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

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

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29 February, 2016

Bob "sea level" Kopp is at it again

As we saw recently, Bob is the "semi-empirical" man  -- i.e. he guesses a lot.  One of Australia's far Left webzines seems not to have picked that up.  Their article below meekly accepts the assertions of Bob and his friends about coastal flooding in the USA.  In my usual pesky way, however, I have had a look at the source article to see where the numbers come from.  Below is what I found in the Executive Summary:

"Human-caused climate change is contributing to global sea level rise and consequently aggravating coastal floods. This analysis removes the assessed human-caused component in global sea level from hourly water level records since 1950 at 27 U.S. tide gauges, creating alternative histories simulating the absence of anthropogenic climate change. Out of 8,726 days when unaltered water level observations exceeded National Weather Service local “nuisance” flood thresholds for minor impacts, 5,809 days (3,517-7,332 days, >90% confidence interval) did not exceed thresholds in the alternative histories.

In other words, human-caused global sea level rise effectively tipped the balance, pushing high water events over the threshold, for about two-thirds of the observed flood days. The fraction has increased from less than half in the 1950s, to more than three-quarters within the last decade (2005-2014), as global sea level has continued to rise."

So Bob was just guessing again. HOW did he "assess" the human-caused component in sea level rise?  By the same "semi-empirical" methods he has used elsewhere.  There is no way you can tease out a human component in sea level rise without using assumptions.  And sea-level rise in recent years has been so slow that there is little likelihood that there is any human-caused component in it at all.

But the fun does not stop there. Bob says that the period 2005-2014 shows the human influence particularly strongly.  WHICH human influence?  There was no global warming at all during that period according to the satellites so the "influence" cannot be anything due to global warming.

Just another example of Warmist theory running away from the data

New research released this week has dusted down the “human fingerprints on thousands of recent floods”, and found that sea level rise was the cause of two thirds of American floods since 1950.

The study looked at 27 tidal gauges around the United States, and found that since mid-century nearly 6,000 ‘nuisance’ floods would not have happened if not for human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.

And as sea levels rise, things are only getting worse: Since 1950, there has been an unbroken upward trend in the number of flood days caused by anthropogenic climate change, according to the report published by American think-tank Climate Central.

Between 1955 and 1965, around 45 per cent flood events were attributed to climate change. In the decade to 2014 however, a staggering 76 per cent of floods were pushed over the levee by mankind.

The study drew its conclusions by taking estimates of how much sea-level rise humans have caused, and detracting that unnatural increase from the levels reached during a given flood event.

If the National Weather Service’s threshold for a ‘nuisance flood’ wouldn’t have been crossed without sea-level rise caused by unnatural emissions, it was found to have been ‘caused’ by climate change.

The floods in question don’t neccesarily cause major damage, but the report said they “do cause material harm, inconvenience and economic drag”.


What Are The Chances Of Getting All These Record Hot Years Without The Extra Greenhouse Gases?

This little post is a potboiler aimed at debunking a Warmist potboiler.

Graham Readfearn labours long in the Garden of Warmism.  He is a freelance writer so has to keep churning the stuff out. Hence the potboiler he has written below.  I note parenthetically that he is of Northern English origin but has now settled in Brisbane, where I live. Maybe I should invite him over for a cup of tea and some cake one day and see if I can find out what makes him tick.  Northern grievance?  Could be.

I am mentioning his piece because similar claims are made "ad nauseam" by Warmists and yet are grossly deceptive.  No one who has seen an actual graphical and numerical plot of 21st century temperatures would be in any doubt that it is utter BS.  So, to start, here is one plot:

What you see is a plateaued number series.  In some years the temperature goes up a bit while in others it goes down a bit -- with no overall trend, no sign of warming going on.  But before that plateau, temperatures were lower.  So they are all hotter than that previous period, however specified.  There was some warming prior to the plateau but it has now stopped.

But Warmists never mention a plateau.  They pretend that all those hotter years were hotter than one-another, when they are not.  A series of "hot" years COULD indicate steady warming or it could indicate a plateau.  Warmists pretend that the obviously wrong explanation is the right one. 

Is there such a thing as an honest Warmist?

But it is reasonable to ask why the graph supplied by Readfearn shows a great leaping line whereas my graph above shows a flat line?  What gives? 

Easy:  With all graphs you have to look at the calibrations on both axes.  And if you do that, you see that Readfearn depicts an entirely different period from my graph above.  His graph goes back to 1880 whereas my graph shows the current situation only. And during the C20, there WAS some slight warming.  But that has now ceased in C21. 

The rise in temperature on Readfearn's graph doesn't look slight but again the trick is to look at the calibrations.  It is calibrated in tenths of one degree Celsius only.  So it DOES show very slight warming.  It just uses a visual trick (widely-spaced  calibrations) to make the rise seem dramatic.

Since this is a potboiler, I should perhaps mention one remaining issue:  Warmists don't accept that there has been a complete temperature plateau.  They are always declaring some year to be the warmest, third warmist etc.  But again they are being deceptive.  The differences between years that they are talking about are tiny  -- in hundredths of one degree -- so are not significant statistically or in any other sense

From hot to fractionally less hot, here are the planet’s ten warmest years on record – 2015, 2014, 2010, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2009, 1998, 2002 and 2006.

These are the numbers according to NASA and include measurements taken on land and at sea in a record that goes back to the year 1880.

Now that’s a pretty remarkable run of hot years for an era when, according to the rusted-on professional climate science denialists, global warming was supposed to have stopped.

But what are the chances of getting a run of “hottest on record” years like that - 14 of the 16 hottest years all happening since 2000 - without all the extra greenhouse gases that humans have been judiciously stockpiling in the atmosphere and oceans?

Well, the chances of this happening, climate scientist Professor Michael Mann tells me, are… wait for it…  one-in-13000.  Mann, of Penn State University, is the lead author of a new paper published in Nature’s Scientific Reports.

The study takes in data up to 2014, when the chance of that hot streak was one-in-10000.  Since the study was submitted, Mann has re-run the numbers to include the new “hottest year” of 2015, giving us the one-in-13000 number.


Permafrost thaw boost to global warming

This article is simply a lie.  It tells nothing about what is happening in Permafrost regions.  All it reports is an experiment designed to show what WOULD happen if we had global warming, which we do not

Arctic permafrost that is thawing due to global warming is releasing greenhouse gases, further compounding the problem of climate change, a study says.

As the permafrost thaws, changes in the way its soil microbes function and the soil carbon decomposes add to the emissions of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, according to the study by US and Chinese scientists, which was released on Thursday.

Carbon dioxide and methane are the main greenhouse gases that trap heat and contribute to climate change.

Permafrost is the perennially frozen ground that covers a quarter of the land in the northern hemisphere, primarily in the Arctic, says the study published in the monthly Nature Climate Change journal.

Working in Alaska, researchers warmed plots of tundra to thaw the permafrost and after 18 months found numerous changes in the soil microbes, it says.

"This study highlights the critical role that microbes play in mediating carbon losses from Arctic soils," said Susan Natali, a scientist at Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts and co-author of the Nature Climate Change paper.

"The rapid response of the microbial community to warming suggests that the large store of soil carbon currently contained in permafrost will be highly susceptible to decomposition once it is thawed."

Previous studies have suggested that permafrost could decline by as much as 70 percent by the end of the century, according to the statement.


Here’s Where The 2016 Candidates Stand On Global Warming

Americans will head to the polls Tuesday to vote on who they believe should represent their party in the general election.

As Super Tuesday nears, polling data shows global warming is now the most polarizing and divisive issue in American politics. Global warming is even more divisive than abortion or gun control. Here are the positions of every presidential candidate on global warming.


Donald Trump: The real estate mogul has repeatedly written tweets skeptical of global warming. Trump has called global warming a “hoax,” “mythical,” a “con job,” “nonexistent,” and “bullshit.” He views policies created to fight global warming as hurting U.S. manufacturing competitiveness with China.

Marco Rubio:The Florida senator believes global warming is happening, but doesn’t think humans are the main cause. Rubio does not believe Obama’s attempts to fight global warming will have much of an impact.

“I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy,” Rubio said in 2014.

Rubio supports the Keystone XL pipeline and offshore oil and gas drilling. He also strongly opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, and wants to reduce federal regulations on fracking. He took the No Climate Tax pledge and voted against extending the Production Tax Credit.

Ted Cruz: The Texas senator is perhaps the most vocal global warming skeptic in the race. He is the only candidate to put forward a technical argument against it, citing satellite temperature records which show no warming for the last 18 years.

“How do you address the fact that in the last 18 years the satellite data show no demonstrable warming whatsoever?” Cruz asked Sierra Club president Aaron Mair during a Congressional hearing. “The computer models say that there should be dramatic warming, and yet the actual satellites taking the measurement don’t show any significant warming!” Cruz asserted during the same confrontation.

John Kasich: The Ohio governor has repeatedly stated he believes global warming is caused by humans, and says this sets him apart from the other GOP candidates.

“I know that human beings affect the climate,” Kasich said in an interview in Vermont last week. “I know it’s an apostasy in the Republican Party to say that. I guess that’s what I’ve always been — being able to challenge some of the status quo.”

Ben Carson: Neurosurgeon Ben Carson believes global warming exists, but says it is natural and politically irrelevant.

“There’s always going to be either cooling or warming going on,” said Carson during an interview in Iowa. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s irrelevant.”


Hillary Clinton: The former secretary of state plans to address global warming by building “half a billion” solar panels and extending green energy tax credits. Hillary stated she will “make the production tax credit for wind and solar permanent.”

Clinton says global warming is mostly driven by carbon dioxide from power plants, and has defended the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

Bernie Sanders: The Vermont senator is probably the most vocal global warming alarmist in the race, and promises to go even further than President Barack Obama in terms of regulations to curb warming.

“The scientists are virtually unanimous that climate change is real, is caused by human activity and is already causing devastating problems in the United States and around the world. And, they tell us, if we do not act boldly the situation will only become much worse,” according to Sanders’ campaign website.


Global Warming Doubts Spur Push to Block Science Standards in  W.Va.

Doubt over man's contribution to global warming, particularly through burning coal for power, is fueling a push by West Virginia lawmakers to block new science standards in schools.

In a state defined by a coal industry that is now on life support, the Republican-led House of Delegates voted 73-20 on Friday to delay the new science standards related to Common Core.

Discussion on the measure Thursday focused on concerns, largely by coal proponents, that teaching the standards about global warming would follow a "political agenda" and an "ideology."

The vast majority of peer-reviewed studies, science organizations and climate scientists say global warming stems largely from manmade sources.  A major source of carbon emissions is burning coal.

"In an energy-producing state, it's a concern to me that we are teaching our kids, potentially, that we are doing immoral things here in order to make a living in our state," said Del. Jim Butler, R-Mason.

The science standards, set to take effect July 1, would be blocked for at least a year and existing standards would remain in their place. The measure next heads to the GOP-controlled Senate, where the education chairman says he has no issue with the bill.

"As it stands right now, I have no problems with it at all," said Sen. Dave Sypolt, R-Preston. "I'm going to work it and send it right through."

It's unclear how the full Senate would act on the proposal.

In April 2015, the state Board of Education made some changes to the standards that global warming doubters favored; for example, adding "natural forces" to the list of climate-change debate topics, which already included greenhouse gases; human changes in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases; and relevant laws and treaties.

Climate change only appears in a handful of places in the standards. In one example, ninth-graders are tasked with analyzing "geoscience data and the results from the global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems."

The full bill passed Friday also would change standards for other subject areas. Experts appointed by the House speaker and Senate president would suggest new math and English standards to be put in place by the 2017-18 school year.

Last year, the Board of Education stripped its Common Core-related standards for math and English and replaced them. But some lawmakers say the new standards still resemble Common Core too closely.

Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said the state shouldn't keep changing its educational standards year after year.

He also criticized lawmakers for the change on the science standards.

"Those are things that our educators should be making those decisions on, as opposed to somebody because of a belief they have," Tomblin said.

Some delegates said it would be dangerous to start limiting the information presented to students by blocking the science standards.

"It's a bigger world than just West Virginia that many of these students are going to live in," said Del. Dave Perry, D-Fayette.


Ontario decides to save the world

Just another tax grab which will have no impact on the climate

The big news from Ontario’s budget is old news. Taxes are going up.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The proposed tax hikes for carbon-emitting products, such as gasoline and home heating fuel, are part of Ontario’s effort to combat global warming.

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government doesn’t want to call these particular levies taxes. It refers to them instead as “proceeds.”

And to encourage reporters covering Thursday’s budget not to focus on these “proceeds,” the government announced them earlier in the week.

But Wynne’s decision to finally bite the bullet and set up a so-called cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most important moves she has made since becoming premier.

According to budget documents, the government estimates it will charge greenhouse gas emitters (except those, such as cement producers, that it chooses to exempt) about $18 per tonne of carbon spewed into the atmosphere.

They in turn will pass the cost onto final consumers. The government reckons that this will mean, for instance, a gasoline price hike of 4.3 cents a litre. Natural gas for home heating is expected to rise by 3.3 cents a cubic metre.

With Ontario’s system now finally in place, Canada is on its way to establishing a national minimum price for carbon.

Ontario’s scheme is hardly ambitious. British Columbia charges a carbon price of $30 per tonne. Alberta is planning to charge $20.

Nor will Ontario’s actions ensure Canada’s ability to meet the exceedingly modest climate-change targets it set for itself in Paris last year. But it is a start.

One problem with Ontario’s plan is that it is not clear how the money raised from cap-and-trade will be spent.

Ontario’s Liberal government is giving free tuition to university and college students from low-income families — and taking more from motorists and homeowners through costlier gasoline and natural gas.

Technically, the $2.4 billion raised over the next two years is to be earmarked for green projects that reduce carbon emissions. But the opposition Progressive Conservatives are suspicious — and rightly so.

Governments have a bad record when it comes to handling funds in supposedly dedicated accounts. In Ottawa, both Liberal and Conservative government have used the Employment Insurance fund to cover off shortfalls in general revenue.

The Ontario Liberals say they would never do that. But given their record of throwing money at dubious projects, such as the quasi-private air ambulance service ORNGE, the Liberals do not always inspire confidence.

Still, the decision to effectively levy a tax on carbon is a necessary step if climate change is to be curbed. It is one of the few ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The rest of Thursday’s budget focused on targeted austerity.



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28 February, 2016

The causality of CO2 and global warming

I have no idea who Adolf Stips is but I wish him well. He seems to have something to do with the EU and is clearly a keen Warmist but I can find no other information about him.  I suspect he is Belgian.  You would have to be Belgian to call your kid Adolf these days.  Anyway, he appears to believe that  mathematical methods can detect causality, which is amusing. I reproduce below the abstract of an article under his authorship which makes that claim. It is an article that does seem to have attracted some attention, as one would expect.

During my student days I took three full-year courses in analytical philosophy, meaning that I did a "major" in that subject.  And that bore fruit in that I had a few articles on analytical philosophy topics published in the academic journals, one of which was well received.  And among those articles was included a look at the topic of causality:  What is cause?

For present purposes, however, I will stick with the minimalist approach of David Hume to that topic -- who -- as is well known -- specified temporal priority and constant conjunction as the sole nature of causation.

But Stips and his merry men note that temperature rises used to cause CO2 rises but they "flipped" recently so that CO2 rises now cause temperature rises. To a Humean and, in fact, anyone with half a brain, that would indicate no causal connection between the two. Constant conjunction is shown but not invariant temporal priority.  So Stips is talking nonsense. How  sad!

In addition to the abstract I reproduce below an excerpt from a  plain English summary of the work in  I have verified  the accuracy of the summary in the original article but the summary is easier to follow.

The whole point of the Stips effort is to address the well-known fact that, in paleoclimatological history, temperature rises preceded CO2 rises, which blows Warmist theory out of the water, which asserts the opposite.  Warmists normally ignore that but Stips has bravely taken it on and attempted to circumvent it.

I have zero interest in unravelling Stips's mathematics in order to isolate where his faulty assumptions lie but that he does make faulty assumptions is obvious

On the causal structure between CO2 and global temperature

Adolf Stips, Diego Macias, Clare Coughlan, Elisa Garcia-Gorriz & X. San Liang


We use a newly developed technique that is based on the information flow concept to investigate the causal structure between the global radiative forcing and the annual global mean surface temperature anomalies (GMTA) since 1850. Our study unambiguously shows one-way causality between the total Greenhouse Gases and GMTA. Specifically, it is confirmed that the former, especially CO2, are the main causal drivers of the recent warming. A significant but smaller information flow comes from aerosol direct and indirect forcing, and on short time periods, volcanic forcings. In contrast the causality contribution from natural forcings (solar irradiance and volcanic forcing) to the long term trend is not significant. The spatial explicit analysis reveals that the anthropogenic forcing fingerprint is significantly regionally varying in both hemispheres. On paleoclimate time scales, however, the cause-effect direction is reversed: temperature changes cause subsequent CO2/CH4 changes.

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 21691 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep21691

An excerpt from the summary in

"The authors applied the same technique to analyse historical air temperatures and CO2/CH4 data from the past 800,000 years, available thanks to the 3,000 meter deep ice core drilled in Antarctica more than a decade ago, which offers scientists a clue on a time scale of 800 millennia. They found a causal relationship between temperature increase and rising CO2/CH4 levels, which is the exact opposite of the results for the last 150 years. This also confirms the validity of the technique, as it is well known from the ice core data that in historical times, increase of temperatures had been followed by higher CO2/CH4 emissions. The causality relationship appears to have started reversing around 5000 years ago. The analysis confirms this opposite trend for the last 150 years, when unprecedented amounts of CO2 started being pumped into the atmosphere in the industrial age"

Warming and high CO2 are good for life

Recently when I was looking at this temperature reconstruction, I noticed something that I found amusing, and should have noted much earlier.

During the Pre-Cambrian, temps were about the same as today, between 12 and 15 degrees C, for roughly half of that period.  Then they begin to climb, rising to about 22 deg C prior to the Cambrian, and remaining so all the way through and into the Ordovician. Also, CO2 concentration was more than 10 times as great as today for that entire period, the highest it's ever been on Earth.

The amusing thing is that, far from the great damage that elevated CO2 and temperature are alleged to cause, that did nothing to stop  the Cambrian Explosion; the first ever appearance of complex animals, including all or nearly all of the phyla extant today.

Solar power corruption in Massachusetts?

The big beast himself

Federal prosecutors are looking at state Senator Brian A. Joyce’s involvement in a massive solar project at Stonehill College in Easton as part of a wide-ranging investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing by the Milton Democrat, according to two people with direct knowledge of the probe.

Joyce, whose law office was raided by FBI agents last week, represented Stonehill and the company that recently installed about 9,000 solar panels at the college, according to legal documents filed with state regulators. Meanwhile, as a state senator, Joyce pushed legislation to make it easier for clean energy projects like Stonehill’s to connect to electric utilities’ power lines.
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US Attorney Carmen Ortiz’s office convened a grand jury to hear evidence about Joyce’s conduct, according to four people who received subpoenas to appear before or bring documents to the panel.

Joyce, who this week announced he would not run for reelection, has denied he ever used his public position for personal gain or did anything wrong. On Wednesday, his attorney declined to answer questions about the Stonehill project, saying that Joyce is a victim of a “media circus” that is airing unproven charges.

“The apparent improper leak by law enforcement of what is supposed to be a secret investigation has resulted in a media circus which has included unasserted, let alone unproven, allegations of wrongdoing,” said Howard M. Cooper in a statement. “Senator Joyce has not been charged with any violation of any law, by any authority, in any court or any forum, and he will not participate in this media circus except to repeat that he believes he has done nothing wrong.”

A spokesman for Stonehill College did not return several phone calls and messages seeking comment.

Joyce has repeatedly drawn scrutiny for blurring the lines between his public duties and his private affairs. The state Ethics Commission is investigating whether Joyce improperly lobbied state insurance regulators on behalf of another private law client, Energi of Peabody, according to Joyce’s Senate colleagues.

Earlier this year, Joyce agreed to pay nearly $5,000 to settle issues related to his use of $3,367 in campaign funds to pay for his son’s high school graduation party in 2014.

At Stonehill College, Joyce represented both the school and the solar power developer, a Hopkinton-based company called Solect, in sometimes-testy negotiations with National Grid to connect a planned 15-acre field of solar panels to National Grid’s power system. Stonehill estimated the project could save the school an estimated $3.2 million over 15 years, according to information on Joyce Law Firm’s website.

But, to get those savings, Stonehill wanted to wire the electricity directly to the school instead of distributing it across the power grid, something that National Grid opposed. The utility said the approach would require the construction of costly power lines from the solar panels, across a road, to the school.

Faced with the opposition, Joyce Law Group “had to take a more aggressive approach with National Grid,” according to the firm’s website.

Joyce filed a brief with the state Department of Public Utilities in March 2013, arguing that it was not a significant problem to connect panels on one side of Route 138 to Stonehill College on the other side.

State regulators ultimately did not make a ruling, urging the two sides to negotiate a deal.

But, as Joyce was sparring with National Grid, in his other job as a state senator, he filed legislation that would have weakened utilities’ exclusive rights to supply power in their service areas. A measure, filed in January 2013, would have allowed clean energy producers such as Stonehill easier access to the power system even if the utility objected. He filed similar legislation in 2014.

The state’s utilities, including National Grid, opposed the measure and it never advanced in the Legislature.

One state official said the bills filed by Joyce appeared to give him leverage in his negotiations over the Stonehill project by threatening National Grid’s control over its service area, known as franchise rights.

“Franchise rights are the gold standard,” said one state official. Electric utilities “will do anything not to give them up.”

In the end, National Grid agreed to connect the solar project directly to Stonehill College as the school had requested, according to documents filed with the Department of Public Utilities.


How are working Americans supposed to pay for a carbon tax?

In the State of the Union Address last month, President Obama renewed his call for a carbon tax. He called to “change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers, and the earth.” The President’s proposals are purportedly advanced in the name of the people, but what do the people think?

About a month ago, a poll was conducted by YouGov to ask the world about their concern about climate change. Nine percent of Americans expressed they were concerned. Another poll conducted in November by Fox News found the number to be at three percent.

What do you suppose matters the most? According to the most recent Gallup poll, 39 percent were concerned about the economy. In the same poll, while those concerned about the environment came to an underwhelming 1 percent, so-called climate change specifically didn’t even appear on the chart. Why are we pretending?

Polling is not truly exact, but Americans care more about paying bills than carbon emissions. We have negative indicators about economic growth all around us, so a carbon tax wouldn’t come out of the large increase of economic output tomorrow, but out of the stagnant output of today, when the lack of recovery is already keeping the cupboards bare. Working people who are already on the edge can’t afford that.

Wages remain flat, according to data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, and haven’t seen significant growth in over a decade. It is a cruel irony indeed that the same people who claim the mantle of protecting the poor can pass a regressive tax onto them for their most basic needs. Are Washington, D.C. politicians really going to make it more expensive to buy groceries, heat homes and engage in productive activity? This is yet another way to steal money from working Americans without calling it a tax. Consumers end up paying more, but don’t know why.

Think about that. An economy where so much has been spent on creating jobs and growth, the proponents of the carbon tax would make it harder still to grow out of the doldrums that have defined this decade. What are they thinking?

In the meantime, friends of the Obama administration like venture socialist Elon Musk, who supports a carbon tax, add to their competitive advantage by increasing the costs of competitors’ fuel sources to subsidize their business models. The implication is that the average family making around $50,000 a year is paying more to lower the prices of the people who buy $100,000 cars like the Tesla Model S.

Rick Manning, President of Americans for Limited Government inveighed against the carbon tax, joining with 21 other free market groups on Feb. 24, saying “Americans for Limited Government is proud to join free market and limited government leaders from across the country in opposing the imposition of any carbon tax on the U.S. economy, whether by law or regulatory fiat. Taxing carbon-based energy increases the cost of doing business in the U.S. by increasing the cost of electricity, ships jobs overseas and punishes the American people with higher consumer costs. Low energy costs for the future is the key to America emerging from Obama’s economic malaise and reviving our job producing manufacturing sector.”

Manning urged the House to adopt House Concurrent Resolution 89 to express its sense that it Congress opposes a carbon tax.

That is a good start, but more needs to be done. The carbon tax is already being implemented via regulatory fiat via the Environmental Protection Agency’s Carbon Endangerment Finding defining carbon dioxide as a harmful pollutant under the Clean Air Act, as well as its new and existing power plant rules, the costs of which get passed on to consumers, necessarily making electricity more expensive, just as then-candidate for president Barack Obama promised they would back in 2008.

Creating more hidden taxes that increase the burden on struggling Americans to fix things beyond government control, is truly emblematic, and is yet one more reason why voters are angry with Washington.

Congress alone has the power to stop this insidious theft from working America.

There are two immediate solutions: First, firing a warning shot to the Obama administration that this tax will never pass Congress. Second, passing legislation that rolls back some of these regulations. Rep. Ken Buck’s (R-Colo.) Article I supplemental is one such next logical step to do just that, as it specifically defunds the new and existing power plant rules.

Every American has been raised with the idea that Democrats are the party of the little guy. Instead, the party under Obama is apparently more concerned with fundamentally transforming America than it is with helping the poor and Americans who work for a living — the ones who truly pay for his onerous and growing carbon tax.


Biden ‘stimulus’ anniversary tour avoids Obama’s hand-picked green energy project, now in bankruptcy proceedings

In a week of big news stories, few noticed the seven-year anniversary of Obama’s $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — signed into law on February 17, 2009. Commonly known as the “Stimulus Bill,” Politico calls it “one of the administration’s most consequential and least popular initiatives.” In fact, according to Politico, “the package of tax cuts and government spending…became so unpopular that the word ‘stimulus’ disappeared from the administration’s rhetoric.”

Despite the bill’s reputation, on Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden embarked on a three-city victory tour to celebrate the anniversary of the act for which he oversaw the implementation.

His first stop was New Orleans. There he “toured a new rail container facility paid for through the 2009 stimulus,” reports the New Orleans Advocate. Outside of Memphis, he “viewed progress on an upgrade to the Mississippi River Intermodal Terminal and yard,” that, according to Politico, had “modest crowds of government and corporate officials.” Though the audience was “pre-selected,” their response to Biden’s zest for the program was “politely supportive but not wildly enthusiastic.” Politico adds: “they didn’t seem too excited by his stay-the-course-but-build-more message.”

The next day, at his third stop, he spoke to an “invitation-only crowd of more than 100 guests” at the stimulus-funded renovated Union Depot in St. Paul, MN. There, Biden was unapologetic about the stimulus, saying: “We have created more jobs in this country, because of projects like this.” The Twin Cities Pioneer Press states: “The vice president did not address criticisms of Union Depot, which last year brought in $1.7 million in revenues but cost $7.7 million in costs.”

During his trip, Biden gushed that the stimulus was “the most ambitious energy bill in history.” Politico cites the $90 billion it “pumped into renewable power, advanced biofuels, electric vehicles and other green stuff” as helping to “triple U.S. wind capacity and increase U.S. solar capacity more than 20-fold.” Yet, probably because he, obviously, wanted to focus on the positives, Biden didn’t visit any of the “green stuff” projects.

On the same days the Vice President was crowing about the success of the stimulus, the Spanish company that received more than $3.67 billion of taxpayer funds — the majority (thanks to connections with high-ranking Democrats) through the 2009 stimulus bill — released its Industrial Viability Plan that laid out its plans for survival. The Financial Times reports: “The company is trying to avoid collapse as it restructures its debts and raises cash. Abengoa sought creditor protection in November, and if it were to default it would count as the largest bankruptcy in Spanish history.”

Everybody knows about Solyndra’s brief history, costing taxpayers over $500 million, but Abengoa has managed to use tricks and reported illegal practices to stay alive — until now.

I first became aware of Abengoa, through a series of green energy reports I wrote with researcher Christine Lakatos — known as the Green Corruption blogger — in the summer of 2012. After my piece, How Democrats Say “Crony Corruption” in Spanish: Abengoa, was published, a whistleblower contacted me. After being contacted by several others that corroborated what I’d heard from the first, we dug deeper into the company. In January of 2013, I met with House Oversight Committee staffers who were investigating Abengoa and we shared what we’d learned. Since October 2013, Abengoa has been under investigation for a variety of violations including immigration, employment, and insurance fraud. In addition to several columns on the atrocities at Abengoa, I wrote a comprehensive report on the company that was published by the Daily Caller in March 2014.

Now, it appears that the second largest recipient of taxpayer dollars from Obama’s clean-energy stimulus funds is nearly bankrupt — with the U.S. government being the largest creditor. In November, after Abengoa started insolvency proceedings, the Washington Times wrote: “Abengoa is a Spanish company that was another of President Obama’s personally picked green energy projects, and it’s now on the verge of bankruptcy, too, potentially saddling taxpayers with a multi-billion-dollar tab and fueling the notion that the administration repeatedly gambles on losers in the energy sector.”

Abengoa could be bankrupt by this time next month, as Spanish law gives it four months from the initial filing to try to restructure its debt. Last week, ratings agency Moody’s declared that Abengoa’s underlying operating business is still “viable.” Yet, according to the Financial Times, Moody’s is “maintaining a negative outlook…given that discussions on debt restructuring might not be successful and the company might end up in a formal insolvency process.”

While “discussions” are going on in Spain, the trouble continues here in the U.S. In December, citing “financial difficulties,” Abengoa shut down seven bioenergy plants — including its Hugoton, KS, cellulosic ethanol plant after it sold, according to Biomass Magazine, just one railcar of product. Watchdog reports that the Hugoton plant received a $132.4 million loan guarantee and a $97 million grant. The cellulosic ethanol plant — which was designed to produce fuel from leftover, post-harvest, crops — opened just a little more than a year ago with dignitaries such as U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, former Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, and former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar participating in the “Ceremonial start-up.” The Garden City Telegram states: “Despite the initial fanfare, the plant never lived up to its billing.” It continues: “At opening, the plant was billed as the first commercial-scale, next-generation biofuel plant.” According to Watchdog, the closure could be a “signal of problems that run much deeper for the industry.” Charlie Drevna, distinguished senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, says: “This is just another example of the technology not being there, at least as a competitive commercial technology.”

And there’s more. On February 10, the California Energy Commission finally rejected a new plan for the Palen solar farm Abengoa had been developing. The Desert Sun, which has been following developments with the project, reports: The company missed a construction deadline “after entering into pre-bankruptcy proceedings in November.” Though Abengoa is known for energy projects like solar farms and ethanol plants, a water pipeline project it’s been preparing to build near San Antonio, Texas, is now seeking a buyer.

Then, on the very day Biden was touting stimulus successes, a group of grain sellers, who had not been paid by Abengoa Bioenergy, filed an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in Kansas. Another suit was previously filed in Nebraska. American companies that haven’t been paid for deliveries, dating back to early August, are owed more than $10 million. They hope the suit will require U.S. creditors be paid before funds from any asset sales are retained by the parent company in Spain — which was just granted by the court.

Abengoa has also been sued by shareholders, who say that the company misled them about its financial plans. Stock prices have been declining throughout late 2015 and plunged after the November bankruptcy announcement. After a 2014 high of $28, the company’s stock is currently trading at $.81.

In Spain, former Abengoa executives have been accused of insider trading and mismanagement. Their assets have been frozen and seized. On February 17, former chairman Felipe Benjumea’s passport was revoked to prevent him from leaving the country.

Drevna, in Watchdog, points out if the plants “can’t even compete in a mandated market. How can they compete in a free market?”

With Abengoa in the news while Biden was on his victory tour, it is clear why he chose to stick to infrastructure projects and avoid the “green” disasters created by, as he called it, “the most ambitious energy bill in history.” Politico suggests that the lack of popularity for his projects is “surely one reason” he decided not to run for president.

While Biden isn’t currently on any ballot, Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton are. (Since Abengoa is a foreign company that received U.S. taxpayer dollars, I wonder if the State Department was involved.) Both Sanders and Clinton will double down on Obama’s green energy policies like those that created the embarrassing Abenoga debacle — and many others.

