-established (with tenure) or have reached financial independence (retirement) and so can afford to call it like they see it. In general, seniors in society today are not remotely as helpful to younger people as they once were. But their opposition to the Warmist hysteria will one day show that seniors are not completely irrelevant after all. Experience does count (we have seen many such hysterias in the past and we have a broader base of knowledge to call on) and our independence is certainly an enormous strength. Some of us are already dead. (Reid Bryson and John Daly are particularly mourned) and some of us are very senior indeed (e.g. Bill Gray and Vince Gray) but the revolt we have fostered is ever growing so we have not labored in vain.

A Warmist backs down: "No one knows exactly how far rising carbon concentrations affect temperatures" -- Stefan Rahmstorf, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Jimmy Carter Classic Quote from 1977: "Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.


Today’s environmental movement is the current manifestation of the totalitarian impulse. It is ironic that the same people who condemn the black or brown shirts of the pre WW2 period are blind to the current manifestation simply because the shirts are green.

Climate is just the sum of weather. So if you cannot forecast the weather a month in advance, you will not be able to forecast the climate 50 years in advance. And official meteorologists such as Britain's Met Office and Australia's BOM, are very poor forecasters of weather. The Met office has in fact given up on making seasonal forecasts because they have so often got such forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Their global-warming-powered "models" just did not deliver

Here's how that "97% consensus" figure was arrived at

97% of scientists want to get another research grant

Hearing a Government Funded Scientist say let me tell you the truth, is like hearing a Used Car Salesman saying let me tell you the truth.

A strange Green/Left conceit: They seem to think (e.g. here) that no-one should spend money opposing them and that conservative donors must not support the election campaigns of Congressmen they agree with

David Brower, founder Sierra Club: “Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license"

To Greenies, Genghis Khan was a good guy, believe it or not. They love that he killed so many people.

Greenie antisemitism

After three exceptionally cold winters in the Northern hemisphere, the Warmists are chanting: "Warming causes cold". Even if we give that a pass for logic, it still inspires the question: "Well, what are we worried about"? Cold is not going to melt the icecaps is it?"

It's a central (but unproven) assumption of the Warmist "models" that clouds cause warming. Odd that it seems to cool the temperature down when clouds appear overhead!

To make out that the essentially trivial warming of the last 150 years poses some sort of threat, Warmists postulate positive feedbacks that might cut in to make the warming accelerate in the near future. Amid their theories about feedbacks, however, they ignore the one feedback that is no theory: The reaction of plants to CO2. Plants gobble up CO2 and the more CO2 there is the more plants will flourish and hence gobble up yet more CO2. And the increasing crop yields of recent years show that plantlife is already flourishing more. The recent rise in CO2 will therefore soon be gobbled up and will no longer be around to bother anyone. Plants provide a huge NEGATIVE feedback in response to increases in atmospheric CO2

Every green plant around us is made out of carbon dioxide that the plant has grabbed out of the atmosphere. That the plant can get its carbon from such a trace gas is one of the miracles of life. It admittedly uses the huge power of the sun to accomplish such a vast filtrative task but the fact that a dumb plant can harness the power of the sun so effectively is also a wonder. We live on a rather improbable planet. If a science fiction writer elsewhere in the universe described a world like ours he might well be ridiculed for making up such an implausible tale.

Greenies are the sand in the gears of modern civilization -- and they intend to be.

The Greenie message is entirely emotional and devoid of all logic. They say that polar ice will melt and cause a big sea-level rise. Yet 91% of the world's glacial ice is in Antarctica, where the average temperature is around minus 40 degrees Celsius. The melting point of ice is zero degrees. So for the ice to melt on any scale the Antarctic temperature would need to rise by around 40 degrees, which NOBODY is predicting. The median Greenie prediction is about 4 degrees. So where is the huge sea level rise going to come from? Mars? And the North polar area is mostly sea ice and melting sea ice does not raise the sea level at all. Yet Warmists constantly hail any sign of Arctic melting. That the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level is known as Archimedes' principle. Archimedes demonstrated it around 2,500 years ago. That Warmists have not yet caught up with that must be just about the most inspissated ignorance imaginable. The whole Warmist scare defies the most basic physics. Yet at the opening of 2011 we find the following unashamed lying by James Hansen: "We will lose all the ice in the polar ice cap in a couple of decades". Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny. So even after "Climategate", the secrecy goes on.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

After fighting a 70 year war to destroy red communism we face another life-or-death struggle in the 21st century against green communism.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Jim Hansen and his twin

Getting rich and famous through alarmism: Al Gore is well-known but note also James Hansen. He has for decades been a senior, presumably well-paid, employee at NASA. In 2001 he was the recipient of a $250,000 Heinz Award. In 2007 Time magazine designated him a Hero of the Environment. That same year he pocketed one-third of a $1 million Dan David Prize. In 2008, the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented him with its Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. In 2010 he landed a $100,000 Sophie Prize. He pulled in a total of $1.2 million in 2010. Not bad for a government bureaucrat.

See the original global Warmist in action here: "The icecaps are melting and all world is drowning to wash away the sin"

I am not a global warming skeptic nor am I a global warming denier. I am a global warming atheist. I don't believe one bit of it. That the earth's climate changes is undeniable. Only ignoramuses believe that climate stability is normal. But I see NO evidence to say that mankind has had anything to do with any of the changes observed -- and much evidence against that claim.

