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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27 February, 2015

New article hailed as "proof" of climate change

It does support the notion that CO2 has some effect but how much?  The answer to that lies in the term "incredibly precise" below.  They had to use research instrumentation and methods that could detect incredibly small changes.  And that the effects of CO2 are incredibly small is just what skeptics have been saying!  The work vindicates skeptics, if anything. 

Beware of the sentence below "This increase is about ten percent of the trend from all sources of infrared energy".  It does NOT say "This increase is about ten percent of all sources of infrared energy".  Ten percent of a TREND was a tiny amount.

So I am giving this study a big tick.  If I were in a critical mood I might mention that it critically involves the assumption that correlation is causation but I am inclined to be big-souled about that on this occasion

I add the journal abstract below

Scientists have witnessed carbon dioxide trapping heat in the atmosphere above the United States, showing human-made climate change 'in the wild' for the first time.

A new study in the journal Nature demonstrates in real-time field measurements what scientists already knew from basic physics, lab tests, numerous simulations, temperature records and dozens of other climatic indicators.

They say it confirms the science of climate change and the amount of heat-trapping previously blamed on carbon dioxide.  'We see, for the first time in the field, the amplification of the greenhouse effect because there's more CO2 in the atmosphere to absorb what the Earth emits in response to incoming solar radiation,' said Daniel Feldman, a scientist in Berkeley Lab's Earth Sciences Division and lead author of the Nature paper.

'Numerous studies show rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations, but our study provides the critical link between those concentrations and the addition of energy to the system, or the greenhouse effect,' Feldman adds.  He said no one before had quite looked in the atmosphere for this type of specific proof of climate change.

The scientists used incredibly precise spectroscopic instruments operated by the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility, a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

These instruments, located at ARM research sites in Oklahoma and Alaska, measure thermal infrared energy that travels down through the atmosphere to the surface.  They can detect the unique spectral signature of infrared energy from CO2.

Other instruments at the two locations detect the unique signatures of phenomena that can also emit infrared energy, such as clouds and water vapor.

The result is two time-series from two very different locations. Each series spans from 2000 to the end of 2010, and includes 3300 measurements from Alaska and 8300 measurements from Oklahoma obtained on a near-daily basis.

Both series showed the same trend: atmospheric CO2 emitted an increasing amount of infrared energy, to the tune of 0.2 Watts per square meter per decade. This increase is about ten percent of the trend from all sources of infrared energy such as clouds and water vapor.

Based on an analysis of data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s CarbonTracker system, the scientists linked this upswing in CO2-attributed radiative forcing to fossil fuel emissions and fires.

The measurements also enabled the scientists to detect, for the first time, the influence of photosynthesis on the balance of energy at the surface.

They found that CO2-attributed radiative forcing dipped in the spring as flourishing photosynthetic activity pulled more of the greenhouse gas from the air....

The study is good technical work, said climate scientist Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M University, but it is expected — sort of like confirming gravity with a falling rock.


Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010

By D. R. Feldman et al.   
The climatic impact of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is usually quantified in terms of radiative forcing1, calculated as the difference between estimates of the Earth’s radiation field from pre-industrial and present-day concentrations of these gases. Radiative transfer models calculate that the increase in CO2 since 1750 corresponds to a global annual-mean radiative forcing at the tropopause of 1.82 ± 0.19 W m?2 (ref. 2). However, despite widespread scientific discussion and modelling of the climate impacts of well-mixed greenhouse gases, there is little direct observational evidence of the radiative impact of increasing atmospheric CO2. Here we present observationally based evidence of clear-sky CO2 surface radiative forcing that is directly attributable to the increase, between 2000 and 2010, of 22 parts per million atmospheric CO2. The time series of this forcing at the two locations—the Southern Great Plains and the North Slope of Alaska

UPDATE: Rog Tallbloke Has even more fun with the above study than I did. He points out that in Alaska over the study period, the average temperature actually FELL by four degrees. So rising CO2 must cause cooling, Right?

Another point I did not mention because I saw no point in beating a dead horse concerns the graph below. It appeared with the original story.

It shows two nicely matching curves, does it not? But what are the quantities being graphed? One is CO2 but the other is NOT temperature. It is a theoretically derived construct called forcing. Not so impressive.

Kert Davies, a repetitious Greenpeace hit-man

Boston Globe, New York Times, and Washington Post articles cited Kert Davies’ supposedly damaging documents (screencaptures here, here and here), in an effort to trash skeptic climate scientist Dr Willie Soon.

Funny how none of those publications bothers to mention (hiding appearances of bias, we much?) Davies’ former position as Greenpeace’s Research Director.

Regarding the Washington Post article in particular, the comical aspect of it is how the late WashPo editor Ben Bradlee must be spinning in his grave at the sight of Chris Mooney as its author – Mooney being nothing like the thorough reporters who investigated the Watergate scandal under Bradlee’s command, but is instead apparently too much in love with Ross Gelbspan’s ‘industry-corrupt skeptic climate scientists’ accusation, as I described in my 2011 WUWT guest post. Conspicuous by its absence in Mooney’s WashPo bio is his association with Desmogblog, the anti-skeptic site built around the works of Ross Gelbspan.

But, that’s only part of the silliness. It isn’t simply that Kert Davies is also the source of this ‘breaking’ story for nine different science journals, it is the plain fact that there is nothing new in these reports that wasn’t already seen in older reports on Dr Soon which cited Davies just the same way.

The June 28, 2011 Reuters report about Dr Willie Soon’s “$1 million in funding” had the following quote from Davies:

“A campaign of climate change denial has been waged for over twenty years by Big Oil and Big Coal,” said Kert Davies, a research director at Greenpeace US.

“Scientists like Dr. Soon who take fossil fuel money and pretend to be independent scientists are pawns.”

The UK Guardian’s same-day variation written by John Vidal contained the identical quote from Davies, but Vidal skipped the last sentence in the Reuters article where Dr Soon said he’d gladly accept Greenpeace funding. An internet search of just that date and Dr Soon’s name shows just how far and wide those twin stories were spread.

Want to see a fun circular citation in action? Greenpeace’s own ExxonSecrets web site (created and run by Davies) has a page dedicated to Dr Soon, where it cites the above John Vidal Guardian article as the source to say Dr Soon received a million dollars of ‘big oil’ funding. Who did Vidal cite for that? Greenpeace.

All of that was in the summer of 2011. But back in the summer of 2009 — stop the presses — Kert Davies himself gave us the same ‘breaking news’ about Dr Soon’s funding at the Huffington Post (by default, HuffPo shows Davies current “Director, Climate Investigations Center” title, but rest assured that the Internet Archive for his 2009 article shows his then-current “Research Director for Greenpeace US” title):

"Finally. After years of denying its role in the campaign of climate denial, Exxon has revealed a dirty secret, that it has and likely still is directly funding junk scientists. …

The new Exxon Giving report shows straight pipe funding, in the odd but specific sum of $76,106 to the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory, home of Dr. Willie Soon…"

Back in 2007, a giant 176 page official complaint was lodged at Ofcom, (the UK’s communications regulator of broadcasts) about skeptic climate scientists seen in the British video “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, and the complaint went so far as to include its criticism of Dr Soon’s non-speaking contribution to the film, while noting his ‘big oil’ funding. Who did the complaint cite for news of that? Kert Davies. Stop the presses! Breaking news!

However, this blog focuses on the origins of the overall smear of skeptic climate scientists. To see how Kert Davies fits into that, we have to go back about a decade earlier.

Prior to starting at Greenpeace in 2000, Davies worked at Ozone Action, the organization that merged into Greenpeace USA in 2000. Prior to that, he worked at the Environmental Working Group, which produced an undated Clearinghouse on Environmental Advocacy and Research (CLEAR) report titled “Affiliations of Selected Global Warming Skeptics” (“Greenpeace USA née Ozone Action”’s copy here), which says the following near the end of page 2….

"Willie Soon
Suspected fossil fuel funding – Compensation for services to Western Fuels Assoc. funded project"

… and this on its page 3:

"Organizational affiliations are from CLEARS database, compiled from primary sources and media reports. Additional research assistance provided by Ozone Action.

Funding information primarily compiled from:
Ross Gelbspan, The Heat is On. Perseus Books: Reading, Massachusetts. 1997,1998
Ross Gelbspan, “The Heat is On,” Harpers. December 1995.
Ozone Action, Ties That Blind: Industry Influence on Public Policy and our Environment. March-December, 1996. …"

Pages 4 through 10 at that Greenpeace scan collection is of CLEAR’s November 10, 1998 (one month after Davies began working at Ozone Action) report titled “Western Fuels Association’s Astroturf Empire.” Page 7 paraphrases a section of Ozone Action’s “Ties That Blind” report, having these key words:

"According to documents obtained by environmental group Ozone Action and journalist Ross Gelbspan, ICE messaging strategies included targeting “older, less educated males” … and “younger, lower income women.” ICE’s stated goal was to reposition global warming as theory (not fact).”

My educated guess is that Gelbspan and Ozone Action ‘obtained’ those documents (assuming their statement is accurate) sometime around late 1995, since Gelbspan first mentioned them in a December 1995 radio interview. Who did they ‘obtain’ the documents from? Well, the above CLEAR report mentions the same “older, less educated males”/ “younger, lower income women” seen in Al Gore’s 1992 book. Note how Gore’s 1992 book pre-dates Gelbspan’s 1995 radio interview quote of those same words… yet Gore later prominently said Gelbspan discovered that memo set!

I can at least say Kert Davies had ties with Ozone Action as far back as 1997, since Greenpeace saved a copy (screencapture here) of his July 29, 1997 email from his Environmental Working Group address to a person at Ozone Action.

What is the critical missing element to this 20-year collection of ‘breaking news stories’ about skeptic scientists’ funding? Any scrap of evidence proving the skeptics falsified/fabricated data or conclusions as performance required under a monetary grant or paid employee contract. It’s all guilt-by-association and nothing more.

When gullible news outlets unquestioningly cite people from the same enviro-activist clique every time, failing to realize they could win Pulitzers if they turned the tables on sources of smear material, and when they egregiously allow members of that clique to be labeled as ‘reporters’, this all invites one more “Sharptonism” to be applied to the mainstream media:

SOURCE  (See the original for links)

Dem ‘Witch Hunt’ Forces Scientist Out Of Global Warming Research

An investigation by Democratic lawmakers into the sources of funding for scientists who challenge details of the greater global warming narrative has already forced one scientist to call it quits.

University of Colorado climate scientist Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. has been targeted by Arizona Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva, the ranking liberal on the House Natural Resources Committee, for his research challenging the claim that global warming is making weather more extreme.

This investigation, and other attacks, have forced Pielke to stop researching climate issues. He said the “incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues.”

“I am simply not initiating any new research or papers on the topic and I have ring-fenced my slowly diminishing blogging on the subject,” Pielke wrote on his blog.

Pielke is one of seven academics under Grijalva’s investigation for allegedly taking money from the fossil fuels industry in exchange for research. Pielke says he’s never been funded by fossil fuels interests — a fact which Grijalva already knows since Pielke disclosed as much when he testified before Congress.

Grijalva’s investigation into climate scientists who scrutinize conclusions about man-made global warming comes after the New York Times published a piece critical of Harvard-Smithsonian scientist Wei-hock Soon for not disclosing his funding from energy companies in his research.

“Companies with a direct financial interest in climate and air-quality standards are funding environmental research that influences state and federal regulation and shapes public understanding of climate scientists,” Grijalva wrote to the presidents of seven universities housing supposedly skeptical scientists.

So what’s Pielke’s connection to all of this? Grijalva’s staff wrote that Pielke “has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress on climate change and its economic impacts.” One “2013 Senate testimony featured the claim, often repeated, that it is ‘incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases.’”

Why is Pielke a target? Because White House science czar John Holdren has “highlighted what he believes were serious misstatements by Prof. Pielke,” according to Grijalva’s letter to the University of Colorado.

“Congressman Grijalva doesn’t have any evidence of any wrongdoing on my part, either ethical or legal, because there is none,” Pielke wrote. “He simply disagrees with the substance of my testimony – which is based on peer-reviewed research funded by the US taxpayer, and which also happens to be the consensus of the IPCC (despite Holdren’s incorrect views).”

Holdren said Pielke’s views were “outside the mainstream.” Pielke presented evidence to the Senate that global warming is not causing weather, like hurricanes and floods, to become more frequent or extreme. Holdren, disagreed, and singled out Pielke in a six page statement saying that global warming was making the weather worse.

The main problem with Holdren’s argument is that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — which Holdren himself often defers to — has said the evidence favors Pielke’s argument that weather has not gotten more extreme.

The IPCC says that “[l]ong-term trends in economic disaster losses adjusted for wealth and population increases have not been attributed to climate change, but a role for climate change has not been excluded.”

Pielke’s views have gotten him labelled as a “climate denier” by Grijalva and some in the media. But Pielke does not deny that mankind is causing the world to warm. In fact, Pielke wrote a book calling for a carbon tax and has come out in support of the EPA’s carbon dioxide regulations.

“All of this is public record, so the smears against me must be an intentional effort to delegitimize my academic research,” Pielke wrote.

“When ‘witch hunts’ are deemed legitimate in the context of popular causes, we will have fully turned science into just another arena for the exercise of power politics,” Pielke wrote. “The result is a big loss for both science and politics.”


More Hot Air about Hot Air

If it feels like the Left is preaching climate change, you’re not alone. Even liberals think environmentalism is the new religion. Instead of saving souls, they’re saving trees. From pipelines to polar bears, people have watched liberals elevate – not just nature over God, but nature over man. Secretary of State John Kerry has been using his pulpit for global warming so much that he might as well be leading the EPA.

Ironically, his latest sermon came Friday at the swearing-in of the Ambassador-at Large for Religious Freedom. At an event about international religious liberty, leave it to Kerry to talk about the planet, not the persecuted. In introducing the newly appointed Rabbi David Saperstein, Kerry made sure to squeeze in a completely irrelevant political talking point on the environment.

“[W]e have been allies in trying to awaken the world to the dangers of climate change – and let me just say that when it comes to the fundamental health of Earth, folks, we’d better stick to the Creator’s original plan, because there is no Planet B.”

If anything pulls back the curtain on this administration’s mindset, this is it. While hundreds of thousands of Christians and religious minorities flee their homes, or worse, lose their lives, the chief diplomat of the United States is talking about global warming (on one of the coldest days of the year!). With people being marked for extinction, exactly who is Kerry saving the earth for?


High-Profile Dispute Between Farm, Green Group Yields Property Rights Bill

After clashing with a non-profit land trust over the terms and conditions of a conservation easement that sits on her property, Martha Boneta saw no alternative to litigation.

That’s because the Piedmont Environmental Council, which serves as a co-holder of the easement, had overstepped its authority to the point where it was trespassing across her property without any meaningful oversight, Boneta alleged in an interview with The Daily Signal.

But thanks to new legislation that Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is set to sign into law, property owners can ask the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation to step in and mediate disputes with land trusts like the PEC. The idea behind conservation easement is for property owners to receive tax breaks in exchange for agreeing to set aside a portion of their property for conservation.

The Conservation Transparency Act, which has been dubbed Boneta Bill 2, passed in the General Assembly earlier this month.

“Until we had this legislation, there was no transparency, accountability or standards placed on land trusts,” said Boneta, who owns and operates Liberty Farm in Fauquier County, Va. “As a result, groups like the PEC were making decisions acting like prosecutor, judge and jury, leaving the landowner with no alternative to full blown litigation that is costly and time consuming.”

As the Daily Signal has previously reported, Boneta had accused the PEC, a non-profit group based in Warrenton, Va. of colluding with government officials to issue zoning citations against her farm.

The PEC serves as co-holder of the Boneta easement with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation, a public agency with a board of trustees that meets at least three times per year to take up easement enforcement and policy matters. The PEC details its side of the dispute in an online post available here.

“The bill creates an overarching authority, which did not exist up until now, for property owners to have their complaints heard and to enter into mediation,” Republican Delegate Brenda Pogge, the lead House sponsor, said in an interview with The Daily Signal. “But it cuts both ways. Land trusts that have complaints and concerns can also seek mediation.”

When she initially introduced The Conservation Transparency Act, Pogge encountered a lot of opposition. But she credits the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation and her colleagues in both parties for coming together to produce a bill that attracted broad, bipartisan support.

McAuliffe has indicated that he will sign the bill into law, which would become effective on July 1. Just last year, the Democratic governor signed off on the first Boneta Bill, which protects farmers against zoning practices that were widely viewed as overly burdensome and intrusive.

“There was real need for sunlight here,” Pogge said. “We need to give an ear and an eye to what was happening. The conservation easement program was supposed to make it easier for farmers to keep their property and to receive tax breaks, but instead this turned into a situation where they could be abused and exploited.”

She added:  “My great hope is that this can keep folks out of court and that any future disputes can be resolved through mediation


Global warming: Australian deserts to expand as tropical circulation changes

Just modelling, which has so far always been wrong

Australia's deserts will expand southward and dry periods will lengthen as global warming alters key tropical circulations, according to new research by US scientists.

The researchers studied how the Hadley Circulation – the movement of warm air and moisture away from the tropics – will be affected if carbon-dioxide emissions continue to rise at the rate of 1 per cent per year.

They found evidence of a so-called "deep-tropics squeeze", in which regions closest to the equator will experience increased convection as air rises faster.

Conversely, the drier sub-tropical regions characterised by descending air and resulting high-pressure systems will expand, according to the research published Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"Our results provide a physical basis for inferring that greenhouse warming is likey to contribute to the observed prolonged droughts worldwide in recent decades," the paper said.

Existing dry zones in Africa-Eurasia, south-west North America and much of Australia will face increased risk of drought, said William K.M. Lau, of the University of Maryland's Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Centre, and co-author of the paper.

"As inferred from the model projections, the global warming effect on expansion of deserts is likely to be already going on," Dr Lau told Fairfax Media.

The paper found that while some components of the Hadley Circulation will strengthen – resulting in increased rainfall in the deep tropics – ther elements will weaken. These findings will aid the understanding of the overall changes under way, he said.

"Detection of changes in the Hadley Circulation has been attempted by many previous authors, with no clear results whether it has strengthened, weakened or [had] no change," he said.

Steve Turton, a climatologist at James Cook University, said the PNAS paper adds to other research indicating the tropical belt is expanding, such as signs that the location of the maximum intensity of cyclone is shifting poleward.

An intensification of deep tropical rainfall would mean more rainfall for regions to the north of Australia, such as Indonesia, Professor Turton said.

A further expansion of the high-pressure belt, on the other hand, means more rainfall missing mainland Australia, and falling in the Southern Ocean instead. "It spells a pretty grim forecast for Australia," he said.

Rainfall is already on the decrease in southern Australia. Important winter rains over south-western WA have reduced by about a quarter since the 1970s, adding stresses to ecosystems and raising doubts about the prospects for wheat farming in the region, Professor Turton said.

Other regions reliant on monsoonal rains, such as the Indian sub-continent, will also likely see a disruption of rainfall patterns, he said.



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   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, 2015

Barack Obama Goes Full Stalin

Because I think it is important, I have "photocopied" the post below from Steve Goddard

The level of Soviet style criminal activity at the White House has reached spectacular new lows. On February 20, The White House sent out this E-mail announcing that they were going to start attacking individual scientists who dissented from the White House global warming agenda.


A few hours later, this E-mail was sent out to a large group of prominent skeptics. The author used a stolen identity of Harvard’s Dr. Willie Soon, and obtained the list of skeptic E-mails via hacking. The E-mail pre-announced an attack by the press on an individual scientist.

ScreenHunter_7357 Feb. 22 08.24

Today they sent out another E-mail using Dr. Soon’s stolen identity, pre-announcing newspaper attacks on other prominent skeptics.

ScreenHunter_7393 Feb. 24 07.55

This behavior by the White House, coordinated with the press corps, is straight out of the Stalin era Soviet Union.


It shouldn’t come as a surprise. The White House adopted Soviet era themes from day one.


Any time the White House starts talking about conspiracy theories, you know they are attempting to cover up something really bad they are doing.

They’re still grasping at myths and conspiracy theories, but deniers are on the run.

The White House is attempting to distract from their disastrous performance in the Middle East and elsewhere. So they are focused on imaginary problems and somehow imagining that engaging in criminal activity will alter scientific fact.


Totalitarian regimes around the planet are currently engaged in attacks on dissidents. Yesterday, Egypt sent blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah to jail for five years for being a dissident. Saudi Arabia also has dissident bloggers jailed.

This is 21st century America. We don’t do inquisitions of heretics any more. Unbelievable that this is going on in the US.

More huffing and puffing about donations to skeptics by business

But no huffing and puffing about donations to Greenies by business?

Rep. Grijalva -- who has a long history with the Communist Party, USA.

Note that the NYT accusations which started this mini-witchhunt had zero in them that was new.  The same accusations were made almost word for word in 2011

A key Democratic lawmaker is seeking an expanded inquiry into whether fossil-fuel companies have been secretly underwriting the research of some of the country’s most prominent scientific skeptics of climate change.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D- Ariz.), the ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, sent requests to seven universities asking for detailed records on the funding sources for affiliated researchers who have opposed the scientific consensus on man-made global warming. Grijalva cited concerns over possible conflicts of interest involving scientists who have sought to influence the public debate on climate.

“Companies with a direct financial interest in climate and air-quality standards are funding environmental research that influences state and federal regulation and shapes public understanding of climate scientists,” Grijalva wrote in letters addressed to the presidents of the seven universities. He asked for copies of the scientists’ financial disclosure forms as well as information about the sources of research grants.

The move follows the release of documents that shed new light on extensive financial links between fossil-fuel interests and prominent skeptic Wei-Hock “Willie” Soon, a Cambridge, Mass., aerospace engineer. Soon’s loud dissents on mainstream climate science have made him the champion of global-warming skeptics in Congress and around the country.

Soon, who is affiliated with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has for years promoted a controversial view that attributes recent warming not to carbon emissions but to fluctuations in solar intensity. But documents from his institute show that his research was underwritten almost entirely by fossil-fuel interests, including the Koch Foundation and the Southern Co. Soon did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Grijalva said Soon failed to properly disclose Big Oil’s support for his work when he testified to Congress and at the state legislature of Kansas — testimony that downplayed the seriousness of man-made climate change. “My colleagues and I cannot perform our duties if research or testimony provided to us is influenced by undisclosed financial relationships,” Grijalva wrote.

The letters were addressed to the presidents of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech, Pepperdine, Arizona State and the universities of Alabama, Colorado and Delaware. Each cited a single affiliated researcher at each institution who has appeared before Congress to question whether man-made carbon pollution is contributing to a dangerous warming of the Earth’s atmosphere. In the Senate, Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey also called for an investigation, saying energy companies should disclose their support for climate research.

Smithsonian officials on Monday’s expressed concern over allegations that Soon failed to disclose sources of funding for his reseach. An internal investigation is underway, said a spokesman, adding that the institution “does not support” Soon’s climate conclusions.


Pachauri steps down over claims he sexually harassed a woman working at his office in Delhi

The head of the UN climate change panel has stepped down amid claims he sexually harassed a woman working at his office in Delhi.

India's Rajendra Pachauri pulled out of a meeting in Kenya this week after Indian police started an investigation into the complaint from a 29-year-old researcher.

The 74-year-old, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002, has denied the claims against him, according to a court order.

But today Mr Pachauri, who has also suffered cardiac problems, ended his 13 turbulent years in charge after announcing he was stepping down.

It has been reported that the woman claims the alleged harassment included unwanted emails, texts and phone messages.

His second term as IPCC chair had been due to end in October 2015.

In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mr Pachauri said that his inability to travel to Kenya showed he may be unable to ensure the 'strong leadership and dedication of time and full attention by the chair' needed by the panel.

'I have, therefore, taken the decision to step down from my position as chair of the IPCC some months before completion of my term,' he wrote.

He collected the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC in 2007, when the panel shared the award with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore.


Eco-warrior who placed home-made stinger devices on the road to take out patrol cars 'to give police taste of their own medicine' is jailed for two years

An eco-warrior who disabled three squad cars rushing to New Year Eve call-outs with homemade 'stingers' wanted to 'give the police a taste of their own medicine'.

Emma Sheppard, 33, of no-fixed-abode, left the lumps of wood, embedded with nails across the road from Emersons Green police station in Bristol.

The homemade devices were hidden inside takeaway boxes and covered with leaves on New Year's Eve last.

Bristol Crown Court heard that three police cars were damaged by the improvised devices as they responded to emergency call outs, destroying four tyres and causing £1,500 worth of damage.

Sheppard, who denied she was an anarchist, later said her actions were in protest at the death of a black teenager in America, police brutality in Greece and cuts to legal aid.

The carer, who admitted one charge of conspiracy to commit criminal damage being reckless as to whether life was endangered, remained emotionless as she was jailed.

Judge Neil Ford QC, the Recorder of Bristol, said that anarchists in the city had caused £20 million of damage to police, commercial buildings and mobile phone providers in the past four years.

'Responsibility in relation to these incidents has been claimed by what have been described as anarchist groups,' the judge told Sheppard.

'I must make it clear from the start that your offending cannot be linked to that course of conduct, although of course this forms a backdrop to the sentencing process in this case.'

The judge said Sheppard had been caught trying to flee the scene by police officers who spotted her acting suspiciously with another person, who has not been identified.

'This is particularly surprising for someone of your intelligence and behaviour.  'You targeted police officers who act to protect members of the public.  'This must be a demonstration to others that behaviour like this will be met with custodial sentences.  'Actions carried out as part of a campaign of deception will be met by very serious punishment.'

Bristol Crown Court heard how Sheppard built the devices in protest at officers using them around the UK and other police incidents.

The judge added: 'You have told the probation service that when you carried out this offence you had in mind a very well covered case in America of the police reaction to a black man.

'You said you had in mind police brutality in Greece and your own experiences with police at protests you had attended.

'What you have failed to take into account is who it is who it is that is there to protect the people who suffer from domestic abuse.

'The people who are there for the victims of serious violence, the people who arrive at emergency road collisions.

Officers called colleagues for back-up and the three police cars accelerated out of the police station at Concorde House, a building on an industrial estate.

The first driver passed over the debris but suffered a slow puncture and lost control of the vehicle as he approached a nearby dual carriageway, the court heard.

The second car immediately suffered two punctured tyres and had to stop, while the third vehicle had one of its tyres punctured by the stinger despite trying to avoid it.

'The devices which had been secreted under the debris were a number of handmade stingers, fashioned from blocks of wood,' the judge said.

'Each contained five large, prominent nails.'

Sheppard was arrested and taken to Keynsham station where officers found takeaway containers, a plastic bag and leaves in her pocket.

Prosecuting, Mark Hollier said officers called for back-up after seeing Sheppard and another person dressed in dark clothing with their faces covered.

He said anarchist groups in Bristol had carried out arson attacks on buildings including North Avon Magistrates Court and at a police centre in Portishead.

Mr Hollier said there was no evidence to link Sheppard to previous offences in the city but he pointed out that the stingers were also aimed against police.

'While it is a matter of fact that no harm was caused to any person the potential is manifest,' Mr Hollier said. 'Three police cars were taken out of action.'

Detective Inspector Andy Bevan of Avon and Somerset Police said: 'We have a long and proud history of facilitating peaceful protest and also supporting people who choose alternative lifestyles.

'We respect their right to lead their lives however they choose and the large majority do so in a safe and law-abiding manner.

'Where protest crosses the line into criminality, we'll take a tough stance in order to keep our communities safe and feeling safe.'


UK: Another clueless Greenie

Britain's Green party has been making some headway in recent months but their leader in a rank amateur

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett admitted she suffered an 'absolutely excruciating' radio interview this morning - after a 'mental brain fade' saw her forget how much a key policy pledge would cost.

In the toe-curling exchange, Miss Bennett was asked how much taxpayers would have to spend to meet the Green Party's pledge to build 500,000 new council houses.

Battling with a cough while failing to come up with an answer, she eventually admitted she did not know, before being handed a piece of paper which said it would cost just £2.7billion.

Miss Bennett insisted this could be funded by hiking taxes on private landlords - but then failed to say how much this would raise either.

The Green leader later claimed she had suffered a 'mental brain fade' and apologised to party activists.

The Australian-born politician had hoped to use a party event today to kickstart the Green campaign for the general election on May 7.  But it has been overshadowed by her embarrassing struggle on live radio to spell out the details of a flagship policy.

As she floundered on LBC, she eventually claimed the 5000,000 homes would cost £60,000 each to build.

She said this meant the Green Party's mass house building programme would cost £6billion a year – not the £2.6billion she originally claimed. Over the course of the Parliament this would work out at £30billion.

Hours later at the party's general election campaign at the Royal Society of Arts in London on Tuesday morning, Miss Bennett was asked whether she was letting her party down with such car-crash performances.

The party's former deputy London mayor Jenny Jones leaped to the leader's defence, saying: 'She's not answering that.'

Miss Bennett thanked her for the intervention, but agreed that the interview had been 'excruciating'. She said that she had struggled due to a 'mind blank'.

She said colleagues had been supportive and insisted the costings of her party's housing policy were 'now in my head'.

Earlier, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Miss Bennett admitted the Greens would not be able to bring in a 'citizen's income' of £72 for everybody before 2020 - despite unveiling it as flagship policy last month.

She also called for Britain and other Western powers to appease Russian leader Vladimir Putin by letting him 'walk away with something' to end the conflict in Ukraine.

Miss Bennett said the Greens would stick to their pledge to slash defence spending if they are in office, despite the increasing threat from Moscow.

She said the UK must understand that Mr Putin has to be able to show the Russian people that he has won something out of the conflict – 'things that we might not necessarily like'.

The Green leader, who revealed her party now had 54,500 members, also defended the policy of taxing wealth - from property to luxury cars - amid claims it would raise only a fraction of the £45 billion claimed by the party.

Ms Bennett told Today: 'What we are talking about is, we don't want to just tax property, because that excludes about two-thirds of wealth, we also want to tax pension pots, holdings in cash, Ferraris, whatever else it might be.'



Border controls would be torn up because the 'concept of a British national is irrelevant and outdated,' the party says on its website.  National borders are seen as instruments of oppression: 'Richer regions and communities do not have the right to use migration controls to protect privileges from others.'


Britain would leave Nato and pursue 'immediate and unconditional nuclear disarmament'.  The Armed Forces would be 'severely reduced in number', personnel would be allowed to join trade unions and would have the 'right to refuse orders on the grounds of conscience'.


The party would introduce a 'citizens' income' of £72 a week for everybody – replacing all income tax allowances and benefits. Even the richest would receive the hand out - costing taxpayers was estimated at £280 billion — almost three times the budget for the NHS.

Sex and drugs

The sex industry would be decriminalised and 'sex workers' given workplace rights.

Anti-drugs laws would also be drastically relaxed. 'Possession and cultivation of cannabis would be immediately decriminalised,' while trade in the narcotic would be 'fully legalised, controlled and regulated'.  On other drugs, 'small scale possession for personal use would be decriminalised'.

The Queen and the constitution

They plan to abolish the monarchy, evict the Queen and Prince Philip from Buckingham Palace and put them in a council house.

The same approach would be adopted with other members of the Royal Family, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who would be served with an eviction notice from Kensington Palace.

Tax and economy

New taxes on wealth, 'environmental damage', air travel and 'superstar performances'— dubbed the 'Beyonce Tax' — would be introduced to raise funds for 'local cultural enterprises'.

Private schools would lose their charitable status and be forced to pay corporation tax. Inheritance tax would be extended to cover gifts passed on by benefactors while they are still alive, such as jewellery, furniture or antiques.

Private healthcare would be heavily taxed, and, in place of business rates and council tax, a new land tax would be brought in, based on the annual rental value of land.


Australia:  Lies about wind turbine safety from Leftist public broadcaster

ACOUSTIC expert Steven Cooper is considering launching legal action against the ABC’s Media Watch program for its portrayal of him and his research on the effect of the Pacific Hydro wind turbines on local residents.

On the February 16 edition of Media Watch host Paul Barry dished out a stinging criticism of Mr Cooper’s seven-month study conducted at Cape Bridgewater in southwest Victoria — and the ­reporting of it by The Australian’s environment editor Graham Lloyd and Network Seven’s Today Tonight.

However, in damning the report, the Media Watch team hand- picked a group of pro-turbine ­“experts” — with no real expertise in the field — ignored submissions from genuine acoustic experts, misrepresented Mr Cooper, ­selectively and incorrectly quoted the National Health and Medical Research Council, ignored balancing quotes in the newspaper ­reports and made a number of factual mistakes.

Following his utter disbelief at Media Watch’s misrepresentation, as well as pending legal action, Mr Cooper has also sent a letter to the ABC demanding a retraction.

“Media Watch should be investigating themselves because in that very article they presented so much information that was incorrect and not factual,” Mr Cooper told The Australian.

Media Watch opened its attack on the first paragraph of Lloyd’s January 21 front-page story which states: “People living near wind farms face a greater risk of suffering health complaints caused by the low-frequency noise generated by turbines, a groundbreaking study has found.”

Barry said: “Well, not according to several eminent scientists we talked to and, remarkably, not according to Steven Cooper, the study’s author, who told Media Watch: ‘No, it’s not correct ... You can’t say that noise affects health from this study’.”

Media Watch’s blatant misrepresentation of Mr Cooper is one of the key reasons for his letter ­demanding a retraction and ­pending legal action.

Media Watch selectively quoted the Cape Bridgewater report author to give the impression he rejected certain things in both the Today Tonight report and The Australian’s article when in fact he does not.

Mr Cooper told The Australian his comments were completely taken out of context by Media Watch.

Mr Cooper said by giving his answer in isolation and not explaining the broader context, Media Watch had deliberately misrepresented the facts.

He said that when you looked at all the evidence — not just his report — Lloyd was completely right in his opening.

What the Cooper study found was that sensations, including sleep disturbance, were occurring with specific wind conditions leading to acoustic results.

So despite Media Watch’s nicely edited and manufactured contradiction between the pair, Mr Cooper actually believes Lloyd “is the best journalist writing about wind turbines in Australia”.

In a written response to The Australian, prior to the Media Watch episode, Mr Cooper said: “The study does shows a link between the operation of the wind farm and the disturbances reported by the residents. There is a trend not a correlation (because there is not enough data and that wasn’t the brief). However, one can take the reports of the residents who form the view there is a link to their health impacts.”

Media Watch next marched out it’s so called experts to the tune of, “So how come The Australian and Today Tonight got it so wrong?”

Today Tonight wasn’t given much of a chance to defend itself against that allegation as it was not contacted for comment by the show. Today Tonight Adelaide producer Graham Archer told The Australian he was disgusted at the way Media Watch conducted itself and the way it misled the public.

“They didn’t contact us and I would have thought that was the very minimum of journalistic ethics to call somebody to at least give them a chance to respond to whatever the allegations were, I thought that was pretty shoddy,’’ he said.

“Media Watch were taking a particular point of view that went beyond a critique of the media and they were actually pushing a particular barrow and I’m not sure that’s their role.”

Media Watch’s first “expert” was the head of medicine at Adelaide University, Professor Gary Wittert, who said: “The way The Australian reported this study was really the antithesis of good science reporting. I think a newspaper like The Australian should know better.”

Mr Cooper, and other properly qualified acoustics experts, have said The Australian’s reporting of the study was correct in every ­respect.

What Media Watch failed to report was that Professor Wittert has repeatedly given expert evidence to court cases stating that the ­nocebo effect rather than infrasound and low-frequency noise are directly causing the reported symptoms but Mr Cooper’s data from his acoustic investigation suggests Professor Wittert’s ­expert opinion is wrong.

Other experts lined up to slam the report included the Australian National University’s Jacqui Hoepner and Will Grant, who wrote about it for The Conversation. Grant has a PhD in politics and Hoepner is a journalist and neither has either acoustic or medical training.

Then came the most damning of them all, Sydney University’s professor of public health, Simon Chapman. Professor Chapman is also neither an acoustician nor a medical practitioner.

Professor Chapman has declined to ever directly investigate or visit people immediately affected by wind turbines and, despite this, is happy to refer to them very publicly on Twitter as “anti-wind farm wing nuts”.

He is, in fact, an expert on cigarette advertising, a sociologist and a vocal advocate for the wind ­industry.

And this is the supposedly unbiased “expert” Media Watch lined up to say: “Scientifically, it’s an absolutely atrocious piece of research and is entirely unpublishable other than on the front page of The Australian.”

When The Australian’s Gerard Henderson wrote to Media Watch to ask why it had chosen Professor Chapman in support of the view that “scientifically” there was no proven causal link between wind farms and illness, Media Watch producer Timothy Latham replied: “I am comfortable quoting a professor of public health on the matter, who has previously written on wind farms and health concerns and has, according to his CV, a PhD in medicine.”

Chapman is not a medical practitioner. He has previous told people his PhD is in sociology. It was on the topic of “Cigarette Advertising As Myth: A Re-Evaluation Of The Relationship Of Advertising To Smoking”.

When Henderson pointed this out to Latham he replied: “I outlined in my previous email as to why I believe Simon Chapman is qualified to talk about health and wind farms. Therefore no correction or clarification is required.”

The opinion of Media Watch’s “experts” is in stark contrast to those actually trained in the field who understand the significance of what the Cooper study found.

The Cooper study has been reviewed by some of the world’s most highly qualified acoustic experts who were quoted by The ­Australian.

Dr Bob Thorne, a psycho-acoustician who is qualified to assess health impacts from noise and is considered an expert witness in court, said in a written statement that the Cooper report was “groundbreaking” and had made a “unique contribution to science”.

US acoustics expert Robert Rand, the principal of US-based Rand Acoustics, said in a peer review of the Cooper study: “The correlation of sensation level to wind turbine signature tone level in the infrasonic and audible bands brings wind turbine acoustics right to the door of medical science.’’

And after the broadcast, in a line-by-line appraisal of The Australian story, Ray Tumney, principal acoustics engineer with RCA Acoustics, told Media Watch every aspect of it was “true and ­accurate”.

This is some of what he said: “None of the above in the Lloyd article is misleading or inaccurate nor is it overly emotive by ­comparison with current media practice.

“So the only reason for Media Watch to take this on is if Media Watch is simply unable to accept the outcomes of the (Cooper) study and presumably believes that the study is flawed and Mr Cooper is incompetent. This was certainly the impression given by the MW presentation.

“I submit that MW is not qualified to make such a judgment in such a complex technical area and has gotten carried away with itself in this instance because of its own paradigms and beliefs. My view is that for whatever reason MW has lost its objectivity in this case.”

But what is particularly alarming about the program was that Media Watch researcher Flint Duxfield deliberately ignored the large pool of positive reviews about Mr Cooper’s study.

The Australian has written evidence Duxfield was made aware of the significance of the Cooper report in direct interviews with Mr Rand, but did not make that information available to Media Watch viewers.

In an email to colleagues following the Media Watch program, Mr Rand said he had told Media Watch that after the Cooper findings: “It would be unethical of me as a member of Institute of Noise Control Engineering to wait for the years required for such careful medical research work to be ­completed. I have sufficient correlation already from the neighbours’ reports and affidavits and the measurements done thus far to inform others for designing properly to be good acoustic neighbours.” Media Watch did not disclose this information.

Media Watch ’s attempt to discredit the study — and prove why it should not have been headline news — was also riddled with ­errors.

Barry attacked the tiny sample — three households and six ­respondents. But in his peer review of the Cooper research, Dr Paul Schomer, director of acoustics standards and chairman of the American delegation to the International Standards Committee, said: “It only takes one example to prove that a broad assertion (that there are no impacts) is not true, and that is the case here.

“One person affected is a lot more than none; the existence of just one cause-and-effect pathway is a lot more than none. The important point here is that something is coming from the wind turbines to affect these people and that something increases or decreases as the power output of the turbine increases or decreases.”

Barry didn’t bother reporting Dr Schomer’s comments or professional qualifications but said there was what scientists call selection bias, because all those people already had health problems which they blamed on Pacific Hydro’s wind farm at Victoria’s Cape Bridgewater, 1.6km or less from their homes.

But the The Australian has written advice from a professor of epidemiology that selection bias was irrelevant when the study design is identical to a prospective case series with a crossover component, where people are their own controls, and what varies is their exposure to operating wind turbines.

Media Watch was advised of this but did not disclose it on air.

Barry said all those involved in the study knew if the wind farm was operating because they could see the blades. Here again he is wrong. Mr Cooper said the subjects could not see the blades — especially when they were inside their homes, in their beds, and woken up from a sleep.

This is at best a pointer to Barry and his team not reading the research and at worse false reporting to make a point. Duxfield has admitted to Mr Cooper he “skimmed” the report.

If misrepresentation, hand-picking evidence, dodgy reporting and industry-invested “experts” with no qualifications were not enough, the less than 10 minute segment was littered the errors.

Media Watch blankly asserted that Mr Cooper’s theories were dismissed by a Senate inquiry into wind farm noise in 2011.

Wrong — Mr Cooper didn’t give evidence in the 2011 inquiry.

He did give evidence to the 2012 inquiry chaired by Doug Cameron which had two dissenting reports.

Media Watch pointed out that Today Tonight and The Australian “also omitted to tell us that, as Professor Chapman puts it, there are 24 high-quality reviews about wind farms and health, and overwhelmingly they have been found to be safe”. Again any thorough research would find this is not true. Many of the reviews Professor Chapman cites state there is not a lot of scientific evidence.

The National Health and Medical Research Council recently reviewed 4000 pieces of literature and found only 13 were suitable for evaluation and said none could be considered high quality. As a result it said the impact of wind turbines on health remained an open scientific question and that it would call for targeted, high quality research. A priority area is low frequency and infrasound.

But to bend the facts even further to its cause, Media Watch then selectively quoted the NHMRC to give wind turbines a clean bill of health.

The program failed to tell viewers the NHMRC position is that the quality of existing research is poor and that it will fund more high-quality research.

The show chose only to say the NHMRC had declared: “There is no consistent evidence that noise from wind turbines ... is associated with self-reported human health effects.” In fact what the NHMRC statement said was “there is currently no consistent evidence that wind farms cause adverse health effects in humans”.

It is a subtle but very important difference and the NHMRC went on to conclude: “Given the poor quality of current evidence and the concern expressed by some members of the community, there is a need for high-quality research into possible health effects of wind farms, particularly within 1500 metres.”

NHMRC chief executive Warwick Anderson, in a conference call with journalists, said: “It is important to say no consistent evidence does not necessarily mean no effect on human health.

“From a scientific perspective I see the question as still open.’’

Media Watch admitted an error with its reporting of the NHMRC statement but “stands by it’s story and the expertise on those quotes”.

The program said the Pacific Hydro Cape Bridgewater wind farm acoustic study was just that, an acoustic study.

In its presentation Media Watch failed to make available relevant and available information that would have allowed viewers to arrive at a conclusion other than one predetermined by it.

It misquoted authorities, bent facts, wheeled out pro-industry experts and hand-picked evidence in a report full of mistakes.



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


25 February, 2015

The final nail in the coffin of the NYT witchhunt against Dr. Willie Soon?

I was one of the earliest writers to respond to the NYT article by hack NYT journalist Justin Gillis in which astrophysicist Willie Soon was accused of writing for hire.  A quite amusing accusation when you realize that Gillis himself was doing exactly that.  As always, you just have to look at what Leftists say about conservatives to see what is true of Leftists  themselves.

An article just up on Anthony Watts' site does I think blow the whole nasty campaign out of the water.  It points out, as I have done, that the money allegedly coming from business to Soon was in fact paid to the Smithsonian so was in no way clandestine and was part of normal academic procedures.  Far from the money being "undeclared" income that the Smithsonian should look into it was in fact money given to the Smithsonian itself.  If they were to investigate anything they would be investigating themselves!

Unlike what I wrote, however, the latest post has dug up the actual contractual documents and posted photocopies on the web for all to see.

Perhaps  most amusing, however is the revelation about what "deliverables" meant.  Gillis found that word very sinister and implied that Soon had contracted to come to a certain conclusion in his writings.  The photocopies show what was really meant and it was in fact perfectly routine and innocuous. See below.

A new effusion from Warmist apparatchik Dana Nuccitelli

Nuccitelli always writes with great confidence but the key to what he is doing is to trace back his sources.  He usually provides links so you can do that.  And what you find is that his sources are always references to the writings of fellow Warmists.  And on occasions when an actual academic journal article is referenced you will find that either Nuccitelli or the academic author has drawn conclusions far in excess of what the data shows. His book is not one I would recommend for purchase

I’ve just had a book published entitled "Climatology versus Pseudoscience: Exposing the Failed Predictions of Global Warming Skeptics".

The book covers a wide range of climate-related topics, starting with a history of some key discoveries in the field of climate science beginning nearly 200 years ago. Along the way it debunks some common climate myths, progressing forward in time to the 1970s, when scientists’ ability to model the global climate began to advance rapidly. It examines the accuracy of a variety of global warming projections, starting with J.S. Sawyer in 1972, through the recent IPCC reports, as well as some predictions by contrarians like Richard Lindzen.

Accountability was one of my prime motivating factors for writing this book. While contrarians often criticize the accuracy of climate models, their projections have actually been quite accurate. Not only were climate scientists and their models correct to project global warming resulting from the increasing greenhouse effect, but they’ve been quite good at projecting the right amount of warming. Climate scientists don’t take nearly as much credit as they should for these accurate projections.

On the flip side of the coin, climate contrarians have predicted anything from minimal warming to rapid global cooling. Their predictions have generally been terribly inaccurate, and yet the same people who have made these wrong predictions are still treated as credible experts by certain segments of the media. It seems as though their history of inaccurate predictions has no effect on their credibility. When scientists with a history of inaccurate predictions are treated with the same credibility as those who have made accurate predictions, that’s a problem.

The book discusses the 97% expert consensus on human-caused global warming and the details of our 2013 study that was the latest to arrive at that result. It also looks at the scientific evidence that underlies that expert consensus. After all, the consensus itself is just an indicator of the strength of the underlying scientific evidence. Climatology versus Pseudoscience is extensively researched, with over 100 references to peer-reviewed climate studies.

One chapter focuses specifically on some recent scientific research on continued global warming and the causes of the temporary slowdown of surface warming. This is an important topic, because the temporary so-called ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ has been so overblown in the media.

In fact, holding the media accountable for inaccurate and unrepresentative climate coverage was another factor that motivated me to write this book. The less than 3% of contrarian climate scientists like fossil fuel-funded Willie Soon (and worse, contrarian non-experts) have received a disproportionate media coverage. This is why people vastly underestimate the expert consensus on human-caused global warming, and it’s one of the main reasons why people don’t view climate change as an urgent issue. This problem of false balance in climate reporting has even plagued normally reliable media outlets like the BBC and The Telegraph.

Finally, the book considers what our future holds. The more global warming we cause, the more dangerous climate change impacts we’ll trigger. These potentially include widespread species extinctions, crop failures leading to famines, costly loss of coastal property, and so forth. However, the book ends on a note of optimism. There are palatable policy options that could take us a long way toward avoiding the worst climate change impacts while allowing economies to keep growing, and improving air quality and public health as a side benefit.

My hope is that this book will serve as a useful and understandable resource of climate science information, highlight the credibility gap between mainstream climate scientists and contrarians, and show that we have a clear path forward toward minimizing the threats posed by rapid global warming. We just need to choose to take that path.


There should be more billboards like this

It's an Ice Age for Sure

By Alan Caruba

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire.
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate.
To say that for destruction ice Is also great.
And would suffice.

-- Robert Frost, American poet.

Robert W. Felix borrowed from the poet Robert Frost for the title of his book, “Not by Fire, But by Ice”, first published in 1997 and devoted to the science of magnetic reversals and the Earth’s ice ages. I read it first in 2010 and was absolutely floored because Felix makes a very strong case for a reversal that would lead to a widespread extinction of life at some point in the future. In the near, more predictable future, he said the Earth was heading into a new ice age.

“What would happen if a magnetic reversal occurred right here?” asked Felix. “The same things that happened in the past. Earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, giant snowstorms, rising land, plummeting sea levels—you name it—tectonic activity would go bonkers.” Don’t believe him? Think about the disappearance of the dinosaurs some 65.5 million years ago.

The Earth had been in a cooling cycle that began in 1996 when the sun entered a cycle of reduced radiation. Such cycles were well known and most dramatically tied to the mini-ice age that occurred between 1300 and 1850. Solar observers had noticed many centuries ago that when there were few sunspots—magnetic storms—on the surface of the Sun, the Earth got colder.

This has become especially dramatic because, on February 17 a post on called for a discussion of the fact that “The Sun has gone quiet again during the weakest solar cycle in more than a century.” The post says, “If history is a guide, it is safe to say that weak solar activity for a prolonged period of time can have a negative impact on global temperatures in the troposphere which is the bottom-most layer of Earth’s atmosphere—and where we all live.”

“There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first is known as the ‘Maunder Minimum’, named after solar astronomer Edward Maunder, and it lasted from 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the ‘Dalton Minimum’, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton and it lasted from 1780 to 1830.” Together they are referred to as the “Little Ice Age.”

There are quite a few scientists forecasting a new ice age. The last ice age began approximately 1.6 million years ago in the Pleistocene epoch. We are currently in the Holocene epoch that began about 11,000 years ago and is regarded as an interglacial period of general warmth.

In his book, “Dark Winter: How the Sun is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell”, John L. Casey, a former White House national space policy advisor, says that whatever warming has occurred has ended as the result of “solar hibernation”, a term he applies to the reduction of energy output of the Sun. The “climate change” that is occurring is a long-term reduction in the Earth’s temperatures with, says Casey, “a high probability of increased earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”

In “Cold Sun”, another book by Casey, his says that “The most likely outcome from this ‘solar hibernation’ will be widespread global loss of life and social, economic, and political disruption. You must prepare for this life-altering event now!”

In January 2012, Matt Ridley, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, noted that “The entire 10,000-year history of civilization has happened in an unusually warm interlude in the Earth’s recent history. Over the past million years, it has been as warm as this or warmer for less than 10% of the time, during 11 brief episodes known as interglacial periods.”

Those who kept warning of a “global warming” with dire results misinterpreted the climate. Ridley noted that “It’s striking that most inter-glacials begin with an abrupt warming, peak sharply, (and) then begin a gradual descent into cooler conditions.” That is what is occurring now.

None of this has anything to do with carbon dioxide, ozone, or any other element of the Earth’s atmosphere. It is entirely the result of the lower solar radiation of heat.

The United States should be taking steps to ensure a sufficient supply of electricity to cope with the lower temperatures, but has been wasting billions to support “renewable” energy, wind and solar, that is costly and ineffective. The U.S. Energy Department projects that solar power will make up 0.6 percent of total U.S. electricity generation in 2015. Wind power which is funded in part by taxpayer subsidies to stay in business has received $7.3 billion over the past seven years, but produces a minimal amount of electricity to justify its cost.

At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency’s “war on coal” has forced many plants providing electricity to close. A significant disruption of electricity over an extended period of time will cause many deaths due to the cold weather. It is inevitable.

At the same time, instead of providing a source of food, tons of corn are being turned into ethanol in the name of reducing carbon dioxide even though CO2 plays no role whatever in a “global warming” that is not happening.

It’s not just another typical winter. The U.S. and much of the northern hemisphere is experiencing increased cooling that is seen in record-breaking and record-setting new amounts of snow and ice. This is a trend tied to the Sun’s and the Earth’s cooling cycle.

That is of no concern to those who are using “global warming” and “climate change” in order to bring about a transformation in the global economic system from capitalism, the most effective creator of growth and wealth, to socialism, a pathetic, failed system of income redistribution controlled by a central government. Directed out of the United Nations, their absurd claims are supported by the media and many deluded politicians.

Is the U.S. government responding in a sensible way? No. When President Obama speaks of “climate change” he means “global warming.” The result over the past three decades has been the waste of billions for “research” and other schemes tied to this huge hoax.

Real climatologists, meteorologists, and scientists paying attention to both the past and to present events are forecasting more intense and longer winters—for now a Little Ice Age


Companies Benefiting From Energy Department’s Newest Solar Farm Also Recipients of Export-Import Bank Financing

This week, the Obama administration praised the opening of a solar farm in California, which was constructed with the backing of a $1.5 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy.

But the project’s critics argue it “reeks of cronyism,” and they’re finding themselves in lockstep with opponents of the controversial Export-Import Bank, as the solar farm’s owners are also some of the bank’s biggest beneficiaries.

Earlier this week, The Daily Signal reported on the inauguration of the Desert Sunlight solar farm, which was built with the backing of a taxpayer-funded loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. Three firms—General Electric, NextEra Energy and Sumitomo Corporation—own the solar farm located in California’s Mojave Desert. First Solar, Inc., a Tempe, Ariz.-based firm, developed it.

At the farm’s inauguration, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell praised the project for helping to “move our nation toward a renewable energy future.”

However, opponents criticized the farm’s construction for serving as an engine of cronyism.

“If the Desert Sunlight solar firm is the ‘beginnings of a renewable energy future,’ then the future doesn’t look bright for taxpayers, ratepayers and all Americans who think mega-corporations should make a living by selling their products, not by selling a bill of goods,” The Heritage Foundation’s Mitchell Tu and David Kreutzer wrote for The Daily Signal.

In addition to benefiting from the Department of Energy’s now-defunct 1705 loan program, two of the four firms involved also are significant beneficiaries of funding provided by the Export-Import Bank: General Electric and First Solar.

The Export-Import Bank provides taxpayer-backed loans and loan guarantees to foreign countries and companies for the purchase of U.S. goods. The bank’s charter is set to expire June 30, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are beginning to wade into the debate over whether its life should be extended.

Ex-Im supporters, who include President Obama and moderate Republicans, say the bank creates U.S. jobs and helps small businesses compete in the global market.

“Last year, we financed the shipping of over $27 billion in goods; over $10 billion of that was directly from small businesses, so almost 40 percent came from small businesses, more than from any other category in the mix,” Ex-Im Chairman Fred Hochberg said this week in Iowa.

However, its critics, including House Financial Services Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling and liberal Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida, believe it helps a handful of big businesses. Similar to the Desert Sunlight solar farm, bank opponents also argue it serves as an engine of cronyism and corporate welfare.

According to public data, General Electric has benefited from more than $1.3 billion in taxpayer-backed loans and loan guarantees provided by Ex-Im since 2007. The company is often regarded as one of the biggest beneficiaries of Ex-Im funding, alongside Caterpillar and Boeing.

Similarly, First Solar has benefited from hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from the bank.

In 2011, bank officials authorized $573 million to support the company’s projects in India and Canada. Then, in 2012, Ex-Im provided two loans totaling $57.3 million to finance the export of solar panels to India. First Solar manufactured the panels.

“If a company cannot secure financing from the private sector, it should reevaluate its business model. If a company is reliant upon multiple handouts, that is simply unsustainable and reeks of cronyism,” said @DanHoller of Heritage Action for America.

Additionally, First Solar is expected to be one of the green-energy firms that receives loans and loan guarantees through Ex-Im’s $1 billion partnership with India. President Obama announced that the bank would finance the exports during a visit to India last month.

“If a company cannot secure financing from the private sector, it should reevaluate its business model. If a company is reliant upon multiple handouts, that is simply unsustainable and reeks of cronyism,” Dan Holler, spokesman for Heritage Action for America, told The Daily Signal. “It is the type of corporate welfare that no politician can justify.”

Heritage Action, the sister organization of The Heritage Foundation, is one of Ex-Im’s more outspoken opponents.


Name Your Enemy

“If you don’t call it something, you can’t connect the dots,” said Rudy Giuliani talking about ISIS. “If you can’t connect the dots, you can’t really combat it … you can’t have the battle of ideas … If you are going to debate it, you have to call it what it is.” The same can be said about the organized attack on fossil fuel development and use in America. If you don’t acknowledge a battle of ideas exists, you can’t connect the dots, and you can’t really combat it.

It has recently been revealed that Russia is laundering tens of millions of dollars through Bermuda, which the California-based Sea Change Foundation doles out to some of the most prominent and politically active anti-fossil fuel groups such as the Sierra Club and the Natural Resource Defense Council. Reports indicate that OPEC countries funded the anti-fracking movies Gasland and Promise Land. Of course, we know that billionaire activist Tom Steyer—with no guile—announced $100 million in the 2014 election cycle for candidates who opposed the Keystone pipeline.

Not only does the anti-fossil movement exist, it is organized and well-funded. It can also resort to extreme tactics—even violent ones known as “civil disobedience.” According to the Huffington Post (HP), the FBI has been looking into activists’ involvement in highway blockades that delayed northbound shipments of equipment to Canada’s oilsands. The report claims that, for example, an FBI agent and a local detective called on Herb Goodwin in Bellingham, WA, telling him: “We’re here to ask whether you’ll answer some questions for us about Deep Green Resistance”—a radical environmental movement that believes the biggest problem with the planet is human civilization itself and calls for “decisive ecological warfare” and “direct attacks against infrastructure.” Despite the possible intimidation, Goodwin says he won’t stop protesting. “He’s among the nearly 100,000 people who have signed a pledge to engage in civil disobedience, should the Obama administration approve the Keystone XL pipeline.”

A week after the HP story was published; Canada’s February 17 Globe and Mail featured this headline: “‘Anti-petroleum’ movement a growing security threat to Canada, RCMP say.” The article references a January 2014 leaked report put together to support Canada’s “strategy to ensure critical infrastructure (CI)” and to “be used to assist in the protection of Canada’s CI.” Amongst the report’s “key findings” are these points:

A growing, highly organized and well-financed anti-Canada petroleum movement consists of peaceful activists, militants and violent extremists who are opposed to society’s reliance on fossil fuels;

The anti-petroleum movement focuses on challenging the energy and environmental policies that promote the development of Canada’s vast petroleum resources;

Violent anti-petroleum extremists will continue to engage in criminal activity to promote their anti-petroleum ideology; and

These extremists pose a realistic criminal threat to Canada’s petroleum industry, its workers and assets, and to first responders.

While the above was written about Canada, the same could be said about the anti-petroleum movement in America—but we’ll never see a similar report. As Desmog Canada posted in response to the RCMP document: “The striking thing is that the U.S. has identified climate change as one of the greatest threats to national security, yet here in Stephen Harper’s Canada it is the people trying to stop climate change that are identified as the threat.”

Perhaps ISIS learned from the anti-petroleum movement. The report states: “The use of social media, including the use of live-streaming, provides the anti-petroleum movement the ability to bypass the traditional news media, to control and craft its message, and to promote a one-sided version of the actual events, leading to broadly based anti-petroleum opposition.” And, “the issues within the anti-petroleum movement are complex, divisive, controversial, and polarizing.” Sound familiar?

Obviously, you can find some ideologically driven, violent-extremist factions of the anti-petroleum movement, but you have to question why they do this, to reach what goal.

With Russia and the OPEC countries—which appear to be funding much of the activity—the answer is easy. They want to protect their turf, their market share. The new American energy abundance threatens their dominance—especially as we begin to repeal the crude-oil export ban, which will give our allies a friendly alternative for fuel.

But what about the others?

Each week as I write my weekly column, I call my mother—a former English teacher, a professional speaker, the author of more than forty books—and read her my draft. Early on, she’d repeatedly ask: “Why are they doing this? They are going to ruin America.” I’d have to concede that was the only answer you could conclude—especially for me, who focuses on this every single day.

But then the People’s Climate March took place in New York City and around the country. The marchers carried placards with slogans such as: “Fracking is a crime,” “Capitalism is the disease, socialism is the cure,” and “System change, not climate change.” Suddenly, the motives became perfectly clear. Because energy and freedom connect so closely, the anti’s attack fossil fuels first.

We see the fight playing out in the manmade climate-change debate, the anti-coal protests, the efforts to ban fracking, and the Keystone pipeline controversy.

Addressing the Keystone pipeline, Dave Barnett, special representative for the Pipeline and Gas Distribution Department of the United Association, told me that he has sat at the negotiating table across from representatives from the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council—just to name two. He was told: “We know that your Members at the United Association have the proper training to build safe pipelines and it’s not the safety of the pipelines we are really concerned about. It’s building an infrastructure project that will tie us to oil usage for the next 50 years that we oppose.”

Then they went on to say: “It never was about the pipeline, it’s about the use of fossil fuels. Stopping the pipeline was just a way to stop the flow of oil.”

Due to the well-funded and organized anti-petroleum movement, aided by the media, the entire “green” narrative has become so embedded into the collective psyche, it may seem like America as we know it, is on the way to being brought down.

But it is not as dire as it may seem.

First, while vocal, the anti-petroleum movement represents a small percentage of the general population that self-identifies as “strongly liberal.”

Second, they are not as successful as they appear. While they have gotten some fracking/drilling bans passed, for example, state supreme courts continue to overturn those bans. We’ve seen this happen last year in Colorado, last month in New Mexico, and last week in Ohio. We will likely see the same results in Texas, regarding the local ban in Denton.

Undaunted, those opposed to petroleum will now try to get their way by use of ballot measures. The automatic votes will come from the “strongly liberal”—who likely do not read this column. Readers of this column also represent a small percentage of the general population: those who care enough about what happens in America to educate themselves and be engaged in the issues. Most people sit in the middle—unaware and unengaged. But many of them will vote. The messaging they hear will influence who they vote for and how they vote.

Will voters hear the messages of the “strongly liberal” anti-fossil fuel movement—or, that of their educated and engaged friends who think more like they do? We fight in a battle of ideas that we can win.

Each week, I “connect the dots” through this news-based column. By using current news, I offer you talking points that you can use to share with your friends. For example, you can ask: Did you know that:

foreign countries are funding the anti-fossil fuel campaigns of environmentalists?

last week a third state shot down local fracking and/or drilling bans?

the Keystone pipeline has support of the majority of the population, except those who self-identify as “strongly liberal?”