Addressing Abengoa, Biomass Magazine’s senior editor Anna Simet, said: “People have a problem when government money is given to projects like these, and they experience failure. We all know that.” Ya think?


Only the 5th Warmest.  How disappointing!

Australia's Warmists are spinning like a top in the article excerpted below.  The official figures show that 2015 was only the 5th warmest year for Australia:  There were 4 previous years that were hotter -- not moving in the right direction at all! And  temperatures have been reducing, coming off a record peak in 2013 -- all of which is not NEARLY as much fun as NOAA's global figures.

So what to do?  How to keep the scare up?  They have gratefully seized on the latest bit of modelling, with its dire predictions: "climate scientists are predicting". Never mind that the climate models have never made an accurate prediction yet!

IT’S been a sticky old week across southern Australia with the mercury topping 41C in the west of Sydney and severe heatwaves in parts of New South Wales and northern Western Australia.

But far from being an unusual occurrence, climate scientists are predicting heatwaves globally are on the rise with extreme heat events, which previously only occurred "once in a generation", could happen every year.

And that means more than just some extra days at the beach, with predictions of more bushfires, stretched emergency services and severe impacts to farmers and food production.

In a paper published in the journal Climatic Change, researchers found heatwaves only experienced once in every 20 years could, in years to come, happen every year in some places. By 2075, 60 per cent of the Earth’s land mass could see these extreme heat events annually or even more frequently.

By 2050, heatwaves could be three degrees warmer across half the world and across 10 per cent of the Earth’s surface a scorching five degrees hotter.

According to the BoM’s annual climate statement, 2015 was Australia’s fifth warmest year on record with temperatures 0.83C above average and exceptionally warm spells including heatwaves across north and central Australia in March and south and south eastern Australia in the latter part of the year.

Heatwave conditions in Australia are defined by three days of unusually hot minimum and maximum temperatures for any given area.

However, the pattern of heatwaves wasn’t uniform, said Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick. Sydney had seen its heatwave season kicking in three weeks earlier, as had Melbourne — although the latter hadn’t seen an overall increase in the number of days experiencing extreme heat.

While 2015 was one of Australia’s hottest years on record, overall temperatures have been reducing, coming off a record peak in 2013. Aren’t things going in the right direction already?



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, 2016

Is the world really warming up? Planet may be no hotter at the end of the century than it is now, claims new report

The Warmists have of course rejected the findings below so perhaps I should note that the difference between the report below and Greenie claims is the difference between fact and theory.  The report below looks at actual temperatures over a long period and finds no overall trend.  Temperatures are plateaued, not rising.

The Greenie approach, on the other hand, is to construct models of what they think influences temperature and use those theoretical models to make predictions.  But for the Greenie approach to give accuratre climate predictions (which they never do) ALL the influences on climate would have to be specified and measured -- which is a practical impossibility. 

Whereas the statistical approach below DOES use all the influences -- because it looks at the end-product of all those influences, not just a select few poorly specified influences. So the statistical approach is in principle a much stronger approach to accurate prediction. 

But as Bob Ward says below:  "Statistical models are only valid if you assume that the underlying factors are not going to change in the future"

He is right.  He of course believes that the accelerated burning of hydrocarbons in the second half of the C20 is a new factor influencing temperature -- something a statistical approach cannot account for.  So he is right in theory but is he right in fact? IS the accelerated burning of hydrocarbons in the second half of the C20 a new factor influencing temperature?  That is not only completely unproven but is strongly counterindicated by the poor correlation between CO2 levels and temperature.  So Bob  Ward rejects the study below by assuming what he has to prove.

So if we want to rely on evidence for our predictions, the approach below is the only horse in the race.

Global warming is unlikely to take hold before the end of the century according to a controversial new statistical study.

The report, published by the think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation, claims that while winters are likely to be slightly warmer, there will be no change in the summer.

Using statistical forecasting methods, the report, written a statistician at Loughborough University, contradicts predictions made by climate scientists.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has previously warned the planet was on course to experience warming of between 1°F (0.6°C) and 7.2°F (4°C) by the year 2100 based on climate models.

But Professor Terence Mills claims statistical forecasting methods, which uses data from the past to predict the future by identifying patterns and trends, suggests temperatures will change little.

However, he does warn in his report that the forecasts contain 'rather large measures of imprecision'.

Climate scientists have also described the study as 'silly' and pointed out it failed to take account of basic atmospheric physics.

Professor Mills used statistical models that are more commonly used to forecast economic and financial changes and applied them to three climate data sets.

These included records of global surface temperatures, the global lower troposphere temperatures and the Central England Temperature series, which dates back to 1660.

Writing in his paper, Professor Mills argues that climate scientists may have made errors in their predictions by focusing on recent uplifts in global temperatures.

He said such an approach can be 'highly misleading'. 'There is simply no substitute for analysing the entire temperature record using a variety of well-specified models,' he wrote.

Professor Mills work was seized upon by climate change sceptics as evidence that the predictions being made by climate models are exaggerating the risk posed by global warming.

His paper argues that statistical forecasting methods using in predicting complex financial markets and global economies could be put to good use in understanding the relationships between temperatures and factors that cause them to change.

'In terms of the series analysed throughout the paper, a clear finding presents itself for the two global temperature series,' he said.

'Irrespective of the model fitted, forecasts do not contain any trend, with long-horizon forecasts being flat, albeit with rather large measures of imprecision even from models in which uncertainty is bounded.

'The regional CET series does contain a modest warming signal, the extent of which has been shown to be dependent on the season: winters have tended to become warmer, spring and autumn less so, and summers have shown hardly any trend increase at all.

'The monthly pattern of temperatures through the year has remained stable throughout the entire 355 years of the CET record.'

A statement released by the Global Warming Policy Forum, which was founded by former British chancellor Lord Lawson, welcomed the report.

It said: 'His conclusion that statistical forecasting methods do not corroborate the upward trends seen in climate model projections is highly important and needs to be taken into consideration.

'The topic has direct bearing on policy issues since it provides an independent check on the climate-model projections that underpin calculations of the long-term social costs of greenhouse gas emissions.'

However, there was a mixed response from others who had read the report.

David Stern, an environmental economist at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, described the study as 'silly'.

He said: 'This is a prime case of "mathiness" I think - lots of math that will look sophisticated to many people used to build a model on silly assumptions with equally silly conclusions.'

Dr Richard Betts, head of climate impacts at the Met Office described the paper as 'daft' and that current temperatures were already outside the range predicted in the study.

He reacted to reports of the paper by posting updated graphs from the paper showing the current changes in temperatures on Twitter.

Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, told Desmog UK: It's an interesting academic exercise with very little value to policy makers.

'Statistical models are only valid if you assume that the underlying factors are not going to change in the future.

'If the underlying factors are changing, then your statistical model just simply doesn't work, and that's widely recognised.

'We know greenhouse gas concentrations are going up and that's a fundamental for temperature and that's why statistical models have very little skill in predicting the future, they're not able to take account of the fundamental physics.'


Warmists still have a capacity to surprise us

After the shoddy attempt by Tom Karl to "adjust" the warming "hiatus" out of existence, a brand new paper comes as a surprise.  In it, some hard-core Warmist scientists  REVIVE the hiatus.  Perhaps they are scientists enough to conclude that they cannot just ignore the satellite data.  Though they do not accept the complete plateau that the satellites indicate.  They say that the temperature rise has slowed down to a crawl but there is still some warming going on.

The abstract is below.  It is from a long narrative article which looks at possible explanations for the pause -- and they conclude that a serendipitious combination of natural factors has been cancelling out the influence of increased CO2 levels.  But the argument is all very "post hoc" and vague.  You can explain anything after the event but that is trivial. It's making accurate predictions that support a scientific theory -- and the authors admit that their predictions got it wrong.  And a combination of many effects being needed to build the explanation just makes the explanation more and more implausible and less testable.  It's just a last ditch effort to keep the show on the road.

Making sense of the early-2000s warming slowdown

By  John C. Fyfe, Gerald A. Meehl, Matthew H. England,    Michael E. Mann,    Benjamin D. Santer, Gregory M. Flato,    Ed Hawkins, Nathan P. Gillett,Shang-Ping Xie,Yu Kosaka    & Neil C. Swart   


It has been claimed that the early-2000s global warming slowdown or hiatus, characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming, has been overstated, lacks sound scientific basis, or is unsupported by observations. The evidence presented here contradicts these claims.


Al Gore is still making it up as he goes along

He recently gave a TED talk. See here.  An excerpt: 

"The warmer oceans are evaporating much more water vapor into the skies. Average humidity worldwide has gone up four percent. And it creates these atmospheric rivers. The Brazilian scientists call them "flying rivers." And they funnel all of that extra water vapor over the land where storm conditions trigger these massive record-breaking downpours. This is from Montana. Take a look at this storm last August. As it moves over Tucson, Arizona. It literally splashes off the city. These downpours are really unusual"

He didn't really have a chance of being right. Since there has been no significant global warming for over 18 years (the small  El Nino effect for 2015 excepted), it cannot have influenced  anything, including the water content of the atmosphere.  But let us check anyway. Below is a record of water vapor in the atmosphere.  The levels in fact show a slight decline.

Sad, isn't it? For further interseting evidence see a rigorous 2008 paper in Geophys. Res. Letts ("Towards a robust test on North America warming trend and precipitable water content increase") which showed that the slight warming between 1979 to 2006 had NO discernible effect on atmospheric water content.  Pesky stuff, that water vapor!  It clearly does not believe in global warming.

The big mystery is why the audience at TED didn't run Big Al out of town on a rail.  But I suppose that is a bit old-fashioned these days.  Gore himself is a lot wetter than the atmosphere.

It's global warming and fish again

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies wants into the action and below is their attempt.  It's utter nonsense.  In theory a warmer, high CO2 world will produce more life, including fish life.  And the factual movements they note in fish populations cannot be due to global warming because there was no global warming in the period concerned.  Fish stocks are in any case highly unpredictable -- with sudden vanishing followed by sudden abundance -- with very little understanding of it all

Many studies have shown that critical natural resources, including fish stocks, are moving poleward as the planet warms. A new Yale-led study suggests that these biophysical changes are also reallocating global wealth in unpredictable, and potentially destabilizing, ways.

On its surface, these biophysical movements will shift resources from communities and nations closer to the equator into places closer to the poles. In many cases this would seem to exacerbate inequalities between richer and poorer communities.

But writing in the journal Nature Climate Change, the researchers suggest that the impacts on net global wealth may not be that straightforward. In fact, they make the case that changes are more likely than not to produce an overall net loss in global wealth.

The reason, says lead author Eli Fenichel, is the inevitable and unpredictable price impacts in places where the quantities of fish stocks increase depending on the quality of its resource management, existing institutions, and fishing regulations.

"People are mostly focused on the physical reallocation of these assets, but I don't think we've really started thinking enough about how climate change can reallocate wealth and influence the prices of those assets," said Fenichel, an assistant professor at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. "We think these price impacts can be really, really important."

"We don't know how this will unfold, but we do know there will be price effects. It's just Economics 101 -- prices reflect quantity and scarcity and natural capital is hard for people to move," he said. "It's as inevitable as the movement of these fish species."

These impacts on the value of natural capital highlight the need for coherent climate policies that integrate biophysical and social measurements, the authors say.

The study was conducted by researchers at Yale, Rutgers, Princeton, and Arizona State universities.

The paper illustrates how the inclusive wealth framework advocated by UNEP and the World Bank makes it possible to measure the shift in the amounts and distribution of wealth as a consequence of climate change, when coupled with approaches to value natural capital developed by Fenichel and others. As an example, the researchers used fish migration data collected by Malin Pinsky, an assistant professor at Rutgers and co-author of the study.

"We tend to think of climate change as just a problem of physics and biology," Pinsky said. "But people react to climate change as well, and at the moment we don't have a good understanding for the impacts of human behavior on natural resources affected by climate change."

To illustrate their case, the authors model potential outcomes in two fictitious fishing communities (Northport and Southport) in the face of climate-driven shifts in fish populations. Southport's fish stocks decline as the climate changes while Northport's stock increases; it's a scenario that reflects changes anticipated in areas such as the mid-Atlantic and the waters off New England in the eastern U.S.

According to their analysis, if fish quantities increase in a northern community, for instance, it will likely cause a devaluation of that resource locally, particularly if that community isn't equipped to manage the resource efficiently. "If the northern community isn't a particularly good steward or manager, they're going to place a low value on that windfall they just inherited," Fenichel said. "So the aggregate could go down."

"To be clear, the 'gainers' here are clearly better off," he said. "They're just not more better off than the losers are worse off. The losers are losing much more than the gainers are gaining. And when that happens, it's not an efficient reallocation of wealth."

The analysis suggests that policy discussions around climate change should address how the physical changes will affect wealth reallocation, rather than allowing nature to redistribute this wealth in an unpredictable, "willy-nilly" manner.

"It also points to a greater need for the physical sciences and social sciences to be done in a coordinated fashion," Fenichel said. "As much as scientists are doing lots of wonderful multidisciplinary research, I don't know that we're necessarily collecting the kinds of data, in a coordinated fashion, that will inform the emerging metrics of sustainability."


And it's coral reefs again!

And what they say is a physical impossibility.  Warming will OUTGAS CO2 from the oceans, making them LESS acidic, not more acidic.  So what is going on?  What they did was conduct an experiment and ARTIFICIALLY make reef water more acidic.  And that had adverse effects.  But artificial acidification tells us nothing about the probability of natural acidification

Coral reefs are having their growth stunted by ocean acidification caused by global warming, new research has confirmed.

    For the first time, scientists conducted an experiment on a natural coral reef which involved altering sea water chemistry to mimic the effect of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

    The results provide strong evidence that ocean acidification linked to greenhouse gas emissions is already slowing coral reef growth, the team claims.

    Without "deep cuts" in greenhouse gas emissions, the world's coral reefs may not survive into the next century, scientists say.

    Carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean where it reacts with seawater to increase acidity.

    If the water becomes too acid it dissolves away the calcium carbonate corals that molluscs and creatures such as crabs and lobsters need to build their shells and stony skeletons.

    Although previous studies have demonstrated large scale declines in coral reefs in recent decades, the reason for the trend has been harder to pinpoint.

    Acidification is one possible cause, but others include warming, pollution and over-fishing.

    To investigate the role played by greenhouse gas emissions, the US scientists manipulated the acidity of seawater flowing over a section of the Great Barrier Reef off Australia's One Tree Island.

    Bringing the reef's pH value - a measurement of acidity or alkalinity - closer to what it would have been in pre-industrial times increased the rate at which calcium carbonate was deposited to grow hard coral exoskeletons.

    Lead researcher Dr Rebecca Albright, from the Carnegie Institution in Washington DC, said: "Our work provides the first strong evidence from experiments on a natural ecosystem that ocean acidification is already slowing coral reef growth.

    "Ocean acidification is already taking its toll on coral reef communities.  "This is no longer a fear for the future; it is the reality of today."

    The research is reported in the latest issue of the journal Nature.

    Other work by Carnegie colleague Professor Ken Caldeira found that rates of reef calcification in 2008 and 2009 were 40% lower than they were in 1975 and 1976.

    He said: "The only real, lasting way to protect coral reefs is to make deep cuts in our carbon dioxide emissions.

    "If we don't take action on this issue very rapidly, coral reefs - and everything that depends on them, including both wildlife and local communities - will not survive into the next century."


And don't forget wine!

The galoot below says that the first effects of warming are being seen in the vineyards.  A pity that it is not being seen in global temperature statistics.  He is probably mistaking natural weather variability for global warming.  In any case, there will be no shortage of wine.  New wine regions are opening up all the time.  Wait until India and China get into their stride!

The first week of December 2015 saw the start of the Paris Climate Conference, hailed by some as the world’s last chance to save the planet from man- made atmospheric pollution from carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases. The predictions around climate change, including global warming, are dire, from rising sea levels to starvation, maybe leading to wars.

Among such possible social unrest, it almost seems trite to be concerned about the wine which future consumers might enjoy in 2050, or even 2100. However, many grape growers and wine producers are already noticing the early effects of warming and are planning adaptation strategies. Miguel Torres of Spain is investing in higher altitude, cooler vineyards, and Brown Brothers of Australia has invested in the southernmost state, Tasmania. I was one of the first viticulturists to bring climate change impacts on wine to wider notice, using the phrase “Wine will be the canary in the coalmine for the world’s agriculture”.

I remember the responses of a sceptical audience at the Luxembourg OIV (International Office of Wine) General Assembly of 1989, when I delivered a paper on global warming implications for wine appellations. Among other ideas, I suggested that in the future the variety Grenache might be better suited to Bordeaux vineyards than Cabernet Sauvignon – a suggestion greeted by hoots of derision from the audience. Time will tell on this one and on related issues. This was probably the first time that climate change was discussed at OIV. Now, 26 years later, it features in a major way on the agenda and action plan – as it should.

The style and quality of a wine are much affected by weather, especially by temperature and rainfall. ‘Climate’ is the average of weather conditions over time; it is the weather we might expect. The world of wine, especially the Old World,has developed regional specialities of grape varieties and wine styles, and many of these have become benchmarks for the rest of the world. These regions are demarcated much more by temperature than rainfall.

It is this important interaction between grape variety and climate, especially temperature, that makes the grape and wine sector so different from other forms of agriculture. The world of wine is generally classified into discrete regions, as defined by the French appellation schemes. Each region has a discrete mix of varieties and possesses distinctive physical features – climate, geology, soils – which produce distinctive wine styles. Of these physical attributes, climate, and more specifically temperature, is known to be the most important in differentiating between regions and wine styles. I selected some regions producing renowned and distinctive wine styles to make the climate comparisons listed in the table.

Regions from France and the rest of the world are arranged from cooler to hotter, along with a listing of two important varieties per region. Most of the data is taken from The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson (2013, seventh edition). That book, sadly, does not include the important but hot (generally) bulk wine areas which I have added for Australia (Sunraysia) and the US (Fresno, California).

As a heat measure I have used the average growing season temperature, as in the World Atlas. I show the present average temperature, and how this might be influenced by an increase of 1.5°C and 2.5°C.The table illustrates several points.

The range of temperatures for the French regions is 5.1°C. The temperature difference from the UK, one of the coolest wine regions in the world, at 14.1°C, to one of the hottest, Fresno in California’s Central Valley (23°C), is 8.9°C.

In the overall scheme of things, these are both small ranges of temperature. The average temperature difference from one region to the next warmer region is very small, at 0.63°C. Compare these figures with the projections based on global warming for this century, ranging from2°C to more than 4°C. Even the smallest temperature increase projected for this century will see massive changes within and between the present wine regions.


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, 2016

Some "Semi-empirical" findings!  How lucky we are!

The report below determinedly revives all the old scare about sea-level rise.  The scare has been pretty moribund for a few years now, thanks partly to some heavy hits on it by sea-level expert Nils Axel Morner. 

The underlying academic journal article ("Temperature-driven global sea-level variability in the Common Era") is here and one of the authors, young Bob Kopp, has some useful details about it here.

The article was based on some very complex statistical work and in that context we note that the authors describe their work as "semi-empirical".  What does that mean?  It simply means that their results come partly from  guesswork.  And seeing the authors are keen Warmists we can be sure in which direction their guesses tended. And, with the complex nature of their analyses, guesses at various points could make a big difference to the final outcome.  To believe their conclusions would therefore require an act of faith

And in my usual pesky way, I had a bit of a look at the details of the research.  And I note that their methods produce some pretty weird results.  They found, for instance, that sea levels FELL during the Medieval Warm Period.  Isn't warming supposed to cause sea-level RISE?  They try to get around that by reviving the old Warmist claim that the Medieval Warm Period was confined to Northern Europe -- but that is quite simply false.  Evidence of it has been found in places as far apart as Argentina, New Zealand and China. 

So have these guys simply lied in order to defend their research methods?  Very nearly.  Kopp says: "Notably, both the decline in sea level and the decline in temperature occurred during the so-called European “Medieval Warm Period,” providing additional evidence that the “Medieval Warm Period” and “Little Ice Age” were not globally synchronous phenomena."

So they say that the warming outside Europe occurred at different times to the warming elsewhere.  And given the uncertainties of dating proxy data that is just barely defensible, if implausible.  It's playing fast and loose with the facts but is not an outright lie.

But their finding that the globe actually COOLED during the Medieval Warm Period  is contrary to all other evidence on the subject that I know of. You would have to have the faith of a Jehovah's Witness to believe their conclusions

Global sea levels rose faster in the 20th century than at any time in the past 3,000 years - and 'climate change is to blame'

Scientists discovered that the 5.5-inch (14cm) global rise is at least twice as much as would have been seen without global warming. In fact, they believe levels might have actually fallen if it hadn't been for soaring global temperatures.

During the 20th century, sea levels across the globe rose faster than in any of the 27 previous centuries. Scientists found that the 5.5-inch (14cm) global rise is at least twice as much as would have been seen without global warming. In fact, they believe levels may have fallen if it hadn't been for rising temperatures

During the 20th century, sea levels across the globe rose faster than in any of the 27 previous centuries. Scientists found that the 5.5-inch (14cm) global rise is at least twice as much as would have been seen without global warming. In fact, they believe levels may have fallen if it hadn't been for rising temperatures

'The 20th century rise was extraordinary in the context of the last three millennia - and the rise over the last two decades has been even faster,' said professor Robert Kopp, lead author of the report published in the Proceedings of the US National Academy of Sciences.

The pattern was revealed by a new statistical analysis technique which extracts global data from local records.

No local record measures global sea level. Instead, each measures sea level at a particular location, where it will differ from the global mean.

The statistical challenge is to pull out the global signal.

The scientists built a database of geological sea-level indicators from marshes, coral atolls and archaeological sites at 24 locations around the world, covering the past 3,000 years.

They also looked at tide gauge recordings for the last 300 years from 66 other locations.

Many of the records came from the field work of Kemp, Horton, or team members Roland Gehrels of the University of York and Jeffrey Donnelly of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

This information was used to calculate how temperatures relate to the rate of sea-level change. Using this new technique, the researchers showed that the world's sea level fell by about 11 inches (8cm) between 1000 and 1400AD, when the planet cooled by about 0.2°C.

Global average temperature today is about 1°C higher than at the end of the 19th century.

It also found that , had global warming not occurred in the 20th century, the change in sea level would 'very likely' have been between a decrease of 1.1 inch (3cm) and a rise of 2.8 inches (7cm). Instead, the world actually saw a rise of 14cm.

A companion report also found that more than half of the 8,000 coastal nuisance floods observed at US tide gauge sites since 1950 would not have occurred.

Professor Kopp estimates that sea levels will rise by 20 inches to 51 inches (50cm to 130cm) in the 21st century, if the world continues to rely on fossil fuels.


The journal abstract follows

We present the first, to our knowledge, estimate of global sea-level (GSL) change over the last ?3,000 years that is based upon statistical synthesis of a global database of regional sea-level reconstructions. GSL varied by ?±8 cm over the pre-Industrial Common Era, with a notable decline over 1000–1400 CE coinciding with ?0.2 °C of global cooling. The 20th century rise was extremely likely faster than during any of the 27 previous centuries. Semiempirical modeling indicates that, without global warming, GSL in the 20th century very likely would have risen by between ?3 cm and +7 cm, rather than the ?14 cm observed. Semiempirical 21st century projections largely reconcile differences between Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections and semiempirical models.

doi: 10.1073/pnas.1517056113. PNAS February 22, 2016

Morner rips the Keystone Kopp

Young Bob Kopp may not have furthered his career much by his evangelism for the rising sea-level gospel.  Dr. Nils Axel Morner has some germane comments on his work below.  Prior to his retirement, Morner  headed the Department of Paleogeophysics & Geodynamics at Stockholm University

Morner, a leading world authority on sea levels and coastal erosion calls the new study and the media spin surrounding it “demagogic.”

“The PNAS paper is another sad contribution to the demagogic anti-science campaign for AGW. It is at odds with observational facts and ethical principles,” Morner wrote to Climate Depot.

Morner noted:

– global tide gauges show moderate mean rates

– many key sites and test sites show little or no rise at all

– nowhere do we find records of true “acceleration”

– satellite altimetry show a mean rise of 0.5 ±0.1 mm/yr after back-calibration

– past sea level oscillations have been faster & steeper than in the last century

Morner explained: “The paper is full of very bad violations of observational facts.”  Just one example:

This is their graph of sea level change at Christmas Island, Kiribati:

This is the tide gauge record from Christmas Island:

Morner asked: “How can anyone find a rapidly rising trend in this tide gauge record? It is flat or rather slowly falling – but in no way rising.”

“So they work – with no respect to observational facts. A true case for Fraud Investigation,” Morner added.


Morner didn't comment on it but Kopp's combining the Christmas Island and the Kiribati record is yet more of his weirdness.  The two places are in different oceans thousands of miles apart

Prof. Abraham is at it again

He's got stick-to-it-iveness, you've got to give him that. He's got a new article in The Guardian titled: "Fossil fuel funded report denies the expert global warming consensus" and swith a sub-heading:  "The infamous Heartland Institute has distributed to elected officials a nonsense, non-science report full of denial"

And he's actually quite right in one way.  Who can deny that global Warming is the scientific orthodoxy these days?  We skeptics are certainly well aware of it.  The amusing thing is that he goes to great length to prove it -- starting with Oreskes, through Anderegg to John Cook -- though Cook's finding that two thirds of climate scientists took no position on global warming he carefully glides over. 

But the whole point of his article is to rebut a Heartland Institute report that criticizes global warming and the only thing that a real scientist would be interested in there would be the climate facts. What are the facts that rebut the Heartland claims?  Scientific questions are decided by the facts, not by opinions.

And he does finally get there, sort of.  Out of the 20 or so paragraphs in his article, two do address climate facts.  Here they are:

"While I won’t spend too much time on the scientifically incorrect or misleading statements in the Heartland report, I will mention a few. In chapter 4, they claim that a doubling of carbon dioxide would result in approximately 1°C warming. They neglected to remind the readers that we have nearly already reached that and we are nowhere near doubling of carbon dioxide yet. The report claims that meteorological observations are consistent with a climate sensitivity of 1°C but they provide no support for this assertion and in fact, the research does not support this.

But even Wikipedia says: ""Without any feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 (which amounts to a forcing of 3.7 W/m2) would result in 1 °C global warming, which is easy to calculate and is undisputed.". Dear me, Prof. Abraham, it seems that Heartland are the orthodox ones on that!  But let us go on:

The report falsely claims that climate models assume all the warming since the industrial revolution is from carbon dioxide. Climate models include many factors in addition to carbon dioxide. The report also falsely claims that models do not attempt to simulate internal climate oscillations. They claim that thawing of permafrost is not likely to emit dangerous methane, which will add to the warming, but they give no evidence to support their claim."

I haven't read the Heartland report but it is true that the Siberian methane scare is widely reported and believed.  But here is an academic journal article which has studied the question --  and found minimal effect of such emissions.  Naughty Prof. Abraham has not kept up with the literature on his subject! No wonder he was reluctant to talk about the facts.

The man is a clown.  My previous comment on him is here.  One of Lord Monckton's scathing comments on Abraham  is  here

Australia's Barrier Reef at greater risk than thought, study says

Warmist dishonesty never stops.  As I have often pointed out before, warmer oceans will OUTGAS CO2 so the result of global warming  will be LESS acidic oceans.  The only way you can make sense of the reasoning below is to assume that CO2 levels will continue to rise WITHOUT causing any global warming.  So that is certainly an interesting admission.  There is a popular version of the article below here

The exposure of the Great Barrier Reef to ocean acidification

Mathieu Mongin et al.

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is founded on reef-building corals. Corals build their exoskeleton with aragonite, but ocean acidification is lowering the aragonite saturation state of seawater (?a). The downscaling of ocean acidification projections from global to GBR scales requires the set of regional drivers controlling ?a to be resolved. Here we use a regional coupled circulation–biogeochemical model and observations to estimate the ?a experienced by the 3,581 reefs of the GBR, and to apportion the contributions of the hydrological cycle, regional hydrodynamics and metabolism on ?a variability. We find more detail, and a greater range (1.43), than previously compiled coarse maps of ?a of the region (0.4), or in observations (1.0). Most of the variability in ?a is due to processes upstream of the reef in question. As a result, future decline in ?a is likely to be steeper on the GBR than currently projected by the IPCC assessment report.

Nature Communications, 7, Article number: 10732. doi:10.1038/ncomms10732

Lawyers for two families suing an oil and gas company in Dimock, Pennsylvania have admitted that there is "no scientific proof" that the water has been contaminated with fracking fluid

In a shocking admission that undermines much of the anti-fracking narrative pushed by environmentalists, a lawyer for plaintiffs suing an oil and gas company in Dimock, Pennsylvania has admitted the water in the area is not contaminated with fracking fluid.
The admission came in the opening argument by lawyer Leslie Lewis for two families who claim their water was contaminated by fracking.

 “This is not a case — this is not a case about toxic materials ending up in the water,” she told the jury.

“We do not have proof of that. We don't have proof of that. This is not about fracking fluid appearing in the water. Hydraulic fracturing materials, we don't have proof of that,” Ms Lewis added.

Dimock has been characterized as “Ground Zero” for fracking contamination of water. It has featured in the documentaries Gasland 1 & 2 and has been the subject of national and international news reports.

However Pennsylvania DEP and Federal EPA scientists have all failed to find contaminants in the water despite vigorous, multi-year testing.

These findings have now been confirmed by the plaintiffs’ lawyer who said they had no proof of fracking fluid contamination. She said they were taking the case against Cabot Oil & Gas because the water was “undrinkable.”


Most Canadians Still Don’t Buy The Global Warming Narrative

Canadians increasingly don’t believe global warming is man-made, with 56 percent of residents expressing the sentiment in a five-year study published last week by researchers from Yale University and the University of Montreal.

To put that in perspective, a 2008 Gallup poll found that only 39 percent of Canadians thought global warming wasn’t due to human activity. Despite numerous anti-global warming policies, Canadians are becoming more skeptical and the percentage of those who don’t believe global warming is mostly caused by humans has increased substantially.

Of the 5,000 Canadians surveyed, 56 percent did not agree with the statement “Earth is getting warmer partly or mostly because of human activities.”

“The skepticism was a bit surprising,” Érick Lachapelle, a University of Montreal professor who co-authored the study, told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Skepticism about global warming in Canada was most concentrated in Alberta, with only 17 percent of the population blaming global warming on humans.

Amusingly, the only regions of Canada with majority support for human-caused global warming are the warmest and most urban.

The study also revealed 79 percent of Canadians believe Earth is getting warmer, 66 percent of Canadians support a cap and trade system and 49 percent of Canadians support increasing taxes on coal, oil and natural gas.

The study was produced by telephone surveys conducted over the course of five years. Each survey featured between 1,014 to 1,502 respondents. Researchers estimate the study has a six-point margin of error for provincial findings and seven-point margin for local findings.

According to a 2014 Pew Research Center poll, 53 percent of Americans do not believe humans are mostly responsible for global warming. In the Pew poll, 35 percent of Americans say there is not enough solid evidence to suggest humans are behind global warming, while another 18 percent says the world has warmed due to “natural patterns” and not human activity.



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24 February, 2016

What a childish mind! Michael Mann's scientific conclusions were changed by pretty pictures

Michael Mann has just given an interview in which he says his belief in global warming arose when he saw temperature differences represented in color.  The numbers had not influenced him until that point.  See below.  To us real scientists, the numbers are everything but not to the 4-year-old mind of Michael Mann.

So what could cause an adult mind to be so childish?  I am a psychologist so I should be able to ansewer that, right?  Right.  I can.  It's a matter of salience.  When you are dealing with global 20th century temperature records, the numbers are completely salient.  You can't dodge anything about them.  And the most obvious thing about them is how uniform they are. They differ  only by tenths of one degree Celsius. They show that we live in an era of exceptional temperature stability

But when you display the tiny differences as colors, what you see are relativities rather than absolutes.  The absolute magnitude of the differences is no longer salient. It fades into the background. The colors treat as significant differences that are in fact tiny.  The colors do no doubt have a numerical code to go with them but that is only a minor detail of what you see.  Mann wanted to believe so all that had to happen was for small differences to be represented as dramatic ones.  Pathetic! 