Seeing that we are all made of carbon, the time will come when people will look back on the carbon phobia of the early 21st century as too incredible to be believed

Meanwhile, however, let me venture a tentative prophecy. Prophecies are almost always wrong but here goes: Given the common hatred of carbon (Warmists) and salt (Food freaks) and given the fact that we are all made of carbon, salt, water and calcium (with a few additives), I am going to prophecy that at some time in the future a hatred of nitrogen will emerge. Why? Because most of the air that we breathe is nitrogen. We live at the bottom of a nitrogen sea. Logical to hate nitrogen? NO. But probable: Maybe. The Green/Left is mad enough. After all, nitrogen is a CHEMICAL -- and we can't have that!

UPDATE to the above: It seems that I am a true prophet

The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) must have foreseen Global Warmism. He said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?

For many people, global warming seems to have taken the place of "The Jews" -- a convenient but false explanation for any disliked event. Prof. Brignell has some examples.

Global warming skeptics are real party-poopers. It's so wonderful to believe that you have a mission to save the world.

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

The claim that oil is a fossil fuel is another great myth and folly of the age. They are now finding oil at around seven MILES beneath the sea bed -- which is incomparably further down than any known fossil. The abiotic oil theory is not as yet well enough developed to generate useful predictions but that is also true of fossil fuel theory

Help keep the planet Green! Maximize your CO2 and CH4 output!

Global Warming=More Life; Global Cooling=More Death.

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

Medieval Warm Period: Recent climatological data assembled from around the world using different proxies attest to the presence of both the MWP and the LIA in the following locations: the Sargasso Sea, West Africa, Kenya, Peru, Japan, Tasmania, South Africa, Idaho, Argentina, and California. These events were clearly world-wide and in most locations the peak temperatures during the MWP were higher than current temperatures.

Both radioactive and stable carbon isotopes show that the real atmospheric CO2 residence time (lifetime) is only about 5 years, and that the amount of fossil-fuel CO2 in the atmosphere is maximum 4%.

Cook the crook who cooks the books

The great and fraudulent scare about lead

Green/Left denial of the facts explained: "Rejection lies in this, that when the light came into the world men preferred darkness to light; preferred it, because their doings were evil. Anyone who acts shamefully hates the light, will not come into the light, for fear that his doings will be found out. Whereas the man whose life is true comes to the light" John 3:19-21 (Knox)

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

Recent NASA figures tell us that there was NO warming trend in the USA during the 20th century. If global warming is occurring, how come it forgot the USA?

Warmists say that the revised NASA figures do not matter because they cover only the USA -- and the rest of the world is warming nicely. But it is not. There has NEVER been any evidence that the Southern hemisphere is warming. See here. So the warming pattern sure is looking moth-eaten.

The latest scare is the possible effect of extra CO2 on the world’s oceans, because more CO2 lowers the pH of seawater. While it is claimed that this makes the water more acidic, this is misleading. Since seawater has a pH around 8.1, it will take an awful lot of CO2 it to even make the water neutral (pH=7), let alone acidic (pH less than 7).

In fact, ocean acidification is a scientific impossibility. Henry's Law mandates that warming oceans will outgas CO2 to the atmosphere (as the UN's own documents predict it will), making the oceans less acid. Also, more CO2 would increase calcification rates. No comprehensive, reliable measurement of worldwide oceanic acid/base balance has ever been carried out: therefore, there is no observational basis for the computer models' guess that acidification of 0.1 pH units has occurred in recent decades.

The chaos theory people have told us for years that the air movement from a single butterfly's wing in Brazil can cause an unforeseen change in our weather here. Now we are told that climate experts can "model" the input of zillions of such incalculable variables over periods of decades to accurately forecast global warming 50 years hence. Give us all a break!

If you doubt the arrogance [of the global warming crowd, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming -- infinitely more untested, complex and speculative -- is a closed issue

Scientists have politics too -- sometimes extreme politics. Read this: "This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism... I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child." -- Albert Einstein

The "precautionary principle" is a favourite Greenie idea -- but isn't that what George Bush was doing when he invaded Iraq? Wasn't that a precaution against Saddam getting or having any WMDs? So Greenies all agree with the Iraq intervention? If not, why not?

A classic example of how the sensationalist media distort science to create climate panic is here.

There is a very readable summary of the "Hockey Stick" fraud here

The Lockwood & Froehlich paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film. It is a rather confused paper -- acknowledging yet failing to account fully for the damping effect of the oceans, for instance -- but it is nonetheless valuable to climate atheists. The concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years (See the first sentence of the paper) really is invaluable. And the basic fact presented in the paper -- that solar output has in general been on the downturn in recent years -- is also amusing to see. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even have been the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards. See my post of 7.14.07 and very detailed critiques here and here and here for more on the Lockwood paper and its weaknesses.

As the Greenies are now learning, even strong statistical correlations may disappear if a longer time series is used. A remarkable example from Sociology: "The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre’s yield of cotton. He calculated the correla­tion coefficient between the two series at –0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic condi­tions and lynchings in Raper’s data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his anal­ysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic condi­tions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added." So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. In the Greenie case, the correlation between CO2 rise and global temperature rise stopped in 1998 -- but that could have been foreseen if measurements taken in the first half of the 20th century had been considered.

Relying on the popular wisdom can even hurt you personally: "The scientific consensus of a quarter-century ago turned into the arthritic nightmare of today."

Greenie-approved sources of electricity (windmills and solar cells) require heavy government subsidies to be competitive with normal electricity generators so a Dutch word for Greenie power seems graphic to me: "subsidieslurpers" (subsidy gobblers)

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