Canada has identified the anti-petroleum movement as a violent threat to its security?

From there, you can share what you’ve learned. Each week I provide links to the research so you can back up your position with facts. This isn’t just a battle for fossil fuels, it is an ideological fight for America that must be turned around.

First, we have to name the enemy. Then, in this battle of ideas, we must commit to reaching out to family members, neighbors, and friends to educate and engage them. In this debate, let’s call it what it is.


Climate change will halve inflow to South Australia's biggest reservoir, Mount Bold, Goyder Institute warns

More baseless prophecy.  The graph below shows that, if anything, rainfall has been INCREASING in recent years

The flow of water into the biggest reservoir in South Australia is expected to halve over the next century, scientists say.

The Goyder Institute has released climate change modelling for South Australia which paints a bleak picture.

The data includes modelling that Mount Bold reservoir, the state's largest water catchment just south of Adelaide, will see a big reduction in inflow.

As a changing climate brings hotter weather and less rainfall by the end of the century, the scientists say the reservoir will be dry at times.

Institute director Michele Akeroyd says the Onkaparinga catchment which feeds Mount Bold reservoir will change significantly in the next few years.

"The worst-case scenario indicates a halving of inflows into the Onkaparinga catchment over the century. That is against the high emissions scenario, and if you look at the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) data, we are actually tracking on that scenario at the moment," she said.

The SA climate change projections are the product of a five-year study. Previous reports took a statewide view, but the latest report details likely effects for various regions.

Goyder report warns:

SA average annual rainfall could decline 7.8 - 17.4 per cent by end of century.

The Goyder Institute said the changing climate would see the Goyder Line move further south.  The Goyder Line is a line drawn across maps of SA to indicate a rainfall boundary beyond which the inland is considered unsuitable for agriculture.  Rainfall north of the line is considered unreliable for cropping and only suitable for grazing.

The Goyder Institute said the modelling's best-case scenario was carbon emissions maintained at current levels. That would still reduce the inflow to Mount Bold reservoir by one-third by the end of the century.



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, 2015

Massachusetts Democrat Senator goes "ad hominem"

Senator Edward J. Markey has jumped on the bandwagon set in motion by the recent NYT article about Dr Willie Soon.  He's got nothing intelligent to say about climate change so is attacking those who do.  But a debate about persons tells us nothing about the truth or falsehood of what those persons say.  The test of truth its agreement with reality and 18 years of global temperature stasis is a reality that heavily favors the skeptics, not the Warmists.

The fact is that a small minority of skeptics do receive some funding from business.   But pro-Warming organizatons receive much larger sums from business.  For instance early in this century Exxon gave Stanford $100 million and BP gave Princeton $20 million.  So why is funding from business wrong when it goes to skeptics but right when it goes to the Green/Left?  There is no intelligent answer to that question.  It is just tribalism at work

Senator Edward J. Markey is calling on coal and oil companies to reveal whether they are funding scientific climate change studies after his staff reviewed newly obtained documents illuminating the relationship between a researcher for a Cambridge-based institution and energy interests.

The Massachusetts Democrat will send letters to fossil fuel companies, trade organizations, and others with a stake in carbon fuels, aiming to reveal other climate-change-skeptical scientists whose work has been subsidized by those parties, a Markey spokesman said via e-mail.

“For years, fossil fuel interests and front groups have attacked climate scientists and legislation to cut carbon pollution using junk science and debunked arguments,” Markey said in a statement. “The American public deserve an honest debate that isn’t polluted by the best junk science fossil fuel interests can buy. That’s why I will be launching this investigation to see how widespread this denial-for-hire scheme stretches within the anti-climate action cabal.”

The documents reviewed by Markey’s staff were obtained by Greenpeace, the environmental group, through the Freedom of Information Act. They show a relationship between Dr. Willie Soon, a solar researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and several fossil fuel companies who’ve funded his research on climate change. The Cambridge-based center is a joint project of Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution, though Soon is employed by the Smithsonian side. The center has previously said that Soon’s views are his alone and not reflective of the institution.

In 2013, the Boston Globe profiled Soon, who has spent much of the past decade studying the sun’s effect on climate change and downplaying the role of carbon emissions. Some climate scientists and environmental groups have questioned the scientific basis of his work.

Willie Soon, a Harvard-Smithsonian Center astrophysicist, has established himself as a front-line combatant in the partisan crossfire over the climate.

Since 2001, Soon has received more than $1 million in grants from the ExxonMobil Foundation, Southern Company, the Texaco Foundation, the American Petroleum Institute, and other organizations either affiliated with fossil fuel companies or active in undermining carbon’s role in climate change, according to documents that have been previously reported. Soon also is affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank known for its conferences on climate change skepticism.


NOAA AND NASA-GISS, ‘You Have Done Enough’

On January 16, 2015, Associated Press Science Writer Seth Borenstein published a story titled “The heat is on; NOAA, NASA say 2014 warmest year on record.” Within days of this publication information was cited that NASA and NOAA data showed 2014 global temperatures weren’t statistically different from the years 2005 and 2010.

Associated Press Science Writer Seth Borenstein wrote a February 19 article titled “U. S. winter has been a tale of two nations” in which NOAA said January 2015 was the second warmest January in history behind 2007.

Further citations of NOAA and NASA-GISS temperatures by Science Writer Borenstein include: “Warming Earth heading for hottest year on record,” “NOAA:  Globe sets 5th hottest-month record of 2014,” and “Global warming makes for hottest June ever.” In response to Seth Borenstein’s December 2, 2014 article “Hotter, weirder:  How climate change has changed Earth,” Paul Homewood wrote the article “Educating Seth Borenstein” which refutes claims of wilder weather, hotter temperatures, rising oceans, and reduced sea ice.

The land surface temperature data used by NOAA and NASA is subject to errors in measurements at temperature stations that were rural 100 years ago and are now in urban areas due to population growth.  This is called the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) which results in local temperature increase due to accumulations of concrete and asphalt.  A more accurate means of measuring global temperatures is by satellites that map most of the earth’s surface.  The influences of UHIE are small due to urban areas being such a small portion of the earth’s area.

Professors John Christy and Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama (Huntsville) post global temperature data for the period from December 1979 to present.  Their data is shown as a temperature anomaly which is the difference between measured temperatures and the 30-year average temperature from 1981 to 2010.  The three warmest annual temperatures from 1979 were 0.420 degree C. for 1998, 0.400 for 2010, and 0.275 for 2014.  Over the 204 months that span 1998 to 2014, 50 months were higher than the corresponding month in 2014.  Clearly 2014 was not the warmest year in the period of satellite temperature measurements from 1980 to 2014.

Satellite temperature data for January 2015 was 0.35 degrees C.  Temperatures for 1998 was 0.47, 2007 was 0.42, 2010 was 0.56, and 2013 was 0.51.  Clearly January 2015 was fifth warmest in the 37 years of satellite measurements.

The satellite data shows essentially a pause in global warming since 1998 or a period of 17 years.  During this period atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increased the highest rate (2 parts per million per year) in thousands of years.

One of the sources of surface temperature data is the United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) which gives temperature data in the contiguous United States.  Walter Dnes wrote an essay “USHCN Monthly Temperature Adjustments” which gives references  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 that describe in detail monthly adjustments to USHCN data from 1872-to-present.  These adjustments made present temperatures warmer, earlier temperatures cooler, and eliminated the 1930s period of heat waves and droughts.

In the United States there has been no media attention to global temperature adjustments and the population assumes all news reports true.  Reporters take advocacy roles carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels causes global warming.

The United Kingdom has been exceptional in reporting news of bogus temperature data.  British journalist James Delingpole wrote the January 30, 2015 article “FORGET CLIMATEGATE:  THIS ‘GLOBAL WARMING’ SCANDAL IS MUCH BIGGER” which points out the world’s three surface data sources for global temperatures have adjusted their raw data.   The sources are NASA-GISS, NOAA which maintains the dataset known as the Global Historical Climate Network, and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit and Met Office data records known as Hadcrut.   Mr. Delingpole found no satisfactory reasons for temperature adjustments.

The British “The Global Warming Policy Foundation” sends newsletters around the world to inform the public about news regarding global warming and attempts at mitigation.  Its February 9, 2015 newsletter The Biggest Science Scandal Ever refers to three recent publications about adjustments to global temperature data:

The first article is “The Fiddling With Temperature Data Is The Biggest Science Scandal Ever” by Christopher Booker in The Sunday Telegraph, 8 February 2015.  Mr. Booker points out temperature data in the Arctic were adjusted to eliminate warming 75 years ago that caused greater ice melting than seen today.

The second article by Paul Homewood “Temperature Adjustments Transform Arctic Climate History” Not A Lot Of People Know That, 4 February 2015 describes in detail temperature adjustments made to Arctic temperature stations by NASA-GISS.  Almost every temperature measuring station from Greenland in the west to the middle of Siberia in the east was altered to eliminate strong warming in the early 1940s followed by cooling.   This provided NASA-GISS with argumenta global warming takes place today from unprecedented Arctic ice melting.

The third article “Globally Averaged Land Surface Temperatures, 1900-2014 (GHCN) Sea Level Info, 9 February 2015  by Dan Burton describes arguments by Dr. Kevin Cowtan that NOAA’s adjustments are correct are in fact wrong.  Examining Dr. Cowtan’s own data that he claimed inconsequential adjustments showed the warming from 1900 to 2014 was increased by 35 percent.

For another point of view of the controversy over global warming, the Global Warming Policy Foundation published a paper February 10, 2015 by Bernie Lewins “Herbert Lamb and The Transformation Of Climate Science” which re-examined the legacy of the father of British climatology Hubert Lamb (1913-1997).  “After leading and establishing historical climatology during the 1960s, Hubert Lamb became the founding Director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU). What is not widely known is that, in contrast to current research directions at CRU, its founding director was an early and vocal climate sceptic.  Against the idea that greenhouse gas emissions were (or would soon be) noticeably warming the planet, Lamb raised objections on many levels. ‘His greatest concern was not so much the lack of science behind the theory,’ Mr. Lewin said, ‘it was how the growing preoccupation with man-made warming was distorting the science.’”

The winter of 2015 is becoming one of the coldest and greatest snow-laden winters in United States history with global warming alarmists still maintaining global warming taking place.  The mainstream media supports this claim.  “Disgraced NBC news anchor Brian Williams said it is “difficult to reconcile in the dead of winter,” when he reported on Jan. 16, the misleading claim that 2014 was the warmest year on record.”

Associated Press Science Writer Seth Borenstein has been the source of NOAA and NASA-GISS temperature data fed to the general public.  In light of adjustments to global temperature data that allowed some reporters to cite 2014 the warmest year in recorded history, it is fitting reporter Seth Borenstein be nominated for the Brian Williams 2015 Award For Accuracy in Science Reporting.

Advocates for energy policies to mitigate non-existent global warming caused by carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels such as President Obama’s Climate Action Plan use global temperature data as the main argument for their actions.   It is senseless to use such questionable data for making decisions that have economic costs of trillions of dollars and lead to lower living standards for those in the United States.  Of possibly even greater consequences are these policies condemn those living in poor countries to perpetual poverty.  It was abundant, cheap fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas that uplifted developed nations from the drudgery, misery, and shortened lifespans of the eighteenth century and earlier.

Perhaps the best response to the falsification of global temperatures is the June 9, 1954 words of attorney Joseph Welch during the 30th day of the McCarthy-Army hearings in which Senator Joseph McCarthy unjustly accused Americans of being dangerous Communists.  Mr. Welch said, “You have done enough.  Have you no sense of decency, Sir?”  Within months of Joseph Welch’s comment, Senator McCarthy was disgraced and ruined.  This hypocrisy of false global temperature data to push the end of fossil fuel use must end.

Congress should hold hearings to determine the veracity of global temperature data. The nation should not waste money having two different agencies collecting global temperature data. NASA-GISS should be eliminated and NASA returned to its mission of studying aeronautics and space exploration.  Those involved with promoting advocacy over science and altering temperature data should suffer consequences.

A hundred years from now, historians will look back on the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries and wonder if a universal madness had overcome the planet. The numerous environmental groups, like fleas on a dog, promoting burning fossil fuels caused catastrophic global warming will have some soul-searching explaining to do.  Politicians who succumbed to the same reasoning will suffer a similar fate.


Judge Orders EPA to Stop Clandestine Anti-Mining Collusion

Natural resource industry leaders nationwide shuddered in February 2011 when the Environmental Protection Agency announced its intent to veto the proposed copper, gold and molybdenum-rich Pebble Mine in southwestern Alaska – before the developer even had finished its preliminary design.

Without warning, the EPA had nullified a half-dozen basic laws and seized power to itself without authority.  The shock went viral: “If they can do it to Pebble, they can do it to us.”

It was so stunning that Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, then the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said, “It’s unprecedented—even for the EPA—to attempt to shut down a project before the developer has the opportunity to apply for a permit.”

How could this happen in a nation of laws and due process?

The appalling answer can be found in a 138-page briefing paper Pebble Limited Partners filed last year with its lawsuit against the EPA in the U.S. District Court of Alaska.

The secret behind the EPA’s pre-emptive strike against Pebble Limited Partners was a three-pronged cabal–lavishly funded by left-leaning environmental groups–of environmentalist coalitions, anti-mining scientists and anti-mining assessment consultants who were secretly given illegal access to and power over EPA strategy and decision-making, according to the Pebble group’s brief.

Big Green’s devastating, years-long anti-Pebble campaign was the second-most-expensive environmentalist assault ever, right behind the ongoing war of climate alarmists against climate skeptics. Green forces assumed Pebble was dead.

It is not. In November, U.S. District Court Judge Russel Holland responded to Pebble Limited Partnership’s lawsuit with a preliminary injunction against EPA, ordering the agency to stop its attack. Holland’s ruling does not resolve Pebble Limited Partnership’s complaint that EPA pursued an unlawful, biased and predetermined outcome against it, but it does presume the company could prevail on the merits at trial and gives it time to make its case.

Not only can the Pebble group now obtain documents through the discovery process and question individuals under oath, but the EPA Inspector General’s office also is conducting an investigation into the matter, and several congressional oversight committees have begun to look into it as well.

The EPA is so accustomed to judicial deference that officials couldn’t believe Judge Holland’s ruling. They even sent back a request for clarification, saying, “EPA does not interpret the order as otherwise impacting essentially internal Agency work on this issue, including work related to public comment review or internal deliberations.”

Judge Holland clarified his ruling. The EPA, he said,  is barred from any activity whatsoever to advance its work on the Pebble issue. Period.

Pebble Limited Partners’ all-out counterattack against EPA is highly unusual. Most industries treat regulators with great caution for fear the agency will strike back on subsequent projects.

Pebble CEO Tom Collier told The Daily Signal, “We’re pushing back pretty hard; it’s true. We’re a single-asset company, unlike most under EPA regulation, which have many projects to protect. We’re preparing pointed depositions of some very powerful regulators during the discovery process, something that most could not risk. We will gain access to emails, meeting records and documents that EPA either refused to produce or redacted so completely that all vital information was hidden. The next six months will be interesting times for the EPA and everybody involved.”

Those involved with EPA include not only government officials, but also a number of anti-mine cohorts, according to Pebble Limited Partnership’s brief.

An “anti-mine Coalition” is alleged to have “secretly advised EPA on how the Agency should develop its strategy, made critical recommendations on who EPA officials should recruit, how the Agency could best leverage the Alaska Native Tribes, and how to formulate EPA’s messaging in a way that would minimize anti-federal government backlash among Alaskans,” the brief states.

This coalition, according to the brief, included Trout Unlimited, the Center for Science in Public Participation, The Nature Conservancy, the National Wildlife Federation, The Wilderness Society, the Alaska Conservation Foundation and five other groups. The activism of these groups in various anti-Pebble campaigns is confirmed in numerous news stories and IRS grant reports.“ Anti-Mine Scientists” are alleged to have “provided EPA with the tailor-made ‘science’ that the Agency was seeking and meshed with EPA’s predetermined conclusions about the allegedly adverse impact of mining activities.” The brief names 18 scientists, some from major universities.

The “Anti-Mine Assessment Team” allegedly included “individuals who are not employed by the federal government, who provided advice and recommendations to EPA, developed the direction of the Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment, and contributed to, and drafted, the Assessment and its Appendices.” The Bristol Bay Watershed Assessment is the document EPA used to justify its pre-emptive veto of Pebble mine. The brief identified 15 individual team members by name.

“Billionaire Club” donors drove much of the coalition with large prescriptive grants. The private foundation of Intel magnate Gordon Moore gave $1.1 million to the Alaska Conservation Foundation for “Pebble mine campaign coordination,” and $833,000 to The Nature Conservancy for “Pebble mine science and risk assessment” – ironic for a firm whose livelihood depends on massive use of copper.

The private foundation of electronics billionaire William Hewlitt gave $150,000 to Trout Unlimited for “prevention of development of Pebble Mine.” The private foundation of the jewelry company Tiffany’s gave $200,000 to The Nature Conservancy and $100,000 to the Alaska Conservation Foundation to kill Pebble, according to IRS Form 990PF reports.

Even in the preliminary study phase, Pebble provided well-paying jobs for the nearby Alaskan Native village of Iliamna. As a result, the median income for a family was $61,250, no families lived below the poverty line and there was no measurable crime rate, unlike most Southwest Alaska fishing towns.

Abe Williams, president of Anchorage-based Nuna Resources, an Alaskan Native organization that supports economic development and boasts 200 associate members, said the EPA’s actions have been devastating

“The people of the entire Iliamna area have seen a massive decline of economic activity and the loss of jobs as the EPA worked collusively with special interests to kill the Pebble project,” Williams told The Daily Signal. “This has left much uncertainty for our hopes to build sustainable economies. We have asked the EPA over and over for a fair and balanced process, but I’m very skeptical about the EPA and its ability to achieve fairness here.”

Tom Collier’s bold leadership of Pebble Limited Partnership’s fight for fairness has given Williams and many workers in Southwest Alaska at least a flicker of hope. Now it’s up to the federal courts.


The climate con goes on

Climate Chaos, Inc. and media allies ban news and books on climate realism

Paul Driessen

Some 200 nations may sign a “modest” Kyoto II climate treaty, say December 2014 media reports from Lima, Peru. But will developing nations agree to stop using coal to generate electricity? No. Curtail economic growth? No. Cease emitting carbon dioxide? Maybe, but only a little, sometime in the future, when it is more convenient to do so, without binding commitments. Then why would they sign a treaty?

Primarily because they expect to get free energy technology transfers, and billions of dollars a year in climate “mitigation, adaptation and reparation” money from Western nations that they blame (and which blame themselves) for the “dangerous climate change,” rising seas and “extreme weather” that they claim are “unprecedented” and due to carbon dioxide emissions during the 150 years since the Industrial Revolution began. These FRCs (Formerly Rich Countries) have implemented low-carbon energy policies and penalties that have strangled their economies, dramatically increased energy prices and killed millions of jobs. But now poor developing countries demand that they also transfer $100 billion per year, for decades (with most of that probably going to their governing elites’ Swiss banks accounts).

Where is this likely taking us? President Obama has long promised to “fundamentally transform” the U.S. economy and ensure that electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.” His edicts are doing precisely that. And now Christiana Figueres, the UN’s chief climate change official, has declared that her unelected bureaucrats are undertaking “probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the [global] economic development model.” [emphasis added] Her incredible admission underscores what another high-ranking IPCC official said several years ago: “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection. The next world climate summit is actually an economy summit, during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”

Why would any sane families or nations consign their fates to such insane, perverse arrangements? The arrangements are being imposed on them, through force, fabrication and fraud.

Poor, middle and working class families will get little but more layoffs, further reductions in living standards and longer postponement of dreams. But meanwhile Climate Chaos, Inc. (Big Green, Big Government, alarmist scientists, crony corporatist “green” energy companies, and allied universities and scientific groups) will become richer, gain more control over our lives and livelihoods, and rarely be held accountable for the damage they cause. Retracting their “dangerous manmade climate change” tautologies would endanger their money, power and reputations.

That’s why their hypotheses, assertions, intentions and computer models always trump reality. It’s why they are increasingly vicious and relentless in vilifying realist scientists like Willie Soon who challenge their “97% consensus” and “manmade climate catastrophe” mantras – and in demanding that the news media ignore experts and analyses that do not toe the Climate Chaos line. They denigrate realists as “climate deniers” (deliberately suggesting Holocaust denial) and “oil industry shills” (while hiding their own suspect ethics, data “adjustments,” and Big Green billion-dollar Russian and other funding sources).

Realists get precious little (or no) oil money and constantly underscore the role of climate change throughout Earth and human history. What we contest is the notion that climate and weather fluctuations today are manmade, unprecedented and dangerous. Alarmists deny that Earth’s climate is often in flux, solar and other natural forces drive weather and climate, and atmospheric carbon dioxide plays only a minimal role. Real-world evidence demolishes virtually every alarmist claim.

The climate reality record is presented in a readable, thought-provoking new book, About Face: Why the world needs more CO2; The failed science of global warming, by late U.S. economist Arthur Hughes, Australian geologist Cliff Ollier and Canadian meteorologist Madhav Khandekar. Sea level is rising at only1.5 mm per year now (six inches per century), they note, and there is zero evidence that the rate is escalating or that coastal communities are at risk. Nor is “ocean acidification” a legitimate problem.

Alarmists use it to replace other disproven scares with a new panic. Earth’s oceans have never been acidic. They are mildly alkaline. Their enormous volumes of water cannot become acidic – that is, plummet from an 8.2 pH level 150 years ago and their current 8.1 pH into the acidic realm of 7.0 or lower, due to the tiny amount of atmospheric CO2 attributable to fossil fuel use, in less than five centuries, experts explain.

The tiny effect of rising CO2 levels on climate contrasts sharply with their enormous benefits to plant growth and agriculture. Not only is more CO2 “greening” deserts, forests and grasslands; it is increasing grain and food yields worldwide, and helping people in developing nations live longer, healthier lives.

Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are not in danger of collapsing, the About Face authors demonstrate; in fact, they are growing. Similarly, contrary to another scare, extreme weather events are not increasing.

No Category 3-5 hurricane has struck the United States for a record nine years, and Earth’s temperature has not budged for 18 years. Claims that 2014 was “the hottest year on record” are based on airport and urban measurements that are higher than rural locations and are always “adjusted” upward, with year-to-year differences expressed in hundredths of a degree. Outside those areas, for most of the world – the 70% of Earth’s surface that is oceans and 85% of land area that is mountains, deserts, grasslands, tundra, and boreal or tropical rain forests – practically no data exist. So NASA and other alarmists falsely extrapolate from their manipulated urban data to fill in massive gaps for the other 95% of the Earth.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Northeast is suffering through record snows and its lowest winter temperatures in decades, and America’s East Coast air has been 25-30 degrees F below normal. England’s winter death rate is almost one-third higher than normal: nearly 29,000 deaths in a two-week period in January 2015, largely because people can no longer afford to heat their homes properly, due to UK climate policies.

What’s really going on? Our sun “has gone quiet again, during what is likely to be the weakest sunspot cycle in more than a century,” dating back to 1906, says Vencore weather analyst Paul Dorian.

Alarmists don’t want to talk about that – or about what is happening in Asia. BP’s Energy Outlook 2035 report forecasts that China’s oil, natural gas and coal use will increase by some 50% and its carbon dioxide emissions by 37% over the next 20 years. India’s energy production will soar 117% – with fossil fuels accounting for 87% of all demand in 2035. Its CO2 emissions will also skyrocket. So even if the USA and EU eliminated fossil fuels, atmospheric carbon dioxide would continue to climb.

Climate alarmists want the newspaper and television media to ignore this information and the “skeptics” who might present it. Bill Nye “the science guy” recently asked MSNBC to link all weather events to climate change. “Just say the words climate change” when you talk about this winter’s cold and snow,” he begged. A new study shows how widespread these repulsive practices have become.

Quoting one journalist, a George Mason University analysis found that U.S. media outlets “pretty much” agree that climate change “is real, it’s happening, and we’re responsible. That debate is over.” As a result, “critics are no longer being interviewed,” the study said. In the view of “mainstream” media outlets, seeking or presenting both sides on the climate issue is a “false balance.” At least one news organization now has an explicit editorial policy “discouraging reporters from quoting climate change deniers in environment or science coverage,” the Washington Examiner noted.

Media reputations are at stake. They’ve been in bed so long with the Climate Chaos complex that acknowledging the critical role of natural forces, the expertise of climate realists, the debate that still rages, or the Grand Canyon between climate crisis claims and real-world evidence would destroy what little credibility the media still has. It would also start the collapse of the Climate Chaos house of cards.

But the real stakes are much higher. They are the businesses, jobs, families, living standards and liberties that will be increasingly threatened if President Obama, EPA, Big Green and the United Nations remain free to impose their climate and energy agenda. Responsible governors, state legislators and members of Congress must get involved, block these actions, and roll back the destructive policies.

Via email

'World's Largest' Solar Panel Business Collapses

by Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser

The solar photo-voltaic (PV) industry has another victim: Q-CELLS plant in Thalheim, Germany. As of March 1, 2015, the plant will cease production altogether and will only be selling PV panels made in Malaysia, 550 of its previous workforce of 800 will be laid off. Not that long ago, in 2007, the company had a workforce of 1700 and claimed to be the world’s largest producer of PV panels.

The Super-Greens just can’t win. Wind-power by turbine, PV panel manufacturers, ocean wave power device builders and the like have fallen off the renewable energy-cliff, one by one. What’s happening? Were they not supposed to rescue the world from Al Gore’s prophecies of doom and gloom, runaway overheating of the earth from a few parts per million of anthropogenic (man-made) carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air? Hasn’t the ice cap in the Antarctic disappeared yet? Are there still any polar bears left in the Arctic? If so, why haven’t they drowned yet?

I’m sure you could add more questions to those above. The list of evil effects ascribed to “climate-change-causing-CO2,” and other demons is getting longer each day and it’s getting hard to keep track of them all.

Grand View

You really need to step back and look at things from the right perspective in order to get to the Grand View. Not only has the earth’s climate changed continuously for about 4,000,000,000 years, just because earliest mankind arrived some 200,000 years ago and civilization of any sort perhaps 5,000 years ago, it does not mean that the earth’s climate has given up changing; far from it. Of the immense ice shields covering the northern parts of North America, Europe, and Asia, not much is left.

Most of that land that was covered mile high in ice is now taiga, tundra, or boreal forest. There is no evidence whatsoever that our stone-age ancestors’ fires in some caves in the Pyrenees or elsewhere had anything to do with that. It was a natural phenomenon produced by the sun’s radiation and the earth’s movement in that interplanetary space. Therefore, there is no reason to suspect that in the future things will be any different; nature is going to keep “all options on the table,” all the time.

Nature’s Options

Just don’t be lulled into thinking that the current “climate change” will continue in the same direction as before, forever. In fact, there are many indications that the warming period of the 1970s to early 1990s has already come to an end—-perhaps rather soon and too fast. One, if not the major influence on earth’s climate are the sunspots. In rough terms, the more there are, the warmer it is on the globe. Guess what: the number of sunspots is hitting a one-hundred year low, right now; as of Feb. 18, 2015, there is just one sunspot left. Not that the event was entirely unexpected, most people familiar with the cyclical nature of sunspot abundance had predicted it for a while. However, I surmise, even some of them are a bit surprised about their rapid decline experienced currently.

Sunspot Cycles

The current 11-year sunspot cycle we are in (cycle 24 since the mid 1600’s), had been expected by many observers to show comparatively low activity, though presumably not quite as low as currently seen. Why is that of concern, you might ask?

Over the last few hundred years, ever since the sunspots were continuously observed and recorded in our history, there were two prolonged periods of low sunspot numbers. They coincided with temperature extremes known as the “Maunder Minimum” lasting from around 1645 to 1715 and the “Dalton Minimum” from about 1790 to 1830.

During both of these periods of low sunspot numbers, the northern hemisphere experienced well below normal temperatures. They did not just result in severe colds during the winters but also in shorter summers with crop failures and subsequent starvation by many of the (then much fewer) people in this region. Such times could reappear much faster than thought, especially with that many more mouths to feed on the globe.

If there is any hope to prevent a future starvation catastrophe at all, it must be in the form of much higher agricultural yields than available from traditional seeds and traditional farming methods. So-called organic farming, using traditional plant varieties, without any, or with only very limited fertilization with vital nutrients like phosphorus-, nitrogen, and -potassium supplements can no longer provide all the food required. That is, even if there is no sunspot cycle cataclysm. So, where are we now?

February 2015

While President Obama stated in his recent State of the Union address that “2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record”, apart from the fact that this claim has widely been disputed, even if it were true, you wouldn’t know it from the cold currently gripping this continent. The five Great Lakes, comprising a surface of area of 90,000 square miles are just about frozen over, for the second winter in a row. At the moment, the Lake Superior, L. Huron, and L. Erie are completely frozen over and Lakes Michigan and Ontario partially. That certainly does not happen every winter.

Perhaps some of the polar bears from the (hot) Arctic may show up here soon, just to cool off.


Flashback to 2007

In February 2007 an article by Jay Austin (Assistant Professor, Large Lakes Observatory/ Department of Physics, University of Minnesota, Duluth) appeared in various media which was headed: "Rapid warming of Lake Superior".  Some excerpts:

Lake Superior is Changing. Fast. Lakes like Superior appear to be responding more quickly to climate change than we previously suspected. Our current hypothesis as to why this is occurring has to do with the simultaneous decline in the amount of ice found on these lakes...

This research has recently been accepted for publication at Geophyiscal Research Letters, and was performed by myself and my colleague Steve Colman....

To conclude, summer temperatures in Lake Superior (and Huron and Michigan, by the way) are increasing due to two separate but related trends: summer air temperatures are increasing, and winter ice cover is decreasing. Both of these effects add to produce the observed response of around a degree C per decade increase in Lake Superior water temperatures.

SOURCE. The "rapid warming" didn't go on for long, did it?


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

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


23 February, 2015

NYT Smears Scientist Willie Soon for Telling the Truth About ‘Global Warming’

James Delingpole responds below to the latest bit of deception from hack journalist Justin Gillis of the NYT. 

Most of what the NYT claims has also been dealt with here.  One quote:  "Regarding Dr. Soon’s supposed “track record of accepting energy-industry grants,” the $1 million over a period of years went to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, which took around 40% of the total off the top, for “overhead.” The details are all open public records"

And when you consider that around 200 billion of TAXPAYER MONEY has been spent to support "climate change" you have to marvel that  this guy is upset that someone is funding a study to look at the other side.  What a joke!

And I don't think I am imagining it in seeing the use of Soon's Chinese cognomen -- Wei-Hock -- instead of the usual English "Willie" as racist.  I think it is a deliberate attempt to make Prof. Soon sound alien

Another day, another attack on the integrity of the Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon, this time in the New York Times.

I first became aware of Soon in 2009 when reading through the Climategate emails. One of them was a jocular suggestion by a warmist called Tom Wigley as to how best to smear Soon and his co-author Sallie Baliunas.

    "Might be interesting to see how frequently Soon and Baliunas, individually, are cited (as astronomers). Are they any good in their own fields? Perhaps we could start referring to them as astrologers (excusable as…’oops, just a typo’)".

You might be wondering what Soon and Baliunas had done to incur the wrath of the climate alarmist establishment. Well, they’d just published a meta-analysis of all the papers which had been written on the Medieval Warm Period (MWP). What their paper showed is that contrary to claims by one Michael Mann (the name may be familiar), the MWP was not a small, localised event but global, big and widespread.

So the memo went out from the Hockey Team (the uber-vindictive Mann and his lickspittle posse) to get Soon, and they’ve been going at him ever since: not by criticising the quality of his science — that would be too difficult because his science is impeccable — but simply by trying to make his life miserable, deny him tenure, and to smear him as compromised and corrupt.

The reason for the latest attack on Soon is that he is the co-author, with Christopher Monckton et al, of a paper published earlier this year in the prestigious Chinese Academy of Sciences journal Science Bulletin.

This study — Why Models Run Hot — infuriated the alarmist establishment, first because it was unusually popular (receiving over 10,000 views — thousands more than most scientific papers get) and second because it made a mockery of their cherished computer models.

As Paul Driessen explains:

    "Results from an irreducibly simple climate model,” concluded that, once discrepancies in IPCC computer models are taken into account, the impact of CO2-driven manmade global warming over the next century (and beyond) is likely to be “no more than one-third to one-half of the IPCC’s current projections” – that is, just 1-2 degrees C (2-4 deg F) by 2100! That’s akin to the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods and would be beneficial, not harmful."

Rather than attack the substance of the paper, the warmists reverted to their usual tricks, lead by Kert Davies, an activist lawyer who works for a Greenpeace front organisation called Climate Investigations Center.

    "Climate Investigations Center executive director (and former top Greenpeace official) Kert Davies told the Boston Globe it “simply cannot be true” that the authors have no conflict of interest over their study, considering their alleged industry funding sources and outside consulting fees. Davies singled out Dr. Willie Soon, saying the Harvard researcher received more than $1 million from companies that support studies critical of manmade climate change claims. An allied group launched a petition drive to have Dr. Soon fired.

    "Davies’ libelous assertions have no basis in fact. Not one of these four authors received a dime in grants or other payments for researching and writing their climate models paper. Every one of them did the work on his own time. The only money contributed to the Science Bulletin effort went to paying the “public access” fees, so that people could read their study for free."

I spoke to Soon last night. He told me that of course he receives private funding for his research: he has to because it’s his only way of making ends meet, especially since the Alarmist establishment launched its vendetta against him when, from 2009 onwards, he became more outspoken in his critiques of global warming theory.

Harvard-Smithsonian strove to make his life harder and harder, first by banning him from working on anything even remotely connected with issues like climate change or CO2, then by moving his office away from the astrophysics department to a remote area Soon calls Siberia. What the faculty couldn’t quite do was actually sack Soon because it had no cause: he was producing too many quality papers, and he was also bringing in too much money (40 per cent of which goes straight into the faculty coffers).

So there’s nothing new or scandalous about this latest New York Times hit job on poor Willie Soon. It’s just a continuation of a vendetta which has been waged for years against an honest, decent, hardworking — and incredibly brave — scientist who refuses to toe the official (and increasingly discredited) line on man-made global warming.

What most definitely is scandalous is the vile hypocrisy of Soon’s harrassment by the warmist establishment, which receives billions every year from the US government, left-wing charities, and billionaire activists like Tom Steyer and George Soros to prop up their bankrupt cause by promoting exactly the kind of junk science which Soon (and similarly principled scientists) have made it their business to shred.

The warmists are losing their argument. Their desperation is beginning to show.


Bill Nye: Let’s Be Honest, Climate ‘Skeptics’ Are Just Deniers

Professional forecaster Joe Bastardi tweets: "Bill Nye is an engineer turned actor. That is all. His knowledge of weather/climate is amazingly inaccurate and relies on ignorance of fact"

 Bill Nye “the Science Guy” talked about climate change on Bill Maher‘s show tonight and said people have to stop taking the term “climate skeptic” seriously. Nye said, “We’ve discouraged the use of the term ‘skeptic,’ when people say, ‘Well, I’m a climate skeptic.’ No, you are a climate denier. You are a climate change denier.”

And just like he did on MSNBC a few days ago, Nye said the media needs to be talking about this issue more and there’s a lot of “millennial anger” at the older generations for not doing so.

And it’s not good for the country, he observed, if conservatives are running for president who are “relentlessly” disagreeing with the vast majority of the world’s scientists. Maher piped up that the “feces-throwers and flat-earthers” just don’t care.


Global cooling?

It has frozen the Niagara Falls, created an 'ice volcano' in New York and led to 40-foot snow piles in the streets of Boston. And America's record-breaking big freeze is not over yet - with sub-zero temperatures and snow forecast in the eastern US for at least another week.

This winter has already seen a series of deadly storms and arctic blasts - most recently, the 'Siberian Express' - strike large swathes of the country.

It has sparked an array of dramatic, terrifying and often amusing scenes, including Massachusetts locals 'swimming' through snow-filled back yards.

In one incredible photo, thousands of icicles blanket a house in Philadelphia, western Pennsylvania, after firefighters tackled a blaze with water hoses.

In another, an icy imprint of a Jeep's bumper remains standing in a parking lot in Greenville, North Carolina - long after the vehicle was driven away.

And now, a new arctic blast - labeled 'Winter Storm Pandora' by meteorologists - is poised to strike vast parts of the country, bringing another round of heavy snow, freezing rain and treacherous ice to areas from Missouri to the mid-Atlantic, and as far south as Alabama and Georgia, on Saturday.

The band of air could plunge parts of the country into deep freezes that haven't been felt since the mid-1990s, the National Weather Service said. Up to six inches of snow - adding to previous snowfall - could be seen in eastern Ohio Valley and upstate New York, according to the Weather Channel.

Bruce Sullivan, a senior meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said: 'Higher amounts [of snow] over the next two days will probably be across southern Indiana and Illinois and eastward through Ohio into western Pennsylvania. That's where it looks like the jackpot will be.'

This week, many parts of the eastern US have seen record-breaking low temperatures. On Friday morning, at least 72 records were recorded, from Marquette, Michigan (-26 degrees) to Miami (42 degrees). Lynchburg, Virginia, even saw a bone-chilling minus 11 degrees - a new all-time record low.

The sub-zero temperatures have resulted in striking scenes, including a fountain in a New York state park that was transformed into a 50-foot 'ice volcano', thrill-seekers 'diving' from windows into snow piles as part of the so-called 'Boston Blizzard Challenge' and a frozen-over Hudson River.

The 'Siberian Express' that has been sweeping across the nation has led to the deaths of at least 20 people from hypothermia, the Weather Channel reported. The toll includes nine people in Tennessee, six in Pennsylvania, two in Illinois and one in each of the states: Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

'This week ranks among the most intense arctic outbreaks so far in the 21st century for the eastern U.S., and it is certainly one of the most impressively cold air masses we've seen this late in the winter season, coming only a month before the spring equinox,' senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen said.

According to the NOAA and the National Weather Service, at least 500 daily record low temperatures have been broken since Sunday. And more places across the Northeast are expected to see record-breaking cold on Saturday morning as Winter Storm Pandora sweeps across the region.

The previous weather system was called a 'Siberian Express' because the winds came in from Russia and traveled over the Arctic Circle, pushing frigid air into Canada and the United States. On Friday, Washington's Reagan National Airport saw a record low temperature of just six degrees.

This beat a 119-year-old record low for the day of eight degrees. Meanwhile, New York City's Central Park plummeted to two degrees, breaking the 1950 record of seven degrees. In western Pennsylvania, temperatures dipped to minus 18 in New Castle and six below zero in Pittsburgh - both records.


Iced water in restaurants should be curtailed, says Indian railroad engineer and probable sex offender

Hotel guests should have their electricity monitored; hefty aviation taxes should be introduced to deter people from flying; and iced water in restaurants should be curtailed, the world's leading climate scientist has told the Observer. [He's not a scientist at all.  He is a bureaucrat]

Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warned that western society must undergo a radical value shift if the worst effects of climate change were to be avoided. A new value system of "sustainable consumption" was now urgently required, he said.

"Today we have reached the point where consumption and people's desire to consume has grown out of proportion," said Pachauri. "The reality is that our lifestyles are unsustainable."

Among the proposals highlighted by Pachauri were the suggestion that hotel guests should be made responsible for their energy use. "I don't see why you couldn't have a meter in the room to register your energy consumption from air-conditioning or heating and you should be charged for that," he said. "By bringing about changes of this kind, you could really ensure that people start becoming accountable for their actions."

Pachauri also proposed that governments use taxes on aviation to provide heavy subsidies for other forms of transport. "We should make sure there is a huge difference between the cost of flying and taking the train," he said. Despite the fact that there is often little benefit in time and convenience in short-haul flights, he said people were still making the "irrational" choice to fly. Taxation should be used to discourage them.

He dismissed suggestions that the actions he was advocating were insignificant next to the decisions that would be made at the UN's climate summit which opens in Copenhagen in seven days' time. "In a democracy, governments will ultimately respond to what the people want," he said. "If the people have a strong desire which can be demonstrated through their actions, as well as their vote at the time of elections, you can bring about a major shift in policy."

Pachauri caused controversy last year by advocating, in an interview with the Observer, that people should eat less meat because of the levels of carbon emissions associated with rearing livestock. He is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the opening session of the Copenhagen summit.


Australia: The BOM bombs

They've got global warming assumptions built into all their models so are bound to get things wrong

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has defended the Bureau of Meteorolgy's forecasting after the rapid escalation of Tropical Cyclone Marcia caught most by surprise.

TC Marcia had been forecast to be a Category 1 or 2 as it approached the Queensland coast but quickly gained power and was a Category 5 – the most powerful classification – when it crossed the coast near Shoalwater Bay.

Ms Palaszczuk said the Bureau had been monitoring the situation and providing regular briefings as TC Marcia intensified as it made its way to the coast.

"This is something that they have never seen before as well, going from a low pressure system to a (Category) 1 all the way up to a 5," she said in Yeppoon on Saturday afternoon.  "They'd never seen this in their lifetime, so this was a rare event.  "Now, they're going to go back and look through all the research and try to work out how that happened so quickly.

"But can I just assure everyone, the Bureau of Meteorology, they did everything that they possibly could and they were getting that information out to residents as soon as that information came to hand."

Ms Palaszczuk travelled to central Queensland on Saturday afternoon to receive briefings from emergency responders and inspect the damage.

Standing outside a ruined house in Yeppoon, the Premier said she had spoken with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and requested army assistance, as the rebuilding effort was beyond local capabilities.  "What we can see is right up and down this street and around this community, is the absolute complete devastation," Ms Palaszczuk said.  "These families just want to rebuild their homes and get back in and that's what we have to do. "We need to make sure that we do that as quickly and as thoughtfully as possible."

Ms Palaszczuk said it was likely that power would be restored to the region earlier than first thought. "What we are seeing is some early signs that the power will start coming on very shortly, so that is encouraging," she said.  "But, it will be gradual, so once again people do need to be patient, because it may not be their home that comes on straight away.

"Our priority is to make sure that we've got the generators coming in to both of the communities, to make sure that they can get those essential services up and running."

Localised flooding was reported across south-east Queensland, but Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the city was fortunate to have missed out on the forecast 120km/h winds.

Still, the Queensland capital was not completely unscathed.  "We have had very little trees and vegetation come down," Cr Quirk said.  "…We are on the tail end of these cyclonic conditions and Brisbane has coped pretty well.  "There has been some pretty high creek levels, but by and large, we have coped pretty well."


Australia: Solar experts claim multi-billion dollar subsidies wasted on cheap and dodgy panels

More Australians are buying cheap rooftop solar panels that fail long before their promised lifespan, prompting claims a federal rebate scheme needs to be overhauled to prevent dodgy systems receiving public subsidies.

Solar industry experts say lax rules covering the scheme – which provides incentives of up to $4350 for a $5500 rooftop system –  mean it is not always delivering the environmental benefits promised.  

They blame an explosion of cheap, mainly Chinese-produced solar panels that have flooded the market over the past five years that are failing to provide the 15 years of clean power expected. Installers in four states told Fairfax Media that the worst systems stopped working within 12 months, with others "falling apart" within two or three years.

Problems reported include silicon that cannot stand up to the Australian sun, water egress in panels, fires and defective inverters. The term "landfill solar" is used in the industry to describe dodgy solar systems of uncertain origin.

A recent Choice survey found, while more than 80 per cent of solar system owners were satisfied with what they had bought, 17% of owners of Chinese-made solar systems and 11 per cent of those with a German inverter had experienced problems of some kind.

Peter Britten, technical director at Brisbane-based Supply Partners, said he logged a complaint with the Clean Energy Regulator last May alerting authorities to "blatant loopholes" in the system, but he said his complaint had been brushed aside.

Jarrod Taverna, of Adelaide Electrical Solar & Security, said Chinese manufacturers like Yinglit, ET Solar and Trina were reputable producers, but much of the production that ended up in Australia was outsourced to other factories.

"The quality has gone down in the last few years. The market is more competitive and they are cutting corners to protect profitability," he said.

"Most of them you're lucky to get 10 years, but some of them are falling apart after 12 months. We're seeing a lot more faults now because Chinese-made panels are becoming more prevalent."

The rebate system, backed by both major parties and overseen by industry body the Clean Energy Council, pays the same amount regardless of the quality of the system. A rooftop system in Melbourne attracts a $3705 rebate whether it is a low-quality "tier 3" product or a European-made "tier 1" system made to last 25 years in extreme conditions of Australia.

The rebate is higher in areas with greater sunlight, reaching $4350 per unit in Sydney and Brisbane.

Australia now has more than 1.3 million households powered by solar, making it the biggest market for small-scale systems. Since 2009, $1.6 billion has been paid out to encourage take up through what are known as "small-scale technology certificates".

The certificates have to be purchased by electricity retailers, which pass the cost on to all consumers. Last year the solar scheme was responsible for about 2 per cent of household electricity bills.

Installers say the faults in the system include that the rebate is paid upfront and does not have to be paid back if a system only produces a few years' power, and that there is no limit on the number of rebates a consumer can access.

They say it has encouraged some installers to offer cheap systems of questionable quality at prices that are virtually free to the buyer once the rebate is factored in.

Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton played down the scale of failures and warned against blaming production faults on systems from one country.

He said the "Chinese success story" had led to prices for solar tumbling dramatically, allowing more households to invest in green energy.

"If someone is getting a subsidy there is an expectation that the benefit to the environment and society equals or outweighs that cost. There are cases of systems not running for 15 years and people have got rid of them, but from our point of view most will run for 25 years," he said.

"There are cases that come up just like in any industry, but failure rates are low."

Bill Yankos, from Bexley in Sydney's south-west, bought a solar system and encouraged seven members of his family and friends to do so. Of those, inverters in five of them had failed within 18 months.

"We were lucky that the electrician replaced them but I know some people have been left with a warranty and no one to honour it," he said.

Matt Vella, of MPV Solar in Gladesville, said: "The tier two and three guys shouldn't be allowed into the scheme unless they have runs on the board. There should be more regulation about which systems are allowed to claim the 15-year rebate."

Melbourne solar installer John Alberti, who installs top quality systems that cost his customers up to $12,000 and also works as a trouble-shooter assessing panels installed by others, said the industry had been "all but destroyed" by shoddy operators.

"You find corrosion, rust, they're flimsy," he says. ``The lamination on the back of the panel has come away and water gets in. But most of the time they're not generating the kind of wattage that was promised."

After Mr Alberti or one of his four staff conduct an investigation on failing panels, they write a report and advise the consumer to contact the panel supplier "to see if they will stand by their performance guarantee and replace the panels. But generally, because the warranty is held offshore, what are your chances? Next to none".

Mr Alberti suggests consumers ask suppliers for a flash test report on their panels  to indicate the wattage for which a penal is rated. He said consumers also needed to establish where the warranty for a product was held. ``If there warranties are held in Australia and there is a problem, you can lodge a complaint with the [consumer watchdog]... otherwise, there is nowhere to go."



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

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


22 February, 2015

Bad news for Warmists: Sun has entered 'weakest solar cycle in a century'

The conceit that human production of carbon dioxide is capable of driving the earth’s climate is running smack into the sun. CO2 accounts for a mere 0.039% of the atmosphere, while the sun accounts for 99.86% of all of the mass in our entire solar system. And Ol’ Sol is not taking the insult lightly. Vencore Weather reports:

For the past 5 days, solar activity has been very low and one measure of solar activity – its X-ray output – has basically flatlined in recent days (plot below courtesy NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center). Not since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906 has there been a solar cycle with fewer sunspots.

We are currently more than six years into Solar Cycle 24 and today the sun is virtually spotless despite the fact that we are still in what is considered to be its solar maximum phase. Solar cycle 24 began after an unusually deep solar minimum that lasted from 2007 to 2009 which included more spotless days on the sun compared to any minimum in almost a century.

There are several possible consequences to the solar quiet. The first is counterintuitive:

By all Earth-based measures of geomagnetic and geoeffective solar activity, this cycle has been extremely quiet. However, while a weak solar cycle does suggest strong solar storms will occur less often than during stronger and more active cycles, it does not rule them out entirely. In fact, the famous Carrington Event of 1859 occurred during a weak solar cycle (#10).  See here.  In addition, there is some evidence that most large events such as strong solar flares and significant geomagnetic storms tend to occur in the declining phase of the solar cycle. In other words, there is still a chance for significant solar activity in the months and years ahead.

Our dependence on electronic devices is such that extreme solar events could have serious consequences.  However, it is the likely impact on atmospheric temperatures that threatens the “consensus” on global warming:

…if history is a guide, it is safe to say that weak solar activity for a prolonged period of time can have a negative impact on global temperatures in the troposphere which is the bottom-most layer of Earth’s atmosphere - and where we all live. There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first period is known as the “Maunder Minimum”, named after the solar astronomer Edward Maunder, and it lasted from around 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the “Dalton Minimum”, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton, and it lasted from about 1790 to 1830. Both of these historical periods coincided with below-normal global temperatures in an era now referred to by many as the “Little Ice Age”. In addition, research studies in just the past couple of decades have found a complicated relationship between solar activity, cosmic rays, and clouds on Earth. This research suggests that in times of low solar activity where solar winds are typically weak; more cosmic rays reach the Earth’s atmosphere which, in turn, has been found to lead to an increase in certain types of clouds that can act to cool the Earth.

It is common sense to believe that the sun has more influence on global temperatures than a trace gas. With a 17 year “pause” in the predicted outcomes of an increase in atmospheric CO2, warmists face more and more awkward questions. If temperatures actually decline as a result of an expected decrease in solar activity, at some point the game will be up, and the billions of dollars a year squandered on climate modeling that doesn’t predict what happens will have to dry up.


How living a "Green" life can drive you insane

Dylan Evans built a community without technology and home comforts in the Scottish Highlands and called it Utopia


How many thousands of books and films are there containing stories about visionaries who set up utopian societies — with untoward consequences?

This book addresses the same subject, but it is not fiction. Dylan Evans tried it for himself, and it drove him mad.

Less than ten years ago, Evans was a professional scientist, conducting research into robotics and artificial intelligence. But during a holiday to Mexico in 2005, he perceived striking parallels between the collapse of the Mayan empire 1,000 or so years ago and the state of civilisation today. Could our certainties founder in the way theirs did?

As he describes, many societies collapsed in the past ‘because their energy requirements began to outstrip their energy resources’.

But what if a community could rise from the rubble and exist without technology and the home comforts we take for granted? He returned, determined to create such a community as an experiment, simulating what life after an apocalypse might be like. He built it in the Scottish Highlands, mainly from sticks and canvas, and called it Utopia.

Alarmingly, but intriguingly, his book starts with a 3am scream in a psychiatric hospital. The scream isn’t his, and it’s at the end of the experiment, not the beginning, when — for his own safety — he has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

He recounts how Utopia tested, and finally broke, his sanity. It is a fascinating, troubling and, at times, hilarious tale. The inescapable truth is that Evans wasn’t entirely stable to start with.

He became a committed ‘doomer’ — someone who thinks the end of the world, if not exactly nigh, is approaching. He began to envisage his self-sufficient, post-apocalyptic community, not just as an exercise in social observation, not as The Good Life writ large, but as a kind of dress rehearsal for the real thing.

Inevitably, once news of the project spread, it attracted a motley collection of fellow-utopians: from engaging idealists to raging crackpots, with a few blissed-out hippies in between. But he didn’t blunder into the experiment unprepared. Evans checked out other ‘eco-villages’ and ‘alternative communities’, including one near where I live in Herefordshire. Indeed, parts of this book reminded me of my own family’s move to the sticks some years ago.

Like Evans, I had a romantic notion of becoming ‘a horny-handed son of toil’, only to be completely at a loss the first time I had to wring an ailing chicken’s neck. For Evans, the killing of a pig called Fatso proved similarly traumatic.

Very quickly, he also found the utopian ideology was about as watertight as one of his leaky yurts, and the egalitarianism lasted about as long as it took for one volunteer to be more forceful than another.

Evans does note, perceptively, that ‘utopias also attract misfits, whose inability to integrate may not be due to the society they blame, but to their own cantankerous personalities’. Adam, given to ululating late at night, was a prime example.

Moreover, the society on which they were all trying not to rely had a nasty habit of encroaching on their commune. Terrified that one of his volunteers might get hurt, or worse, Evans took out third-party liability insurance. Which, he concedes, ‘felt like cheating, like I wasn’t fully embracing the radical uncertainty of primitive living’.

And though they resourcefully made their own toothpaste by mixing baking powder, sea salt and peppermint, they had no idea how to make the baking powder, so bought it from a local supermarket. Not very hunter-gatherer.

Evans’ relentless self-questioning about these small, but forgivable, transgressions against the spirit of his own experiment did nothing for his mental health, which further deteriorated as he realised he had invested so much thought and energy into a project that was doomed to failure.

But this book is much more than an account of a naïve undertaking in the life of a rather strange man.

For one thing, it radiates an intense intelligence and a candour that is never less than touching and, sometimes, downright heartrending.

To have written so elegantly and often humorously about his mental health means Evans must now, to a great extent, be ‘better’. But it’s still an exercise in agonised soul-searching.


Clean Water Act regulatory whack-a-mole hurts farmers

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers are at it again, seeking to regulate every puddle, creek, and ditch in America as “navigable waters” under the terms of the Clean Water Act — even though you probably couldn’t navigate a paper boat through them.

Starting in April, under the Definition of “Waters of the United States” Under the Clean Water Act regulation, “waters of the United States” will now include “Traditional navigable waters; interstate waters, including interstate wetlands; the territorial seas; impoundments of traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, including interstate wetlands, the territorial seas, and tributaries, as defined, of such waters; tributaries, as defined, of traditional navigable waters, interstate waters or the territorial seas; and adjacent waters, including adjacent wetlands.”

In addition, “the agencies propose that ‘other waters’ (those not fitting in any of the above categories) could be determined to be ‘waters of the United States’ through a case-specific showing that, either alone or in combination with similarly situated ‘other waters’ in the region, they have a ‘significant nexus’ to a traditional navigable water, interstate water, or the territorial seas. The rule would also offer a definition of significant nexus and explain how similarly situated ‘other waters’ in the region should be identified.”

Finally, the agencies have an expansive view of bodies of water beyond just aquatic systems, writing in a not-so-innocuous footnote, “The terms do not refer solely to the water contained in these aquatic systems, but to the system as a whole including associated chemical, physical, and biological features.”

To which, Pacific Legal Foundation’s M. Reed Hopper and Todd Gaziano complain in the Wall Street Journal, “What isn’t a chemical, physical or biological feature of an aquatic system as a whole? Does that cover an entire ecoregion? Probably, since agency bureaucrats generally have discretion to interpret and apply their own definitions. Rather than clarify federal jurisdiction, as promised, the proposed rule introduces vastly greater uncertainty.”

Indeed, the entire atmosphere is about 4 percent water. In some organisms, their bodies can be composed of as much as 90 percent water. In humans, it’s about 60 percent. Can those be regulated too as a “biological feature” of an aquatic system?

Hopper and Gaziano note, “By any fair reading, the proposed rule would federalize virtually all water in the nation, and much of the land, in direct contravention of Supreme Court precedent…”

Here Hopper and Gaziano are referencing SWANCC v. Army Corps of Engineers (2001) and Rapanos v. United States (2006), which respectively found that the Army Corps could not regulate “isolated water bodies” that were not connected to traditional navigable waters and that agencies, per Hopper and Gaziano, “could not regulate wetlands merely because they have a hydrological connection to downstream navigable waters.”

Undeterred, EPA and the Army Corps have moved forward with their rulemaking, and the implications for property owners everywhere, including farmers and ranchers, are simply breathtaking.

The issues the regulation raises for Congress are fairly profound. For example, last year the House of Representatives passed HR 5078 which bars implementation of the rule or anything “substantially similar.”

The trouble is, whether subsequent rulemakings would be “substantially similar” would undoubtedly be left up to judicial interpretation, meaning more rounds of regulatory whack-a-mole on the Clean Water Act would be in order for generations to come.

This underscores the problem itself, which is Congress’ reliance on the goodwill and common sense of regulators in drafting these rules, such as under the Clean Water Act, an approach which has proven to be colossal failure, resulting in nearly two decades of litigation over just how far the law goes. It is the administrative state defined.

This year, it is high time for Congress to cut the root of the problem, which is the broad nature of the Clean Water Act itself. Perhaps the reason the agencies keep coming forward with rules beyond the scope of what legislators ever intended is because Congress authorized them to write them.

If members want to address the issue head on, the solution is severely to restrict that authority to draft expansive regulations under the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act for that matter. No less than the property interests of every single American, including farmers and ranchers, are at stake.


Report: Canadian company behind Keystone wants another pipeline

The Canadian company behind the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline will seek U.S. government approval for another pipeline -- this one going north.

Industry officials in North Dakota say the proposed Upland Pipeline could reduce reliance on the railroads to ship crude following recent concerns about safety.

TransCanada Corp.'s proposed $600 million Upland Pipeline would begin near the northwestern North Dakota oil hub of Williston and go north into Canada about 200 miles. At peak operation it would transport up to 300,000 barrels of oil daily, connecting with other pipelines including the Energy East pipeline across Canada.

"We expect Upland and Energy East to play a key role in providing sufficient pipeline capacity to improve supply security for eastern Canadian and U.S. refiners, and reduce the need for foreign imports," TransCanada said in a statement.

The company last year sought commitments from shippers and said in its quarterly earnings report last Friday that the effort was successful. TransCanada hopes to have the Upland Pipeline operating in 2018, pending approval from the U.S. State Department, North Dakota's Public Service Commission and Canada's National Energy Board. The company plans to submit an application to the State Department in the second quarter of this year.

TransCanada has been trying for years to get U.S. approval for the 1,179-mile Keystone XL, which would connect Canada's tar sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast but has sparked environmental objections. Congress last week approved construction but President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the measure.

TransCanada spokesman Davis Sheremata on Thursday said the company can't speculate on whether it might run into similar problems with Upland. Company President and CEO Russ Girling last week told analysts and reporters that he hopes the drawn-out Keystone XL process is "an anomaly."

"Obviously, the market isn't waiting for the regulators to catch up with their decisions -- they're moving the oil now," he said.

North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness on Thursday called the Upland proposal a needed project that would move the state's crude to "great markets" in eastern Canada and the northeastern U.S.

North Dakota, the nation's No. 2 oil state behind Texas, is producing about 1.2 million barrels of crude daily. Several pipeline projects are proposed to move the oil, 80 percent of which now is being hauled by rail, according to North Dakota Pipeline Authority Director Justin Kringstad.

The Keystone XL would move 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada south, as well as about 100,000 barrels of domestic oil daily from North Dakota's Bakken region. With Upland, a total of about 1 million barrels of oil could be moved by pipelines from North Dakota to markets across the U.S., Ness and Kringstad said.

That would help displace rail shipments of North Dakota oil. Trains hauling crude from the state's rich oil fields have been involved in major accidents in Virginia, West Virginia, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Alabama, as well as in Canada, where 47 people were killed by an explosive derailment in 2013 in Lac-Megantic, Quebec.

"Producers want to put oil on pipelines to get it to these key markets," said Ness, whose group represents more than 500 companies working in western North Dakota. "We've just got to get them permitted."


Battery Subsidies Reflect Poor Energy Policy

In a recent earnings call with investors, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to produce lithium-ion battery packs for use by homes and businesses equipped with rooftop solar generation. Tesla fanatics were quick to spread the news that this could enable customers to disconnect from the power grid and achieve personal energy independence. Before we rush into becoming a nation of single-home power companies, it is important to understand why this idea is unlikely to succeed and is generally a bad idea.

Examining the source of the proposal is a good place to start. Without taxpayer subsidies, there would likely not be a Tesla. Tax credits and government incentives, rather than solid business fundamentals, have fueled Tesla’s growth.  Consumers would undoubtedly have less interest in purchasing a Tesla luxury electric car if not for the $7500 federal tax credit and additional state tax credits. Now Tesla wants to extend its subsidy-dependent business model to the home electricity market. As with its luxury electric cars, Tesla’s concept for home batteries will appeal primarily to higher-income households.

Tesla recently broke ground on its $5 billion battery factory (Gigafactory) near Reno, Nevada. Nevada won a five-state competition for the factory by coughing up $1.25 billion in tax breaks for Tesla. Nevada was also the only state of the five that agreed to allow Tesla to sell its cars directly to customers. Tesla admits that it lacks experience with manufacturing lithium-ion cells but it is collaborating with Panasonic in hopes of refining the production process. This seems like a tremendous gamble on a company with a business model based on taxpayer subsidies.

Grid Disconnection Impractical

People are quick to draw analogies to the telecom industry. Cellular phone technology essentially killed the pay phone industry. More importantly, the number of landline subscribers continues to decrease as customers opt for Internet phone services or just use their cell phones. However, while most parts of the country have alternatives to landline telephones, not everyone has a roof configuration suitable for solar generation.

The basic premise is that rooftop solar generation produces more electricity than the home needs during daylight hours and then produces nothing at all when the sun is not shining.  If the homeowner connects a lithium-ion battery to their solar array, they could store any excess daytime electricity for use at night. The homeowner would also snag a nice 30% federal energy investment tax credit for the cost of the battery as long as the battery connects to the solar array.  While this sounds great, the realities are much more complicated.

Completely disconnecting from the grid is impractical for most homeowners. Consecutive cloudy days would leave the homeowner with no power whatsoever. There are a number of likely scenarios where homeowners will still need power from the grid. Therefore, homes will need to stay connected to the grid for backup power. This means they will (and should) pay a share of the cost of maintaining the utility distribution system. There goes Tesla’s dream of enabling homeowners to stick it to their utility.