I am rather amazed that he admitted as much.  He must have been lulled into a false sense of security by an interviewer treating him as a hero

Mann’s PhD examined the natural variation in climate to establish whether this might be at least a partial cause of recent global warming. “So I went into climate research more from the standpoint of somebody who was more on the sceptical side. Some of my early work was actually celebrated by climate change deniers,” he explains.

But then something changed his mind.

Mann started doing research with Saltzman and another of the professor’s former students. This was Robert Oglesby, a postdoctoral researcher who is now with the University of Nebraska working on general circulation modelling (GCM).

Colour Maps

The scientists had privileged access to the very latest technology—including modelling software and even a colour printer.

“This was in the early days of computer printers. So to get a colour printout you had to get special paper, and you would go up to the third floor to the special colour printer, so there was a certain drama. Until you printed it out in colour on paper you couldn’t really appreciate the results.”

They printed out world maps which had been colour-coded to show the rise in temperatures for each of the decades, moving through light yellows for little change to reds for the occasional spot where there had been a significant rise.

These maps are now ubiquitous in climate research and reporting, but this was the first time Mann had produced or even seen one like this.

Discernible Influence

“We were just looking decade by decade where there’s been maps of temperatures: 1900, 1910s, 20s, 30s, all the way to the 70s. And if you compare the 70s map to the 1900s map, there isn’t much of a difference,” Mann remembers.

“But once you get to the 1980s, it's like 'bam!' The map turns bright yellow and red. It was in that moment that I actually think that all of us, including Barry I think, crossed over into weighing more on the side that there is a discernible human influence on climate. This is before the IPCC reached that conclusion in 1995 with the publication of the second assessment report.”

In a single moment, Mann abandoned his scepticism about the reality of human-caused climate change. As it happens, he would dedicate the rest of his working life to understanding the true scientific meaning and implications of those red smudges on an early colour printout.

There were three scientists in the room that day. No politicians, no ideologues, no closet Communists tampering with the ink cartridges.


Mann points out: “The important thing to understand there is that our views on this issue were led by the science we were doing, which is the way it should be. The science that we were doing was not influenced by our views on the climate change issue.”

The colour maps formed part of Mann’s first climate change publication, with colleagues, in a peer-reviewed paper. He then set about trying to place modern climate change in a larger context.

What he found, and what he wrote, would throw him headfirst into a sometimes vicious and soul-destroying battle with the climate sceptics who had previously celebrated his work.

Next time, we look at how the dynamic Professor Bob Watson became chairman of the IPCC in 1997 amidst a groundswell of political activity.


Climate Change Rears Its Head on the Tibetan Plateau

Indeed it does.  But why?  The Greenie emptyhead below says it is due to global warming.  But since global warming in recent times has been minuscule, that is unlikely.  The real explantion is straightforward.  Solar activity has a well documented effect on Tibet.  Times of low solar activity have regularly been correlated with drought in Tibet.  See  here and the graph below

We are at present in Solar Cycle 24. It began on January 4, 2008, but there was minimal activity until early 2010. It is on track to be the Solar Cycle with the lowest recorded sunspot activity since accurate records began in 1750

Tsesong, a 61-year-old Tibetan herder, has been tending livestock successfully on the vast Qinghai-Tibet Plateau since he was a small child. But this year has been unusually difficult; after a late-June rain, it didn't rain again for two months.

"More than 100 livestock have died because of starvation so far this year," Tsesong said, a strong, dry wind blowing against the tough wrinkles on his face.

"The grass was thicker before, now it is thinner," he said, pointing his toes at the ground, where yellow grass adheres to mud, too sparse to cover the whole land.

His remaining 50 yaks and 200 goats drift across the plateau, searching in vain for greener grass, growing thinner and less vital each day.

The weight of one yak dropped on average between 20 and 30 kilograms this year, or as much as 18 percent of its normal weight. With yak meat typically selling for $12 per kilogram, a herder like Tsesong stands to lose hundreds of dollars with each malnourished yak.

Tsesong's pasture is in Zhidoi County in Yushu, Qinghai Province. It's an area where the Yangtze, Yellow, and Mekong Rivers all originate -- called the Three Rivers Headwater Region, or because of its high altitude, the "Water Tower of China."

The region has been steadily warming. From 1961 to 2012, the temperature here increased 1.9 degrees Celsius, and continues to rise, according to Qinghai Meteorological Authority. The increased temperatures have brought on deteriorating environmental conditions including rising snow lines and more extreme weather, affecting not only the water runoff, but also the lives of more than one million of the area's herders and villagers.

The one good thing that climate change has brought about, Tsesong said, is that it is warmer now, so he wears fewer clothes, and his ears don't become as badly frostbitten as before. "But it can't make up for the loss of my livestock," he said bitterly.

A changing environment

That global warming is the leading cause of environmental damage in the Three Rivers region has not always been widely accepted, even by Chinese climate scientists.

In the past, more scientists held the opinion that over-grazing was the main cause of increased arid land. The government even launched a grazing ban 10 years ago, enclosing some pastures for protection and relocating more than 55,000 nomadic herder families to a nearby town.

But over-grazing was a story that was more relevant in the 1970s, according to environmental activists. Lü Zhi, founder of the Shan Shui Conservation Center, an NGO that has worked on protecting the Three Rivers Headwater Region, told Chinese media that the number of livestock in Yushu reached its peak in 1979, steadily declining since then.

In a recent study, scientists from the Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences conducted an experiment to test whether climate change was indeed causing the drought instead.

They set up a glass room equipped with a temperature controlling device on the plateau, in an environment similar to the Three Rivers, and they turned the temperature 2 degrees higher than the natural one. The land became more lush for the first two years, because it was warmer. But starting in the third year, the level of biodiversity deteriorated because of a large-scale evaporation that caused drought.

The experiment, conducted in an environment without human activity, proved that warming could cause drought and a deteriorating environment, the scientists concluded.

Provincial efforts

In recognition of the region's growing environmental problem, the Qinghai Meteorological Authority set up in 2008 a center to monitor climate change within the province. The center was also responsible for conducting cloud seeding to make artificial rains when there is drought, especially in the Three Rivers region, according to Xinhua News Agency.

The government has also strived to adapt to climate change in other ways. In 2005, Qinghai Authority started the "Ecological Protection and Construction Project in the Three Rivers Headwater Region" under the guidance of the state council. The first phase of the project included measures like placing a grazing ban in some areas, providing cloud seeding, and prioritizing wetlands restoration.


Nobody cares about climate change in the 2016 U.S. election

Frustrated that nobody seems to care about climate change, “the country’s biggest individual political donor during the 2014 election cycle,” has pledged even more in 2016. Tom Steyer spent nearly $75 million in the 2014 midterms, reports Politico. He intends to “open his wallet even wider” now.

But just what do his millions get him in this “crucial election”? Based on history, not much.polar vortex globe

In 2014, his NextGen Climate Action group specifically targeted seven races. Only three went his way — to Democrats.

In Iowa, the group “invested in billboards and television and radio, newspaper and web ads,” to target Republicans and “agitate for more conversation about the topic in debates.” According to Politico, NextGen “attempted to convince Iowans to caucus for a candidate based on that candidate’s energy plan.” They “identified over 42,000 voters in the state who tapped climate change as a voting priority”…“over 1,500 were registered Republicans.” With 357,983 people participating the Iowa caucus, Steyer’s efforts reflect just 11.7 percent of voters and less than 1 percent of Republicans.

Steyer’s millions were spent trying to get people to vote based on “energy plans.” Only one candidate’s energy policy got any real media coverage: Ted Cruz’s opposition to the Renewable Fuel Standard, also known as the ethanol mandate. He won the Republican caucus, ahead of Donald Trump who pandered to the powerful lobbying group: America’s Renewable Future. (Since then, Archer Daniels Midland, the biggest proponent and producer of ethanol, may be scaling back, which according to the Financial Times, “suggests the reality for this industry has changed.”)

Perhaps Steyer needs to realize his reality has changed.

On February 11, Politico released survey results from “a bipartisan panel of respondents” who it claims are “Republican and Democratic insiders”…“activists, strategists and operatives in the four early nominating states” who answered the questions anonymously. The results? As one Republican respondent from South Carolina (SC) put it: “Climate change is simply not a front burner issue to most people.” A Nevada Democrat agreed: “I don’t believe this is a critical issue for many voters when compared to the economy and national security.”

One SC Republican said that no “blue-collar swing voter” ever said: “I really like their jobs plan, but, boy, I don’t know about their position on climate change.” Over all, the Republicans don’t think that opposing public policy to address the perceived threats of climate change will hurt their candidates. The topic never came up in the recent SC Republican debate.

Steyer sees that on the issue of climate change, “the two parties could not be further apart.” However, the “insider” survey found that Democrats were split on the issue. When asked if “disputing the notion of manmade climate change would be damaging in the general election,” some thought it would, but others “thought climate change isn’t a major issue for voters.” One SC Democrat pointed out: “the glut of cheap energy sources makes green technology less of an immediate priority for Congress, investors and the voting public.”

While we are far from the days, of “drill, baby drill,” when asked about increasing production, Republicans see that their pro-development policies are unaffected by “price fluctuations.” A SC Republican stated: “Most Republicans view this issue through a national security lens. Low prices might diminish the intensity, but GOP voters will still want America to be energy independent regardless of oil prices.”

On February 12, Politico held a gathering called “Caucus Energy South Carolina” that featured several of the SC “insiders” among whom the host said are “influential voices,” who offer “keen insight into what’s going on on the ground.”

There, Mike McKenna, who has consulted a wide variety of political and corporate clients with respect to government relations, opinion research, marketing, message development and communications strategies, and who has served as an external relations specialist at the U.S. Department of Energy, declared: “Energy is a second tier issue. Climate change is fifth tier. Nobody cares about it. It is always at the bottom.”

The climate change agenda has been the most expensive and extensive public relations campaign in the history of the world. Gallup has been polling on this issue for 25 years. Despite the herculean effort, fewer people are worried about climate change today than 25 years ago. Pew Research Center has repeatedly found that when given a list of concerns regarding the public’s policy priorities, respondents put jobs and economy at the top of the list, with climate change at the bottom. Polling done just before the UN climate conference in Paris, found that only 3% of Americans believe that climate change is the most important issue facing America.

Even Democrat Jane Kleeb, an outspoken opponent of the Keystone pipeline, acknowledged that climate change, as an issue, doesn’t move people to act.

David Wilkins, a former U.S. Ambassador to Canada who has worked on issues such as energy, national security, and the environment, said that voters are “not going to let the environment trump the economy.” He believes there will be a reapplication for the Keystone pipeline and that eventually it will be built. Another insider, Democrat Inez Tenenbaum, disagreed, saying: “people don’t want to be energy dependent.” To which Wilkins quipped: “All the more reason to get oil from our friends.”

When it comes to energy, there are clearly differences between the parties, but strangely both agree that climate change isn’t “a major issue for voters.”

But don’t tell Steyer — or Senator Bernie Sanders. Steyer has praised Sanders for his public stand on climate change saying that he’s brought it up “repeatedly,” calling it a “national security issue” and “the number one issue facing Americans” — despite the fact that polling indicates otherwise.

As if he were channeling Steyer, in his New Hampshire victory speech, Sanders declared: “We will not allow back into the White House a political party … that cannot even acknowledge the scientific reality of climate change.” He continued: “The debate is over. Climate change is real. It is caused by human activity, and it is already causing devastating problems in this country and around the world. We have a moral responsibility to work with countries throughout the world to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.”

Since nobody cares about climate change in the 2016 presidential campaign, except for Sanders and influential Democrat billionaire donor Steyer (who stands to gain financially from his advocacy), unfortunately one can easily guess where a chunk of his millions will go. Sanders will no longer be able to claim that all his donations are small.


Bjorn Lomborg : The Paris climate deal won’t even dent global warming

Two months after the Paris climate-treaty negotiations concluded with fanfare, the world is figuring out it was sold a lemon.

A diplomatic triumph? More like a p.r. coup. The Paris Treaty is rich in rhetoric, but it’ll make little change in actual temperature rises.

Increasingly, that fact is being recognized, even by some of the biggest proponents of climate action.

Jim Hansen, a former NASA scientist and advisor to Al Gore who was the first to put global warming on the public radar in 1988, wasn’t fooled. “It’s a fraud really, a fake,” he said in December. “It’s just worthless words.”

And this month, 11 climate scientists signed a declaration stating that the Paris treaty is crippled by “deadly flaws.”

The problem with the deal is simple, and was obvious from before it was even signed. The Paris agreement talks a big game. It doesn’t just commit to capping the global temperature increase at the much-discussed level of 2°C above pre-industrial levels. It says that leaders commit to keeping the increase “well below 2°C,” with an effort to cap it at 1.5°C.

But this is all talk.

My own peer-reviewed research, published in the journal Global Policy, shows that all of the treaty’s 2016-2030 promises on cutting carbon-dioxide emissions will reduce temperatures by the year 2100 by just 0.05°C. Even if the promised emissions cuts continued unabated throughout the century, the Paris agreement would cut global temperature increases by just 0.17°C. Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reach a similar conclusion.

And that’s assuming countries actually live up to their promises: The treaty’s nonbinding.

This is reminiscent of another non-binding pact also signed in Paris. The Kellogg-Briand Pact was drafted in 1928 and signatories included the United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany, Japan and Italy. Leaders agreed to outlaw war. The treaty scored its architect, Secretary of State Frank Kellogg, a Nobel Peace Prize. But after barely a decade, global war broke out.

By the United Nations’ own reckoning, the treaty will only achieve less than 1 percent of the emission cuts needed to meet target temperatures. So instead, signatories point to the fact that beginning in 2020, countries will be asked to lay out more ambitious targets every five years. In other words, 99 percent of the problem is left for tomorrow’s leaders to deal with.

Paris won’t solve global warming. What will? In the Copenhagen Consensus on Climate project, 28 climate economists and a panel of experts including three Nobel laureates found that the best long-term climate strategy is to dramatically increase investment in green R&D, with every dollar spent on green R&D avoiding 100 times more climate change than money spent on inefficient wind and solar.

For 20 years, we’ve insisted on trying to solve climate change by mainly supporting solar and wind power. This approach puts the cart in front of the horse: Green technologies aren’t competitive yet. Instead of production subsidies, governments should focus on making renewable energy cheaper and competitive through research and development. Drive down prices through innovation, and everyone will switch.

And we need to acknowledge that much-maligned fracking must be a part of our shorter-term solution to climate change. Natural gas is far more environmentally friendly than coal. Gas emits less than half the CO2, and it emits much lower amounts of other pollutants.

Though it doesn’t provide the ultimate answer to global warming, shale gas is greener than the alternatives.

After the self-congratulatory party in Paris has come an awakening: This deal isn’t going to solve climate change. It’s time to focus on what will.


Age, gender, race? Climate scepticism is predominantly party political

Because conservatives don't like the power grabs that such scares tend to legitimate

It appears the adage that climate change sceptics are typically conservative white men is only partly true, with a new study finding the political party you support to be a much stronger marker of where you line-up on global warming than gender, age and race.

But if you do accept the scientific evidence humans are causing climate change by burning fossil fuels and cutting down forests, the same research also suggests that does not mean you lead a greener private life.

In an effort to tease out what shapes individual views and actions on climate change, Australian researchers analysed almost 200 studies and polls covering 56 countries.

They found that political affiliation was a much larger determinant of a person's willingness to accept humanity's role in climate change than other social fault lines. Conservative voters were more likely to be sceptical, while progressive voters typically believed the science.

A person's broader political ideology, such as whether they saw themselves as conservative or liberal, also had a notable effect, albeit weaker than party support.

Other variables such as age, gender, education, income and race had a much lower, and often negligible, impact. The same was also true for individual experiences of extreme weather events.

"Although a 'conservative white male' profile has emerged of climate change sceptics in the United States, our analysis of polls across multiple nations suggests that the 'conservative' part of that equation would seem to be more diagnostic than the 'white male' part," finds the paper, which was published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Tuesday.

Matthew Hornsey, a psychology professor at the University of Queensland and one of the authors of the study, said climate science was far too complex for the vast majority of people to be totally across, meaning for most it was a matter of trust.

Some have an implicit trust in scientists and their methods, he said, but others turned to "gut feelings that are largely about their values, their politics, their world view".

"Age, sex and race aren't the issue: it's your deeper philosophies about the free market, about big versus small government, about individualistic versus socialistic ways of responding to societal problems, about whether or not you have a moral suspicion of industry," Professor Hornsey said.

The finding from the studies included in the analysis, almost half of which came from the United States, echoed recent dedicated Australian polls. Last year an analysis of five CSIRO climate surveys - a program now axed - found barely a quarter of Coalition voters accepted humanity was mostly responsible for climate change, as opposed to 59 per cent of Labor voters and 76 per cent of Greens supporters.

But accepting climate change did not necessarily make you greener, at least in your home life, the study also found.

While those who accept human's role in climate changes were more likely to take more public action, such as signing petitions or joining demonstrations, that was not necessarily replicated in private action, such as cutting energy use at home and using public transport over the car.

Professor Hornsey said this was partly about barriers to action, such as not having access to public transport. But there were a group of people who believed in climate change and wanted something done about it, but saw it as a global responsibility rather than an issue of individual sacrifice.

"In Australia it was striking how concern about climate change coexisted with resentment about paying the [now defunct] carbon tax," Professor Hornsey said.


Australia: That dreaded land clearing again

Below is another Greenie lament about land clearing.  Most of the world lives on land that has been cleared of its native vegetation but that precedent cuts no ice with Greenies. I said a lot more about that issue last month so will not pursue it again.

The rant below is totally one-eyed, as we have come to expect.  Their basic objection to clearing is species loss and water pollution.  And their only response to those problems, if they are problems,  is "Stop everything".  The authors are senior academics but you would never guess it.  It is all just hand-waving, with nothing scholarly about it.

A scholarly article would do a survey of the major species, research how many there are, give some argument for why they are important and study how many are needed to maintain a viable population.

Why do that?  Because there are conflicting claims on land use.  One side cannot have it all to themselves, though Greenies would clearly like to.  In the Anglosphere, conflicting claims are customarily resolved by compromise.  Arrangements are worked out that allow both sides to get what is most important to them.

And what is most important to Greenies is clear enough:  Species preservation.  So we need to know just how much land is needed for species preservation and how much can be released for food production.  So if we took the scholarly steps above, a compromise suitable to both sides should be possible.  But a mature response like that is beyond Greenies.  Their only policy is "winner take all", with themselves as the winner.

That rightly causes others to dig their heels in and the Greenies may in the end get very little of what they want -- probably less than they could have got via compromise.

And they are far too myopic to see what has been happening in the last couple of years.  When a conservative Queensland government lifted a whole lot of Leftist restrictions on land use, landowners went for broke.  They have busily been clearing as much land as they can before restrictions hit them again.  Much land may have been cleared that need not have been cleared if more moderate land use restrictions had been probable.

Just some excerpts below as it is all so brainless and predictable

Land clearing has returned to Queensland in a big way. After we expressed concern that policy changes since 2012 would lead to a resurgence in clearing of native vegetation, this outcome was confirmed by government figures released late last year.

It is now clear that land clearing is accelerating in Queensland. The new data confirm that 296,000 hectares of bushland was cleared in 2013-14 – three times as much as in 2008-09 – mainly for conversion to pastures. These losses do not include the well-publicised clearing permitted by the government of nearly 900 square kilometres at two properties, Olive Vale and Strathmore, which commenced in 2015.
The increases in land clearing are across the board. They include losses of over 100,000 hectares of old-growth habitats, as well as the destruction of “high-value regrowth” – the advanced regeneration of endangered ecosystems.

These ecosystems have already been reduced to less than 10% of their original extent, and their recovery relies on allowing this regrowth to mature.

Alarmingly, our analysis of where the recent clearing has occurred reveals that even “of concern” and “endangered” remnant ecosystems are being lost at much higher rates now than before.

While this level of vegetation loss and damage continues apace, Australia’s environmental programs will fall well short of achieving their aims.

Land clearing affects all Australians, not just Queenslanders. Australia spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year trying to redress past environmental damage from land clearing. Tens of thousands of volunteers dedicate their time, money and land to the effort.

But despite undeniable local benefits of such programs, their contribution to national environmental goals is undone, sometimes many times over, by the damage being done in Queensland.

Species cannot recover if their habitat is being destroyed faster than it is being restored. But under Caring for our Country and Biodiversity Fund grants, the extent of tree planting to restore habitat across Australia reported since 2013 is just over 42,000 hectares - an order of magnitude less than what was cleared in Queensland alone in just two years.

And it will be many decades before these new plantings will provide anything like the environmental benefits of mature native vegetation.

Land clearing between 2012 and 2014 in Queensland is estimated to have wiped out more than 40,000 hectares of koala habitat, as well as habitat for over 200 other threatened species. Clearing, along with drought (which is also made worse by clearing), is the major cause of an 50% decline in koalas of  south-west and central Queensland since 1996.

The loss of remnant habitat, especially from forests along waterways, means more habitat fragmentation. This is a further threat to many species of wildlife, and it hampers our ability to adapt to a rapidly changing climate.

The current Palaszczuk government in Queensland has repeated its election promise to re-strengthen native vegetation protections. The amendment bill is due to be introduced to parliament within weeks.

But the minority government relies on the votes of cross-benchers to pass its legislation–so for now, the future of some of Australia’s most precious environmental assets remains uncertain.



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, 2016

Warmist Phil is back!  And all warmed up by January

I always enjoy Phil Plait's evasions but he is getting cleverer about them. 

The NOAA/NASA figures show that January was unusually hot globally.  Accepting that as true and not just another "fiddle", the interesting question becomes what caused it.  Phil of course thinks it is all due to CO2 in the air.  But there are other explanations and Phil cannily mentions both the major ones in order to discount them:  The influence of El Nino and the extraordinary warming in the Arctic.

But he gives no reasons for discounting them.  He quotes Gavin Schmidt saying that El Nino had only a minor effect but that is just a guess on Schmidt's part.  There's no way of proving it.  After the previous El Nino there was a big temperasture fall in the subsequent year.  That surely indicates that an El Nino has a BIG effect.

And I have already said something about the Arctic yesterday.  Temperatures there are so different that they clearly march to a different drummer and should therefore be adjusted out of the global figures. The Arctic is big and its temperatures were extraordinarily high so adjusting it out would knock the global average temperature down substantially.

But, finally, the killer for Phil:  Cape Grim levels of CO2 have not yet been released for January 2016 but they are available for the previous 4 months of 2015.  And they are remarkably flat, hovering around 398 ppm.  So, contrary to Phil, the big changes he describes CANNOT be due to CO2 -- as CO2 levels show no such change.

How frustrating for Warmists:  When CO2 levels were going up, temperature wasn't and now that temperatures are going up, CO2 levels aren't.  Pretty poor synchrony for an alleged causal relationship.  Warmists can't take a trick.

Hot enough for ya? It should be: January 2016 was the hottest January globally since records began in 1880. And it didn’t just edge out the previous record holder for January, it destroyed it.

The temperatures used here are land and ocean measurements analyzed by the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, using NOAA temperature measuring stations across the world. These are extremely high quality and reliable datasets of global temperature measurements—despite the fallacious cries of a few.

If you want to see how temperatures have changed over time, it’s useful to compare them to an average over some time period. GISS uses the dates 1951–1980; it takes all the temperatures over that range for a given month, averages them, then subtracts that number from the average temperature measured for a given month. This forces the monthly range of 1951–1980 to give an average equal to 0, which is used as the baseline. You can then easily read off how much monthly temperatures deviate from that average, which is called the temperature anomaly; if a month is colder than usual for that month in the data, that shows up as a negative anomaly. If it’s warmer, the anomaly is positive.

The global temperature anomaly for January 2016 was 1.13° Celsius. That makes it the hottest January on record (the previous record was 0.95° C in 2007). But there’s more: 1.13° is the largest anomaly for any month since records began in 1880. There have only been monthly anomalies greater than 1°C three times before in recorded history, and those three were all from last year. The farther back in the past you go, the lower the anomalies are on average.

Yes, the world is getting hotter.

On the blog Hot Whopper (and on ThinkProgress) it’s shown that a lot of January’s anomaly is due to the Artic heating up far, far more than usual, as it has been doing for some time. The temperature map at the top of this post makes that clear.

Look at how much warmer the Arctic is! Not surprisingly, Arctic sea ice was at a record low extent in January 2016 as well, more than 1 million square kilometers lower than the 1981–2010 average. But almost the whole planet was far hotter in January 2016 than the 1951–1980 average.

A lot of deniers will say this is a statistical fluctuation; sometimes things are just hotter. That is utter baloney. If that were true, you’d expect just as many record cold days/months/years as warm ones. Two Australian scientists looked into this and found record hot and cold days were about even … until the 1960s, then hot days started outpacing cold ones, and from 2000 to 2014 record heat outnumbered record cold by a factor of 12 to 1.

As it happens, we’re in the middle of an El Niño, an event in the Pacific Ocean that tends to warm surface temperatures. This is also one of if not the most intense on record. Some of that record-breaking heat in January is due to El Niño for sure, but not all or even a majority of it. As I pointed out recently, climate scientist Gavin Schmidt showed that El Niño only accounts for a fraction of a degree of this heating. Even accounting for El Niño years, things are getting hotter.

The root cause is not El Niño. It’s us. We’ve been pumping tens of billions of tons of CO2 into the air every year for decades. That gas has trapped the Earth’s heat, and the planet is warming up.

Several of the months in 2015 were the hottest on record, leading to 2015 overall being the hottest year ever recorded (again, despite the ridiculously transparent claims of deniers). Will 2016 beat it? We can’t say for sure yet, but judging from January, I wouldn’t bet against it.


They're just guessing

Another study showing a large range in the estimated sensitivity of the climate to increased CO2.  It's not remotely settled science when the estimated effects differ by up to 200%

Plio-Pleistocene climate sensitivity evaluated using high-resolution CO2 records

M. A. Martínez-Botí et al.

Theory and climate modelling suggest that the sensitivity of Earth’s climate to changes in radiative forcing could depend on the background climate. However, palaeoclimate data have thus far been insufficient to provide a conclusive test of this prediction. Here we present atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) reconstructions based on multi-site boron-isotope records from the late Pliocene epoch (3.3 to 2.3 million years ago). We find that Earth’s climate sensitivity to CO2-based radiative forcing (Earth system sensitivity) was half as strong during the warm Pliocene as during the cold late Pleistocene epoch (0.8 to 0.01 million years ago). We attribute this difference to the radiative impacts of continental ice-volume changes (the ice–albedo feedback) during the late Pleistocene, because equilibrium climate sensitivity is identical for the two intervals when we account for such impacts using sea-level reconstructions. We conclude that, on a global scale, no unexpected climate feedbacks operated during the warm Pliocene, and that predictions of equilibrium climate sensitivity (excluding long-term ice-albedo feedbacks) for our Pliocene-like future (with CO2 levels up to maximum Pliocene levels of 450 parts per million) are well described by the currently accepted range of an increase of 1.5 K to 4.5 K per doubling of CO2.

Nature 518, 49–54 (05 February 2015) doi:10.1038/nature14145

Coral ecosystem adapts to global warming

One of the great shrieks of the Warmists is that warming will destroy coral reefs.  There have, however,  been plenty of reports showing that not to be so.  Latest below

Researchers in New Caledonia have uncovered a new type of coral ecosystem that may already be genetically adapted to global warming conditions.

This has sparked fresh hope for the future survival of coral reefs, after warnings from Pacific Island leaders in recent years about the impact of climate change on these important ecosystems.

French and Australian scientists studied a mangrove area on the west coast of New Caledonia and found corals thriving in warm and acidic waters.

Associate Professor from the University of Technology in Sydney, David Sugget said the new coral ecosystem provides an undiscovered source of genetic diversity.

"What we found in New Caledonia just totally blew us away, we saw almost 30 percent coral cover within the mangrove system, which is absolutely unprecedented," he explained.

"In fact, some reefs worldwide struggle to maintain 30 percent coral cover. Within that coral cover there were at least 20 species."

David Sugget said researchers have been trying for years to figure out how to assist corals adapt to changing climate conditions and mother nature may already have provided the answer.


Remember the Alamo Climate!

Obama orders Pentagon, generals and admirals to make climate change Job One

Paul Driessen

Military triumphs and catastrophes have often hinged on how well (or luckily) armies and navies employed, avoided or benefited from weather and other natural events.

Severe storms helped the British navy defeat Spain’s Armada in 1588. George Washington knew horrid weather meant the Hessians would not expect an attack across the Delaware River on Christmas 1776.

Napoleon captured Moscow before leading his Grande Armée’s exhausted, starving, freezing remnants back to France through a bitter 1812 Russian winter. Hitler’s army never even reached Moscow; it was decimated by disease, starvation, bullets and frigid cold at Stalingrad 140 years later.

Eisenhower’s Normandy invasion plans anticipated a full moon that would illuminate bomber targets and bring low tides to expose German mines and obstacles along the beaches. Instead, overcast skies limited Allied air support – but persuaded the Nazi high command that no invasion would occur for several days. So senior officers stayed in Germany, leaving their army unprepared for D-Day, June 6, 1944.

Throughout history, commanders discovered that trying to predict the weather – or their enemies’ resolve – was fraught with peril. Even today, accurate weather forecasting is a highly uncertain science, even a few days in advance, especially for hurricanes or winter blizzards in Mid-Atlantic states where winds, storm tracks, temperatures and moisture are affected by the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Arctic.

But now President Obama wants to compound his social experimentation with the military, by ordering the Pentagon brass to focus not on imminent weather events surrounding battle plans – not on threats from China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, ISIL, Hamas and other real hot spots – but on climate change years or decades in the future. He wants to replace Remember the Alamo with Remember the Climate!

Mr. Obama has issued an executive order directing the Department of Defense (and all other federal government agencies) to make preparing for global warming impacts a top priority, and treat climate change as our most serious national security threat. He even warned 2015 Coast Guard Academy graduates that “denying” climate change is a “dereliction of duty.” You can’t make this stuff up.

The EO directs the Pentagon to order all military commanders, down to battle planning levels, to include climate change analyses in combat planning, training exercises, intelligence gathering, weapons testing and procurement, fuel types and use, and practically every other aspect of military operations. This could include restrictions on the type and duration of training flights, amphibious landings and tank maneuvers.

It is sheer lunacy. It means bureaucrats and new layers of armed forces bureaucracies will waste time and money, and ignore real weapons and training issues. It means soldiers and sailors must now focus less on real natural and humanitarian disasters, and more on “climate refugee crises” that exist only in computer models, ivory tower studies and White House press releases. It could affect combat readiness and morale, make our warriors less prepared for warfare, and put them at greater risk of injury and death.

Other Obama orders forced the Air Force to spend $59 a gallon for “renewable” jet fuel and $67 per gallon for camelina-based F-22 Raptor fuel – and the Navy to spend $27 per gallon for biofuels from algae, waste grease and animal fat, and $424 a gallon for 20,000 gallons of “sustainable” diesel fuel. All that when conventional gasoline, diesel and jet fuel sell for $2.00-$3.50 per gallon (thanks to fracking)!

Like the other social experiments, this is being imposed by political operatives with little or no military service, few kids in the military, and minimal concern about how these policies, multiple deployments and stretched-to-the-breaking-point budgets might affect military readiness, morale, safety and families.

Even more absurd, the orders are based on pseudo-science and indefensible assumptions that carbon dioxide now drives climate change, and we have the knowledge and ability to predict climate shifts, extreme weather and related disasters years or decades in advance. Basing defense policies on these notions is ridiculous and dangerous. It’s like Eisenhower using tarot cards to predict Normandy weather.

The IPCC, EPA and White House continue to rely on still “murky” science, climatologist John Christy recently told the Senate Space and Science Subcommittee, “with large uncertainties on many crucial components, such as cloud distributions and surface heat exchanges.” This and other deficiencies cause predictions to be notoriously disconnected from Real World temperatures and weather events.

Contrary to those predictions, instead of rising a degree or more, average global temperatures have flat-lined for 19 years. Instead of more hurricanes, not a single category 3-5 hurricane has struck the U.S. mainland since November 2005 (a record ten-plus years). “Moisture conditions have not shown a tendency to have decreased (more drought) or increased (more large-scale wetness),” Dr. Christy noted.

Climate models still focus on manmade carbon dioxide and ignore most of the powerful, interconnected natural forces that have always driven climate and weather. In fact, “the theory of how climate changes, and the associated impact of extra greenhouse gases, is not understood well enough [for models] to even reproduce the past climate,” Dr. Christy explained to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. There is no way they can forecast future climates, and they have failed to do so.

Climate models pay minimal attention to significant effects of land use changes and major high-impact fluctuations like the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (El Niño and La Niña) and North Atlantic Oscillation, University of Delaware climatology professor David Legates observes.

Adds Weatherbell forecaster Joe D’Aleo: they also disregard variations in the sun’s energy output; the important effects of the sun’s ultraviolet output, geomagnetic activity and cloud-enhancing cosmic rays; and the cyclical interplay of cold and warm water pools in our oceans, which significantly influence the severity of winters in Eurasia and North America (as just one example). All these factors affect weather and climate. They assume any warming is dangerous, rather than beneficial for people and agriculture.

Additional reasons for grossly deficient climate models are their “overly simplified and inadequate numerical techniques,” and the fact that decadal and century-scale circulation changes in the deep oceans “are very difficult to measure and are not yet well enough understood to be realistically included in the climate models,” says Colorado State University weather and hurricane analyst Bill Gray.

Reliable predictive capabilities require that we end our obsession with carbon dioxide as the primary driver of climate change – and devote far more attention to studying all the powerful forces that have always driven climate change, the roles they play, and the complex interactions among them.

And yet, Christy noted ruefully, “demonstrably deficient models are being used to make policy.” That has been disastrous for domestic sectors, like coal and manufacturing. It could be lethal for military forces.

One can easily imagine how Gilbert and Sullivan would treat this insanity in an updated HMS Pinafore:

Now landsmen all, whoever you may be,

If you want to be admirals at the DOD,

If your soul isn't fettered to the White House fools,

Be careful to be guided by this golden rule:

Heed the climate models and never go to sea,

And you all may be rulers of Obama’s Navee!

The revised D’Oyly Carte lyrics notwithstanding, Mr. Obama continues to use climate change to justify his drive to fundamentally transform our economy, society, military, and energy, legal and constitutional systems. Equally ominous, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders share his obsession and objectives.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Pentagon brass and line officers must battle these climate directives as forcefully as they would any of the real dangers that face our nation and world. So must we all.

Via email

U.S. science teachers cool to global warming theory

So why do half of adult Americans not believe humans are changing the climate? A Penn State researcher went looking in the nation’s classrooms.  But not at the students. Eric Plutzer asked what their science teachers believe.

Plutzer’s survey of 1,500 middle and high-school science teachers found they are cool to global warming theory.  Specifically:

 *  While most do teach about climate change, 30 per cent of teachers in the survey said they emphasize that recent global warming “is likely due to natural causes.” This is sharply different from what actual climate scientists say.

 *  Another 12 per cent downplay the human role, or never mention it at all, the survey found.

Plutzer wondered why this happens and dug deeper. “It doesn’t seem to be parents or administrators, as very few teachers reported external pressure not to teach climate change,” says the journal Science, which published his study in Friday’s edition.

Plutzer writes that American science teachers “may not be very knowledgeable about a wide range of evidence,” such as the carbon dioxide measurements from ice cores that span a long time.

His science teachers were also unaware that almost all climate scientists agree humans are changing the climate. Only 30 per cent of middle-school and 45 per cent of high-school science teachers think that a large majority of climate scientists believe this.

The teachers least likely to teach that humans cause climate change are the ones who also feel government shouldn’t interfere in our personal lives, the study found.


Al Gore’s global warming doomsday passes uneventfully

Do you feel the heat? Do you see the clouds are gone and the sky is glowing red?

Ten years ago, on Jan. 25, 2006, Al Gore stood before his Sundance audience at the screening of his “An Inconvenient Truth.” Gore waved his quivering finger in the air and told his audience that unless the world takes drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases within the next 10 years, we will reach a point of no return.

Gore said our CO2 emissions would cause Earth to go into a runaway heat death.

The Washington Post reported Al Gore “believes humans may have only 10 years left to save the planet from turning into a total frying pan.”

CBS News wrote Gore predicted the earth would be in “a true planetary emergency” within the next 10 years unless drastic action is taken to reduce greenhouse gases.

Gore’s people have been singing like the Donkey in “Shrek,” “I believe, I believe.”

Eco-freak groups have tried in vain to save the planet from our CO2. Don’t they know it’s too late? It’s over? We’re done for? Nothing they can do now can save Earth. Al Gore said so. They can relax now and enjoy the heat before we all perish.

Could it be that Al Gore is mistaken? That cannot be. If Gore is wrong then he has betrayed millions of global warmers. They have devoted their lives to Al Gore. Their devotion is their religion. Because global warming is their religion, they cannot hear, see, or touch any evidence that might prove their religion is wrong.

But. But. But.

Unless there are no more clouds in the sky and no more snow on the ground, then Al Gore is wrong. You know what Richard Feynman said about the scientific method:  If your prediction is wrong then your hypothesis is wrong.

And if you reject the scientific method then you reject true science. Unless you reject your hypothesis that our CO2 causes global warming (or climate change) then your belief is a religion, not science.

You see, Al Gore believed the climate models. But climate models are not reality. Models are but an attempt to simulate reality. We must test models against reality. If the models’ predictions are wrong then the climate models are wrong.

According to the average of climate model predictions, Earth’s global temperature has risen 0.7 degrees centigrade since 1980. No wonder it’s so hot and there is no snow in Washington, D.C.

But wait. That is a model prediction, right? A model prediction is not reality, right?

Have you ever witnessed an incorrect weather prediction? Now you have witnessed an incorrect climate prediction.

The blue circles and green squares show the real data. They show the earth’s global temperature is only 0.2 degrees centigrade higher than in 1980. Al Gore is wrong. The climate models are wrong. The hypothesis that our CO2 causes global warming is wrong. Checkmate.

Isn’t it time the ecofreaks check their climate religion at the door and wake up to reality? If they did, they would save the world a lot of money.



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, 2016

The enigmatic Arctic

Warmists have long been fascinated by the temperature fluctuations of the Arctic -- mainly because it is the only part of the globe that has warmed up significantly in recent years.  They hint that Arctic warming proves global warming but fail to explain how.  The whole point of the matter is surely that the Arctic warming is NOT global so how is it a proof of something global?

In fact, one could argue that Arctic warming is so anomalous that it should be excluded from global figures.  That would be an "adjustment" or "correction" well in line with what Warmists routinely do to the temperature record.  And if one did make the correction, what would we see?  GLOBAL COOLING!  How strange that the adjustment kings at NOAA, NASA and elsewhere don't make that correction!  Tom Karl, are you listening?

But the erratic Arctic has just excelled itself.  It showed a huge temperature leap in January and the Warmists don't know why.  The pesky old Arctic has made it abundantly clear that it runs its own race and is not part of global temperature trends.

But the Warmists are puzzled by what is going on in the Arctic only because they keep their eyes firmly closed to things that lie outside their normal areas of discourse.  If we broaden our vision slightly, we would conclude that the erratic Arctic is exactly what we would expect if there was a lot of volcanic activity under its floating ice.  Volcanoes are hot but erratic. 

And that is in fact exactly what we have in the Arctic.  Most of the Arctic is covered not by land but by floating ice (sea ice) and close to the center of the action is the undersea Gakkel ridge -- which has more volcanic activity than anywhere else on earth.  And those volcanoes are BIG.  And all that has been known for a long time now.  See here.

So the only mystery about Arctic temperatures is why they are thought to be an effect of climate. 

New data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggest that January of 2016 was, for the globe, a truly extraordinary month.

Coming off the hottest year ever recorded (2015), January saw the greatest departure from average of any month on record, according to data provided by NASA.

But as you can see in the NASA figure above, the record breaking heat wasn’t uniformly distributed — it was particularly pronounced at the top of the world, showing temperature anomalies above 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the 1951 to 1980 average in this region.

Indeed, NASA provides a “zonal mean” version of the temperature map above, which shows how the temperature departures from average change based on one’s latitude location on the Earth. As you can see, things get especially warm, relative to what the Earth is used to, as you enter the very high latitudes:

Global warming has long been known to be particularly intense in the Arctic — a phenomenon known as “Arctic amplification” — but even so, lately the phenomenon has been extremely pronounced.

This unusual Arctic heat has been accompanied by a new record low level for Arctic sea ice extent during the normally ice-packed month of January, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center — over 400,000 square miles below average for the month. And of course, that is closely tied to warm Arctic air temperatures.

“We’ve looked at the average January temperatures, and we look at what we call the 925 millibar level, about 3,000 feet up in the atmosphere,” says Mark Serreze, the center’s director. “And it was, I would say, absurdly warm across the entire Arctic Ocean.” The center reports temperature anomalies at this altitude of “more than 6 degrees Celsius (13 degrees Fahrenheit) above average” for the month.

The low sea ice situation has now continued into February. Current ice extent is well below levels at the same point in 2012, which went on to set the current record for the lowest sea ice minimum extent:

“We’re way down, we’re at a record low for this time of year right now,” says Serreze. When it comes to the rest of 2016 and the coming summer and fall season when ice melts across the Arctic and reaches its lowest extent, he says, “we are starting out in a deep hole.”

So what’s causing it all? It’s a complicated picture, say scientists, but it’s likely much of it has to do with the very strong El Niño event that has carried over from 2015. But that’s not necessarily the only factor.

“We’ve got this huge El Niño out there, we have the warm blob in the northeast Pacific, the cool blob in the Atlantic, and this ridiculously warm Arctic,” says Jennifer Francis, a climate researcher at Rutgers University who focuses on the Arctic and has argued that Arctic changes are changing mid-latitude weather by causing wobbles in the jet stream. “All these things happening at the same time that have never happened before.”

Serreze agrees that the El Niño has something to do with what’s happening in the Arctic. “I think this is more than coincidence. That we have this very strong El Niño at the same time when we have this absurd Arctic warmth. But exactly what the details are on that, I don’t think we can say right now,” he says.

In Alaska, matters have been quite warm but not record-breaking this winter, says Rick Thoman, climate science and services manager for the National Weather Service in the state.

“I think this winter is going to get studied like crazy, for quite a while,” says Francis. “It’s a very interesting time.”


Ratbag U.N. Warmist steps down

Good riddance. Those of us who can remember how protective of the Soviet Union American Leftists once were will not be surprised at praise of Communist regimes coming from anybody on the Green/Left. So the fact that a nutty Costa Rican Leftist praised Communist China seems unremarkable.  Exactly what she praised China for is the interesting bit.  Christiana Figueres  praised China for its attention to the atmosphere and pollution.  She thinks they are doing a great job on combatting global warming.  Yet China is undoubtedly the most polluted country on earth.  She praises the earth's biggest polluter for fighting  pollution!  There is no logic in a Green/Left mind.  They have totally lost their grip on reality

After six years as the United Nations’ top global warming bureaucrat, Christiana Figueres is finally stepping down.

The 59-year-old Costa Rican may be done with the U.N., but she will long be remembered for her remarks castigating democracy and praising communist China’s progress on global warming.

“It is with deep gratitude to all of you that I write to formally announce that I will serve out my term as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which finishes on July 6, 2016, and not accept an extension of my appointment,” Figueres wrote in a public letter Friday.

Figueres’s decision to leave the U.N. comes after nearly 200 countries agreed to cut carbon dioxide emissions in Paris late last year. The Paris deal was hailed as a major achievement by environmental groups, but there are already indications the deal may end up being more talk than action.

“The Paris Agreement is a historical achievement, built on years of increasing willingness to construct bridges of collaboration and solidarity,” Figueres wrote. “It has been an honor to support you along this path over the past six years.”

Aside from Paris, Figueres was also known for her comments about how democracy put up too many hurdles to fighting global warming. Figueres praised communist China’s efforts to deploy more green energy and said it was “doing it right” when it came to fighting warming.

“They actually want to breathe air that they don’t have to look at,” Figueres said of China in 2014. “They’re not doing this because they want to save the planet. They’re doing it because it’s in their national interest.”

Figueres also lamented that the deep partisan divide in the U.S. Congress is “very detrimental” to the global warming crusade.

Figueres doubled-down on her support for China’s central planning, telling reporters in 2015 that China “understands that this is what is coming down the pike, this is where job creation is.”

“Why would the United States want to leave that to China?” she said in a somewhat ironic speech since China had just announced its intention to use more fossil fuels as well as green energy.

In 2012, Figueres called for a “centralized transformation” of the world’s economy to fight global warming. Figueres told environmentalist Elizabeth Kolbert this “is a centralized transformation that is taking place because governments have decided that they need to listen to science.”

“So it’s a very, very different transformation and one that is going to make the life of everyone on the planet very different,” Figueres said.


What Scalia’s Death Means for Obama Climate Agenda’s Implementation

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death will likely help the Obama administration implement its landmark climate change plan regulating coal emissions.

The shift in momentum comes after the Supreme Court last week, before Scalia’s death, voted to temporarily block the Clean Power Plan from being enforced as it makes its way through the legal process.

That decision was seen as a major blow to President Barack Obama’s climate change agenda, since the plan is the central element of the U.S.’ pledge to reduce emissions as part of a U.N. climate change pact signed in Paris in December.

The Clean Power Plan, an Environmental Protection Agency regulation meant to encourage the use of renewable fuels and natural gas, would commit the U.S. to lower carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants by 32 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

It would require every state to submit a plan between 2016 and 2018 for reducing carbon emissions.

Business and industry groups, and 27 states—led by West Virginia and Texas—are challenging the rule in court, arguing that the EPA doesn’t have authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide in such a way.

These opponents argue that the shift away from coal as a power source will increase electricity prices. The EPA, meanwhile, predicts consumers would save money through improvements in energy efficiency.

The Supreme Court has not yet considered the plan’s legality because the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit still has to review it.

The appeals court is set to hear oral arguments in the case on June 2.

But the Supreme Court’s 5-4 vote last week issuing a “stay” on the plan suggested that the five Republican-appointed justices were prepared to strike the plan down when they got the chance.

“The short answer is this development makes it substantially more likely the Clean Power Plan will ultimately survive in court,” said Michael Gerrard, a law professor at Columbia University and the director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

“The 5-4 vote imposing the stay on the plan was a very bad omen about how the Supreme Court felt about the Clean Power Plan. Now that the 5th vote is gone, the ultimate result will depend very heavily on who fills the empty seat.”

Most experts expect a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court to uphold the climate plan, since it declined to grant a “stay” before the Supreme Court did so. The randomly drawn appeals court panel includes two Democratic appointees and one Republican.

If the D.C. Circuit Court found the climate plan to be legal, the industry groups and 27 states that are suing to overturn the plan will inevitably ask the Supreme Court to review the case.

The high court will undoubtedly accept the request to review the case.

If the Supreme Court took up the case this term and voted 4-4, with a split between the Republican- and Democratic-appointed justices, the lower court’s ruling would be upheld.

In that scenario, the stay on the plan would end at that moment, and it could be implemented.

“If the D.C. Circuit Court upholds it and the Supreme Court splits 4-4, the lower court ruling stands, and that ends the stay,” Gerrard said.

While a 4-4 split would temporarily leave the prior court ruling in place, the Supreme Court will likely order the case reargued once a new justice is confirmed. So the ultimate future of the climate plan will likely depend on the vote of whoever succeeds Scalia.

And with the Senate threatening to not let Obama advance his choice for Scalia’s successor, the ideological makeup of the next Supreme Court justice, and that person’s vote on the climate plan, could very well swing on which party wins the presidency.

“The next vote will probably be the deciding one,” said Carrie Severino, the chief counsel and policy director at the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, and a former law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

“This was already an election for the ages, and it just went up to an 11 on a one-to-10 scale,” Severino told The Daily Signal. “The presidential election is really the opportunity for the American people to say what direction they want to take the Supreme Court.”

If a Republican who opposes the carbon regulations won the White House, that person won’t necessarily need to depend on the judiciary branch to overturn the EPA’s plan.

A Republican president could work with a GOP-controlled Congress to pass a bill repealing the plan. That person could also reverse Obama’s climate policies administratively, but that would be a difficult process.

“If there is a final order upholding the EPA rule, the president cannot willy-nilly immediately overturn it,” said Alden Abbott, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation. “It has to go through the Administrative Procedure Act, meaning the president has to have some justification to overthrow the rule.”

And no matter the outcome in the courts, or whatever the next president decides to do, some states will undertake action on their own to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired plants.

“If there were no EPA Clean Power Plan, it’s not a prohibition on anyone doing planning that they want to do; it would just mean they can’t be forced to act,” Gerrard said. “Several states are already preparing their plans despite the stay.”

The Georgetown Climate Center has been tracking which states have publicly stated they plan to comply with the Clean Power Plan in some form, even as the regulation faces an uncertain future.

Kate Zyla, the deputy director of the center, tells The Daily Signal that 21 states have made such a commitment.

“I think the stay introduced uncertainty, and Scalia’s death brought additional uncertainty, so a lot of states are saying, in the face of uncertainty, it’s prudent to keep going, even if they are not fans of the rule,” Zyla said.


CHART OF THE DAY: Here’s Why The UN’s Global Warming Treaty Is Useless

The United Nations carbon dioxide emissions deal of 2015 may not be enough to exert any meaningful impact on projected global warming.

A new report by the oil giant BP shows CO2 emissions significantly growing, despite huge gains in energy efficiency and countries forcing more green energy onto the grid. It looks like economic growth in developing countries, like China and India (the “non-OECD”), will overshadow global warming regulations in rich countries.

“Despite the slowdown in emissions growth, the level of carbon emissions continues to grow, increasing by 20% between 2014 and 2035,” BP reported in its latest energy outlook.

“The widening gap between the projected path for emissions… illustrates the remaining challenge, despite the expected reduction in the growth of carbon emissions,” BP noted.

President Barack Obama and other world leaders hailed the UN global warming deal hashed out in December. As part of the deal, countries voluntarily pledged to cut CO2 emissions, but major developing economies, like India and China, did not make any concrete promises to cut emissions.

BP projects both those countries will emit more CO2 and, along with other developing nations, wipe out any emissions cuts made by the U.S. and other rich countries.


Organic food could give you cancer

Organic vegetables are much higher in carcinogens than are vegetables grown sprayed with pesticides. This fact was discovered by Bruce Ames who was, at that time, the chair of biochemistry at UC Berkeley.

The discovery was easily understood. To grow foods without pesticides, you have to pick those subspecies that are "naturally resistant" to insects and fungus. That invariably means that they have higher levels of "natural" poisons in their skin and in their flesh. So those farmers who picked the plants that didn't need pesticides were picking plants that (to use Ames' terminology) were surviving by engaging in chemical warfare.

Non-organic foods are grown using pesticides that are extensively tested by the FDA to be non-cancer inducing (or at least minimally so). Moreover, they are on the outside of the skin, not in the meat itself, and so can be washed off easily.

I eat many organic foods because they often taste better; they are frequently grown by farmers who care more about taste than appearance.  I don't delude myself into thinking that they are healthier.

Bruce Ames, by the way, is the inventor of the "Ames test" — the most widely used method to determine if materials are mutagenic.
His professional publication describing what I just said is Science, Volume 236, Issue 4799 (Apr. 17, 1987), 271-280. 

Nobody disputes his scientific findings, but those who favor organic food often ignore them. They fool themselves into thinking that natural poisons are somehow better than mild human-manufactured pesticides.


Global satellite map highlights sensitivity of Australia's plants to changes in rainfall and temperature

The report below is about warm dry conditions in Australia and the effect of that on plant life in Australia.  Warm dry conditions are normal for most of Australia so any attribution of such effects to global warming is just empty assertion

A point not drawn out below is that the adaptation to warm dry conditions shown by Australian plant life might make them particularly resilient to effects of global warming, if we ever have any

The plant life of Australia's outback may have "given up", according to satellite-based maps tracking the impact of changing climatic conditions, such as rainfall and temperature, on the world's ecosystems.

The study suggests the vegetation of our interior does not respond to sudden increases in rainfall because it has "learned" that drought will soon follow.

It also indicates the Murray-Darling Basin is one of the world's most ecologically sensitive zones, and highlights the fact that Australian flora is most sensitive to changes in water availability.

The maps are part of a study, published today in the journal Nature, that analyses 14 years of satellite data measuring the key climate variables of air temperature, water availability and cloud cover.

The researchers, from Norway and the UK, have developed a new measure, known as the vegetation sensitivity index, which compares on a global scale the productivity of vegetation under changing climate.

How ecosystems will adapt to climate change into the future is based on their responses to many of these climate variables.

Through this modelling the team was able to pinpoint regions across the globe that are showing an "amplified" response to climate variation and may be at risk of collapse.

The eastern region of Australia is included in this category along with the Arctic Tundra, the wet tropical forests of South America, western Africa, south-east Asia and New Guinea, the world's alpine regions, Brazil's Caatinga biome and the steppe and prairie regions of central Asia and the Americas.

Professor Angela Moles, of the Evolution and Ecology Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, said the study was unique because it gave a deeper insight into the impact of extreme events on ecosystems.

"Most research on the effect of climate change has focused on changes in mean temperature or mean rainfall," said Professor Moles, who was not involved in the study. "However, climate models predict that climate extremes are going to change far more dramatically than are climate means.

For some reason the vegetation is not responding to the variability in the climate that we are experiencing. Large portions of plants in the interior don't seem to do anything."

Professor Alfredo Huete, from the Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster at the University of Technology, Sydney, agreed.  "[With this study] we are getting a lot closer to what the plant actually experiences," he said.  "You can have all of your rainfall in one week and the statistics will show it was a good year. But it can just take one month of no rain and that might be what drives a plant to the edge."

Professor Moles said the paper also gave insights into which aspects of climate were the most important in shaping different vegetation types around the world.   "For instance, the study confirms that most of Australia is most sensitive to variability in water, rather than to temperature, which highlights the importance of thinking of the problem we face as climate change, rather than global warming," she said.

Professor Moles said it was also interesting that while there were areas of very high climate sensitivity in the east of Australia, the study showed our inland ecosystems were among the world's least sensitive to climate variability, particularly in terms of rainfall.

Professor Huete said the researchers suggested this constant level of low productivity was the result of "memory".  "Sometimes when you subject an ecosystem to some kind of disturbance, such as a drought or fire, they behave differently depending on their past," he explained.

The study indicated significant areas of the Australian interior seemed to be having strong memory effects, said Professor Huete, who wrote an opinion piece for Nature to accompany the new study.   "For some reason the vegetation is not responding to the variability in the climate that we are experiencing. Large portions of plants in the interior don't seem to do anything," he said.

Professor Huete said it was possible plants in the Australian outback had "given up".  "They don't care if it is good favourable conditions now, because they know it is temporary and it is not worth investing in growing more at this time because they become bigger and it is a lot more to care of when the drought returns," he said.

He said the maps were a useful tool in better understanding how ecosystems were reacting to climate change, but there was still a long way to go before scientists would be able to predict "when a forest is going to experience mortality".

"The satellite is taking pictures of what has happened on the ground. They can tell you there is something going on, but rarely can the satellite pictures tell you what is happening or why," he said.

Professor Moles said while large-scale remote-sensing studies could provide high-quality quantitative information on large-scale processes, it could never replace on-ground research.

"For instance, remote sensing will never be a good way to survey rare and threatened species, such as little orchids," 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

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21 February, 2016

Disruptive Green/Left "protests" to be legally curbed in Western Australia

That's long overdue but far-Left "New Matilda" (below) is on its high horse condemning it. They say the word "thing" is too vague but it is not.  It is the use to which the thing is put that defines it.  If it is used to disrupt other people's lives and activities it's use becomes illegal.  It's sheer Fascist arrogance that the Green/Left think they have a right to disrupt other people's lives in pursuit of their personal demons

The mention of U.N. "rapporteurs" is amusing.  They must be the most unjudicial people on the planet.  They regularly condemn Anglosphere countries and Israel while remaining silent about real abuses in Muslim and African countries

The West Australian government has eschewed the alarm of not one, not two, but three United Nations Special Rapporteurs, and is pressing ahead with a bill that will criminalise legitimate protest activity.

As New Matilda reported in March last year, the Coalition government is moving to criminalise - quite literally - the possession of a "thing". Overnight the draconian anti-protest bill passed through the Legislative Council. It will now proceed to the Legislative Assembly.

If passed, the laws will reverse the onus of proof, giving police extraordinary powers. It carries penalties that would land peaceful protestors in prison for one year, along with a $12,000 fine, or two years and $24,000 in "circumstances of aggravation".

Collin Barnett's Coalition government controls both houses of the West Australian Parliament, leaving Labor and the Greens impotent in their virulent opposition.

Earlier this week three UN Special Rapporteurs - David Kaye, on freedom of expression; Maina Kiai, on freedom of peaceful assembly and association; and Michel Forst, on human rights defenders - slammed the bill in its entirety.

"The proposed legislation will have the chilling effect of silencing dissenters and punishing expression protected by international human rights law," Kaye warned.

"Instead of having a necessary [and]legitimate aim, the Bill's offence provisions disproportionately criminalise legitimate protest actions," he said.

The West Australian government has made clear that the law was inspired by the effectiveness of protest methods at James Price Point and in anti-logging campaigns in the state's south-west.

In their strident criticism, the three United Nations Special Rapporteurs outlined their concerns.

"If the bill passes, it would go against Australia's international obligations under international human rights law, including the rights to freedom of opinion and expression as well as peaceful assembly and association," they said in a joint statement.

"The bill would criminalise a wide range of legitimate conduct by creating criminal offences for the acts of physically preventing a lawful activity and possessing an object for the purpose of preventing a lawful activity."

"For example, peaceful civil disobedience and any non-violent direct action could be characterised as `physically preventing a lawful activity.'"

The government openly admits it is trying to criminalise the use of objects - like `thumb locks', `arm-locks', `tree-sits', or chains - to prevent big developers from conducting their legally approved business.

This is not made clear in the bill, though, which refers only to a "thing" which could be used to prevent "a lawful activity". The President of the West Australian Law Society, Mathew Keogh has previously told New Matilda this "represents a breakdown of the rule of law".

Because of this broad drafting, the bill could be applied to activities other than those the government claims to be targeting, like a union picket line. According to Keogh, "the legislation is so broad it is almost impossible to say how they may be applied down the track".

In addition, anyone who falls foul of the legislation could be forced by the courts to pay police and developers' "reasonable expenses" for the removal of the physical barrier.

According to Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai, "it discourages legitimate protest activity and instead, prioritises business and government resource interests over the democratic rights of individuals".


Canada's arrogant Trudeau administration hits trouble in the provinces

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says he wants nothing to do with Ottawa’s plan for a national minimum price on greenhouse gas emissions as he raises the political heat ahead of the First Ministers climate summit scheduled for Vancouver in two weeks.

In an interview Thursday, Mr. Wall – who faces a re-election campaign this spring – flatly rejected the federal government’s plan to reach agreement with provinces and territories on a Canada-wide floor price for carbon, which would be at least $15 a tonne.

“Let’s be clear that it would be a tax, and that’s the very last thing the economy needs right now,” Mr. Wall said. “I’ve already made it clear … that if we’re re-elected, our government will not be pursuing any tax increases or new taxes, and neither would we support any new national taxes.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will meet with the premiers in Vancouver on March 3 for talks on a national climate strategy, but they are not expecting to reach a deal at that time. Instead, Ottawa and the provinces are looking to set up working groups to chart the path forward in key areas, including a pan-Canadian minimum carbon price that would apply broadly across the economy, but would also allow provinces to use their own mechanisms and collect the revenue. They are aiming to have a deal in six months.

Federal sources say the proposal for a carbon floor price is purposely vague – with no specific price or approach identified – so as not to presume an outcome to the negotiations. But finding common ground will prove enormously challenging, given the various approaches already being pursued by provincial governments.

Mr. Wall was outspoken in his skepticism about carbon pricing when premiers met with Mr. Trudeau prior to the Paris climate summit in December. And with an election looming, he is doubling down on his opposition.

“We think technological investment should be a higher priority than fiscal instruments or new taxes that would hurt economic growth and potentially cost jobs here in Saskatchewan and across the country,” he said. His province has invested more than $1-billion in a carbon-capture project at the Boundary Dam coal-fired power station near Estevan, which Mr. Wall says will provide a technology solution to an energy-hungry world.

Forgoing a broad-based carbon tax would leave Saskatchewan with a competitive advantage, as neighbouring Alberta moves to impose a $30-a-tonne levy, he added. “I don’t want a level playing field for our province. I want this to be the most competitive place that it possibly can be … and that does not include a new carbon tax, especially now, given the state of the economy.”

Ontario Environment Minister Glen Murray cheered the federal government’s plan to set a minimum national carbon price, saying it would create fairness between jurisdictions that are putting a price on carbon and those that aren’t.

“What do you do with something that comes out of Saskatchewan, that has no carbon price on it, versus something that comes out of Alberta? To remove interprovincial trade barriers and to have fair treatment within the Canadian federation … that [floor price] makes sense,” Mr. Murray said in an interview at Queen’s Park Thursday.

Ontario is set to introduce a cap-and-trade system – working in concert with Quebec and California – that will impose carbon cost on fuel distributors and many industries; Alberta announced its carbon tax will complement an emissions cap on the oil sands.

Mr. Murray said he talks to federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna every week and that Ottawa has been “very open with the process.”

The Atlantic provinces – which accounted for 6 per cent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 – would also face the choice of either living with a federal carbon tax or adopting one of their own. Environment ministers from the four provinces agreed to work together on climate policy, including the potential for a regional carbon-pricing plan.

The recently elected Liberal government in Newfoundland and Labrador is “considering options” for carbon levies, Environment Minister Perry Trimper said in an interview. “We’re willing to step up to the plate in a way we have not been” under the previous Progressive Conservative government, he said.

B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak said Ottawa has not yet laid out a proposal but predicted it will not be easy to win over agreement with all the provinces. She said there was discussion at the recent meeting between the federal, provincial and territorial ministers on climate about how to approach carbon pricing, but each province is at a different stage on the issue.

“We all have to acknowledge,” Ms. Polak said, “a pan-Canadian approach is a tall order. We’ve got really big differences between provinces – it’s a huge challenge.”

She sidestepped what might happen if just one province opts out. “We haven’t seen what proposal they might bring,” she said, adding: “We know that every province is going to be contributing to Canada’s agreement in Paris in different ways.”


German Consumers Paying Record Amount For Green Energy .... On “Best Path To Financial Disaster”

Some 15 years ago German Environment Minister, Jürgen Trittin, wanted the public to believe that Germany’s Energiewende (transition to renewable energies) would only cost consumers about as much as one scoop of ice cream per month. Since those famous words were spoken that scoop has ballooned to a jumbo bucket of Ben and Jerry’s.

Never have German consumers paid so much for electricity. Indeed one study concluded that the high cost of electricity in Germany is resulting in hundreds of thousands of German households having their power cut off because families can no longer afford the high electric bills – see here and here. It just goes to show that under reckless political management even a scoop of ice cream can become a luxury.

According to media reports, 24.1 billion euros were paid out to green energy producers last year. That is 2.6 billion euros, or 12 percent, more than in 2014.”

The costs are rising so fast that some leading politicians are (finally) beginning to sound the alarms. The BZ writes that leading conservative politician Michael Fuchs of Angela Merkel’s CDU party “fears the worst“, telling the flagship daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that the Energiewende “is on the best path to becoming a financial disaster”.

And despite the massive investment, wind energy was only able to deliver 13% of Germany’s electricity needs last year – and that in a year which was a relatively windy one.