Merely Switching Masters

Finally, you have to consider the battery technology itself. Lithium-ion batteries, as their name implies, depend on the alkali metal lithium. According to the USGS, there is currently only one active lithium mine and one lithium-ion battery recycling facility in the United States. Unlike other energy and mineral commodities, the United States is not a player in lithium. Most lithium used in battery production comes from Chile, Australia, and Argentina. Huge reserves in Bolivia have analysts wondering if that country or Chile could become the “Saudi Arabia” of lithium.

While geographical concentration of lithium reserves is a problem, the concentration of lithium production among a handful of firms is an even greater concern. Collectively, the largest four companies account for almost 95% of global lithium supply. These firms include Albemarle, SQM, FMC Corp, and Chengdu Tianqi Industry Group. Advocates of energy independence from foreign sources will not find comfort in the lithium market.  Those who envision the demise of fossil fuels will find that the lithium supply oligopoly has an even greater consolidation of market power than the major oil producers do in the global oil market.

Rational Thought Needed

Given that the home lithium-ion battery concept requires taxpayer subsidies, is impractical, and relies on a tightly held foreign commodity, why are some media outlets fawning over the concept instead of asking hard questions? The reason is that consumers like the idea of having choices and feeling independent. Utilities represent one of the last consumer markets with limited or no customer choice. Utilities tend to be bureaucratic and have a quasi-government feel. These factors make utilities easy targets for reformists. However, state regulators provide oversight to ensure utilities provide service in a cost-effective manner and utilities generally provide reliable service. The concept of a regulated utility is not that much different from a governmental entity that builds and maintains roads for common use.

Becoming overly dependent on lithium-ion technology on a grand scale is not good energy policy. There is a role for electricity storage technologies in our efforts to optimize and conserve scarce energy resources. However, selling the dream of personal energy independence through taxpayer-subsidized batteries is not the answer.


The Bloom is Quickly Fading for Renewable Energy in America and Europe! Finally!

Increasingly over the past decade both federal and state governments have given special subsidies to, provided tax advantages for and mandated the use of solar energy as a solution to environmental concerns and the need for greater domestic energy independence. A damming report from the Taxpayers Protection Alliance details the enormous cost to American’s of the government’s obsessive solar power push. A few of the tidbits are below

A Government Accountability Office review of federal renewable energy-related initiatives for fiscal year 2010 discovered at least 345 different federal initiatives supporting solar energy. The programs are managed by nearly 20 agencies and support more than 1,500 individual projects.

Over the past five years, the federal government spent an estimated $150 billion subsidizing solar power and other renewable energy projects.

Preferable tax treatment given to solar and other alternative electricity initiatives cost Americans nearly $9 billion annually, according to the IRS.

State and local governments increasingly subsidize solar energy. Personal tax credits related to solar products are available in 20 states, 18 states maintain corporate tax credit and deduction programs, and 14 states and Puerto Rico offer taxpayer-funded grants to support solar electricity.

And what as all this largesse bought? Despite the subsidies and mandates solar will make up only 0.6 percent of total U.S. electricity generation in 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration. Worse still, government efforts to promote solar energy have resulted in waste and fraud and diverted public and private resources from energy resources that hold more promise.

For instance, “Government-backed solar boondoggles are rampant and include such devastating examples as the Solyndra loan, which cost taxpayers $535 million and left 1,100 employees without a job, and the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California, which, despite reaping $1.6 billion in subsidies, produces electricity at a cost three times higher than traditional power and has requested $539 million in additional direct handouts from the federal government.”

The word on renewables is not much better out of Europe. One recent report showed despite generous support that dwarfs the subsidies given to the wind industry in America, Germany’s wind farms are failing to deliver much power. The country has more than 25,000 turbines with a rated capacity of nearly 40,000 megawatts.

However, over the course of 2014 they delivered just 14.8 percent of their rated capacity – or less than 6,000 megawatts, the amount of power one could get from just six coal fired or nuclear power stations. And, of course, unlike the power from the coal power or nuclear power plants, the power delivered by the wind turbines was so volatile and unpredictable that it could not be counted upon to provide baseload power.

With numbers like this, it is little wonder why windpower is quickly falling out of favor in Europe. Across the EU green energy subsidy programs have been slashed causing the rate of wind farm installations to plummet. The Financial Times reports new wind installations fell precipitously in much of Europe: by 90 per cent in Denmark; 84 per cent in Spain (Europes largest wind power market) and 75 per cent in Italy.

The fact that the decline in new wind farm construction comes as subsidies have been slashed is not a coincident and shows just how “not ready for prime-time” wind power still is despite 40 years of support. Wind still can’t compete on price, and may never be able to compete on reliability with the much abused and criticized electric power staples — coal, natural gas and nuclear.



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20 February, 2015

Despite $39B in Annual Gov't. Subsidies, Solar Produced 0.5% of Electricity in US

Despite receiving an estimated $39 billion in annual government subsidies over the past five years, the solar energy industry accounted for just one half of one percent (0.5%) of all the electricity generated in the U.S. during the first 10 months of 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Between January and October of last year, the U.S. produced a total of 3,431,473 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity. But only 15,973 million kWh were generated by solar thermal or photovoltaic (PV) solar modules that use semiconducting materials to convert sunlight into electricity, according to EIA's latest Monthly Energy Review.

The amount of solar power generated last year was up from the 9,252 million kWh produced in 2013, but still remained a tiny fraction of the nation’s total power generated in 2014 despite billions of dollars in subsidies spent on hundreds of solar programs at the federal, state and local level.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) “Sunshot Initiative” proposes to have solar energy account for 14 percent of all electricity generated in the U.S. by 2030 and 27 percent by 2050. But even among renewable energy sources, solar still accounts for just a small percentage, according to the EIA.

Renewable energy sources

Although sunlight is free, capturing and storing the sun’s energy in the form of electricity is definitely not. Diana Furchtgott-Roth, a former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor, noted last year that “if the 27 percent of U.S. electricity generated by natural gas came instead from solar power, consumer costs for monthly electric bills would increase about 25 percent.”

In 2008, then presidential candidate Barack Obama promised five million new “green” jobs, including jobs in the solar industry, where employment increased 22 percent between November 2013 and November 2014.

However, a January 27, 2015 report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) stated that “the solar manufacturing sector supported 32,490 jobs nationwide in 2014,” which amounted to just a “tiny sliver of the more than 12 million domestic manufacturing jobs in 2014.”

Competition from China, which manufactures 70 percent of the world’s solar panels, and the availability of cheap natural gas to generate electricity has negatively impacted a number of American solar companies, mostly located in California, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Washington State.

”Some PV manufacturers have closed their U.S. operations, some have entered bankruptcy, and others are reassessing their business models,” the CRS reported, adding that “a large share of the facilities that have closed [including Solyndra, Inc.] operated for less than five years.”

“In the absence of continued government support for solar installation or for the production of solar equipment, the prospects for expansion of domestic PV solar manufacturing may be limited,” CRS noted.

Even with massive government subsidies, some solar projects have not lived up to expectations.

For example, a project to install solar panels on schools and other public buildings in three counties in New Jersey that was supposed to pay for itself by allowing the counties to sell excess electricity back to the grid was touted as a national model four years ago. But the deal has gone sour, with only half of the work completed and taxpayers on the hook for $88 million.

"Solar energy remains prohibitively expensive - often three times more than electricity produced from natural gas and other sources," according to a report by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) entitled Filling the Solar Sinkhole: Billions of Bucks Have Delivered Too Little Bang.

That includes the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in California, the largest solar power plant of its type in the world, which generated only about half of the electricity it was expecting to produce last year due to “fewer sunny days” than initially predicted.

“Despite reaping $1.6 billion in subsidies, [Ivanpah] produces electricity at a cost 3 times higher than traditional power and has requested $539 million in additional direct handouts from the federal government,” the report said.

“We’re shining a bright spotlight on the darker side of solar power,” said TPA president David Williams. “Taxpayer-backed loans to the solar industry, bailouts, and publicly funded grants cost Americans more than $39 billion annually. Despite these massive costs, taxpayers aren’t even benefitting with lower electricity prices.”

In addition to the federal tax credits, grants, guaranteed loans and other subsidies, "there are 43 different solar-power-related tax breaks available across 20 states" as well as "538 different state and local green energy rebate programs across the United States," TPA researchers found.

"These schemes are intended to reduce the final cost of products including solar water heaters and grid-connected rooftop solar panels to make them more appealing to customers." However, even with generous government subsidies, including a tax credit that reduces the cost of installing solar panels by 30 percent, "none of it has worked," the TPA report concluded.

"With so little to show for so many costly initiatives, it should be apparent to objective observers that federal solar power efforts have not been a productive or prudent use of precious tax dollars."


The EPA's Ozone Nightmare

By Alan Caruba

Putting aside its insane attack on carbon dioxide, declaring the most essential gas on Earth, other than oxygen, a “pollutant”, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently engaged in trying to further regulate ozone for no apparent reason other than its incessant attack on the economy.

In late January on behalf of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), Dr. Bonner R. Cohen, Ph.D, filed his testimony on the proposed national ambient air quality standard for ozone. The EPA wants to lower the current ozone standard of 75 parts per billion (ppb) to a range of 70 to 65 ppb, and even as low as 60 ppb.

“After promulgation of the current ozone standards in 2008,” Dr. Cohen noted, “EPA two years later called a temporary halt to the nationwide implementation of the standard in response to the severe recession prevailing at the time.”

In other words, it was deemed bad for the economy. “Now, EPA is proposing a new, more stringent standard even before the current standard has been fully implemented and even though, according to the EPA’s own data, ozone concentrations have declined by 33 percent since 1980.”

According to Wikipedia: “Ozone is a powerful oxidant (far more so than dioxygen) and has many industrial and consumer applications related to oxidation. This same high oxidizing potential, however, causes ozone to damage mucous and respiratory tissues in animals, and also tissues in plants, above concentrations of about 100 ppb.

This makes ozone a potent respiratory hazard and pollutant near ground level. However, the so-called ozone layer (a portion of the stratosphere with a higher concentration of ozone, from two to eight ppm) is beneficial, preventing damaging ultraviolet light from reaching the Earth’s surface, to the benefit of both plants and animals.”

So, yes, reducing ozone in the ground level atmosphere does have health benefits, but the EPA doesn't just enforce the Clean Air Act, it also seeks to reinterpret and use it in every way possible to harm the economy.

As Dr. Cohen pointed out, “the Clean Air Act requires EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee to produce an evaluation of the adverse effects, including economic impact, of obtaining and maintaining a tighter standard. Despite repeated requests from Congress, (the Committee) has not produced the legally required evaluation. By ignoring this statutory mandate, and moving ahead with its ozone rulemaking, EPA is showing contempt for the rule of law and for the taxpayers who provide the agency’s funding.”

Since President Obama took office in 2009 he has used the EPA as one of his primary tools to harm the U.S. economy. In a Feb 2 Daily Caller article, Michael Bastasch reported that “Tens of thousands of coal mine and power plant workers have lost their jobs under President Obama, and more layoffs could be on the way as the administration continues to pile on tens of billions of dollars in regulatory costs.”

The American Coal Council’s CEO Betsy Monseu also testified regarding the proposed ozone standards, noting that the increased reductions would affect power plants, industrial plants, auto, agriculture, commercial and residential buildings, and more.

Citing a study undertaken for the National Association of Manufacturers, “a 60 ppb ozone standard would result in a GDP reduction of $270 billion per year, a loss of up to 2.9 million jobs equivalents annually, and a reduction of $1,570 in average annual household consumption. Electricity costs could increase up to 23% and natural gas cost by up to 52% over the period to 2040.”

In a rational society, imposing such job losses and increased costs when the problem is already being solved would make no sense, but we all live in Obama’s society these days and that means increasing ozone standards only make sense if you want to harm the economy in every way possible.


Study: Obama’s Carbon Rules Could Cost Thousands of Manufacturing Jobs in Your State

A new study predicts that more than a half million manufacturing jobs will be eliminated from the U.S. economy as a result of the Obama administration’s proposed regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

“Every state would experience overwhelming negative impacts as a result of these regulations, but especially those with higher-than-average employment in manufacturing and mining,” said Nick Loris, a co-author of the study, which was completed by energy experts at The Heritage Foundation—the parent organization of The Daily Signal.

The researchers projected how many manufacturing jobs would be eliminated in each state and congressional district as a consequence of the carbon plan, which is the centerpiece of President Obama’s effort to combat climate change.

The results show that 34 states would lose three to four percent of manufacturing jobs by 2023, and nine other states would lose more.

In Ohio alone, 31,747 jobs would be lost.

The study predicts that the Midwest would be hit the hardest, with Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin losing more than 20,000 jobs each.

“Because America’s industrial base relies on affordable, reliable energy, these regulations would deal a crushing blow to the manufacturing sector, particularly impacting the Midwest.” -Nick Loris.

On a local level, 68 percent of U.S. Congressional districts are expected to lose more than 1,000 manufacturing jobs.

Loris says the manufacturing sector is an “important piece of the puzzle” that should not be overlooked when considering the administration’s proposed rule meant to limit carbon pollution.

“Our analysis shows that it’s not just coal-country that’s hit hard by the federal government’s climate regulations,” he said. “Because America’s industrial base relies on affordable, reliable energy, these regulations would deal a crushing blow to the manufacturing sector, particularly impacting the Midwest.”


How Billionaires Run Solar Plant Scams

At the recent inauguration of the Desert Sunlight solar farm, Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell stated, “This is the beginnings of a renewable energy future.”

Let’s hope she is wrong, because the Desert Sunlight project is cronyism at its worst. This project involves $1.5 billion of subsidized loans. It also mandated purchases of overpriced power, all to benefit the project’s owners. And don’t think those owners are struggling mom-and-pop operations. Instead, they’re three of the world’s largest corporations—GE (market capitalization of $247 billion), NextEra Energy (market capitalization of $47 billion) and Sumitomo Corporation (market capitalization of $13 billion).

Here’s how the scam works. It begins with proposing to build a solar plant. But solar plants take up a lot of land. Gosh, that can be expensive. So, the government rents them the land at bargain prices.

The next problem is that solar plants are outrageously expensive, which is why real capitalists tend to shy away from solar energy. Luckily for the aspiring political crony, the government will help you get a loan guaranteed by taxpayers. (Just like the $500 million dollar loan they gave Solyndra, before it went bankrupt. Oops!) Added to all this, the federal government is willing to offer a 30 percent solar investment tax credit, a deduction of 30 percent of your cost from your taxes.

Now that there is money and land for the plant, what next?

Well, even with those unconscionable subsidies solar is still too expensive: utility companies prefer cheaper, more reliable energy. So then, the state government steps in to rig the market even more.

Of course, if renewable energy were already competitive there would be no need for the mandate. But it’s not.

So helpfully for companies like Desert Sunlight, California requires utility companies to meet “renewable portfolio standards,” which mandate that at least 33 percent of their energy come from renewable sources.

How uncompetitive is solar power? There’s no clear answer: California electricity consumers are kept in the dark.  The price of this renewable electricity is expressly kept secret from both taxpayers and consumers.

If the Desert Sunlight solar farm is the “beginnings of a renewable energy future,” then the future doesn’t look bright, for taxpayers, ratepayers and all Americans who think mega-corporations should make a living by selling their products, not by selling a bill of goods.


How High Costs Killed This Clean Coal Power Plant Project

The Department of Energy pulled the plug on this $1.1 billion project in Illinois: a “clean coal” power plant that would capture carbon dioxide and store it underground.

President George W. Bush proposed the carbon-free power plant in 2003 but shelved the project five years later because of cost overruns. President Obama’s Energy Department revived the plant in 2010. Now, five years and $200 million later, the financing is being terminated because the project can’t be completed by its September deadline.

FutureGen isn’t the only carbon capture and sequestration plant to run into trouble. Southern Co.’s Kemper Plant in Mississippi — like FutureGen, a stimulus handout recipient — has been plagued with delays and cost overruns. The estimated cost, initially projected at $2 billion, now stands at $6.1 billion, making it the most costly coal-fired plant in U.S. history.

Obama wasn’t kidding when he said, in 2008: “So if somebody wants to build a coal power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.” He just neglected to mention that taxpayers and ratepayers would be stuck with the tab.

Candidate Obama made the comment when pitching his “cap-and-trade” plan to make coal-generated electricity prohibitively expensive. But when Congress refused to pass cap-and-trade, the president decided to use the federal bureaucracy to regulate new and existing coal plants out of existence.

The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed regulations that effectively would ban construction of coal-fired electricity generating units. To meet emissions standards, new plants would have to install the carbon capture and sequestration technology that has driven Kemper and FutureGen into the financial ditch.

Bizarrely, the proposed rule cites both projects as evidence of significant progress toward commercialization of carbon capture and sequestration. In fact, they serve as exhibits A and B for why the federal government’s clean power plan is destined to drive up energy costs for families and businesses.

Coal remains the single largest electricity source in America. As a power source, it is plentiful, affordable and clean. The U.S. boasts 487 billion tons of coal recoverable with today’s technology. That is enough to provide electricity for over 500 years at current consumption rates.

Markets — not bureaucrats — should drive how much coal Americans use. But the administration seems committed to promulgating regulations that will drive coal plants off the grid and drive consumer energy costs through the roof.

Make no mistake: It’s not just “coal country” that would take an economic hit because of these regulations. Sharply higher energy prices will ripple throughout the economy, increasing the cost of producing and delivering virtually every type of good or service. Those costs will be passed on to consumers. As their pocketbooks absorb hit after hit, they will be forced to buy less. That, in turn, will force companies to shed employees, close entirely or move to other countries where the cost of doing business is lower.

Researchers in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis have examined how killing coal would affect our economy. Using a derivative of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s National Energy Model System, we found job losses of more than 600,000 by 2023.

Income for the typical family of four would drop more than $1,200 per year.

What does the planet receive in return for that economic sacrifice? A change in global temperatures almost too small to measure. Using a climate calculator and model developed by the EPA, climatologists Paul Knappenberger and Pat Michaels project that the EPA’s climate regulations would, by the end of the century, mitigate warming by 0.02 of a degree Celsius. High costs killed FutureGen again last week. It’s time for Congress to step in and kill the administration’s clean power plan — before the regulations kill family and business budgets across the country.


Crazy Climate Scientists Claim Baking Soda ‘Carbon Capture’ Breakthrough

Written by Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser

Would you have thought of that?  The solution to a non-existing problem resides right on your kitchen shelf! baking soda

As Nature World News reports, “It’s possible the solution to our world’s buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been sitting on our grocery shelves all along. Baking soda of all things may help to capture carbon dioxide, according to a new breakthrough study.” As that new report is authored by no less than 15 scientists it must carry some weight and be based on realistic experiments and knowledge. At least you’d be forgiven for thinking that.

The article notes further that “Scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), in collaboration with researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Harvard University, have developed a new type of carbon capture medium made up of core-shell microcapsules, consisting of a polymer shell that is highly permeable. The shell contains a solution of sodium carbonate, which is the main ingredient of baking soda, and it can absorb carbon dioxide (CO2).”
Let’s begin with some Chemistry

Just for the (very) few Dear Readers unaccustomed to chemical thinking, baking soda also goes by the term “sodium hydrogencarbonate” or, more commonly, “sodium bicarbonate” (SBC), the salt of sodium hydroxide with “hydrogen-carbonic acid.”

From a chemical point of view, SBC is fully “saturated” or “loaded” with carbon dioxide and could not take up any more.

Therefore, the idea that sodium bicarbonate may be able to absorb more carbon dioxide (from whatever source) is simply nonsense. In fact, the opposite is true and that’s the sole reason for using baking soda at all. It decomposes at temperatures above 50 C (120 F) when you are baking in the hot oven to release tiny bubbles of CO2 gas that make the dough rise. These bubbles expand and your baked cake has an airy texture. Of course, by the time it is ready to be eaten the gas in these voids has exchanged its composition with the surrounding air.

What the reporter and apparently also the contact author fail to mention is that the baking soda solution needs first to be treated either with an acid or by way of heating it in order to liberate half of the CO2. Of course, that is ancient chemistry knowledge and has been used in the Benfield Process to remove CO2 from a gas stream. Nothing new here.

What is new is the authors’ claim of having created microcapsules containing a sodium carbonate (not bicarbonate) solution with permeable silicon-based shells that allow easy passage of CO2 gas. They also claim that this kind of process “may enable low-cost and energy-efficient capture of carbon dioxide from flue gas.”
Why use Baking Soda?

Even without knowledge of any chemistry whatsoever, just by logical thought, anyone should wonder about the use of baking soda as a “carbon capture” technology. If that material produces CO2 upon heating, how could it possibly be used to accumulate CO2 from the air? It is already saturated with CO2, the sole reason for its application in baking.

You’ll probably find some baking soda in your kitchen, perhaps a box of 500 g, or one lb. when it was full. Such a box of SBC contains, chemically bound, approximately one half of the weight in carbon dioxide (CO2). Using that baking soda in your baking makes 50% of its bound CO2 escape into the air. So, Dear baking Readers, please note that you could be a source of CO2 to the atmosphere! Perhaps, you may even have to file some government form claiming an exemption of sort, for your contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere that is said to cause “climate change.”

Not that CO2 has any negative effect on your or “the climate’s” well-being; I just want to make sure you aware of that.

You may also be interested in some comparative figures that ought to alleviate any concerns you may harbor about your baking contributing to “climate change.” For that, let’s assume you breathe in and out, 24 hours a day, once every 4 seconds. That is roughly 20,000 breaths a day. At a volume of 0.25 L/breath that comes to 5,000 L of air expelled with 40,000 ppm or 4% CO2. Each liter of that then contains 40 mg (40/1000 g) of CO2. In other words, the 5,000 L/day of exhaled breath that you and every other person on this planet produce contain in the order of 0.2 kg CO2. That’s many times the amount of CO2 released from the commonly used amount of baking soda when baking just one cake. Therefore, there’s no need for you to worry about your cake-baking, regardless of whether you use baking soda or not.
Don’t exhale?

When comparing the amounts of CO2 coming out of your cake with that from your lungs, you might just get the idea to stop breathing altogether. Be assured there is no need for that either, notwithstanding the President’s claim in his recent State of the Union address that “There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.” That “changing climate” is attributed by many to your exhaled CO2 (and other sources from mankind), also known as anthropogenic carbon dioxide. If you really want to know where most CO2 in the air comes from, look no further than the next volcano, for example Kilauea on Hawaii that spits out 9,000,000 kg of CO2 every day – and that’s just one of thousands of volcanos and sea-vents on the globe.

Of course, the whole “climate change” or “global warming” claims attributed to CO2 are nothing but a ruse to make you buy into the “agenda,” i.e. the U.N Agenda-21. As Dr. I. Johnson Paugh just wrote in her column on Agenda 21, Cooked Science Data, and Property Rights, “U.N.‘s Agenda 21 is so insidious that people do not connect the dots between global warmists, the climate change industry, extreme environmentalists, property rights battles with NGOs around the country, main stream media, publishers of textbooks and other publications…”.

This scientific publication by 15 scientists from several previously renowned institutions is just another example of the current preoccupation of science with solving a problem that does not exist. As quoted by Nature World News’ regular columnist Jenna Iacurci, “Our method is a huge improvement in terms of environmental impacts because we are able to use simple baking soda - present in every kitchen - as the active chemical,” Roger Aines, one of the LLNL team members, said in a statement.”

If quoted correctly, this statement is nonsense par excellence, not just chemically but, more importantly, the new technology (if it works at all) would not provide any beneficial impact on the environment. At best it may keep some CO2 capturers employed for a while longer.



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, 2015

The wicked Tom Harris

Canadian Tom Harris of the International Climate Science Coalition is  roundly criticised for his advocacy of open discussion of climate matters in the article excerpted below.  It is a rather long article so I reproduce only the preamble to it.  The thing that stands out both in the preamble and in the full article is that it is totally "ad hominem".  It is a discussion of persons, not of science.  Not a single scientific datum on climate is discussed.  It is one long logical fallacy if it is meant as support for Warmism. 

It is true that Harris did not present any scientific data either but that was not the point of what he was doing. He was simply calling for open and unhindered debate on climate matters.  That the writer below does his best to undermine that speaks volumes of itself.

And the writer would seem to be the sort of hack he claims to deplore.  He appears not to know the difference between "censor" and "censure". Harris called for censorship to be censured.  The writer below seems to think he wanted it censored! In his last paragraph he says of Harris:  "And he demonstrates his own hypocrisy by accusing climate realists of censorship while explicitly calling for censorship himself".  What a dummy!

The rather arcane terminology is amusing too.  Warmists are called "climate realists" and skeptics are called "climate disruption deniers".  All the persons involved are thereby prejudged.  Terminology is used in an attempt to dictate the conclusions.  The writer is obviously deeply committed to the conclusion he aims to reach.  Objectivity?  Not even aimed at, it seems. Prejudicing the reader from the beginning is obviously much preferred

Starting in the middle of December, 2014 and continuing through February, 2015, Tom Harris, Executive Director of the industrial climate disruptionA denying International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), wrote at least eight nearly identical commentaries. They were published mostly in small local newspapers and websites around the United States, Canada, and South Africa. The stated purpose of the commentaries was to call for scholars and philosophers to engage in the public argument over climate disruption (aka global warming or climate change), and Harris wrote that “philosophers and other intellectuals have an ethical obligation to speak out loudly when they see fundamental errors in thinking6.” As S&R hosts an occasional feature called “Climate Illogic,” we accepted Harris’ invitation and looked through his own commentaries for illogical arguments as well as other issues of concern.

As a result of our review, S&R identified five major areas of concern and a troubling observation. First, Harris engages in what is known as “tone trolling,” attempting to distract from an argument by complaining that the language or tactics used by the debaters is offensive. Second, Harris misidentifies many logical errors he alleges are made by others and he commits several logical fallacies of his own. Third, he misunderstands how science can legitimately draw conclusions that are “unequivocal” and discover “truth.” Fourth, he demonstrates a significant lack of understanding of the scientific method in general, the state of climate science in particular, and the differing levels of expertise between climate disruption deniers and climate realists. Fifth, Harris’ commentaries are found to be less about fixing the tone of a supposedly broken debate and more about undermining climate scientists, poisoning the well against any logic experts who actually engage in the discussion, and derailing the discussion as much as possible. Finally, S&R reviews the fundamental asymmetries between climate realists and climate disruption deniers and how those asymmetries enable Harris and his peers to regularly produce distortion-filled commentaries like these.


Warmists re-enact pagan witchcraft

Climate Depot Publisher Marc Morano tells MRCTV that the Obama administration’s “weather witches” are trying to mandate the types of rituals used by Pagans to try to control the climate.

The Obama administration’s tactics mirror those of Pagans who would call on “weather witches” to try to prevent bad weather, Morano explains:

“This harkens back, and I’m actually doing research on this – they’re called ‘Weather Witches’ – at Pagan festivals, weather witches are brought out to keep bad storms away. They’re actually brought out to stop the tornadoes, to stop a thunderstorm that might ruin the festival.

“The White House is now spinning that kind of language: Barbara Boxer, people in the Senate, Sen. Whitehouse from Rhode Island – they’re arguing a carbon tax could help prevent tornadoes, in this case in Oklahoma. They’re turning into weather witches and they’re trying to legislate what Pagans do at their festivals to keep bad weather away.”

By believing it can prevent bad weather via regulation, the administration has plunged the U.S. into “an age of modern witchcraft and astrology,” Morano says – adding that incidents of severe weather aren’t even on the rise:

“They think they can stop future hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and droughts by EPA climate regs and U.N. treaties. It’s truly an age of modern witchcraft and astrology.”

“We are the first generation, outside of the Pagan rituals and the weather witches, who actually think we can do something about the weather. And they’re hyping every bad storm that happens. First of all, on every metric, on 50-100 year time-scales, extreme weather is either declining or showing no trend.

“And that includes floods on over a hundred years, droughts – droughts are actually declining on 60-year trends – tornadoes, big tornadoes, F3 and larger, are down since the 1950’s, and hurricanes, we’re on the longest period of no category 3 or larger hurricane hitting the U.S., in nine or ten years.”


Pretenses of Economic Viability “Blown Away” by Attempt to Remove Offshore Wind Net Benefit Test

Offshore Wind Remains an Economic Loser for New Jersey

 Legislation introduced by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, and being pushed by Senate President Steve Sweeney, removes all pretenses that offshore wind would be good for the state’s economy according to Americans for Prosperity, the state’s leading advocate for taxpayers.

“Just as Massachusetts ratepayers have been spared a big blow to their electricity bills by offshore wind, politicians and extremist environmentalists here in New Jersey continue their crusade to stick it to taxpayers,” said AFP communications director Mike Proto. “Affordable energy is the lifeblood of our economy. Anyone enjoying low gas prices feels this. When it costs less to fill your car at the pump or to keep your lights on and heat your home, it makes things easier and puts money back in your family budget.”

“By now it’s clear, supporters of this scheme just do not care what this will do to New Jersey families. They don’t care if they have less in their pockets to pay for this scheme. All that matters is their myopic ‘climate change’ agenda even though this offshore wind scheme will do next to nothing about it.”

“No less than four analyses have shown the Fishermen’s Energy offshore wind project would mean higher rates and lost jobs. Yet, today all we heard was falsehoods and propaganda from the Sierra Club and other environmentalists claiming offshore wind is ‘cost effective’ when it’s anything but.”

“The federal government’s own data shows that levelized costs for offshore wind are enormous. While natural gas is $66.30 per megawatt hour, offshore wind is $204.10 per megawatt hour. Also, these costs do not reflect offshore wind’s capacity factor, the actual percentage of the time it produces electricity, which is just 37% versus 87% for natural gas. Simply put, wind turbines only produce electricity when the wind blows. Does Jeff Tittel think the EIA pulls these numbers out of a hat?”

“As winds may gust to 60 miles per hour during the pending blizzard, guess what; those wind turbines would have to shut down. When the wind isn’t blowing, no electricity is produced and when it’s too high no electricity is produced,” Proto said. “This is why wind power can never replace the energy New Jersey’s economy needs and for our residents and business to keep their lights on. Traditional sources must be used to back them up—something the proponents of this scheme do not want be honest about.”

“Sen. Sweeney is right about one thing. New Jersey’s economy is not in good shape. Yet, the Senate Majority leader and others in the Legislature continue to pursue reckless, ideological driven energy policies which will only make our economy worse and worsen the quality of life for New Jersey families.”

“The attempt to get rid of the net economic benefits test for this offshore wind scheme removes all pretenses. This project is an economic loser for New Jersey and the only way to prop it up is with massive taxpayer subsidies into the six figures.”

“Our residents deserve access to abundant, affordable energy not politically motivated efforts to achieve ‘diversity’ in our energy portfolio. This project would only mean higher rates and more and more businesses leaving New Jersey for good,” concluded Proto.


White House Announces ‘Goal of Ensuring Climate Smart Citizenry’

“In December of last year the White House Climate Education and Literacy Initiative was launched--with the goal of ensuring a climate smart citizenry in the United States,” Dr. John Holdren says in a White House video released last week.

“Based on our scientific understanding of climate change the administration is continuing to develop and implement a number of policies to cut carbon pollution in America, to prepare for the climate impacts that cannot be avoided, and to work with the international community so best practices for emissions reductions and building resilience are embraced everywhere,” Holdren continues.

A December 2014 White House press release announcing the effort says, “In response to an initial call to action made in October, more than 150 activities, projects, and ideas were submitted by individuals and organizations across the country, from more than 30 states. These included a diverse array of innovative approaches being implemented in K-12 classrooms, on college and university campuses, and in zoos, parks, aquariums, and museums to educate and engage students and citizens of all ages. Today’s launch includes a number of exciting new commitments by Federal agencies and outside groups.”

Among the efforts listed by federal agencies include “leveraging digital games to enhance climate education” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and using the National Park Service (NPS), “the plan will assist NPS interpretive managers and practitioners in the creation and delivery of effective climate-change messages in the programs and exhibits across all National Parks.”


‘Big Wind’ destroys the environment while providing no net benefit

Considering the history of complete and utter civil discord created by Big Wind projects in rural New York State communities over the past decade – and the fact that industrial wind is a net economic and environmental loser – Orleans and Niagara County residents should be alarmed by Apex’s proposed wind factory.

The Industrial Wind industry was initiated in the U.S. under the pretense that it would significantly reduce CO2 emissions, and thereby help abate Global Warming. Yet, 30 years into subsidizing the building of wind factories off the backs of taxpayers and ratepayers has proven otherwise.

With approximately 250,000 industrial wind turbines installed worldwide today, CO2 emissions have NOT been significantly reduced, nor has a single conventional generation plant been decommissioned anywhere thanks to industrial wind. As Manhattan Institute scholar Robert Bryce said: “Wind turbines are climate-change scarecrows.”

Industrial wind provides NO Capacity Value (aka: Firm Capacity – specified amounts of power on demand). Thus, wind turbines need constant "shadow capacity" from our reliable, dispatchable baseload generators – that is, if you want to be sure the lights will come on when you flick the switch. Thus, wind generation actually locks us into dependence on fossil fuels, and as Big Wind CEO Patrick Jenevein candidly admitted, “Consumers end up paying twice for the same product.”

Consider this reality:

ONE (1) 450 MW gas-fired Combined Cycle Generating Unit located at New York City (where the power is needed in NYS) - operating at 60% Capacity Factor, would provide more power than all of NYS's 16 installed wind factories combined, at 1/4 of the capital costs – and would have significantly reduced CO2 emissions and created far more jobs than all those wind farms – without all the added costs (economic, environmental, and civil), and of all the transmission lines that must be added across the state to NYC.

Industrial Wind has proven to be effective only as a tax shelter generator for large corporations in search of increased bottom lines – just as it was originally intended to do by ENRON, the trailblazer for Big Wind in the U.S. As Warren Buffett candidly admitted, “We get tax credits if we build ‘windfarms.’ That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense otherwise.”

Property values are significantly negatively impacted, as are peoples’ personal health and quality of life by the noise (ie: infrasound), resonant ground vibrations, flashing red lights, shadow flicker, TV interference, etc., that is generated by these giant bird-and-bat-chopping machines.

Just ask the citizens of Orangeville in Wyoming County, who are now suing Invenergy for $40 Million dollars! Likewise, the Wisconsin Board of Health recently declared Duke Energy’s wind turbines a “Human Health Hazard.”

The fact that American citizens are being assaulted with their own taxpayer and ratepayer money (which is subsidizing the building of these wind factories to the tune of 80 percent of the total costs), in the name of the failed “green” energy boondoggle of wind is shameful, and simply un-American. Save yourselves, and your community – JUST SAY "NO!" to Big Wind.


UN promotes Global Warming Consistent with Agenda 21

Information about U.N. Agenda 21 has not been widely published, but neither is it a secret. One only needs to do a minimum amount of research to discover the many tentacles of Agenda 21 and realize it has infiltrated into many of our cities and certainly our country, with the full cooperation of those in our highest positions of authority.

In November of 2013, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its “Synthesis Report,” which completed its Fifth Assessment evaluation (AR5) on the Earth’s climate.  IPCC is the pathway through which the environmental proposals of Agenda 21 are being carried out, such as designing compact cities without cars under the guise of sustainability. The IPCC report claims “Human influence on the climate system is clear and growing, with impacts observed on all continents”  However, there is a growing number of critics who will no longer remain or be silenced on this issue.  They deserve to be heard.

Known the world over as a skeptic of man-made Global Warming, The Heartland Institute in Chicago had the fortitude and the courage to publish its own report to counter the U.N.’s AR5 report, using its affiliation with The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change or NIPCC to do so. NIPCC is an international panel of non-government scientists and scholars who have come together to present a comprehensive, authoritative, and realistic assessment of the science and economics of global warming.  Because NIPCC is not a government agency, and because its members are not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, it is able to offer an independent second opinion of the evidence reviewed, or not reviewed, by the United Nation’s IPCC on the issue of global warming. Find here the independent Heartland NIPCC report published to counter the U.N.’s 2013 AR5 report.  Read here comments made by 10 Heartland experts about the conclusions reached by AR5.   Check here for another report that takes the U.N.s AR5 report to task.

Obama administration equates global warming with the threat of terrorism

The Obama administration has accepted the dogma put out by scientists who concocted the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in close proximity with Agenda 21, while further endorsing the propaganda as the main cause of Global Warming and linking CO2 to Global Warming.  Just last week President Obama’s new national-security strategy ranked combating climate change as a top priority, and astonishingly claimed it to be at the same level of threat as terrorism, biological emergencies, and nuclear weapons in the hands of rogue states.  A subsequent White House report indicated that the President is committed to confronting the urgent crisis of climate change, largely through national emission reductions, international diplomacy, and commitment to the Green Climate Fund. Rational people continue to demand the subject be given a fair and balanced investigation of all the facts, not the one-sided approach it has been given.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C) was not at all pleased with the President’s new assessment of priorities and national-security strategy, as reflected in this response:

“I doubt [the Islamic State], the Iranian mullahs, or [Russian President] Vladmir Putin will be intimidated by President Obama’s strategy of ‘strategic patience,'” Mr. Graham said. “From their point of view, the more ‘patience’ President Obama practices, the stronger they become.

The Obama Doctrine, or “strategic patience,” has led to a world in chaos. So, while President Obama pursues the debatable man-made global warming fear mongering, the known and highly critical problems affecting national security are given less attention.

MIT Professor Emeritus Richard Lindzen contradicts Global-Warming Alarmists

A recent report by MIT Professor emeritus Richard Lindzen, dismisses global-warming alarmists as a discredited “cult” whose members are becoming more hysterical as emerging evidence continues to contradict their beliefs.  In discussing the cultish nature of the movement,

Professor Lindzen had this to say:

“As with any cult, once the mythology of the cult begins falling apart, instead of saying, oh, we were wrong, they get more and more fanatical. I think that’s what is happening here. Think about it, he said. “You’ve led an unpleasant life, you haven’t led a very virtuous life, but now you’re told, you get absolution if you watch your carbon footprint. It’s salvation!”

Professor Lindzen scoffed accordingly at a New York Times report that acknowledged there is only a 38 percent chance that 2014 was the hottest year on record, and if it was, it was only by two-100ths of a degree:

“Seventy percent of the earth is oceans, we can’t measure those temperatures very well. They can be off a half a degree, a quarter of a degree. Even two-10ths of a degree of change would be tiny but two-100ths is ludicrous. Anyone who starts crowing about those numbers shows that they’re putting spin on nothing.”

In reference to CO2, Lindzen said that until recently, periods of greater warmth were referred to as “climate optimum”; optimum being derived from a Latin word meaning “best.”  Throughout history there have been natural cooling and warming periods.  Climate changes have occurred throughout our planet’s history.

Lord Mockton and others react negatively to Al Gore’s award-winning Oscar documentary of 2006 – “Inconvenient Truth”

The concept of Global Warming, and the idea that CO2 is the main culprit to what is perceived by some as man-made Global Warming, reached the public’s attention with the release of Al Gore’s award-winning Oscar documentary of 2006, “An Inconvenient Truth.”  Gore’s movie should have been called “Al’s Science Fiction Movie” or “Seriously Inconvenient Truths About Global Warming”, because after its release many of what he claimed to be facts, were proven to be false.

Lord Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley and political adviser to former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, had many negative comments about Gore’s award-winning documentary, which, amazingly, is still considered by global warming enthusiasts as the gospel truth.  Mockton announced in a more recent article in September of last year on that his scientific satellite data shows the temperatures have remained fairly stable between October 1966 and August 2014, despite a rise in greenhouse gas emissions.  Calling it the “Great Pause,” Monckton wrote, “It is becoming harder and harder to maintain that we face a ‘climate crisis’ caused by our past and present sins of emission.”

Of concern is that much of the false information in Gore’s movie are now being taught as fact in classrooms across this nation, planted within the controversial Common Core curriculum. This recent article (February 5, 2015) by Alex Nussbaum, “Temperatures Rise as Climate Critics Take Aim at U.S. Classrooms”, relates the frustration of those who doubt that humanity is indeed baking the planet.  Roy White, a Texan and retired fighter pilot, shared in Nussbaum’s article how climate change is being presented from only one side in classrooms across this nation, and that Al Gore’s promoting the  statement that “Global warming is an established fact and the debate has ended”, is neither factual or the truth, as more and more scientific evidence emerges proving man-caused global warming to be a myth.

Another excellent critique of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” appeared in New Scientist in October of 2007 and can be read here.

Epilogue:  Wisdom and Truth

Friedrich  August von Hayek (1899-1992) Nobel Laureate of Economic Sciences, left this warning for humanity:

“Ever since the beginning of modern science, the best minds have recognized that “the range of acknowledged ignorance will grow with the advance of science.” Unfortunately, the popular effect of this scientific advance has been a belief, seemingly shared by many scientists, that the range of our ignorance is steadily diminishing and that we can therefore aim at more comprehensive and deliberate control of all human activities. It is for this reason that those intoxicated by the advance of knowledge so often become the enemies of freedom.”

As more American city, county, and state governments are duped by the global warming fanatics (alarmists) into initiating new harsh laws and removing individual freedoms, the public can no longer afford to yawn and ignore U.N. Agenda 21 and all its tentacles into our lives. We must remind ourselves of Thomas Jefferson’s warning:   “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.  I do not add “within the limits of the law”, because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”



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


18 February, 2015

The totally unscientific ocean acidification fraud lives on

CO2 dissolved in water produces carbonic acid and the Warmists ride that for all they're worth.  But warming seas would OUTGAS CO2.  That's what warm water does with dissolved CO2. Open a warm bottle of Coke and see it happening for yourself. And less CO2 means there is less carbonic acid, so if warming happens we will have  LESS acidic oceans.

If acidity levels are in fact rising, that proves that there is NO warming going on and probably some cooling.  And the ocean is quite alkaline so what warmists call acidification is in fact just a small reduction in alkalinity. 

So it is no wonder that the prophesied damage to the shells of marine creatures just is not happening. Marine creatures can in fact benefit from the "acidification".  See also here on the harmlessness of more acid seas. And another report on the benefit of such seas.

All the studies mentioned above were observations of events in nature, whereas the harm observed in the study below was NOT found in the natural world but only in a tank with artificially high levels of acidity

It's a great theory that more acid seas will harm marine life but it is also a sophomoric oversimplification that has no regard for the complexity of the natural world.  Warmism could be summarized as "Lies, damn lies and no  statistics"

Satellite images are being used to monitor how ocean acidification is changing the world's seas.

For the first time, scientists have been able to obtain a global picture of how rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are affecting the oceans.

Using thermal cameras and microwave sensors mounted on satellites orbiting 435 miles above Earth, the experts said it's possible to assess which areas of the ocean are most at risk of acidification.

As the acidity of seawater rises, it can change the chemistry of the oceans and is expected to have a profound affect on marine animals.

A recent study funded by the European Union found that ocean acidification is already having a profound impact on herring in the Baltic Sea. This heavily fished area has already seen pH values of 7.2 being recorded, so scientists wanted to see what impact it was having.

They hatched eggs taken from herring caught off the coast of Norway and reared them in outdoor tanks with different levels of aciditiy.

Those reared in tanks with pH values of 7.45 and 7.07 showed more signs of organ damage than those in low acidity water.  They had more damage in the liver, kidneys and their fins were often abnormally shaped while they tended to develop more slowly.

After 39 days, the fish larvae in the medium acidity tank weighed 30 per cent less than those in normal waters while those in the high acidity tank weighted 40 per cent less.

The researchers said that these smaller fish would be more at risk of being preyed upon and are less able to survive.

Shellfish will struggle to find enough of the minerals they use to make their shells while the fish that feed on them will also suffer.

It is estimated that around a quarter of the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere is absorbed by the ocean.


Incoherent Philosophy of the Radical Environmental Lobby

While the growing influence of a small number of environmental lobbying groups on the implementation of the Endangered Species Act is widely known, less well understood is the philosophy driving these groups, which reveals a radical and incoherent view of humanity, history and nature. The most prominent of these groups is the Center for Biological Diversity based in Tucson, Arizona that has a staff of 104 spread across ten states and the District of Columbia and revenue of $9.3 million in 2013. Yet the center spends not one nickel on actual conservation work, instead engaging in “armchair” conservation; filing lawsuits, issuing press releases and advocating that others do the difficult and time-consuming work of conservation.

As for understanding the center's philosophy, there is fortunately an invaluable resource. In 1999 a revealing profile of the group appeared in The New Yorker. And, just as fortunately, the full text of the article is available online courtesy of the center, even though providing the article appears to violate copyright law. But this should not be surprising because the center apparently has no regard for property rights; whether for intellectual property, such as the article, or the very real property that the group likes lock up and deny use of through the Endangered Species Act.

The Center for Biological Diversity makes no secret of its views, as reported by The New Yorker. Kieran Suckling, the group’s co-founder and Executive Director, contends the group is ultimately striving for a “decentering and disempowering of the human” in its efforts. Suckling and Peter Galvin, another of the center’s co-founders, began their activist careers in the late 1980s by participating in protest actions, such as sitting in trees to prevent logging, with groups like Earth First. During this time, Sucking came to a realization about the Endangered Species Act; “We’re crazy to sit in trees when there’s this incredible law where we can make people do whatever we want."

Soon after founding the Center for Biological Diversity in 1989, Suckling, Galvin and Dr. Robin Silver, a Phoenix physician and group’s third co-founder, began using the Endangered Species Act to restrict timber cutting and cattle grazing on federal lands in Arizona and New Mexico. They have been devastatingly successful. “We’ve basically crushed the timber industry” in the Southwest, Suckling bragged to The New Yorker. In order for the center to achieve its goals, “we will have to inflict severe economic pain,” according to Robin Silver. “We’d like to close thousands of miles of roads, and see a huge amount of retooling of local economies,” asserts Peter Galvin.

According to The New Yorker article:

"The obvious irony about the center is that the means to its desired end of a de-technologized society require the most complicated, technical, top-down procedures imaginable; scientific studies of species and habitat, legal petitions, court orders. Suckling cheerfully admits that he’s “using one side of industrial society against itself,” but only temporarily; in the long run, he says, there would be a new order in which plants and animals are part of the polity. For example, legal proceedings could be conducted outdoors—in which case “the trees will make themselves felt.”"

Trees with legal standing? Plants and animals as part of the polity? That is radical, to say nothing of completely bonkers and logically impossible. This ideal world that Suckling desires, in which the human is decentered and disempowered, is not possible independent of human thought and action. So Suckling's belief structure is fundamentally anthropocentric, despite his claims to the contrary.

There is, however, a widespread but mistaken belief that views like Kieran Suckling's represent a type of New Age pantheism or eco-religion. In fact, the views of Suckling and most in the environmental lobby, whether radical or more mainstream, are fundamentally rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Robert Nelson, professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, has written extensively on this issue, and according to him:

"To a greater degree than most environmentalists realize, the real roots of their thinking lie in Christian (and Jewish) sources. One might describe environmentalism as an implicit Christianity—a religion in disguise. In the United States, reflecting the large historic influence of Puritanism on the intellectual and political life of the nation, American environmentalism is an implicit Calvinism. This has been a major contributing factor to its wide success and impact there."

Indeed, Kieran Suckling's views very much reflect this. After graduating from college in Massachusetts, as detailed in The New Yorker article, Suckling had an epiphany while camping in Badlands National Park in South Dakota en route to Montana (where he hoped to pursue his desire for more wild landscapes and environmental activism):

For the first time in my life, I realized that land is not scenery. Wilderness is not an experience. It's not something you can control. It's like grace, like love--it happens to you.

Notwithstanding his professed beliefs, Suckling appears to be less interested in the environment itself than in using the environment as a tool. According to Bill McDonald, an Arizona rancher quoted in The New Yorker:

"Kieran Suckling wants to change society, and he believes the environment is the way to do it. When you talk to him about species, his eyes glaze over. When you talk about changing society, he get excited."

In a 1998 interview with J. Zane Walley in Range Magazine, there was this revealing exchange:

"Walley: "Can't you do this [oppose human uses of natural resources] in a humane and gentle way?"

Suckling: "It is sad, but I don't hear you put that in a direct relationship to the effect on the land. I hear you talk about the pain of the people but I don't see you match that up with the pain of the species."

Walley (dumbfounded): "What?"

Suckling: "A loach minnow is more important, than say, Betty and Jim's ranch-a thousand times more important. I'm not against ranching, it is a job. My concern is the impact on the land."

The New Yorker article also contains a telling insight from author Nicholas Lemann, as well as a quote from Kieran Suckling:

"What deconstructionists usually deconstruct is texts and meanings. But for a deconstructionist turned radical environmentalist, like Kieran Suckling, the only way to get to the desired state of “absolute relativism” among species is to deconstruct stuff that exists in the world: legal arrangements, social and economic forms, and even physical structures."

In his desire for “absolute relativism,” Suckling draws on the work of French philosopher Jacques Derrida. According to Suckling, Derrida “insist[s] that there is no safe haven of clear meaning free from the semantic play of language.” If this seems problematic, even experts have a hard time with it. In a 2000 interview with Reason magazine John Searle, professor of philosophy, had the following to say about Derrida and relativism:

"Reason: You've debated Richard Rorty and Jacques Derrida. Are they making bad arguments, or are they just being misread?

Searle: With Derrida, you can hardly misread him, because he's so obscure. Every time you say, "He says so and so," he always says, "You misunderstood me." But if you try to figure out the correct interpretation, then that's not so easy. I once said this to Michel Foucault, who was more hostile to Derrida even than I am, and Foucault said that Derrida practiced the method of obscurantisme terroriste (terrorism of obscurantism). We were speaking French. And I said, "What the hell do you mean by that?"

And he said, "He writes so obscurely you can't tell what he's saying, that's the obscurantism part, and then when you criticize him, he can always say, 'You didn't understand me; you're an idiot.' That's the terrorism part." And I like that. So I wrote an article about Derrida. I asked Michel if it was OK if I quoted that passage, and he said yes."

The belief structure of Kieran Suckling, the Center for Biological Diversity, other allies and much of the more mainstream environmental lobby also draws heavily on the idea of wilderness; that there is a pristine state of nature, free from the supposedly malign influence of humans. Wilderness, with its Edenic overtones, including that it is ruined by the hand of man, also reflects the Judeo-Christian roots of the environmental lobby. The New Yorker article includes the following excerpt from a letter Suckling sent to his then-advisor for the philosophy dissertation that would never be finished:

Wilderness is itself an event of deconstruction. Wilderness bewilders. The bewildering is a dis-orienting, a loss of the directionality inherent in will subjectivity. Without centering principle, wilderness is the construction (if such a word makes sense anymore) of every being by every other being, the co-construction of plant, animal, virus, cloud, breeze, stream, rock and mountain. Meanings weave, unweave, proliferate and dissipate. This is the realm of the monstrous, promiscuous Pan, half-human, half-animal, everywhere alive. Socrates panics.

Yet the idea of wilderness, like “absolute relativism,” crumbles under scrutiny. In his seminal article, “The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature,” William Cronon, distinguished professor of environmental history, states:

The time has come to rethink wilderness.

This will seem a heretical claim to many environmentalists, since the idea of wilderness has for decades been a fundamental tenet—indeed, a passion—of the environmental movement, especially in the United States. For many Americans wilderness stands as the last remaining place where civilization, that all too human disease, has not fully infected the earth. It is an island in the polluted sea of urban-industrial modernity, the one place we can turn for escape from our own too-muchness. Seen in this way, wilderness presents itself as the best antidote to our human selves, a refuge we must somehow recover if we hope to save the planet. As Henry David Thoreau once famously declared, “In Wildness is the preservation of the World.”

But is it? The more one knows of its peculiar history, the more one realizes that wilderness is not quite what it seems. Far from being the one place on earth that stands apart from humanity, it is quite profoundly a human creation—indeed, the creation of very particular human cultures at very particular moments in human history. It is not a pristine sanctuary where the last remnant of an untouched, endangered, but still transcendent nature can for at least a little while longer be encountered without the contaminating taint of civilization.

Instead, it’s a product of that civilization, and could hardly be contaminated by the very stuff of which it is made. Wilderness hides its unnaturalness behind a mask that is all the more beguiling because it seems so natural. As we gaze into the mirror it holds up for us, we too easily imagine that what we behold is Nature when in fact we see the reflection of our own unexamined longings and desires. For this reason, we mistake ourselves when we suppose that wilderness can be the solution to our culture’s problematic relationships with the nonhuman world, for wilderness is itself no small part of the problem…

Learning to honor the wild—learning to remember and acknowledge the autonomy of the other—means striving for critical self-consciousness in all of our actions. It means the deep reflection and respect must accompany each act of use, and means too that we must always consider the possibility of non-use. It means looking at the part of nature we intend to turn toward our own ends and asking whether we can use it again and again and again—sustainably—without its being diminished in the process. It means never imagining that we can flee into a mythical wilderness to escape history and the obligation to take responsibility for our own actions that history inescapably entails.

Most of all, it means practicing remembrance and gratitude, for thanksgiving is the simplest and most basic of ways for us to recollect the nature, the culture, and the history that have come together to make the world as we know it. If wildness can stop being (just) out there and start being (also) in here, if it can start being as humane as it is natural, then perhaps we can get on with the unending task of struggling to live rightly in the world—not just in the garden, not just in the wilderness, but in the home that encompasses them both.

While there is obviously much more that can be written on the topic of the philosophical beliefs of the environmental lobby, especially its more radical wing, the foregoing provides a general sense of the issue. The combination of “absolute relativism,” including its “decentering and disempowering of the human,” coupled with the idea of wilderness, results in the rambling, incoherent philosophy of the Center for Biological Diversity and fellow travelers.


Mother Nature Slaps Student Alarmists in the Face

Yale anti-fossil fuel campaigners have indefinitely postponed a protest that was set for this weekend due to “unfavorable weather conditions and other logistical issues.”

Fossil Free Yale, a group pushing the university to divest itself from fossil fuels, told the Yale Daily News that frigid, snowy weather set for this weekend will mean their global warming protest will have to be postponed.

FFY’s Mitch Barrow said that “unfavorable weather conditions and other logistical issues, including some cancellations from speakers and performance groups” would mean they would not be able to rally on Global Divestment Day — a day where environmental groups urge institutions like Yale to divest from fossil fuels, like coal, natural gas and oil.

As this reporter writes this article, the weather in New Haven, Connecticut where Yale is located stands at -9 degrees Fahrenheit with wind chill. Saturday is expected to have weather in the low 30s with snow and Sunday will be 20 degrees with snow and rain, according to the Weather Channel.

The Yale Daily reports that FFY “had organized a series of events to rally support for its cause, including performances from student groups, guest speakers and a collaborative art installation” to protest Yale’s decision not to divest from fossil fuels six months ago. FFY remains adamant that the event is more than just about activities, it’s about “a shift in the way in which FFY will both be articulating its goals and engaging with the administration.”

“[The event] here on campus will reflect the growing movement as we recognize that we are participating in a global day of action,” FFY member Maya Jenkins told the Yale Daily. “Globally, the divestment campaign is really turning up the heat against fossil fuels by changing the traditional conversation around them.”

Environmentalists began pushing for schools in the last couple of years, signaling a new approach to how they plan on tackling global warming. If they can’t regulate them out of existence, they will target their investors.

“The fossil fuel divestment movement has grown exponentially over the last two years–now it’s going global,” said May Boeve, executive director of, the group that started the divestment movement. “From the Pacific Islands to South Africa, from the United States to Germany, people are standing up and challenging the power of the fossil fuel industry. We know that fossil fuels are the past and clean energy is the future.”

But divestment has been criticized by global warming skeptics, conservatives and even liberals. The American Security Project, a D.C.-based left-wing think tank, argued that divestment will “not cause any meaningful ?nancial impact to fossil fuel companies, but could hurt the universities and colleges dependent on fossil fuel share dividends.”

So far the divestment movement has met with little success as most colleges and universities have rejected calls to divest themselves of fossil fuel holdings, saying it would hurt their abilities to provide scholarships and other opportunities for students.

Harvard was one such school to reject fossil fuel divestment. In protest, 40 students with Divest Harvard staged a sit-in in the same building as Harvard President Drew Faust’s office. But even as some students become more adamant about divesting, others are finding it to be counterproductive.

“Disrupting University business is not open debate, it is not free speech, and it is not a productive way to move forward on this desperately critical issue,” reads a Harvard Crimson editorial. “Harvard deserves better, and so does the environment.”

The North East has been pummeled by poor weather and snow all week and Yale’s divestment rally is not the first global warming event to be cancelled. Earlier this week, a state legislature forum on global warming was cancelled due to bad weather.

“I hope these repeated, severe storms serve as a platform for some important conversations around bolstering our natural and built infrastructure against climate change once a new date has been set for this discussion,” said Democratic State Sen. Marc Pacheco, who chairs the state senate committee that organized the summit.


Wheel of Fortune Host Mocks Climate Change Again

Sajak is a former weatherman so would know a lot more than the sophomoric "Time" commenter below.  That climate is the sum of weather would appear not to have occurred to the writer concerned

Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak caught heat last year for tweeting “I now believe global warming alarmists are unpatriotic racists knowingly misleading for their own ends.” But the game show presenter apparently couldn’t leave climate change well enough alone. On Sunday, Sajak tweeted:

"Weather isn't climate. Weather can be colder but climate warming. Climate is warming whether the weather is…um, uh..."

It’s not quite clear what Sajak’s point is, but he appears to be noting the seeming contradiction in freezing cold weather as the climate warms.

As any scientist will tell you, cold snaps do not change the overall trajectory of our warming planet. While weather is what changes in the atmosphere day-to-day, climate is how the atmosphere behaves over a longer period of time.

So even if it feels cold today, the National Climate Report shows that the first decade of this century was the hottest ever. A large majority of scientists agree the changes in our climate are man-made, caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

Whether Sajak doesn’t actually understand the difference between weather and climate is a matter of conjecture. He has said before that sometimes he designs his tweets to “get a rise out of people.”


Energy Security: America Must Act

The U.S. is experiencing an energy revolution thanks to dogged persistence and innovative minds of modern energy pioneers like the late George P. Mitchell. "Few businesspeople have done as much to change the world as George [P.] Mitchell," reported The Economist in 2013.

Dubbed "The Father of Fracking," Mitchell was largely responsible for kicking-starting the revolution in the 1980s and 1990s by discovering ways to efficiently and economically access shale energy reserves in North Texas through a combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

Others followed his lead, achieving energy breakthroughs in Texas and beyond. This fueled the revolution that has since given life to our economy and strengthened America's standing in the world. For years, engineers have improved these techniques and discovered more shale formations throughout the country. Currently, the known quantity of natural gas reserves in the U.S. is approximately 323 trillion cubic feet (a nearly 100-year supply of natural gas uncovered through the safe and effective use of hydraulic fracturing.) And this figure continues to grow.

These energy discoveries are not only providing a cleaner resource for our energy demands, but the supplies of American shale energy could be the answer to the energy security problems that have threatened the American economy and way of life for decades.

Military leaders and policymakers worldwide understand that nations with access to hydrocarbon resources have power in international affairs, while those nations without these resources are dependent upon energy producing countries to help meet their energy needs. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated, "The United States requires freedom of action in the global commons and strategic access to important regions of the world to meet our national security needs. The well-being of the global economy is contingent on ready access to energy resources..."

Unfortunately, dependence on foreign nations for our energy needs has long dictated our national security priorities and left the U.S. vulnerable to the decisions of those who do not share our values and goals. For decades American presidents have sought to find ways to reduce our dependence on imported energy. Various approaches, by Republicans and Democrats alike, have been unsuccessful as the U.S. continues to import substantial amounts of energy. In fact, the U.S. sends more than $237 billion each year to countries that continue to fight against our national interests. The U.S. imports almost six-million barrels of oil a day from OPEC, the oil cartel that includes many nation states such as Iran, Libya, and Nigeria which have actively opposed the U.S. or who harbor terrorists. Thankfully the shale energy revolution gives Americans the power to change this harmful status quo.

Across the U.S., more than 2.6-million Americans have fought in the Global War on Terrorism. These veterans understand firsthand the need to ensure our own energy security and transition from reliance on these foreign sources.

Gen. James Jones, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.) and former presidential National Security Advisor said, "Our entire economy depends on the expectation that energy will be plentiful, available, and affordable. Nations like Venezuela and Iran can use oil and gas as political and economic weapons by manipulating the marketplace. Half of our trade deficit goes toward buying oil from abroad, and some of that money ends up in the hands of terrorists."

For the past 14 years we have fought a war against radicals in the very nations where we send hundreds of billions of dollars for energy. Due to the U.S.'s support of these foreign nations, Americans have not only lost jobs, but young Americans fighting in these regions have lost their lives.

We, as Americans, need to rebuild a strong America. We need to ensure energy security. Let's use these energy innovations and continue to develop and produce shale energy and choose to rely on our own domestic energy resources instead of those who do not cherish American ideals. We have a unique opportunity for ourselves and future generations of Americans - let's choose to stand up for our nation's prosperity and to secure a bright future for families across the U.S.


Climate of cherry-picking

I pointed out yesterday a fatal flaw in the latest Warmist nonsense from Australia but Garth Paltridge (below) has found some glaring faults too.  He is  a former Australian chief research scientist and director of the Antarctic ­ Co-operative Research Centre

THE Australian Academy of Science has released a new document, The Science of Climate Change, aimed at the man and woman in the street. It was prepared on behalf of the academy by leading lights of the global warming establishment. Some day the academy may come to regret the arrangement.

The problem is that, after several decades of refining their story, the international gurus of climate change have become very good at having their cake and eating it too. On the one hand they pay enough lip service to the uncertainties of global warming to justify continued funding for their research. On the other, they peddle a belief — this with religious zeal, and a sort of subconscious blindness to overstatement and the cherry-picking of data — that the science is settled and the world is well on its way to climatic disaster. The academy document fits neatly into the pattern. It is a sophisticated production that tells only one side of the story.