What will be the consequence of all the Bernie-Sanders-“free” green energy in the future? The Berliner Zeitung writes: “Higher costs”.

One reason for the higher costs, the BZ writes, is because of the governments plan to boost investment in offshore wind parks – and slow down the construction of onshore parks. The problem with that plan is that offshore wind energy is far more expensive.

Offshore wind park operators are guaranteed up to 19.4 euro-cents per kilowatt-hour – which is some three times more than what onshore operators get.

And there’s still remains the problem of getting offshore wind energy to markets inland.


Congress Places Blame of Animas Spill on EPA

The House Natural Resources Committee released a 74-page report faulting the Environmental Protection Agency with dumping three million gallons of toxic-metal laden water into the Animas River in Colorado. Not only did the report detail the comedy of errors leading up to the moment when an EPA contractor breached a retaining wall at the Gold King Mine and the pressurized water contaminated with mercury, arsenic and lead started to flow down the hill, it accused the EPA of deceiving the American public of the extent of the EPA-caused disaster. If a private party had caused the spill, the ecofascists at the EPA would have swooped in to deal out some environmental justice. But like it did leading up to the Flint water crisis, the EPA gave itself, the government, a pass.

Research associate at the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies Katie Tubb told The Daily Signal, “Good environmental policy is primarily an issue of who is best equipped to manage the environment well. As the committee’s report illustrates, the EPA and [Department of Interior] are massive black boxes — accountability is difficult. States and local communities simply can do a better job of reflecting the environmental interests of the people impacted most and can better be held responsible by their constituents.” In the days after the yellow-orange tide flowed down the Animas, it was clear the EPA had gone into damage-control mode, as protecting the agency is its primary goal, even above protecting the environment.


The EPA Isn’t Handling Its Business – But Insists On Man-Handling Ours

I have a (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) rule for federal government departments, agencies, commissions and boards: Barring a Constitutional amendment, if a bureaucracy was created after 1800 – it shouldn’t exist.

The Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution – were by 1800 thoroughly implementing it. If they didn’t yet have the federal government doing something – the federal government wasn’t to be doing it.   So unless a subsequent amendment added an authority to the federal panoply – it’s been an unConstitutional addition.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created in 1970 – WAY past our sell-by date. Our nation got along just fine for nearly two centuries without this particular federal usurpation. Was the Constitution first amended to give the federal government the authority to override how fifty individual states each respectively decide how to handle environmental issues? Of course not.

Did Congress pretend to be a unilateral, illegal amendment process and pass legislation creating the EPA? Not even: “Pseudo-Republican Richard Nixon created the mess in 1970 in typical DC fashion. He pretended to be (a one-man Constitutional amendment process) – and signed an executive order. The Democrat-controlled Congress then pretended to be (two-thirds of the states) – and ‘ratified’ the EPA with committee hearings.…”

So the entirety of the EPA is Constitutionally illegitimate. It is through this prism that we should examine its actions. Which are unilateral, authoritarian, bullying and amateurish. Time and again they grab more and more power and authority over our lives – all while failing miserably at the things over which they already lord.

The latest example of their awfulness? “An EPA official was caught red-handed with full knowledge of the danger of an environmental spill at Colorado’s Gold King Mine in emails discovered by the Denver Post, but the agency downplayed any knowledge of the hazard to the public. As 3 million gallons of lead, cadmium and other chemicals polluted the Animas River, the EPA pretty well tried to downplay the severity of that, too.”animus river spill

An EPA screwup of MASSIVE proportions. Followed by an equally huge attempted coverup. And yet literally no one in government was fired for the fiasco. And does their fiasco stop them from abusing a business accused of a MUCH smaller error? Of course not: “On the same day when the Denver Post printed the story above, the Department of Justice announced the latest criminal sentencing in connection with the Elk River spill.

“‘A former owner of Freedom Industries was sentenced today to 30 days in federal prison, six months of supervised release, and a $20,000 fine for environmental crimes connected to the 2014 Elk River chemical spill…. (Dennis P.) Farrell is one of six former officials of Freedom Industries, in addition to Freedom Industries itself as a corporation, to be prosecuted for federal crimes associated with the chemical spill.’

“Was this private company dealt with so harshly because the Elk River spill was larger than the EPA’s Animas River discharge? No: the Elk River spill was only 7,500 gallons, compared with three million gallons the EPA discharged into the Animas River.”

Get that? Six private sector employees and the company itself prosecuted – for spilling 0.0025% of what the EPA spilled. An EPA spill which resulted in zero bureaucrats prosecuted – or even canned.

The EPA can’t handle its business – but it sure as heck wants to man-handle ours.

And, of course, the EPA continues to unilaterally, illegally and omni-directionally expand its authority. But one such additional assault? “You want to kneecap farmers? And make food exorbitantly more expensive? Turn farmers’ water into a weapon against them.

“‘The issue is the EPA’s proposed changes to the Waters of the United States regulation. In March, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed new rules that would expand the agency’s regulatory authority on streams and wetlands that feed into major rivers and lakes….

“‘(T)he rules…(would) allow the government to dictate what farmers can and cannot do with their farmland, which often includes small streams, ponds and marshes.’”

Given all we know – who do you think knows better how to treat and handle farmland? The farmers – who live and earn their living on it? Or faceless bureaucrats far removed from the land – and the consequences of their heinous actions?

If farmers screw up their land – farmers don’t eat. If bureaucrats screw up farmers’ land – farmers don’t eat. And NOTHING happens to the bureaucrats.

Farmers are just like the rest of us. The less government there is – the better things are for them. Less government domestically – like the ridiculous EPA. And less government internationally – like eliminating all government meddling in farm markets.

We the People handle with care. Government man-handles with impunity.


Critics Challenge Climate Scientist’s Claim That Antarctic Iceberg Killed 150,000 Penguins

A scientific team led by Christopher Turney, a professor of climate science at Australia’s University of South Wales (UNSW), claims that a giant iceberg caused by the effects of global warming decimated a colony of Adelie penguins by blocking their way to feeding grounds off the eastern coast of Antarctica.

But some critics are challenging that assertion, pointing out that the penguins may have just migrated to happier hunting grounds.

“More than 150,000 Adelie penguins have perished in a single colony in Antarctica after the grounding of a giant iceberg” five years ago, Turney and fellow researchers from UNSW’s Climate Change Research Centre and New Zealand’s West Coast Penguin Trust wrote in an article published this month in the British peer-reviewed journal Antarctic Science.

Turney was the leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 2013-2014 that went to Antarctica to update the scientific records compiled a century ago by Sir Douglas Mawson, including a census of the penguin population at Cape Denison.

Turney said that gathering the new data was critical because it would allow climate scientists to document the effects of global warming on Antarctica.

The expedition’s Russian ship - with dozens of climate scientists aboard – had to be rescued after it got stuck in ice for 10 days.

The B09B iceberg, which broke off of the Ross Ice Shelf in 1987, ran aground off Cape Denison in Antarctica’s Commonwealth Bay in 2010, filling the bay with ice and blocking the penguins’ access to the open sea.

"The arrival of iceberg B09B in Commonwealth Bay, East Antarctica, and subsequent fast ice expansion has dramatically increased the distance Adelie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae) breeding at Cape Denision must travel in search of food," according to the study.

"Whilst some 5,520 pairs still breed at Cape Denison, there has been an order of magnitude decline in Adelie numbers in the area in comparison to the first counts a century ago and, critically, recent estimates based on satellite images and a census in 1997."
Satellite view of B09B iceberg in Antarctica's Commonwealth Bay. (NASA)

“Hundreds of abandoned eggs were noted, and the ground was littered with the freeze-dried carcasses of the previous season’s chicks,” the article continued, predicting that the colony could be completely wiped out in 20 years.

Turney told the Sydney Morning Herald that the remaining penguins “were incredibly docile, lethargic, almost unaware of your existence. The ones that are surviving are clearly struggling.”

However, the study acknowledged that “abandoned Adelie penguin colony sites are common,” and stated that another penguin colony located about five miles away was “thriving”.

Kerry-Jane Wilson, the study’s lead author, did not respond to an email from, asking her: “How do you know that that the 150,000 Adelie penguins missing from Cape Denison died? Isn't it possible that some or even most of them left the area and migrated to areas along the coast where they had access to food?”

Turney’s claim that the iceberg caused the deaths of 150,000 penguins in the Cape Denison colony was challenged by LiveScience’s Becky Oskin.

"Let's give the penguins a little credit," she wrote in a Feb. 16 article in Discovery. "There's no proof yet that the birds are dead. No one has actually found 150,000 frozen penguins."
Adelie penguins. (Wikipedia)

Oskin quoted Michelle LaRue, a penguin population expert at the University of Minnesota, who said that "just becasue there are a lot fewer birds observed doesn't automatically mean the ones that were there before have perished. They easily could have moved elsewhere, which would make sense if nearby colonies are thriving.”

In a 2013 study of Adelie penguins on Beaufort Island in Antarctica’s Ross Sea, LaRue and her colleagues found that penguins appeared to benefit from climate change because their numbers had increased 84 percent over the previous five decades.



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, 2016

Global Warming’s Personal Health Threat (?)

It had to happen:  Now the Zika virus is caused by global warming.  Since there has been no warming for over 18 years that is simply a lie.  And if warming does resume and tropical diseases move poleward that will be no great problem.  I grew up in the tropics so I can assure one and all that proper public health measures make life in the tropics no more onerous than anywhere else.  But I grew up in an advanced country. Backward tropical countries are a different kettle of fish -- not to be generalized from

When you think of the planet warming up, what are the primary threats you perceive? Rising seas? More hurricanes and tornadoes? Mass extinction of species? Those are the events many people would likely dismiss, especially if they don’t live too close to the sea or in a hurricane or tornado zone.

Partly because I cover the biotech world, when I think of global warming, I think of personal health risks — real risks to me and my family.

As the planet warms, more people who live in temperate climates like the United States are going to get sick — a lot more people. Extreme heat waves in summer will kill more people. Air pollution and temperature inversions will sicken many more people. Cases of asthma and allergies will rise. Droughts will diminish the food supply. We’ll literally run out of drinking water in certain areas. Algae blooms will make seafood poisonous. Floods will wash away houses where floods have never happened before.

The biggest danger to Americans from warming trends is easily missed — a tiny insect that’s really tough to control. The mosquito can bring us yellow fever, malaria, dengue, chikungunya and other diseases that have been rare in the United States. And make no mistake — these diseases are coming our way sooner rather than later.

The mosquito can bring us yellow fever, malaria, dengue, chikungunya and other diseases that have been rare in the United States. And make no mistake — these diseases are coming our way sooner rather than later.

So when the mosquito-vectored Zika virus showed up in Texas last month, I wasn’t surprised. Since then, we’ve seen something of a panic, with governors of states declaring health emergencies and calling for the Olympics in Brazil to be canceled. The World Health Organization has declared the virus to be an international health emergency. Men who have the virus — or who have had it — are now supposed to use a condom when having sex with pregnant partners, says the Centers for Disease Control. Whether a woman can pass the virus to a man sexually is unknown. A lot is unknown about the virus.

The potential results of a pregnant woman getting the virus may obviously be devastating to the fetus, yet the virus itself is only a mild health threat to the person who gets it. About 80% of people who get the Zika virus don’t even know they have it, although the disease can cause rashes, pinkeye, fevers, joint pains and conjunctivitis. There is no treatment because we have few effective antiviral medications. There is also no proof, other than circumstantial and epidemiological, that the virus actually does cause smaller heads and brain damage to fetuses — microcephaly.

Several types of mosquitoes in the United States can carry Zika, as well as yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya and malaria. Those diseases, largely unheard of in this country in recent decades, are likely to make a significant resurgence in America’s south. Because Zika is similar to diseases like dengue, a vaccine for it was already in the works and is likely to be developed within two years, says Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

But the Indians may have beaten the Americans to it. A company in Hyderabad, India, claims to have developed a vaccine for the Zika virus and to have filed a patent application for it nine months ago. The vaccine has not been put through human trials yet.

Meanwhile, prepare yourself for more tropical diseases to make their way north into the United States.


Plastic pollution threat 'on par to global warming'

Most of what is said below is probably right.  But there is an invisible elephant in the room:  Nobody is saying where the plastic is coming from.  Why?  Because it mostly comes from poor countries.  Developed countries are meticulous about what they do with their garbage.  So the problem is NOT something that "we" have to deal with at all.  And until someone gets the courage to point the finger to where the blame belongs, the problem will only grow worse

Seabirds are dying at an alarming rate from plastic in our oceans, while the pollution problem flies under the radar, a Senate inquiry has been told.

A seabird common to Australia is being killed by marine plastic pollution at the alarming rate of one in 10, a Senate inquiry has been told.

A study found 11 per cent of young flesh-footed shearwater birds - common visitors to Australian coasts - were dying from ingesting plastic or from plastic chemical contamination, the inquiry into the threat of marine plastic pollution heard.

"This would be happening in other species as well," the study's author, marine biologist Dr Jennifer Lavers, told a public hearing in Sydney on Thursday.

The inquiry, called for by Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, is investigating the impacts of marine plastic pollution on animals and ecosystems, fisheries, small business and human health.

Dr Lavers' research partner Ian Hutton said one bird was found with 274 pieces of plastic in its stomach - 14 per cent of its body weight.

"That's the equivalent of a human carrying a pillowcase full of plastic in his stomach," he said.

Dr Lavers said although the scale of the marine pollution problem was on par with major challenges such as global warming and sea level rise, research was chronically underfunded.

"This is a very, very significant, ubiquitous threat that is rapidly increasing in pace, showing absolutely no signs of stopping," she said.

"Our understanding of the complex issues, including things like chemical pollution, is so incredibly poor, we're really just starting at the basic level."

Clean Up Australia executive chairman Ian Kiernan called for governments to introduce container refund schemes like the one used in South Australia.

He also suggested plastic bottle caps and lids be permanently attached to their containers to cut down on waste entering waterways.

"(Plastic) is a fantastic product ... but it is a horrific waste material," he said.  "It is so durable, it is so cumulative.

"We have got to change our behaviour to address these problems."

Representatives from Oceanwatch and the Surfrider Foundation Australia are due to appear at the inquiry on Thursday afternoon.

A public hearing has been scheduled in Canberra next Friday, and another in Brisbane on March 10.


Now global warming causes strokes

The report below prresents NO data to show that global warming causes strokes.  It just asserts it.  It shows that high temperatures in polluted areas are associated with more strokes, nothing more.  But since there was no global warming in the study period, natural warming was the culprit

Pollution has many implications for public health; the most obvious concern is the respiratory system. A recent study has linked higher pollution levels to a higher total number of strokes, something researchers say affirms the growing evidence that overall air quality and climate change contribute to cardiovascular disease.

Presented at the International Stroke Conference, the study utilized data from both the United States and China because they “are the world’s two largest emitters of greenhouse gases and responsible for about one-third of global warming to date,” said Dr. Longjian Liu, lead study author and an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Drexel university, in a statment. The research is the first of its kind, investigating the interaction between stroke prevalence, air quality, and the potential effect of temperatures on the association.

The research team looked at air quality data from between 2010 and 2013, ranging across 1,118 counties in 49 states in America and 120 cities in 32 provinces in China. Particles in the air, including dust, liquid droplets, and smoke, are called particulate matter (PM) and measured in micrometers. The greatest health risk to humans is posed by particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5), particles produced by combustion from cars, forest fires, power plants, and other sources.

According to the study, the total number of stroke cases rose 1.19 percent for each 10 micrograms per cubic meter of air increase of PM2.5. In addition, Liu said, the team found a significant regional variation in PM2.5 levels that was linked to the number of stroke cases — for example, the southern region of America had the highest average annual Pm2.5, while the West had the lowest, which correlates with the fact that the South had the highest prevalence of stroke and the West had the lowest. The temperature also had an impact on both air quality and risk of stroke.

“Seasonal variations in air quality can be partly attributable to the climate changes,” Liu said. “In the summer, there are lots of rainy and windy days, which can help disperse air pollution. High temperatures create a critical thermal stress that may lead to an increased risk for stroke and other heat and air quality related illnesses and deaths.”

Liu added that stroke patients are also in danger of dehydration due to high temperature, and that women and the elderly appear to be more vulnerable to stroke due to air quality and heat-related diseases.

Stroke is among the leading causes of death in the United States, killing nearly 129,000 people every year. Worldwide prevalence stands at 33 million, and stroke is the second-leading cause of global death behind heart disease. Liu said that while people cannot control air quality, the findings provide evidence for public health policymakers to better protect citizens.


A last chance for coal

States can take advantage of the Clean Power Plan’s delay

States that rely on coal-fired electricity must take full advantage of the legal stay that the Supreme Court placed on implementation of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) last week. The ruling was close, 5-4, but the message was clear: The plan was viewed skeptically by the conservative majority of the court. The left-leaning District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that will rule on the merits of the CPP later this year would have had to be careful in their judgment, knowing that a strong decision in support of the regulation would likely be struck down by the high court.

But with the death of conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Saturday, things have changed. Since anyone that Mr. Obama nominates to replace Justice Scalia will likely be blocked by the Republican-dominated Senate, an appeal will almost certainly result in a 4-4 tie, leaving the Circuit Court’s judgment in place. Consequently, it is now virtually certain that the lower court will quickly rule in favor of the CPP.

It is therefore more important than ever that legislators from coal-dependent states use every means possible to help create a situation in which the next president will be politically able, or even compelled, to dump the plan. While continuing to highlight the damaging economic and employment consequences of the CPP, state leaders must also ensure that the public gets another message: The fundamental premise of Mr. Obama’s climate rules is wrong.

The science is too immature to know whether the future of climate and climate control through carbon-dioxide emission reduction is science fiction. Closing coal-fired power plants, the country’s cheapest source of electricity, in a vain attempt to stop global warming is irresponsible.

Most state legislators are too afraid of climate activists to question the science themselves. But they can easily do something else that is far more effective — invite scientists from both sides of the debate to testify in public hearings about the science the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says backs the plan.

The message in support of this strategy is simple: “No responsible government should continue to spend billions of dollars on any issue without regularly reviewing the underlying reasons for the expenditures,” state representatives could say. “We are therefore convening open, unbiased hearings into the current status of today’s climate science.”

By arranging for qualified scientists from all sides of the debate to testify in well-publicized sessions, coal states could easily expose the public to the intense controversies in the field. The anti-coal campaign would then lose its most powerful weapon — the supposedly settled science of climate change. Without legislators even committing to a position on what is arguably the most complex science ever tackled, support for Mr. Obama’s climate plans would quickly fade.

To get an idea of what state governments and the public would hear were such hearings to be held, consider the two most recent congressional testimonies of University of Alabama in Huntsville atmospheric science professor John R. Christy.

On Dec. 8, Mr. Christy told the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness:

 *  “Climate science is a murky science with large uncertainties on many critical components such as cloud distributions and surface heat exchanges.”

 *  “The claims about increases in frequency and intensity of extreme events are generally not supported by actual observations .”

 *  “It is not only clear that hot days have not increased, but in the most recent years there has been a relative dearth of them.”

 *  “There has not been any change in frequency of wildfires.”

 *  “Moisture conditions have not shown a tendency to have decreased (more drought) or increased (more large-scale wetness).”

On Feb. 2, Mr. Christy testified before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

 *  “The theory of how climate changes occur, and the associated impact of extra greenhouse gases, is not understood well enough to even reproduce the past climate. Indeed, the models clearly overcook the atmosphere. The issue for Congress here is that such demonstrably deficient model projections are being used to make policy.”

 *  “Regulations already enforced or being proposed, such as those from the Paris Agreement, will have virtually no impact on whatever the climate is going to do.”

Mr. Christy explained that even if the United States ceased to exist (and its emissions went to zero), the impact after 50 years as determined by climate models would be only 0.05 to 0.08 degrees Celsius — “an amount less than that which the global temperature fluctuates from month to month.”

Supporters of the Clean Power Plan will do everything in their power to prevent experts such as Mr. Christy from testifying before state committees. This is exactly why coal-dependent states must hold such hearings to help fend off EPA regulations that are ruining America’s most important source of electric power. Besides setting the stage for the next president to direct the agency to back off on the CPP, and on carbon-dioxide regulations in general, a better public understanding of the science could provide a supportive environment for petitions asking the EPA to reconsider its endangerment finding that is at the root of the issue.

That open, unbiased science hearings were not convened years ago by coal states is a travesty. But now, with the Supreme Court’s temporary stay in implementation of the plan, state legislators have one last chance to right this wrong.


Another Warmist fraud

A recent video featuring a gorilla named Koko appearing to use sign language to warn man of the dangers of global warming was staged, and animal communication experts say there is no way a gorilla could comprehend the complexities of global warming.

The video, shown at December’s Paris climate change conference, shows Koko use sign language to say things like “I am gorilla, I am flowers, animals, I am nature… Man Koko love… but man… man stupid… Koko cry, time hurry, fix Earth…”

The video was produced by a French environmental group and the gorilla Foundation, which cares for Koko the gorilla and notes on its website that the video was produced “with a script” and “edited from a number of separate takes, for brevity and continuity.”

Animal communication experts say the video is misleading.

“This group has been really upping the ante for making incredible exaggerated claims for her comprehension,” Barbara King, an anthropology professor at the College of William and Mary and the author of “How Animals Grieve,” told

King also worries that the ad, by exposing the idea of ape communication to ridicule, could undermine views about primates’ abilities.

“Koko is fabulous as she is. No one has to exaggerate. Scientists who do that -- it hurts our credibility. It really does.”

Although primates like gorillas can learn hundreds of words, there is no good evidence that they can learn grammar, according to Arizona State University Psychology Professor Clive Wynne.

That includes even the simplest grammar like word order, for instance the difference between “dog bites man” and “man bites dog.”

On tests to distinguish terms like those, even one of the world’s smartest apes got the right answer 57 percent of the time – barely better than guessing. And that involved overly-generous grading by the trainers, Wynne notes.

But while primates haven’t been able to learn grammar, they can do impressive things once thought impossible.

“Koko shows definite comprehension of spoken English,” King said. Koko knows an impressive 2,000 words and uses them to make requests and respond to questions.

“Koko can also come up with some pretty creative ways of putting two phrases together,” King noted. For example, Koko didn’t know the word for “ring” and reportedly combined two words she knew – “finger” and “bracelet” – to make her meaning clear.

Primates also show human-like grief, King said. “There was one gorilla whose long-term mate and friend died in the zoo, and he first tried to revive her, even bringing her favorite food to her and putting it in her hand and poking her,” she said.

“And then at some point he seemed to come to a really stunning realization that his friend was not going to move. I don’t know if that’s a concept of death, but his behavior changed and he let out a very agonizing wail and stopped trying to revive her. Clearly something cognitive and emotional happened to him at that moment.”

But animal experts agree that climate change is way beyond the understanding of gorillas.  “A complex phenomenon like climate change is not understood by many humans, let alone an ape,” Sally Boysen, an Ohio State University psychology professor, told

Even if Koko could understand climate change, experts disagree about the effect of climate change on primates. Warming has nearly paused over the last 17 years, and increases in the greenhouse gas CO2 in the atmosphere have increased plant growth.

However, Gorillas are threatened by other environmental harms, which have reduced the number of gorillas to just around 100,000. The main causes are slash-and-burn methods to clear African forests for agriculture, killings by hunters, and development in their habitats.

That has left some subspecies like Mountain Gorillas critically endangered with under 1,000 individuals left.

But while primates face serious environmental challenges and have impressive mental abilities compared to other animals, it’s still best not to get global warming advice from a gorilla.


Michigan questions some EPA demands regarding Flint water

Michigan's top environmental officer was by turns cooperative and confrontational with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a letter pledging to work with the federal government to ensure the safety of Flint's drinking water but challenging the legality and scope of some federal demands.

The interim director of the Department of Environmental Quality wrote Friday in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy that the state "is committed to working" with her department and Flint to deal with the city's lead-contamination problem. But Keith Creagh said the state has "legal and factual concerns" with an EPA order a day earlier taking state and city officials to task for their efforts so far and requiring them to take specific actions.

Creagh said Michigan "has complied with every recent demand" of the EPA and that Thursday's federal order "does not reference the tens of millions of dollars expended by ... the state for water filters, drinking water, testing and medical services."

"The order demands that the state take certain actions, but fails to note that many of those actions ... have already been taken," Creagh, who recently replaced an official who resigned over the water crisis, wrote in his required response to the EPA's order.

Flint's water became contaminated with lead when the city switched from the Detroit municipal system and began drawing from the Flint River in April 2014 to save the financially struggling city money. The water was not properly treated to keep lead from pipes from leaching into the supply. Some children's blood has tested positive for lead, a potent neurotoxin linked to learning disabilities, lower IQ and behavioral problems.

Creagh wrote that state officials don't know whether it's legal for the EPA to order Michigan to take such actions. Among other requirements, the EPA said the city should: submit plans for ensuring that Flint's water has adequate treatment, including corrosion controls; ensure city personnel are qualified to operate the water system in a way that meets federal quality standards; and create a website where the public can get information.

Earlier Friday, The Flint Water Advisory Task Force issued recommendations to Snyder aimed at restoring reliable drinking water in Flint. The advisory group said its recommendations are more detailed and comprehensive than what the EPA ordered, and Snyder said officials would "move as quickly as possible to determine the best way to achieve the results."

Separately, Snyder announced the suspensions of two employees of the state Department of Environmental Quality in connection with regulatory failures that led to the crisis.

Snyder reportedly also is hiring public relations specialists to help him deal with the Flint water crisis. Snyder chief of staff Jarrod Agen said public money won't be used to hire the Mercury firm, where Agen's wife is a senior vice president in a Florida office, according to the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press. Snyder spokesman Dave Murray didn't reveal how the PR team will be paid.

The advisory panel's recommendations to Snyder included working with the EPA staff on a comprehensive lead-sampling program and seeking help from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in assessing an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease and its cause.

"To help address both the technical issues facing Flint, as well as the public-trust issues, we believe it is imperative to have the right people and organizations involved," task force Co-Chairman Chris Kolb said. "Until the public trust starts to build, this crisis will continue."

Flint's public health emergency led to local, state and federal emergency declarations, the last of which could bring up to $5 million in direct funding to the city. The federal government denied a request for additional aid through a disaster declaration, saying the program is designed for natural disasters and therefore not appropriate for the city's drinking water crisis. The government announced Friday that it had denied an appeal of that decision by Snyder.

The unnamed DEQ employees who were suspended Friday pending investigations work in the agency's drinking water division, state spokesman Kurt Weiss said.

The agency's director and communications director resigned last month.

"Some DEQ actions lacked common sense, and that resulted in this terrible tragedy in Flint," Snyder said.

While much of the blame over the crisis has been directed at Snyder and state officials, particularly the Department of Environmental Quality, some have faulted the EPA's Region 5 office for not acting more forcefully.

The EPA's order to state and city officials came the same day that the agency announced that Susan Hedman, head of the agency's regional office in Chicago whose jurisdiction includes Michigan, was stepping down Feb. 1.



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, 2016

An attempt to use the law to shut up a  windmill critic fails

As a reward for her efforts to assist New Englanders threatened by industrial wind energy, citizen advocate Annette Smith was sued for practicing law. Fortunately this sham was resolved shortly, in favor of common sense

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has closed its investigation into a complaint about Annette Smith’s actions in various proceedings before the Public Service Board (PSB). The Office has closed the investigation without further action. "This Office considers the matter closed," The AG's office said in a statement Monday. Annette Smith has vigorously fought the complaint (see letter below). In December 2015 the Office received a complaint regarding Smith alleging that her conduct in various matters before the PSB constituted the unauthorized practice of law. Specifically, Smith was accused of regularly providing legal advice to parties in proceedings before the Public Service Board, as well as helping to draft pleadings for those parties. The complaint also represented that the minutes of an October 26, 2015, Town of Morgan Selectboard meeting characterized a proposed payment to Annette Smith as attorney compensation.

Pursuant to the rules of the Vermont Supreme Court, the unauthorized practice of law is punishable as criminal contempt of court. The prohibition of the unauthorized practice is intended to protect the public and society, not lawyers. The most recent definition articulated by the Vermont Supreme Court defines the practice of law as the furnishing to another advice or service under circumstances which imply the possession and use of legal knowledge and skill. In re Welch, 123 Vt. 180, 182 (1962).

By statute, the PSB is defined as a court of record and has all the powers of a trial court in determining matters within its jurisdiction, including the conduct of parties and interested persons that appear before it. Neither the PSB nor the Vermont Supreme Court have complained to this Office regarding Smith’s conduct. The complainant has not alleged that any of Smith’s conduct has harmed any individual.

The allegations regarding Smith fell in three broad categories – (1) she sought to represent individuals in proceedings before the PSB, (2) she sought or obtained attorney compensation from the Town of Morgan, and (3) she consulted with and prepared and filed pleadings for persons in PSB proceedings.

Regarding the first allegation, the record reveals that Smith sought to intervene in a matter pending at the PSB on behalf of her organization – Vermonters for a Clean Environment. The Vermont Supreme Court has recognized that in certain circumstances non-attorneys may represent organizations in judicial proceedings. Vermont Agency of Natural Resources v. Upper Valley Regional Landfill, 159 Vt. 454, 458 (1992). The record reveals that the PSB offered Smith and her organization the opportunity to file a friend of the court pleading in the matter. Thus, the PSB clearly did not oppose Smith’s participation as a non-party.

The complainant also alleges that Smith had sought or obtained attorney compensation from the Town of Morgan. Information obtained from the Town as part of this investigation establishes that at no time did Smith represent herself to be an attorney or seek compensation of any kind from the Town as an attorney or otherwise. Additionally, it does not appear that the Town has, in fact, paid her for services rendered to the Town. This Office concludes that there is no merit to this allegation.

Finally, with respect to the third category of allegations, the Vermont Supreme Court’s definition of the practice of law is not limited to actual appearances before judicial or quasi-judicial tribunals, but has been interpreted to extend to outside activities. This 54-year old definition does not, however, reflect the modern reality of advocacy before the growing number of judicial and quasi-judicial boards and commissions that have been created since its adoption. By way of example, a rule of the Natural Resources Board Act allows a person to be represented by a non-attorney while the PSB allows an organization, but not an individual, to be so represented. Clarification of the scope of the practice of law is needed. Any definition of the practice of law must recognize the diversity of advocacy before different forums at the state and local levels, should not abridge First Amendment rights, and should insure that Vermonters have access to justice.


Offshore Wind Turbine Maintenance Cost Fiasco: “100 Times More Expensive Than A New Turbine Itself”!

A press release by Germany’s Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft reports how offshore North and Baltic Sea wind turbines need to be in operation for 25 years before they become profitable, but that they are prone to shortened lifespans due to rust from the harsh sea environment.

As a result the wind turbine installations need extra and very costly maintenance to ensure that they survive long enough. It’s turning out to be an insurmountable challenge.

Maintenance to turbines cannot be done at a dry dock, rather, because they are permanently fixed out to sea, repair work and maintenance have to be done offshore in raw and windy conditions. Not only is this expensive, but it also puts the lives and limbs of repair personnel at risk.

This is the reason engineers and researchers are trying to find ways to better protect offshore wind power systems from the brutal elements. Protection of vulnerable metal surfaces is planned to be achieved by developing and applying new surface films, but this is still very much in development.

100 times the cost of a new turbine

The figure that is especially astonishing about offshore wind power turbines is that the “maintenance and repair costs of offshore wind turbines over the years add up to be a hundred times the cost of the new turbine itself,” says Peter Plagemann of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology and Applied Material Science (IFAM) in Bremen.  Plagemann adds:

    "While a metal coating during the construction of a turbine on land can cost up to 20 to 30 euros per square meter, it can be several thousand euros for offshore turbines.”

This is yet just another huge and costly technical obstacle faced by offshore windparks. It’s going to be an expensive mess come clean-up time.


Global Warming Fund a Slush Fund for World’s Dictators

Wherever you stand on the subject of global warming, pay close attention to one under-reported aspect of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Paris Agreement. I am referring to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which is a financial mechanism intended "to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change." According to the current estimates, developed countries will be obliged to contribute up to $450 billion a year by 2020 to the GCF, which will then "redistribute" the money to developing countries allegedly suffering from the effects of global warming.

Lo and behold, Zimbabwe's government-run daily "newspaper" The Herald repored that "Southern Africa is already counting the costs of climate change-linked catastrophes… In Zimbabwe, which has seen a succession of droughts since 2012, a fifth of the population is facing hunger… feeding them will cost $1.5 billion or 11 percent of... the Gross Domestic Product."

No doubt Robert Mugabe, the 91-year-old dictator who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, is salivating at the prospect of some global warming cash. Beginning in 2000, Mugabe started to expropriate privately-held agricultural land. The result of what what is euphemistically called "land reform," was a monumental fall in productivity and the second highest bout of hyperinflation in recorded history.

Some three million of Zimbabwe's smartest people, including tens of thousands of doctors and lawyers, have left the country. Most of those who have remained behind are subsistence farmers with very little wealth. There is, in other words, very little loot left for the government to steal.

Thankfully for the Zimbabwean dictator, there are plenty of gullible Westerners willing to believe that the frighteningly vile and comically incompetent government isn't at the root of Zimbabwe's food shortages, but that global warming is to blame. Of course, this is pure nonsense. Botswana and Zimbabwe share a border and their climate and natural resources are exceptionally similar. Yet, since 2004, food production has increased by 29 percent in Botswana, while declining by 9 percent in Zimbabwe. It is not drought but government policies that make nations starve!

As befits an African dictatorship, Zimbabwe is one of the most corrupt places on earth. The notion that GCF funds will be will used for environmental "adaptation and mitigation" is a dangerous fantasy. Like much foreign aid before it, most of the "green aid" money will likely end up in the pockets of some of the cruelest and most corrupt people on earth. The U.S. Congress must stand firm and refuse to appropriate any money for the fund.


Rockefeller Heir’s Global Warming Activism Is More Self-Serving Than Noble

Rockefeller money behind attacks on Rockefeller company

An heir of oil baron John D. Rockefeller donated all her shares in Exxon Mobil and will use the proceeds to fight global warming, and the non-profit she’s donating her shares to finances her academic work and attacks against Exxon.

“I thought the company was being foolish,” Neva Rockefeller Goodwin wrote in The Los Angeles Times Monday about Exxon’s insistence on selling oil and gas.

“But we now know it was worse: it was being deceitful, in a way that is almost unimaginably heartless to future generations,” Goodwin wrote about reports Exxon was funding global warming skeptics while internally conducting research on climate science.

Goodwin bases her claims on reporting “by two publications, working independently of each other —InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times” which shows “starting in the late 1970s, Exxon’s scientists were leaders both in understanding the role of carbon emissions in global warming and in projecting its effects.”

Goodwin added: “By the mid-1980s, however, the company… began to finance think tanks and researchers who cast doubt on the reliability of climate science.”

Neither Goodwin nor The LA Times note these “independent” reports of Exxon’s alleged climate deceit are funded by the same non-profit Goodwin donated her Exxon shares too and which funds her academic work.

Last year, InsideClimate News and Columbia University’s Energy and Environmental Reporting Project (which published its work in The LA Times) both got funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) — a non-profit founded by Rockefeller’s heirs which backs anti-fossil fuel activists and campaigns.

Inside Philanthropy, a foundation watchdog, noted RBF was instrumental in funding anti-Keystone XL oil pipeline campaigns and other environmental campaigns.

“RBF is not afraid of a fight, and it has been a supporter lately of efforts to block the Keystone XL pipeline,” according to Inside Philanthropy. “[I]t gave $50,000 to the League of Conservation Voters in 2013 to educate voters on the issues around Keystone and has addressed the broader threat posed by tar sands oil through a half-million-dollar grant to the Sierra Club Foundation.”

“In the past few years, RBF also has been a major funder of — a group at the forefront of the Keystone fight and other activist efforts to raise awareness about climate change,” Inside Philanthropy reports.

Not only does RBF fund the two news groups bashing Exxon’s handling of global warming science and environmental activists, the non-profit also funds the academic think tank which employs Goodwin.

Goodwin is an academic economist and co-director of the Global Development And Environment Institute at Tufts University. The Institute lists RBF as one of its supporters, and Goodwin’s own curriculum vitae shows she was a trustee and vice-chair of RBF’s board until 2009 — none of these details are disclosed in her LA Times op-ed.

Despite her close ties to RBF, The Times allows Goodwin to claim “Exxon Mobil is positioned to supplant Big Tobacco as global Public Enemy No. 1.”

“Even before Exxon Mobil feels the loss in spending power among its expected developing country clients, public anger is likely to find other ways to take the company down,” Goodwin wrote. “Just when Exxon’s stock price will begin to reflect these realities is hard to predict. But I’m glad that the recipients of my Exxon stock sold it immediately.”

This is the latest chapter in environmentalists’ fight against Exxon Mobil. Last year, InsideClimate News and Columbia University came out with reports claiming Exxon, a successor company to Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, was employing scientists sounding the alarm on global warming while publically funding groups skeptical of man-made warming.

“At the same time, Exxon scientists warned the company of more dire climate change implications — for the planet and corporate revenue,” Goodwin wrote. “These findings were given to the company’s management, but not released to shareholders or to securities regulators.”

The news reports fired up environmentalist attacks on Exxon, and even got liberal politicians to call on the Justice Department to investigate the company. The attorneys general of New York and California have launched investigations into whether or not Exxon misled investors by not disclosing global warming risks in its shareholder reports.

Exxon, however, fought back against the RBF-backed newsgroups last year, claiming they “distorted” documents and interviews in an effort to smear the company.

“Columbia’s team ignored statements, included in the same documents they cited, demonstrating that our researchers recognized the developing nature of climate science at the time, which mirrored global scientific understanding,” Exxon lead spokesman Kenneth Cohen wrote in a letter to Colombia’s president in obtained by Politico.

Columbia fired back, claiming they did nothing wrong, but media attention also turned to The LA Times’ publishing of Columbia’s reporting — without disclosing they were backed by RBF. In fact, Columbia didn’t disclose its funding from RBF until after it had published its Exxon attack pieces.

The LA Times also did not initially disclose Columbia’s connection to RBF in articles they published on the journalism school’s behalf — though they eventually added such a disclosure.


‘Profound Lifestyle Changes:’ Leaked Gov’t Docs Show What’s Really Behind The Global Warming Agenda

Fighting global warming will require “profound lifestyle changes” for millions of people, according to leaked European Union documents obtained by The Guardian.

“It will require exploring possibilities for realising ‘negative’ emissions as well as profound lifestyle changes of current generations,” read the document laying out the European Commission’s agenda. It was presented to foreign ministers in Belgium Monday.

“The potential scale of such a deep transformation will require a wide societal debate in Europe,” according to the document which calls for a European-wide debate on how people need to change their day-to-day lives to fight warming.

For years, European regulators have been trying to fight global warming through a variety of schemes targeting people’s energy consumption. From cap-and-trade, to high energy taxes, to green energy mandates, little has actually worked to drastically decrease carbon dioxide emissions.

In recent years, environmentalists have even been frustrated by Europe’s cap-and-trade system. In 2013, carbon prices in the EU’s cap-and-trade system hit rock bottom and it became economical to once again start burning coal — environmentalists then deemed the system “worthless.”

Europe’s CO2 emissions have come down, but it’s not clear climate policies have had any appreciable effect on this trend — since CO2 intensity of the economy is always decreasing as industries use energy more efficiently.

“CO2 intensity in the economy has come down,” environmental economist Richard Tol told a crowd gathered at the libertarian Cato Institute last fall, “but you can’t really see a trend break in 1990. It just seems that the last 20 years were a continuation of the trends of the 20 years before.”

“And this is true for the United states, where there has been some climate policy, but it’s also true for some of the countries — Germany, Japan, United Kingdom — who have consistently claimed to be in climate policy and claim to have done a whole lot to reduce their emissions,” Tol said. “It’s just not visible in the data.”

EU leaders are now looking to capitalize on the United Nations Paris deal that was hashed out in December as a way to kickstart policy debates over how to change the way people live after years of failed energy schemes.

As part of the U.N. treaty, the EU has pledged to cut CO2 emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. But the leaked document added even deeper cuts that could be on the way after the U.N. publishes its next climate report in 2018.

It’s not exactly clear what sorts of “profound lifestyle changes” the EU wants its population to make, but the U.N. has put forward suggestions in several reports on how they want people to lower their environmental footprint.

One major activity the U.N. is targeting is what people eat. The U.N. basically wants people to eat less red meat and even supplement their diets with insects.

For years, U.N. officials have been pushing rich countries to cut red meat out of their diets because of methane emissions from cows and the amount of water it takes to sustain livestock.

“Keeping meat consumption to levels recommended by health authorities would lower emissions and reduce heart disease, cancer, and other diseases,” former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan told The Guardian last year.

“And of course there are alternative sources of protein. For example, raising insects as an animal protein source,” Annan said. “Insects have a very good conversion rate from feed to meat. They make up part of the diet of two billion people and are commonly eaten in many parts of the world.”


‘Keep it in the ground’ at work in the real world

Going forward, we know what the new year of environmental activism looks like. They have told us. They have made it perfectly clear. They call it: Keep it in the ground.

The campaign is about all fossil fuels: oil, gas, and coal. Instead of an all of the above energy policy, when it comes to fossil fuels, they want none of the above. A big part of the effort is focused on preventing the extraction of fossil fuels on public lands — which is supported by presidential candidates Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton. The recent moratorium of leasing federal lands for coal mining, announced by Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell, is considered a great victory for keep it in the ground.

I wrote about the movement in December. Last month, the Los Angeles Times published an opinion editorial for one of its leaders, Bill McKibben: How to drive a stake through the heart of zombie fossil fuel. In it, McKibben states: In May, a coalition across six continents is being organized to engage in mass civil disobedience to ‘keep it in the ground.’

While big news items fuel the fight, smaller, symbolic wins are part of the strategy. Introducing the plan late last year, The Hill states: It stretches into local fights, over small drilling wells, coal mines and infrastructure.

Here’s what keep it in the ground looks like in the real world — in local fights and over small drilling wells.

In a suburb of Albuquerque known more for computer chip-making than crude oil extraction, the anti-fossil fuel crowd is doing everything they can to prevent a small drilling well from being developed.

In Rio Rancho, New Mexico, the major employer is Intel. It is also home to several call centers — though the Sprint call center just announced it is closing and cutting 394 jobs. New Mexico has the nation’s highest jobless rate: 6.8 percent.

Rio Rancho is in Sandoval County — which currently, in the northern part of the county, has 600 oil-and-gas wells on tribal or federal lands. According to the NM Tax Research Institute, in 2013, when oil prices were higher, Sandoval County producers shipped 1.08 million barrels of oil worth $86 million and 394.1 million MCF (one MCF = one thousand cubic feet) of natural gas worth $1.6 billion.

After leasing the mineral rights last year, an Oklahoma company, SandRidge Energy Inc., is hoping to drill an exploratory well. The well, which has already received approval from the state Oil and Conversation Division (OCD), is about four miles outside of the Rio Rancho city limits, reports the Albuquerque Journal. It will be a vertical well, drilled to a depth of 10,500 feet—which is expected to take about 25 days. Until the well is drilled and logged, engineers will not know whether the resource will warrant development or, if it does, if it will require hydraulic fracturing. The OCD permit is to drill, complete, and produce the well. Jami Grindatto, president and CEO of the Sandoval Economic Alliance says the environmental footprint would be small.

Several previous exploratory wells have been drilled in the Albuquerque Basin that were determined not to be economically viable — though oil was found.

To begin drilling, SandRidge needs a zoning variance from the county. On December 10, the Planning and Zoning Committee held a contentious meeting to hear public comment on the SandRidge application. So many wanted to speak, there wasn’t time, nor space, to accommodate them. Another meeting, in a larger venue, was scheduled for January 28. There, dozens of people spewed generic talking points against fracking; speaking vaguely about pollution, earthquakes, and/or water contamination. The Committee, to no avail, asked presenters to stay on topic and address just this one well — this application.

A few folks braved the hostile crowd and spoke in support of the project — only to be booed.

It was in this atmosphere that the Committee recommended that the County Commissioners deny the request. Essentially, they threw up their hands and acknowledged that they weren’t equipped to deal with the intricacies of the application — which is why such decisions are better made at the state levels, where there are engineers and geologists who understand the process.

The Sandoval County Commissioners may still approve the special use permit at the February 18 meeting — as they are the final decision makers.

In December, Sandoval County Commissioner James Dominguez, District 1, said he has some major concerns that the drilling could compromise the water supply and air quality in Rio Rancho. KOAT News cites Dominguez as saying: I know that eventually, in time, it will pollute our water sources — this despite the definitive August 2015 EPA study released that confirmed hydraulic fracturing does not pollute the water supply.

In the past few years, when oil prices were higher, Encana and WPX drilled some 200 wells in the same geology, 70 of them in Sandoval County. Not one single instance of any interference, damage, or invasion of fresh water aquifers has occurred. For that matter, over the past 50 years of production in Sandoval County, even with technology and safety standards that were not as advanced or rigorous as todays, there has not been one instance of aquifer harm. Perhaps the upcoming meeting will be an opportunity to provide more factual information to the political decision makers. (Readers are encouraged to send supportive comments to the commissioners and/or attend the February 18 meeting.)

One small drilling well outside of a community on the edge of Albuquerque that could create jobs and help the local and state economy could be blocked because of a few dozen agitators who could cause the county to keep it in the ground.

One day later, another small band from the anti-fossil-fuel movement also celebrated an almost insignificant victory that adds to the momentum. This one in California.

On January 29, a settlement was reached in a lawsuit environmental groups filed two years against two federal agencies that they claim permitted offshore fracking and other forms of high-pressure well stimulation techniques: the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). The settlement requires public notice for any future offshore applications for fracking and acidification. Additionally, the agencies have agreed to provide what’s termed a programmatic environmental assessment of the potential impacts of such techniques on the coastal environment.

To read the press releases from the environmental groups, one would think that these government agencies were in cahoots with ExxonMobil and that they were sneaking around, letting the oil companies run amok. In fact, the companies who’ve applied for drilling permits, have followed a very stringent application process — under which they were approved. However, once exploratory wells were drilled, they were found not to be good candidates for hydraulic fracturing.

A consulting petroleum geologist, with more than 30 years’ experience—almost exclusively in California — explained it to me this way: There’s not a lot of hydraulic fracturing going on offshore, because, similar to most of California, it simply isn’t effective. Most of the rocks are adequately fractured by Mother Nature. Generally speaking fracking is effective in a few places where it has been used without incident since the 1940s. It is not an issue.

The settlement requires a programmatic environmental assessment be completed by May 28 — during which time the agencies will withhold approval of drilling permits. Sources I spoke with, told me that this, too, was not a big deal — which would explain why ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute agreed not to oppose the settlement. In the current low-priced oil environment companies are not clamoring for new drilling targets. It is believed that once the assessment is complete, the existing requirements will be found to be appropriate and permitting can move forward.

Additionally, offshore rigs are currently shutdown in the region — an overreaction to a pipeline break last spring.

So, if this settlement is much ado about nothing, why even bring it up? Because, it is an example of those local fights; the little wins that motive the keep it in the ground movement and encourage them for the bigger fights — like hydraulic fracturing in the deep water Gulf of Mexico.

These two stories are likely just a sampling of the battles being played out in county commissions and government agencies throughout America. As in these cases, a small handful of activists are shaping policy that affects all of us and impacts the economics of our communities by, potentially, cutting funding for education and public services.

Keep it in the ground is the new face of environmental activism. If those who understand the role energy plays in America and our freedoms don’t engage, don’t attend meetings and send statements, and don’t vote, the policy makers have almost no choice but to think these vocal few represent the many.



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17 February, 2016

Arctic shipping passage 'still decades away'

For years now, Warmists have been saying that this will happen "real soon now".  Reality bites fantasy once again

Ordinary merchant ships will not be able to take an ice-free shortcut from China to Europe until at least 2040, report predicts

It will be decades before big cargo ships link China and northern Europe by taking a shortcut through the Arctic Ocean, a report predicts.

Climate change, retreating summer ice and the prospect of shorter journey times and 40% lower fuel costs has led Russia, European governments and some industries to expect a major ice-free shipping lane to open above Russia, allowing regular, year-long trade between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans within a few years.

But, says the Copenhagen Business School in a new paper, low bunker fuel prices, a short sailing season and continuing treacherous ice conditions in the Arctic even in summer months means it could be 2040 at the earliest before it is commercially viable for ordinary merchant ships to pass through what is known as the northern sea route.

Until then it will remain cheaper to send trade between Europe and the east via the Suez canal, it says.

The conclusions of the report were backed this month by the powerful Danish Shipowners’ Association, which includes 40 major shipping companies such as Maersk, the world’s largest. Denmark has the eighth largest fleet in the world and would stand to gain the most in Europe if the northern sea route opened.

We have gone from hyper-optimism to total realism. The world economy was developed on the basis of a high oil price. The northern sea route seemed viable [a few years ago] but now it’s not the case. The route has vast potential but it will take a long time to open up, said Anne H. Steffensen, director of the association at a meeting of Arctic country ministers and industry in Tromsø.

Russia has tried to open up the Arctic to international traffic by offering icebreaker service and better port facilities. But cargo in transit along the northern sea route dropped from 1.3m tonnes in 2013 to 300,000 tonnes in 2014. Last year only 100,000 tonnes was transported between Asia and Europe on the route. However, there was a big rise in the number of vessels going to and from Russian Arctic ports.

The Copenhagen Business School report, which compares the costs of building ice-reinforced ships suitable for the northern sea route, to existing costs of using the Suez canal, includes fuel prices, wait times, lengths of journey, canal fees and different sea conditions. It concludes that trade is unlikely to open up the northern route for decades.

It expects the Arctic sea ice to be too thick and treacherous for many years, requiring expensive ice breakers and strengthened hulls.

The Arctic navigation season is currently too short and ice conditions are too unpredictable for liner shipping to be feasible. Arctic liner shipping will only become a viable alternative to the contemporary shipping lanes if global warming continues to melt the ice cover along the North-west passage and the Northern sea route.

It is highly unlikely that large-scale containerised cargo transports will appear in the near future. The question then arises: when, if ever, will the ice conditions allow for continuous and economically feasible container transport along the route?

The greatest potential for the use of ice-reinforced container ships was found if the speed of global warming increased and the price of fuel is high. But even in this scenario, the cost per container was about 10% higher than going via the Suez canal route.

Scientists have predicted that ordinary vessels would be able travel easily along the northern sea route, and moderately ice-strengthened ships should be able to pass over the pole itself by 2050.

Russian authorities still sees a bright future for shipping along its northern shoreline, but not as a busy international shipping route. It is 100% sure that the northern sea route will be no alternative to the Suez Canal, Russia’s deputy minister of transport, Viktor Olersky, told the Arctic Circle 2015 assembly.


What Do We Know About CO2 and Global Atmospheric Temperatures?

by Willie Soon, David R. Legates, & Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

How much will the doubling of CO2 in the air warm the global temperature? How do scientists take an accurate measurement of the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere? Why can scientists better measure atmospheric temperatures from satellites than surface temperatures from ground thermometers?

Despite large uncertainties and many unknowns in Earth Science, scientists have a reasonable understanding of the answers to these questions.

Atmospheric CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and therefore, an increase of its concentration in the atmosphere will tend to warm the air. But the latest scientific research by William Happer of Princeton University has shown that the belief that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will cause directly a 1°C warming of the globe may be incorrect. Indeed, the more likely answer is that a doubling of CO2 will cause only a 0.6°C warming, or about 40% less than previously thought. This makes it even more important to take with caution the excessive impact of CO2 on global air temperatures.

Complicating our understanding is that many processes involving the atmosphere, the ocean, and the land surface which affect the warming effect of CO2 are highly complex and largely incompletely understood. Those rushing to transition from a fossil fuel-based world economy to the wickedly named decarbonized future tout a relationship between a doubling of CO2 and global temperatures as large as 4 to 5°C. But how can such a calculation have any basis in scientific fact when the processes that form clouds, rainfall, snow, and ice — as well as the flow of air and ocean currents — are so imprecisely understood? How is it possible to create an accurate climate model given such uncertainties?

So, how well can we measure the consequences of CO2 on global air temperatures? Even this simple question is marred with half-truths and distortions arising from the politics of global climate change.

It is universally accepted that the most direct impact of atmospheric CO2 will be the warming of the lowest six miles of air. This is the layer that is best measured by satellites and balloon-borne instruments rather than surface-based thermometers which under-represent the poles, the tropics, the high altitudes, and the oceans. In short, thermometers are biased to where people live and confined to measure only the air within six feet of the ground. Satellites, by contrast, are not limited spatially and can estimate global temperatures in the lowest six miles, not six feet, of air.

But of late, anthropogenic climate change believers are pushing thermometer-based analyses and dismissing satellite observations. Why? For nearly the last two decades, satellite- and balloon-borne instruments have not detected any significant warming -- which does not support the climate change disaster scenarios the believers wish to promote. Besides, the bias associated with surface thermometers can easily be manipulated with subjective bias adjustments which allows the data to support the global warming hype.

A recent paper published in Earth Science Reviews (by W. Soon, R. Connolly and M. Connolly) discusses and demonstrates that the post-1970 warming, as measured by surface-based thermometers, was highly exaggerated by non-climate related factors such as changes in location, the time-of-observation bias, urbanization effects, and changes in land use as well as by changes in the measurement of sea-surface temperature and the fair-weather bias (ships tend to avoid storms) to estimate air temperature over the oceans.

However, the most important problem with thermometer/surface-based assessments is that the most important signal arising from CO2 impacts lies higher in troposphere — at about six miles — rather than at the surface. Satellite observations have provided a nearly complete global coverage since about 1979, providing us with an excellent record extending more than 35 years. These observations indicate that the atmosphere warmed slightly since 1979 but its temperature has remained relatively constant over the past fifteen years or so — despite the dramatic increase in CO2 concentrations.  This makes it hard to argue that global temperature changes are largely driven by changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) cling to their bias-adjusted surface temperature record because it yields a far more continuous and rapid rate of warming than what was deduced from satellites and weather balloons records. This is consistent with the exaggerated CO2 disastrously warms the planet meme that, in part, keeps their funding levels high. Recently, they released a newer version that exaggerates the warming even further. Detailed explanations for their revisions — published in Science in June of 2015 — are not convincing but it is clear that their main effort was focused on making sure that the pause in air temperature increases over the past two decades vanished. The editor-in-chief of Science magazine, Dr. Marcia McNutt, proclaimed at a climate symposium in January that the revision eliminates the [global warming] hiatus. Scientists from NOAA and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory also wrote in Science that whether or not the early 21st century global warming hiatus existed is not important.

It is appropriate for us to offer a reminder from our colleague, the late Professor Bob Carter, who as early as 2006 warned that There IS [sic.] a problem with global warming… it stopped in 1998… In truth, however, the biggest part of the problem is neither environmental nor scientific, but a self-created political fiasco.

From a physics standpoint, the impact of increasing CO2 causes a relatively and disproportionately larger warming in the atmosphere than near the ground. Is there a problem, therefore, with the satellite record or the way in which it measures air temperature?

As previously mentioned and usually ignored by the believers, thermometers provide a poor spatial coverage of the Earth’s surface. By contrast, satellites carry instruments that accurately measure the amount of energy in thermal infrared and microwave wavelengths which directly relates to the temperature of the lower atmosphere (where most of the air resides and where the CO2 signal should be strongest) with nearly complete spatial coverage.

Global estimates of air temperature by satellites are independently produced by scientists from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH), and their methods have been well-discussed and compared in the scientific literature.  Both groups show that global temperatures in the lowest six miles show no warming trend since 2002 (we start in 2002 mainly because the new global atmospheric temperature data record [labeled ROM SAF in the top panel] is available only starting September 2001 and partly to avoid the effect of the strong El Nino and La Nina between 1997 and 2001 – see graph below).

The big complaint leveled against the satellite record is that their estimates are contaminated by the decay of satellite orbits, changes in the satellite orientation over time, and the piecing together of several satellites to complete the record since 1979. While these issues allow for more physically-based adjustments than with the thermometer record (note that new satellites overlap with older ones and that satellite orbital decay is well-documented), the balloon data corroborate the satellite record.

In addition, a third method of measuring global temperature over the lower atmosphere — using the series of GPS (Global Positioning System) satellites — can be obtained by accurately  measuring the propagation of radio waves through the atmosphere. The importance of this new method is that a near-complete coverage of the Earth is afforded and that global atmospheric temperature can be determined without requiring any complex satellite inter-calibration. Only the precise atomic clock is needed to measure the relative delay in propagation of radio waves through the atmosphere which, in turn, allows for a direct assessment of the atmospheric temperature over the lower portion of the atmosphere.

Unsurprisingly, the GPS-based method confirms what was measured by the thermal infrared/microwave radiometers aboard other satellites; that the nearly-two-decade-long temperature hiatus is real and the thermometer-based record is the oddball. More specifically, global atmospheric temperatures are not warming in the way predicted by the CO2-driven climate models, which serves to argue that CO2 does not act as the thermostat for global atmospheric temperatures.

An objectively science-based decision is clear: The preponderance of the evidence suggests that a discernable CO2-influence on the climate has been grossly overstated. So will you choose the scientific decision or rely on the politically-driven thermometer adjustments? Our future rides on the answer to this question.


The Windmills of Bernie’s Mind

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders in December introduced a sweeping renewable-energy plan that would, among other things, require tens of thousands of new wind turbines. Sen. Sanders’s “people before polluters” proposal may help rally his followers, but it won’t be so well received in rural America, where resistance to wind farms has been building. Nowhere is the backlash stronger than in Mr. Sanders’s state.

On Jan. 5, Vermont state Sens. John S. Rodgers and Robert Starr, both Democrats, introduced a bill (S. 210) that would ban wind projects above 500 kilowatts (an average industrial wind turbine has a capacity of 1.5 megawatts or more). Twenty-four co-sponsors filed an identical bill in Vermont’s lower chamber on Jan. 20.

Mr. Rodgers called the growing resistance to wind projects “a rebellion” at a news conference in Montpelier, the state capital. “I know of no place in the state where we can place industrial wind turbines without creating an unacceptable level of damage to our environment and our people.”

Wind-generated electricity in the U.S. has more than tripled since 2008, but opposition to the gigantic turbines, which can stand more than 500 feet, has been growing. In Vermont several protesters were arrested in 2011 and 2012 while trying to stop work on a wind project built on top of Lowell Mountain.

In March 2015 the Northeastern Vermont Development Association, a regional planning commission that covers 21% of the state’s land area, voted unanimously in favor of a resolution that said “no further development of industrial-scale wind turbines should take place in the Northeast Kingdom.”

In October residents of Irasburg overwhelmingly voted down, 274-9, a proposed five-megawatt wind project near their town. In November residents of Swanton met to consider a seven-turbine wind project proposed to be built atop nearby Rocky Ridge. The tally: 731 votes against, 160 in favor. And in December the town select board in Fairfield, a few miles southeast of Swanton, declared its opposition to the same project.

Mr. Sanders’s target is for the U.S. to get 80% of its energy from renewables by 2050. The plan calls for 25% of Vermont’s energy needs to be produced from wind—a giant expansion. In 2014, according to the American Wind Energy Association, Vermont’s 119 megawatts of installed turbine capacity generated about 4% of the electricity produced in the state.

Vermont’s bill appears to be the first effort by state legislators to outright ban large wind projects, but dozens of governmental entities have rejected or restricted such developments over the past year. In May 2015 commissioners in Stark County, N.D., rejected a $250 million wind project being pushed by Florida-based NextEra Energy, America’s biggest wind-energy producer.

In July the town board of Somerset, N.Y., voted to oppose a proposed 200-megawatt project known as Lighthouse Wind. And the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a ban on large wind turbines in the county’s unincorporated areas.

“Wind turbines create visual blight,” said Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. Skyscraper-size turbines, he added, would “contradict the county’s rural dark skies ordinance which aims to protect dark skies in areas like Antelope Valley and the Santa Monica Mountains.”

In Iowa, a three-turbine wind project pushed by a company called Optimum Renewables has been rejected by three different counties, most recently in August by the Black Hawk County Board of Adjustment, after more than 100 local residents expressed concerns.

And in December Maine’s Partnership for the Preservation of the Downeast Lakes Watershed, a tiny group that had been fighting a $100 million, 40-megawatt project known as Bowers Wind, prevailed when the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld a ruling by the state’s Board of Environmental Protection, which had previously rejected the project.

Why are so many Vermonters opposed to wind energy? The Sanders presidential campaign did not respond to questions. But Sen. Rodgers told me by email that the state must protect its tourism industry. “People come here from around the world for our scenic vistas and rural working landscape.” Asked whether concerns about climate change should trump the concerns of rural communities, Mr. Rodgers was frank: “Destroying the natural environment in the name of climate change is moronic.”


Marine species can survive in very hot and acidic conditions

The exact opposite of what Warmists often assert

They don't have laser beams attached to their heads, but these sharks are living in a volcano.

Kavachi, near the Solomon Islands, is one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the world.

The volcano's peak lies 25 metres below the surface, and when it isn't erupting the crater is overflowing with orange hydrothermal fluid which can be seen for a kilometre or more downstream.

A team of scientists studying its geothermal activity made the unexpected discovery of sharks swimming around in the hot, acidic waters inside its crater.

Researchers from the University of Queensland and the Queensland University of Technology sent expendable drifting robots over the surface plume to measure temperature and gas exchange, according to The Coral Triangle.

At least two species of shark, a sixgill stingray, and snapper fish, have been filmed living in the crater at a depth of 45m.

The discovery of fish in such hostile conditions, dubbed the "Sharkcano", has introduced a slew of new questions about the ecology of submarine volcanoes and hydrothermal vents. 

Ocean engineer Brennan Phillips told National Geographic: "These large animals are living in what you have to assume is much hotter and much more acidic water.

"It makes you question what type of extreme environment these animals are adapted to. What sort of changes have they undergone? Are there only certain animals that can withstand it?"


Lawrence Solomon: It’s ‘game over’ for global warming activists

Environmentalists’ faint hope that they can get international action on climate change gets fainter by the day. This week the United States Supreme Court added to their despair by kiboshing President Obama’s pledge, at December’s climate talks in Paris, to lead the world on climate change. This could be the proverbial string which causes Paris to unravel, The New York Times reported.

At the heart of Obama’s Paris pledge was his Clean Power Plan, an executive order hyped as the first-ever carbon pollution standards for existing power plants. The plan, rolled out with much fanfare prior to the Paris meetings to create a sense of momentum, was designed to shut down America’s fleet of coal-powered generating plants. The White House boasted its plan would help reduce CO2 emissions by 32 per cent by 2030 and lead to 30 per cent more renewable energy generation in 2030.

Except it was an empty boast based on an unconstitutional plan, said 29 states and state agencies, which successfully argued that the Obama plan needed congressional approval to proceed. The Supreme Court agreed to an immediate halt of Obama’s plan, sending it to a lower court and all but guaranteeing that, when Obama leaves office in 2017, the plan will remain in deep freeze.

India, China and other countries that were cajoled into making carbon-cutting commitments at Paris are now under no pressure to cut emissions either. As one adviser to China’s Paris delegation put it, Look, the United States doesn’t keep its word. Why make so many demands on us? U.S. environmental groups concur. If the U.S. isn’t moving on climate action, it makes it really hard to go back to other countries and say, ‘Do more, we’re delivering,’ admits the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Not that any of the carbon reduction demands were binding, or even meaningful. The Paris talks succeeded only in continuing the pretense that the countries of the world were morally committed to action on climate change. Now even that pretense is vanishing. Seven years after Obama declared that, under his transformative presidency, the oceans would stop rising, it is dawning on environmentalists that his entire contribution to the debate amounts to no more than lofty rhetoric. Obama’s climate change legacy will be remembered for two terms of hope without change.