For instance, it does not say, or illustrate with a diagram, that all the mainstream climate models have overestimated the general upward trend of global temperature for the past 30 or more years by a factor (on average) of at least two. Nothing is said about the distinct possibility that the models include feedback processes that amplify far too much the effect of increased atmospheric carbon ­dioxide.

Instead, the document talks about an apparent pause in global warming since 2001. It attributes the pause to some temporary fluctuation in the internal behaviour of the ocean. It does not mention that for many years climate scientists have deliberately played down the contribution of natural oceanic fluctuations to the rise or fall of global temperature. The possibility of naturally induced rises seriously weakens the overall story of human influence.

The document makes much of the belief that climate models can correctly replicate 20th-century global warming only if they include human influences. It fails to make the point that this says very little for the skill of the models or the modellers.

Recent research on the Roman and ­medieval warm periods indicates that both had temperatures and temperature changes very similar to those of the present. Both periods came and went without the benefit of significant human ­emissions of carbon dioxide. The document mentions that ­long-term regional rainfall predictions are uncertain. It doesn’t say that they are probably nonsense. The various model forecasts of the average Australian rainfall for the end of the century range from a doubling to a halving of the ­present 450mm a year. It smacks of cherry-picking to display a map of the output from one particular model that indicates a future ­reduction in rainfall for most of Australia of the order of 20 per cent.

There has been a goodly amount of arbitrary selection (of data, statistical technique and display) in an illustration of the distribution of the change in observed rainfall over Australia in the past 100 years. The southeast and southwest of the continent are shown as a sea of red, suggesting there has been a frightening decrease across the period. No mention is made that a more traditional presentation of the data gives an entirely different picture.

In the southwest, the recent annual average rainfall has simply returned to something close to its value for the 15 or so years before about 1905. In most of the southeast, there has been no statistically significant change at any time.

And so on it goes. Basically the academy has fallen into the trap of being no more than a conduit for a massive international political campaign seeking to persuade a sceptical public of the need for drastic action on climate change. There are more than enough org­anisations already doing that.

Perhaps instead the academy could be persuaded to spend its considerable intellectual capital on problems relevant to the ­general conduct of research — ­problems that the climate issue has brought well into the open. Among them are a peer-review system that is arguably corrupted by groupthink; a deliberate banishment of contrary opinion to the internet; and a publish-or-perish syndrome that is ­completely out of hand.

Maybe the academy could use the resource of its overall fellowship to identify those situations where scientists have too much skin in a political game. US President Dwight Eisenhower foresaw that problem many years ago in his retirement speech to the nation: “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 … we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could ­itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”



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17 February, 2015

You couldn't make this up

The Australian Academy of Science has just issued an updated "explanation" of global warming.  They note that "Most available material ... usually omits some of the basics, such as how scientists know humans are causing global warming and what future projections are based on".  So in their latest "explanation", what did they do to remedy that deficiency?   Below is their full "explanation" of how human activities enhance the ‘greenhouse effect’:"Today, human activities are directly increasing atmospheric concentrations of CO2, methane and nitrous oxide, plus some chemically manufactured greenhouse gases such as halocarbons. These human-generated gases enhance the natural greenhouse effect and further warm the surface. In addition to the direct effect, the warming that results from increased concentrations of long-lived greenhouse gases can be amplified by other processes. Human activities are also increasing aerosols in the atmosphere, which reflect some incoming sunlight. This human-induced change offsets some of the warming from greenhouse gases"

In short, they have done NOTHING to fill the gap they identified.  Their screed is all just assertion and in any case completely ignores the key question of climate sensitivity -- i.e. even if we accept everything they say above about the greenhouse effect, how do we know HOW BIG the effect will be?  Most skeptics do believe that there is some human effect but can see neither theoretical nor empirical grounds for expecting it to be anything but trivial.  It is the Warmists who shriek about it not being trivial but what is their evidence for that?  There is none.  It is all just poorly founded speculation

If that's the best that the scientific establishment can do to explain Warmist beliefs, then the explanation is an utter failure. One wonders if they really believe in Warmism themselves.

Australia's leading science body has reissued its climate change booklet in a bid to improve public understanding of the contentious subject.

The Australian Academy of Science was prompted to update the information based on new research and public questions since its original release in 2010.

Most available material is either too technical for the lay reader and usually omits some of the basics, such as how scientists know humans are causing global warming and what future projections are based on, said Steven Sherwood, a climate scientist at the University of NSW.

"There is so much misinformation or confusing information out there, that we thought it would be nice to gather in one place an accessible explanation," Professor Sherwood said.

About 97 per cent of scientists who study the climate accept that humans are having an impact, with carbon dioxide – mostly emitted from humans burning fossil fuels – the primary driver.

"Even though carbon dioxide is not the only influence on climate, over the long term it will have such a large effect, it has to be brought under control no matter what else we do," Professor Sherwood said.

The academy report notes global carbon dioxide emissions rose at an average annual rate of 3.2 per cent between 2000 and 2012, at the top end of previous projections. These emissions, though, will have to start falling at a pace between 5.5 and 8 per cent for the planet to have a 50-50 chance of keeping temperature increases to within 2 degrees of pre-industrial levels.

World leaders will gather in Paris in December to thrash out a global climate treaty aimed at reducing carbon emissions beyond 2020. Countries, including Australia, are expected to announce their targets by the end of next month.

The heads of Britain's three main political parties agreed at the weekend to phase out all coal-fired power plants unless their emissions can be captured.

The academy report notes average surface warming had slowed since 2001 despite rising carbon emissions but said decadal variability in how oceans and the atmosphere exchange heat meant extra warmth had been absorbed by the seas. Other changes such as the increasing incidence of heat extremes, shrinking Arctic sea ice – its thickness dropping 30 per cent in 30 years – and rising sea levels had all continued unabated.

It is well known that the greenhouse effect is important for sustaining life on Earth – temperatures would be 33 degrees cooler without it. Perhaps less well known is the role rising temperatures have on concentrations of water vapour, a key greenhouse gas.

"When global average atmospheric temperatures rise, global water vapour concentrations increase, amplifying the initial warming through an enhanced greenhouse effect," the report says. "[T]his feedback approximately doubles the sensitivity of climate to human activities."

"For Australia, a warmer future will likely mean that extreme precipitation is more intense and more frequent, interspersed with longer dry spells," the report says.

By the end of the century, a high temperature event that would now occur only once in every 20 years would be occurring annually or once every two years on our current emissions trajectory, the academy says.

While societies and nations will face varying challenges to cope with climate change, many natural ecosystems are likely to face extinction.

Native animals that depend on cooler mountain habitats, for instance, will be particularly vulnerable. Scientists examining the fate of 50 species in the Wet Tropics bioregion in north Queensland found they would be all but wiped out with a 5-degree temperature increase.


Scientists must solve growing trust problem

San Jose Mercury News Editorial

Scientists are facing a crisis of trust.  A Pew Research Center poll released Jan. 29 shows a huge gap between the views of scientists and the general public on a range of issues -- not just climate change but also genetically modified foods, vaccinations, the use of animals in research and the threat of overpopulation.

Furthermore, as scientific theories evolve, today's instant mass communication of each step forward and back undermines belief in facts that are proven, like the ability of vaccines to all but eliminate a disease.

Lecturing people isn't the answer. Alan Leshner, the outgoing CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, made that clear Wednesday when he met with this newspaper's Editorial Board. Scientists instead need to engage the public in a forthright conversation about the importance of science to society, he said.

Thousands of scientists are gathered in San Jose this weekend for the AAAS annual meeting. We hope they're grappling with how to begin that public conversation. Silicon Valley's science-based economy should be an inspiration.

Federal funding for R&D in areas such as energy and medicine has dropped 10 percent in the past six years -- and these are areas people consider important. Overall, R&D as a percentage of total federal spending is at its lowest level since 1956.

America's changing attitudes toward science and diminishing funding for research are not entirely a cause-and-effect phenomenon. Americans believe in roads and bridges but don't want to pay to maintain them, either. And like declining infrastructure, the decline of scientific research and the consequences for Americans' lives and economic advancement are worrisome.

Increasingly, Americans believe that what's called science is actually political posturing. For example, only half of the adults surveyed by Pew said climate change is mostly due to human activity, while 87 percent of scientists believe it is; 37 percent of Americans think genetically modified foods are safe, compared to 88 percent of scientists; 68 percent of adults say childhood vaccines should be required, while 86 percent of scientists think so.

And 82 percent of scientists believe world population will be a major problem, while only 59 percent of Americans agree.

In a January editorial in Science magazine, Lesher wrote that only 52 percent of scientists say this "is a good time for science," down from 76 percent as recently as 2009. The disparity not only puts future funding for science in danger, Leshner said, but also carries the risk that America's best young minds will no longer want to pursue research as a career. That would be disastrous for Silicon Valley.

Community and political leaders have a role in restoring respect for the pursuit of scientific truth. But Lesher is right that scientists themselves need to be more engaged in fostering understanding of their independence, motivation and actual work.


Divestment  ethics and realities

Eliminating fossil fuels from investment portfolios hurts colleges, workers and poor families

Paul Driessen

College students who support divestment of fossil fuel stocks are passionate about their cause. Just look at their word choices. Though they could never function even one week without hydrocarbon energy, they call fossil-fuel companies “rogue entities,” assert that oil, coal and natural gas interests have the “political process in shackles,” and believe most of the world’s known fossil fuel resources must “stay in the ground” to avoid “catastrophic global warming.” It’s a shortsighted view of energy ethics and corruption.

Their over-heated hysteria over climate change is fanned by groups like and college professors who rehash doom-and-gloom forecasts about rising seas, dying species and other cataclysms that they insist can be remedied only by terminating fossil fuel use and investments in fossil fuel companies.

But in their lemming-like rush to glom onto claims that human carbon dioxide emissions will destroy life as we know it, they reveal an abysmal understanding of true science, our planet’s turbulent climate history, creative free markets, and what academia once proudly espoused: open, robust debate.

Of course, deceptive information is exceedingly useful to community organizers and agitators, particularly those who occupy Oval Offices, endowed chairs, government regulatory agencies and Big Green war rooms – and want to “fundamentally transform” the United States. Bombarding impressionable students with such intellectually dishonest drivel is equally useful … and detestable.

Just as bad, too many students devote their time and energy to divestment campaigns, when they should be learning and applying critical-thinking and ethical skills. Honest analysis reveals that divestment will have negligible to zero effects on atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, climate change or energy company stock prices, even if every university in the country gave in to the students’ anti-fossil fuel pleas.

Indeed, college and university endowments are not large enough to create even a ripple in fossil fuel investments. A recent Bloomberg analysis found that university endowments have about $400 billion invested in stocks; the National Association of College and University Business Officers puts the figure at $456 billion. Of that, only about 2.1% was invested in fossil fuel stocks in 2010-2011. That is a pittance in the overall stock market, which was valued at some $18 trillion in 2012 and now is much larger. In fact, it amounts to only about 0.05% or a nickel out of every $100 – and any fossil fuel stocks sold by an endowment would be purchased by another investor almost immediately.

Moreover, fossil fuel stocks historically have been good investments for schools. A Sonecon study found that endowment investments in oil and natural gas equities in 2010-2011 provided returns of a whopping 52.8% – nearly twice the returns from all other U.S. publicly traded stocks, real estate securities and foreign equities. This fact is not lost on university presidents, who have a fiduciary duty to grow their endowments, to pay for student scholarships, new and remodeled facilities, and other expenditures that further their educational objectives.

American University trustees voted against divestment in November 2014, saying AU financial advisers “could not provide assurance that the effect of divestment would not be insignificant.” Actually, a recent Compass Lexecon analysis found that an  investment portfolio totally divested from fossil fuels lost 70 basis points and cost significantly more every year in management fees to keep them “fossil-free.”

When asked whether he would sell University of Colorado fossil fuel stocks, President Bruce Benson said flatly, “I’m not going to do that.” Similarly, Harvard University President Drew Faust rejected demands for divestment and reminded proponents that Harvard “exists to serve an academic mission.” Harvard must be “very wary of steps intended to instrumentalize our endowment in ways that would appear to position the University as a political actor, rather than an academic institution,” she stated.

Just as importantly, the world’s largest energy companies dwarf the likes of ExxonMobil and other U.S. firms – but are owned by foreign governments and are not publicly traded. Caterwauling college kids at Stanford, Swarthmore and elsewhere will not cause companies to abandon what they do best: develop and produce fossil fuel energy for people who need them for jobs, living standards, health and welfare.

That raises this discussion’s most critical point, which is generally brushed aside by divestment advocates. These campaigns are part of a global anti-hydrocarbon crusade that would inflict enormous harm on working class families, and even worse consequences on Earth’s most destitute citizens.

In 2012, coal, oil and natural gas supplied 87% of the world’s energy, Worldwatch Institute figures show. Further, despite the Obama Administration’s war on coal, International Energy Agency data reveal that global coal usage is rising and by 2017 will likely supplant oil as the dominant energy resource.

Fossil fuel companies and their shareholders know traditional forms of energy will continue to power the world for the foreseeable future, because there are no viable alternatives. Solar, wind and other energy resources cannot supply enough energy to meet the world’s needs; they are not price competitive without huge subsidies; and they require fossil fuels and millions of acres to manufacture, install and operate.

Nor is it sufficient to claim anti-fossil fuel demands are well-intended, when the real-world consequences are so readily apparent and so easily predicted. In developed nations they cost jobs and degrade living standards, health, welfare and life spans. In poor countries they perpetuate electricity deprivation, unsafe water, disease, squalid environmental conditions, inability to adapt to climate changes, and early death.

To inject these vital ethical considerations and counter climate cataclysm concerns, students at a number of colleges and universities have launched Collegians For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACTcampus) chapters to promote free markets, less government intervention and regulation, and better lives for more people. Their motto is “scientific truth without the spin.”

The University of Minnesota chapter proclaims that “Western values of competition, progress, freedom and stewardship can and do offer the best hope for protecting not only the Earth and its wildlife, but even more importantly its people.” These sound science and “stewardship of creation” principles should guide discussions, debates and decisions on all campuses. So should accurate information about climate change.

Divestment activists often claim that climate science is settled. Far from it. The supposed connection between carbon dioxide and planetary temperature is far from proven. Indeed, contrary to alarmist forecasts and computer models, Earth’s temperature has not budged for 18 years, the United States has not been struck by a Category 3-5 hurricane for a record nine years, “extreme weather events” have not become more frequent or severe during the past 100 years, and other “crises” have not materialized.

Nevertheless, both NOAA and NASA, perpetual purveyors of scary climate headlines, have again used ground-based data to pronounce that 2014 was the hottest year on record. These temperature reports “are ridiculous,” say experts like Dr. Tim Ball, historical climatologist and former professor at the University of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The measurements are taken mostly in always warmer urban areas, the raw data have been “adjusted,” “homogenized” and manipulated, and the alleged year-to-year differences are measured in hundredths of a degree – a mere fraction of their margin of error!

Moreover, it is impossible to get accurate average global temperatures based on ground stations, because the data do not exist, Dr. Ball notes. “There are virtually no data for 70% of Earth’s surface that is oceans, and practically no data for the 19% of land area that are mountains, 20% that are desert, 20% boreal forest, 20% grasslands, and 6% tropical rain forest.” So NASA “just invents data” for these areas.

Unfortunately, instead of facts, campus politics will likely drive divestment demands this weekend (February 13-14), when college students demonstrate, hold sit-ins and organize flash mobs for Global Divestment Day. In many ways, to quote Macbeth, it will be “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” But for many people, the consequences could be dire – or even deadly.

Via email

The high price of being Green

Last Friday afternoon, 67-year-old Gov. John Kitzhaber (D-Oregon) announced his resignation. He and his 47-year-old clean energy consultant/lover Cylvia Hayes will no longer be taking romantic strolls through the manicured gardens of Mahonia Hall. Nor will they be engaging in late-night pillow talk sessions on “energy” at the Tudor-style governor’s mansion.

Two days before resigning, Kitzhaber distributed a defiant press release to announce that he would not be resigning. Reading between the lines, his message was: I don’t care that my constituents—the majority of whom are Democrats—feel that I’ve betrayed their trust. I’m standing by my green energy gal pal.

Then the New York Times did a story, and it was not flattering. Rule of thumb: if you’re a Democrat and even the New York Times thinks you’re a scallywag, beware.

“Clean” Can Be Dirtier than “Crude”

Politicians can learn a valuable metaphorical lesson from Kitzhaber’s errors. You see, much of the current renewable energy technology is rather dirty—and not in a playful, coquettish way. So-called “clean” energy hurts poor people—who are disproportionately young (one-in-five Millennials lives in poverty)—by raising their energy prices and reducing their ability to trust government leaders.

The Wall Street Journal recently noted that residential electricity prices are up 39%. This is in part due to the fact that taxpayers are being forced to subsidize the higher cost of “clean” energy like solar, wind and electric.

At present, most renewable technology is not able to compete with petroleum or coal without substantial help from taxpayers. For example, the Wall Street Journal recently noted that electric car batteries would have to become about 10 times more efficient than they are today in order to compete with gas-propelled cars.

Oil companies like Exxon make a small profit in comparison to the billions they pay every year in taxes and the hundreds of thousands of well-paying jobs that they create. In 2012 alone, Exxon posted 12.1 billion in U.S. taxes and 102.1 billion in worldwide taxes. Other than higher energy prices, what are renewables giving back to the community in return for the boost they are receiving from taxpayers?

When MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry asked Attorney General Eric Holder to “quack” on national television, it was a universal turn-off. There’s only so much reckless flirtation that Americans will tolerate from public figures and Kitzhaber is now in the same camp as Harris-Perry.

If a male politician talks dirty back to a female clean energy consultant, she can sue him for sexual harassment. Or, she can savor his sweet nothings while making off with taxpayers’ money—and then kill his career.


Green light for genetically modified apples that don't brown

The US Department of Agriculture says it is okay for two varieties of genetically engineered non-browning apples to be sold in the United States.

The agency's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service says the move was based on the fact that the apples are not likely to pose a risk to other plants in the form of bacteria, fungi and other threats.

The apples will be marketed as Arctic Granny and Arctic Golden by Okanagan Specialty Fruits, based in Summerland, British Columbia, in Canada.

"It's been 57 months and counting for us to get this approval," said Neal Carter, Okanagan's president and founder. "We're very super excited today. It's a big big day for us."

It will take some time for the first crop to grow, and most of the initial fruit will be consumed by product development trials and test marketing, Carter said. The public can expect to see the apples in large numbers probably in 2017, he said.

The non-browning effect happens because the company has reduced the apple's production of one enzyme, and nutrition-wise, the apples are similar to conventional fruit, Carter said.

The Arctic Golden apples are essentially Golden Delicious apples that don't go brown and the Arctic Granny apples are Granny Smith apples that avoid browning.

Over time, the apples will develop browning, but they will produce less of the substance that causes them to brown, according to USDA documents. When the apples are sliced or bruised, they retain their original colour longer, the USDA says.

Tests have shown genetically engineered foods to be safe but some opponents have pushed for laws that require such foods to be labeled so that consumers know what they are eating.


Announcing the Golden Rice South Asia Tour

Commencing March 4 to March 20 the Allow Golden Rice Campaign will tour the Philippines, Bangladesh, and India where vitamin A deficiency is a major cause of child mortality.

Two million children and many mothers die each year from a lack of this essential vitamin. It is the greatest cause of child death today. Golden Rice is the obvious cure, but because it was created with genetic science Greenpeace and the anti-GMO movement fervently oppose it.

On August 8, 2013, Greenpeace instigated the destruction of Golden Rice scientific field trials at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. The Allow Golden Rice Society is actively campaigning for the approval of Golden Rice so it can be delivered to the 200 million children who are deficient in vitamin A.

“If Golden Rice were a cure for cancer, malaria, or Ebola, it would have been approved 10 years ago. In that time 20 million people, mostly children, have died.

This is a crime against humanity,” stated Dr. Patrick Moore, leader of the campaign. “All we ask is that Greenpeace and their allies make an exception for Golden Rice to their opposition to GM crops”, continued Dr. Moore. “Millions of lives are at stake.”



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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16 February, 2015

The science is settled, eggs are good for you

The science-is-settled crowd got a little more uncomfortable as the settled science of cholesterol being bad for us is being dismantled by the U.S. government’s top nutrition advisory panel.

That’s right. After more than fifty years of government and public health harpies hectoring against eating eggs, with many Americans resorting to eating the dreaded egg substitute in a cardboard container as a result, the feds are issuing a gigantic never mind.

The Washington Post quotes Walter Willett, chair of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, as saying, “There’s been a shift of thinking.”

Egg producers have seen a 30 percent drop in consumption since the shoot-first-find-out-the-truth-later public science industry had their way in getting cholesterol declared a public enemy to good heart health.  I’m certain some eager trial lawyer will figure out someone to sue to help these small farmers get fair reparations from those who lobbied the federal government to include cholesterol on the bad-for-you nutrition list, and subsequently profiteered off of the farmer’s hardships.

Gee, I wonder if there are any other examples of  settled science turning out to be wrong after many years and untold economic damage?

How about the case of the northern spotted owl?

The northern spotted owl was declared an endangered species back in the early 1990s and the remedy was that large swaths of forest in the Northwest were placed off-limits for timber harvesting.  Now, two decades later, mill towns are ghost towns, and environmentalists are pressing to take even more land out of production.

Yet, the original goal of the northern spotted owl recovery plan was to get 3,000 nesting pairs well distributed throughout the region that included northern California, Oregon, Washington and Idaho.  Today, there are 3,000 nesting pairs on privately-owned land in California alone.  Privately-owned land where timber harvesting continues and peacefully co-exists with a thriving species.

It is on the publicly-held land where the professional environmental activists hold sway that the bird is doing less well, struggling under pressure from the irony that it does better hunting in more open spaces (the exact kind of habitat created by timbering.)

Naturally, the environmental group scientists and their allies in the Obama Administration refuse to declare victory for a re-established species because to do so will open up millions of acres of additional timberland for harvest.  And that is the dirty little secret in the Northwest, it never was about the bird, and always was about shutting down timbering — the destruction of small, rural communities was just acceptable collateral damage to the public interest scientists.

As President Obama and his media allies continue lock-step declaring the science settled on the climate change issue, it would be wise for policy makers to remember the previously-fought wars on eggs and timber and the mistaken science that led to destructive decisions before proceeding with actions that will have catastrophic impacts on the American economy.

Because sometimes the science is settled until it isn’t. Oh, by the way, is Pluto a planet again, or have scientists changed their minds once more?


Crooked scientists are getting away with it

This is in the very important field of drug testing so it gives some insight into how Warmists get away with their deceptions. They cover up for one-another.  An academic journal abstract below

Importance:  Every year, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspects several hundred clinical sites performing biomedical research on human participants and occasionally finds evidence of substantial departures from good clinical practice and research misconduct. However, the FDA has no systematic method of communicating these findings to the scientific community, leaving open the possibility that research misconduct detected by a government agency goes unremarked in the peer-reviewed literature.

Objectives:  To identify published clinical trials in which an FDA inspection found significant evidence of objectionable conditions or practices, to describe violations, and to determine whether the violations are mentioned in the peer-reviewed literature.

Design and Setting:  Cross-sectional analysis of publicly available documents, dated from January 1, 1998, to September 30, 2013, describing FDA inspections of clinical trial sites in which significant evidence of objectionable conditions or practices was found.

Main Outcomes and Measures:  For each inspection document that could be linked to a specific published clinical trial, the main measure was a yes/no determination of whether there was mention in the peer-reviewed literature of problems the FDA had identified.

Results:  Fifty-seven published clinical trials were identified for which an FDA inspection of a trial site had found significant evidence of 1 or more of the following problems: falsification or submission of false information, 22 trials (39%); problems with adverse events reporting, 14 trials (25%); protocol violations, 42 trials (74%); inadequate or inaccurate recordkeeping, 35 trials (61%); failure to protect the safety of patients and/or issues with oversight or informed consent, 30 trials (53%); and violations not otherwise categorized, 20 trials (35%). Only 3 of the 78 publications (4%) that resulted from trials in which the FDA found significant violations mentioned the objectionable conditions or practices found during the inspection. No corrections, retractions, expressions of concern, or other comments acknowledging the key issues identified by the inspection were subsequently published.

Conclusions and Relevance:  When the FDA finds significant departures from good clinical practice, those findings are seldom reflected in the peer-reviewed literature, even when there is evidence of data fabrication or other forms of research misconduct.


Some awkward facts about "climate change"

By forecaster Joe Bastardi

I was asked several months ago by a close friend and advisor, “Joe, what do you want to be remembered for?” It was then I realized this global warming debate borders on insanity. My stand was and is principled, based on my need and love of climate to form a needed foundation to forecast. If a person said something you knew not to be true about someone you loved, how would you react? It’s that simple. I am this way because I have used climate to help me in what God made me to do. But the argument itself is getting progressively crazier to me.

Look at the distortion we have going on today. I was told I am not a “climate scientist” on national TV by a guy whose hands were shaking as he recited talking points and who said that a one in a hundred year synoptic-scale event – the Great Ohio Valley blizzard of 1978 – was lake effect snow. At the time, Lake Erie was frozen and a southwest wind was blowing over it.

So after 40 years of studying this and using it daily, I’m not a climate scientist, but one of the alarmists' heroes, an engineer-turned-actor who bills himself a science guy, is? That he had my kids thinking he was Santa Clause means he has a whole generation of people willing to buy what he says, no matter how inane. Perhaps if I lost three inches off my neck and stuck on a bow tie, it would give me more credibility.

Then there’s this headline from the London Telegraph: “The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever.”

When I saw it, my thoughts were, this is old news. To guys like me, very old news. Perhaps the most newsworthy thing about it was that this is not mainstream and, therefore, the whole issue is settled.

Juxtapose the Telegraph with this from USA Today: “Buried in Boston? Blame it on climate change – maybe.”

Notice how the author in typical Utopian fashion takes no real stand: Blame it on climate change – maybe.

Let me take a stand and inform him of some facts he seems to not understand.

1.) Boston averages close to 6.6 inches of precipitation in the months of January and February and 26 inches of snow. That means in any given 15-day period (roughly 25%) Boston would average about 1.6 inches of precipitation and six inches or so of snow. How is it the city had twice the amount of precipitation (around 3.2 inches) – which really is not that big a deal since even back-to-back rainstorms can do that – and ten times the amount of snow (64 inches)? It’s not because it’s warm, it’s because it’s so cold. The frigid air masses have resulted in a high snow ratio. The storms did what most storms do – intensify – but it’s the cold that has lead to the very high snow-to-liquid ratios. In a normal temperature-structured storm, the same parameters would likely produce closer to the classic 10-1 ratio.

2.) The author is also unaware of a sudden drop in the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), something jumped on to warn people in the East that the period Jan. 26-Feb. 10 would be tough. I used the same method before the “Snowmageddon” siege in the winter of ‘09-'10. It’s something you look for in seasons when there is a warm event in the tropical Pacific, which in this case is a weak Modoki El Nino. It’s not a question of if or when, but where you see that happen. In 2010, it was centered further southwest, so we knew well beforehand something was up.

By the way, just how does climate change know to blast Boston (last 15 days close to 10 degrees Fahrenheit below normal with 10x the normal snowfall) while leaving places like DC alone (near normal temperatures,  little snow) at the same time? How did it know in 2010 to blast DC, but leave places in northern New England with normal temperatures and snow? Amazing how it can pick and choose like that on a local level, given its assigned global dominance.

3.) The water is warm off the East Coast, but that’s because we are in the waning days of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) warm cycle. This is well known among meteorologists who have studied these periods. In fact, this winter is mimicking to a large extent the winter of 1957-1958, which was non-eventful until later January right through March! The AMO is falling and is below 0 now, much like Bill Gray of Colorado State said it would be by 2020, ending completely the warming observed when the Pacific and Atlantic warmed. This means the remaining warm water in the Atlantic basin is still in the Western Atlantic as the northern, eastern and southern areas cool, until the full flip takes place, still several years off. Guess what happens when there is change naturally?  There are places where there can be enhanced conflict in the weather.

Gee, imagine that. Clashes in the weather.

The term “climate change” is the biggest piece of deception one can use. Nobody denies the fluid back and forth on all time scales of the earth’s weather and climate patterns. It’s redundant and a sound bite that means nothing, except as something to smear people who bring countering points to light. When global warming was debunked by nature herself, alarmists adapted “climate change” and then blamed a perfectly natural occurrence on man. The “golden chain” is the wrapping of oneself in a mantle of “saving the planet climate heroism”; the enslavement is the diminishing of hope for billions of people yearning for more freedom.


Top 10 Global Warming Lies That May Shock You

Global warming alarmists frequently make false and deplorable assertions (see, for example, my recent column debunking false claims that global warming is causing a decline in wheat production), but the Environmental Defense Fund’s recent fund-raising mailer, “10 Global Warming Effects That May Shock You,” may well set a new low. However, climate realists can make lemonade from EDF’s preposterous mailer by using it to show open-minded people the difference between global warming alarmists and global warming truth-tellers.

EDF has assembled what it believes to be the 10 most powerful global warming assertions in the alarmists’ playbook, yet each assertion either backfires on alarmists or has been proven false. While reading how flawed EDF’s assertions are, remember these are the very best arguments global warming alarmists can make. Open-minded readers should have very little difficulty dismissing the mythical global warming crisis after examining the top 10 assertions in the alarmist playbook.

Alarmist Assertion #1

“Bats Drop from the Sky – In 2014, a scorching summer heat wave caused more than 100,000 bats to literally drop dead and fall from the sky in Queensland, Australia.”

The Facts

Global warming alarmists’ preferred electricity source – wind power – kills nearly 1 million bats every year (to say nothing of the more than 500,000 birds killed every year) in the United States alone. This appalling death toll occurs every year even while wind power produces just 3% of U.S. electricity. Ramping up wind power to 10, 20, or 30% of U.S. electricity production would likely increase annual bat kills to 10-to-30 million every year. Killing 30 million bats every year in response to dubious claims that global warming might once in a great while kill 100,000 bats makes no sense.

Just as importantly, alarmists present no evidence that global warming caused the summer heat wave in a notoriously hot desert near the equator.  To the contrary, climate change theory and objective data show our recent global warming is occurring primarily in the winter, toward the poles, and at night.

Australia’s highest recorded temperature occurred more than half a century ago, and only two of Australia’s seven states have set their all-time temperature record during the past 40 years. Indeed, Queensland’s 2014 heat wave paled in comparison to the 1972 heat wave that occurred 42 years of global warming ago. If global warming caused the 2014 Queensland heat wave, why wasn’t it as severe as the 1972 Queensland heat wave? Blaming every single summer heat wave or extreme weather event on global warming is a stale and discredited tactic in the alarmist playbook. Objective science proves extreme weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, heat waves, and droughts have become less frequent and less severe as a result of the Earth’s recent modest warming.

Wind power kills 1.4 million birds and bats in the U.S every year, even while producing very little power.
Wind turbines kill 1.4 million birds and bats in the U.S every year, even while producing very little power.

Alarmist Assertion #2

“Lyme Disease Spreads” – Warmer temperatures are contributing to the range expansion and severity of tick-borne Lyme disease.”

The Facts

Lyme Disease is much more common in northern, cooler regions of the United States than in southern, warmer regions. Asserting, without any supporting data or evidence, that a disease that prospers in cool climates will become more prevalent as a result of global warming defies objective data and common sense. Moreover, a team of scientists extensively researched Lyme Disease climate and habitat and reported in the peer-reviewed science journal EcoHealth, “the only environmental variable consistently association with increased [Lyme Disease] risk and incidence was the presence of forests.”

Granted, alarmists can argue that forests are thriving under global warming, with the result that forest-dwelling ticks will also benefit. However, expanding forests are universally – and properly – viewed as environmentally beneficial. Alarmist attempts to frame thriving forests as harmful perfectly illustrate the alarmists’ proclivity to claim anything and everything – no matter how beneficial – is severely harmful and caused by global warming.

Moreover, even if global warming expanded Lyme Disease range, one must look at the totality of global warming’s impact on the range of viruses and diseases. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports Lyme Disease “is rare as a cause of death in the United States.” According to the CDC, Lyme Disease is a contributing factor to less than 25 deaths per year in the United States. Indeed, during a recent five-year span examined by the CDC, “only 1 [death] record was consistent with clinical manifestations of Lyme Disease.” Any attempts to claim global warming will cause a few more Lyme Disease deaths must be weighed against the 36,000 Americans who are killed by the flu each year. The U.S. National Institutes of Health have documented how influenza is aided and abetted by cold climate. Any attempt to connect a warmer climate to an increase in Lyme Disease must be accompanied by an acknowledgement of a warmer climate’s propensity to reduce influenza incidence and mortality. The net impact of a warmer climate on viruses and diseases such as Lyme Disease and influenza is substantially beneficial and life-saving.

Top 10 Global Warming Lies That May Shock You
Continued from page 1
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Alarmist Assertion #3

“National Security Threatened – The impacts of climate change are expected to act as a ‘threat multiplier’ in many of the world’s most unstable regions, exacerbating droughts and other natural disasters as well as leading to food, water and other resource shortages that may spur mass migrations.”

The Facts

The alarmists’ asserted national security threat depends on assertions that (1) global warming is causing a reduction in food and water supplies and (2) migrations of people to places with more food and water will increase risks of military conflict. Objective facts refute both assertions.

Regarding food and water supplies, global crop production has soared as the Earth gradually warms. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is essential to plant life, and adding more of it to the atmosphere enhances plant growth and crop production. Longer growing seasons and fewer frost events also benefit plant growth and crop production. As this column has repeatedly documented (see articles here, here, and here, for example), global crops set new production records virtually every year as our planet modestly warms. If crop shortages cause national security threats and global warming increases crop production, then global warming benefits rather than jeopardizes national security.

The same holds true for water supplies. Objective data show there has been a gradual increase in global precipitation and soil moisture as our planet warms. Warmer temperatures evaporate more water from the oceans, which in turn stimulates more frequent precipitation over continental land masses. The result of this enhanced precipitation is an improvement in soil moisture at almost all sites in the Global Soil Moisture Data Bank. If declining precipitation and declining soil moisture are military threat multipliers, than global warming is creating a safer, more peaceful world.

Alarmist Assertion #4

“Sea Levels Rising – Warmer temperatures are causing glaciers and polar ice sheets to melt, increasing the amount of water in the world’s seas and oceans.”

The Facts

The pace of sea level rise remained relatively constant throughout the 20th century, even as global temperatures gradually rose. There has similarly been no increase in the pace of sea level rise in recent decades. Utilizing 20th century technologies, humans effectively adapted to global sea level rise. Utilizing 21st century technologies, humans will be even better equipped to adapt to global sea level rise.

Also, the alarmist assertion that polar ice sheets are melting is simply false. Although alarmists frequently point to a modest recent shrinkage in the Arctic ice sheet, that decline has been completely offset by ice sheet expansion in the Antarctic. Cumulatively, polar ice sheets have not declined at all since NASA satellite instruments began precisely measuring them 35 years ago.

Alarmist Assertion #5

“Allergies Worsen – Allergy sufferers beware: Climate change could cause pollen counts to double in the next 30 years. The warming temperatures cause advancing weed growth, a bane for allergy sufferers.”

The Facts

Pollen is a product and mechanism of plant reproduction and growth. As such, pollen counts will rise and fall along with plant health and vegetation intensity. Any increase in pollen will be the result of a greener biosphere with more plant growth.  Similar to the alarmist argument, discussed above, that expanding forests will create more habitat for the ticks that spread Lyme Disease, alarmists here are taking overwhelmingly good news about global warming improving plant health and making it seem like this good news is actually bad news because healthier plants mean more pollen.

Indeed, NASA satellite instruments have documented a spectacular greening of the Earth, with foliage gains most prevalent in previously arid, semi-desert regions. For people experiencing an increase in vegetation in previously barren regions, this greening of the Earth is welcome and wonderful news. For global warming alarmists, however, a greener biosphere is terrible news and something to be opposed. This, in a nutshell, defines the opposing sides in the global warming debate. Global warming alarmists claim a greener biosphere with richer and more abundant plant life is horrible and justifies massive, economy-destroying energy restrictions. Global warming realists understand that a greener biosphere with richer and more abundant plant life is not a horrible thing simply because humans may have had some role in creating it.


Hawaii Wind Farm, Failing, for Sale

An SEC filing required as a condition of the potential sale of windfarms from Hawaii’s largest wind farm developer, First Wind, to TerraForm Power, Inc., have revealed a number of difficulties the subsidized windfarm has faced in meeting its terms of operation with regard to generating and delivering reliable power to the grid.

As reported in the Hawaii Free Presss (Feb. 8), the SEC filing paints a company in trouble, even before the sale is approved. In the filings TerraForm acknowledged:

"We have limited experience in energy generation operations. As a result of this lack of experience, we may be prone to errors .... We lack the technical training and experience with developing, starting or operating non-solar generation facilities. With no direct training or experience in these areas, our management may not be fully aware of the many specific requirements related to working in industries beyond solar energy generation.

Additionally, we may be exposed to increased operating costs, unforeseen liabilities or risks, and regulatory and environmental concerns associated with entering new sectors of the power generation industry, which could have an adverse impact on our business as well as place us at a competitive disadvantage relative to more established non-solar energy market participants.

In addition, such ventures could require a disproportionate amount of our management’s attention and resources. Our operations, earnings and ultimate financial success could suffer irreparable harm due to our management’s lack of experience in these industries."

Equipment Problems

TerraForm’s filing also indicates First Wind’s wind farms suffer from an array of problems. For instance, under its power purchasing agreement, First Wind was required to install and maintain a battery energy storage system to maintain electric grid stability and reliability. However, the battery system manufacturer and manager, Xtreme Power, is in bankruptcy and no longer provides replacement batteries or other necessary components. Though First wind is attempting to secure replacement batteries, it admits the new battery system may not be able to meet the company’s terms of operation.

An additional equipment problem uncovered in TerraForm’s SEC filing is the turbines and other equipment originally produced and supplied to First Wind by Clipper Windpower are no longer manufactured, backed or serviced by Clipper. A number of defects were found in the turbines and other equipment Clipper provided, affecting various turbines operations up to the present. The defects resulted in prolonged, “downtime for turbines at various projects,” according to TerraForm’s SEC filing.

Prolonged arbitration and litigation ensued, resulting in a settlement agreement signed by First Wind releasing Clipper from all warranty and maintenance obligations. As a result, TerraForm reports, “if Clipper equipment experiences defects in the future, we will not have the benefit of a manufacturer’s warranty on such original equipment, may not be able to obtain replacement components and will need to self-fund the correction or replacement of such equipment, which could negatively impact our business financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.”

Location and Financing Problems

TerraForm lists a number of other problems potentially resulting in losses or even the closure of some turbines or windfarm sites entirely. For instance, First Wind did not properly notify the FAA of wind turbine construction in certain locations, thus if aviation conflicts arise, the turbines may have curtail their operation or even be shut down. In addition, operations at some wind farm locations have been curtailed due to an excessive number of endangered bats and birds being killed by the turbines.

TerraForm is also concerned the wind farms it wishes to purchase may be unable to secure financing for ongoing operations unless Congress keeps in place the entire panoply of subsidies and tax advantages wind farms currently benefit from. According to TerraForm, “PTCs and accelerated tax depreciation benefits generated by operating projects can be monetized by entering into tax equity financing agreements with investors that can utilize the tax benefits, which have been a key financing tool for wind energy projects. The growth of our wind energy business may be dependent on the U.S. Congress extending the expiration date of, renewing or replacing PTCs, without which the market for tax equity financing for wind projects would likely cease to exist.” It is an open question whether Congress will continue to renew the wind production tax credit or if it will continue to provide favorable tax breaks to the energy industry.

With the all of these forces buffeting First Wind’s wind farms, one may wonder why TerraForm wants to purchase the assets.


Exposed EPA Memo: Tie Fighting Global Warming to Americans’ ‘Personal Worries’

More evidence that the EPA is an evangelizing body, not an objective body

An Environmental Protection Agency memo sent to top officials implored the agency to build up support for its agenda by tying its regulatory agenda to the “personal worries” of Americans.

“Polar ice caps and the polar bears have become the climate change ‘mascots,’ if you will, and personify the challenges we have in making this issue real for many Americans,” reads a memo circulated among top agency officials in March 2009, just months after President Barack Obama took office.

Climate Change Argument “Unpersuasive”

“Most Americans will never see a polar ice cap, nor will most have the chance to see a polar bear in its natural habitat,” the memo reads. “Therefore, it is easy to detach from the seriousness of this issue. Unfortunately, climate change in the abstract is an increasingly—and consistently—unpersuasive argument to make.”

“However, if we shift from making this about the polar caps and about our neighbor with respiratory illness we can potentially bring this issue home to many Americans,” the memo adds. “There will be many opportunities to discuss climate-related efforts this year. As we do so, we must allow the human health argument to take center stage.”

The EPA memo even says to use people’s children as a way to build up support for their efforts to fight global warming and ramp up clean air and water regulations.

“This justifies our work at the most base level. By revitalizing our own Children’s Health Office, leading the global charge on this issue, and highlighting the children’s health dimension to all of our major initiatives—we will also make this issue real for many Americans who otherwise would oppose many of our regulatory actions,” the memo reads.

‘Breathtakingly Disingenuous Shift’

The EPA memos were obtained by Chris Horner, attorney and senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, through a Freedom of Information Act request. Horner found the memo in a trove of emails to former EPA chief Lisa Jackson’s secret email account, which used the alias “Richard Windsor.”

“What this memo shows is the recognition that EPA needed to move its global warming campaign away from the failed global model of discredited Big Green pressure groups and their icons,” Horner told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“In it, we see the birth of the breathtakingly disingenuous ‘shift from making this about the polar caps [to] about our neighbor with respiratory illness,’” Horner said. “It also shows the conviction that if they yell ‘clean air’ and ‘children’ enough, they, the media, and the green groups will get their way.”

Sent During Cap-and-Trade Debate

The memo was circulated as federal lawmakers were debating cap-and-trade legislation during Obama’s first term in office. A cap-and-trade bill passed out of the House in June 2009 but was eventually defeated in the Senate after opponents successfully tied the effort to a de facto energy tax.

Since this defeat, the Obama administration has been keen on focusing on the public health benefits of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Near the end of 2009, EPA found greenhouse gases posed a threat to public health because they cause global warming. But greenhouse gases don’t directly impact public health, so EPA relied on other ways to connect the dots.

When EPA released the first-ever regulations on greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions in 2012, the agency touted the rule’s public health benefits, resulting from reduced amounts of traditional air pollutants coming from tailpipes.

More recently, EPA said rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing coal-fired power plants would result in fewer asthma attacks, especially in children. But these alleged public health benefits come from reducing smog and other air pollutants, not carbon dioxide.

“Asthma disproportionately affects African-American kids,” said current EPA chief Gina McCarthy. “In just the first year these standards go into effect, we’ll avoid up to 100,000 asthma attacks and 2,100 heart attacks—and those numbers go up from there.”

“These standards are also doing more than to just address public health. By the time these standards are fully in place in 2030, the average household will also save $8 a month on electricity and create thousands of jobs that can’t be shipped overseas,” McCarthy said.

Targets ‘Unchurched’ Americans

The memo also mentions convincing “unchurched” Americans who belong to other activist groups to support fighting global warming.

“For many, environmental protection is about the caribou, polar bears, and sea otters,” reads the memo. “While our work certainly impacts all of these creatures, it obviously does not reflect our day-to-day work. It is important for us to change this perception, particularly among those who are critically impacted by [environmental justice] issues—but are otherwise ‘unchurched.’ (By unchurched, I mean they are not affiliated with a group or effort that would self-identify as EJ or environmentalist.)”



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, 2015

Another silly prophecy

"US faces mega-drought future: Global warming will cause the worst dry spells in more than 1,000 years".  You wonder why anybody takes any notice of such Warmist prophecies now that none have so far succeeded and many have clearly failed.  And this prophecy ignores basic science anyway.  Warmer oceans would give off more evaporation, which falls as rain. So a warmer world would be WETTER, not drier

The western US will face increasingly severe mega-droughts later this century if no action is taken to curb climate change, researchers have warned.

They say that 'unprecedented drought conditions' - the worst in more than 1,000 years - are likely to come to the Southwest and Central Plains after 2050 and persist because of global warming.

It is the first study to predict that the coming intense dry spells could exceed the decades-long mega-droughts that occurred centuries ago and are blamed for the demise of certain civilisations in the late 13th century.

'Nearly every year is going to be dry toward the end of the 21st century compared to what we think of as normal conditions now,' said study lead author Dr Benjamin Cook, a Nasa atmospheric scientist.  'We're going to have to think about a much drier future in western North America.'

According to the study, published in the journal Science Advances, there is a more than 80 per cent chance that much of central and the western US will have a mega-drought lasting at least 35 years later this century.

Since the year 2000, seven western states in the US has seen their driest periods in centuries. [Indicating that the climate where the rain forms has been COOLER!]

These states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming

And scientists in California have warned that the region may be experiencing a century-long 'mega-drought'.

The warnings came after sediment studies showed California is currently experiencing the driest spell since 1580, and that the regular rainfall seen during the last century is likely to have been a temporary deviation in a cycle of droughts and very occasional rainfall over the last 3,000 years.

In 2013, California received less rain than in any year since its formation as a state in 1850.

However droughts lasting more than 100 years are far from unheard of in the state.

Looking back over several thousand years, droughts have been known to last over a decade, and in some cases they can last a century.

And the patterns tend to repeat, meaning another drought of this length will probably happen again in the future.  [From natural causes]


The high intellectual caliber of "Rolling Stone" is on display once again

Basic logic is beyond them.  How on earth is the sinking of the land in the area the fault of global warming? And since there has been no global warming for 18 years, everything described below CANNOT  be due to global warming.  Things that don't exist don't cause anything.  All changes described must  be due to local natural processes.  Just a short excerpt from some very long-winded nonsense below

Naval station Norfolk is the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Atlantic fleet, an awesome collection of military power that is in a terrible way the crowning glory of American civilization. Seventy-five thousand sailors and civilians work here, their job the daily business of keeping an armada spit-shined and ready for deployment at any moment.

But within the lifetime of a child growing up here, all this could vanish into the Atlantic Ocean. The land that the base is built upon is literally sinking, meaning sea levels are rising in Norfolk roughly twice as fast as the global average. There is no high ground, nowhere to retreat. It feels like a swamp that has been dredged and paved over — and that's pretty much what it is. All it takes is a rainstorm and a big tide and the Atlantic invades the base — roads are submerged, entry gates impassable. A nor'easter had moved through the area the day before my visit. On Craney Island, the base's main refueling depot, military vehicles were up to their axles in seawater. Water pooled in a long, flat grassy area near Admiral's Row, where naval commanders live in magnificent houses built for the 1907 Jamestown Exposition. "It's the biggest Navy base in the world, and it's going to have to be relocated," says former Vice President Al Gore. "It's just a question of when."

Rear Adm. Jonathan White, the Navy's chief oceanographer and head of its climate-change task force, is one of the most knowledgeable people in the military about what's actually happening on our rapidly heating planet. Whenever another officer or a congressperson corners White and presses him about why he spends so much time thinking about climate change, he doesn't even try to explain thermal expansion of the oceans or ice dynamics in the Arctic. "I just take them down to Norfolk," White says. "When you see what's going on down there, it gives you a sense of what climate change means to the Navy — and to America. And you can see why we're concerned."


Predictable NYT hack is at it again

Comment by  Roy Spencer below:

The title of Justin Gillis’ recent NYT article is an excellent tip-off of how bad environmental reporting has gotten: “What to Call a Doubter of Climate Change?”

Now, as a skeptical Ph.D. climate scientist who has been working and publishing in the climate field for over a quarter century, I can tell you I don’t know of any other skeptics who even “doubt climate change”.

The mere existence of climate change says nothing about causation. The climate system is always changing, and always will change. Most skeptics believe humans have at least some small role in that change, but tend to believe it might well be more natural than SUV-caused.

So, the title of the NYT article immediately betrays a bias in reporting which has become all too common. “He who frames the question wins the debate.”

What we skeptics are skeptical about is that the science has demonstrated with any level of certainty: (1) how much of recent warming has been manmade versus natural, or (2) whether any observed change in storms/droughts/floods is outside the realm of natural variability, that is, whether it too can be blamed on human activities.

But reporters routinely try to reframe the debate, telling us skeptics what webelieve. Actually reporting in an accurate manner what we really believe does not suit their purpose. So (for example) Mr. Gillis did not use any quotes from Dr. John Christy in the above article, even though he was interviewed.

Mr. Gillis instead seems intent on making a story out of whether skeptical climate scientists should be even afforded the dignity of being called a “skeptic”, when what we really should be called is “deniers”.

You know — as evil as those who deny the Holocaust. (Yeah, we get the implication.)

He then goes on to malign the scientific character of Dr. Richard Lindzen (a Jew who is not entirely pleased with misplaced Holocaust imagery) because the majority of scientific opinion runs contrary to Dr. Lindzen, who is also a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences.

Do I need to remind Mr. Gillis that the cause(s) of climate change are much more difficult to establish than, say, the cause of stomach ulcers? There is only one climate system (patient) to study, but many millions of ulcer sufferers walking around.

And yet the medical research community was almost unanimous in their years of condemnation of Marshall and Warren, two Australian researchers who finally received the 2005 Nobel Prize in medicine for establishing the bacterial basis for peptic ulcers, one of the most common diseases in the world.

Does Mr. Gillis really want to be a journalist? Or just impress his NYC friends?

The idea that the causes of climate change are now just as well established as gravity or the non-flatness of the Earth (or that ulcers are caused by too much stress and spicy food, too?) is so ridiculous that only young school children could be indoctrinated with such silly tripe.

Which, I fear, is just what is happening.


New Paper: Hubert Lamb And The Transformation Of Climate Science

Lamb pointed out that natural climate change was always going on.  "No recent change until the late 20th century", reply the Warmists

A new paper by Bernie Lewin and published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation re-examines the legacy of the father of British climatology Hubert Lamb (1913-1997).

After leading and establishing historical climatology during the 1960s, Hubert Lamb became the founding Director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU). What is not widely known is that, in contrast to current research directions at CRU, its founding director was an early and vocal climate sceptic.

Against the idea that greenhouse gas emissions were (or would soon be) noticeably warming the planet, Lamb raised objections on many levels. “His greatest concern was not so much the lack of science behind the theory,” Mr Lewin said, “it was how the growing preoccupation with man-made warming was distorting the science.”

Lewin said that “Lamb was already sounding this warning as early as 1972; soon after that the entire science would be transformed.”

As research into man-made warming began to dominate climate studies, Lamb worried that the recent advances in our understanding of natural changes were falling into neglect.

A foreword by eminent climatologist, Professor Richard Lindzen, explains how, “in this new paradigm, the natural variability that Lamb emphasized was now relegated to ‘noise’.”

Speaking from his own experience, Lindzen says that “Lamb’s intellectual trajectory is typical of what many other senior climate scientists around the world experienced.”

Bernie Lewin is an historian of science investigating the global warming scare in the context of the history and philosophy of science. Over the last 5 years he has published many essays on various sceptical blogs, including his own, Enthusiasm Scepticism and Science.



Many pre-1990 numbers would be higher using current methods

Matt Kelsch

As this week’s blizzard rumbled toward the U.S. Northeast, many media outlets posted the top-10 snow events for major cities. An unusual number of snowfalls in those top 10 lists have been within the last 20 years, even in cities that have records going back to the 1800s. Why is that? Could it be climate change? Are other factors involved?

As a hydrometeorological instructor in UCAR’s COMET program and a weather observer for the National Weather Service, I am keenly interested in weather trends. In this case, climate change is an important factor to explore, since we know that the heaviest precipitation events have intensified in many parts of the world (see related story: Torrents and droughts and twisters - oh my!).

But when we turn to snowstorms in the Northeast, or elsewhere in the U.S., there is an additional factor at work when comparing modern numbers with historical ones. Quite simply, our measuring techniques have changed, and we are not necessarily comparing apples to apples. In fact, the apparent trend toward bigger snowfalls is at least partially the result of new—and more accurate—ways of measuring snowfall totals. Climate studies carefully select a subset of stations with consistent snow records, or avoid the snowfall variable altogether.

Official measurement of snowfall these days uses a flat, usually white, surface called a snowboard (which pre-dates the popular winter sport equipment of the same name). The snowboard depth measurement is done ideally every 6 hours, but not more frequently, and the snow is cleared after each measurement. At the end of the snowfall, all of the measurements are added up for the storm total.

NOAA’s cooperative climate observers and thousands of volunteers with the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS), a nationwide observer network, are trained in this method. This practice first became standard at airports starting in the 1950s, but later at other official climate reporting sites, such as Manhattan’s Central Park, where 6-hourly measurements did not become routine until the 1990s.

Earlier in our weather history, the standard practice was to record snowfall amounts less frequently, such as every 12 or 24 hours, or even to take just one measurement of depth on the ground at the end of the storm.

You might think that one or two measurements per day should add up to pretty much the same as measurements taken every 6 hours during the storm. It’s a logical assumption, but you would be mistaken. Snow on the ground gets compacted as additional snow falls. Therefore, multiple measurements during a storm typically result in a higher total than if snowfall is derived from just one or two measurements per day.

That can make quite a significant difference. It turns out that it’s not uncommon for the snow on the ground at the end of a storm to be 15 to 20 percent less than the total that would be derived from multiple snowboard measurements.  As the cooperative climate observer for Boulder, Colorado, I examined the 15 biggest snowfalls of the last two decades, all measured at the NOAA campus in Boulder. The sum of the snowboard measurements averaged 17 percent greater than the maximum depth on the ground at the end of the storm. For a 20-inch snowfall, that would be a boost of 3.4 inches—enough to dethrone many close rivals on the top-10 snowstorm list that were not necessarily lesser storms!

Another common practice at the cooperative observing stations prior to 1950 did not involve measuring snow at all, but instead took the liquid derived from the snow and applied a 10:1 ratio (every inch of liquid equals ten inches of snow). This is no longer the official practice and has become increasingly less common since 1950. But it too introduces a potential low bias in historic snowfalls because in most parts of the country (and in the recent blizzard in the Northeast) one inch of liquid produces more than 10 inches of snow.

This means that many of the storms from the 1980s or earlier would probably appear in the record as bigger storms if the observers had used the currently accepted methodology. Now, for those of you northeasterners with aching backs from shoveling, I am not saying that your recent storm wasn’t big in places like Boston, Portland, or Long Island. But I am saying that some of the past greats—the February Blizzard of 1978, the Knickerbocker storm of January 1922, and the great Blizzard of March 1888—are probably underestimated.

So keep in mind when viewing those lists of snowy greats: the older ones are not directly comparable with those in recent decades. It’s not as bad as comparing apples to oranges, but it may be like comparing apples to crabapples.

Going forward, we can look for increasingly accurate snow totals. Researchers at NCAR and other organizations are studying new approaches for measuring snow more accurately (see related story: Snowfall, inch by inch). 

But we can’t apply those techniques to the past. For now, all we can say is that snowfall measurements taken more than about 20 or 30 years ago may be unsuitable for detecting trends – and perhaps snowfall records from the past should not be melting away quite as quickly as it appears.


Will President Obama’s New Drilling Policy Give the Arctic Over to Russian Domination?

The anger, outrage and frustration in Alaska are palpable after the president stripped the state of vast stores of its oil and gas wealth. His reckless offshore oil and gas restrictions reduced Alaska’s Arctic Ocean presence to one exploration site each in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas and left us with the lowest number of prospects in the history of the Outer Continental Shelf leasing program.

Alaska’s U.S. senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, and at-large Rep. Don Young, all Republicans, vowed at a press conference to fight Obama’s offshore decision, which came only days after his Interior Department announced the shocking designation of nearly all of Alaska’s 19.6-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as untouchable wilderness lands. These two moves would lock up the nation’s richest continental oil prospect and lock up America’s share of the Arctic Ocean’s estimated 30 percent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas and 13 percent of its oil reserves.

The famously outspoken Rep. Young said, “It’s becoming undeniably clear that this administration does not view Alaska as a sovereign state, but rather an eco-theme park for the most extreme environmentalist allies of the president and his party.”

Young didn’t know how stunningly accurate his claim would turn out to be. A day later, a story about some of Obama’s “most extreme environmentalist allies” broke under the headline, “Foreign Firm Funding U.S. Green Groups Tied to State-Owned Russian Oil Company.”

Former Heritage Foundation investigative reporter Lachlan Markay wrote for the Free Beacon that Russian money for anti-oil and gas campaigns had been laundered through a Bermuda investment house, bank, and shell corporation and the California-based Sea Change Foundation.

“The Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, the League of Conservation Voters and the Center for American Progress were among the recipients of Sea Change’s $100 million in grants in 2010 and 2011,” Markay wrote.

John Podesta, White House Counselor to Obama, founded the Center for American Progress, which acts as a two-way pipeline for administration and Democratic Party policy promotion.

One of Markay’s key sources was an untitled, exceptionally detailed report by the Washington-based research group, Environmental Policy Alliance, replete with names, amounts, source documents and infographics.

It reveals money flows from two notorious Russian money launderers—the convicted IPOC Group run by Russian telecommunications minister Leonid Reiman and Russian telecom firm VimpelCom, which is under criminal investigation. Both Mikhail Fridman, VimpelCom’s majority owner, and Reiman are close advisors to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In addition, three Russian energy investment firms kick in money to Wakefield Quinn, a Bermuda law firm which runs it through Klein, Ltd., an “exists-only-on-paper” firm with Kremlin ties that was mentioned in a 2014 Senate majority report on “Billionaire Club” donors to environmental groups.

Klein passes the money to Sea Change, which dispenses it in perfectly legal laundered grants to U.S. anti-oil-and-gas green groups.

That’s infuriating, but what’s it got to do with Obama’s war on Alaska’s Arctic offshore oil and gas resources?

Well, perhaps everything: While President Obama panders to the extreme environmental left, Putin prepares for an Arctic war.

The very day Rep. Young slapped Obama for appeasing his extremist green group base, the respected global intelligence company Stratfor released a report titled, “Russia’s Plans for Arctic Supremacy.”

As Obama retreats from the Arctic Ocean with contempt for its fossil energy might, Putin sees in it global power. Russia is laying claim to great swaths of Arctic oil and gas with deployed rigs, more nuclear-powered icebreakers and a huge new strategic military command: the Northern Fleet, which represents two-thirds of the entire Russian Navy.

In addition, Putin has activated Arctic warfare units in a 6,000-soldier military group with two motorized infantry brigades and air force facilities from the Soviet era on the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya, “renovated to accommodate modern and next generation fighter aircraft in addition to advanced S400 air defense systems,” he report says. In other words, according to Stratfor, the Russians are out to dominate the retreating United States.

Putin is no fool when it comes to dealing with weak enemies – witness Ukraine. He is particularly harsh on those who give policy power to the sort of people he puts in jail. Putin is grabbing Arctic resources while Obama turns his back on them.

The U.S. has no leadership anywhere in the high north and Russia does. There are no U.S. military bases on the entire Alaskan Arctic coast; our fighter pilots have to fly long distances to intercept increasingly numerous and bold incursions.

In August and September of last year, Russian jets made several incursions to the Air Defense Identification Zones off the coast of Alaska (officials say such incidents happen around 10 times a year), and Russian strategic bombers in the Labrador Sea near Canada practiced cruise missile strikes on the United States. American and Canadian fighters intercepted and diverted the Russians.

Russia has increased its bomber patrols and submarine activity and is watching Obama’s every move with a newly opened Arctic military reconnaissance drone base 420 miles off mainland Alaska.

The United States lacks ships able to operate in or near Arctic ice – two medium icebreakers to Russia’s 25 nuclear-powered monsters that look like battleships. We could send our ships, but Arctic Alaska has scant support facilities and hopelessly inadequate communications.

Our nation is in a bind that few even realize. Who will take action and put our energy wealth to use for the strength of America?

Alaska is in the middle of that bind. Alaska is not nearly angry, outraged and frustrated enough with President Obama, Harvard Law graduate—and not yet fearful enough of President Putin, former lieutenant colonel, KGB.



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, 2015

Vilifying realist science – and scientists

Ultra-rich Green groups attack climate scientists who question “manmade climate chaos” claims

Paul Driessen               

Things are not going well for Climate Chaos, Inc. The Environmental Protection Agency is implementing its carbon dioxide regulations, and President Obama wants to make more Alaska oil and gas prospects off limits. But elsewhere the climate alarm industry is under siege – and rightfully so.

Shortly after Mr. Obama warned him of imminent climate doom, Prime Minister Modi announced that India would double coal production, to bring electricity to 300 million more people.  Hydraulic fracturing has launched a new era of petroleum abundance, making it harder to justify renewable energy subsidies.

Global warming predictions have become increasingly amusing, bizarre and disconnected from real-world climate and weather. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has confessed that its true goal is transforming the world’s economy and redistributing its wealth. More people are realizing that the actual problem is not climate change, which has been ongoing throughout history; it is costly policies imposed in the name of preventing change: policies that too often destroy jobs, perpetuate poverty and kill people.

Those perceptions are reinforced by recent studies that found climate researchers have systematically revised actual measured temperatures upward to fit a global warming narrative for Australia, Paraguay, the Arctic and elsewhere. Another study, “Why models run hot: Results from an irreducibly simple climate model,” concluded that, once discrepancies in IPCC computer models are taken into account, the impact of CO2-driven manmade global warming over the next century (and beyond) is likely to be “no more than one-third to one-half of the IPCC’s current projections” – that is, just 1-2 degrees C (2-4 deg F) by 2100! That’s akin to the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods and would be beneficial, not harmful.

Written by Christopher Monckton, Willie Soon, David Legates and William Briggs, the study was published in the January 2015 Science Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Incredibly, it has already received over 10,000 views – thousands more than most scientific papers ever receive.

Instead of critiquing the paper, climate alarmists attacked its authors. Climate Investigations Center executive director (and former top Greenpeace official) Kert Davies told the Boston Globe it “simply cannot be true” that the authors have no conflict of interest over their study, considering their alleged industry funding sources and outside consulting fees. Davies singled out Dr. Willie Soon, saying the Harvard researcher received more than $1 million from companies that support studies critical of manmade climate change claims. An allied group launched a petition drive to have Dr. Soon fired.

Davies’ libelous assertions have no basis in fact. Not one of these four authors received a dime in grants or other payments for researching and writing their climate models paper. Every one of them did the work on his own time. The only money contributed to the Science Bulletin effort went to paying the “public access” fees, so that people could read their study for free.

I know these men and their work. Their integrity and devotion to the scientific method are beyond reproach. They go where their research takes them and refuse to bend their science or conclusions to secure grants, toe a particular line on global warming, or fit industry, government or other viewpoints.

Regarding Dr. Soon’s supposed “track record of accepting energy-industry grants,” the $1 million over a period of years went to the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, which took around 40% of the total off the top, for “overhead.” The details are all open public records. Not a dime went to this paper.

But since Davies raised the issues of money, conflicts of interest, failures to disclose financing, and how money supposedly influences science – let us explore those topics from the other side of the fence.

Climate Crisis, Inc. has a huge vested interest in climate alarmism – not merely part of $1 million over a ten-year span, but hundreds of billions of dollars in government, industry, foundation and other money during the past couple decades. Some of it is open and transparent, but much is hidden and suspect.

Between 2003 and 2010, the US government alone spent over $105 billion in taxpayer funds on climate and renewable energy projects. The European Union and other entities spent billions more. Most of the money went to modelers, scientists, other researchers and their agencies and universities; to renewable energy companies for subsidies and loan guarantees on projects that receive exemptions from endangered species and human health laws and penalties that apply to fossil fuel companies; and even to environmental pressure groups that applaud these actions, demand more and drive public policies.

Billions more went to government regulators, who coordinate many of these activities and develop regulations that are often based on secretive, deceptive pre-ordained “science,” sue-and-settle lawsuits devised by con artist John Beale, and other tactics. Politicians receive millions in campaign cash and in-kind help from these organizations and their unions, to keep them in office and the gravy train on track.

The American Lung Association supports EPA climate policies – but never  mentions its $25 million in EPA grants over the past 15 years. Overall, during this time, the ALA received 591 federal grants totaling $43 million, Big Green foundations bankrolled it with an additional $76 million, and EPA paid $181 million to 15 of its Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members who regularly vote with it.

Far-left donors like the David and Lucille Packard Foundation (computers), Schmidt Family Foundation (Google), Rockefeller Brothers Fund (oil), Marisla Foundation (oil) and Wallace Global Fund II (farming) support Greenpeace and other groups that use climate change to justify anti-energy, anti-people policies. A gas company CEO and New York mayor gave Sierra Club $76 million for its anti-coal campaign.

For years, Greenpeace has used Desmogblog, ExxonSecrets, Polluterwatch and other front-group websites to attack scientists and others who challenge its tactics and policies. Greenpeace USA alone had income totaling $32,791,149 in 2012, Ron Arnold and I note in Cracking Big Green.

Other U.S. environmental pressure groups driving anti-job, anti-people climate policies also had fat-cat 2012 incomes: Environmental Defense Fund ($111,915,138); Natural Resources Defense Council ($98,701,707); Sierra Club ($97,757,678); National Audubon Society ($96,206,883); Wilderness Society ($24,862,909); and Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection ($19,150,215). All told, more than 16,000 American environmental groups collect total annual revenues of over $13.4 billion (2009 figures). Only a small part of that comes from membership dues and individual contributions.

As Richard Rahn and Ron Arnold point out, another major source of their cash is Vladimir Putin’s Russia. A well-documented new Environmental Policy Alliance report shows how tens of millions of dollars from Russian interests apparently flowed from Bermuda-based Wakefield Quinn through environmental bundlers, including the Sea Change Foundation, into major eco-pressure groups like the Sierra Club, NRDC and League of Conservation Voters. Former White House counsel John Podesta’s Center for American Progress also took millions from Sea Change.

It gets even more outrageous. One of the websites attacking Dr. Soon is funded by George Soros; it works hard to gag meteorologists who disagree with climate alarmists. And to top it off, Davies filed a FOIA request against Dr. Soon and six other climate scientists, demanding that they release all their emails and financial records. But meanwhile he keeps his Climate Investigations Center funding top secret (the website is registered to Greenpeace and the Center is known to be a Rainbow Warriors front group) – and the scientists getting all our taxpayer money claim their raw data, computer codes and CO2-driven algorithms are private property, and exempt from FOIA and even U.S. Congress requests.

By all means, let’s have honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability – in our climate science and government regulatory processes. Let’s end the conflicts of interest, have robust debates, and ensure that sound science (rather than government, foundation or Russian cash) drives our public laws and policies.

And let’s begin where the real money and power are found.

Via email

WH Spokesman: Climate Change Affects More People Daily Than Terrorism

White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Tuesday doubled down on President Barack Obama’s comments that climate change is a greater threat than terrorism.

“The point that the president is making is that there are many more people on an annual basis who have to confront the impact – the direct impact – on their lives of climate change or on the spread of disease than on terrorism,” Earnest said when asked if the president was saying that the threat of climate change is greater than the threat of terrorism.

In an interview with the liberal news website Vox, the president was asked, “Do you think the media sometimes overstates the sort of level of alarm people should have about terrorism and this kind of chaos as opposed to a longer term problem like climate change and epidemic disease?

“Absolutely,” Obama said, “and I don’t blame the media for that. What’s the famous saying about local newscasts, right, if it bleeds, it leads, right? You show crime stories, and you show fires, because that’s what folks watch.

“It’s all about ratings, and the problems of terrorism and dysfunction and chaos along with plane crashes and a few other things, that’s the equivalent when it comes to covering international affairs.

Obama said stories about cutting the infant mortality and slashing extreme poverty don’t generate a lot of interest.

“It’s not a sexy story, and climate change is happening at such a broad scale and such a complex system that it’s a hard story for the media to tell on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

“The point is this: my first job is to protect the American people. It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris,” Obama added, referring to the hostage standoff in January in which four Jewish people died at the hands a gunman whom took part in the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices.

When asked to clarify Earnest’s answer, he repeated that climate change directly impacts the lives of Americans on a daily basis more so than terrorism.

“So the answer’s yes, the president thinks that climate change is a greater threat than terrorism?” a reporter asked Earnest.

“I think that the point that the president is making is that when you’re talking about the direct daily impact of these kinds of challenges on the daily lives of Americans … Americans living in this country, that that direct impact is more, that more people are directly affected by those things than by terrorism,” said Earnest.

“So climate change is more of a clear and present danger to the United States than terrorism?” the reporter asked again.

“I think even the Department of Defense has spoken to the significant threat that climate change poses to our national security interests, principally because of the impact that it can have on countries with less well developed infrastructure than we have,” Earnest said.

“I’m not asking if it’s a significant threat. I’m asking if it’s a greater threat,” the reporter said.

“Again, I wouldn’t have a whole lot more to say about what the president has said in that interview,” Earnest responded.

As previously reported, National Security Adviser Susan Rice in a speech at the Brookings Institution last week, said part of the president’s national security strategy is fighting “the very real threat of climate change” as well as promoting gay rights.

“American leadership is addressing the very real threat of climate change,” Rice said. “The science is clear.

“The impacts of climate change will only worsen over time,” she said. “Even longer droughts; more severe storms; more forced migration.”


Charlie Daniels: 'Global Warming' is a Scare Tactic Predicated on a Lie

Charlie is well known as a country music performer

When Al Gore released his “An Inconvenient Truth” movie a few years ago he opened up a can of worms that crawl the earth to this day.

Let me preface this column by first of all admitting that I don't believe in man-made global warming – that the temperature of this and every other planet is controlled by the hand of the Creator – and that it is arrogant for man to think he could assume that role for either bad or good purposes.

I do not deny that the earth warms and cools, but that is a natural occurrence that has taken place since the earth was created and will continue as long as the world exists.

My source, The Holy Bible: "As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease." – Genesis 8:22.

Thus has it been, and thus shall it ever be, as long as earth endures. And though man can certainly contribute to making the earth a better place to live, he will never be able to bring the global temperature up or down by as much as one degree, greenhouse gases and other factors notwithstanding.

Now the name of the “problem” has been changed from “global warming” to “climate change,” an innocuous title that can be stretched in either direction to accommodate a record snowfall or a record heat wave, and any of a number of natural geological anomalies can be incorporated into the catch-all "climate change."

For over one hundred years the global warming, global cooling, climate change crowd have vacillated several times between global heat that would melt the polar ice caps and global freezing that would bring on a new ice age.

Please don't take my word for this or any of the rest of the information I use in this column, as it is easily accessible. Just do some research on your own.

First of all, global warming, climate change, or whatever the nom du jour, has little to do with the weather on Planet Earth and almost everything to do with scaring the heck out of the population so they will be willing to allow global bureaucracies and enforcement agencies to be created to deal with it – all at our expense, naturally.

So who do they come after? Why the most ecologically compliant nations who just happen to be the most prosperous nations on earth, all but ignoring the real offenders of China, Russia, India, practically all of the oil rich Middle East, the destitute nations of Africa, where almost continual war has created deforestation and, in turn, dust bowls and unmanageable refugee problems.

They show you heart-tugging pictures of struggling polar bears floating around on little ice islands, never telling you that this is normal behavior for polar bears, which are capable of swimming 75 to 100 miles and go wherever the food is, never stymied by open water.

They tell you that it's "settled science," knowing full well that two out of the three imminent, world class scientists at the recent Mombasa conference disputed the "settled science."

They don't tell you that the Global Historical Climate Network, a U.S. Government entity, has been adjusting the temperature findings to reflect a warming trend. Proven by Paul Homewood, who recorded the actual temperatures in several locations and found them to reflect different numbers than the ones reported by the GHCN.

They want you to forget about the leaked emails from the UK’s University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, which show that these climate researchers were conspiring to “adjust” temperatures up and down in their findings to support the claims of man-made warming.

In a perfect world, an administration that was motivated by truly serving the American public rather than trying to gain more power would have exposed this and punished the guilty parties.

And folks, that's what this whole thing is about – globalization, income redistribution and centralization of power, control over every aspect of public and personal life. It’s a scare tactic, predicated on a lie and promoted by the same people who assured you that "there's not a smidgen of corruption at the IRS;" that "you can keep your own doctor, period;" that ISIS was a “JV team."

The theory so soundly endorsed by Al Gore and his ilk is falling apart, but you aren't likely to read about it in the “New York Times” or see a CBS special on the subject. So if you want the truth just start digging around for yourself.

Check the history of the movement. Check all of the latest findings, and consider what the politicians pushing this hoax have to gain and what you and your kids and grandkids have to lose.

Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.  God Bless America


Obama Opposes Even Clean Coal

The Obama administration’s decision to cut funding for the world’s first nearly zero-emissions coal plant is just the latest sign that U.S. energy policy has succumbed to wishful thinking rather than sober analysis of global energy realities.

FutureGen, to be built in Illinois, was going to be the first full-scale demonstration of a process to capture carbon dioxide from a coal plant and bury it underground. The deployment of carbon capture and storage technology has long been singled out by the U.S. Department of Energy, the International Energy Agency and numerous other energy organizations as critical to meeting international climate goals.

Despite the administration’s action, the development of advanced technologies to burn coal with near-zero emissions remains critical to both America’s energy future and the world’s. The reason is simple enough—coal is here to stay.

Coal’s importance and use globally is at an all-time high. China is a case in point. It is currently burning nearly as much coal as the rest of the world combined. China’s coal plant fleet is two and a half times the size of ours—and coal is vitally important here at home. Despite administration efforts to shut them down, coal-fired power plants still generate about 40 percent of our nation’s electricity.

What’s more, the United States has the world’s largest coal reserves and a mining technology and workforce that rank second to none. No president, especially one who wants us to take the lead in addressing climate change, should turn his back on coal.

The current administration should allow demonstration projects like FutureGen to go forward, since they could lead to a technological leap that brings down the cost of producing electricity from clean coal. Some of the techniques that could accomplish this include washing chemicals from coal and better ways of removing carbon from flue gases.

But the administration’s strategy leaves no room for hope or change. It not only has abandoned FutureGen, but current policy is detrimental to environmental efforts to use coal more wisely.

Rather than finding ways to burn coal without loading the atmosphere with carbon that could be emulated by other countries, the administration’s so-called Clean Power Plan provides no realistic model for the world. By requiring a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions from electricity generation by 2030 (compared with 2005 levels), the administration’s action would push hundreds of the nation’s coal plants into early retirement.

The anti-coal policy is a mistake for several reasons. It will drive up electricity costs; a prominent economic consulting firm’s study forecasts double-digit jumps in electricity rates in 43 states. Compliance with the Clean Power Plan will cost consumers and businesses a whopping $41 billion per year. Thousands of coal miners will be laid off. And all of this will happen without making a dent in climate change. The carbon problem is global. Progress won’t come without U.S. leadership on advanced clean coal technologies.

Under Obama’s plan, U.S. emissions reductions will be quickly offset by a rise in carbon emissions overseas. If the president thinks other nations, particularly developing economies in Asia, will follow our lead and abandon coal, he’s very wrong.

The Asian Development Bank recently estimated that coal plants would generate 83 percent of electricity in Asia and the Pacific Rim by 2035. In India, where 300 million people still have no access to electricity and where an emerging middle class is using more power than ever, electricity demand is expected to triple by 2030. India’s energy minister, Piyush Goyal, has not minced words. He recently said, “India’s development imperatives cannot be sacrificed at the altar of potential climate changes many years in the future.” India’s coal consumption is expected to leapfrog ours in just five years.

Obama’s absurd view of how to tackle the challenge of rising carbon emissions poses a real threat to the U.S. economy. And his unwillingness to accept the growing global importance of coal and put the strength of American innovation behind advanced clean-coal technology is unforgivable.


A valentine for fossil fuels

By Jeff Jacoby

ROMANTICS MAY look forward to sharing their love this weekend, but as far as the organizers of Global Divestment Day are concerned, Valentine’s Day is for breaking up.

Environmental activists have designated February 13 and 14 for collective action “to sever our ties with the fossil fuel industry whose plans will destroy the planet as we know it.” To intensify hostility toward oil, coal, and natural gas companies — which the divestment movement’s godfather, climate militant Bill McKibben, labels “Public Enemy Number One” — the Fossil Free campaign urges individuals to stop doing business with banks or pension funds that invest in fossil fuels, and encourages college students on college campuses to put pressure on administrators to rid their endowment funds of holdings in traditional energy corporations.

“Fossil fuel investments are a risk for investors and the planet,” the activists claim, so it is imperative to “loosen the grip that coal, oil, and gas companies have on our government and financial markets.” The fact that fossil-fuel stocks have generally performed well for funds investing in them is beside the point. “If it’s wrong to wreck the planet, then it’s also wrong to profit from that wreckage.”

Wreck the planet?

What sort of wreckage is it that has divestment advocates up in arms? Increases in deadly floods and droughts? Rising levels of air pollution? Fewer sources of clean drinking water? Catastrophic depletion of nonrenewable energy sources? Less forest cover and more deserts?

If the use of carbon-based fuels were indeed causing such havoc, who could blame passionate environmentalists for declaring war on the industry that produces those fuels? But if their outrage over the “wreckage” of the planet is sincere, it’s hard not to wonder, in the spirit of former Congressman Barney Frank, on what planet they spend most of their time.

Here on Planet Earth, the booming use of petroleum, coal, and natural gas, has fueled an almost inconceivable amount of good. All human technologies generate costs as well as benefits, but the gains from the use of fossil fuels have been extraordinary. The energy derived from fossil fuels, economist Robert Bradley Jr. wrote last spring in Forbes, has “liberated mankind from wretched poverty; fueled millions of high-productivity jobs in nearly every business sector; been a feedstock for medicines that have saved countless lives; and led to the development of fertilizers that have greatly increased crop yields to feed the hungry.” Far from wrecking the planet, the harnessing of carbon-based energy makes it safer and more livable.

The rise of fossil fuels has led to dramatic gains in human progress — whether that progress is measured in terms of life expectancy, income, education, health, sanitation, transportation, or leisure. Nearly everything that is comfortable and convenient about modern civilization depends on the ready availability of energy, and nearly 90 percent of our energy comes from oil, gas, and coal. Pro-divestment activists know better than to push people to give up electricity, air travel, computers, or central heating — all of which would vanish without the fossil fuel industry. Instead they demonize the industry, reasoning that it will be easier to turn Big Oil into a pariah than to convince the public to abandon its cars and smartphones.

Such “fossil-free” zealotry is justified in the name of climate change and its hazards. Yet as Alex Epstein documents in a dazzling new book, “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels,” never have human beings been as protected from climate-related danger as they are right now. “As CO2 emissions rise, climate-related deaths plunge,” Epstein writes. Diving deep into the data, he illuminates the strong correlation between the expanding reliance on fossil fuels and the diminishing threat to human lives from climate disaster.

To cite just one of the book’s many examples, drought — historically the foremost climate-related killer — has ceased to be a major cause of death. Worldwide, the death toll from drought “has gone down by 99.98 percent in the last 80 years for many energy-related reasons,” notes Epstein. Not the least of those reasons are oil-powered drought-relief convoys and the huge increase in global food supplies thanks to “fossil fuel-based agriculture and irrigation systems.” Deaths from floods, storms, wildfires, temperature extremes? All down sharply, even as carbon-based energy use has soared.

It is much the same for all those other ways in which the use of coal, oil, and gas is supposedly “wrecking” the planet. Air and water quality are strikingly improved. The amount of forest cover and other greenery is burgeoning. Proven fossil-fuel reserves have never been greater.

Ours is a much safer, richer, cleaner, healthier planet than it would ever have been without fossil fuels. Break up with the industry that makes our energy so abundant? Sending a valentine would make more sense.


EPA Under Fire for Concealing Controversial Scientific Data, Silencing Skeptics

For more than 15 years, the Environmental Protection Agency has resisted releasing data from two key studies to the general public and members of Congress. Government regulators used those studies to craft some of the most expensive environmental rules in U.S. history.

When skeptics within the federal government questioned and challenged the integrity of the studies—the Harvard Six Cities Study and an American Cancer Society study known as ACS II—they were silenced and muzzled.

That’s when the Republican staff on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee stepped in to shine light on the situation, revealing the scope of the scandal in in a report titled, “EPA’s Playbook Unveiled: A Story of Fraud, Deceit and Secret Science.”

The key player in the scandal is John Beale, who was sentenced to serve 32 months in federal prison on Dec. 18, 2013, after pleading guilty to stealing almost $900,000 from U.S. taxpayers.

It was in 1994 that Beale first began to beguile EPA employees and supervisors into believing he worked for the CIA. When he failed to report for work, Beale would enter “D.O. Oversight” on his calendar, which meant he was a director of operations responsible for covert operations at the CIA.

But it was the role Beale played beginning in the mid-1990s in creating and implementing regulations pursuant to Clean Air Act that continues to reverberate and linger at the expense of the American people.

Two Allies at the EPA

Over the past decade, evidence has emerged to reveal the Six Cities and ACS II studies did not support enacting one of the most controversial, far-reaching and expensive regulations in American history. Otherwise, the agency would have provided access to the data without a fight.

The political appointees who led the EPA at the time feared the consequences of enacting such a regulation without being able to offer scientific evidence of its necessity.

Beale needed an ally. He needed someone to explain the problems with the research and the reasons the data could not be released. Someone who could run interference with various actors in Washington. He found one in top EPA official Robert Brenner.

Brenner had recruited Beale, his former Princeton University classmate, to the EPA as a full-time employee in 1989.

Brenner, then deputy director of the EPA’s Office of Policy Analysis and Review within the Office of Air and Radiation, hired his friend despite Beale’s lack of legislative or environmental policy background. He also placed Beale in the highest pay scale for general service employees—a move typically reserved for those with extensive experience.

He then allowed Beale to collect retention bonuses, which go to only the most highly qualified employees to keep them from jumping ship—an unlikely scenario for a man who had picked apples and worked in a small-time law firm in Minnesota before joining the agency. Employees are supposed to be eligible for such bonuses—potentially worth as much as a fourth of the employee’s annual salary—for only three years, but Brenner helped Beale receive them for more than 10.

The two would work together at the EPA for 25 years—during which time the Office of Policy Analysis and Review would grow “in both scope and influence” as Beale and Brenner worked in tandem to muzzle dissenting voices within the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) and the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee.

‘Beale Memo’ Details Regulatory Agenda

At the crux of their agenda—the initiative that would build their legend within the agency—was implementation of a fine particle standard regulating air pollution.

The formula had been set with the American Lung Association sue-and-settle agreement and codified in a confidential document known as the “Beale Memo,” which described how Beale pressured regulatory and clean air bodies to back off criticisms of EPA rulemaking both within the agency and in correspondence with members of Congress.

The EPA attempted to conceal this document from Sen. David Vitter’s committee investigators, but a conscientious whistleblower “turned it over surreptitiously,” the report said.

The memo outlined how Beale and Brenner would work to compress the time the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and the voluntary Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee had to review regulations so they could get away with using “secret science.”

The Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee opposed from the start the move to regulate fine particulate matter. Members claimed there was no precedent or court order to establish these regulations, that research had not distinguished between dangers posed by PM 10 particles and those a fourth that size under PM 2.5, and that the PM 2.5 target was arbitrary and tied to no known science. (PM stands for particle matter, a term “for particles found in the air, including dust, dirt, soot, smoke, and liquid droplets,” according to EPA.)

Further, the committee, known as CASAC, complained it was being asked to do the work that took eight years on the previous air quality review in 18 months.

“The Beale memo is interesting in that it provides evidence of Beale’s direct role in ensuring concerns raised by other agencies, CASAC members and OIRA were not considered in the final rulemaking,” wrote Luke Bolar, spokesman for Vitter, in an email to The Daily Signal.

“While there were major concerns with the science and the cost-benefit analysis as outlined in comments filed on the rule, the Beale memo was written to push back against OIRA publicizing those concerns,” Bolar added. “They didn’t have to directly ‘blunt’ criticism, as Beale got his way through his close ties to Mary Nichols (then head of the Office of Air and Radiation) and Carol Browner (EPA administrator.”

Long-Lasting Impact

Efforts to slow Beale, Brenner and their highly charged regulations failed. As a result, today the “co-benefits” of PM 2.5 are used to justify almost the entirety of the Obama administration’s air quality initiatives even though the immediate benefits still have yet to be proven.

“There is no watchdog now inside the EPA,” laments Steve Milloy, the former editor of, which has posted a fact sheet that debunks the EPA’s PM 2.5 claims. “Whatever the EPA wants it gets. The agency is allowed to run rampant. There was a time when OIRA use to have stopping power, but now it’s just ignored. OIRA has become a rubber stamp.”

This is especially true of PM 2.5, Milloy says. “There is no real world evidence” PM 2.5 has caused sudden or long-term death, he said. “The claim that PM 2.5 kills people is at the heart and soul of how the EPA is selling these regulations. But it’s a claim that’s not supported by the facts or evidence. The EPA has rigged the whole process.”

Indeed, the purported co-benefits have become the benefits, according to Vitter’s report.

“Historically, EPA used co-benefits in major rules as one of several benefits quantified to justify a rule in the RIA,” the report says. “Yet, at the beginning of the Obama administration, there was a ‘trend towards almost complete reliance on PM 2.5-related health co-benefits.’ Instead of being an ancillary benefit, EPA started using PM 2.5 co-benefits as essentially the only quantified benefit for many CAA regulations.”

The Senate report claims all but five air pollution rules crafted between 2009 and 2011 listed PM 2.5.

Lack of Transparency at EPA

The Clean Air Act requires EPA to set air quality standards to protect public health with an “adequate margin of safety.” In its review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, the EPA considers factors such as the nature and severity of health effects, the size of the at-risk groups affected and the science.

Several exhaustive scientific reviews prior and subsequent to the 1997 standards were conducted following open, public processes that allowed for public review and comment prior to updating the standards.

EPA press secretary Liz Purchia told The Daily Signal in an email that the process is open enough.

The National Ambient Air Quality Standards are bolstered by “sound science and legal standards,” she said, and “several exhaustive scientific reviews prior and subsequent to the 1997 standards were conducted following open, public processes that allowed for public review and comment prior to updating the standards.”

She added:

Beale’s involvement in no way undermines the rational basis for the agency’s decisions nor the integrity of the administrative process. Reducing the public’s exposure to ground-level ozone and PM protects millions of Americans from costly and dangerous illness, hospitalization, and premature death.

All that may be true, but the EPA still won’t provide the underlying data to put the matter to rest.

Vitter and his team say this is because the EPA can continue to overstate the benefits and understate the costs of federal regulations—just as Beale did in the 1990s.

“This technique has been applied over the years and burdens the American people today, as up to 80 percent of the benefits associated with all federal regulations are attributed to supposed PM 2.5 reductions,” the report states.



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12 February, 2015

U.N. Official Reveals Real Reason Behind Warming Scare

The alarmists keep telling us their concern about global warming is all about man's stewardship of the environment. But we know that's not true. A United Nations official has now confirmed this.

This is the charming creature who wants to destroy your standard of living

At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

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

Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: "This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history."

The only economic model in the last 150 years that has ever worked at all is capitalism. The evidence is prima facie: From a feudal order that lasted a thousand years, produced zero growth and kept workdays long and lifespans short, the countries that have embraced free-market capitalism have enjoyed a system in which output has increased 70-fold, work days have been halved and lifespans doubled.

Figueres is perhaps the perfect person for the job of transforming "the economic development model" because she's really never seen it work. "If you look at Ms. Figueres' Wikipedia page," notes Cato economist Dan Mitchell: Making the world look at their right hand while they choke developed economies with their left.


The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever

New data shows that the “vanishing” of polar ice is not the result of runaway global warming

When future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records – on which the entire panic ultimately rested – were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified.

Two weeks ago, under the headline “How we are being tricked by flawed data on global warming”, I wrote about Paul Homewood, who, on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog, had checked the published temperature graphs for three weather stations in Paraguay against the temperatures that had originally been recorded. In each instance, the actual trend of 60 years of data had been dramatically reversed, so that a cooling trend was changed to one that showed a marked warming.

This was only the latest of many examples of a practice long recognised by expert observers around the world – one that raises an ever larger question mark over the entire official surface-temperature record.

Following my last article, Homewood checked a swathe of other South American weather stations around the original three. In each case he found the same suspicious one-way “adjustments”. First these were made by the US government’s Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN). They were then amplified by two of the main official surface records, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (Giss) and the National Climate Data Center (NCDC), which use the warming trends to estimate temperatures across the vast regions of the Earth where no measurements are taken. Yet these are the very records on which scientists and politicians rely for their belief in “global warming”.

Homewood has now turned his attention to the weather stations across much of the Arctic, between Canada (51 degrees W) and the heart of Siberia (87 degrees E). Again, in nearly every case, the same one-way adjustments have been made, to show warming up to 1 degree C or more higher than was indicated by the data that was actually recorded. This has surprised no one more than Traust Jonsson, who was long in charge of climate research for the Iceland met office (and with whom Homewood has been in touch). Jonsson was amazed to see how the new version completely “disappears” Iceland’s “sea ice years” around 1970, when a period of extreme cooling almost devastated his country’s economy.

One of the first examples of these “adjustments” was exposed in 2007 by the statistician Steve McIntyre, when he discovered a paper published in 1987 by James Hansen, the scientist (later turned fanatical climate activist) who for many years ran Giss. Hansen’s original graph showed temperatures in the Arctic as having been much higher around 1940 than at any time since. But as Homewood reveals in his blog post, “Temperature adjustments transform Arctic history”, Giss has turned this upside down. Arctic temperatures from that time have been lowered so much that that they are now dwarfed by those of the past 20 years.

Homewood’s interest in the Arctic is partly because the “vanishing” of its polar ice (and the polar bears) has become such a poster-child for those trying to persuade us that we are threatened by runaway warming. But he chose that particular stretch of the Arctic because it is where ice is affected by warmer water brought in by cyclical shifts in a major Atlantic current – this last peaked at just the time 75 years ago when Arctic ice retreated even further than it has done recently. The ice-melt is not caused by rising global temperatures at all.

Of much more serious significance, however, is the way this wholesale manipulation of the official temperature record – for reasons GHCN and Giss have never plausibly explained – has become the real elephant in the room of the greatest and most costly scare the world has known. This really does begin to look like one of the greatest scientific scandals of all time.


Arctic monkeys: climate agencies revise weather records

The article below appeared in Australia's national daily

TEMPERATURE records for the Arctic have been revised sharply by global climate agencies, removing all trace of a warm period early last century and evidence of Iceland’s economy-crippling deep freeze of the late 1960s.

The focus on the Arctic has put debate over manipulation of historic temperature data into an area best known in climate change forums for melting ice and polar bears.

Climate authorities have been challenged over decisions to ­revise and homogenise data, often by reducing historic temperatures, making temperature rises since 1950 appear more ­dramatic. Questions have been raised about temperature data sets in North America, the North Pole, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand, with some claiming the changes amount to fraud or criminal behaviour.

Climate agencies, including Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis­tration, have defended the practice as necessary to compensate for non-climatic factors such as site moves for thermometers or changes in equipment and big ­differences with neighbouring stations. The agencies are under increasing pressure to fully ­explain specific reasons for any adjustments.

The changes were first made by the US government’s Global Historical Climate Network. They were then amplified by two of the main official surface records, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (Giss) and the NOAA’s National Climate Data Centre, which use the warming trends to estimate temperatures across the vast regions of the Earth.

Reports by respected climate science blogger Paul Homewood about temperature record changes in Paraguay and the ­Arctic have been republished ­internationally.  Mr Homewood is the author of the website notalotofpeopleknowthat, which has posted a ­series of investigations on the issue.

Britain’s Sunday Telegraph columnist Christopher Booker said Mr Homewood’s research showed historic data had been systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the data justified.

Mr Homewood first analysed the homogenisation of temperature records in Paraguay after US climate agencies NASA and NOAA declared 2014 to be the hottest on record. He found that dramatic revisions had been made to ­historic temperature records throughout the region.

After finding big changes in South America, Mr Homewood turned his attention to the Arctic. He found data was adjusted from Greenland in the west to ­Siberia in the east, making the 1930s look cooler than it was.  “The scale and geographic range of these is breathtaking,” he said.

“The effect has been to remove a large part of the 1940s spike, and as a consequence removed much of the drop in temperatures during the subsequent cold decades.”

The deep freeze of the late 60s and early 70s is well ­recorded and remembered.

Trausti Johsson, a senior meteorologist at the Iceland Met Office, told Mr Homewood there had been a very sudden cold ­climatic change in Iceland in 1965 that affected the whole of society, with soaring unemployment rates and a 50 per cent devaluation of the local currency as the big freeze caused a downturn in fishing and other industries.

“It is very sad if this significant climatic change is being interp­reted as an observation error and ­adjusted out of existence,” he said.

NASA has responded to questions about temperature changes by highlighting a YouTube post by British scientist Kevin Cowtan, who is on staff of a Queensland University course, “Making Sense of Climate Change Denial”.

The video that explained possible reasons for adjusting temperature data in Paraguay was not officially sanctioned by NASA and has been criticised by one IPCC reviewer for underplaying the size and ­potential significance of the temperature adjustments.

However, a report on US ­climate scientist Judith Curry’s website yesterday rejected any claims of fraud in the homogenisation process.  The report by Robert Rohde, Zeke Hausfather and Steve Mosher said it was possible to find ­stations that homogenisation had warmed and others that had cooled.  It was also possible to find ­select entire continents that had warmed and others where the ­opposite was the case.

“Globally, however, the effect of adjustments is minor. It’s minor because on average the biases that require adjustments mostly cancel each other out,” the report said.

In a statement to The Australian, NOAA said it was understandable there was a lot of interest in the homogenisation changes. “Numerous peer-­reviewed studies continue to find that NOAA’s temperature record is ­reliable,” NOAA spokesman Brady Phillips said.

“To ensure accuracy of the ­record, scientists use peer-­reviewed methods called homo­g­enisation to adjust temperature readings to account for a variety of non-­climate related effects such as changes in station location, changes in observation methods, changes in instrumentation such as thermometers, and the growth of urban heat islands that occur through time,” he said.

Mr Phillips said such changes in observing systems cause false shifts in temperature readings.  “Paraguay is one example of where these false shifts artificially lower the true station temperature trend,” he said.

Mr Phillips said the largest ­adjustment in the global surface temperature record occurs over the oceans. “Adjustments to ­account for the transition in sea surface temperature observing methods actually lowers global temperature trends,” he said.


Obama's war on energy weakens American security

The Global War on Terrorism has been a war largely fought in the broadly connected region of Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. This region is also home to many of the nations that comprise OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), the oil cartel that supplies the U.S. with much of our imported oil.

Dependency on foreign energy endures as a strategic weakness, as the U.S. continues to import almost six-million barrels of oil a day from many countries, including nation states which have actively opposed the United States or harbor terrorists such as Iran, Libya and Nigeria among others.

Each year, the U.S. sends more than $237-billion abroad to meet our energy needs and doing business with OPEC nations will undoubtedly continue in the short-term. However, as a matter of national interest in the long-term, counting on hostile nations for our energy needs should be viewed as an expensive, dangerous, and increasingly unnecessary option. 

More than any time in American history, domestic energy production is a safe and efficient means by which the U.S. may shift away from dangerous foreign-oil dependency. President Obama acknowledged, "We are now in a position to produce more of our own oil than we buy from other nations, and we produce more natural gas than anybody else."

Indeed, and domestic production has created a renaissance of American manufacturing and has spurred tremendous job creation. According to the American Petroleum Institute, "In 2011 the [oil and natural gas] industry supported more than 9.8 million jobs, 600,000 more jobs than it supported just two years earlier," and "industry operations supported 8.4 million full and part-time jobs nationally, while its capital investment supported another 1.4 million jobs."

At the heart of this domestic energy boom is the pairing of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (aka "hydrofracking") to access oil and natural gas that is trapped in shale rock layers far beneath the surface of the earth. The innovative usage of these techniques enables American energy producers to extract the vast and plentiful reserves of oil and natural gas in our shale reserves that were previously thought beyond the reach of economic production. This is shifting the balance of worldwide gas and oil production, dramatically reducing our dependency on foreign oil, and strengthening our national security.

How does it all work? It begins with horizontal drilling, essentially drilling vertically several thousand feet deep before making a 90-degree turn and drilling horizontally, enabling a single drilling pad site to reach far into shale reserves - even in multiple directions from the same pad site. At that point, hydraulic fracturing of the hard shale rock occurs by pumping fracturing fluid at (primarily a mix of sand and water) at high-pressure which releases the oil and natural gas within the shale formation.

The innovations leading to expanded production have been nothing short of revolutionary. Naturally there have been some challenges associated with certain aspects of the shale energy production, such as the volume of water consumed. These concerns have been taken seriously and are allayed upon a close examination of the processes involved. Water usage estimates vary depending on the location and geology of the shale formations, but Dr. Kyle Murray, a hydrogeologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey (University of Oklahoma), reports that, for example, in 2011, hydraulic fracturing in Oklahoma - home to thousands of horizontal wells - used less than one percent of water compared with all other uses of freshwater. By comparison, a single golf course (out of the 15,000-plus courses across the U.S.) uses as much fresh water in one summer month as is needed to fracture one well.

Water is a precious resource and American know-how, ingenuity and industriousness are hard at work creating even greater efficiencies in the usage and recycling of water used in domestic energy operations. In fact, the water used to stimulate production is a fraction of the amount of naturally occurring "produced water" from deep inside the earth that flows from the well during production. Energy companies are developing increasingly efficient methods for repurposing this water, such as farm irrigation, livestock watering, ecosystem and habitat maintenance, road spreading for dust control, deicing, fire control, water for drilling mud, and water for various industrial cooling units. A prime example of creative use for produced water can be found in northwestern Oklahoma where iodine from natural sources is extracted from produced water and purified for use in the pharmaceutical industry, cattle feed supplements, and in the production of rubber and nylon.

For the last 14 years, we have been fighting a war against terrorists and radical insurgents who hail from, enjoy freedom of movement in, and are often secretly supported by the very nations we are sending billions of dollars to annually for our energy. Meanwhile, we have lost jobs here at home, and we have lost lives of our young Americans deployed overseas. We need to rebuild a strong America with a sound energy policy ensuring strong energy security. Our energy and national security are too important to lose this opportunity. We simply must do it right for our generation and future generations of Americans.


War on Energy is a War on Every American

In 2010, Chip Wood at Personal Liberty revealed the Obama Administration ordered nearly half the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA) off-limits to development. Harmfully, the administration bureaucrats have delayed and denied exploration by Shell Oil and Conoco on their leased lands, which was approved for drilling.

The President threatened to veto the Keystone Pipeline, has persistently announced a war on coal and placed onerous restrictions on power plants producing electricity. Ah...but Obama, Pelosi and Reid have funded windmills, solar panels and hybrid vehicles. Restricting the use of hydrocarbons and hoping for green energy has significantly thwarted a robust expansion of the American economy, and the sudden decrease in our gas prices has been the best economic stimulus during the Obama years.

Throughout human history, energy has always had an element of political danger, which must be solved. Essential to advancing civilization, safe and dependable energy heats our homes, supplies electricity to hospitals, expands communications, and enhances almost every aspect of our lives. Through American ingenuity, we have become an energy giant, and fracking and horizontal drilling has increased our access to additional, energy resources. If our children and grandchildren are to continue to have prosperity and peace, the use of our energy resources must be safely extracted and used.

When enough people recognize the importance of energy in all aspects of our lives, the use of hydrocarbon resources will advance the wellbeing of every American. Tragically, young people have been besieged and influenced by the cataclysmic mantra of scientists and governments, and consequently are prone to hope for windmills, solar panels and hybrid cars. Just the opposite, they should study the science, and seek solutions that utilize the energy resources of America and the world.

More important than energy, human ingenuity is the greatest resource that advances civilization. Please, young Americans, find a means to utilize American energy, especially hydrocarbons. Don’t hope for government solutions. Government is politics and power. Seldom is government rational and reasoned.


Australia: Tasmanian Greenies fighting fracking

A NEW community group formed to raise awareness of fracking will hold a public meeting at Campbell Town next week.

Frack Free Tas is demanding a permanent ban of the controversial mining practice of fracking in Tasmania.  The group joins farmers, winemakers, the dairy industry and the State Government’s Department of Health in raising serious concerns about fracking, which is a technique designed to recover gas and oil from shale rock.

The concerns range from the potential for groundwater contamination to degrading the state’s clean, green image.

A State Government imposed 12-month moratorium on the practice ends next month.

Monday’s meeting is at 6pm at the Campbell Town town hall. There will be another public meeting in Hobart on Wednesday and a rally at Parliament Lawns in Hobart on February 28.

PetraGas, a subsidiary of oil and gas company Petratherm, was awarded a petroleum exploration licence earlier this year covering about 3900km2 in central Tasmania.

The state has coal resources, especially in southern and eastern Tasmania.

Cattle and sheep farmer Brett Hall has been a vocal member of a campaign to ­prevent fracking in the ­region. Mr Hall of Lemont, east of Oatlands, said the mining company had not answered questions about environmental risks associated with exploration and drilling.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been used in NSW and Queensland for coal seam gas extraction. Only two shale gas wells have been drilled in Australia.

“Landholders need to know their rights in relation to exploration licences and also what happens when these resources are commercialised,” Mr Hall said.  “We have been able to secure some of the most highly regarded speakers in their area of expertise for the meeting.”

PetraGas says the proposed project would avoid methods that have caused debate interstate.

Managing director Terry Kallis said extractions from Tasmanian shale deposits would involve fracking, but would occur as deep as 1km underground and would pose no risk to aquifers



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11 February, 2015

Indian railroad engineer Rajendra Pachauri now thinks he knows how to judge countries

The outgoing chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr Rajendra Pachauri, has a new vision for the organisation's future.

Traditionally focused on collating the science underpinning climate change, Pachauri's proposals would seem to take the IPCC in a distinctly more political direction.

Suggesting the panel "moves forward with the times and responds to changing expectations", Pachauri wants the IPCC to take an official role in assessing countries' pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and in totting up whether they add up to enough to meet global climate change targets.

Pachauri has chaired the IPCC for the past 13 years, overseeing the publication of two  major assessment reports. Published every five or six years, the job of these reports is to pull all the latest scientific evidence on how and why the climate is changing into one definitive tome.

With the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) completed last October, the IPCC is in self-reflection mode. This is standard practice after every major report, but this time is perhaps the last formal opportunity for Pachauri to make his thoughts known before stepping down as Chair later this year.

The IPCC has posted several documents on its website, containing a number of proposals due for consideration when the panel meets at the end of the month in Nairobi, Kenya. One such document is the Chairman's own " Vision Paper on the Future of the IPCC".

Established in 1992, the official focus for international climate policy is the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The next round of UNFCCC talks (COP21) take place in Paris in December, where all 192 countries have committed to drawing up a new global climate deal.

In the coming months, each country will outline what action it intends to take under this global commitment. These are known collectively as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).

Past IPCC's scientific assessment reports have provided a basis for the UNFCCC talks. But Pachauri suggests the IPCC should develop a new "product", a different style of report produced annually to more directly feed into international climate negotiations.

Rather than colating scientific evidence on climate change, the purpose of the IPCC's new annual report would be to tally up the pledges by each country towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions, and assess whether they collectively add up to enough to limit warming to two degrees above pre-industrial levels. This is internationally-accepted target for avoiding "dangerous" climate change.

As part of its climate change projections, the IPCC considers a scenario in which global temperature stabilises at two degrees, known as RCP2.6. Pachauri suggests the IPCC is "well within its right" to extend its role beyond detailing the scientific basis for the two degree target to include an assessment of whether or not we're on track to achieve it.

Pachauri's proposal for a new annual report is all part of his vision for how the IPCC can "fulfill this mandate more effectively". And the time is ripe to do so now, he adds:

What would an annual report summing up countries' INDCs look like in practice? The details are yet to be firmed up but would involve a new dedicated task force, says Pachauri:


Rice: Climate Change, Gay Rights Part of National Security Strategy

Speaking at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., on Friday, White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice described the terrorist threat from radical Islam as “violent extremism” and said part of President Barack Obama’s national security strategy is fighting “the very real threat of climate change" and promoting gay rights.

Rice’s remarks followed the release on Friday of Obama’s 2015 National Security Strategy, which updates a similar document released by the White House in 2010.

While saying the radical Islamic group ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is an offshoot of al Qaeda and that the United States is committed to “countering the corrosive ideology of violent extremism,” Rice called for a “sense of perspective” when assessing that threat.

“Too often, what’s missing here in Washington is a sense of perspective,” Rice said. “Yes, there is a lot going on.

“Still, while the dangers we face may be more numerous and varied, they are not of the existential nature we confronted during World War II or during the Cold War,” Rice said. “We cannot afford to be buffeted by alarmism in a nearly instantaneous news cycle.”

In her remarks, Rice listed other threats to U.S. security, including “the very real threat of climate change” and the necessity of promoting equality for homosexuals.

“American leadership is addressing the very real threat of climate change,” Rice said. “The science is clear.

“The impacts of climate change will only worsen over time,” Rice said. “Even longer droughts; more severe storms; more forced migration.

“So we’re making smart decisions today that will pay off for generations,” Rice said.

Equality for homosexuals is also a focus of the 2015 National Security Strategy, Rice said, by first addressing equality based on gender and then citing the rights of people who oppose gender classification.


It's Not Just Brian Williams

By Alan Caruba

“When reporters forfeit their credibility by making up stories, sources, or quotes, we are right to mock them. When their violations are significant or repeated, they should be fired,” says Charles Lipson, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago. “Demanding honest reporting has nothing to do with the reporter’s politics, personality, or personal life. It is about professional standards and our reasonable expectations.”

Writing at Real Clear, Prof. Lipson concluded by saying, “It’s essential for our news organizations, and it matters for our democracy.”

Are we seeing a trend here? Dan Rather at CBS and now Brian Williams at NBC? Well, two news anchors are not a trend, but biased and bad reporting is. It’s not new, but it does seem to be gathering momentum and nowhere has it been more apparent than the millions of words written and spoken about “global warming” and now “climate change.”

It would be easy and convenient to lay the blame on America’s Liar-in-Chief, President Barack Obama, but the “global warming” hoax began well before he came on the scene. It was the invention of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) dating back to its creation in 1988 when it was established by the UN Environment Program and the World Meteorological Organization.

The IPCC came to world attention with the creation of the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty that committed the nations that signed it to reduce “greenhouse gas emissions” based on the premise that global warming—a dramatic increase—was real and that it was man-made. The Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on December 11, 1997. The United States Senate rejected it and our neighbor, Canada, later withdrew from it. Both China and India were exempted, free to continue building numerous coal-fired plants to generate the energy they need for development.

Today, though, the President is an unrelenting voice about the dangers of “climate change” which he and John Kerry, our Secretary of State, have rated the “greatest threat” to the world. Obama’s national security strategy document was released just a day before he equated the history of Christianity with the barbarism of today’s Islamic State.

The national security document included terrorism to which it devoted one out of its 29 pages.  Essentially Obama sees all the problems of the world, real and imagined, as challenges that require “strategic patience and persistence.” This is his way of justifying doing nothing or as little as possible.

Still, according to Obama, the climate is such a threat, his new budget would allocate $4 billion to the Environmental Protection Agency for a new “Clean Power State Incentive Fund” to bribe more states to close even more power plants around the nation. He wants to increase the EPA’s overall budget by 6% to $8.6 billion. The Republican Congress is not likely to allocate such funding.

As for the environment, there have been so many lies put forth by the government and by a panoply of environmental organizations of every description, buoyed by legions of “scientists” and academics lining their pockets with billions in grants, that it is understandable that many Americans still think that “global warming” is real despite the fact that the Earth is now 19 years into a well-documented cooling cycle.

Not only are all the children in our schools still being taught utter garbage about it, but none who have graduated in recent years ever lived a day during the non-existent “global warming.”

On February 7, Christopher Booker, writing in The Telegraph, a British daily newspaper, wrote an article, “The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever.”  You are not likely to find any comparable reporting in a U.S. daily newspaper.

Citing research comparing the official temperature graphs from three weather stations in Paraguay against what had originally been reported by them, it turned out that their cooling trend had been reversed by the U.S. government’s Global Historical Climate Network and then amplified by “two of the main official surface records, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (Giss) and the National Climate Data Center.”

Why should we be surprised that the national media continues to report on “global warming” when our government has been engaged in the deliberate distortion of the actual data? It is, however, the same national media that has provided virtually no investigative journalism to reveal what has been going on for decades.

What fate befalls Brian Williams is a mere blip on the screen of events. At this writing, I cannot see how NBC could ever keep him as the managing editor and news anchor.

What matters regarding much of the product of the mainstream media is the continuing torrent of “news” about “global warming” and “climate change”; the former is a complete hoax and the latter a factor of life on planet Earth over which humans have no control, nor contribute to in any fashion.


Scientists Fear Another ‘Little Ice Age’ Is On The Way

Last year may have been the warmest on record, but it has done little to quell the fears of scientists arguing that declining sunspot activities could bring on another “little ice age.”

Shrinivas Aundhkar, director of India’s Mahatma Gandhi Mission at the Centre for Astronomy and Space Technology, said declining amounts of sunspots being observed in the last two solar cycles could mean a “mini ice age-like situation” is around the corner.

“The sunspots that can be seen on the sun have comparatively less temperature compared to other surfaces on it,” Aundhkar told people at a lecture entitled “Get Ready for Little Ice Age.”

“The sun undergoes two cycles that are described as maximum and minimum,” Aundhkar said. “The activity alternates every 11 years, and the period is termed as one solar cycle. At present, the sun is undergoing the minimum phase, reducing global temperatures.”

For years now, scientists have been warning that fewer observed sunspots could mean the Earth is heading for a cooling period. This view, however, has not been adapted by many scientists studying global warming, who say that human activity and natural climate cycles are warming the planet.

High sunspot activity has been associated with periods of warming on the Earth, like the period between 1950 and 1998. Scientists have noted that low sunspot activity has coincided with cooler periods, like the so-called “Little Ice Age” that lasted from the late Middle Ages to the 19th century, where temperatures were much cooler than today.

The past few years have seen more and more scientists argue that declining solar activity likely means cooler temperatures ahead. At the end of 2013, for example, German scientists predicted a century of global cooling based on declining solar activity and ocean oscillation cycles.

“Due to the de Vries cycle, the global temperature will drop until 2100 to a value corresponding to the ‘little ice age’ of 1870,” wrote scientists Horst-Joachim Luedecke and Carl-Otto Weiss of the European Institute for Climate and Energy.

Earlier that year, Professor Mike Lockwood of Reading University told BBC News that declining solar activity has set the stage for global cooling.

“By looking back at certain isotopes in ice cores, [Lockwood] has been able to determine how active the sun has been over thousands of years,” the BBC reported. “Following analysis of the data, Professor Lockwood believes solar activity is now falling more rapidly than at any time in the last 10,000 years.”

Aundhkar now argues that winter temperatures have dropped in the North Pole, causing severe winters, like the so-called “polar vortex” experienced by the U.S. last winter.

“This has also triggered the jet stream, which is active in the northern parts of the globe to shift in inter tropical climate zone like India,” Aundhkar said. “As a result, cold wind conditions were witnessed during the last two years. The unseasonal hailstorms in November and December are a result of the influence of the jet stream. This has also led to steady weakening of magnetic energy of the sun, leading to mini ice age like situation.”

Aundhkar’s explanation for harsh winters runs counter to the explanation given by White House science czar John Holdren, who said that global warming was driving freezing and snowy winters.

In a White House video from last year, Holdren claimed a “growing body of evidence suggests that the kind of extreme cold being experienced by much of the United States as we speak is a pattern that we can expect to see with increasing frequency as global warming continues.”

But Aundhkar disagrees. He argues that Earth is heading for another cooling period like the 17th century, when sunspots were very quiet.

“The Earth may be heading towards a mini-ice age period, which is similar to what was observed in the 17th century,” Aundhkar said. “During the time, the sunspots on the Sun were absent. This led to a drop in northern hemisphere temperature by 2-3 degrees. The current scenario is almost the same. Such climatic conditions might affect the agricultural pattern and health and trigger disasters in the worst scenario.”


Comment from Britain on the "hottest" year

So the results are in. No significant warming, since at least 2005. The main US global-temperature scorekeepers - NASA and the NOAA - say that last year was definitely the hottest year on record. ice advance But they've been contradicted by a highly authoritative scientific team, one actually set up to try an establish objective facts in this area.

On the face of it, there's no dispute. The NASA and NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) statement says:

    "The year 2014 ranks as Earth’s warmest since 1880, according to two separate analyses by NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists".

Open and shut, right?

But in fact, detecting a global average temperature rise - of less than a degree since the 1880s, as all sides agree - among thousands upon thousands of thermometer readings from all over the world and spanning more than a century is no simple matter. The temperature at any given location is surging up and down by many degrees each day and even more wildly across a year. It can be done, across a timescale of decades, but trying to say that one year is hotter or colder than the next is to push the limits of statistics and the available data. This sort of thing is why the battle over global temperatures tends to be so hotly debated.

A few years ago, a new dataset was established called the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. It was intended to address various issues raised by climate sceptics: but in fact it has plumped down firmly on the warmist side of the debate, saying that in fact there are no undue biases in the temperature records, changes in the Sun do not have any major climate effects, and so on.

Now, however, the BEST boffins have broken ranks with the NASA/NOAA/UK Met Office climate establishment and bluntly contradicted the idea that one can simply say "2014 was the hottest year on record". According to BEST's analysis (pdf):

    "Our best estimate for the global temperature of 2014 puts it slightly above (by 0.01 C) that of the next warmest year (2010) but by much less than the margin of uncertainty (0.05 C). Therefore it is impossible to conclude from our analysis which of 2014, 2010, or 2005 was actually the warmest year".

That may seem like not such a big deal, but it is really. At the moment the big debate in this area is about the "hiatus" - has global warming been stalled for the last fifteen-years-plus, or not?

If you think it hasn't, and you're seeking to convince ordinary folk without advanced knowledge in the area, it is a very powerful thing to be able to say "last year was the warmest on record".

If on the other hand you contend that global warming has been on hold for over a decade, saying "last year was almost exactly as hot as 2005 and 2010" fits exactly with the story you are trying to tell.

It matters, because colossal amounts of CO2 have been emitted during the hiatus period - on the order of a third of all that has ever been emitted by humanity since the Industrial Revolution, in fact. Nobody says that CO2 isn't a greenhouse gas, but it could well be that it isn't nearly as serious a problem as had been suggested.

You takes your choice of who you listens to on this, of course: NASA/NOAA/UKMetO or BEST, warmists or sceptics.

But it might be worth remembering that the former are arguing for massive government and economic action, action which people would not take voluntarily - that is action which will make people poorer, then. In other words the warmists want to take away your money and your standard of living (for your own good, they would say). And standard of living is not just consumer goods, it's health care, it'sregular showers and clean clothes, it's space programmes and education for your kids and many many other things that you will have less of in the green future advocated by warmists - it's your whole life.

Whereas the sceptics, certainly the more reasonable among them, are merely saying "look here wait a minute". Which is always a good idea before taking massive governmental and economic action, some would say, especially as rather a lot has been done in that line already.

And one thing's for sure - given NASA/NOAA/UKMet's attitude this year ("hottest on record") compared to 2013 ("one more year of numbers isn't significant"), the idea that they aren't actively pushing a warmist agenda - the idea that they are in some way unbiased and objective about all this - is quite plainly rubbish.


Restoring Power: How lawmakers can lower your electricity bill

This report by the Yankee Institute examines the State of Connecticut's mandate requiring electricity providers to get a certain percentage of their power from renewable energy sources. The executive summary of the report is provided below:

Connecticut’s residents are getting a shock from their electric bills.

These higher costs squeeze our budgets, reduce the funds available for consumers’ other spending priorities, and force employers to slow their growth plans and reevaluate doing business in Connecticut. The Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), passed by the legislature in 1998 and modified a number of times since, contribute to the rising cost of electricity and reduce the ability of the state’s utilities to decide the best, most efficient, and cleanest way to produce energy.

The first step in reasserting control over our electricity market and reducing prices is to repeal the Renewable Portfolio Standard.

The following paper, written by scholars at the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, shows that RPS mandates will cost Connecticut:

* $1.587 billion from 2014 to 2020, or $453 out of each Connecticut resident’s pocket. That’s more than $1,800 for a family of four;

* 2,660 jobs;

* $283 million in lost real disposable income.

By mandating that utility companies buy a growing percentage of electricity produced by a small list of renewable energy sources, RPS takes a simple problem and complicates
it by limiting our energy consumption choices. Instead of forcing consumers to purchase more expensive electricity, the state could follow the lead of other states and allow consumers to choose their energy’s generation sources.

RPS is based on the false promise that Connecticut would develop a “green economy” and create local jobs. Instead, RPS has created jobs in Northern Maine and Quebec, where wood-burning biomass and hydropower plants fulfill our state’s RPS mandates.

Higher energy prices hit the poor the hardest.

The RPS mandates have pushed electricity rates higher, and will continue to do so as the standards become stricter every year until 2020, when 27 percent of the state’s electricity must be produced by an approved source of renewable power.

The RPS mandates force electricity providers to buy more expensive energy, because they cannot look for the least expensive option but instead must buy energy from a narrow list of approved sources. This has put on a drag on investment in cheaper energy sources and instead has promoted investment in sources that meet the requirements of the mandates.

Connecticut is now further behind other states that have built energy sectors that meet the needs of citizens, and have focused on making traditional sources of energy cleaner.

Where are the promised jobs?  Only a small amount of the energy produced to meet RPS mandates comes from Connecticut – we bear the costs but we don’t see the benefits.

State lawmakers told us in 1998 that tax credits and mandated consumption for the “green” energy sector would stimulate growth and lead to more jobs in Connecticut. But they were wrong. The promised jobs, which would supposedly offset the economic loss from higher electricity costs, never materialized.

Instead, our electricity rates continue to go up – even as consumption decreases – and this study shows that only 3.8% of the electricity purchased to satisfy RPS mandates was produced in Connecticut. Most of our money (and those promised jobs) ended up in Maine, where the state’s surplus wood fuels its biomass industry. Our future hope for RPS-approved electricity is based on hydropower from Quebec.

The cost to develop and prop up the “green” energy sector continues to put a drag both on the state’s budget and on the state’s business community – particularly the manufacturing
sector, which is an important source of jobs and money for the state’s economy.

These increased costs also hit cities and towns, which have much higher electric bills than the average household. The RPS mandates also mean the state is involved in picking winners and losers in the energy market, as traditional suppliers are forced offline. In the meantime, we are supporting the growth of solar and wind businesses that may need government handouts for years in order to survive.

Less Control of Our Energy Markets

The RPS mandates force the state into a predetermined course. The RPS mandates have reduced our use of sources that can provide energy around the clock and have made us reliant on sources that provide energy only when the climate is just right – because either the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. The unanswered question is what to do when those sources are not readily available, and we no longer have the capacity to meet our needs with more reliable sources of energy.

Finally, because wind and solar energy sources tend to be more distant from population centers, we will likely have to add an additional 4,300 miles of new transmission lines to move energy to our market. That will cost billions of dollars, which will be subsidized by energy consumers.

Looking Ahead:  To bring costs down for consumers, and to make Connecticut a more competitive state for business, it is time to repeal the RPS mandates.



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, 2015

NCDC Breaks Their Own Record For Data Tampering In 2014

The National Climatic Data Center has broken last year’s record for misleading the public about US temperatures. The thermometer data they use shows no warming over the past 90 years, and that 2013/2014 were two of the coldest years on record in the US. But after data tampering, they report a sharp US warming trend. The animation below flashes between the average measured and final temperature at all stations.


The total amount of tampering reached record levels in 2014, at almost 1.8 degrees F. They create the appearance of warming by cooling all years prior to 2003, and warming all years since that date.

ScreenHunter_5802 Jan. 05 11.57

Another spectacular milestone is that the now fabricate 30% of their monthly data. Almost one third of their reported monthly station data has no actual thermometer data from that station. This allows them to contaminate missing rural data, with UHI affected thermometers tens or hundreds of miles away.

ScreenHunter_5803 Jan. 05 12.00

The physical basis of their tampering appears to be the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The correlation between tampering and atmospheric CO2 is almost perfect.

ScreenHunter_5808 Jan. 05 13.14

It appears that they have a tampering algorithm designed to force reported temperatures to match hopelessly broken global warming theory. NCDC says that the algorithm is "working as designed".


Just another dumb actor

Former California governor and Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger is calling for more to be done to combat climate change, saying it is 'the issue of our time.'

Speaking Sunday to a small group at the Munich security conference, where he introduced a new policy paper 'The Future of Energy,' Schwarzenegger said his experience in California was that the adoption of green energy creates jobs and leads to energy independence.

He applauded formal efforts to come to new agreements to reduce carbon emissions and fight global warming, but says there is no need for governments to wait for summits.

Schwarzenegger says the issue shouldn't be politicized and people should work together for solutions.

He says 'we all breathe the same air.'  [So do cockroaches.  What does that prove?  Should we all check in and not check out?]


3 Reasons to Dismiss EPA’s Latest Excuse on Keystone XL

One would think you can beat a dead horse only so many times. Using low oil prices this time, the Environmental Protection Agency is urging President Obama and the State Department to reconsider Keystone XL’s climate impact.

The State Department’s environmental assessment concludes that Keystone XL’s contribution to climate change would be insignificant because the oil will come out of the ground regardless of whether the pipeline is built. Indeed, it already is. The analysis included a scenario with sustained low oil prices where tar sands oil production would decline without Keystone XL because the higher costs of rail could make it too expensive to ship. EPA is urging the State Department to give that scenario more weight in light of low prices.

Here are three reasons to ignore the administration’s latest excuse:

Even with low oil prices, still no impact on climate. Markets respond better than scenarios outlined in a report. Therefore it’s difficult to project how much Canadian oil would come out of the ground if pipeline capacity were unavailable because when such a valuable resource is available, innovators find ways to extract and develop it at lower costs.

But even if the scenario were Keystone XL or nothing, the climate impact still would be minimal. Although tar sands oil is more greenhouse gas-intense than other oil on the world market, Keystone XL is still one pipeline in a world that relies heavily on carbon-emitting conventional fuels. Even if one assumes we are facing catastrophic warming, the carbon emissions from Keystone XL would be 0.2 percent of the “carbon budget” allowable to prevent such warming. But that’s not the case, which leads to the second point.

Look at recent climate science, not recent oil prices. The administration should be more concerned with recent climate science that shows climate realities are far less threatening than the doomsday scenarios projected by climate models. Several peer-reviewed studies over the past few years have found the Earth is significantly less sensitive to carbon dioxide than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assumes in the climate models it builds to estimate warming. Thus, Keystone XL’s impact on climate change will be even less than any scenarios projected by the State Department or EPA, which already are minimal.

Oil prices are long-term. Industry makes investment decisions looking decades into the future, not simply based on short-term projections. Although it certainly is possible low oil prices could postpone Canadian tar sands production and prohibit Keystone XL from reaching its peak volume in the near future, oil prices could rise as quickly as they fell. Businesses are much better equipped and flexible to deal with changing economic circumstances than short-sighted politicians in Washington.