Environmentalists last year had more than a transformative president going for them — they had El Nino, the Pacific Ocean phenomenon that periodically brings unusually warm weather to us, and opportunities for propaganda to global warming enthusiasts. Yet the public yawned at the claims that the Earth was experiencing its hottest year in record — people have tired of this mantra, as polling consistently shows. And environmentalists must know that, if they can’t be persuasive in an El Nino year, what are their chances in subsequent years, during which La Nina typically brings unusually cold weather?

The presidential election season can only add to the environmentalists’ funk. With the Democrats fielding either an unpopular Hillary Clinton or an unelectable, socialist Bernie Sanders, the Republicans are widely believed to be favoured to win, landing a deathblow to climate change activism. With both Republican front-runners, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, considering global warming claims to be outright shams, funding for the climate change industry will dry up. Cruz promises to defund the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s premier global warming lobbyist, along with every other program promoting climate change alarmism. Trump likely would, too, given his belief that global warming policies hurt American business.

Even if a Democrat should win the presidency, the climate change industry has no hope for a comeback. Republicans will still hold the purse strings through their control over the legislature — that’s why Obama resorted to an executive order to impose his Clean Power Plan, in a faint hope of his own that he could further the agenda he so passionately believes in.

So much hope in that fount seven years ago; so little left today. For those environmentalists still clinging to climate change beliefs, hope does not spring eternal.


The Science Is Settled, So Australia Will Fire 100 Climate Scientists

In an attempt to promote fiscal responsibility, some 350 of Australia’s climate scientists were given layoff notices. The argument to keep these positions was revealing. Before: they have high confidence computer models, and strong certainty that we understand the climate. After: there are many climate unknowns, and the models need a lot more work

Leftist politicians like to say the science behind global warming is settled, so what’s the point of having any climate scientists?

Australian officials have decided to axe 350 jobs from its government-backed science bureaucracy last week, as they switch from climate research into ways to mitigate and adapt to global warming. The announcement set off a media firestorm, and the scientists who could lose their jobs are livid.

Firstly the overall number of people in CSIRO is projected to be unchanged at the end of a two year period, however up to 350 people may lose their positions as we change the focus of our work program, Larry Marshall, chief executive of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), said in a Monday statement in response to media criticism.

No one is saying climate change is not important, but surely mitigation, health, education, sustainable industries, and prosperity of the nation are no less important, Marshall said.

For years, scientists have argued the science behind global warming is largely settled — human activities are driving up the Earth’s temperature. In light of this, Australian officials have decided to take their research in a new direction, away from the causes of global warming to technologies to adapt to it.

Our climate models are among the best in the world and our measurements honed those models to prove global climate change, Marshall wrote in an email to his staff Thursday. That question has been answered, and the new question is what do we do about it, and how can we find solutions for the climate we will be living with?

Marshall announced some 110 layoffs in CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere division, the group responsible for climate research. Marshall clarified Monday that the unit’s staff would only be reduced by 65 employees.

In total, 350 CSIRO employees would be laid off over two years. Job cuts will also come from divisions dealing with big data and manufacturing. Critics still expect at least 100 jobs to be cut from climate research.

Climate will be all gone, basically, one senior scientist told The Sydney Morning Herald before the announcement was made public last week.

Once the layoffs were announced, scientists whose jobs were on the chopping block fired back and argued there was much more to know about global warming science.

It’s the sad irony of the debate surrounding global warming. Politicians, activist and some scientists have long argued there was nothing more to debate in climate science — a talking point often used to disparage skeptics.

Though now, that line is coming to bite the very people it was meant to aggrandize — climate scientists.



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, 2016

When global warming isn't global

Warmists have cottoned on to the fact that their feared 2 degree temperature rise doesn't sound very fearsome to most people.  Most of us experience a temperature range of around 10 degrees in any 24 hour period -- sometimes a lot more. So Warmists now want to say that 2 degrees is only an average and that some places on earth will experience a temperature rise of much more than 2 degrees even if the average is 2 degrees.  That is reasonable enough. It's basic statistics.   An average implies a range. 

Note firstly, however, that their study is of climate EXTREMES only, not of averages.  The two are presumably related but to what degree is not pursued.  Let's be charitable, however, and assume that what they tell us applies to averages too.

They seem rather lost, however, to explain just why some regions will be hotter.  The best they can do is to note that the oceans warm more slowly so an average which includes the oceans will imply land temperatures that are hotter than 2 degrees.

And from that they trot out climate models that purport to study large regions of the earth separately.  And they find, for instance, "a 2.2°C warming of extremes around the Mediterranean basin".  That doesn't sound too scary, however.  So they add: "At 1.5°C we would still see temperature extremes in the Arctic rise by 4.4°C".  But how scary is that?  Arctic temperatures are way below the freezing point of water so even a 4.4 degree rise would not melt anything.  And most Arctic ice is sea ice anyway so melting that would have no effect on the sea level -- as Archimedes showed around 3,000 years ago

But it's all based on modelling and the authors themselves supply in their paper a long list of reasons why it could all be wrong.  So their general point is reasonable but any specific temperature projection has to be taken with a large grain of salt

Given their alarmist aims, the projections should in fact probably be taken as maxima.  So, in that light, they are rather reassuring about the regional effects of any future global warming

Popular article below followed by the journal abstract

Regions around the Arctic may have passed a 2°C temperature rise as far back as 2000 and, if emissions rates don't change, areas around the Mediterranean, central Brazil and the contiguous United States could see 2°C of warming by 2030.

This is despite the fact that under a business as usual scenario the world is not expected to see global average temperatures rise by 2°C compared to preindustrial times until the 2040s.

New research published in Nature led by Prof Sonia Seneviratne from ETH Zurich with researchers from Australia's ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science (ARCCSS) has quantified the change in regional extremes in a world where global average temperatures have risen by 2°C.

The research shows worldwide warming extremes over land generally exceed the rise in this scenario, in some cases by as much as 6°C. "We even see starkly different rates of extreme warming over land even when global average temperatures reach just 1.5°C, which is the limit to the rate of warming agreed to at the Paris talks," said lead author Prof Seneviratne.

"At 1.5°C we would still see temperature extremes in the Arctic rise by 4.4°C and a 2.2°C warming of extremes around the Mediterranean basin."

The extreme regional warming projected for Alaska, Canada, Northern Europe, Russia and Greenland could have global impacts, accelerating the pace of sea-level rise and increasing the likelihood of methane releases prompted by the melting of ice and permafrost regions.

"The temperature difference between global average temperatures and regional temperature extremes over land not only has direct climate impacts, it also means we may have to reconsider the amount of carbon dioxide we can emit," said co-author and Director of ARCCSS Prof Andy Pitman.

"For instance, to keep extreme temperature changes over the Mediterranean below a 2°C threshold, the cumulative emissions of CO2 would have to be restricted to 600 gigatonnes rather than the 850 gigatonnes currently estimated to keep global average temperatures increase below 2°C."

According to the researchers, if global average temperatures warm by 2°C compared to preindustrial times this would equate to a 3°C warming of hot extremes in the Mediterranean region and between 5.5 -- 8°C warming for cold extremes over land around the Arctic. Most land-masses around the world will see an extreme temperature rise greater than 2°C.

One of the few exceptions is Australia -- famously known as a land of droughts and flooding rains. The projections show little difference between global average temperatures and a change in its extreme regional temperatures.

"This might be something peculiar about Australia's climate, or perhaps it highlights problems with the climate models," said Prof Pitman.

"If the latter, there is a risk Australia will lack warnings about the increases in extremes that are now clearly available to Northern Hemisphere countries."

He said this potential hole in understanding of climate extremes climate needs urgent resolution with more focused model development in the southern hemisphere.

The researchers also note the paper did not take into account unexpected changes in the climate system.

"What this research cannot take into account are abrupt climate shifts known colloquially as "tipping points"," said ARCCSS co-author Dr Markus Donat.

"We have no way of knowing when our climate may change abruptly from one state to another meaning we could potentially see even greater regional variation than these findings show."


Allowable CO2 emissions based on regional and impact-related climate targets

Sonia I. Seneviratne et al.


Global temperature targets, such as the widely accepted limit of an increase above pre-industrial temperatures of two degrees Celsius, may fail to communicate the urgency of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The translation of CO2 emissions into regional- and impact-related climate targets could be more powerful because such targets are more directly aligned with individual national interests. We illustrate this approach using regional changes in extreme temperatures and precipitation. These scale robustly with global temperature across scenarios, and thus with cumulative CO2 emissions. This is particularly relevant for changes in regional extreme temperatures on land, which are much greater than changes in the associated global mean.


Organic farming 'could be key to feeding the world!

Forgive me while I laugh. A lot of "organic" farmers do sneak in some chemical fertilizers and pesticides.  When your whole  crop is being devoured by some insect, it is hard not to reach for the spray.  And Mischa Popoff has shown that they almost all get away with it.

But based on studies that do use organic methods exclusively, it appears that, compared with modern farming, organic farming can take up as much as twice the land to produce the same output.  How that could "feed the word" boggles the imagination.

And note that some things that they identify below as organic are in fact routine practice.  Crop rotation are as old as the hills, as it the use of legumes to restore soil nitrates.  I grew up in a house surrounded by farms and I remember well the fields that were full of apparently useless weedy crops --legumes such as cowpeas. It wasn't visible to me at the time but their associated bacteria were busily grabbing nitrogen from the air and transforming it into nitrate fertilizers.

But the biggest laugh below is that organic crops withstand drought or semi-drought better.  And that is supposed to give them the edge in droughts caused by global warming.  But global warming will not increase droughts.  It will evaporate more moisture off the oceans, which will fall as INCREASED rainfall.  The true believers below should revisit basic physics -- if ever they studied it in the first place

Organic farming – long held to be irrelevant in tackling world hunger – could be key to feeding the world as global warming takes hold, one of the biggest studies ever to be carried out into the contentious practice has concluded.

The research, which has reviewed hundreds of studies stretching back over four decades, not only overturns conventional wisdom but contradicts Britain’s official Food Standards Agency, which has repeatedly attacked chemical-free agriculture. It adds to emerging evidence that it may be more productive and profitable than conventional farming in the long term, especially in developing countries, and says it can provide an ideal blueprint in addressing climate change.

Published this month in the leading journal Nature Plants, the study admits that organic agriculture has a history of being contentious and is still considered by its many critics as an inefficient approach to food security and a farming system that will be become less relevant in the future.

It adds that the practice is regarded as ideologically driven, with many shortcomings, not least because it relies on more land to produce the same amount of food as conventional agriculture, And it quotes a 1970s US Agriculture Secretary, Earl Butz: Before we go back to organic agriculture in this country, somebody must decide which 50 million Americans we are going to let starve or go hungry.

Yet, the study – led by Professor John Reganold of Washington State University – goes on, organic food and beverages are now a rapidly growing market segment in the global food industry. Worldwide sales increased fivefold to US $72bn (£50bn) between 1999 and 2013, and are expected to double again by 2018. The practice is certified in 170 countries and the current US Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, describes it as one of the fastest growing segments of American agriculture driven by growing consumer demand.

The research also acknowledges it produces lower yields than chemically driven agriculture, but at 8 –25 per cent, the reductions are less than often supposed. Another mammoth study – at the University of California 14 months ago – found that the deficit could be more than halved by rotating crops and avoiding monocultures: for leguminous produce such as beans, peas and lentils there was no difference at all and overall it could be a very competitive alternative to industrial agriculture.

But it is climate change that may give organic farming the edge. As the new research underlines, organically managed farms have frequently been shown to produce higher yields than their conventional counterparts during droughts, because the manures they use retain moisture in the soil. And severely dry conditions are expected to increase with climate change in many areas.

As other studies have shown, organic fertilisers also increase the amount of carbon in the soil, while intensive agriculture denudes it, increasing erosion and reducing its fertility. Wheat, for example, has traditionally produced much higher yields in conventional than in chemical-free farming, but these have now stagnated for some 20 years after almost tripling during the previous 50 years.

Losses of organic matter from British soil now cost the country £82m a year and the Government admits that this is not sustainable in the long term. But it has done little about it: there is not even any countrywide monitoring of soil health.

Organic techniques, moreover, are even more effective in developing countries, where most farmers cannot afford to buy much artificial fertiliser or pesticide. One UN report which looked at 114 projects, involving nearly two million African farms found that they more than doubled yields.

Another, led by the University of Essex – which examined projects in 57 countries, covering three per cent of the Third World’s cultivated area – revealed an average 79 per cent increase.

Chemical-free farming is also more profitable in both developed and developing countries, the new report adds: four decades of studies covering 55 crops grown on five continents found they yielded a 22-35 per cent better return than conventional produce. This was, of course, due to the premium organic producers can charge, but even slashing the price differential several times over would still leave them better off. And they employ more people.

More predictably, the report finds that organic farming is better for nature and wildlife and reduces exposure to toxic pesticides both on the farm and in food. And it adds that 80 per cent of major studies into its nutritional value have suggested that it is better for consumers, contradicting the position of the Food Standards Agency.

It stresses that no one farming system alone will safely feed the planet, but calls for the untapped potential role of chemical-free agriculture to be realised by blending it with the best practices of its conventional counterpart.


Tax oil to subsidize wind?

Obama wants to punish the oil industry to advance climate agenda. So do Hillary, Bernie and Mike

Paul Driessen

If you want more of something, mandate it, subsidize it and exempt it from regulations. If you want less of something, punish it with taxes and regulations. Put more bluntly, the power to tax and regulate is the power to destroy. This is the First Rule of Government.

No presidency has ever come close to the Obama Administration in employing the rule to advance its ideologies and agendas. No industry has been so favored as renewable energy over the past seven years. No sector has been so thoroughly vilified and subjugated as fossil fuels during that period.

Thankfully, Congress refused to impose a cap-tax-and-trade regime on carbon-based energy and U.S. jobs, families, economic growth and living standards. However, EPA and other Obama agencies simply replaced unsuccessful legislative initiatives with regulations, often employing highly innovative statutory interpretations to justify its actions – and courts too often bowed to this agency discretion.

Nowhere was this more heavy-handed and destructive than in the coal and climate change arena, where a regulatory tidal wave inundated mines, power plants, companies, families, communities and entire states. Other EPA and Interior Department rules blocked leasing, drilling, fracking and other energy activities on millions of acres of government-administered lands, onshore and off, and even on state and private land.

Thanks to determined efforts by state attorneys general and other parties, however, a number of these regulations were stymied in courts of law. Nowhere was this more important than this week’s Supreme Court decision to block implementation of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan while lower courts consider some 30 lawsuits over its legality, state sovereignty, the scope of agency discretion in interpreting and rewriting federal laws, and the plan’s effects on energy, jobs, health and welfare.

That means this noxious regulation will be vacated for the remainder of Obama’s presidency.

The president, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and their allies are not happy. They promise to charge ahead with their fundamental transformation of the United States, via other tactics and edicts.

The oil patch is one of the few industries that kept the Obama economy (and presidency) afloat – primarily because of fracking, which slipped in under the EPA/environmentalist radar but is now under constant attack by Interior and Big Green. It created millions of jobs, channeled billions of dollars to local, state and federal treasuries, brought gasoline prices below $2 per gallon, and saved American families billions: every penny not spent on gasoline puts $1 billion a year back into our pockets.

So how does Obama intend to repay the industry, now that it has fallen on hard times? Amid a sluggish global economy and record oil and gas production, oil prices have plunged below $30 a barrel – forcing the oil patch to lay people off, many companies to retrench or ponder bankruptcy, and many communities to confront reduced employment, consumer spending, real estate values, and revenues.

But as part of his last-gasp, $4.1-trillion, $503-billion-deficit 2017 federal budget, the president wants Congress to slap a $10.25 tax on every barrel of domestically produced or imported oil. He says this will raise some $400 billion over the next ten years.

This will allow him to increase EPA’s budget to $8.3 billion, pour $1.7 billion a year into the climate fund, and channel hundreds of billions into high speed rail, wind, solar, biofuel, eco-friendly cars and other green energy schemes. It thus means more opportunities for unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats to pick winners and losers, expand their fiefdoms, and pad their bonuses and pensions.

Thankfully, the proposal is dead on arrival in Congress. Enough members understand (even if the president does not) that this tax will not be paid for by the oil companies. It will only be collected by oil companies – and then passed along to every American family and business, in the form of higher gasoline prices and higher costs for everything produced or transported using petroleum: food, clothing, plastics, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, housing, healthcare, and countless other products and services. Even ethanol and other biofuels require petroleum, as do organic food and electric cars.

Mr. Obama, however, sees additional advantages to a 35% oil tax. It lets him stigmatize Big Oil yet again.

It advances his goal of ending our addiction to fossil fuels that still provide 82% of US and 87% of global energy – because they are the most abundant, reliable, affordable energy sources available today; because they sustain modern economies and living standards, and help lift billions out of poverty and disease. Would Obama also have us end our addiction to food, shelter and human companionship?

An oil tax would also help him promote the climate treaty he signed in Paris. The Supreme Court’s slap-down of EPA’s plans to regulate fossil fuels into oblivion means the United States is far less likely to implement the president’s unilateral commitment to the accord’s emission reduction demands (and massive wealth transfers, via climate adaptation and reparation payments) – even assuming the Senate ultimately approves the treaty, under its advice and consent authority. That in turn means developed and developing nations alike are even less likely to slash their CO2 emissions, carbon-based energy use, economic growth and living standards, for no progress in controlling nature-driven climate change.

Finally, all that devoutly wished for tax revenue would enable Mr. Obama to repay his debts to crony corporatist friends like Elon Musk. His Tesla Motors company continues to hemorrhage investor money despite massive infusions of taxpayer cash in the form of CO2 rules, subsidies, loans, $7,500 tax credits per car purchased, and free charging stations, so that the wealthiest 1.0 or 0.1 percent will buy the pricey cars. In 2015 alone, Tesla lost another $889 million, on revenues of $4.05 billion.

We’ve come to expect this from President Obama. Equally depressing, we also expect it from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, former DemoRepublican candidate-in-waiting Michael Bloomberg, most of today’s Democratic politicians, too many Republican pols, most government public servants, and certainly those who are feeling the Bern or think there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women by voting for a certain candidate. (Hint: Ms. Albright didn’t mean Carly or Sarah.)

Indeed, Mrs. Clinton wants to have a half billion more solar panels deployed during her first four years in office, enough clean energy to power every home in America, at an estimated cost to taxpayers of $200 billion a year. Plus free education, free universal healthcare, and more. Senator Sanders doubtless agrees.

It is a sad, painful assessment of their economic literacy – and of our high schools, colleges, business communities and politicians’ ability to empower students and voters through economic literacy, a grasp of socialism’s abject failures and horrid excesses, and an appreciation of free enterprise capitalism’s incomparable record of improving the health, living standards and prospects of billions.

It’s also a sad commentary on liberal-progressive climate justice and compassion for coal mine, power plant and oil patch workers and families who have been pummeled by their policies – and for poor, minority and blue collar families that would be hit hardest by the Obama oil tax. Those families pay a far larger share of their incomes on energy, food, clothing and other necessities than do Barack, Hillary and Michael’s upper-crust friends, Bernie’s Wall Street benefactors, or even middle class families:

Families making less than $30,000 a year spend 26% of their after-tax income on energy, while families that make over $50,000 a year spend only 8% – and those in upper 1% spend only a fraction of 1 percent.

Were President Obama to succeed on his oil tax, stop climate change and leave all fossil fuels in the ground agenda, his legacy would be making tens of millions more Americans jobless, energy deprived and impoverished – and keeping billions beyond our borders mired in abject poverty, disease, malnutrition and despair. It’s up to informed citizen-voters to ensure this does not happen.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Via email

ExxonMobil Report: 80% of Global Energy Demands Met By Oil, Natural Gas, Coal In 2040, Emissions Down

In a global energy forecast report issued on Jan. 25, ExxonMobil said that in the 2040 market, oil, natural gas, and coal will meet 80% of the world’s energy needs and that carbon emissions should peak by 2030.

Noting that the future of energy production and consumption will be influenced by government policies, including those aimed at combating climate change, the report  says that up to the year 2040 it is expected that oil, natural gas and coal [will] continue to meet about 80 percent of global demand.

For a century, these sources have been the foundation of the modern energy that has enabled modern living, the report states. Today, they remain abundant, reliable and affordable, and available on the scale required to serve 7 billion people 24 hours a day.

The report anticipates the largest growth to be in the natural gas sector, with 40% of energy demand growth from 2014 to 2040 being met by gas, but renewable energy and nuclear power will also see growth over this time period, according to the report.

And, greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), will peak by 2030, according to the report.

Policies to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will increasingly influence the energy landscape, the report states.

In our view, after rising more than 50 percent from 1990 to 2014, global energy-related CO2 emissions will likely peak around 2030, the report states, citing energy efficiency as one factor.

We expect the CO2 intensity of the global economy to be cut in half by 2040, the report claims.

The report also forecasts global demand for energy rising by 25% from 2014 to 2040, with oil and natural gas meeting most of that demand.

To keep pace with demand, the world will need to pursue all economic energy sources, the report states. In 2040, oil and natural gas will likely be nearly 60%  of global supplies, while nuclear and renewables will be approaching a 25% share.

Oil alone is expected to provide 1/3 of the world’s energy in 2040, the report states.

The constantly evolving energy landscape presents challenges, but it remains a fact that abundant energy improves the way people live, according to the report.

Meeting growing energy demand is an ongoing challenge, recognizing the scale of supplies required to meet the needs of 7 billion people each day, says ExxonMobil.

The use of oil alone – representing just one-third of the world’s energy consumption – is now approaching 95 million barrels a day, enough to power a car 100 billion miles, or 4 million times around the world, reads the forecast.

It continues, Several themes remain true today: Modern energy is fundamental to our standards of living; practical options for meeting people’s energy needs continue to expand, including those related to efficiency; and the energy industry is huge, growing and connecting regions through trade.


Poll: Alaskans are sure about global warming, but not its cause

Three-quarters of Alaskans are sold on the existence and seriousness of global warming, but far fewer are convinced that it's caused by human activity, according to a poll commissioned by Alaska Dispatch News.

Those results largely mirror the opinions of Americans at large, according to recent polls, including one recently conducted by CBS and the New York Times that asked the same questions.

Debate over climate change -- and what to do about it -- has become a deeply partisan issue in Washington, D.C., in recent years. Just last week, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily halted the Environmental Protection Agency's major climate change regulations for the nation's power plants for the duration of an ongoing legal battle. But on the international stage, major countries have agreed that curbing greenhouse gas emissions is essential to lessen the environmental impacts of global warming.

Alaskans were asked two questions about global warming as part of a 750-person survey conducted in January by Ivan Moore Research for Alaska Dispatch News. The quarterly "Alaska Survey" included questions from multiple clients on a variety of topics. It had a 3.6 percent margin of error, meaning the results represent the total state population within 3.6 percentage points either way.

The first question was whether global warming is an environmental problem that is causing a serious impact now, in the future, or never at all. Just more than half -- 54.3 percent -- said global warming is already having serious impacts, and 20.7 percent said the impacts will happen sometime in the future. One-fifth of those polled said global warming will have no serious impacts, and 4.7 percent were not sure.

Where people live in Alaska seemed to affect their feelings on the existence and urgency of climate change. Those polled in rural Alaska, Southeast and Anchorage were more likely to say that climate change is already having serious impacts, compared to people elsewhere in Southcentral Alaska and Fairbanks.

And of those polled in rural Alaska, lessr than 5 percent thought climate change would have no serious impacts, ever.

Alaskans who identified as registered Democrats or Republicans fell along predictable lines: 73.4 percent of Democrats said global warming is having a serious impact now, compared to 27 percent of Republicans.

But the largest portion -- more than half -- of Alaskans polled who said they were registered voters claimed no party. Of those with no party affiliation, a common choice in this state, 64.9 percent said global warming is already having a serious impact.

Across the board, women were much more likely than men to see global warming as a present and serious threat.

Alaskans' answers to the second question indicated that while most believe global warming is happening, only half would attribute it to human activity.

Most climate scientists and a wide range of scientific organizations say that current global warming is caused by human activity, particularly due to burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

Few of those polled -- 7.4 percent -- answered that global warming does not exist. That’s slightly lower than the 9 percent of non-believers who answered the CBS/NYT national poll asking the same questions. 

The more common answer -- 38 percent of Alaskans polled -- is that global warming exists but is caused by natural patterns in the Earth’s environment.

The remaining 3.8 percent of those polled weren’t sure.

Again, answers fell along party lines, with 79.9 percent of Democrats attributing climate change to human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, and 59.6 percent of registered Republicans convinced climate change is natural. Those claiming no party were more divided, with 54.5 percent pointing to human activity and 36.8 percent going with natural patterns. 


Science journalist Chris Mooney is at it again: Condemns Teacher Skepticism of Global Warming Dogma

Washington Post  "energy and the environment" (Global Warming) writer, Chris Mooney, has discovered climate heresy among middle and high school teachers in the form of skepticism which he finds very upsetting. Yes, there are actually teachers who raise an eyebrow when, for example, 2016 is declared to be the warmest year on record before the year even starts. Mooney, who performed the same shtick at Mother Jones, has noted such skepticsim in his column and issues the proper condemnation of the teachers daring to not completely buy into the new Lysenkoism aka Global Warming:

A major new survey of U.S. middle school and high school science teachers has found that across the country, a majority are teaching about climate change in their classrooms — but a significant percentage are also including incorrect ideas, such as the notion that today’s warming of the globe is a natural process.

"Incorrect ideas" meaning politically incorrect ideas. Shame on those teachers expressing skepticism about the Global Warming dogma that reinforces itself with such efforts as "hide the decline" as was revealed during Climategate with this infamous email from a prominent climate change directors to fellow scientists invested in the cause:

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline

The same group of emails also revealed this gem sent to Michael Mann:

Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming ? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low.

Now back to Mooney's angst over skeptical teachers:

One of the most striking findings: 30 percent of teachers said in the survey that they tell students that the current warming is likely due to natural causes — contradicting major scientific assessments of the matter. Thirty-one percent of teachers also said that they include both the scientific consensus position — that global warming is human-caused — but then also a natural causes position that contradicts it, thus presenting both sides, in the study’s words.

GASP! The absurd idea that the sun might have a role to play on earth's temperatures is positively heretical. And presenting both sides of a theory is impermissible!

The study also found that most teachers are unaware of the strength of the scientific consensus about the human causes of climate change. The survey asked them what proportion of climate scientists think that global warming is caused mostly by human activities? For middle school teachers, 30 percent chose the option 81 to 100%, which the researchers identified as the correct answer. High school teachers were only a little better, at 45 percent.

Hmmm... Any chance that question could be amended to "what proportion of climate scientists NOT receiving government grants or other such funding think that global warming is caused mostly by human activities?"

A key problem, Plutzer emphasizes, is how many teachers are presenting climate change as something to be debated in class.

Case closed! It is so decreed. Any evidence to the contrary will be instantly dismissed by the purveyors of the new Lysenkoism.



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, 2016

FSU Professor: Global Warming Causes Sea Level To FALL   

Thirty years ago, a Florida State University professor showed that small increases in temperature caused sea level to fall, due to increased evaporation from the ocean

Excerpt: Florida State University Geology Professor William Tanner: Tanner plotted 4000 years of sea-level data on 5,000 years of climatological data published in last year’s Encyclopedia of Climatology and found some interesting correlations. Every time the climate warmed a couple of degrees, the sea level went down. Every time the climate cooled a couple of degrees, the sea level went up. This happened four times, each cycle taking about 100 years, and spaced about 900 years apart.

He says sea level rise has been about six inches over the past century, and he now expects that to slow down and even reverse itself if humans continue warming the Earth.

We’ve made the assumption — and it’s logical — that if things get warm, the glaciers get warm, the glaciers are going to melt, Tanner said. But that’s not what these two curves show, no matter how logical it may be. Everybody’s been depending on logic without much data.
Tanner says he believes that when the climate warms just a little, it causes more evaporation from the oceans and they go down. He sees two separate systems at work — a big one in which the climate gets every warm or very cold and the oceans rise or fall dramatically, and a small system in which minor changes in temperature cause the opposite reactions.
My colleagues here to whom I have presented it in detail think it’s reasonable and probably correct.


Dangerously cold weather grips New York, bringing coldest night in decades

Global cooling?

The National Weather Service says a cold front sweeping across the Great Lakes could usher in temperatures as much as 30 degrees below normal across portions of the Ohio Valley, the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast.

A dangerous cold snap seized the northeastern United States on Saturday with temperatures in some areas set to fall below zero and Boston facing its coldest Valentine's Day in almost four decades.

Officials warned people to stay indoors away from what the National Weather Service described as "life threatening" cold.

New York City was bracing for its coldest night in 20 years.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said officials had put on extra staff to help respond to residents who had lost their heat and had expanded efforts to bring homeless people into shelters.

"It's so important to take this seriously, to stay indoors to the maximum extent possible, go out for as little time as possible. Do not have skin exposed. These are tough conditions," de Blasio told reporters. "Be really careful."

Wind chill advisories were in effect over parts of nine states extending from northern Pennsylvania to western Maine, with forecasters expecting gusts up to 72kmh.

"Wind chills will be getting colder and colder as the day goes on," said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts.

The temperature in Boston was expected to drop to -21.7 degrees Celsius overnight, but feel as cold as -34.4 degrees Celsius with the wind chill.

That would be below the record low of -19.4 degrees Celsius set in 1979.  "That one looks quite breakable," Dunham said.

In New York, construction crews were ordered to put cranes into secure positions following the collapse of a huge crane in high winds earlier this month, which killed one person and injured three.

The lower-than-average temperatures for mid-February come after a mostly mild winter and higher-than-average temperatures in the US Northeast and Midwest.

In Boston, some were hurrying through their mornings to get outdoor chores done before the worst cold set in.

"Right now I'm going to drink a coffee" to stay warm, said Carmen Pichente, 40, en route to her at a Boston restaurant. "Tomorrow, I'm going to stay at home all day."

Others brushed it off as an inevitable part of life in New England.  "To me, it's nothing. I lived in Boston all my life." said Eddie Brown, 51, a delivery truck driver who was out on his rounds.  Asked why he wasn't wearing a coat, Brown replied, "I got long underwear on."


Locals fume as EPA reveals Gold King mine spill much worse than initially stated

The House Committee on Natural Resources released a damning report on the EPA and how they handled the August 2015 Gold King Mine disaster in Colorado, and its aftermath

The House Committee on Natural Resources released a damning report on the EPA and how they handled the August 2015 Gold King Mine disaster in Colorado, and its aftermath (AP)

The disclosure that the Environmental Protection Agency's toxic spill at an old gold mine in Colorado was far worse than previously stated has unleashed a flood of anger at the agency, which was already facing numerous lawsuits from states and individuals along the affected waterways.

On Thursday, the House Committee on Natural  Resources released a damning report on the EPA and its handling of the Gold King Mine disaster last August. The report detailed how the EPA and the Department of the Interior were inaccurate and misleading in their conflicting accounts of the wastewater spill, which the EPA said last week released 880,000 pounds of toxic metals.

When government actions result in harm, it’s our duty to know who was responsible and why decisions failed. They haven’t been forthcoming in this regard, Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, said in a released statement. This report peels back one more layer in what many increasingly view as a pattern of deception on the part of EPA and DOI.

"The agencies continue to withhold information requested by the Committee," Bishop's statement continued. "They need to come clean and produce the missing documents.

The committee’s findings support recent claims made by New Mexico Environment Secretary Ryan Flynn, who recently asked members of the House agriculture committee to get behind a proposal that calls for a long-term water monitoring plan. Flynn also said before the committee that federal officials are downplaying the effects of the spill.

The EPA is saying one thing and their own experts say another, Flynn told Once the color returned to normal [in the rivers], there were those in the EPA that were hoping that this would be swept under the rug.