In fact, the EPA even acknowledges this in its letter to the State Department, writing, “The overall effect of the project on oil sands production will be driven by long-term movements in the price of oil and not short-term volatility.” American Petroleum Institute vice president Louis Finkel noted that oil prices were $40 per barrel when TransCanada was initially moving through the application process.

Keystone XL is environmentally responsible and a victory for the economy. Let’s quit delaying and let Americans start building.



by Joseph E Postma   

What is Insulation, And what Does it Do? People (well, the climate alarmists) don’t seem to understand what “insulation” is. They think that it means that it makes heat “pile up” inside the source of heat, or in the medium between the insulation and source of heat, so that the source of heat and/or the medium will get hotter than the source of heat and power input.

There is no such thing as “heat pile up”. This is a non-existent concept. You can think of it, like you can think of a unicorn, but it doesn’t exist.  Heat does not pile up, it readily and freely flows into whatever is around it.

Insulation is something that only works in a gaseous environment – it is all about a gaseous environment. Insulation, a blanket, a greenhouse, all work the same way, and that way is preventing convective cooling and air circulation.  Insulation in the form of a blanket, a sweater, a greenhouse enclosure, home insulation, etc., is about reducing and eliminating convective cooling, i.e. the loss of warm air.  A blanket, or insulation, etc., is about doing the opposite of what the atmosphere does!

In your house, insulation helps prevent the furnace-heated air from escaping your house and being replaced with cold air from outside. It doesn’t make the furnace burn hotter.  In your water heater, it helps the water retain its temperature after it has been heated.  It doesn’t make the water hotter than the heater.

You can wrap a heat source with as much insulation as you want.  All that will happen is that the insulation will reach the temperature of the heat source, and the heat source will not rise in temperature.  Insulation is just matter, just material like anything else.  When exposed to heat, it will warm, and will conduct that heat outward via diffusion.

Free Energy

People have claimed that if you have a heating element inside a mug of coffee, that if you then wrap the mug in insulation, the coffee and heating element will get hotter and hotter and hotter, because of “heat pile up”.

Rather, the insulation would simply help keep the mug from cooling once the power is removed from the heating element, otherwise, the insulation will simply attain the temperature of the heating element, if left long enough.

Imagine if we could heat coffee, i.e. water, this way? You just wrap enough insulation, and then a heating element at 60C inside the water can cause the water to boil because of “heat pile up” in the water due to the insulation around it!

This violates all of thermodynamics.  We’ve been trying to do stuff like that for hundreds of years. The discovery of the laws of thermodynamics are the result of those attempts.

Same with the steel greenhouse. The claim is that if you keep on adding shells, the inner sphere will get hotter and hotter by a multiple of the number of shells.

If the steel greenhouse worked that way, then you could power a steam engine and get more work out than you put it. You could layer a few shells around the inner source, make the inner source multiple times hotter than the tiny input at the centre, then flood it with water and have instant explosive steam generation. Then repeat over and over. They found back in the 1700’s and 1800’s that reality didn’t work this way.

Diffusive & Radiative Transfer are not Opposite Thermodynamics
If you add a new layer of steel physically directly touching an internally heated sphere, this new layer will simply heat to the temperature supplied from the interior sphere.  In fact, the new layer will be a little cooler because it will have a larger surface area than the original sphere.

The interior won’t get hotter because it heats a new layer of steel on top of it.  In this case you have the diffusion transfer equation, which similarly has a differential of hot and cold terms describing the heat flow, as does the radiation transfer equation, and we all understand that heat does not physically diffuse from cold to hot and that physical contact between a cold object and warm object does not make the warmer object warmer still.


Ocean warming?

Dr Klaus L.E. Kaiser   

The latest news, as per the Canada Journal: Oceans are warming so fast that readings are now off the chart, Report. There you have it: from now on it’s gonna be fried or steamed fish only.

To make the point, the article has a convincing graph

That ought to get your attention: 15x10^22 Joules or more of additional ocean heat energy, all in the last 30 years or so. The fish must just about be jumping out of the water and into the (presumably cooler) frying pan.

Perhaps though, some sobering thoughts may be appropriate. Let’s start with small freshwater lakes. The kind you have all over the Ontario, Quebec, and some States in the U.S., a vast area of rather impermeable granite. Snow melt and rain water there collects in every dimple. If those dimples are large and deep enough not to have their contents evaporate in the summer’s heat, they are called LAKES.

A good part of the year these lakes are covered by a layer of ice, one meter (approx. 3 ft.) deep. In the spring, when it finally gets warmer, that ice slowly starts to melt. Only 100 miles north of the metropolis Toronto (Ontario), that time arrives between mid-April and mid-May. However, even when the ice is gone, it’s not time to go frolicking in the water. For that, you have to wait another month or two, or three, like to the end of July. Then the surface water temperature gets to be pleasant, like 20-25 °C (70+ °F); however that’s very close to the surface only.

When I went to take my NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) open water checkout dive, in the middle of June in Georgian Bay at Tobermory, my quarter inch wet suit with hood, gloves and boots left me with an inch of forehead directly exposed to the water. That was enough to cause excruciating pain upon entering the water, at least until the skin became so numb not to feel it anymore.

Since then, I have snorkeled in various lakes in mid-summer, i.e. the months of July or August, without a wet suit. At that time of year, the surface temperature is quite pleasant but already when treading water you can feel your toes to be in a cooler environment. Diving down to a depth of 15-20 ft., you’ll be surprised how drastically the temperature changes. It’s like stepping naked into a deep freezer. Once you hit the thermocline, perhaps 10-15 ft. below the surface, the water temperature drops right down to 38 °F (4 °C) and it’s pitch dark as well so that in many of the smaller lakes you cannot even see your own hands anymore. In larger freshwater bodies and the oceans things are a bit better.


To begin with, oceans have much less humic materials (from decaying plants) that cause the dark color of the water in most of the shield lakes. Therefore, you can see quite well down to a few hundred feet of depth. Also, with the prevailing large currents there is a constant exchange of tropical warm with colder polar water. Still, at mid-range latitude, the oceans’ surface water is nowhere really warm.

The seminal work by Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838), the American Practical Navigator and its later editions shows that approximately 50% of the ocean’s surface water never gets any warmer than 70 °F (21 °C). Of course, in the tropical areas of the oceans, the thermocline (see graph below) is much deeper than in the thousands of small lakes in the Canadian Shield or even in the Great Lakes. For example, in Lake Erie (26,000 km^2) it typically is at a depth of 25 ft., even in mid-summer, while in the tropics in the oceans it is around 1500 ft. (500 m). Still, as Bowditch states, even there in deep bottom waters of the tropics, the temperature can be close to 28 °F (-1.5 °C) as the salinity lowers the freezing point to that temperature.

In order to visualize the thermocline, let’s look at a mid-Pacific temperature profile, as shown in the graph below from the ARGO float project ( The black line in the graph shows the temperature vs. depth. At this particular station and time (20.25N 121.4W, May 15 2004), you can see the temperature declining slightly from around 23 °C (74 °F) at the surface to 20 °C (at approximately 100 m) and rapidly declining down to 10 °C or 45 °F at 200 m. The zone with the sharp temperature gradient is called the thermocline.

Ocean Heat Content

Let’s get back now to the true meaning of the multi-magnitude increase of the ocean heat content as given at the top. In order to put that into perspective one needs to calculate the amount of additional heat energy in a liter or gallon of ocean water in terms of temperature, ocean salinity.

That is easy to do: The earth’s oceans contain approximately 1,335,000,000 cubic kilometer or 1.3x10^21 liter of water. Assuming the claim of an additional 150 J/liter heat content in ocean water over the last few decades is correct, how does that translate into degrees of temperature?

As one liter of water gets warmer by 1 °C for every 4,200 J of energy, we are talking about hundredths of one degree (150/4200) = 0.03 °C or 0.05 °F, not exactly something to get excited about. Even if most of that additional heat energy were to be found in the photic zone, i.e. above the thermocline, it would likely extend the thermocline to a slightly deeper depth. As most of the oceans organisms live in that photic zone, it could only help to increase their habitat. If there is any drawback to be found at all, perhaps I can summarize it as follows:

Your fresh in-the ocean-steamed-fish will take a few more billion years to arrive.


Australia's oldest university goes green

Divest from Israel; divest from carbon producers.  What's left?  Will feminism cause them to divest from firms led by men?  This could get amusing

In a first for Australian universities, the University of Sydney has announced it will substantially reduce the carbon footprint of its listed share portfolio over the next three years. By setting a reduction target of 20 percent relative to the footprint of its current listed equity composite benchmark, the University is visibly demonstrating its commitment to addressing climate change.

The decision follows a comprehensive review taking into account leading practice on sensitive investments, and the current global views and actions surrounding fossil fuel investments.

The review considered a number of options, including whether to divest entirely from the fossil fuels industry. It also highlighted the complexities of reducing an investment portfolio's carbon footprint. For example, divesting entirely from all companies with an interest in fossil fuels could result in divesting from companies that are also committed to building renewable energy sources. In addition, there are many companies that do not produce fossil fuels who are nonetheless heavy emitters.

Based on the review's findings, the University of Sydney believes a whole of portfolio approach to reducing its carbon footprint is an effective and meaningful way to address climate change.

In an innovative step, the University will ask its listed equity fund managers to build a portfolio of investments that enables the University to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 percent - in just three years. The University will measure and publicly report progress towards this goal annually.

The University's Vice-Principal (Operations) Sara Watts said, "The new strategy balances the University's obligation to manage funds wisely on behalf of our students, staff, donors and alumni with its desire to address climate change and protect Australia's heritage.

"This strategy will give the University a legitimate voice in the conversation on how organisations can best address climate change risks. The University's strategy signals to the entire market that investors are concerned about the impact of climate change and expect contributing sectors to respond with plans to reduce their emissions."

In addition, the University:

* Has become a signatory to the CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project), the world's largest source of company-reported emissions data, and a global movement urging companies to disclose carbon emissions and set targets to reduce them;

* Has joined the UN-led Portfolio Decarbonisation Coalition, a coalition of investors who collectively are committed to decarbonising $US100 billion of its investment assets;

* Will incorporate carbon footprint reporting capability into the selection and review of listed equity investment managers; and

* Will further expand its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) framework to put in place ethical investment standards that support the economic and social rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.



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, 2015

Divesting people of better living standards

“Disinvestment” of fossil fuel holdings is misguided, irresponsible, lethal – and racist

By Paul Driessen and Roger Bezdek

“Social responsibility” activists want universities and pension funds to eliminate fossil fuel companies from their investment portfolios. They plan to spotlight their demands on “Global Divestment Day,” February 13-14. Their agenda is misguided, immoral, lethal … even racist.

A mere 200 years ago, the vast majority of humans were poor, sick and malnourished. Life expectancy in 1810 was less than 40 years, and even royal families lived under sanitation, disease and housing standards inferior to what poor American families enjoy today. Then a veritable revolution occurred.

The world began to enjoy a bonanza in wealth, technology, living standards and life spans. In just two centuries, average world incomes rose eleven-fold, disease rates plummeted, and life expectancy more than doubled. Unfortunately, not everyone benefitted equally, and even today billions of people still live under conditions little better than what prevailed in 1810. Bringing them from squalor, disease and early death to modernity may be our most important economic, technological and moral challenge.

Many factors played vital roles in this phenomenal advancement. However, as Julian Simon, Indur Goklany, Alex Epstein and the authors of this article have documented, driving all this progress were fossil fuels that provided the energy for improvements in industry, transportation, housing, healthcare and environmental quality, and for huge declines in climate-related deaths due to storms, droughts, heat and cold. Modern civilization is undeniably high energy – and 85% of the world’s energy today is still coal, oil and natural gas. These fuels support $70 trillion per year in global gross domestic product, to power virtually everything we make, grow, ship, drive, eat and do. The rest of the world deserves nothing less.

Demands that institutions eliminate hydrocarbon stocks, and society stop using fossil fuels, would reverse this progress, jeopardize people’s health and living standards, and prevent billions of still impoverished people worldwide from enjoying the living standards that many of us take for granted.

Trains and automobiles would not run. Planes would not fly. Refrigeration, indoor plumbing, safe food and water, central heating and air conditioning, plastics and pharmaceuticals would disappear or become luxuries for wealthy elites. We would swelter in summer and freeze in winter. We’d have electricity only when it’s available, not when we need it – to operate assembly lines, conduct classes and research, perform life-saving surgeries, and use computers, smart phones and social media.

Divesting fossil fuels portfolios is also financially imprudent. Fossil-fuel stocks are among the best for solid, risk-adjusted returns. One analysis found that a 2.1% share in fossil fuel companies by colleges and universities generated 5.7% of all endowment gains in 2010 to 2011, to fund scholarship, building and other programs. Teacher, police and other public pension funds have experienced similar results.

That may be why such institutions often divest slowly, if at all, over 5-10 years, to maximize their profits. One is reminded of St. Augustine of Hippo’s prayer: “Please let me be chaste and celibate – but not yet.” The “ethical” institutions selling fossil fuel stocks also need to find buyers who are willing to stand up to divestment pressure group insults and harassment. They also need to deal with hard realities.

No “scalable” alternative fuels currently exist to replace fossil fuels. To avoid the economic, social, environmental and human health catastrophes that would follow the elimination of hydrocarbons, we would need affordable, reliable options on a large enough scale to replace the fuels we rely on today. The divestment movement ignores the enormity of current and future global energy needs (met and unmet), and the fact that existing “renewable” technologies cannot possibly meet those requirements.

Fossil fuels produce far more energy per acre than biofuels, notes analyst Howard Hayden. Using biomass – instead of coal or natural gas – to generate electricity for one U.S. city of 700,000 people would require cutting down trees across an area the size of Rhode Island every year. Making corn-based ethanol to replace the gasoline in U.S. vehicles would require planting every single acre of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Wisconsin in corn for fuel. Wind and solar currently provide just 3% of global energy consumption, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports; by 2040, as the world’s population continues to grow, hydroelectric, wind, solar, biomass and geothermal energy combined will still represent only 15% of the total, the EIA predicts.

Not using fossil fuels is tantamount to not using energy. It is economic suicide and eco-manslaughter.

Over the past three decades, fossil fuels enabled 1.3 billion people to escape debilitating energy poverty – over 830 million thanks to coal alone – and China connected 99% of its population to the grid and increased its steel production eight times over, again mostly with coal. However, 1.3 billion people are still desperate for electricity and modern living standards. In India alone, over 300 million people (the population of the entire United States) remain deprived of electricity.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, some 615 million (100 million more than in the USA, Canada and Mexico combined) still lack this life-saving technology, and 730 million (the population of Europe) still cook and heat with wood, charcoal and animal dung. Millions die every year from lung and intestinal diseases, due to breathing smoke from open fires and not having the safe food and water that electricity brings.

Ending this lethal energy deprivation will require abundant, reliable, affordable energy on unprecedented scales, and more than 80% of it will have to come from fossil fuels. Coal now provides 40% of the world’s electricity, and much more than that in some countries. That is unlikely to change anytime soon.

We cannot even build wind and solar facilities without coal and petroleum: to mine, smelt, manufacture and transport materials for turbines, panels and transmission lines – and to build and operate backup power units that also require vast amounts of land, cement, steel, copper, rare earth metals and other materials.

Coal-fired power plants in China, India and other developing countries do emit large quantities of sulfates, nitrous oxides, mercury and soot that can cause respiratory problems and death. However, modern pollution control systems could – and eventually will – eliminate most of that.

Divestment activists try to counter these facts by claiming that climate science is settled and the world faces a manmade global warming cataclysm. On that basis they demand that colleges and universities forego any debate and rush to judgment on hydrocarbon divestment. However, as we have pointed out here and elsewhere, the alleged “97% consensus” is a fiction, no manmade climate crisis is looming, and there is abundant evidence of massive “pHraud” in all too much climate chaos “research.”

We therefore ask: What right do divestment activists and climate change alarmists have to deny Earth’s most destitute people access to electricity and motor fuels, jobs and better lives? To tell people what level of economic development, health and living standards they will be “permitted” to enjoy? To subject people to policies that “safeguard” families from hypothetical, exaggerated, manufactured and illusory climate change risks 50 to 100 years from now – by imposing energy, economic and healthcare deprivation that will perpetuate disease and could kill them tomorrow?

That is not ethical. It is intolerant and totalitarian. It is arrogant, immoral, lethal and racist.

To these activists, we say: “You first. Divest yourselves first. Get fossil fuels out of your lives. All of them. Go live in Sub-Saharan Africa just like the natives for a few months, drinking their parasite-infested water, breathing their polluted air, enduring their disease-ridden flies and mosquitoes – without benefit of modern drugs or malaria preventatives... and walking 20 miles to a clinic when you collapse with fever.

To colleges, universities and pension funds, we suggest this: Ensure open, robust debate on all these issues, before you vote on divestment. Allow no noisy disruption, walk-outs or false claims of consensus. Compel divestment advocates to defend their positions, factually and respectfully. Protect the rights and aspirations of people everywhere to reliable, affordable electricity, better living standards and improved health. And instead of “Global Divestment Day,” host and honor “Hydrocarbon Appreciation Day.”

Via email

Backgrounder on Lord Christopher Monckton

A couple of years out of date but still very impressive

The Rt. Hon. Christopher Walter Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of BrenchleyThe Rt. Hon. Christopher Walter Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley - The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, born 14 February 1952, businessman, newspaper editor, inventor of the million-selling Eternity puzzles and of a promising new treatment for infectious disease, classical architect, Cambridge-trained public orator, autodidact mathematician and “high priest” of climate skepticism, prevented several government-level scientific frauds while serving as a Downing Street domestic and science policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher, saving British taxpayers billions. In 1986 he was among the first to advise the Prime Minister that “global warming” caused by CO2 should be investigated. Two years later she set up the Hadley Centre for Forecasting: but she, like him, has since changed her view.

In 2006 a finance house in London consulted Lord Monckton on whether “global warming” would prove catastrophic. His 40-page report concluded that, though some warming could be expected, it would be harmless, and beneficial. At the request of a US Senator, he discovered evidence that a well-funded clique of scientists, officials and politicians had been manipulating data and results to exaggerate the imagined (and imaginary) problem. Two weeks after his report, the Climategate emails confirmed the existence and identities of the clique he had named, revealing not only their questionable methods but also the close links between them.

Lord Monckton’s two articles on global warming in The Sunday Telegraph in November 2006 crashed its website after attracting 127,000 hits within two hours of publication. Al Gore replied to the articles, which also provoked the then Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, to say during a speech on terrorism that “climate deniers” should be treated like Islamic terrorists and refused all access to the news media. Beckett was subsequently dismissed. The European Union is now making plans for a “European Environmental Criminal Court” to prosecute those who publicly express scientific doubts about the magnitude of “global warming”. Journalists in Australia have demanded that “deniers” be publicly branded with tattoos to mark them out as society’s pariahs, and have also called for them to be gassed. The same journalists criticized Lord Monckton for having described one of the opinions of a government adviser as “a fascist opinion”, in that the adviser had demanded unquestioning deference to authority.

Lord Monckton is widely consulted by governments on climate issues. He has discussed the subject with President Vaclav Klaus of the Czech Republic, who accepted his invitation to participate in a climate conference at Cambridge University in May 2011. Lord Monckton has twice spoken before representatives of the Chinese Government, one of whom asked for copies of his papers on climate sensitivity for forwarding to the administration in Peking, saying that his research conclusions to the effect that manmade global warming would be small enough to do little harm had major implications for China. Lord Monckton has also prepared a brief on the climate for Canada’s Prime Minister.

In 2009 Kevin Rudd, Australia’s former Prime Minister, devoted a 45-minute speech to criticizing Lord Monckton and other “deniers … small in number but too dangerous to be ignored”, who, he said, base their thinking on the notion that “the cost of not acting is nothing”, and whose logic “belongs in a casino, not a science lab”. Lord Monckton’s 2010 speaking tour of Australia in response to these allegations played to packed houses, with hundreds turned away from many meetings. The tour, reported some 650 times in news media, is credited with having achieved a 10% shift in public opinion away from climate alarmism in one month, particularly among opposition parties. Rudd is no longer Prime Minister. During the visit, Lord Monckton was invited to give a personal briefing to Tony Abbott, leader of the Opposition.

Lord Monckton returned to Australia for another successful tour in June/July 2011, during which he delivered the annual Hancock Free Enterprise Lecture at the University of Western Australia. He was also the first-ever sceptic to be allowed to address the nationally-televised weekly meeting of the National Press Club, in a debate against the head of the Australia Institute. A second-by-second tracking survey by the Roy Morgan polling organization among 300 previously-neutral members of the public during the debate found a 9% swing towards Lord Monckton’s position at the end of the hour. Gary Morgan, the CEO, said this result was unprecedented in his long experience of polling.

During the debate a journalist asked whether Lord Monckton should be addressed as such, given that the Clerk of the Parliaments in the UK – apparently at the instigation of environmentalists determined to damage Lord Monckton’s reputation (as they have tried to libel many others) – had published a statement that Lord Monckton was not entitled to say, “I am a member of the House of Lords, but without the right to sit or vote.” However, a legal Opinion by Hugh O’Donoghue, a leading constitutional lawyer, concludes that he “is a member of the House of Lords, albeit without the right to sit or vote, and he is fully entitled to say so.”

Lord Monckton has testified four times before the US Congress on climate science and economics, and is credited with having influenced the Republicans in both Houses to reject collaboration with the Democrats on the climate question, preventing the Bill to enact a cap- and-tax regime for carbon dioxide in the US from passing the Senate.

He was invited to submit a paper to the Royal Air Force College at Cranwell, UK, on the strategic implications of “global warming”. His abstract pointed out that national defence is inevitably expensive and that, if foreign powers implacably hostile to the free-market, democratic West wish to destroy our capacity to defend ourselves they have only to infiltrate our environmental movement, fund it, and steer it towards persuading us to dismantle our economies from within, using the climate as a pretext.

Lord Monckton has organized and led international climate conferences and has given speeches, lectures, and faculty-level lectures and seminars throughout the world. He gave a public lecture at the convocation of all 12,000 staff and students at Liberty University, Virgina; lectured at Hartford University, Connecticut, before the university’s President; and gave a seminar on climate sensitivity to the physics faculty at Rochester University, after which the Professor of Physics presented him with a Nobel Peace Prize pin made of gold recovered 35 years previously from a physics experiment, saying he had earned it for correcting a major error in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. The international Left failed to see the joke.

Lord Monckton gave an invited presentation on climate sensitivity at the 2010 annual seminar of the World Federation of Scientists on planetary emergencies – one of the very few laymen ever to be asked to address the Federation on an explicitly scientific topic. His talk contributed to the Federation’s decision to establish a permanent monitoring panel on the climate, addressing the mathematics, the data, the predictions and the economics. He suggested a session at the World Federation’s annual meeting in 2011 on the cosmic-ray effect posited by Professor Henrik Svensmark, who attended and led the session at his invitation, during the week when CERN in Geneva announced experimental results confirming the theory. For the 2012 meeting, Lord Monckton has been asked to chair a session on climate economics.

Lord Monckton has addressed numerous student groups, including the Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and St. Andrews University Unions and the Trinity College Dublin Philosophical Society, and numerous environmental groups, including Friends of Science in Canada and several university chapters of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow. At St. Andrews in 2009, the undergraduate audience voted down “global warming” alarmism. This is believed to be the first time a student vote anywhere in Europe has opposed the climate scare. The Oxford Union followed suit in 2010, the first student audience in England to reject the climate scare.

Lord Monckton is much in demand to speak before corporate audiences. His major speeches include a presentation to the 2009 annual conference of the Advent International Investment Fund; the keynote opening address at a conference on renewable energy in China and addresses to senior officials in Hong Kong in 2010; and board-level presentations to the Pratham Institute, to leading law corporations, to clients of major clearing banks in Sydney, Australia, in London, England, and in Shenzhen, China, and to an international conference in Kerala, India, organized by the Santhigiri Foundation, in 2010.

In 2011 Lord Monckton delivered the opening keynote speech at the first climate conference to be held at official level in Colombia and also gave talks in the UK, Ireland and Sicily. He also gave a lecture on climate economics at the Prague School of Economics, and will address the World Affairs Group at Keele University in November, during a week in which he will also address audiences at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and St. Andrews, following his return from a visit to the United States, where he addressed a scientific conference in New Mexico, the county commissioners of Maryland, and staffers in both Houses of the US Congress. In December 2011 he will attend the UN climate talks at Durban. In 2012 he will speak during Oxford University’s “climate change week” and will also give the Nerenberg Memorial Lecture on Mathematics and Physics at the University of Western Ontario.

In 2009 the South-Eastern Legal Foundation in the United States awarded him the Meese- Noble Award for Freedom jointly with Congressman John Linder for their work on climate.

He has authored more than 100 papers on the climate issue for the layman (many of them published at, as well as for the scientific journals. His 8000- word paper Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered, published in Physics and Society in July 2008, shows that a doubling of CO2 concentration, expected by 2100, will be harmless, causing ~1 Co (2 F°) of warming. Numerous recent results by leading climatologists support his estimate. The commissioning editor who had asked for the paper and the review editor – an eminent Physics professor – who had reviewed it were both dismissed for publishing it. The new editors then pretended it had not undergone any scientific review, leading several dozen fellows of the American Physical Society to protest, and to demand that it should revise or abandon its official statement on global warming.

A further paper, Global brightening and climate sensitivity, appeared in the 2010 Proceedings of the World Federation of Scientists’ Seminars on Planetary Emergencies, and also in a book on empirical climate science published in 2011 under the editorship of Dr. Don Easterbrook. Another paper Is CO2 Mitigation Cost-Effective?, on climate economics, is currently out for review, and yet another, an 8000-word work entitled On the Coherence of Climate Sensitivities, demonstrating by a dozen distinct methods in the data and the literature that little more than 1 C° of manmade warming is likely occur this century, is in draft.

Lord Monckton has challenged Al Gore and John Kerry to a televised debate, but without response. The Republicans in the US Congress invited him to testify before the House in response to testimony due to be given by Gore, but the Democrats – for the first time since Congress was founded – denied the elected minority their right to choose their own witness, saying the Republicans could have “anyone but Monckton”. Newt Gingrich stood in for him.

Lord Monckton’s movie, Apocalypse? NO!, based on a lecture he gave at the Cambridge Union when all invited speakers for a proposed global warming debate withdrew when they learned he was to be among their opponents, has been seen throughout the world. The BBC broadcast an hour-long documentary on his climate-related activities in January 2011.

The peroration of a speech by Lord Monckton to 1000 citizens of St. Paul, Minnesota, in October 2009, in which he drew public attention to a then little-known draft plan by the UN to establish an unelected world government at the (now-failed) climate summit at Copenhagen in December 2009, received 1,000,000 YouTube hits in a week – thought to be the fastest-ever YouTube platinum for a political speech. Some five million have now seen the extempore peroration (text attached) on various websites, despite a well-funded attempt by persons unknown to post up dozens of pages of gibberish on the Web containing the words “Monckton Video” in the hope of breaking the viral chain by preventing viewers from finding the speech on search engines. An expert on the internet has said that the cost of giving the gibberish pages a ranking above the page with the genuine video was probably not less than $250,000.

Lord Monckton’s speech about “global warming” to 100,000 mineworkers and their families on a mountain-top in West Virginia in summer 2009 and his address to 15,000 at a Tea-Party Rally in Houston, Texas, in September 2009 are also on YouTube. His now-famous interview with a Greenpeace activist in Berlin in December 2009 is used in US university law classes to teach the techniques of cross-examination.

Lord Monckton is now writing a book, entitled Climate of Freedom, which is expected to be a worldwide bestseller among his millions of followers on YouTube and Facebook.

SOURCE. (A recent audio interview with Monckton also at link).

The Alarming Thing About Climate Alarmism

Exaggerated, worst-case claims result in bad policy and they ignore a wealth of encouraging data


It is an indisputable fact that carbon emissions are rising—and faster than most scientists predicted. But many climate-change alarmists seem to claim that all climate change is worse than expected. This ignores that much of the data are actually encouraging. The latest study from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that in the previous 15 years temperatures had risen 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit. The average of all models expected 0.8 degrees. So we’re seeing about 90% less temperature rise than expected.

Facts like this are important because a one-sided focus on worst-case stories is a poor foundation for sound policies. Yes, Arctic sea ice is melting faster than the models expected. But models also predicted that Antarctic sea ice would decrease, yet it is increasing. Yes, sea levels are rising, but the rise is not accelerating—if anything, two recent papers, one by Chinese scientists published in the January 2014 issue of Global and Planetary Change, and the other by U.S. scientists published in the May 2013 issue of Coastal Engineering, have shown a small decline in the rate of sea-level increase.

We are often being told that we’re seeing more and more droughts, but a study published last March in the journal Nature actually shows a decrease in the world’s surface that has been afflicted by droughts since 1982.

Hurricanes are likewise used as an example of the “ever worse” trope. If we look at the U.S., where we have the best statistics, damage costs from hurricanes are increasing—but only because there are more people, with more-expensive property, living near coastlines. If we adjust for population and wealth, hurricane damage during the period 1900-2013 decreased slightly.

At the U.N. climate conference in Lima, Peru, in December, attendees were told that their countries should cut carbon emissions to avoid future damage from storms like typhoon Hagupit, which hit the Philippines during the conference, killing at least 21 people and forcing more than a million into shelters. Yet the trend for landfalling typhoons around the Philippines has actually declined since 1950, according to a study published in 2012 by the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate. Again, we’re told that things are worse than ever, but the facts don’t support this.

This is important because if we want to help the poor people who are most threatened by natural disasters, we have to recognize that it is less about cutting carbon emissions than it is about pulling them out of poverty.

The best way to see this is to look at the world’s deaths from natural disasters over time. In the Oxford University database for death rates from floods, extreme temperatures, droughts and storms, the average in the first part of last century was more than 13 dead every year per 100,000 people. Since then the death rates have dropped 97% to a new low in the 2010s of 0.38 per 100,000 people.

The dramatic decline is mostly due to economic development that helps nations withstand catastrophes. If you’re rich like Florida, a major hurricane might cause plenty of damage to expensive buildings, but it kills few people and causes a temporary dent in economic output. If a similar hurricane hits a poorer country like the Philippines or Guatemala, it kills many more and can devastate the economy.

In short, climate change is not worse than we thought. Some indicators are worse, but some are better. That doesn’t mean global warming is not a reality or not a problem. It definitely is. But the narrative that the world’s climate is changing from bad to worse is unhelpful alarmism, which prevents us from focusing on smart solutions.

A well-meaning environmentalist might argue that, because climate change is a reality, why not ramp up the rhetoric and focus on the bad news to make sure the public understands its importance. But isn’t that what has been done for the past 20 years? The public has been bombarded with dramatic headlines and apocalyptic photos of climate change and its consequences. Yet despite endless successions of climate summits, carbon emissions continue to rise, especially in rapidly developing countries like India, China and many African nations.

Alarmism has encouraged the pursuit of a one-sided climate policy of trying to cut carbon emissions by subsidizing wind farms and solar panels. Yet today, according to the International Energy Agency, only about 0.4% of global energy consumption comes from solar photovoltaics and windmills. And even with exceptionally optimistic assumptions about future deployment of wind and solar, the IEA expects that these energy forms will provide a minuscule 2.2% of the world’s energy by 2040.

In other words, for at least the next two decades, solar and wind energy are simply expensive, feel-good measures that will have an imperceptible climate impact. Instead, we should focus on investing in research and development of green energy, including new battery technology to better store and discharge solar and wind energy and lower its costs. We also need to invest in and promote growth in the world’s poorest nations, which suffer the most from natural disasters.

Climate-change doomsayers notwithstanding, we urgently need balance if we are to make sensible choices and pick the right climate policy that can help humanity slow, and inevitably adapt to, climate change.


Lukewarm About Climate Change

By Alan Caruba

“In short, climate change is not worse than we thought,” wrote Bjorn Lomborg in a recent issue of The Wall Street Journal. He is best known as the author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” and his skepticism is welcome, but insufficient.

First of all, climate change is a very long-term process and always has been. The climate takes decades and centuries to change, largely based on well-known warming and cooling cycles. During the course of these cycles, both related to comparable cycles on the Sun, all manner of climate-related events occur, from hurricanes to blizzards. Nothing new here.

The problem with Lomborg’s commentary is that he confuses climate change with global warming, the hoax concocted in the late 1980s by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in order to have an international tax imposed on “greenhouse gas emissions”, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), that the IPCC guaranteed was going to heat up the Earth in a few decades unless greatly reduced. Lomborg even cites the IPCC which has grown notorious for its lies.

The predictions about when the heat would become lethal ranged from ten to fifty years as the amount of CO2 increased. The problem for Lomborg and others is that CO2 has been increasing in the Earth’s atmosphere without any evidence of the predicted heating. That explains why Lomborg and other “Warmists” don’t refer to global warming anymore.  As for the increase, the latest, best science points to the fact that CO2 has no affect whatever on the climate.

Lomborg wrote, “A well-meaning environmentalist might argue that, because climate change is a reality, why not ramp up the rhetoric and focus on the bad news to make sure the public understands its importance.” Even Lomborg acknowledged that is exactly what the environmentalists have been doing for the past twenty years.

“The public has been bombarded with dramatic headlines and apocalyptic photos of climate change and its consequences. Yet despite endless successions of climate summits, carbon emissions continue to rise, especially in rapidly developing countries like India, China, and many African nations.”  That’s called development and that requires electricity and other means of powering manufacturing and transportation.

One thing Lomborg got right is that “Alarmism has encouraged the pursuit of a one-sided climate policy of trying to cut carbon emissions by subsidizing wind farms and solar panels.” These are two of the most costly and worthless forms of energy generation and Lomborg notes that even the International Energy Agency doesn’t expect them to provide any more than “a minuscule 2.2% of the world’s energy by 2040.”

Lomborg continues to do his best to be on both sides of the issue of “climate change” when, in fact, it is not an issue because there is nothing humans anywhere on planet Earth can do to have any impact on it. What we can do, however, is encourage the development which he points to. “This is important because if we want to help the poor people who are most threatened by natural disasters, we have to recognize that it is less about cutting carbon emissions than it is about pulling them out of poverty.”

It has nothing about cutting carbon emissions because that is not a threat. Indeed, without CO2 all life on Earth would cease to be. It is the gas on which all vegetation depends, just as mammals and other creatures depend on oxygen.

“In short, climate change is not worse than we thought. Some indicators are worse, but some are better. That doesn’t mean global warming is not a reality or a problem. It definitely is,” says Lomborg.

No, despite his science credentials and the two books he has written, Lomborg is just dead wrong. Global warming is neither a reality nor a problem because the Earth has been in A COOLING CYCLE for nineteen years at this point and one might think Lomborg would know this; particularly since his views are being published in an eminent U.S. newspaper that should also know this.

H. Sterling Burnett, the Managing Editor of Environment & Climate News, took note of the current weather, saying “Despite the cold, temperatures in the U.S. at present are closer to the normal winter range than they were in 2014 during the depth of the polar vortex," adding a tweak to the Warmists, saying "Seems like a good time to protest global warming.”

The real issue for Americans is an Obama administration that is imposing regulations based on the utterly false assertion that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced because of global warming.

In June 2014, James Delingpole, wrote: “Here is the Obama administration’s green strategy reduced to one damning equation: 19 million jobs lost plus $4.335 trillion spent = a reduction in global mean temperature of 0.018 degrees C (0.032 degrees F). These are the costs to the U.S. economy by 2100 of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory war on carbon dioxide, whereby all states must reduce emissions from coal-fired generating plants by 30% below 2005 levels.”

If you still wonder why the U.S. economy has just barely begun to pull itself out of the Great Recession triggered by the 2008 financial crisis, the answer is the Obama administration’s spectacular failures typified by massive wasteful spending, ObamaCare’s impact on the healthcare sector, and its continuing attack on the energy sector.

Only Congress and the courts stand between us and Obama as he pursues the destruction of the nation while claiming he is acting to “combat climate change.”


Energizing an Energy Policy

Consumers make better choices than bureaucrats

If you’re like most Americans, you’re enjoying the fact that it costs a lot less to fill up your car’s gas tank these days. If you’re a fan of big government, you may feel a bit ambivalent, though.

Why? Because one of the biggest drivers behind the drop in gas prices is the rise in directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) here at home. While the government is busy micromanaging the energy industry — trying to saddle it with more regulations while showering favors on so-called “green” companies — the free market is showing how to actually get things done.

Indeed, the country is in the midst of its own oil boom. Drilling and fracking has supported millions of new jobs, including geologists, engineers, rig workers, truck drivers, pipe welders and others. And not just in the energy industry itself: In states with increased production, there’s more demand for restaurants, repair shops, hardware stores, hotels, box stores and laundromats, among other things.

Then we have what government is doing: trying to pick winners and losers itself — and doing a very bad job of it.

Take Solyndra. “The future is here,” President Obama said of this solar-cell manufacturing firm. Perhaps his rosy prediction had something to do with the fact that Solyndra was backed by George Kaiser, a major campaign contributor to the Democrats. Whatever the reason, Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee as part of the president’s 2009 stimulus package, and the administration promised thousands of jobs would result.

Solyndra closed its doors in 2011.

“The situation was a microcosm of the worst of government favoritism,” writes energy expert Nicolas Loris in “Opportunity for All, Favoritism to None,” a new policy guidebook. “The well-connected navigate the regulatory process with remarkable ease and socialize the risk of their private endeavors.”

Better transparency would help protect taxpayer dollars from this kind of waste, but we need more. These cozy relationships between lobbyists and the federal government shouldn’t exist in the first place, but we can’t end them without ending the bad policies that fostered them in the first place.

Take the Renewable Fuel Standard. It requires refiners to blend billions of gallons of ethanol into fuel each year. Most of that ethanol comes from corn. That helps inflate gas prices, but it costs us in more ways than that.

Ethanol, after all, is less efficient and causes long-term damage in small engines. Worse, because corn is a staple in diets around the world, the Renewable Fuel Standard drives up food prices, both here and abroad.

Such unintended consequences help illustrate why we need to oppose bad policies so strenuously. As former Vice President Al Gore himself once said, “It’s hard once such a program is put in place to deal with the lobbies that keep it going.”

It’s clear that we need to limit government involvement in the energy sector. Among the many steps that Mr. Loris recommends:

End energy handouts. Congress should ensure that no taxpayer dollars go directly to energy production, storage, efficiency, infrastructure, or transportation for nongovernment consumers. And no special tax treatment, either.

Widen access to domestic and foreign markets. Open federal lands and waters that are currently off-limits to exploration and development.

Repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard. Stand up to big agribusiness.

Prevent new efficiency mandates and restructure existing ones. Consumers can make those choices by themselves, and the government should not override their choices by nudging them toward its preferred outcome.

Prohibit regulations that drive out energy sources for little to no environmental benefit. For instance, the Environmental Protection Agency has set greenhouse gas emission regulations so stringent that they effectively prohibit construction of new coal-fired power plants. This will needlessly drive up energy costs for American families.

There are other ways to improve our energy policy, but they boil down to one thing: letting the market work with minimal interference from Washington. As the price at the pump has been proving, we all stand to win when we decide — not bureaucrats.


Australia: Greenies versus forest-fire control

WESTERN Australia needs to have more controlled burns to curb the risk of out-of-control bushfires, the premier says.

FIREFIGHTERS have been working for a week to save lives and homes in the state's south from a bushfire surrounding Northcliffe.
The blaze has burnt more than 80,000 hectares of karri and jarrah forest.

Fewer controlled burns have been done in WA since 2011, when two prescribed burns at Margaret River and the Perth Hills destroyed more than 100 homes.

Premier Colin Barnett said on Thursday that more controlled burns were needed in vast forest areas despite opposition from local communities.

"I think we need to take a stronger stand," Mr Barnett told Fairfax radio.  "In those areas of vast forest, it's a natural phenomenon. You will get lightning strikes and you will get bushfires. It's been going on for millions of years."

Northcliffe resident Brad, who lives on a bush block and has held out until Thursday to leave town, told ABC radio he did not agree with prescribed burning because he did not believe it worked.

He said he would rather be forced to leave the forest-enveloped town and live with the risk of big fires than have authorities clear it every few years so the area resembled parkland.

"I think the loss of habitat, flora and fauna is far more destructive than what we've seen for the odd big fire that comes through," Brad said.

Roger Underwood, chairman of prescribed burning advocacy group Bushfire Front and veteran firefighter, told AAP this week that WA was the world leader in prescribed burning in the 1970s and '80s, but that was no longer the case.

Mr Underwood said Australia was "doomed to savage bushfires" without prescribed burns.

Emergency Services Minister Joe Francis said prescribed burns would not have prevented the Northcliffe bushfire because it was sparked by lightning.

He also said the karri and jarrah forests of the South West were the key reason they were so popular, and removing vast tracts would not go down well.



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8 February, 2015

Overwhelmingly it's Leftists who reject science

For starters, they close their eyes to a whole scientific  discipline -- genetics. To Leftists, the only thing that is genetically determined is homosexuality -- but among many identical twins only one is queer

The New York Times claims that the vaccine controversy we’re all talking about raises important questions about “how to approach matters that have largely been settled among scientists but are not widely accepted by conservatives.”

Well, here’s another question: How do we deal with the false perception that liberals are more inclined to trust science than conservatives? Also, how do we approach the media’s fondness for focusing on the unscientific views of some conservatives but ignoring the irrational – and oftentimes more consequential – beliefs of their fellow liberals?

Though outing GOP candidates as skeptics of science may confirm the secular liberal’s own sense of intellectual superiority, it usually has nothing to do with policy. However, if you walk around believing that pesticides are killing your children or that fracking will ignite your drinking water or if you hyperventilate about the threat of the ocean’s consuming your city, you have a viewpoint that not only conflicts with science but undermines progress. So how do we approach matters that have been settled among scientists but are not widely accepted by liberals?

Take vaccines. There is little proof that conservatives are any less inclined to vaccinate their children than anyone else. If we’re interested in politicizing the controversy, though, there is a good case to be made for the opposite.

For starters, polls show that millennials (most of whom lean liberal) are far more skeptical about vaccines than older Americans. You’ll notice that laws with easier loophole exemptions from vaccination are most often found in blue states, where we also find the most outbreaks. You may also notice that leading anti-vaxxers, such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., are writing in the mainstream Rolling Stone, not National Review.

As The New York Times itself already reported, half the children attending schools in Marin County, California, go unvaccinated by their enlightened parents. Unvaccinated children are clustered all over liberal counties in California. None of this is particularly surprising. Modern environmentalism perpetuates myths about the inorganic world and the evils of big pharma. Its adherents are just as likely to be in conflict with settled science as anyone else.

The perception that one political group is less science-savvy than another is predominately driven by the unwillingness of many conservatives to accept alarmism about global warming and the policies purportedly meant to mitigate it. But when it comes to climate change, volumes could be written about the ill-conceived, unscientific, over-the-top predictions made by activists and politicians.

We could start with our own Malthusian science czar, John Holdren, who once predicted that climate change would cause the deaths of a billion people by 2020 and that sea levels would rise by 13 feet. In 2009, James Hansen, one of the nation’s most respected climate scientists, told President Barack Obama that we have “only four years left to save the earth.” In 1988, he predicted parts of Manhattan would be underwater by 2008. If you don’t like high-speed rail, California Gov. Jerry Brown will let you know that Los Angeles International Airport is going to be underwater. And so on and on and on.

Undermining the future of genetically modifying crops – a process that, in one form or another, humans have been engaged in for about 10,000 years – probably hurts society (the poor, in particular) more than any global warming denial ever could. Across the world, almost every respected scientific organization that’s taken a look at independent studies has found that GMOs are just as safe as any other food. There is no discernable health difference between conventional food and organic food. There is a difference, though, in productivity, in environmental impact and in the ability of the world’s poor to enjoy more healthful high-caloric diets for a lot less money.

Yet while Republicans are evenly divided on whether genetically modified foods are unsafe, Democrats believe so by a 26-point margin. Liberals across the United States – New York, California, Oregon and Massachusetts recently – have been pushing for labeling foods to create the perception that something is wrong with them. Science disagrees.

Hydraulic fracturing is as safe as any other means of extracting fossil fuels. It creates hundreds of thousands of jobs. It provides cheaper energy for millions of Americans. It has less of an environmental impact than other processes. It means less dependency on foreign oil. It helped the economy work its way out of a recession. So 62 percent of Republicans support science, and 59 percent of Democrats oppose it. Numerous scientific studies – one funded by the National Science Foundation, which debunked the purported link between groundwater pollution and fracking – have assured us that there’s nothing to fear.

It doesn’t end there. What are we to make of people who mock religion as imaginary but believe an astrological sign should determine whom you date or are concerned that they will be whisked away in a flying saucer? According to a HuffPost/YouGov poll, 48 percent of adults in the United States believe that alien spacecraft are observing our planet right now. Among those who do believe extraterrestrials are hanging around, 69 percent are Democrats. Democrats are also significantly likelier than Republicans to believe in fortunetelling and about twice as likely to believe in astrology. I won’t even get into 9/11 truthers.

For many conservatives, resolving issues of faith and science can be tricky. What excuse do Democrats have? Maybe someone at The New York Times can find out.


Snow traps over 200 motorists in Spain

Spain is where Europeans go for the warm weather -- so that global warming sure is pesky

Spanish emergency services have rescued at least 220 people trapped by snow on roads in northern Spain. Hundreds of cars were stuck for up to 17 hours overnight on roads between Cantabria and the province of Palencia.

Local media report temperatures of -15C (5F) and up 40cm (1.3ft) of snow.

Around 100 British expats and tourists were among those trapped. Spanish police rescued several stranded in their vehicles shortly after arrival in Santander by ferry from Portsmouth.

Many had come to Spain hoping for a warm-weather holiday, but ended up having to spend the night in the sports hall of a local school and the dining room of a hotel.

The country is in the middle of a cold spell that is expected to worsen over the next three days, with cold weather alerts issued for 20 provinces.

Local media report temperatures as low as -15C (5F) in some areas of northern Spain

Spain's national weather service said in a statement (in Spanish) that the unusually cold temperatures would last until next Tuesday.

The BBC's Tom Burridge in Madrid says that a large area of central Spain has seen an unusually high amount of snowfall in recent days.

One British woman, Jackie Elford of Margate, told the BBC she was driving to Marbella with her husband Roger when they were caught in heavy snow along with dozens of other motorists.

Abandoned cars and overturned lorries have piled up on main roads near Santander. Spanish police said that dozens of military vehicles and snow ploughs are being used to clear the area.

Local media said that many schools in northern Spain had been closed and that there had been numerous power cuts.

The coldest temperatures are expected on Saturday and Sunday
Meanwhile, in Catalonia, winds of over 120km/h (75mph) have disrupted railway services.

Snowfall has also closed roads as far south as Andalucia.

The freezing conditions are set to continue for several days, with the coldest temperatures expected on Saturday and Sunday, warned the national weather service.


Climate change drove Australia's record hot year, unofficial report claims

The usual suspects (Steffen, Flannery) are at it again.  Since there is no statistically significant evidence that there has been ANY global warming for 18 years, the claims of change below are simply false.  Steffen is a long-time Warmist extremist. A while back he  described the debate in the media over the basics of climate change science as ”almost infantile”, equating it to an argument about the existence of gravity.

Australia's hottest year on record would not have happened without climate change, according to a new report.

The country experienced its hottest day, month, season and calendar year in 2013, registering a mean temperature 1.2C above the 1961-90 average.

The Climate Council says recent studies show those heat events would have occurred only once every 12,300 years without greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.

"In fact, we can say the 2013 record year was virtually impossible without climate change; it wouldn't have happened," Will Steffen, the author of Quantifying the Strong Influence of Climate Change on Extreme Heat in Australia, told AAP. "I mean, no one would bet on odds of one in nearly 13,000."

Based on analyses of data and model outputs, the report says climate change triples the odds that heatwaves of the 2012-13 Australian summer will happen as frequently as they do.

It also doubles the chances of them being as intense. "We're looking at pretty hard numbers on the odds of those things happening without the underlying warming trend due to greenhouse gases," Mr Steffen said.

"In my view, it's extremely powerful, conclusive evidence that not only is there a link between climate change and extreme heat, climate change is the main driver of it."

Mr Steffen found record hot days have doubled in Australia the last 50 years, and that during the past decade heat weather records were set three times more often than cold ones.

The report also claims heatwaves across Australia are becoming hotter, lasting longer, occurring more often and starting earlier.

2014 was Australia's third-warmest year on record behind 2013 and 2005, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.


How green and peaceful really is Greenpeace?

For the best part of half a century Greenpeace’s constant campaigning on environmental issues has been an almost unmitigated success. Its effectiveness has brought it both astonishing wealth and almost unimpeded access to decision-makers. During this time, it has had what amounts to a free pass from the media, its claims and methods rarely questioned by credulous environmental correspondents.

But are the wheels finally coming off? Looking back over the last few years it’s easy to get that impression: an organisation that once seemed untouchable has found itself having to answer some very sharp questions about the way it behaves and operates.

As far back as 2010, Gene Hashmi, Greenpeace’s boss in India, found himself at the centre of a worldwide uproar, after publishing what appeared to be a warning to the group’s opponents: ‘We know where you live. We know where you work. And we be many. And you be few.’

Reasonable people might have waved it all aside as an aberration. But if they did, then their minds would surely have been concentrated by a disturbing incident a few days ago when somebody, writing in the comments section of the Guardian website, threatened the Conservative peer Lord Ridley with beheading. Subsequent inquiries suggest that the perpetrator was a Greenpeace activist and sometime Guardian writer.

But it is not just these hints of violent undercurrents that have started to take the gloss off Greenpeace’s reputation. Just a few weeks ago it hit the headlines again when some of its activists caused irreparable damage to the Nazca Lines World Heritage site in Peru as part of an extraordinarily irresponsible publicity stunt. And as Greenpeace’s leadership moved heaven and earth to keep the identities of the perpetrators out of the hands of Peruvian law enforcement officials, we could almost see the group’s reputation crumbling before our very eyes.

And it doesn’t stop there. Who can forget the uproar when it was discovered that these pillars of the anti-capitalist movement had lost a small fortune in foreign exchange speculation? Or that a Greenpeace director was commuting to work in Amsterdam by air from the tax haven of Luxembourg?

Hypocrisy among the green fraternity is nothing new, but word that Greenpeace is also willing to play fast and loose with the facts is now starting to get around. In January, Professor Anne Glover, a former chief scientific adviser to the EU, stood down from her role, after a number of groups, including Greenpeace, successfully lobbied for the post to be abolished. On Tuesday, Glover told Today programme listeners that many of those within the group know that the things they say about genetic modification of crops are untrue.

As if to emphasise the point, a former boss of Greenpeace UK recently admitted that in his time in office, while he was running campaigns against genetic modification of crops, he actually believed that a blanket ban was not appropriate.

While Glover was talking about the GM debate, her remarks would have applied equally well to many of Greenpeace’s other campaigns, such as those against the oil and gas industries.

It’s not as if the public hasn’t been warned that this is how Greenpeace (and, for that matter, many of the other major green NGOs) operate. As far back as 2007, after another Greenpeace publicity stunt, the science writer Martin Robbins described the group as:

‘an NGO that thinks it is acceptable to lie to the public, to lie to bloggers and journalists, and to then intimidate writers with threatening emails warning of legal action.’

Yet despite this, environmental groups like Greenpeace still enjoy privileged access to [British] ministers, with Ed Davey in particular having a regular slot in his diary to hear their views. One shudders to think what they are telling him.

And the unquestioning attitude towards green groups is not without cost. As I noted in a recent report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, environmental policies are having devastating unintended consequences, particularly on the poor and the developing world.

Perhaps if difficult questions had been asked before the world implemented some of Greenpeace’s cock-eyed policy ideas – biofuels for example – a great deal of human misery would have been avoided. Let’s hope that people in positions of power take notice of what Professor Glover is telling them.


Murkowski stuns with EPA surrender, McConnell to the rescue?

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) just made the strongest case for House Republicans to pass an EPA funding bill that rips the regulatory heart out of the rogue Agency.

Alaska’s Murkowski who has just seen the Obama Administration unilaterally attack her state’s economic viability through his ban on energy production for an immense 12,000 acre tract of land surrounding the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge came out swinging when discussing the EPA’s budget saying, “We are going to be working aggressively every step of the way to put together a bill that is responsive and is something that we can gain support for passage — not a messaging bill, but support for passage.”

What?  Huh? This means Murkowski plans to leave the final decision on what can be passed to the six Democrats it takes to get to 60, assuming she has all 54 Republicans with her.

Murkowski, who ran as a write-in independent after losing in the Republican primary in 2010, has either adopted Neville Chamberlain as her personal role model, or is taking negotiating lessons from Secretary of State John Kerry.  After four years of being promised that things would change in D.C. if the people entrusted the Senate to Republicans, Murkowski’s white flag to the eco-regulators who are threatening our nation’s economic vitality through an onslaught of regulations is particularly galling.

Rather than being a Senator who will use her clout to force the rogue Agency to its knees, Murkowski worries about the public being upset if, due to a funding dispute, the EPA is shuttered for a few days?

Much of America would cheer if the EPA’s capacity to carry out President Obama’s fundamental transformation of America were neutered.  Yet, Murkowski opens up the funding process under the premise that her sole objective is to get a bill completed that Democrats can support.

Fortunately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has placed himself on the funding panel with a different vision.  McConnell from Kentucky has made it clear that he intends to use the power of the purse to stop Obama’s war on coal that is devastating workers in his state.

With the EPA in the midst of an end of Administration regulatory explosion with a focus on declaring every puddle a wetland, methane gas from cows an ozone threat and the continued implementation of rules that make burning coal to generate electricity economically unattractive, America better hope that McConnell asserts his authority and overrides Murkowski.

It is time the Democrats are forced to explain to American households why their regulatory policies have driven electricity prices up 17 percent with future increases to come in spite of an abundance of domestic energy.

And with the Senate Majority Leader determined to hold their feet to the fire, Senator Murkowski’s fiddling while Rome burns vision may be as lasting as last week’s newspaper in a home with a bird cage.


America is falling behind in the new cold war over Arctic oil and gas

President Obama’s newly announced plans to designate one of the largest oil fields in U.S. as “wilderness,” is foolhardy at best—and may be anti-American at worst. When you look at the bigger story, you have to wonder whose side he stands on in the new “cold war.”

In a YouTube video, Obama called on Congress to set aside all of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as wilderness — which would prohibit motorized access, road construction, and halt “any chance of oil exploration.” The January 25 announcement, according to the Washington Post (WP): “is just the first in a series of decisions the Interior Department will make.” It reports: “The Department will also put part of the Arctic Ocean off limits to drilling … and is considering whether to impose additional limits on oil and gas production in parts of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.”

The WP headline about the Obama Administration’s proposal states: “Alaska Republicans declare war.” Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who chairs both the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, has vowed to “Fight back with every resource at our disposal” and to “hit back as hard as we can.”

Other than ratcheting-up the rhetoric, not much will actually change with the new announcement, as ANWR is currently off limits to drilling — though the 1980 Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act set aside the 1.5 million-acre coastal plain for possible future oil-and-gas development, and Alaska’s lawmakers from both parties have been trying to open it up to oil exploration for decades. Congress would have to approve Obama’s “wilderness” request and that has no chance of happening.

But it does bring the story to the forefront and, as Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum points out: ANWR is now “something that everyone has to take a stand on.” We now know (as if there were any question) where President Obama stands, he aligns with the environmental activists who delight in the “pro-protection stance.” “The administration’s proposal,” according to Politico, “reflects Obama’s shift to the left on environmental issues.”

But not only Alaskans and Republicans prepare for a battle over Arctic oil-and-gas resources.

The Russians are militarizing the Arctic and building bases near Alaska and reopening others that they closed at the conclusion of the cold war. The former-Soviet government introduced new nuclear attack submarines — the first of which joined the Northern Fleet in June — and has 25 icebreakers (compared to our 2) that are necessary to navigate Arctic waters.

The actions form part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to establish a strategic command in Russia’s “Arctic Zone.” The Moscow Times (MT) reports: “Putin sees control of the Arctic as a matter of serious strategic concern for Moscow. Below the Arctic lies vast stockpiles of largely untapped natural resource reserves.” The MT continues: “Russia is vying for control of the region’s oil, gas and rare metals with the other ‘polar nations’ — Canada, Denmark, Norway and the U.S. — leading many observers to point at the region as one of the world’s most volatile flashpoints.”

As ice has melted and drilling technology has advanced, Arctic reserves become more accessible. Companies from the five countries that border the Arctic rushed to secure rights to drill.

The countries also make their own claims. The Fiscal Times explains: “Putin’s military expansion was in direct response to a claim of additional land by” Canada. Russia, Denmark, and Canada have overlapping territorial claims and, despite international law that declares no country has sovereignty over the North Pole, each is claiming ownership of it — making the Arctic the potential new “cold war.”

In response to Russia’s Soviet-style military build-up, Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggested: “Russian President Vladimir Putin has ‘determined that, for Russia’s neighbours, there shall be no peace,’ and said ‘because Russia is also Canada’s neighbour, we must not be complacent here at home.’”

While other countries race for the resources, the U.S., under Obama, backs away from ours — let alone any access to any additional claims. Last year, then Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) said: “The Obama Administration should make the Arctic more of a priority.” In an interview with Fox News, he quipped: “It’s like they’ve never heard of it.” Addressing Russia’s push to “protect oil-and-gas fields,” The Fiscal Times claims: “The Pentagon has fallen behind.”

Regarding Obama’s January 25 ANWR announcement, Erik Milito, director of upstream and industry operation for the American Petroleum Institute, said: “It sends the wrong signal to Alaskans, the industry and the world. … These are strategic assets and the U.S. should be leading the way in the development of these resources.”

Now, you should be asking yourself: “What is Obama thinking? Why has he pulled America back and taken off the table an opportunity to protect us from a global oil market that remains beyond our control?” The answer: because as the MT states: “Arctic oil exploration is vehemently contested by environmentalists.”

Next, you should ask: “How have environmental activists been able to take control of American energy policy?” The answer: as the New York Times reports is apparently the case in Europe, “Lots of money from Russia.”

In a Washington Free Beacon story that reads like a spy thriller, Lachlan Markay reveals how Russian money in the form of hundreds of millions of dollars is laundered through Bermuda and doled out to anti-fossil fuel, anti-fracking groups like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and John Podesta’s Center for American Progress — which serves as an incubator for ideas that become Obama Administration policy. Markay cites a report from the DC-based Environmental Policy Alliance that details, with documentation, how it is all done.

The anti-American accusation may be a bit of hyperbole — but, then again, maybe not. When you connect the dots, it seems clear that President Obama is doing Russia’s bidding — through his environmental allies — at the expense of America’s economic and energy security. We find ourselves in a new cold war (pun intended) over Arctic resources, and our president appears to be on the side of the enemy.



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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6 February, 2015

IPCC Climate Science As A Gestalt Theory Problem

by Dr Tim Ball, Climatologist

The proverb that “they can’t see the forest for the trees” means, they are so consumed with detail, they don’t understand the larger situation. This is true of society in general and climatology in particular. gestalt One book that at least addresses part of the problem as it relates to climate, is Essex and McKitrick’s Taken By Storm, in the chapter titled, “Climate Theory Versus Models and Metaphors”.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has exacerbated, amplified and exploited the problem because they are about politics, not science.

Shortly after appointment to Chair of the newly formed Assiniboine River Management Advisory Board (ARMAB), I called a meeting at the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg. I invited people from Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments involved with as many aspects of the river basin as possible. It was amazing, in a Province of 1.2 million people, how few knew or communicated with each other. I knew communication between different levels of governments is bad, but was shocked to find, it was as bad within the same level of government. Worse, many didn’t know their part in affecting the interaction between the natural dynamics of the river basin and human activities.

People introduced themselves and explained why they were present. Some didn’t know. The Department of Highways representative said his department had nothing to do with water. I asked him if he knew that, a) they built and maintained drainage ditches on each side of a road, b) that some ditches are larger in flow capacity than many rivers and streams in the basin and, c) a majority cut across the natural drainage slope of the region? Of course, none knew the climate history of the basin. Some knew I had done climate studies, but nobody had ever consulted me or looked at the material.

Over my career I’ve given evidence at trials, advised lawyers in court cases, served on dozens of commissions of inquiry and participated in numerous government and private studies on a variety of issues related to climate, water resources, and environmental issues. Almost without exception the conclusions were,

 *  Data was inadequate to reach meaningful conclusions,

 *  Most people were only minimally doing their job and few knew the context of their work,

 *  Every rule was being bent, broken or ignored, which speaks to the paradox that rules are made to make things work, but when a group says they are going to work to rule, it means they are going to stop it working.

 *  Previous recommendations for change were ignored. On my first commission looking at conflict over a lake, I discovered recommendations of three previous commissions were never enacted. There was also a letter sent to Ottawa in the 1880s by an engineer in the region, identifying the problems and offering solutions. I also knew that fur trader and explorer Alexander Mackenzie had commented on the problems 200 years earlier. All were ignored.

 *  Usually, responses were so slow that if they came at all, a new pattern had emerged that was aggravated by the actions. The history of the Assiniboine drainage basin was a pattern of reactions driven by the wet and dry cycle of the Prairies. With wet cycles demands for drainage forced some reaction. By the time it started, a dry cycle drove demands for retention and storage.

It appears life is, as Shakespeare’s play title says, “a comedy of errors”. However, every once in a while, it randomly becomes a tragedy of errors.

Gestalt Theory

Gestalt theory says that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. It is part oflearning theory.

Gestalt theory applies to all aspects of human learning, although it applies most directly to perception and problem-solving.

According to Gestalt experts, the principles to apply are as follows.

1. The learner should be encouraged to discover the underlying nature of a topic or problem (i.e., the relationship among the elements).

2. Gaps, incongruities, or disturbances are an important stimulus for learning

3. Instruction should be based upon the laws of organization: proximity, closure, similarity and simplicity.

It has application to climatology, and today’s analysis and understanding of the world and how it works. Chances of success are, at best, seriously hampered by the problem of specialization. Accurate identification and integration of each specialized piece, is essential to understanding. Specialization guarantees you will not see the forest for the trees. Different languages, definition of terms and perspectives exacerbate this problem. The introductory course in any subject at any university, is where the separation begins. These usually leave fundamental differences and divisions unexplained, yet, they seriously affect and limit understanding.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) fails for many reasons, but, not least, is the problem of specialization. In fact, they have a much larger problem because there are crossovers and similarities within the specializations that are markedly different between the sciences. This is demonstrated in their Working Group I (WGI) The Physical Science Basis Report and those in Social Science Reports of Working Groups II and II. Then, they run into serious problems when they tried to integrate political and economic models. Integrating them with economic and social scenarios of WG II and III and calling them projections, supposedly masked failures of the scientific predictions of WGI. This goes a long way to explaining why a few people with a political objective were able to create the unrepresentative, unreal, Summary for Policymakers (SPM).

The IPCC created an intellectual and philosophical Tower of Babel that has only temporarily served the political objective. It limited the possibility that anyone would put two and two together and realize their answer was five. Like another famous tower, it is leaning and ready to fall.

Specializations In Climate

An important question from a Gestalt perspective is, how many specializations are represented? I used the diagram as a prompt, while explaining to a lawyer the difference between climate science and climatology. The former, are individual specialists who happen to study climate. The latter, must integrate every part. The problem and challenge is underscored by the need to create integrative or interdisciplinary studies for real world problems.

As a climatologist, trying to put all the pieces in the puzzle, I have always known it was necessary to consult with specialists. For example, when using statistics, I relied on Alex Basilevsky, whose biography lists climate studies. He was especially interested in Markov probabilities. This failure to consult specialists was identified by the Wegman Report as a serious failure of the paleeoclimate group associated with the “hockey stick” fiasco. In a devastating finding they wrote:

"It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community. Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent. Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.

The challenge, when dealing with specialists, is to know enough to ask the right questions and understand the answers. This worked well in many cases, but often created more problems, because I received different answers from people in the same specialization".

The last sentence by Wegman seems to imply that they didn’t consult because they knew their work would not withstand scrutiny. That proved to be the case, when Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitirck looked at what was going on. However, there is another issue of differences between specialists. Consider the following communications between two, well-informed global warming skeptics. Willliam Kininmonth, former head of Australia’s National Climate Centre at the Bureau of Meteorology and author of, “Climate Change, A Natural Hazard” wrote:

"I have difficulty in understanding the reluctance of some to embrace modern radiation transfer theory. The first validations were made in the 1940s and 1950s with aircraft and balloon borne instruments measuring radiation fluxes at various altitudes through the atmosphere. Then there were instruments released from rockets taking measurements as they descended through the atmosphere. As computing power developed the algorithms for evaluation became more complex. As instrumentation developed the fine structure of wavebands were better measured. My point is that radiation transfer theory is not a theory that was formulated 60-80 years ago and has not changed. It has evolved to incorporate more complexities as computing capability and instrument observing precision have improved. It will continue to improve but the fundamental theoretical base and broad conclusions remain valid."

The reply by Arthur Rorsch, whose views are well detailed in an article titled“Pseudoscientific elements in climate change research,” replied

"The origin of the reluctance is this. The laws have been deduced for radiation processes with a blackbody covered cavity. I think my colleague Ponec sent you already his short treatise on it with the interesting comment that there has been developed other views on the application of the laws in Nature which seem not to be noticed by the atmospheric sciences."

Another part of the discourse cited above is in reference to the latest publication by Ferenc Miskolczi. As one skeptic wrote,

"We still have a long way to go in understanding the world and its climate.  Miskolczi is analysing a different set of data, a different approach to atmospheric science, not that of a meteorologist."

My experience is that you get different responses, depending on whom you ask and how they apply the physics. For example, engineers usually have a different understanding than others. They claim it is because their physics has to work. To be trite, it is a variation on the joke that an optimist says the glass is half full, the pessimist that it is half empty, and the engineer that it is badly designed.

This appears to speak directly to my point about the Gestalt Theory as it applies to climate research.

So the questions remain. Which physicist is correct? Why do they disagree? Why does the climate sensitivity number keep decreasing? Is it because the science isn’t settled, or that they all look at pieces of the climate puzzle differently?

Gestalt applies, if for no other reason than, the sum of the climate parts are greater than the whole and the IPCC keeps digging. A good example of the Gestalt problem is, that the UK Court ruling on Al Gore’s movie insisted the government provide handbooks for teachers to use before showing it in the classroom. The Department of Education had to produce different handbooks for the science, social science and civics teachers.

Understanding weather and climate is a major example of the difficulties identified in the Gestalt Theory. The problem will continue as long as the IPCC exists, because it was designed to look at individual trees while ignoring the natural forest, and then only a man-planted forest.


Memo Reveals Bogus EPA Climate Strategy

PMA memo released as part of an ongoing Freedom of Information Act request examining the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule-making has revealed the EPA using misleading claims to stoke fears of global warming. Big surprise, huh?

The March 2009 memo shows the EPA feared it was losing citizen support for its climate efforts because opinion polls consistently showed the public ranked fighting global warming very low on its list of priorities. According to polls, the public felt harms from global warming were exaggerated and had little bearing on people’s lives.

In response, the memo describes the EPA’s decision shift the debate from concerns about melting ice caps and declining caribou and polar bear populations, to promoting the idea global warming poses a direct threat to public health, especially children’s health, and air and water quality.

“Most American’s will never see a polar ice cap, nor will ever have a chance to see a polar bear in its natural habitat. Therefor it is easy to detach from the seriousness of the issue. Unfortunately, climate change in the abstract is an increasingly – and consistently – unpersuasive argument to make. However, if we shift from making this issue about polar caps and about our neighbor with respiratory illness we can potentially bring this issue home to many Americans.”

The problem for the EPA is, there has been no serious research linking global warming or greenhouse gas emissions to human health problems, or air or water pollution.

According to the memo an additional step the EPA took was to raise concerns about climate change among minority groups and women, using headline catching “hooks,” concerning social justice and children’s health.

The memo details ways to create a positive association in the public’s mind between concerns about the safety of the water they drink and the air they breathe, and the need to act on global warming. Per the memo, “We must begin to create a causal link between the worries of Americans and the proactive mission we’re pushing.”

Attorney and Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow, Chris Horner obtained the memo through a FOIA request. Concerning what he uncovered, Horner said, “This memo shows EPA’s recognition that the global warming case is “consistently — an unpersuasive argument to make”, and thus required a facelift, from a pro-scarcity movement of wealthy white elites to a racial and “social justice” issue.”

“This memo candidly affirms EPA’s conscious approach of yelling “clean air” and “children” at every turn in the push for an agenda that not long ago was about the end of the world in a climatic calamity, openly and rightly confident in getting a media assist,” said Horner.

John Dale Dunn, a physician and lawyer who has written on government and scientific corruption for more than 25 years saw problems recognized the shift in the EPA’s climate focus in 2009. Dunn stated, “The Children/baby risks panic strategy fit the EPA goals, according to secret strategy documents, when the cute Coca Cola polar bear cubs and mothers imagery failed to motivate public outrage.”

“The internal documents obtained under FOIA revealed the EPA and enviros were looking for a hook and decided the hook they were looking for was the health of children,” continued Dunn, “Why not? Nothing better to get politicians moving than marching and chanting women in matching t-shirts on a tear, worried about and advocating for their babies.”


Sen. Inhofe Uses Heartland Poster to Debunk Climate Alarmism

On Wednesday January 21, in his first speech on the floor of the senate as the Chairman of the Senate’s Environment & Public Works Committee, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) used a poster supplied by The Heartland Institute to drive home the point that the theory of man-made climate change is highly contested.

The poster, which you can see and download here, identifies 58 climate experts who “don’t believe global warming is a crisis.” Among those listed are Dr. Richard Lindzen, Dr. Tim Ball, and Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt – all of whom reject the UN IPCC’s conclusions regarding the human impact on our climate.

Inhofe used his time on the floor to poke holes in the arguments of climate alarmists in the Senate, who still believe that “97-98 percent of scientists agree” about the causes of global warming. “It just isn’t true,” Inhofe said.

He uses the poster to illustrate the large amount of dissenting opinion in the face of the generally held “consensus” on man-made climate change. Sen. Inhofe reassures us that there are going to be hearings in the future on the subject and “we’ll be there to be the truth-squad.”


"Intergenerational Equity" Cuts Both Ways, Folks

Should governments act now to prevent the possibility of dangerous human-caused climate change, even if the chances for future harm are exceedingly small? Those who say yes often base their answer on the idea of intergenerational equity: Present generations should not impose harms on future generations who will play no role in and have no control over the factors causing the harm.

Governments have taken this argument seriously, enacting expensive subsidies for renewable energy sources and restrictions on technologies and fossil fuel production. Those policies are aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions – which, according to anthropogenic global warming theory, are responsible for harmful climate change.

But it’s important to note actions taken today have consequences not only for the future, but also for today. Public policies that hurt present generations also will result in profound negative consequences for future generations, as a recent report by the Global Warming Policy Foundation makes clear.

Biofuel mandates, for instance, were intended to replace carbon-intensive fossil fuels for transportation with carbon-neutral fuels. It turns out biofuels are not carbon-neutral. Moreover, the mandates have resulted in a deadly transformation of food to fuel, causing higher food prices and shortages and leaving the already malnourished and hungry even hungrier. Wild lands have been plowed under and forests cleared away to create space for crops to be grown for fuel, destroying wildlife habitat. In some regions, government’s push for biofuels has forced native peoples off their traditional homelands.

Government subsidies to, and mandates requiring the use of, inefficient, expensive renewable energy have resulted in higher energy prices and government deficits. In the process, developed countries have left developing nations in energy poverty by restricting loans for energy development to renewable energy development only. Renewable energy sources have left a massive footprint on Earth, transforming millions of acres into industrial wind and solar farms and killing millions of birds, bats, and other wildlife annually.

The push for energy-efficient lighting has resulted in traffic accidents and deaths because new energy-efficient lights don’t generate enough heat to keep from icing over during freezing temperatures, obscuring the signal lights. Compact fluorescent lamps, which are replacing incandescent light bulbs as a result of federal regulations, contain toxins – primarily mercury – that get released into the atmosphere when they break in garbage bins and landfills.

These and other human and environmental harms caused by climate change policies should be given more weight when making the intergenerational justice argument. Harms caused today, and people left in poverty now as a result, leave future generations with fewer options, less wealth, and less able to adapt to future climate change.


Obama ad Nauseum

By Alan Caruba

I made a promise to myself that I would not write about President Obama’s State of the Union speech because that would require me to watch him deliver it. Like many others I can barely watch him under any circumstance because, to my mind, that means having to watch a psychopathic liar. The problem with that is that he is the President for two more years.

And then I read an article on, “Republicans outfox Democrats on climate votes” subtitled “The GOP accepts the notion of climate change, but not in the way the Democrats wanted them to.”

In a rational world, politicians voting on whether the climate changes or not is an absurdity. Of course the climate changes. It always has and always will. But when Democrats use the term “climate change” they really mean “global warming.” And global warming has been the greatest hoax of the modern era, getting its start in the late 1980s and becoming a huge academic industry generated by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Global warming put billions in the pockets of “scientists”, universities, and any think tank that would lie about it, telling the nation and the world that carbon dioxide, a gas that is barely 0.04% of the Earth’s atmosphere was warming it when, in fact, the Earth stopped warming some 19 years ago at the same time the Sun entered a natural cycle of lower solar radiation.

Few of these “scientists” bothered to tell the public that, without carbon dioxide, we and all other life on Earth would die as it is critical to the growth of all vegetation. The fact that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has actually been increasing at the same time the Earth has been cooling is proof enough that all the warming claims were and are pure hogwash.

It turns out that all the computer models that they and others have generated to predict a catastrophic global warming have been wrong, wrong, and wrong.

Obama didn’t have a word to say about al Qaeda and the other Islamic fascists eager to destroy modernity and drag the world back to the Dark Age, but he did lie about 2014 as “the planet’s warmest year on record.”

That lie was initially put out by NASA and National Oceanic and the Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA) two government agencies that shortly thereafter admitted that they might be wrong, seeing that their assertion of the 0.02 degree Celsius increase wasn’t even outside their own margin of error. They could have taken a look at their own satellite data and saved themselves from looking like idiots.

Obama said, “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what—I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all tell us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, long, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger great migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.”

This is lying on a galactic scale. The United States doesn’t need to do a single thing to reduce “greenhouse gas emissions”, nor should it bother to do so. Obama’s claims of catastrophic change bears no relationship to the fact that in recent years the planet has had a record low in the numbers of tornadoes and hurricanes, and a record gain in Arctic and Antarctic ice. There has been no change of any significance in the sea levels. Those who study such things note that “Until about 7,000 years ago the rate of rise was about 100 mm/decade. Since then rate of rise has averaged 10 mm/decade.” That’s “mm” as in millimeters.

In late December, the world’s second largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, reported on the losses from natural events in 2014 and, despite predictions that climate change would cause more frequent natural catastrophes due to man-made worsening of the climate, it saw “markedly less damage claims than in previous years” and far less loss of lives.” In terms of the dollars it cost the insurance industry, Swiss Re estimated that costs insurers covered were USD $113 billion in 2014, down from USD $135 billion in 2013. Losses were down 24% from 2013.
That, of course, doesn’t matter to Obama. It should, however, matter to the rest of us because the Environmental Protection Agency has been using those computer models and abjectly phony “science” to wage Obama’s war on the nation’s providers of the energy on which we all depend. From coal-fired plants to drilling for oil and natural gas, anything that might provide energy is under attack by the EPA.

As Katie Tubb, a research assistant for the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, responded to Obama’s claim saying that “The EPA’s proposed regulations would have almost zero impact on global temperatures, but will certainly impact Americans now and for future generations.”

So, when you read about a bunch of U.S. Senators, only one of whom, Oklahoma’s Sen. James Inhofe (R) has a grasp of the real science, spent time voting back and forth over amendments and their language regarding the climate, you were in fact really reading about the debate leading up to the passage of the bill that would remove Obama’s authority to prevent the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Between a President who lies about global warming and climate change, and a Congress composed mostly of lawyers who are clueless about the actual science, the best we can hope for is a Republican Party determined to rein in the EPA and other government agencies; the reason they were voted into office.


Cape Wind is dead

In the end it was about money and politics, as are so many things in Massachusetts. But it was not Koch cash or Kennedy pique that may have killed a commercial offshore wind plant in Nantucket Sound. It was the hubris of Cape Wind’s developers themselves.

Almost 14 years after Cape Wind Associates unveiled plans to erect 130 wind turbines across 24 square miles of pristine Horseshoe Shoal, Jim Gordon and his investors seem to have run out of time, money, and political capital. The decision by NStar and National Grid to walk away after Cape Wind missed a December 31 contract deadline appears to leave Cape Wind “dead in the water,” as Gordon’s nemesis, Audra Parker of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, so poetically put it.

Gordon blamed the collapse of what would have been the first offshore wind facility in the United States on litigious obstructionists financed by Bill Koch, the conservative scion of his family’s oil refining fortune, and other wealthy property owners protective of their ocean views. Then, without apparent irony, he promptly lashed out at the utilities that abandoned him, essentially claiming the relentless legal battle he has been whining about for more than a decade was an unanticipated disaster akin to an act of God.

The truth is, Gordon simply could not deliver. He never won the lasting support of the people of the Cape and Islands whose homes bear no resemblance to Koch’s Oyster Harbors manse or the Kennedys’ Hyannis Port compound. The Town of Barnstable opposed him. So did a Wampanoag tribe. Among the legal challenges the project has faced was a suit by struggling fishermen from Martha’s Vineyard who argued that the massive wind plant threatened their livelihood. (The fishermen withdrew their lawsuit only when they found themselves unable to pay their lawyers and Cape Wind offered them an undisclosed settlement.) Fifty-nine percent of respondents to a Cape Cod Times online poll in January pronounced themselves “happy” that Cape Wind looks doomed.

Yet, from the outset, Gordon has cloaked himself in environmental virtue and cast any and all critics as defenders of “dirty energy.” To doubt the merits of this particular project was to oppose renewable energy itself. To object to this specific site was to reject offshore wind power entirely. To express safety concerns?—?as regional airports and ferry operators who serve the mainland and the Islands did?—?was to brand yourself a dupe of the fossil-fuel lobby. To want to protect the aesthetic beauty of Nantucket Sound was to cast your lot with climate change deniers.

There was no middle ground for Gordon, who put Koch in the role of big-oil bogeyman but who staked his claim to those federal waters off Massachusetts without a competitive bidding process.

Charlie Baker was not wrong when he characterized Cape Wind as a “sweetheart deal” during his unsuccessful run for governor in 2010. I suspect his view hasn’t changed much now that he has claimed that corner office in the State House and has suggested he won’t get involved in the contract dispute.

Demonizing his critics worked for Gordon for more than a decade, but in the end the NIMBY charge lost its sting when the public recognized Cape Wind as a classic bait and switch. Developers promised cheap, clean energy, and then planned to sell 77.5 percent of the power they were going to produce to NStar and National Grid for some two times the average cost of power generated by US suppliers. The contracted price of 18.7 cents per kilowatt-hour was slated to rise 3.5 percent every year of the 15-year contract.

The developers dangled the prospect of good manufacturing jobs but then went to the German company Siemens to buy the turbines and the offshore transformer and to contract for maintenance services.

They touted their ability to attract private investment but then failed to secure all the necessary financing for the $2.5 billion project or to nail down purchase contracts for the final 22.5 percent of the power they planned to produce. (They had less trouble tapping public money, winning subsidies, tax breaks, and conditional commitment of a $150 million loan guarantee from the US Department of Energy.)



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, 2015 

'Green' questionnaire allegedly helps predict how consumers buy environmentally friendly products

A remarkably naive piece of attitude research below.  The researchers have taken no account of acquiescent bias, social desirability bias or social class bias.  They are psychometrically illiterate.  What their finding imply, if anything, is that Green acolytes are mostly middle class and therefore tend to exhibit other middle class charateristics.   Another howler from  Excerpt below

How do consumers decide when faced with the option of buying a traditional product or a competing product that is marketed as 'green?'  Penn State Smeal College of Business faculty member Karen Winterich and her colleagues set out to develop a scale of 'green consumption values'
The define "green " as the tendency of to express the value of environmental protection through the goods and services they purchase. To measure those values, researchers developed a six-item measure they call the GREEN scale, consisting of the following statements:

"Our primary goal is to develop a concise measure of exclusively green consumption values, as opposed to broader attitudes toward socially responsible behavior or environmental consciousness," the researchers wrote in an article to be published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

In applying the GREEN scale across a series of six studies, the researchers also found that green consumption values tend to exist within a larger network of ideas and beliefs about conservation.

"We demonstrate that green consumption values are strongly related to the careful use of not just collective, environmental resources, but also personal resources," the researchers wrote. "That is, both the tendency to use financial resources wisely . and the tendency to use physical resources wisely . are positively correlated with green consumption values."

In other words, consumers that value green consumption also tend to value financial savings and reuse and repurpose goods rather than quickly disposing of them. Consumers with this set of values may experience some conflict if environmentally friendly products are more expensive or less effective than their traditional counterparts. How do consumers resolve this?


Syriza is a Greenie party

The victory of the left-wing coalition party, Syriza, in this weekend’s Greek elections has been accompanied by a whole heap of hype. And not just of the desperate Europhilic, hell-in-a-handcart variety. Many also seem to think that the triumph of Alexis Tsipras and Syriza represents, to use the BBC’s words, ‘an anti-austerity revolution’. Others talk excitedly and obscurely of ‘building a successful transformative movement’, or,  more bluntly, that ‘a Syriza government could spur on other anti-austerity forces across the continent’.

The hope invested in Syriza, especially by those lazily chomping at the anti-capitalist bit outside of Greece, has been striking. Syriza has been turned into the vanguard of anti-austerity resistance, a movement seemingly capable of pointing the way to a more prosperous, possibly even abundant future. And yet there is nothing in the reality of Syriza that justifies this massive investment of hope and hype. More importantly, there is nothing in the reality of Syriza to suggest that it can really challenge the consensus on austerity.

In fact, everything suggests that Syriza is interested in little more than a less severe version of the austerity regime imposed on Greece for the past six years by the so-called Troika: the European Union, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB). As a Syriza spokesman told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this week, ‘there has been a lot of posturing on all sides’. He then sought to reassure other European states that Greece under Syriza was not looking to do anything too radical, like leave the Eurozone: ‘A Grexit is not on the cards.’ He was echoing the recent mollifying words of Tsipras himself: ‘Our goal is to reach a new agreement - within the Eurozone - that would allow the Greek people to breathe… and to live in dignity by restoring debt sustainability and finding a way out of recession through financing growth.’

In fact, what Syriza is promising to do doesn’t much sound like ‘an anti-austerity revolution’ at all. It wants to rearrange the terms of the debt repayments, and, simultaneously, increase public spending to alleviate the ‘humanitarian crisis’ - which consists of a one-in-four unemployment rate and a steep decline in living standards. Channel 4 News’ Paul Mason described Syriza’s offering as ‘a Keynesian fiscal union with a high welfare state’. Little wonder Syriza’s embittered former leader, Alekos Alavanos, said that while Syriza ‘has radical left origins, [it is] now a moderate party’.

But there’s a deeper problem with Syriza than the disparity between its anti-austerity posturing and the moderation of its actual policies and approach: Syriza is not only unwilling really to challenge austerity; it is ideologically and intellectually incapable of really challenging austerity. It is infused with the very same anti-growth sentiments, the very same scepticism towards material progress, that underpins the idea of austerity. In its core, Syriza supports the project of ensuring that humanity lives within its environmentally and economically limited means.

This should not be a surprise. Syriza’s dominant party faction, Synaspismos, may have its origins in the Greek Communist left, but its current incarnation owes just as much to its embrace of the No Logo anti-capitalism, anti-globalisation moment of the late 1990s and early 2000s. As a young Synaspismos member, Tsipras was particularly taken with the anti-G8 protests in Genoa in 2001. ‘He saw that this was the future of the left’, a comrade told the Financial Times. Three years later, Syriza was formed from the dregs of the anti-globalisation semi-surge, bringing Synaspismos together with assorted anti-capitalist and ecological grouplets.

As such, Syriza, right from the start, was a product of the crisis of the left, of the left’s willingness, in the absence of the old socialist and Communist verities, to embrace the anti-progress, anti-modernity narrative of environmentalism. After all, went the thinking, at least it was anti-capitalist - it’s just that it was also rather anti-human and anti-aspiration, too. In fact, the problem for the anti-globalisation brigade was not so much capitalism — it was human society’s tendency to seek to improve its lot, always producing and consuming more, always transcending extant limits, always developing.

So keen was Synaspismos to shed its attachment to old-left dreams of material abundance that, in 2003, it changed its name from Coalition of the Left and Progress to Coalition of the Left and Ecology. The replacement of ‘progress’ with ‘ecology’ has been writ large in Syriza’s pronouncements ever since. It is antagonistic towards both nuclear power and to what it calls the ‘over-exploitation of natural resources promoted by neoliberal expansionism’. It says that ‘natural resources are under attack everywhere’. And it promises to ‘create decent jobs, distribute the wealth produced more fairly, and respect the environment’. Just this month, Tsipras outlined his vision in the Spanish newspaper El Pais: ‘From the darkness of austerity and of authoritarianism, into the light of democracy, of solidarity and of sustainable development.’

So, yes, Syriza may at points sound like it is challenging the mainstream political-elite consensus on the need for austerity. But dig a little deeper, and a far more familiar, conformist political beast emerges, one that is as committed to cutting back on people’s use of resources and consumption habits as the most green-gilled of contemporary miserablists. This is no recipe for anti-austerity — it’s an endorsement of its underlying ingredients, from growth scepticism to an acceptance that humanity is approaching the end of the line and that nature is about to limit our aspirations.

Seven years on from the financial crash, seven years in which Western economies have receded and stagnated, and the left is still no closer to coming up with a proper challenge to austerity. For that, we need some future-oriented verve, a commitment to risk-taking and some ballsy disrespecting of the environment and natural limits. One thing is for sure: Syriza is not it.


Obama’s Prediction of a Million Electric Cars on Road By 2015 Off By 72%

In his 2011 State of the Union address, President Obama predicted that the U.S. would have “a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.”

The president backed up his prediction with $2.4 billion in federal grants to companies producing lithium-ion batteries for plug-in cars.

But reality hasn’t even come close.

Despite massive federal spending on electric vehicles, which is expected to total $7.9 billion through 2019, there are currently just 286,390 plug-in vehicles on the nation’s roads today, according to the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA).

That’s 72 percent lower than the million electric vehicles the president predicted four years ago. And with gasoline prices now averaging $2.06 per gallon, the lowest they’ve been since April 2009, that percentage is not likely to change any time soon.

Despite steep discounts, manufacturers’ rebates, federal and state tax credits, and even special utility rates in some areas, plug-in electric vehicles accounted for just 3.5 percent of the more than 16.4 million light vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2014, according to EDTA.

Most of the 118,773 plug-in electric vehicles sold in the U.S. last year were in California, which has one of the strictest emissions standards in the nation, but which also provides state rebates up to $2,500 for all-electric vehicles and $1,500 for gas/electric hybrids, EDTA reported.

With the exception of the all-electric Tesla Model S, which lost market share, total sales of electric plug-in vehicles increased 35 percent last year. But they were eclipsed tenfold by just the three top-selling combustible engine vehicles in America – all pickup trucks – which alone accounted for 1.7 million in sales in 2014.

Ford’s F-Series pickup retained its position as the most popular vehicle in America with 753,851 sold nationwide, according to national sales figures compiled by Good Car Bad Car. Chevrolet’s Silverado pickup came in second with 529,755 sold last year. The Dodge Ram pickup was third with 439,789 vehicles sold last year.

In contrast, the three top-selling electric plug-in models were the Nissan Leaf (30,200 sold), the Chevrolet Volt (18,805 sold) and the Toyota Prius HPV (13,264 sold). By this time, General Motors was supposed to be selling 120,000 Volts annually and Nissan 100,000 plug-in Leafs, according to a 2011 DOE report.

The higher initial cost of an all-electric vehicle is one reason they are so unattractive to consumers.

The Associated Press calculated that even with a 16 percent sticker price discount and a $7,500 federal tax credit, “it would take five years to pay off the difference in price” between an electric Ford Focus and the popular gas-powered model.

The other major obstacle is driving range. The all-electric Focus has a maximum driving range of just 76 miles on a full battery and few electric cars can go more than a hundred miles before needing to be recharged.

Although Obama backed up his prediction four years ago with $2.4 billion in federal grants to companies producing lithium-ion batteries to power electric cars, there has been no major breakthroughs that make them economically competitive with gas- and diesel-fueled vehicles, which have become far more fuel-efficient in the meantime.

In fact, with new advances being made in the internal combustion engine, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles will still make up 95 percent of all light duty vehicles sold in 2040.

“Taking the infrastructure we have, using engines we understand with no new costs—that is where we are going in the next 15 years and what is going to compete really effectively with electrics,” said Don Hillebrand, head of the advanced combustion unit at the federally-funded Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill.

Earlier this month, Energy Sec. Ernest Moniz announced another $55 million program to “develop and deploy cutting-edge vehicle technologies that strengthen the economy,” according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

The money will be spent on research “that aim to reduce the price and improve the efficiency of plug-in electric, alternative fuel, and conventional vehicles,” including “advanced batteries” and “lightweight materials.”

But there will also be funding for “advanced combustion engines” and vehicles that run on natural gas instead of petroleum, Moniz said.


In major shift, Obama administration will plan for rising seas in all federal projects

Yet another regulatory cost burden

President Obama issued an executive order Friday directing federal agencies to adopt stricter building and siting standards to reflect scientific projections that future flooding will be more frequent and intense due to climate change.

The order represents a major shift for the federal government: while the Federal Emergency Management Administration published a memo three years ago saying it would take global warming into account when preparing for more severe storms, most agencies continue to rely on historic data rather than future projections for building projects.

The new standard gives agencies three options for establishing the flood elevation and hazard area they use in siting, design and construction of federal projects. They can use data and methods “informed by best-available, actionable climate science”; build two feet above the 100-year flood elevation for standard projects and three feet above for critical buildings such as hospitals and evacuation centers; or build to the 500-year flood elevation.

The White House move comes just days after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a massive post-Sandy report examining flood risks for 31,200 miles of the North Atlantic coast. The research explicitly took sea level rise induced by climate change into account, and finds that “Flood risk is increasing for coastal populations and supporting infrastructure.”

Last month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted coastal areas will face 30 or more days of flooding by mid-century due to sea level rise. According to the National Climate Assessment, more than $1 trillion of property and structures in the United States are at risk of inundation from sea level rise of two feet above current sea level — an elevation that could be reached by that same point.

Despite these threats. Americans continue to flock to the coasts: more than half the U.S. population lives in coastal counties, according to administration officials.

Jerry Howard, president and CEO of the National Association of Home Builders said in a statement that his industry recognizes “the need to prepare for and build more resilient buildings and communities” but new buildings already accommodate concerns over sea level rise.

“As a result, any new initiatives should address improving older homes, structures and infrastructure that are less resilient to flooding and other natural disasters,” Howard said. “Further, any reforms must preserve the strong partnership between state and local governments so that they, not the federal government, retains primary authority over land use decisions.”

While global warming is a contested political issue in Washington, many state and local governments — more than 350 — have already adopted flood standards along the lines of what the Obama administration is now requiring.

Perdido Beach, Ala., a small waterfront community of 581 people, adopted an ordinance in 2010 requiring any new construction be built three feet above the 100-year flood elevation for standard project. The town’s mayor, Patsy Parker, said in an interview that in April the town experienced its worst deluge of rain in a century — 25 inches within two days — which caused major damage.

“It was more severe than any of us in this area, in this county, have seen in our lifetimes,” Parker said, adding there has been no opposition to the stricter requirements. “We know these events are going to come, and we want to be prepared for them.”

Within the D.C. region, two counties–Ocean City, Md. and Stafford County, Va.–already require standard projects be built built three feet above the 100-year flood elevation. Nine counties in Maryland and Virginia demand they be built two feet above that height, and D.C. requires projects are built 1.5 feet above that level.

Building to the stricter federal standards will add between 0.25 percent and 1.25 percent to the cost of construction, senior administration officials said. In the long run the move could save taxpayers money, they said, because it could significantly cut the nation’s recovery costs.

In an interview, Georgetown Climate Center executive director Vicki Arroyo called the new policy “a positive step towards being more prepared for the threat that we’re already facing from rising sea levels and more intense storms.”

“We have to start applying what the science is telling us, and what we’re seeing from recent events, to investment decisions and codes and standards — ideally at all levels of government,” Arroyo said.

The administration has applied future climate impact estimates to rebuilding efforts once before, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. In that instance, FEMA and the Housing and Urban Development Department developed new elevation standards for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland and Rhode Island based on scientific projections, and required any approved projects to meet either those estimates or local elevation requirements if they were tougher.

The new policy does not make changes to the National Flood Insurance Program, which covers Americans in flood-prone areas with federally backed insurance provided they meet federal standards aimed at minimizing risks. But it will apply to grants the program provides, thereby affecting construction in flood-prone areas.


Stormy Weather and Politics

By Thomas Sowell

It was refreshing to see meteorologists apologize for their dire – and wrong – predictions of an unprecedented snow storm that they had said would devastate the northeast. It was a big storm, but the northeast has seen lots of big snow storms before and will probably see lots of big snow storms again. That’s called winter.

Unfortunately, we are not likely to hear any similar apologies from those who have been promoting “global warming” hysteria for years, in defiance of data that fail to fit their climate models. What is at issue is not whether there is “climate change” – which nobody has ever denied – but whether the specific predictions of the “global warming” crowd as to the direction and magnitude of worldwide temperature changes are holding up over the years.

The ultimate test of any theoretical model is not how loudly it is proclaimed but how well it fits the facts. Climate models that have an unimpressive record of fitting the facts of the past or the present are hardly a reason for us to rely on them for the future.

Putting together a successful model – of anything – is a lot more complicated than identifying which factors affect which outcomes. When many factors are involved, which is common, the challenge is to determine precisely how those factors interact with each other. That is a lot easier said than done when it comes to climate.

Everyone can agree, for example, that the heat of the sunlight is greater in the tropics than in the temperate zones or near the poles. But, the highest temperatures ever recorded in Asia, Africa, North America or South America were all recorded outside – repeat, OUTSIDE – the tropics.

No part of Europe is in the tropics, but record temperatures in European cities like Athens and Seville have been higher than the highest temperatures ever recorded in cities virtually right on the equator, such as Singapore in Asia or Nairobi in Africa.

None of this disproves the scientific fact that sunlight is hotter in the tropics. But it does indicate that there are other factors which go into temperatures on earth.

It is not only the heat of the sunlight, but its duration, that determines how much heat builds up. The sun shines on the equator about 12 hours a day all year long. But, in the temperate zones, the sun shines more hours during the summer – almost 15 hours a day at the latitude of Seville or Athens.

It is also not just a question of how much sunlight there is falling on the planet but also a question of how much of that sunlight is blocked by clouds and reflected back out into space. At any given time, about half the earth is shielded by clouds, but cloudiness varies greatly from place to place and from time to time.

The Mediterranean region is famous for its cloudless summer days. The annual hours of sunlight in Athens is nearly double that in London – and in Alexandria, Egypt, there are more than twice as many annual hours of sunlight as in London.

How surprised should we be that cities around the Mediterranean – Alexandria, Seville, and Tripoli – have had temperatures of 110 degrees or more, while many tropical cities have not? Clouds and rain are common in the tropics.

American cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas often hit summer temperatures of 110 degrees or more, because they are located where there are not nearly as many clouds during the summer as are common in most other places, including most places in the tropics. The highest temperatures on earth have been reached in Death Valley, California, for the same reason, even though it is not in the tropics.

Putting clouds into climate models is not simple, because the more the temperature rises, the more water evaporates, creating more clouds that reflect more sunlight back out into space. Such facts are well known, but reducing them to a specific and reliable formula that will predict global temperatures is something else.

Meteorology has many facts and many scientific principles but, at this stage of its development, weather forecasts just a week ahead are still iffy. Why then should we let ourselves be stampeded into crippling the American economy with unending restrictions created by bureaucrats who pay no price for being wrong?

Certainly neither China nor India will do that, and the amount of greenhouse gasses they put into the air will overwhelm any reductions we might achieve, even with draconian restrictions at astronomical costs.


Another confirmation:  Unusually hot weather in Australia goes back a long way

Australia's notorious BoM has made various declarations to the effect that modern-day temperatures in Australia are unprecedentedly high.  A recent very hot summer in Sydney was particularly targeted as "proof" of global warming.  So it is interesting to find records of Sydney weather centuries ago.  We do of course have the observations by Watkin Tench showing that Sydney had disastrously hot weather in 1790 but other sources of data are obviously very welcome.   We now have a compilation from two other early sources.  See the abstract below.

The compilation was done by Warmist scientists so it is amusing that they make no direct comparisons between average temperatures then and average temperatures now.  From what Tench reported it is a slam dunk what to conclude from that.  The authors do however concede that the general picture of weather events in Sydney in the late 18th century is extremely similar to the picture these days.  So I think it is safe to conclude that there has been no warming in Sydney for over 200 years.  I wonder how global warming missed Sydney?

A climate reconstruction of Sydney Cove, New South Wales, using weather journal and documentary data, 1788–1791

Joëlle Gergis et al.


This study presents the first analysis of the weather conditions experienced at Sydney Cove, New South Wales, during the earliest period of the European settlement of Australia. A climate analysis is presented for January 1788 to December 1791 using daily temperature and barometric pressure observations recorded by William Dawes in Sydney Cove and a temperature record kept by William Bradley on board the HMS Sirius anchored in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) in the early months of the First Fleet’s arrival in Australia. Remarkably, the records appear comparable with modern day measurements taken from Sydney Observatory Hill, displaying similar daily variability, a distinct seasonal cycle and considerable inter-annual variability.

To assess the reliability of these early weather data, they were cross-verified with other data sources, including anecdotal observations recorded in First Fleet documentary records and independent palaeoclimate reconstructions. Some biases in the temperature record, likely associated with the location of the thermometer, have been identified. Although the 1788–1791 period experienced a marked La Niña to El Niño fluctuation according to palaeoclimatic data, the cool and warm intervals in Sydney over this period cannot be conclusively linked to El Niño– Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions. This study demonstrates that there are excellent opportunities to expand our description of pre-20th century climate variability in Australia while contributing culturally significant material to the emerging field of Australian environmental history.

Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Journal 58 (2009) 83-98


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

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


4 February, 2015 

Another attempt to deny the significance of the warming "pause"

What a crock! They found that the models gave reasonable predictions of weather in the past and say that the models are therefore right despite the "pause".  But all or almost all of the models have been adjusted at some stage to give accurate hindcasts. So all that the study below shows is that the modellers have done a good job of getting their models to give good hindcasts. Forecasts defeat them, however

The temperature of Earth's surface has increased by only 0.06°C in the past 15 years - a fact that contradicts global warming climate models.  This so-called 'pause' has been used by some groups as evidence by that climate change is not taking place.

Now a new study suggests that the discrepancy between the models and reality is all down to random fluctuations in the Earth's climate – and that the long-term trend still points to severe warming.

Researchers at Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg and Leeds University in the UK say the models do not overestimate man-made climate change.

They claim global warming is 'highly likely' to reach critical proportions by the end of the century - if the global community does not finally get to grips with the problem.

The global average temperature has risen only slightly since 1998 – which is surprising, considering scientific climate models predicted considerable warming due to rising greenhouse gas emissions.

To explain the discrepancy between model simulations and observations, Professor Marotzke and Piers Forster compared simulated and observed temperature trends over all 15-year periods since the start of the 20th century.

For each year between 1900 and 2012 they looked at the temperature trend that each of the 114 available models predicted for the subsequent 15 years.

They then compared the results with measurements of how the temperature actually rose or fell.

By simulating the average global temperature and other climatic variables of the past and comparing the results with observations, they were able to check the reliability of their models.

The 114 model calculations withstood the comparison.  'On the whole, the simulated trends agree with the observations,' said Professor Marotzke.

'The most pessimistic and most optimistic predictions of warming in the 15 subsequent years for each given year usually differed by around 0.3 degrees Celsius.

'However, the majority of the models predicted a temperature rise roughly midway between the two extremes.

'The observed trends are sometimes at the upper limit, sometimes at the lower limit, and often in the middle, so that, taken together, the simulations appear plausible.

'In particular, the observed trends are not skewed in any discernible way compared to the simulations,' Professor Marotzke explains.

If that were the case, he said, it would suggest a systematic error in the models.

The scientists are now also analysing why the simulations arrived at disparate results by looking at how the models react to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Since 1998, the warmest year on record, the steep increase in global temperatures seen during the 1990s has levelled off, failing to match computer model predictions for climate change.

This pause, or hiatus, has been blamed on weak solar activity and increased uptake of heat by the world's oceans.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year concluded that the deep oceans had been responsible for absorbing an increasing amount of heat, but warned that this could not continue indefinitely.


Hooray! Warmists are now having to talk about THOUSANDTHS of one degree in temperature change!

Completely ignoring issues of accuracy of measurement

The world's oceans are heating at the rate of two trillion 100-watt light bulbs burning continuously, providing a clear signal of global warming, according to new study assessing data from a global fleet of drifting floats.

The research, published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Climate Change, used data collected from the array of about 3500 Argo buoys from 2006-13 to show temperatures were warming at about 0.005 [FIVE THOUSANDTHS] degrees a year down to a depth of 500 metres and 0.002 degrees between 500-2000 metres.

Oceans south of the 20-degree latitude accounted for two-thirds to 98 per cent of the heat gain during the period studied, with three giant gyres in the southern Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans largely responsible for drawing down the extra warmth.

"The global ocean heat content right now is the most reliable metric of that radiation imbalance" between the energy received from the sun and what is radiated back to space, said Susan Wijffels, an oceans expert at the CSIRO and one of the report's authors.

Until the Argo fleet launched about a decade ago, coverage of ocean temperatures was closely linked to rocords provided by ships – giving readings a strong bias to the northern hemisphere, near continental coasts and during summer, the paper said. Most readings were down to 700 metres or less.

The Argo floats – about 10 per cent of which are operated by Australia – have "hugely revolutionised our ability to track what's happening to the earth," Dr Wijffels said.

The paper noted there has been "no significant trend" in mean sea-surface temperatures since 1998, confirming a "hiatus" that deniers of climate science often point to when claiming global warming isn't happening. However, since the oceans are responsible for absorbing about 93 per cent of the Earth's net energy gain, trends beneath the waves are a much better guide, the researchers said.

"The ocean is just vertically transferring the heat away from the surface to the depth," Dr Wijffels said. "The 'hiatus' is not meaningful."


Obama’s Drilling Ban in Alaska Isn’t About Saving Polar Bears. It’s About His Radical Agenda

It was just recently that President Obama took credit for falling gas prices in his State of the Union address, and already he is sticking another knife in the back of America’s domestic oil and gas producers — to say nothing of the residents of Alaska.

Obama’s latest anti-fossil-fuels directive is to move off-limits to exploration and drilling some 12 million acres in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. This is one of the most oil-rich regions in the world. The area to be removed from drilling is larger than the combined land area of Connecticut and Massachusetts. Alaska’s economy is already softening because of low oil prices; now he tosses the state’s drowning economy an anchor.

Obama says his motivation is to keep this land environmentally undisturbed and to protect wildlife — as if he were a modern-day Theodore Roosevelt–style preservationist. “Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge is an incredible place — pristine, undisturbed,” Obama says. “It supports caribou and polar bears, all manner of marine life, countless species of birds and fish, and for centuries it supported many Alaska Native communities. But it’s very fragile.”

Well, no, not really. Think of a football field, and then think of placing a postcard on that field. This is roughly the size of the development footprint required to drill in these wilderness lands, compared with the entire Alaskan landmass. Thanks to horizontal drilling, the footprint from oil and gas production is getting smaller all the time. Drilling will hardly alter the majesty of the mountains or the forest lands.

Would oil and gas drillers kill off the eagles, caribou, and polar bears, as the White House warns? These were the arguments made more than 40 years ago against building the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System — which carries oil from Alaska’s North Slope to the port of Valdez for shipment to the lower 48 states. Over the last 35 years it has carried more than 17 billion barrels of oil, a quantity worth nearly $1 trillion in today’s dollars. At the time, the Sierra Club moaned that the pipeline would mean “the wilderness is forever broken,” while the Wilderness Society said the project would lead to “imminent, grave and irreparable damage to the ecology, wilderness values, natural resources, recreational potential, and total environment of Alaska.” No bird or caribou would be safe from the carnage. Sound familiar?

Instead, the impact on Alaska’s wildlife and natural beauty has been almost nonexistent. A study delivered in 2002 to the American Society of Civil Engineers found that “the ecosystems affected by the operation of TAPS and associated activity for almost 25 years are healthy.” Today the size of the caribou herd in Alaska is estimated at about 325,000 — four times the number before the pipeline was built.

It turns out that the radical greens in and out of the White House are dead wrong. Nature is not fragile; it is resilient, durable, and adaptable.

So what’s really going on here? This latest White House move isn’t about saving polar bears. It’s about a radical climate-change agenda to stop all domestic oil and gas drilling and coal mining, wherever and whenever possible. The middle-class Americans who will lose jobs or pay more for gas at the pump are collateral damage.

Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski calls this White House maneuver “a stunning attack on our sovereignty and our ability to develop a strong economy . . . for our children and our grandchildren.” She’s right, of course, and it’s not only Alaska’s children and grandchildren who will suffer, but all future generations of Americans. Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin and the leaders of ISIS and OPEC are smiling — and not because they care about elk and polar bears.


Pope is a Greenie

He's a nice man but no intellectual -- despite allegedly being a Jesuit

Anyone with doubts the Vatican would abandon a neutral position on the science of climate change can now lay them to rest. Under Pope Francis the Vatican has been sending unmistakable signals that it is joining the junk-science based global warming movement, perhaps with the hopes of resurrecting the notorious system of indulgences (or a form of it) which for centuries swindled common people of their wealth and sent it to the coffers of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Church preaches that as stewards of the planet man must make responsible use of God-given resources, to use them sparingly, and that we share the fruits of our labors with the poor. Yet the Vatican never will do the same with its tens of billions in assets it has stashed away over the centuries.

In the interview Chairman Sorondo tells Bojanowski that “the Church believes in science – especially Galileo“. And on the upcoming encyclical on climate change, to be released in either June or July, Sorondo refuses to tell Spiegel what is going to be in it. “We will see.”

As to why there is even an encyclical on the climate to begin with, Sorondo tells Spiegel that it is to “provide an impulse” for the upcoming Paris Conference. The Lima Conference “disappointed the Pope”, Sorondo tells Spiegel.

On why a climate treaty is important, Chairman Sorondo spills the beans, telling Spiegel that “climate change has adverse impacts on the poorest two thirds of the world’s population who have no access to fossil energies but who have to bear the consequences of their consumption. Bartholomeos I, the Patriarch of Constantinople, compared climate change to modern slavery at the Conference of Religious Leaders in December.”

Clearly the Catholic Church is sympathetic to this extreme and preposterous position. Why would Chairman Sorondo cite it if it wasn’t. Unfortunately the Vatican fails to see that over the past 50 years fossil fuels have helped the poor far more than any Church’s redistributive plundering ever has over the last 1000 years. More often than not Church obstinate dogmatism often put the brakes on progress and as a result caused far more misery. It’s appalling that the Church fails to recognize that no God-given resource has been such a blessing to the poor as has affordable fossil fuels and that life as we know it today would be unimaginable without it.

Vatican sees Galileo as a “leading figure”

On why the Church is suddenly interested in environmental protection, Sorondo says it is so because “The Church believes in science.” A somewhat taken aback Bojanowski reacts skeptically and brings up the incident surrounding Galileo. Sorondo responds, claiming the Church never condemned Galileo: “He was only put to the test because his scientific evidence had not been convincing. Our Academy today views him as a leading figure.”

Isn’t that the way things usually turn out whenever blind consensus gets asserted and dogmatism prevail in science? For the Vatican unfortunately it took almost 400 years and man going to the moon before they became “convinced”.

Bojanowski responds forcefully, seemingly scoffing at the Chairman’s claim:

    "Galileo’s writings were banned by the Church, or were allowed to appear only in censored versions. He was no longer allowed to freely express himself on his theories. In court he was forced to accept what the Catholic Church regarded as true and was then subsequently punished with arrest. And his colleague Giordano Bruno had to endure much worse: Because he refused to recant his astronomical theories that opposed those of the Church, he was executed.”

Chairman Sorondo admits: “That was in any case a great injustice, and the Church acknowledged that.”

That alone ought to drive home the dangers of religion deciding science. Can we really trust this Catholic Church and current pope on climate science?

Bojanowski also makes another important point: If the consensus of science supports a climate treaty, then why is the Vatican not playing along with the consensus on other scientific issues, like birth control? Here the Chairman is clearly in over his head.

So why is the Catholic Church taking the step of endorsing what is likely the most dubious, tampered and politicized science that civilization has seen in has seen in at least 100 years? Why is it teaming up with groups and political parties that are notorious proponents of abortion, population control, waging war, anti-Christianity and self-centered hedonism? One can only speculate.

To me it all reeks of Chicago-style politics. Perhaps there is a lot more rot in the Vatican than we may think – in addition to the scandals involving child molestation and shady finances. Someone seems to have gotten the goods on the Vatican, and now it’s: play along and everything will be okay, or else there’s going to be lots of trouble. Has the Vatican sold its soul?

As if it ever had one.


I come to bury Renewable Fuel Standards

Not to praise ethanol mandates that kill jobs, raise food costs, and hurt poor families and wildlife

Paul Driessen

They say politics makes strange bedfellows. In a perfect example, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) are cosponsoring the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act,” to abolish the corn ethanol Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires that increasing volumes of this biofuel be blended into gasoline. Let’s hope it passes, as an amendment or stand-alone bill.

The RFS was a mistake when enacted ten years ago. Since then, despite attempts to curtail it, the program has expanded and had more lives than Freddy Krueger. Perhaps the senators are now paraphrasing William Shakespeare and Marc Antony, saying “I come to bury the ethanol RFS, not to praise it.”

Renewable fuels advocates are predictably fighting back. They say ethanol is vital to agricultural sector jobs and revenues, “homegrown fuels” diversify our energy mix and reduce foreign imports, and biofuels help prevent “dangerous manmade climate change.” The claims do not withstand scrutiny.

Ethanol has already “hit the blend wall,” the senators point out. Even current ethanol production mandates result in more ethanol than can be used safely in gasoline. That and fewer miles driven of late means refinery “blend targets” have already been met for E10 (10% ethanol) gasoline. More ethanol would impair automotive engine systems and void warranties. All this results in surplus ethanol, increasing corn grower demands for E15 mandates or permits (15% ethanol), and worse market and ecological effects.

And still federal law requires that the ethanol mandate must keep rising: from 9 billion gallons of ethanol in 2008 to 14 billion now and 36 billion gallons by 2022. That would exacerbate all these problems.

America is already plowing an area larger than Iowa to grow corn for ethanol, and turning nearly 40% of all its corn into ethanol. The guaranteed income incentivizes farmers to take land out of wheat and rye, conservation easements, pasture land and wildlife habitat – and grow corn instead. Converting these vast fields of corn into ethanol requires enormous amounts of irrigation water, fertilizers, pesticides, and gasoline or diesel fuel to grow, harvest and ship the corn … and more gasoline, diesel and natural gas to produce and transport the ethanol.

Corn growers make money, since they are protected by annual ethanol blend mandates that guarantee a demand, market and high price for their output. But there is no comparable “renewable protein standard” to guarantee a market for statutorily mandated quantities of poultry, pork, beef, eggs and fish.

Thus U.S. corn prices skyrocketed from $1.96 per average bushel in 2005 to as much as $7.50 in autumn 2012 and $6.68 in June 2013, before dropping in 2014 due to record yields and lower demand for corn and ethanol. Since the RFS was implemented, feed costs for chicken, turkey, egg and hog farmers have been nearly $100 billion higher than they would have been in the absence of the RFS, National Chicken Council president Mike Brown estimates.

These protein farmers have been compelled to subsidize corn farmers by almost $1.35 per gallon of ethanol; beef and dairy farmers have been forced to pay similar subsidies. All these costs have been passed on to American families. Since 2007, high and volatile feed costs forced many meat and poultry producers to cut back or cease production, file for bankruptcy or sell their operations to other companies. Biofuel mandates also mean international aid agencies must pay more for corn and wheat, so more starving people remain malnourished longer

Energy per acre of corn is minuscule compared to what we get from oil and gas drilling, conventional and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) alike. Moreover, corn-based ethanol requires 2,500 to 29,000 gallons of fresh water per million Btu of energy, the US Department of Energy calculates; biodiesel from soybeans consumes an unsustainable 14,000 to 75,000 gallons of water per million Btu. By comparison, fracking requires just 0.6 to 6.0 gallons of fresh or brackish water per million Btu of energy produced.

New seismic, deepwater drilling, hydraulic fracturing and other technologies have led to discoveries of enormous new reserves of oil and natural gas – and enabled companies to extract far more petroleum from reservoirs once thought to have been depleted. All these newly abundant oil and gas supplies could easily replace ethanol and other biofuels, and slash U.S. oil imports even further.

This resurgence of hydrocarbons has obliterated the Club of Rome “peak oil” notion that we are rapidly exhausting the world’s petroleum, made Big Green environmentalists apoplectic, and caused resource depletion alarmists to make a 180-degree policy turn on natural gas. Just four years ago the Sierra Club used $75 million from Aubrey McClendon and Michael Bloomberg to finance an anti-coal campaign which insisted that coal-fired power plants could be replaced with natural gas facilities.

Now the Sierrans despise natural gas and want to totally ban the technology that created our newfound abundance of gas: hydraulic fracturing. They disregard the benefits of lower gas prices for families and factories, ignore the need for coal and natural gas-based electricity as backup power generation for wind and solar facilities, and concoct all kinds of fanciful “dangers” from fracking operations.

Meanwhile, the prominent environmental think tank World Resources Institute just issued a new report that concluded: turning plant matter into liquid fuel or electricity is so inefficient that it is unlikely to supply a substantial fraction of the world’s energy demand – ever. Perhaps worse, spending countless more billions on this misguided strategy will result in more millions of valuable, fertile acres being devoted to “growing energy” instead of helping to feed malnourished and starving people.

Adding to the reasons the RFS deserves an F on its report card, ethanol gets 30% less mileage than gasoline, so motorists pay the same or more per tank but can drive fewer miles. It collects water, gunks up fuel lines, corrodes engine parts, and wreaks havoc on lawn mowers and other small engines.

Ethanol production also kills marine life. Much of the nitrogen fertilizers needed to grow all that corn gets washed off the land into waterways that drain into the Gulf of Mexico, where they cause enormous summertime algae blooms. When the algae die, their decomposition consumes oxygen in the water – creating enormous low-oxygen and zero-oxygen regions that suffocate marine life that cannot swim away.

Regarding jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics defines “green jobs” as any that make a company “more environmentally friendly.” The BLS even includes people who drive pilot natural gas, biofuel or hybrid buses. The Solar Energy Society includes accountants, lawyers and landscapers involved even part time with making or installing solar panels. One suspects that even burger flippers could qualify as having green jobs, anytime they sell a meal to a truck driver who happens to be hauling corn to an ethanol plant.

That brings us to “climate chaos” as a last-resort rationale for costly Renewable Fuel Standards. However, Climategate and other IPCC scandals clearly demonstrate that the “science” behind climate disaster claims is conjectural, manipulated and even fraudulent. And actual observations of temperatures, storms, droughts, sea levels and Arctic ice have refused to cooperate with computer models and Hansen-Gore-EPA-IPCC disaster hype and scenarios. The catechism of climate cataclysm – what blogger Jim Guirard calls the Branch Carbonian Cult – can no longer be allowed to justify misguided standards and subsidies.

About the only thing “green” about the ethanol RFS is the billions of dollars it takes from taxpayers and consumers – and funnels to politicians, who dole the cash out to crony corporatists, who then return some of it as campaign contributions, to get the politicians reelected, to perpetuate the gravy train.

It’s time to bury the RFS – and stop forcing motorists to buy gasoline that refiners are compelled to blend into motor fuels. Crony capitalist arrangements benefit too few at the expense of too many.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (, author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.

Via email

Must not genetically engineer trees

Why?  What harm would it do? What is wrong with improving Loblolly pines?

Groups from around the world [1] today joined together to denounce the US government for allowing the first genetically engineered tree, a loblolly pine, to be legalized with no government or public oversight, with no assessment of their risks to the public or the environment, and without regard to overwhelming public opposition to GE trees.

A secret letter from the USDA to GE tree company ArborGen [2], dated last August, was recently exposed by scientist Doug Gurian-Sherman of the Center for Food Safety [3]. In this letter, the USDA made the unprecedented decision to allow ArborGen to pursue unregulated commercial cultivation of a loblolly pine genetically engineered for altered wood composition. These trees could be planted anywhere in the US, without public knowledge or access to information about them.

Gurian-Sherman argues the USDA “is deliberately thumbing its nose at the public” with this decision, pointing out that this is probably the biggest environmental regulatory change in the US since the early 1990s [4].

Loblolly pines are native across 14 states throughout the US Southeast, and are grown in plantations around the world. Their pollen is known to travel for hundreds of miles.

“If these GE loblolly pines are released on a large scale in the US, there will be no way to stop them from cross contaminating native loblolly pines,” said biologist Dr. Rachel Smolker of Biofuelwatch. “This is deliberate, irreversible and completely irresponsible contamination of the environment with unknown and possibly devastating consequences. Forest ecosystems are barely understood, and the introduction of trees with genes for modified wood characteristics could have all manner of negative impacts on soils, fungi, insects, wildlife, songbirds, and public health. And all this for short term commercial profit.”

Many are also worried about the international implications of this USDA decision. Winnie Overbeek, International Coordinator of the Uruguay-based World Rainforest Movement states, “We are greatly concerned that these unregulated GE pines could be shipped to Brazil or other countries without public, or maybe even government, knowledge, further promoting the expansion of industrial tree plantations in the Global South. This contributes to deforestation and affects indigenous and peasant communities worldwide who depend on forests for survival.”

Global Justice Ecology Project’s Ruddy Turnstone from Florida remarks, “ArborGen and the government may think they have won this round, but there is already a huge anti-GMO movement. There are also forest protection groups, Indigenous Peoples, birders, foresters, scientists, parents, hikers, and many others who do not want the forests contaminated by GE trees. A great many of them will take action to ensure these trees are never planted.”

In 2013, when the USDA called for public comments on another ArborGen request to commercialize a GE Eucalyptus tree (a decision still pending), they received comments at the rate of 10,000 to one opposing the industry request. By simply refusing to regulate this new GE pine, the USDA has cut the public out of the process completely.  In 2013, a conference on Tree Biotechnology in Asheville, NC was disrupted for its entire 5 days by anti-GE tree activists, and there were multiple arrests.



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, 2015 

More Warmist crookedness

Joe Romm recently tried to show that the recent heavy snowfall in the N.E. of the U.S.coast area proved global warming. I pointed out the major logical fault in that claim a few days ago and left the matter at that.  Another strange thing about the claim however is to associate heavy snow with warming.  Snow is cold stuff.  Doesn't unusually heavy snow therefore indicate unusual cold, not unusual warmth?

But illogic is not the only fault in the article.  Steve Goddard has recently put up the graph below which shows the claim to be utterly dishonest from the start.  The Warmists involved are quite psychopathic in their lack of any ethics or morality.

Goddard went back to the original data and found that the whole claim is founded on a careful cherrypick from the data.  They have used one of the oldest tricks of chartmanship:  Choosing the range you display. And in this case extending the range displayed gives a totally opposite conclusion to the one drawn by the Warmists

If image does not come up click here

Is the Pentagon hyping climate change?

"Facts" turn out to be fiction.  Warmism can't survive the truth

Let’s face it: Climate change can be a murky thing, hard to see and touch in the here and now. Except for some melting icecaps and vanishing species, it’s more future threat than current crisis.

So when the folks at the Pentagon went looking for photos to illustrate how global warming is “already beginning” to affect their 7,000 facilities, they must have been thrilled to discover an alarming image of a four-story building that collapsed when the permafrost melted right out from under it on a military base in Alaska.

There’s just one problem with that photo, which appears on the cover of the “adaptation roadmap” the Pentagon issued last fall: The building is not on a military base. It’s not even in Alaska.  It’s in Russia.

Moreover, the collapse of the building, a block of flats above the Arctic Circle in Russia’s eastern reaches, had nothing to do with climate change, according to the photographer, Vladimir E. Romanovsky, a geophysicist at the Permafrost Laboratory at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. “It’s not global warming; it’s bad maintenance,” Romanovsky said in a telephone interview. “For the whole winter, there was hot water leaking in the basement.”

Pentagon officials were mortified when we here at the Energy and Environment blog alerted them to the photo’s provenance. They quickly swapped it out for an admittedly less dramatic shot of an Alaska roadway buckled by degraded permafrost

“I’m embarrassed about it,” said John Conger, the acting assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment. “The fact of the matter is we shouldn’t have used it. We asked the Army Corps of Engineers for a picture of permafrost damage in Alaska, and this is what they sent us.”

Problem solved! Except that the photo isn’t the only instance of Pentagon climate hype. The agency has been praised for taking a relatively proactive approach, compared with other federal agencies, to a problem that presents undeniable risks to property and national security. But at the Department of Defense, the immediacy of the threat has, at times, been a little overstated.

For example: Conger, who regularly discusses climate change with the press and in other public forums, often mentions that sea-level rise has forced Cape Canaveral Air Force Base to move its launch pads a quarter-mile inland so “they wouldn’t flood anymore.”

But that’s not true, said officials with both the Air Force, which manages one set of launch pads, and NASA, which manages another.

While Cape Canaveral has been battling beach erosion due to stronger storms, its launch pads have never flooded. And while there is a revised development plan for the cape that involves building future launch pads farther back from the sea – an “adaptation strategy for assured national access to space,” as one presentation put it – those launch pads have yet to be built.

In an interview, Conger acknowledged the error. “We’ve done some fact-checking today, because you raised the issue, and what was changed was the master plan,” not the actual location of the launch pads. “I’ve used that example in the past, and I won’t anymore.”

Finally, we come to the example that set this whole line of inquiry in motion: Conger’s assertion that two military bases are running out of water.

“There are a couple bases that run out of water in the West in twenty years,” Conger said last June at a conference on sea-level rise hosted by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) at Old Dominion University.  “What do you do when a base runs out of water? Truck it in like you do in Afghanistan?”

That’s an intriguing question, but one that turns out to be largely theoretical. Because the bases – Fort Irwin National Training Center in California’s Mojave Desert and Mountain Home Air Force Base in the high desert of southern Idaho – are decades away from running out of water.

At Fort Irwin, the Army has implemented a host of conservation measures – landscaping with desert plants rather than grass, for example – that have slashed annual water consumption from 1 billion gallons to around 700 million gallons, sharply extending the life of the existing water supply.

“The current survey from the [U.S. Geological Survey] tells us we have 40 to 50 years of water left,” said Muhammad Bari, director of public works at Fort Irwin.

The three basins that have supplied the fort for decades will eventually run dry, Bari said. But the Army has already identified an alternative water source a few miles away. “So we’ll be able to extend our life for the foreseeable future,” he said.

The situation is similar in Mountain Home, where the latest survey shows the regional groundwater aquifer has a “useful life” of 25 to 30 years, spokesman Shane Mitchell said via email. Because the base is one of Idaho’s largest employers, this news greatly troubled state leaders, who worried that the dwindling water supply might cause bureaucrats in Washington – i.e., Conger — to seek to close Mountain Home.

So last year, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter (R) sought and won legislative approval to purchase water rights for the base from the Snake River. And in August, J.R. Simplot Co., the potato company, agreed to sell its rights for $2.5 million.

Now those rights are held by the Idaho Water Resource Board, which will keep them in reserve “until we figure out how to get a project in place to get the water to Mountain Home,” said Brian Patton, the board’s executive director. That project, expected to cost as much as $35 million, involves pumping the water “600 vertical feet out of the canyon and across 11 miles of desert.”

“We’re hoping the Pentagon ponies up a major portion of it,” Patton said. To prod Washington to action, the agreement with Simplot says the company can repurchase the rights if the Pentagon fails to exercise them within seven years.

Presented with these facts, Conger argued that the “water thing” was not an exaggeration on his part. “This is actually a real issue,” he said. “Whether this is climate change or just climate, it’s fair to say we’re newly sensitized to some of these problems because of the focus on climate change” in Washington.

Conger is also in the midst of assessing the vulnerability of the nation’s military bases to other effects of climate change, including sea-level rise, excessive heat and wildfires. A full report is due out later this year.

“There’s been a series of things that we’ve been doing to try and be reasonable,” he said. “The water one is a future issue, identifying what’s coming down the road.”

David Titley, director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State University and a former rear admiral in the Navy, said the Pentagon does deserve credit for taking “tangible, discrete actions … to address some of the impacts of climate change,” though few of them are “as exciting as buildings collapsing in the permafrost.” In particular, he said, planning is well underway for one of the most immediate threats: rising tides at Naval Station Norfolk.

Still, “overhyping is just as bad as ignoring or denying,” Titley said. “This is a challenge, not necessarily a crisis.”


Is there such a thing as an earthwide average temperature?

Or is it just a statistical fiction?

by Jeff Jacoby

UNLESS YOU'VE spent the last few weeks in solitary meditation on a remote island, you couldn't miss the wave of media stories breathlessly proclaiming that 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history. As usual, the coverage was laced with alarm about the menace posed by climate change, and with disapproval of skeptics who decline to join in the general panic.

Well, I'm also not a scientist. But I do know that what NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and NOAA's National Climatic Data Center actually reported was rather less categorical than what the news accounts — or the White House — might lead you to believe. As both government agencies made clear in their briefing materials, the likelihood that 2014 was the planet's warmest year is far from a slam-dunk. Indeed, the probability that 2014 set a record is not 99 percent or 95 percent, but less than 50 percent. NOAA's number-crunchers put the probability at 48 percent; NASA's analysis came in at 38 percent.

You don't have to be a scientist to realize that climate is complicated and hard to get right. Climate models have so far been unable to accurately predict changes in global temperature. Experts didn't foresee the global cooling that began in the 1940s and didn't anticipate the warming cycle that started in the late 1970s. Climate science is still in its infancy, and it would be folly to treat any single explanation for changes in global temperatures as impervious to challenge or skepticism.

In fact, the very idea of a "global temperature" is hard to make sense of. How can an entire planet, with its multifarious systems, be said to have a temperature, or even an average temperature?

Averaging is a familiar and useful concept that we use in a myriad of contexts. Average household income, average life expectancy, average weight of airline passengers, average number of earned runs given up by a pitcher, average daily temperature in Waikiki in April — each is a comprehensible and meaningful statistic. But as the authors of a provocative 2007 paper in the Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics explain, there are certain kinds of variables that lose all meaning if they are averaged. For example, exchange rates are extremely useful when comparing two currencies. The notion of a "global exchange rate," however, would be absurd.

Temperatures on the earth are in constant flux. They change with latitude, with time of day, with season, with weather; they vary from ocean depths to atmospheric heights, from the equator to the poles. Even assuming that the necessary raw data could be properly gathered, mathematicians must choose among multiple averaging techniques, which can yield flatly contradictory results.

Physically, there is no such thing as the "global temperature trend," the authors conclude. Hence, "ranking this or that year as the 'warmest of the millennium' is not possible, since other averages will give other results with no grounds for choosing among them."

As headline fodder, "warmest year ever" may be irresistible. As an unassailable reality on which critical public policy questions should turn? Be skeptical.


Shell Eyes Arctic Drilling this Summer

Oil major Shell wants to revive its Arctic oil drilling programme this year after a near two-year suspension, angering environmentalists who say the risk of an oil spill is too high.

Remote and costly to develop, the Arctic is estimated to contain 20 percent of the world's undiscovered hydrocarbon resources and despite fierce opposition, plans for drilling north of the Arctic Circle are under way in the United States, Russia and Norway.

Shell, Europe's largest energy firm, is intent on restarting its Arctic drilling campaign in Alaska's Chukchi Sea this summer. It was suspended in early 2013 following the grounding of a drilling rig.

"Will we go ahead? Yes if we can. I'd be so disappointed if we wouldn't," Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden told journalists at the company's fourth quarter results conference in London.

The resumption depends on having the logistics in place, receiving necessary permits and fending off a number of legal challenges, he said.

Opposition to the Arctic drilling has been fierce.

"Shell is taking a massive risk doggedly chasing oil in the Arctic, not just with shareholder value, but with the pristine Arctic environment," said Greenpeace environmental campaigner Charlie Kronick in a statement.

"No company is able to operate safely in this remote, fragile ocean where the nearest rescue fleets are hundreds of miles away."

The Anglo-Dutch company has already spent $1 billion on preparing its Arctic drilling work and it is costing Shell several hundred millions of dollars a year even without progressing with drilling, Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said.

Shell said time was pressing for oil production to start in Alaska as capacity use of a pipeline connecting the remote region to the main North American oil system was falling close to levels at which it cannot operate.

"That means not only new projects wouldn't go ahead but the existing (ones) won't be able to operate either," Henry said.


Markets vs. Mandate: the American energy dilemma

New York State’s fracking ban has evoked strong polarising sentiment. Local anti-fracking supporters welcomed the ban as a necessary intervention against corporations pursuing profits at the expense of local safety. The fracking industry on the other hand, saw it as a political move; an example of political interference in the markets at the expense of jobs, energy security and the principles of enterprise and free markets that America stands for.

This dynamic is symptomatic of a bigger tension between markets and mandate within the US energy industry; one that that lies at the heart of hotly contested issues like the Keystone pipeline and the proposed TTIP EU-US free trade agreement.

And against the backdrop of a President carving out climate action as a top priority, historic US commitments to reducing emissions, a Republican House majority that views Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency as big-government interventionism, and America’s emergence as a global energy producer, how this tension is resolved affects not just the future of American energy, but has wider global ramifications.

Six years ago I wrote in the Financial Times about the need for less interference in European energy markets to enhance competitiveness; a perspective I still find myself inclined towards today, and for good reason.

Take energy security for example. Shifting responsibility for energy security from suppliers to government would reduce, not increase, security. A liberalised market provides strong incentives for producers to diversify supply and respond to consumer demand. OPEC’s current oil price war might even eventually strengthen a fracking industry forced to become more technically innovative and cost efficient to survive, despite the shorter-term challenges.

Then there is the danger of vested interests influencing a wide government mandate and effectively using government as a proxy for their own interests as illustrated by recent alleged links between energy company Devon Energy and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

And of course there is the notion that climate change justifies state intervention to make cleaner renewables more competitive against oil and gas. But while this is a logical argument, its worth noting that government intervention is at least partly to blame for renewables having less market share in the first place. Federal research for US oil and gas as well as tax credits and subsidies totalling $10 billion between 1980 and 2002 dwarfed state support for renewables, ensuring there was never a level playing field to begin with. And modern-day fracking could not have developed without federal research and demonstration efforts in the 1960s and ’70s.

But as valid as all this is, it fails to tell the whole story.

What makes the energy industry unfortunately unique is the speed with which it could environmentally impact our planet; a factor so exceptional it justifies exceptional action in addressing it, including, if need be, some level of market intervention.

The real problem with the US energy debate is its deep ideological polarisation. Energy discourse is too often pulled towards dogmatic extremes; between those who believe strong government intervention is necessary to further centralise and regulate energy markets, sometimes to the point of protectionism, or conversely those who, as economist Paul Krugman put it when describing the GOP, “believe climate change is a hoax concocted by liberal scientists to justify Big Government, who refuse to acknowledge that government intervention to correct market failures can ever be justified”.

Yet with the looming 2016 Presidential elections, the potential for politicised narratives and populist slogans to take priority over any meaningful measured balance in the US energy discourse is all too real and present.

Somewhere between climate deniers, including prominent GOP members, refusing to acknowledge the need for any climate action, and those attempting to address the problem in a vacuum without considering how sweeping interventionist solutions undermine economic competitiveness (an approach that creates an inevitable political, business and electoral backlash), lie more sustainable, effective solutions. It is vital moderates across the political aisle work together to reach them.


Global Urban Renewal

Al Gore and Felipe Calderon want to stuff you into a box in order to “save the planet.”

An unholy alliance between former president Al Gore, former Mexican president Felipe Calderon, and Britain's Prince Charles, and the entire membership of the World Economic Forum, affectionately nicknamed by its lower echelon members, "The Chicken Little Society," but sourly discouraged by senor members, has formed, and it has a plan for you.

An article by Daniel Greenfield on FrontPage on January 28th put me onto the trail of another horrendous idea from the whirligig mind of Al Gore, "Al Gore Wants to Spend $90 Trillion to Create a World Without Cars."

If you ever wanted to live in a giant slum with no way to get anywhere except by waiting on the poorly operated local public transit system in hock to municipal systems, you can have it for just $90 trillion. Come on. That's pocket change. And just think, you'll be able to live in a horrible futuristic nightmare. (See either "Soylent Green," "Logan's Run," "Metropolis," "THX 1138," or sunless, always-raining Los Angeles in "Blade Runner" for a foretaste of your future - if Gore's fantasy gels into reality.)

"Former Vice President Al Gore and Mexican President Felipe Calderon proposed a $90 trillion plan to redesign every city on earth so that motor vehicles would become obsolete due to more dense populations."

It is a scheme to relieve you of the time, expense, and bother of owning a car. And also of owning your own home, of having nice neighbors, of your privacy, of your career, and of living your own life. Gore and Calderon have better uses for your time on earth as a reckless and irresponsible occupant. Western Journalism reported:

"We cannot have these cities with low density, designed for the use of cars," Calderon said. "We recommend those cities should have more density and more mass transportation."

The better for you to be stamped, hole-punched, assigned a number, and bar-coded so you can be better managed, controlled, redirected, watched, and reduced to serfdom and dependency.

Remember that Calderon was president of a country that keeps sending hordes of illegal immigrants across our border to idle American workers or become welfare state "clients." It's all for your own good. Don't complain. Don't you want a clean, safe, and healthy planet?

No, we can't have "low density" cities. They've got to be evacuated, emptied out, declared forbidden zones, and ploughed under for Mother Earth to reclaim in her own good time. Everyone now living in them should be forcibly moved to the giant, high-density slum where everyone and his mother is underfoot and in the way. In the 1930's and 1940's this was called compulsory "resettlement."

When all cities are scoured of cars, and you have been dispossessed, you will be a displaced person until a walk-in closet has been assigned to you by your friendly government real estate agent or licensed and certified relocater. When your time to "move" comes, remember that you will be allowed to take only what will fit into a carry-on bag, or a back-pack.

You won't be able to escape Gore Town or Calderon Ciudad except with a special travel pass and permit, but they'll be hard to come by because you'll need to have a legitimate purpose for exiting the city. Your sick mother on the other side of the country just won't qualify. She'll need to take her cough medicine by herself. Bereavement leave will never be denied; just don't have so many relatives who may die at any moment.

Gore and Calderon will have taken a leaf from Maryland which taxes rainfall runoff from your property, and imposed a "breathing tax" for every cubic square foot of oxygen you inhale, and also tax your CO2 exhalents, to help control greenhouse gases. After all, plants have got to breathe, too.

It's all for the good of Mother Earth, you see. If you don't buy the Global Warming mantra, then you must be a racist, or a bigot, or are certifiably "disturbed."

Of course, Al Gore, Prince Charles, and Felipe Calderon and others of the elite won't be your next-door neighbors. They'll be living across town in triple-gated enclaves and sanctuaries with guards armed with .50 caliber machine guns fixed with night scopes to deter intrusive burglaries, or resting from their labors in their similarly secured mansions in the countryside. They'll be far away from the noise and ordure of the general population, planning more population engineering controls.

They're saviors of mankind, even though they'll have sentenced it to grinding and perilous poverty. But, after all, isn't life nasty, brutish, and short, for every one of us, except for occasional episodes of numbness? Why would you want to prolong it?

Our and the planet's saviors, of course, will experience the joy of remaking the world in their own minds. You and countless other minions will be but tiny, insignificant elements of a megalopolis tree house world. Still, our saviors will expect to be swamped with expressions of gratitude.



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, 2015 

Leftist fantasies don't change much

Psychohistorian Richard Koenigsberg  says:

"The question is: what did anti-Semitism mean to people like Hitler, Himmler and Goebbels? Why did the idea of “the Jew” arouse such a passionate, hysterical response? Why did Nazi leaders—and many other Germans—feel it was necessary to destroy or eliminate the Jews, conceiving of the Final Solution as a moral imperative?

Hitler said, “We may be inhumane, but if we rescue Germany, we have performed the greatest deed in the world.” Hitler’s ideology grew out of a rescue fantasy. He wanted to “save the nation.” This is not an unusual motive. Much of politics grows out of this idea that one must act to “save” one’s nation—from external and internal enemies.

Indeed, this motive—the desire to “save one’s nation”—is so ordinary that we barely reflect upon it. What is it that individuals wish to save? What is the nature and meaning of these threats to one’s nation—that often evoke such radical, violent forms of action?"

This is yet another similarity between Greenies and Nazis.  Hitler wanted to save Germany and Greenies want to save the planet.  Both had/have a central fantasy of themselves as saviours.

Hitler was very socialist.  Greenies are very socialist.  Hitler fantasized a return to a romanticized rural past.  The Greenies fantasize a return to a romanticized rural past. Hitler predicted food shortages as a future policy problem. Greenies predict food shortages as a future policy problem.

The resemblances go on.  There is clearly something in human nature (Freud's "Thanatos"?) that emerges in  malign form from time to time.  It goes at least as far back as ancient Sparta.  It may also underlie Islam. Muslims don't seem to care about the environment but they are very collectivist and regard the "Ummah" (Muslim world) in a very mystical way:  As a sort of living body that must not lose any of its parts: Very much the way Hitler viewed Germany.

We skeptics are up against some very deep-lying, destructive and irrational instincts.

Another example of Greens using Nazi tactics

Disturbing article reveals what happens if you dare to doubt the Green prophets of doom

David Rose

I've never supported the British National Party or the Ku Klux Klan. I've never belonged to the Paedophile Information Exchange, or denied the Holocaust, or made a penny from the banking crash.

But if you read The Guardian newspaper's website, you might think otherwise. A commentator on it urged my own children to murder me.

He did so because of one of the many stories I've written for this newspaper about climate change. I first reported on the subject nearly six years ago: my article was about the 'climategate' scandal, where leaked emails showed university scientists were trying to cover up data that suggested their claim the world is hotter than at any time in the past 1,300 years may be wrong.

Ever since then, I have been labelled a 'climate change denier' – a phrase which, since I happen to be Jewish, has particularly unfortunate connotations for me.

And this is despite the fact I believe the world IS warming, and that carbon dioxide produced by mankind IS a greenhouse gas, and IS partly responsible for higher temperatures – and have repeatedly said so.

On the other hand, I also think that the imminence of the threat posed by global warming has been exaggerated – chiefly because the grimmer computer projections haven't been reflected by what's been happening recently to temperatures in the real world.

I do believe we should invest in new ways of generating energy, and I hate belching smoke stacks and vast open-cast coal mines as much as anyone who cares about the environment.

But I also think current 'renewable' sources such as wind and 'biomass' are ruinously expensive and totally futile. They will never be able to achieve their stated goal of slowing the rate of warming and are not worth the billions being paid by UK consumers to subsidise them.

Some would say this makes me a 'lukewarmer' – the jargon for someone who is neither a 'warmist' or a 'denier'. But true believers don't recognise such distinctions: to them, anyone who disagrees with their version of the truth is a denier, pure and simple. The result: vitriol directed my way, the like of which I have never experienced in 34 years as a journalist. Lately, it's become worse.

The remark about my children killing me was made some months ago, after The Guardian published one of several critiques of my work by its climate activist blogger, Dana Nuccitelli. One of the online commenters posted: 'In a few years, self-defence is going to be made a valid defence for parricide [killing one's own father], so Rose's children will have this article to present in their defence at the trial.'

Another commenter compared me to Adolf Hitler. Frankly, I didn't take either of them too seriously. But last week on Twitter, someone else wrote that he knew where I lived, and posted my personal phone numbers.

Meanwhile, Nuccitelli had written another vehement attack, this time against Matt Ridley, The Times columnist, Tory peer and fellow 'lukewarmer'. This fresh assault was illustrated by the paper's editors with a grotesque image of a severed head. One who commented, called 'Bluecloud', said: 'Should that not be Ridley's severed head in the photo... Why are you deniers so touchy? Mere calls for a beheading evolve [sic] such a strong response in you people. Ask yourself a simple question: Would the world be a better place without Matt Ridley? Need I answer that question?'

In fact, Bluecloud is a Guardian contributor called Gary Evans, who is also a 'sustainability consultant' funded by Greenpeace.

Ridley complained, but the statements stayed on the website for at least four days. Comments in support of Ridley were removed by the site's moderators, because they did not 'abide by our community standards'. In an email to The Guardian's editor, Alan Rusbridger, Ridley pointed out that a Japanese hostage had just been beheaded by Islamic State.

Language only barely less extreme is now common. In the US, the Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has written that anyone who denies global warming must be 'punished in the afterlife… this kind of denial is an almost inconceivable sin'.

Observer columnist Nick Cohen says he is sick of hearing climate sceptics whinge that being called 'deniers' equates them with those who deny the Holocaust: 'The evidence for man-made global warming is as final as the evidence of Auschwitz. No other word will do.'

A good clue as to what's making the 'warmists' so much hotter under the collar came last Monday when a Met Office press release stated: '2014 one of the warmest years on record globally.' Normally, one might have expected this to be given widespread coverage by broadcasters and newspapers. In fact, BBC news bulletins ignored it altogether. Only one national newspaper mentioned it.

The reasons? First, because, with admirable precision, the Met Office pointed out that as its measurements of global temperatures come with a sizeable margin of error, 'it's not possible to definitively say which of several recent years was the warmest'. All one could state with confidence was that 2014 was somewhere in the top ten.

Secondly, because the previous week, almost every broadcaster and newspaper in the world had screamed that 2014 was emphatically The Hottest Year Ever. They did so because NASA told them so. Its Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the custodian of one of the main American temperature datasets, had announced: 'The year 2014 ranks as Earth's warmest since 1880.' If you'd bothered to click on the sixth of a series of internet links listed at the end of the press release, you could have found deep within it the startling fact that GISS was only '38 per confident' that 2014 really did set a record. In other words, it was 62 per cent confident that it wasn't.

Another detail was that the 'record' was set by just two hundredths of a degree. The margin of error was five times bigger. These boring details were ignored. The '2014 was a record' claim went to the very top. President Obama cited it in his State of the Union address. Like the news outlets, it's unlikely he will issue a correction or clarification any time soon.

The larger truth that lies behind The Hottest Year That Probably Wasn't, as it should probably be correctly termed, is the reason why I'm a lukewarmer. The figures show that global warming is proceeding much more slowly than it did in the 1980s and early 1990s, and much slower than computer models project. In 2013, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that between 1998-2012 the rate was 0.05C per decade. Six years earlier, the same body predicted it would be four times higher – 0.2C per decade.

The global warming 'pause' – the absence of any statistically significant warming trend in surface temperature records – goes back to 1997; 18 years. Satellite measurements say it is even longer than that.

Now, predicting the future is hard. The atmosphere is a complex and chaotic system. Changes in the output of the sun, in levels of soot, the effects of warming on CO2-absorbing plants, clouds and ocean temperature cycles all have potentially big impacts. They don't affect that basic proposition – that human activity causes warming, but do substantially affect its rate – how fast the world is warming.

There is still argument among scientists over just how flawed the models are, but it's clear that if the pause goes on much longer, they will be seen as not fit for purpose.

You might think that some of the high-profile failed predictions of recent years might have induced caution. Al Gore repeatedly suggested that the Arctic would likely be ice-free in summer by 2014. In fact Arctic ice has recovered in the past two years, and while the long term trend is down, it looks likely to last several more decades.

In 2000, East Anglia University's David Viner said within a few years winter snowfall would be 'a very rare and exciting event', and children 'just aren't going to know what snow is'. If you live in Derbyshire, a look at the snowscape outside your window would tell you this is not so.

Tropical storms are often said to be increasing. They may do in future. But they certainly haven't done yet: the trend is flat.

Last winter's UK storms may have dumped slightly more rain than they would have done 50 years ago, because a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture. But there is simply no evidence that the jet-stream storm track, the phenomenon that barrelled depression after depression towards us, has anything to do with global warming.

In America, the tendency to blame what was once called 'weather' on climate change is especially marked: the bitter 'polar vortex' experienced there in the 2014 winter, last week's no-show 'snowmageddon' in New York and California's (now terminated) drought have all been widely ascribed to it. The same went for Sandy, the storm and tidal surge that drenched New York and New Jersey in 2011. No one wanted to remember that two worse such surges took place in the 1930s, while the continental US is still in the longest hurricane drought (since Wilma in 2005) in recorded history.

But nuance and caution are not what politicians and green activists want, and they insist there is a fixed, known relationship between exact levels of carbon dioxide and future temperatures. Often they add we are perilously close to 'tipping points', when the present, modest warming – an average of 0.12C per decade since 1951 – will suddenly accelerate and become rampant, although the 2013 IPCC report offers little support to such claims.

But ultimately, where are they taking us? Citing climate change is certainly an effective way of making schoolchildren feel fearful and guilty, much as preachers once used to. Yet the 'solutions' orthodoxy advocates – an international, binding emissions treaty and further vast investment in renewables such as wind – haven't worked yet, and it won't work now.

We're in a hole, but we keep digging, enacting unilateral measures in Britain and the rest of the EU which merely make our energy more expensive, and so export jobs to countries which produce higher emissions. The billions being poured by UK consumers into subsidising renewables have succeeded only in creating powerful vested interests, who cloak their greed with green verbiage.

If just a fraction of this money was spent on research into new forms of nuclear reactors, including fusion, where huge progress has been made in the past 20 years, the prospects of developing low carbon energy sources that might actually work would be much greater. In recent cold, still days this winter, windmills were producing just half a per cent of the UK's electricity.

You may not have known such a thing as the Commons Environmental Audit Committee exists. But it does, and last week it recommended a ban on fracking for shale gas in the UK. Natural gas is by far the cleanest fossil fuel. By switching from coal to fracked gas, America has seen huge falls in its emissions. According to the committee, however, fracking 'is incompatible with our climate change targets'.

Which is a shame, because the UK is sitting on vast reserves of a fuel that can end energy insecurity, and provide clean jobs and growth for decades. In the Commons last week, Bristol MP Charlotte Leslie voted in favour of fracking. Afterwards, in indelible red paint, her Bristol office was painted with the words 'fracking whore'.

There is one way the world really is getting hotter, very fast: in the temperature of the climate debate. The reason is simple: in November, there will be yet another vast UN conference, which will try, and fail, to get another legally binding treaty. The search will be futile, because however fierce the green pressure, India, China, Russia and, thanks to the Republican Congress, America, will not sign up to it.

Maybe after that, when the hatred has dissipated a little, the debate we should have started years ago can begin. Because, ultimately, it doesn't matter how hot we think the world might be in 2100: right now, the things greens and politicians are trying to do, cannot and will not work.

Although my children are told in school that views such as mine jeopardise their future, I'm reasonably confident that what I've written here won't induce them to kill me. Whether my online critics encourage them to do so once again, we will have to see.


Deep depression among Warmists

Everybody is ignoring them and the planet isn't helping

I have been researching and writing about anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) for Truthout for the past year, because I have long been deeply troubled by how fast the planet has been emitting its obvious distress signals.

On a nearly daily basis, I've sought out the most recent scientific studies, interviewed the top researchers and scientists penning those studies, and connected the dots to give readers as clear a picture as possible about the magnitude of the emergency we are in.

This work has emotional consequences: I've struggled with depression, anger and fear. I've watched myself shift through some of the five stages of grief proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. I've grieved for the planet and all the species who live here, and continue to do so as I work today.

I have been vacillating between depression and acceptance of where we are, both as victims - fragile human beings – and as perpetrators: We are the species responsible for altering the climate system of the planet we inhabit to the point of possibly driving ourselves extinct, in addition to the 150 to 200 species we are already driving extinct daily.

Can you relate to this grieving process?

If so, you might find solace in the fact that you are not alone: Climate science researchers, scientists, journalists and activists have all been struggling with grief around what we are witnessing.

To see more stories like this, visit "Planet or Profit?"

Take Professor Camille Parmesan, a climate researcher who says that ACD is the driving cause of her depression.

"I don't know of a single scientist that's not having an emotional reaction to what is being lost," Parmesan said in the National Wildlife Federation's 2012 report. "It's gotten to be so depressing that I'm not sure I'm going to go back to this particular site again," she said in reference to an ocean reef she had studied since 2002, "because I just know I'm going to see more and more of the coral dead, and bleached, and covered with brown algae."

Last year I wrote about the work of Joanna Macy, a scholar of Buddhism, eco-philosophy, general systems theory and deep ecology, and author of more than a dozen books. Her initiative, The Work That Reconnects, helps people essentially do nothing more mysterious than telling the truth about what we see, know and feel is happening to our world.

In order to remain able to continue in our work, we first must feel the full pain of what is being done to the world, according to Macy." Refusing to feel pain, and becoming incapable of feeling the pain, which is actually the root meaning of apathy, refusal to suffer - that makes us stupid, and half alive," she told me. "It causes us to become blind to see what is really out there."

I recently came across a blog titled, Is This How You Feel? It is an extraordinary compilation of handwritten letters from highly credentialed climate scientists and researchers sharing their myriad feelings about what they are seeing.

The blog is run and operated by Joe Duggan, a science communicator, who described his project like this: "All the scientists that have penned letters for this site have a sound understanding of climate change. Some have spent years designing models to predict changing climate, others, years investigating the implications for animal life. More still have been exploring a range of other topics concerning the causes and implications of a changing climate.


The Grand Slam of Climate

By Joe Bastardi (Chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, who make their living by good forecasting)

I introduced something on the O'Reilly Factor several years ago called the “Triple Crown of Cooling.” I called it that because back in 2007 I thought a 20-30 year period of cooling would start, resulting in global temperatures returning to 1978 levels by 2030. I also introduced the concept that this cooling may cause a “time of climatic hardship” — in other words, the natural process of cooling after a process of natural warming could produce an uptick in extreme events. The increase in this is not clear, though one can argue it is occurring off the East Coast. The Atlantic still is in its warm cycle and will be for several more years, so the coastal water is warm. It is the reason I am very worried about the East Coast with hurricanes similar in magnitude to storms of the 1950s, though it has not yet occurred. That’s right – Irene, Sandy and Arthur can’t hold a candle to eight major hurricane hits in seven years. None of the aforementioned storms was major.

The fact is, winters have been getting colder in the U.S., as data compiled by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center shows. And it’s this onslaught of colder temperatures that is likely the cause for any uptick in snowfall near the East Coast. Once the Western Atlantic cools again, the snows will go back toward normal.

So one would look for clashes naturally near the East Coast – the key word here being naturally – as one can also see that the NCEP CFSR data against satellite era temperatures have started a downturn over the past 10 years.

The point is that all this was introduced years ago during a time where the missive was: Winters won’t be cold and snowy, and the ice cap is melting away. Now I will make another forecast in a five-year increment: At least three of the next five winters will be warmer than average across the eastern U.S. The Great Plains will be back and forth, and the core of the coldest winters will be in the West. Let’s see how I do.

Even though severe cold and enhanced storminess will rule the roost over the next couple of weeks – and we think spring is going to be very late this year for much of the country – spring training for baseball is around the corner, so I decided to rename my climate for “dummies” idea The Grand Slam of Climate.

Let’s ask these questions:

1.) Does the sun have a far greater effect on the climate than CO2?

2.) Do the cycles in the ocean, with the vast amount of the earth’s heat stored in them, have a far greater effect on the climate than CO2?

3.) Do stochastic events (ex-volcanoes, etc.) have a far greater effect on the climate than CO2?

And now I have added the fourth leg, the grand slam:

4.) Does the very design of the system have far greater effect on the climate than CO2?

Quantifying CO2’s effect, with its increase of only one molecule out of every 10,000 molecules of air over a 100-year period, against the grand slam of climate, especially in light of the earth having had ice ages at 7,000 PPM and warmer times at 250 PPM, is grasping at straws at best. Then again, desperate people zealous about another issue would do that if they felt this would help them get their way.

Just ask yourselves these questions above and see what you come up with. It’s not that you’re dumb, it’s just that alarmists think you are. So let’s humor them a bit.

By the way, here’s a fun thing to think about: Mars has an atmosphere with the same percentage of CO2 as Venus, but is much less dense. So why is Mars so much colder than Venus? And just why do those Martian icecaps shrink for years, then expand again? These questions are out of this world; the ones in the Grand Slam of Climate are not.


Is the wind production tax credit dead?

It may be time for the wind energy industry to finally stand on its own two feet.

On January 28, the U.S. Senate defeated an amendment by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) in favor of the now-expired wind production tax credit. It failed by a vote of 47 to 51.

And that was merely a “sense of Congress” non-binding resolution in favor of the policy, which funds an inflation-adjusted 2.3 cents per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) tax credit for electricity generated that were constructed before January 1, 2015.

In 2014, it cost taxpayers $6.4 billion paid out to owners and operators of wind turbines.

That credit lasts for 10 years, and so taxpayers are still on the hook until at least January 1, 2025, but as most projects were constructed before 2014, the amount of the credit should gradually be winding down on an annual basis.

Any new wind projects will not be eligible to receive the tax credit, leading American Wind Energy Association head Tom Kiernan to complain, “We worry about the industry going off the cliff again if we don’t get the Production Tax Credit extended as soon as possible.”

Industry experts warn that the tax credit expiration will halt production of new turbines, since current market participants would have a built-in cost advantage versus new entrants into the industry unable to take advantage of the tax incentive.

Such are the perverse incentives Congress creates when it doles out tax subsidies to any industry.

In this case, in 2012 wind only generated $5 billion of revenue, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Compare that to the $6 billion tax subsidy from that year, estimated by the Joint Committee on Taxation.

By that count, new entrants into the marketplace will be seeing as much as a 55 percent markdown, on average, compared to subsidized competitors.

Which is why the subsidy should be eliminated altogether. It’s the only way to have a truly level playing field with real competition.

Proponents will argue that, actually, this is why the tax credit should be made permanent, a position we’re certain the American Wind Energy Association would support.

But what industry wouldn’t want a permanent, annual subsidy totaling billions of dollars?

Ultimately, it is for Congress to decide whether the cost is worth it to subsidize an industry that only produces 4.5 percent of U.S electricity, according to the Energy Information Agency.

As it is now, the remaining subsidies appear to create a barrier for new wind turbines to be built and thus will impact the growth of the industry by its own admission. And Congress has shown no interest in renewing the tax credit.

Therefore, the only fair way to proceed is to eliminate the remaining subsidies, too. Right?


Can Lisa Murkowski save the Alaska pipeline?

President Obama and his regulators have made the people of the state of Alaska their personal punching bags over the past year with the announcement that an area that is the equivalent of 80 percent of the entire state of West Virginia will be locked away from energy development in the state.

The designation of 12 million acres including the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve as a Wilderness Area has to be agreed to by Congress, but the law puts the land in limbo until Congress either agrees or rescinds the designation.

When coupled with the blocking of off-shore oil development in the Arctic Sea and an attempt to roll back allowed oil development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

These actions come on the heels of Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency acting last year to prevent a copper mine from being developed in the southwestern portion of the state on land specifically designated for mining.  The EPA action was particularly egregious because it usurped the normal and strenuous federal mine permitting process denying the company developing the area from being able to submit a plan after spending almost half a billion dollars in environmental analysis and engineering.

The reaction from the Alaska Congressional delegation was swift and loud as the President’s actions have the potential of eviscerating the resource development dependent state’s capacity to exist and thrive in the future.  The goal of environmentalists is to cut off the supply of oil that flows through the Alaska pipeline and force its closure and dismantling.  While the pipeline has proven to have easily coexisted with the various animal species that congregate under it during the bitter cold of an Arctic winter, environmentalists fought it with as much fervor as they are currently devoting to killing the Keystone XL with many of the same arguments.

The development of the Alaska pipeline opened up year round oil development out of the state’s Prudhoe Bay as the black liquid flowed north to south more than 800 miles.  Now, due to declining production and the blocking of the development of new oil fields, the pipeline is being choked and with it Alaska’s economy.

It is estimated that almost one-third of all the jobs in the state are petroleum related.  If the pipeline dies, those jobs go away, more than 100,000 men and women thrown out of work due to Obama’s efforts.

Ironically, Alaska’s Senior Senator Lisa Murkowski was seen as one of the Republican Senators who President Obama might be able to reach out to in order to build compromise toward his policies.  Now, with an existential threat to her state’s economic survival, Murkowski faces the political battle of her life, and has promised to use every tool at her disposal to win it.

If Murkowski, a potential swing vote in the Senate is serious, Obama could face paybacks on his nominees and his entire “all in one” energy strategy could come under withering scrutiny from the Senate Energy Committee that the Alaska Senator chairs.  Not to mention finding a closed door as he attempts to push the now Republican U.S. Senate to the left.

The stakes are high.  The battle lines are set.  And the future of energy and mineral development are on the table.  Hardly the kind of conciliatory hand shake Republicans expected from Obama after they chose to work with him on the Cromnibus federal government funding bill in the lame duck session of Congress.



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, 2015 

The Earth's crust under Iceland is rising -- but why?

We read below:  "Compton found the onset of rising temperatures and the loss of ice corresponded tightly with her estimates of when uplift began".  But there has been no global  warming for 18 years.  So has the uplift stopped?  Rather to the contrary, it seems.  So it must be local warming at work -- probably due to vulcanism.

Note also below:  "He added there is geological evidence that during the past deglaciation roughly 12,000 years ago, volcanic activity in some regions of Iceland increased thirtyfold".  So if uplift can be related to volcanic activity 12,000 years ago, why not now? QED

A new study has found that as global warming melts the island's great ice caps, the crust is 'rebounding' and rising.

Geologists have long known that as glaciers melt and become lighter, the Earth rebounds as the weight of the ice decreases.

Whether the current rebound geologists detect is related to past deglaciation or modern ice loss has been an open question until now.

Some sites in south-central Iceland are moving upward as much as 1.4 inches per year — a speed that surprised the researchers.

The University of Arizona-led team reports in an upcoming issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

The paper is the first to show the current fast uplift of the Icelandic crust is a result of accelerated melting of the island's glaciers and coincides with the onset of warming that began about 30 years ago, the scientists said.

'Our research makes the connection between recent accelerated uplift and the accelerated melting of the Icelandic ice caps,' said first author Kathleen Compton.

'Iceland is the first place we can say accelerated uplift means accelerated ice mass loss,' Bennett said.

To figure out how fast the crust was moving upward, the team used a network of 62 global positioning satellite receivers fastened to rocks throughout Iceland. By tracking the position of the GPS receivers year after year, the scientists 'watch' the rocks move and can calculate how far they have traveled — a technique called geodesy.

The new work shows that, at least for Iceland, the land's current accelerating uplift is directly related to the thinning of glaciers and to global warming.  'What we're observing is a climatically induced change in the Earth's surface,' Bennett said.

He added there is geological evidence that during the past deglaciation roughly 12,000 years ago, volcanic activity in some regions of Iceland increased thirtyfold.

Others have estimated the Icelandic crust's rebound from warming-induced ice loss could increase the frequency of volcanic eruptions such as the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, which had negative economic consequences worldwide.

The article 'Climate driven vertical acceleration of Icelandic crust measured by CGPS geodesy' by Compton, Bennett and their co-author Sigrun Hreinsdóttir of GNS Science in Avalon, New Zealand, was accepted for publication Jan. 14, 2015, and is soon to be published online. The National Science Foundation and the Icelandic Center for Research funded the research.

The team primarily used the geodesy network to track geological activity such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In 2013, Bennett noticed one of long-running stations in the centre of the country was showing that site was rebounding at an accelerated rate.

He wondered about it, so he and his colleagues checked the nearby stations to see if they had recorded the same changes.

'The striking answer was, yes, they all do,' he said. 'We wondered what in the world could be causing this?'

The team began systematically analyzing years of signals from the entire network and found the fastest uplift was the region between several large ice caps. The rate of uplift slowed the farther the receiver was from the ice cap region.

Other researchers had been measuring ice loss and observed a notable uptick in the rate of melting since 1995.

Temperature records for Iceland, some of which go back to the 1800s, show temperatures increasing since 1980.

To determine whether the same rate of ice loss year after year could cause such an acceleration in uplift, Compton tested that idea using mathematical models. The answer was no: The glaciers had to be melting faster and faster every year to be causing more and more uplift.

Compton found the onset of rising temperatures and the loss of ice corresponded tightly with her estimates of when uplift began. 'I was surprised how well everything lined up,' she said.  Bennett said, 'There's no way to explain that accelerated uplift unless the glacier is disappearing at an accelerated rate.'

Estimating ice loss is laborious and difficult, he said. 'Our hope is we can use current GPS measurements of uplift to more easily quantify ice loss.'

The team's next step is to analyze the uplift data to reveal the seasonal variation as the ice caps grow during the winter snow season and melt during the summer.


Senate approves Keystone, Obama veto looms

The Senate voted Thursday to approve the Keystone XL pipeline on a 62-36 vote, setting up a clash with President Barack Obama, who has vowed to kill the bill with just his third veto in six years.
The Keystone bill’s three-week gallop included votes on more than 40 amendments, but the bill still lacks the support in both the Senate and the House to override a presidential veto.
Story Continued Below

Yet the debate drew praise from Democrats and Republicans alike as a sign the Senate had left behind the gridlock that has stymied legislation for years, and it could now pick up its pace while giving the minority a chance to influence policymaking.

But the debate failed to win over any lawmakers from the solid bloc of Democrats who were unwilling to undercut Obama and approve a pipeline that’s long been a top priority for the oil and gas industry.

“Time and time again Republicans pledge their allegiance to foreign special interests above the American middle class,” New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, Democrats’ third-ranked leader, told reporters.

Despite the intensity of the debate in Congress, Keystone is still largely where it began: a symbol to Republicans of the White House’s hostility to fossil fuels, and to Democrats as another effort by GOP to do the bidding of Big Oil.

Senior Republicans have not yet agreed on whether the pipeline bill will head to the House for a second vote, thanks to changes the Senate made this month, or go to bicameral conference talks.
House Speaker John Boehner praised Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “for passing this bill in an open, inclusive, and bipartisan way,” and urged Obama to walk back a threat to veto “this common-sense bill that would strengthen our energy security.”

The White House did not back down, reiterating on Thursday its intention to veto the Keystone bill. Overriding Obama would require four more Democratic votes in the Senate and dozens more in the House, where 28 Democrats joined the GOP in approving the pipeline bill earlier this month.

Obama has not said whether he would approve the permit that would allow TransCanada to build the pipeline that would link Canada’s oil sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The White House has said it opposed the legislation in the Congress because it would remove the decision from the executive branch.

Republicans already are discussing plans to attach the pipeline to upcoming measures that could prove difficult for Obama to reject, such as annual government spending bills.

But the Keystone clock may already be working against them. The State Department has told other federal agencies to weigh in by Monday on its year-old finding that the $8 billion project is unlikely to have a significant environmental impact, an indication that the administration is in the final stages of its six-year Keystone review.

A final recommendation from State on whether Keystone is in the national interest could come as soon as this month. Although there is no binding deadline for Obama to make the final decision on a border-crossing permit for the pipeline, he has repeatedly expressed a dim view of its economic benefits in recent months.
TransCanada CEO Russ Girling praised today’s vote, which he noted was the 10th time the Senate had passed a measure to support the pipeline’s construction.

“Every barrel of Canadian and American oil transported by Keystone XL replaces imports from overseas — and improves U.S. and North American energy independence,” he said in a statement.

American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard warned that leaving the pipeline in limbo could have a significant impact on oil and gas transportation plans throughout the country.

“The fact is that if all other infrastructure projects are delayed like Keystone XL, we are years away from approving anything that could create jobs and enhance our energy security,” Gerard said in a statement.

Despite the Keystone bill’s poor prospects at becoming law, Senate Republicans welcomed the vote that gave their new majority its first legislative accomplishment and drew three new Democratic supporters — Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.), Bob Casey (Pa.) and Tom Carper (Del.) — more fully behind their Keystone effort.

In addition to that trio, six Democrats who have previously supported Keystone joined with every Republican to pass the Keystone bill.

Democrats and environmentalists also saw bright spots in the vote: They prevented the GOP from peeling off new Keystone supporters in Obama’s party and opened up some cracks in the Republican’s rhetoric on climate change.

“The only positive aspect of this debate has been that some amendments did put senators on the record on issues that truly matter — starting with climate change,” the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Canada project director, Danielle Droitsch, said in a statement on the Keystone vote.

Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist who poured more than $50 million into Democratic candidates’ campaigns during last year’s midterms, urged Obama to follow up EPA’s carbon regulations and his emissions pact with China by rejecting Keystone to “truly solidify America’s legacy as a global leader on climate.”


New Virginia law protects farmers from meddling local officials

The "Boneta Bill" marks a major victory for grassroots activists over powerful special interests

In a hard-fought and stunning victory for family farmers and property rights throughout the Commonwealth, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) March 5 signed into law legislation solidifying Virginia’s status as a right-to-farm state by limiting local officials’ ability to interfere with normal agricultural operations.

The governor’s signature marks the latest chapter in a swirling controversy that attracted nationwide attention in 2012 when the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors forced family farmer Martha Boneta to cease selling produce from her own 64-acre farm. No longer allowed to sell the vegetables she had harvested, Boneta donated the food to local charities lest it go to waste.

Fauquier County officials threatened Boneta with $5,000-per-day fines for hosting a birthday party for eight 10-year-old girls without a permit, and advertising pumpkin carvings. Seeing in the county’s action against Boneta as a brazen effort to drive her off her land, Virginians from all walks of life rallied to her defense.  Supporters gathered in Warrenton, the county seat, for a peaceful “pitchfork protest” to vent their anger over what an out-of-control local government had done to a law-abiding citizen.

In the 2013 session of the General Assembly, Rep. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Prince William, spearheaded an effort to undo the injustice inflicted on Boneta, and to protect other small farmers from similar abuse, by strengthening Virginia’s Right to Farm Act.  What became known as the “Boneta Bill” passed the House by an overwhelming margin but was killed in a Senate committee.

Undeterred, Boneta and her supporters came back to the General Assembly in 2014 and won wide bipartisan approval for legislation protecting the rights of family farmers. The bill signed by Gov. McAuliffe grew out of legislation developed by Rep. Bobby Orrick, R-Thornburg, and Richard Stuart, R-Montross, and supported by, among others, Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax.

Backed by the Virginia Farm Bureau, the new law protects customary activities at agricultural operations from local bans in the absence of substantial impacts on public welfare.  It also prohibits localities from requiring a special-use permit for a host of farm-related activities that are specified in the bill.  The law takes effect on July 1.

“I want to thank Gov. McAuliffe, the members of the General Assembly, and all those who have rallied to the defense of family farmers,” Boneta said.  “After all my family and I have been through, it is gratifying to know that an injustice can be undone, and the rights of farmers as entrepreneurs can be upheld thanks to the work of so many dedicated people.”

Successful grassroots effort citizens

Passage of the Boneta Bill was all the more remarkable, because it was entirely a grassroots effort.  Supporters of the legislation, none of whom received any compensation for the time and effort they devoted to the cause, flooded the state capitol in Richmond with emails, phone calls, and personal visits with lawmakers to ensure enactment of the legislation.

In contrast, opponents of the bill, including well-funded environmental organizations and power-hungry county governments – both determined to preserve strict land-use controls – reportedly employed lobbyists to kill the bill.  In the end, highly-motivated citizens triumphed over highly paid lobbyists.


India unwilling to be treated at par with China on CO2 emissions

India’s resistance to accept a peak year for emissions was a prime reason why US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi failed to strike a climate deal along the lines of a US-China agreement on emission cuts.

The US wanted India to make specific commitments including a peak year for a new climate treaty to be signed at Paris later this year. But India refused as it feared it would have resulted in the world putting India in the same bracket as China on carbon emissions.
China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter while India is fourth with per capita emissions one-third those of China’s.

“Having a peaking year was not acceptable to us,” said an environment ministry official.

The officials also said the US was not willing to enhance its commitment to climate finance and reiterated that it had already offered to give $1 billion to the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) for climate finance. India has also been seeking a US commitment to provide adequate funds for adapting to climate change for developing and least developed countries.

Sources said India was also not willing to make any bilateral commitment until India submitted its intended domestically determined contribution (INDCs) to fight climate change to the United Nations by June this year.

India is likely to make its plan of generating 1,00,000 MW of solar power and 55,000 MW of wind power as part of its INDCs, apart from saving upto 20,000 MW of power from introducing energy efficient systems. “We also want to see what other countries will commit in their INDCs,” an official explained.

US Secretary for State John Kerry earlier this month had emphasised that a climate deal with India would be a top priority during Obama’s visit. But the two countries failed to hammer out a deal except for a US commitment to invest in India’s plan to generate 1,00,000 MW of solar power by 2019.

But it is not the end of the road for a Indo-US deal on climate change.  The two countries will hold further negotiations on climate change in a working group in the next few months. A source said many issues are on the table and will be discussed in coming months.


Deflating Climate Change

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is dominating the headlines amid allegations of cheating in his team’s 45-7 playoff win over the Indianapolis Colts last week. At least he was – Boston still is the subject of most newswires, but for the past two days that was thanks to an ironically well-timed blizzard, not Brady.

The real DeflateGate, however, is Barack Obama’s negligence concerning foreign affairs while obsessing over things beyond his control. Last week, Yemen fell hostage to Islamic extremists, the latest in a string of countries whose leadership crumbled to radical uprisings. Nevertheless, terrorism’s expanding influence is not what the president chose to emphasize is civilization’s greatest threat during his State of the Union address. No, that would be a perpetual straw man – global warming.

Shortly after delivering self-congratulatory remarks on his counterterrorism policies, Obama proceeded in his SOTU address to declare, “No challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” Really, how crazy must one be to worry about getting blown to smithereens or having your throat slit by maniacal fundamentalists when the oceans might rise a bit within the next century? And here we thought the president already had that situation under control. In 2008, the story was that Obama’s inauguration would mark “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Six years later, the world is going up in flames, and it’s not because of a man-made fever.

“2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record,” said the lecturer in chief, a statistic that was the conclusion of a new report by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center. According to NOAA, earth’s average temperature last year was 1.24°F above average – sea surface temperatures were the highest on record (1.03°F above average), while land temperatures came in fourth place (1.80°F above average).

Even if we take the government at its word and assume last year was indeed the warmest – since records began in the late 1800s, it’s important to note – the report lacked two particularly big disclaimers.

For starters, last week the Daily Mail revealed, “The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C. … As a result, GISS’s [Goddard Institute for Space Studies] director Gavin Schmidt has now admitted [government officials believe] the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent.” Incredibly, the trumpeted “consensus” appears suddenly irrelevant.

Second, Obama’s ensuing remark is simply unfounded: “Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does: 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.” According to Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) satellite data, the staple of modern temperature recordings, the globe has experienced no observable warming now for more than 18 years. NOAA omitted that inconvenient truth, however, because the nearly two-decade long hiatus doesn’t fit the narrative.

It seems Mother Nature presents a twist every time envirofascists open their petulant mouths – and indeed, drivers on Monday’s snarled I-95 corridor would have enjoyed some global warming. Tom Brady may be tossing under-inflated footballs, but the narcissist in chief has been prematurely spiking the ball ever since he entered the Oval Office, all while destroying our Liberty, one policy at a time. Unless America begins taking seriously the real DeflateGate, the only thing we’ll be left with is a Hail Mary.


Russian sponsorship of Green groups?

A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

One of those executives, Nicholas Hoskins, is a director at a hedge fund management firm that has invested heavily in Russian oil and gas. He is also senior counsel at the Bermudan law firm Wakefield Quin and the vice president of a London-based investment firm whose president until recently chaired the board of the state-owned Russian oil company Rosneft.

In addition to those roles, Hoskins is a director at a company called Klein Ltd. No one knows where that firm’s money comes from. Its only publicly documented activities have been transfers of $23 million to U.S. environmentalist groups that push policies that would hamstring surging American oil and gas production, which has hurt Russia’s energy-reliant economy.

With oil prices plunging as a result of a fracking-induced oil glut in the United States, experts say the links between Russian oil interests, secretive foreign political donors, and high-profile American environmentalists suggest Russia may be backing anti-fracking efforts in the United States.

The interest of Russian oil companies and American environmentalist financiers intersect at a Bermuda-based law firm called Wakefield Quin. The firm acts as a corporate registered agent, providing office space for clients, and, for some, “managing the day to day affairs,” according to its website.

As many as 20 companies and investment funds with ties to the Russian government are Wakefield Quin clients. Many list the firm’s address on official documentation.

Klein Ltd. also shares that address. Documents filed with Bermuda’s registrar of companies list just two individuals associated with the company: Hoskins, Wakefield Quin senior counsel and managing director, and Marlies Smith, a corporate administrator at the firm.

According to documents filed with Bermuda’s registrar of companies, Klein Ltd. was incorporated in March 2011 “exclusively for philanthropic purposes,” meaning “no part of the net earnings … inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.”

“The company does not propose to carry on business in Bermuda,” the documents stated.

The only publicly available documentation of any business conducted by Klein Ltd. were two Internal Revenue Service filings by the California-based Sea Change Foundation, which showed that Klein had contributed $23 million to the group in 2010 and 2011. Klein Ltd. was responsible for more than 40 percent of contributions to Sea Change during those years.

The foundation passed those millions along to some of the nation’s most prominent and politically active environmentalist groups. The Sierra Club, the Natural Resource Defense Council, Food and Water Watch, the League of Conservation Voters, and the Center for American Progress were among the recipients of Sea Change’s $100 million in grants in 2010 and 2011.

Neither Wakefield Quin nor Sea Change responded to multiple requests for more information about their relationships with Klein Ltd.

“None of this foreign corporation’s funding is disclosed in any way,” the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee wrote of the company in a report last year. “This is clearly a deceitful way to hide the source of millions of dollars that are active in our system, attempting to effect political change.”

The Sierra Club, which received nearly $8.5 million from Sea Change in 2010 and 2011, launched its “Beyond Natural Gas” campaign the following year. The effort has become one of the largest and best-funded environmentalist campaigns combating fracking and the extraction of natural gas in general.

Sea Change’s “skeletal staff quietly shovels tens of millions of dollars out the door annually to combat climate change. And that’s pretty much all it does,” noted Inside Philanthropy, which awarded the foundation its “sharpest laser focus in grantmaking” award last year.

Nathaniel Simons and his wife run the foundation and are, except for Klein Ltd., its only donors. Simons, a hedge fund millionaire who commutes to work across San Francisco Bay aboard a 50-foot yacht, also runs a venture capital firm that invests in companies that benefit from environmental and energy policies that Sea Change grantees promote.

Simons himself has ties to Klein Ltd. Several Wakefield Quin attorneys are listed as directors of hedge funds that his firm manages, and in which Sea Change has assets.

Senior counsel Rod Forrest was listed on documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a director of two investment funds, Medallion International Ltd. and Meritage Holdings Ltd., in which Sea Change had tens of millions invested while it received money from Klein Ltd.

Simons’ company runs the Meritage Fund. The Medallion Fund is run by Renaissance Technologies, the hedge fund management firm run by his father, billionaire and Democratic mega-donor Jim Simons. Both funds listed Wakefield Quin’s Hamilton, Bermuda, address on SEC filings.

Wakefield Quin’s Hoskins and Smith, as well as a number of other employees of Wakefield Quin, have worked in some capacity for companies or investment funds owned by or tied to Russian state-owned corporations and high-level officials in the country.

Hoskins, Forrest, and another Wakefield employee named Penny Cornell were all listed as executives of Spectrum Partners Ltd., a fund with offices in Moscow, Cypress, and Bermuda, Cornell at the address of Wakefield Quin’s offices.

According to a performance report for one of Spectrum Partners’ funds, its portfolio consisted of “Russian and CIS [former Soviet state] securities and securities outside of Russia or CIS but having significant economic or business involvement with Russia and/or CIS.”

As of 2008, more than half of the fund’s holdings were in the oil and gas sectors.

Numerous executives at Wakefield Quin have ties to Russian oil and gas companies, including Rosneft, which is majority-owned by the Russian government and in 2013 became the largest oil company in the world.

Hoskins is the vice president of a London-based company called Marcuard Services Limited, and a member of the firm’s board, according to its website.

The company’s president, and the chairman of its parent company, Bermuda-based Marcuard Holding Limited, is Hans-Joerg Rudloff. Rudloff is also a former vice-chairman of the Rosneft’s board.

Hoskins is also a director at a Bermuda-based subsidiary of Russian investment bank Troika Dialog. That firm organized an initial public offering for Timan Oil & Gas, which is run by Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev.

The Environmental Policy Alliance, which provided the Washington Free Beacon with a copy of an upcoming report on Klein Ltd.’s Kremlin ties, said Wakefield Quin’s ties to environmental financiers and Russian oil barons merit closer scrutiny.

“The American public deserves to know whether environmentalists are attacking US energy companies at the behest of a Russian government that would like nothing more than to see their international competition weakened,” Will Coggin, a senior research analyst at the EPA, said in an emailed statement.

“In the face of mounting evidence, environmental groups are going to have to start answering hard questions about their international funding sources,” Coggin said.

The overlap between executives at firms with ties to Russian oil interests and a multi-million-dollar donor to U.S. environmentalist groups has some experts worried that Russians may be replicating anti-fracking tactics used in Europe to attack the practice in the United States.

“I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organizations—environmental organizations working against shale gas—to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, formerly NATO’s secretary general, said last year.

It is unlikely that the Kremlin is directly involved in doing so in the United States, according to Ron Arnold of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise.

“If anybody in Russia is behind all the secretive Bermuda investment house and law firm action, it’s most likely some oligarch bidding against U.S. competition,” he said in an email.

Arnold, the author of Undue Influence: Wealthy Foundations, Grant Driven Environmental Groups, and Zealous Bureaucrats That Control Your Future, said that the opacity of Klein Ltd.’s involvement with the Sea Change Foundation exemplifies attempts to shield the source of donations to such groups.

“In my experience of trying to penetrate offshore money funnels for U.S. leftist foundations and green groups, I have found that Liechtenstein, Panama and Bermuda are the Big Three green equivalents of the Cayman Islands for hedge fund managers—totally opaque and impervious to my specially designed research tools,” Arnold said.



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



This site is in favour of things that ARE good for the environment. That the usual Greenie causes are good for the environment is however disputed. Greenie policies can in fact be actively bad for the environment -- as with biofuels, for instance

Context for the minute average temperature change recorded in the header to this blog: At any given time surface air temperatures around the world range over about 100°C. Even in the same place they can vary by nearly that much seasonally and as much as 30°C or more in a day. A minute rise in average temperature in that context is trivial if it is not meaningless altogether. Warmism is a money-grubbing racket, not science.

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

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

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."


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


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.


Climate is just the sum of weather. So if you cannot forecast the weather a month in advance, you will not be able to forecast the climate 50 years in advance. And official meteorologists such as Britain's Met Office and Australia's BOM, are very poor forecasters of weather. The Met office has in fact given up on making seasonal forecasts because they have so often got such forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Their global-warming-powered "models" just did not deliver

Here's how that "97% consensus" figure was arrived at

A strange Green/Left conceit: They seem to think (e.g. here) that no-one should spend money opposing them and that conservative donors must not support the election campaigns of Congressmen they agree with

To Greenies, Genghis Khan was a good guy, believe it or not. They love that he killed so many people.

Greenie antisemitism

After three exceptionally cold winters in the Northern hemisphere, the Warmists are chanting: "Warming causes cold". Even if we give that a pass for logic, it still inspires the question: "Well, what are we worried about"? Cold is not going to melt the icecaps is it?"

It's a central (but unproven) assumption of the Warmist "models" that clouds cause warming. Odd that it seems to cool the temperature down when clouds appear overhead!

To make out that the essentially trivial warming of the last 150 years poses some sort of threat, Warmists postulate positive feedbacks that might cut in to make the warming accelerate in the near future. Amid their theories about feedbacks, however, they ignore the one feedback that is no theory: The reaction of plants to CO2. Plants gobble up CO2 and the more CO2 there is the more plants will flourish and hence gobble up yet more CO2. And the increasing crop yields of recent years show that plantlife is already flourishing more. The recent rise in CO2 will therefore soon be gobbled up and will no longer be around to bother anyone. Plants provide a huge NEGATIVE feedback in response to increases in atmospheric CO2

Every green plant around us is made out of carbon dioxide that the plant has grabbed out of the atmosphere. That the plant can get its carbon from such a trace gas is one of the miracles of life. It admittedly uses the huge power of the sun to accomplish such a vast filtrative task but the fact that a dumb plant can harness the power of the sun so effectively is also a wonder. We live on a rather improbable planet. If a science fiction writer elsewhere in the universe described a world like ours he might well be ridiculed for making up such an implausible tale.

Greenies are the sand in the gears of modern civilization -- and they intend to be.

The Greenie message is entirely emotional and devoid of all logic. They say that polar ice will melt and cause a big sea-level rise. Yet 91% of the world's glacial ice is in Antarctica, where the average temperature is around minus 40 degrees Celsius. The melting point of ice is zero degrees. So for the ice to melt on any scale the Antarctic temperature would need to rise by around 40 degrees, which NOBODY is predicting. The median Greenie prediction is about 4 degrees. So where is the huge sea level rise going to come from? Mars? And the North polar area is mostly sea ice and melting sea ice does not raise the sea level at all. Yet Warmists constantly hail any sign of Arctic melting. That the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level is known as Archimedes' principle. Archimedes demonstrated it around 2,500 years ago. That Warmists have not yet caught up with that must be just about the most inspissated ignorance imaginable. The whole Warmist scare defies the most basic physics. Yet at the opening of 2011 we find the following unashamed lying by James Hansen: "We will lose all the ice in the polar ice cap in a couple of decades". Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny. So even after "Climategate", the secrecy goes on.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Jim Hansen and his twin

Getting rich and famous through alarmism: Al Gore is well-known but note also James Hansen. He has for decades been a senior, presumably well-paid, employee at NASA. In 2001 he was the recipient of a $250,000 Heinz Award. In 2007 Time magazine designated him a Hero of the Environment. That same year he pocketed one-third of a $1 million Dan David Prize. In 2008, the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented him with its Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. In 2010 he landed a $100,000 Sophie Prize. He pulled in a total of $1.2 million in 2010. Not bad for a government bureaucrat.

See the original global Warmist in action here: "The icecaps are melting and all world is drowning to wash away the sin"

I am not a global warming skeptic nor am I a global warming denier. I am a global warming atheist. I don't believe one bit of it. That the earth's climate changes is undeniable. Only ignoramuses believe that climate stability is normal. But I see NO evidence to say that mankind has had anything to do with any of the changes observed -- and much evidence against that claim.

Seeing that we are all made of carbon, the time will come when people will look back on the carbon phobia of the early 21st century as too incredible to be believed

Meanwhile, however, let me venture a tentative prophecy. Prophecies are almost always wrong but here goes: Given the common hatred of carbon (Warmists) and salt (Food freaks) and given the fact that we are all made of carbon, salt, water and calcium (with a few additives), I am going to prophecy that at some time in the future a hatred of nitrogen will emerge. Why? Because most of the air that we breathe is nitrogen. We live at the bottom of a nitrogen sea. Logical to hate nitrogen? NO. But probable: Maybe. The Green/Left is mad enough. After all, nitrogen is a CHEMICAL -- and we can't have that!

UPDATE to the above: It seems that I am a true prophet

The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) must have foreseen Global Warmism. He said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?

For many people, global warming seems to have taken the place of "The Jews" -- a convenient but false explanation for any disliked event. Prof. Brignell has some examples.

Global warming skeptics are real party-poopers. It's so wonderful to believe that you have a mission to save the world.

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

The claim that oil is a fossil fuel is another great myth and folly of the age. They are now finding oil at around seven MILES beneath the sea bed -- which is incomparably further down than any known fossil. The abiotic oil theory is not as yet well enough developed to generate useful predictions but that is also true of fossil fuel theory

Help keep the planet Green! Maximize your CO2 and CH4 output!

Global Warming=More Life; Global Cooling=More Death.

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

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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