New Mexico last month announced its intent to sue the EPA over the spill, in which agency contract workers caused a massive release of toxic wastewater into the Animas while attempting to mitigate pollutants from the shuttered mine.

Some of the metals in the wastewater reached the San Juan River, which the Animas joins in New Mexico, but most settled into the Animas riverbed before that, the EPA said in a preliminary report on the metals.

Utah officials have said some contaminants reached their state, but Friday's report didn't address that.

Metals released in the spill are believed to include cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel and zinc. Tests done after the spill also found arsenic and lead in the wastewater.

Flynn and others in the Land of Enchantment are concerned about metal levels in the Animas River in the northern part of the state that shares its border with Colorado. The region’s watershed is connected to the Gold King site in Silverton, but New Mexico has more residents living along the Animas, which is used for crops through irrigation ditches, ranching, and even for home use by residents.

Flynn said field-level EPA officials have been helpful, but said "something gets lost in translation once it gets to the leadership level. They would be happy to see this just all go away.

When reached for comment regarding the matter, EPA spokeswoman Nancy Grantham said in a written statement: We’re going to take a look at the report and will respond appropriately.

The EPA says it won't consider the site for Superfund status without the support of state and local officials.


The EPA’s Lawless Land Grab

Obama’s power-mad agency claims jurisdiction over land and water use almost everywhere in the United States.

In his final book, economist Mancur Olson wrote of the profound and crucial connection between representative government and the property and contract rights important for economic progress. Olson quoted James Madison: Just as a man may be said to have a right to his property, so he has a property in his rights. The rule of law is therefore essential for the preservation of constitutional government and for economic growth.

In no country have the economic fruits of the rule of law been more plentiful than the United States. Today there is no greater threat to the rule of law and the right to the peaceful enjoyment of property than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the course of prosecuting its ostensible mission to clean the air and the water.

Under the guise of the Clean Air Act, the agency’s Clean Power Plan will take control of America’s electrical-power infrastructure. Yet Congress did not envisage that the 1970 legislation would be used to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions.

To get around the inconveniently precise wording Congress provided in the statute, EPA resorted to rewriting the provision of the Clean Air Act that didn’t fit with its regulatory plans — a gambit that has had ups and downs in the Supreme Court, which will soon address the legality of the Clean Power Plan.

Until Monday, the timetable was well advanced, with states being required to submit compliance plans this summer. Then, on Tuesday, the Supreme Court in a 5–4 decision agreed to freeze its implementation, showing that the plan’s opponents have a reasonable prospect of persuading the courts to throw out the plan.

As with EPA’s regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions, the case involves a massive extension of EPA authority. Without Supreme Court scrutiny, EPA would acquire powers that it had first sought, but had been partially checked, in what has become known as the Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS). WOTUS derives from wording in the 1972 Clean Water Act that states that the federal government has jurisdiction over navigable waters, which are further defined as the waters of the United States, including the territorial seas.

Over many years, EPA rule-making expanded its definition of WOTUS far beyond anything a riverboat could navigate, to rivulets, ditches, and potholes. Supreme Court rulings in 2001 and 2006 drew limits on the Clean Water Act’s WOTUS.

Justice Kennedy had introduced a significant nexus test to assess whether specific wetlands should be defined as part of WOTUS if they were linked ecologically or in some other significant way to a stretch of navigable water.

Where Justice Kennedy offered a gap an inch wide, EPA widened it by a mile. It took the significant-nexus test and used it to reach wet patches anywhere, in a revised rule that has prompted multiple legal and political challenges. Just last month, President Obama vetoed a congressional joint resolution (S.J.Res. 22) disapproving of the rule.

But, to borrow President Obama’s phrase after he’d given up on getting Congress to pass cap-and-trade, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Whatever the legal and legislative fate of the Clean Water WOTUS rule, EPA has also developed a toolkit to regulate the land over which and through which water flows into WOTUS.

Less than four months after taking office, President Obama issued an executive order instructing EPA to make full use of its powers to regulate the Chesapeake Bay watershed in a manner that can be replicated through the nation. The aim of these watershed-based frameworks, the executive order states, is to assign pollution reduction responsibilities to pollution sources. It’s not hard to see how from this source springs a highly intrusive and granular form of federal regulation.

At the end of 2010, EPA produced a blueprint for regulating the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The Chesapeake Bay TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) document asserts federal authority not just over the Bay but also over its tributaries upstream all the way to drainage ditches and — most expansively — all land from which rainfall runoff might find its way downstream.

A petition concerning this plan is the subject of the case that the Supreme Court is now considering. A suit was originally filed in January 2011, decided in favor of EPA in September 2013, and subsequently upheld by the Third Circuit last July.

According to petitioners and the 22 states that filed a friend-of-the-court brief, the Chesapeake TMDL, which encompasses six states and the District of Columbia, will cost tens of billions of dollars to implement. A feature of the plan is EPA’s lack of regard to efficiency. A 2012 report by the Maryland School of Public Policy estimated total implementation costs across all jurisdictions in the range of $50 billion between 2010 and 2025 — but going perhaps as high as $80 billion. A 2013 study for the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that alternative ways of achieving the same water quality — which anyway has already improved by 40 percent since the early 1980s — would cost Delaware, Maryland, New York, and West Virginia 82 to 86 percent less than the EPA price tag.

Chesapeake is only the beginning; an EPA appetizer, so to speak. The 64,000-square-mile Chesapeake Bay watershed is equivalent to little more than 5 percent of the 1,245,000 square miles of the Mississippi River Basin, spanning 31 states and producing 92 percent of America’s agricultural exports. As the petitioners note, with the powers asserted in the Bay blueprint, EPA could control — and potentially debilitate — an area where more than half the goods and services consumed by United States citizens are produced.

EPA’s plan to become, in effect, America’s land-planning czar is part of a pattern of aggressive overreach going to the outer limits of the law and beyond into lawlessness. Only two months ago, the General Accountability Office found that EPA had violated federal law by engaging in covert propaganda supporting its own proposed rules.

In a separate incident, despite strenuous denials, EPA covertly conspired with three environmental pressure groups to bring about the regulation of power-station emissions, in a contrived sue-and-settle suit designed to make decarbonizing electricity generation a done deal before the end of President Obama’s first term.

Writing for the Court in the 2014 Clean Air Act case, Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, Justice Scalia declared EPA’s interpretation unreasonable because it would bring about an enormous and transformative expansion in EPA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization. We expect Congress to speak clearly if it wishes to assign to an agency decisions of vast ‘economic and political significance,’ he wrote.

In that case, to keep annual permit applications from jumping from 800 to nearly 82,000, EPA decided to override the stipulations for the quantity of greenhouse gases that could be emitted from a stationary source, permitting quantities that were orders of magnitude greater than the threshold quantity of air pollutants specified in the act.

Because of the ubiquity of carbon dioxide emissions, the number of businesses requiring burdensome permitting would have exploded way beyond EPA’s target of electric utilities. EPA’s concern about the effects of widening its net is noteworthy by its absence in its policing of the Clean Water Act.

In 2012, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the right of an Idaho couple to sue EPA after the agency claimed they had violated the Clean Water Act by building a house on wetlands that EPA asserted were part of WOTUS and threatened them with fines of up to $75,000 a day for non-compliance.

Land-use and development decisions would fall ever farther under the suzerainty of EPA if the Supreme Court declined to hear American Farm Bureau Federation v. EPA. With respect to land use, it would turn the U.S. from a republic of laws into a permit state, an EPA fiefdom in which opaque blueprints emanate from computer models and unaccountable bureaucrats, with little or no regard to their impact on economic activity and none at all for the rights of property.

There is a precedent for the deleterious economic impact of shackling an economy in regulation. For its first 50 years after independence, the private sector in India was subjected to the licensing requirements of the Permit Raj and the economy experienced what became known as a Hindu rate of growth.

In Federalist 17, Publius (in this instance, Alexander Hamilton) argued that there was little danger that the supervision of agriculture and of other concerns of a similar nature would be usurped by the federal government because the attempt to exercise those powers would be as troublesome as it would be nugatory; and the possession of them, for that reason, would contribute nothing to the importance, or to the splendor of the national government.

Clearly such arguments fail in the face of a predatory regulator like EPA. Instead, states must rely on the protection afforded by the Tenth Amendment and the intention of Congress expressed in the relevant statute. Here the Clean Water Act is categorical. It is the policy of the Congress to recognize, preserve, and protect the primary responsibilities and rights of States to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution, the Act states (1251(b)).

And if that isn’t clear enough, Congress instructs federal agencies to co-operate with State and local agencies to develop comprehensive solutions to prevent, reduce, and eliminate pollution (1251(g)). In other words, EPA should be a facilitator, not an instructor.

The Chesapeake TMDL turns this around: States are required to cooperate with EPA in developing Watershed Implementation Plans. The executive summary speaks of provision for federal backstops, enhanced oversight, and contingency actions to ensure progress.

Only the courts — in this instance, the Supreme Court — have the capacity to act to protect the rule of law, for the expansion of the powers of the administrative state shrinks the domain of the rule of law.

In Taming the Prince, Harvey Mansfield suggests that modern totalitarian regimes show executive formalism and informality at their worst: The formalism is in a numbing, careless bureaucracy, which might at first seem rule-bound for no reason and no discernible end, in a way reminiscent of Kafka — but which after some experience proves to be oppression in the interest of a very obvious ruling party.

This risk is especially elevated in EPA. The agency was a product not of statute but of the executive branch under the terms of the Nixon administration’s Reorganization Plan No. 3.

The nature of the numbing, careless bureaucracy was on display last August in EPA’s culpability in discharging three million gallons of mine waste into Colorado’s Animas River, which EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said was mainly due to the cautious nature of the government’s efforts.

So the final question: Which is the very obvious ruling party? The most powerful ideology in America today: Environmentalism.

Let’s hope the Supreme Court does not fall under the sway of this party but instead confines EPA within the rule of law.


Obama:  Let them freeze in the dark

On January 17, 2008 Candidate Obama said the following So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

What Obama was talking about was a carbon dioxide (a plant food) cap and trade scheme that would have put a large part of the electricity generation industry out of business.  So far, Congress has resisted such a scheme.  Obama knowing there is more than one way to bankrupt an industry has gone around Congress and plans to do by regulation what Congress will not do by legislation.

Using the EPA (Employment Prevention Agency) he is proposing a Clean Power Plan.  On the White House web site he outlines the goals of the Plan.

They are: The Clean Power Plan sets achievable standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. By setting these goals and enabling states to create tailored plans to meet them, the Plan will: Protect the health of American families. In 2030, it will: Prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths; Prevent 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks; Prevent 90,000 asthma attacks in children; [and] Prevent 300,000 missed workdays and schooldays.

Notice how all the wonderful things this plan will accomplish are in round numbers like, Prevent 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks.  Really?  Is the President sure it will be 1,700 and not 1,699 or 1,701?  This is what passes for science at the White House.

Twenty four states have banded together in a bi-partisan lawsuit to stop this insanity.  They are: West Virginia Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Arizona and North Carolina.

In an effort to derail these anti-electricity actions by the Obama Administration and the anti-civilization environmental movement the coal industry spent untold millions on a clean coal public relations effort.  Television and radio paid ads extolling the benefits of coal as, buried sunshine.  Predictably such efforts failed miserably.  They could have just as well buried their money.

The oil companies have recently began a similar campaign featuring a young lady claiming to be an energy voter.  It will have the same negligible effect on the debate.

The energy industry should borrow a page from the National Rifle Association.  The NRA has won its many fights with the gun grabbers (a NRA coined phase) by extolling guns as harmless little items with many benefits.  They went after the motives of their opponents.

Just as those who want to disarm the public could really care less about crime and the sanctity of life the freeze in the dark crowd is really not concerned about the environment.  It is not about mythical global warming it is about controlling the population.  Even if were about mythical global warming it would not be an easy sell since a recent poll shows that less than ten percent of the public thinks it is an important issue.

While the left screams from the house tops that the people who provide us with the ability to light, heat, and cool our homes and fuel our transportation are evil greedy, earth destroyers the industry responds with ineffectual, corporations are people too, PR campaigns.

The fact of the matter is the left is out to destroy the standard of living for the vast majority of the American people.  If nobody is willing to point that out we will eventually all freeze in the dark.


Global warming fanaticism dooms Welsh village

Residents of a Welsh coastal resort have been left trapped in their homes by council plans to abandon sea defences and allow their village to be swallowed up by the sea.

People living in picturesque Fairbourne in Cardigan Bay are digging in for a bitter legal battle against plans to 'decommission' their village and flood their streets with sea water.

They are fighting the plans they say are based 'nonsensical' predictions and demanding compensation over moves to move them.
Under threat: The village of Fairbourne in west Wales is to be left to the mercy of the sea under council plans which campaigners from the area are opposed to

Under threat: The village of Fairbourne in west Wales is to be left to the mercy of the sea under council plans which campaigners from the area are opposed to

Council plans propose the 500-home village undergo 'managed realignment' and eventually be 'decommissioned' after the sea defences are abandoned in 40 years.

As a result, locals say house prices in Fairbourne have plummeted, meaning residents are unable to sell up and move on. Businesses are now also struggling to attract long-term investment.

Locals are angry that the plans seem to be based on an assumption that sea levels will rise by a whole metre in the next century, something they dispute.

Campaigner Pete Cole says the village has been written off due to an 'aggressive model' used by planners, which was not used for other areas of the coastline.

He says another forecast concluded that sea levels could be expected to rise around 50cm rather than one metre in the next 100 years and with only a modest 20 to 30cm rise in the next 50 years.

Mr Cole said: 'We have been hurt by the actions of the agencies who adopted these plans without thinking of the ramifications.'

The village's 1,100 residents are now saving to fund legal action against the plans and say they have already raised 10 per cent of the amount needed to pay a barrister.

The first homes in Fairbourne were built around 1900 on land which had been reclaimed from the sea, which is only just above sea level. It is protected by defences which were first built in the late 19th century.

A council document shown to residents setting out the planned changes states: 'In the medium term over the next 50 years plans have to have been put in place and implemented to abandon defences and for the people to relocate. In the long term defences would not be maintained.'

It continues: 'It is possible to increase the levels of defences. The embankment could be raised, shingle could be brought in to defend the shoreline, and pumps could be installed to deal with increased rainfall. 'This would incur very significant cost, with on?going increase in costs.

'Even in attempting to defend people, this risk is such that should defences be overtopped, or worse still breached, then the consequences would be immense and put people’s lives at risk.'

Gwynedd Councillor John Wynn Jones told the BBC that the council would work with residents to find solutions which were 'acceptable to the community'.



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

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


14 February, 2016

Ozone layer holier than ever!

So the Arctic has developed an ozone hole too.  And it's a big one. It was the Antarctic hole that triggered the Greenie campaign against refrigerant gases but the logic behind the ban  meant that the Arctic should have been protected too.  It wasn't.  So now that the ban has been in force for many years, we have got a holier ozone layer than ever. The science behind the ozone nonsense has long ago been shown to be mistaken and reality too has now caught up.  Greenies hailed the antiozone Montreal protocol as their biggest achievement. But it was as poorly founded as all the rest of the Greenie scares

A huge hole in the ozone layer over the Arctic is set to grow even larger this spring as a blast of cold weather combines with returning sunshine and lingering air pollutants.

The hole over the Canadian Arctic is already thought to be around 770,000 square miles (two million square kilometres) or around the size of Greenland.

But environmental scientists are predicting the gap in the Earth's protective atmospheric layer could grow even larger this spring when the sunshine returns to the region after the long, dark winter.

According to Science magazine, a record low temperature in the Earth's upper atmosphere could release chemicals which destroy the layer.

Ozone is a gas composed of three oxygen molecules which can be hazardous to our health on the ground, but in the upper atmosphere it protects us by soaking up ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

Without it, the planet's surface would be exposed to dangerous levels of UV-B rays which can shred DNA, leading to mutations that cause cancers.

Towards the end of the 20th Century, the ozone was found to have been depleted by the now banned chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which react with the ozone as they break down.

The extent of the hole above Canada was revealed in 2011. In extended cold periods, like the Arctic winter, the hole can become enlarged.

Dr Markus Rex, an atmospheric chemist at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Germany explained that by next week as much as a quarter of the Arctic's ozone will be destroyed.

Ozone is constantly replenished in the atmosphere but if the rate of destruction outstrips this then the hole can enlarge.

Scientists warn that if this year's polar vortex – the wintry weather pattern which traps circulating cold air in the upper atmosphere – continues longer than usual into the spring, the returning sunlight could set off a chemical chain reaction widening the hole even further.

Dr Markus Rex, an atmospheric chemist at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) in Potsdam, Germany explained that by next week as much as a quarter of the Arctic's ozone could be destroyed.

'Should the vortex persist until well into March, the formation of a deep ozone minimum over the Arctic has to be expected,' said Dr Rex.

He added: 'However, if the vortex breaks up before then, the air masses will sufficiently mix with fresh air from lower latitudes and the Arctic will narrowly avoid a new record of ozone depletion.'

The team at the AWI say that the while they are unable to accurately predict the fate of the vortex, and if it will break up before spring returns, the researchers say that there is a chance that a hole in the layer – or 'ozone minimum' – could even drift over central Europe.

The scientists are continuing to monitor the atmosphere closely and releasing weather balloons from a number of stations dotted throughout the Arctic.



And sea levels are disappointing Greenies too

A slowing sea level rise -- a far cry from Al Gore's prophecies of a catastrophic rise

Idyllic islands and bustling cities such as Venice and Miami may be spared from rising sea levels in the near future because parched land is absorbing some of the water released by melting glaciers.

The planet's continents have soaked up and stored 3.2 trillion tons of water in soils, lakes and underground aquifers, according to Nasa.

The agency analysed satellite measurements collected over the past decade to show the rate of sea level rise has slowed by 22 per cent – although the effect may be temporary.

'We always assumed that people's increased reliance on groundwater for irrigation and consumption was resulting in a net transfer of water from the land to the ocean,' said lead author JT Reager of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

'What we didn't realise until now is that over the past decade, changes in the global water cycle more than offset the losses that occurred from groundwater pumping, causing the land to act like a sponge - at least temporarily.'

The global water cycle involves the evaporation of water droplets over the oceans to rainfall, which runs off into rivers that lead back into the ocean.

The effect land storage of water has had on sea level rise has remained unknown until now because there are no land-based instruments that can measure such changes planet-wide.

The latest data came from a pair of Nasa satellites launched in 2002, known as the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace).

Between 2002 and 2014, it measured changes in gravity and therefore underlying changes in water storage.

The team of researchers, from Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the University of California, Irvine, University of Bonn, Germany, and National Taiwan University, combined the satellite data with estimates of mass loss of glaciers to calculate the impact land water storage might have had on sea level change.

Their analysis suggests that during this timeframe, climate variability resulted in an increase of approximately 3.2 trillion tons of water being stored in land.

The team learned that the 'water gains over land were spread globally, but taken together they equal the volume of Lake Huron, the world's seventh largest lake.

This gain partially offset water losses from ice sheets, glaciers, and groundwater pumping, slowing the rate of sea level rise by between 0.7 and 0.2 millimetres each year.'

They believe the findings, published in the journal Science, will help scientists better calculate sea level changes in the years ahead.

'These results will lead to a refinement of global sea level budgets, such as those presented in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports, which acknowledge the importance of climate-driven changes in hydrology, but have been unable to include any reliable estimate of their contribution to sea level changes,' said senior author Jay Famiglietti, a professor at the University of California, Irvine.

'But we'll need a much longer data record to fully understand the underlying cause of the patterns and whether they will persist.'


The silent sun: A mini ice age coming?

The sun is in the midst of its quietest period in more than a century.  Several days ago, it was in 'cue ball' mode, with an incredible image from Nasa showing no large visible sunspots seen on its surface.

Astronomers say this isn't unusual, and solar activity waxes and wanes in 11-year cycles, and we're currently in Cycle 24, which began in 2008. However, if the current trend continues, then the Earth could be headed for a 'mini ice age' researchers have warned.

Astronomers have been counting sunspots for centuries, and they have seen that the solar cycle is not perfectly regular.

We've had the smallest number of sunspots in this cycle since Cycle 14, which reached its maximum in February of 1906.

'With no sunspots actively flaring, the sun's X-ray output has flatlined,' wrote Vencore Weather.

'The number of nearly or completely spotless days should increase over the next few years as we continue to move away from the solar maximum phase of cycle 24 and approach the next solar minimum phase and the beginning of solar cycle 25.'

'The current level of activity of solar cycle 24 seems close to that of solar cycle number 5, which occurred beginning in May 1798 and ending in December 1810,' added an analysis by Watts Up With That.

The previous solar cycle, Solar Cycle 23, peaked in 2000-2002 with many furious solar storms.

During Solar Max, huge sunspots and intense solar flares are a daily occurrence. Auroras appear in Florida. Radiation storms knock out satellites.

The last such episode took place in the years around 2000-2001.

During Solar Minimum, the opposite occurs. Solar flares are almost non-existent while whole weeks go by without a single, tiny sunspot to break the monotony of the blank sun. This is what we are experiencing now.

The Maunder Minimum (also known as the prolonged sunspot minimum) is the name used for the period starting in about 1645 and continuing to about 1715 when sunspots became exceedingly rare, as noted by solar observers of the time.  It caused London's River Thames to freeze over, and 'frost fairs' became popular.

This period of solar inactivity also corresponds to a climatic period called the 'Little Ice Age' when rivers that are normally ice-free froze and snow fields remained year-round at lower altitudes.

There is evidence that the Sun has had similar periods of inactivity in the more distant past, Nasa says.

The connection between solar activity and terrestrial climate is an area of on-going research.

The longest minimum on record, the Maunder Minimum of 1645-1715, lasted an incredible 70 years.

During this period, sunspots were rarely observed and the solar cycle seemed to have broken down completely.

The period of quiet coincided with the Little Ice Age, a series of extraordinarily bitter winters in Earth's northern hemisphere.

Many researchers are convinced that low solar activity, acting in concert with increased volcanism and possible changes in ocean current patterns, played a role in that 17th century cooling.


Military preparing to fight ‘climate change’ instead of wars?

When our national focus was still sane, the United States Department of Defense had a singular goal: defending the U.S, while maintaining the capability to wage war on two fronts. What did that look like? If the United States were drawn into a two front war like World War II, we would be able to triumph.

So what happens when you take on so many priorities that the objective actually becomes more elusive? We should ask the Pentagon after they implement Directive E 4715.21, or the directive relating to Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience.

The directive comes as a direct result of Executive Order 13653, Obama’s effort to institutionalize his stance on climate change within the government. The thinking goes, If the effects of climate change are imminent, shouldn’t we make the appropriate preparations? What could go wrong?

For starters, what happens when the military procuring weapons based not solely on cost, reliability and effectiveness? Does the introduction of climate sustainability disrupt this already cumbersome balancing act? Producing cost effective, functioning technology is already a challenge that the defense establishment grapples with, doesn’t this create more problems than it solves?

This is corroborated by the Daily Caller’s report, which excerpts the report by saying The way in which DoD acquires its weapons platforms and supplies will also see significant changes. According to the document, the assistant secretary of defense for acquisition will overhaul policies to integrate climate change considerations into mission area analyses and acquisition strategies across the life cycle of weapons systems, platforms, and equipment.

That’s pretty bad, but it gets worse. It also creates climate boards that will integrate the new standards into all layers of the services.

Worse still, the military’s tactical aims are being complicated, according to Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning, Sergeants leading a platoon should not be worried about the environmental sensitivity of a rice paddy that needs to be traversed to achieve their mission, while providing the maximum security for the personnel under their command.  Tank commanders should be afforded all the training they need no matter how much fuel is expended in the process.  And Naval Captains should run their ships at the speeds that are necessitated by the immediate needs of the situation. Instead, President Obama would install bureaucratic boards and other second guessers along with real time tactical climate change assessments that would be held over officers’ heads should they choose what was deemed to be a climate change insensitive course of action.

A three year moratorium on the Obama climate order should be instituted by Congress to assure that the full impacts can be realized before doing great damage to the technical capabilities of our armed forces, as well as damaging our capability to project force. If we want to return to the original mission of our military, which is readiness, Congress itself must be ready to flex its Article I muscles. Our safety may very well depend on it.


Cosmic Cycles, not Carbon Dioxide, Control Climate

By Viv Forbes, a qualified geologist who has spent much of his life studying geological and climate history as written in the rocks

Those who think the political war on carbon will lower Earth’s temperature or keep climate stable need to study climate history.

Temperatures on Earth dance to a cyclic rhythm every hour, every day, every month, every season, every year, and to every beat of the sun-spot and glacial cycles.

The daily solar cycle causes continual changes in temperature for every spot on Earth. It produces the frosts at dawn, the mid-day heat and the cooling at sunset. It is regulated by rotation of the Earth.

Superimposed on the daily solar cycle is the monthly lunar cycle, driven by the orbit of the Moon around the Earth. These two cycles interact to produce variations in atmospheric pressure and tides, and currents in the oceans and the atmosphere. These are the daily weather makers.

The yearly seasonal cycle is caused as the tilted axis of Earth’s rotation affects the intensity of solar energy received by each hemisphere. This produces spring, summer, autumn and winter for every spot on Earth.

Then there is the 22 year sun-spot cycle, which correlates with cycles of floods and droughts. Sunspot cycles are indicators of solar activity which causes periods of global warming and cooling.

Variations on the sun also affect the intensity of cosmic rays reaching Earth’s surface – cosmic rays create nuclei for low level cloud formation, and the shading from such clouds reduces surface temperatures.

Earth’s climate is also disrupted periodically by the effects of changing winds, ocean hot spots and submarine volcanism that produce the El Nino Southern Oscillation.

The least recognised but most dangerous climate cycle is the glacial cycle. We are fortunate to live in the Holocene Epoch, the latest warm phase of the Pleistocene Ice Age. The climate history of the Holocene, and its predecessor the Eemian, are well documented in ice core logs and other records in the rocks. Each cycle consists of a glacial age of about 80,000 years followed by a warmer age of about 20,000 years, with the peak warming occurring over about 12,000 years. Our modern warm era commenced 12,000 years ago and peaked during the Medieval Warming, so it is probably nearing its end.

There have been eight warm eras separated by long glacial winters over the last 800,000 years of the Pleistocene. In every beat of this cycle, the vast ice sheets melt, sea levels rise dramatically, coral reefs and coastal settlements are drowned, and forests and animals re-colonise the higher land released from the ice. Warm climate animals such as hippos, water buffaloes and elephants got as far north as Germany in the last warm era. Then suddenly the ice returned, covering the northern hemisphere as far south as Chicago and London, destroying the forests, lowering the seas, stranding the relocated coral reefs and eliminating unprepared species. (Some dopey grizzly bears got stranded in the Arctic Ice and the most enterprising of them survived to evolve into white grizzlies now called polar bears.)

This regular repetition of natural climate change is partially explained by the Milankovitch cycles relating to changes in Earth’s precession, orbit and tilt. These drive variations in solar energy received by Earth and have the greatest temperature effect on the large land masses of the Northern Hemisphere.

On an even longer time scale, oscillation of the solar system through the plane of the Galaxy seems to trigger magnetic reversals and violent spasms of volcanism, crustal movements, glaciation and species extinction. Earth is never still for long.

These cycles interact to produce a wide range of ever-changing temperatures. Even at the same moment, temperatures vary dramatically from the equator to the poles and from the surface to the stratosphere. For would-be climate managers to claim they can calculate a mythical global temperature with precision greater than thermometers can measure is statistical nonsense.

It is a wonder of the modern era that people who cannot accurately forecast next weekend’s weather claim they can regulate the temperature of the whole globe by bashing industry and taxing carbon.

What is the role of carbon dioxide in climate? Al Gore did a great job to dramatise the recurring glacial cycles in his widely acclaimed work of science fiction. But he missed two inconvenient truths.

First, ice cores show that in the glacial spring-time the temperature rose BEFORE the CO2 levels rose. Therefore the rising CO2 cannot be a CAUSE of the warming – it is a RESULT of CO2 being expelled from the warming oceans.

Second, at the top of every summer-time in the glacial cycle, the high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere were unable to prevent the cooling into the next cycle of ice.

We are already in the autumn of the current glacial cycle and nothing man can do will change that. Global temperatures today are lower than they were in Roman and Medieval times. They will still fluctuate with the effects of daily, lunar, yearly and sun-spot cycles, but the long-term trend of maximum and minimum temperatures will continue drifting downwards. Once summer temperatures in places like Siberia are unable to melt last winter’s snow, the already growing glaciers will join to form ice sheets and Earth will once again be gripped by another long Glacial Winter.

The transition from Greenhouse Earth to Icehouse Earth always occurs suddenly. Once our verdant greenhouse is gone, life on Earth will never be the same again. Greenhouse Earth will surely come around again, but many of today’s species will probably not survive to welcome the return of the warmth.

The warm days, seasons, years and epochs have never been a deadly threat to life on Earth. Frost, snow, hail and ice are the killers. If our descendants do not have the energy, resources and wisdom to keep their people warm and fed through the coming glacial epoch, humans may follow our Neanderthal cousins who perished in the last glacial winter, just 20,000 years ago.

There is NO evidence in climate history that carbon dioxide has a detectable effect on global temperatures. However if our continued use of cheap reliable hydro-carbon energy does slightly delay the onset of the next glacial winter, we and all life on Earth should count ourselves extremely lucky.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Tasmania’s Burning Peatlands Caused by global warming?

No.  There was no statistically significant terrestrial global warming for over 18 years.  And even El Nino pushed the average terrestrial global temperature to a 2015 rise of just over one tenth of a degree Celsius

As the climate warms, the hoary peatlands that blanket Tasmania’s west are drying out, and burning up. The cool moist conditions they rely on are disappearing but the peatlands are exacting a small revenge on the species responsible.

While fires have typically burned across peatlands with little effect, Professor David Bowman said that as they dry, the centuries-old organic soils beneath are starting to smoulder.

In turn, public health experts say the smouldering peatlands are letting off nasty smoke, exacerbating the already serious threats posed by bushfires.

According to Prof. Bowman, there’s little doubt that human-induced climate change is to blame, and the problem will only grow as temperatures rise.

A lot of people haven’t caught up to how fast climate change is in comparison to the background ecological change, Prof. Bowman said. What is happening with a warming climate is ecological change is just speeding up, and there’s going to be collateral.

There is damage, and I think these fires are part of that. There have been big fires in the past…but I suspect the trend we’re seeing now, of really big fires, and high frequency big fires, often lit by lightning storms, is signalling something different.

It’s unclear how bad the damage is at this stage, but if the organic soils under the peatlands combust, they take centuries to regenerate. During that time, peatland ecosystems also becomes more fire-prone, lessening the peat’s chances of regeneration.

Prof. Bowman predicts peat soils will likely be relegated to localised patches along creek lines, and on lower slopes by the end of this century. Outside of these refugia, he expects large tracts of Tasmania’s western wilderness, much of it World Heritage Listed, will be replaced by scrublands on gravelly ridges.

I actually think at a broader scale – if you believe the climate models, and data – it’s pretty simple analysis, Prof. Bowman said.

That is, that peatlands require a certain climate; the Tasmanian peatlands are right on the margin; and if you warm the world, the peatlands that exist in Tasmania will … be replaced by a different sort of bush that will be more flammable and has a different sort of hydrology.

And out of the ashes of Tasmania’s peatlands, a new threat is rising.

The odd bushfire, you know, every so often, is typical basically anywhere in Australia, said Dr Fay Johnston, a Menzies Institute researcher at the University of Tasmania. But here we’ve got vegetation and soil burning that doesn’t normally burn. It’s more than just smoke from a passing vegetation fire, and that can be bad enough.

The mixture is more toxic, particularly if you’re close to it, and the sheer load of particles, because it’s incomplete [and]inefficient combustion, is much greater, Dr Johnston said.

The smoke mixture has a higher load of toxic ingredients, including suspended particles and products of incomplete combustion – hydrocarbons, volatile organic acids, a whole suite of things – that in their own right are highly irritating.

With peat fires, you tend to have a bigger exposure and you tend to have an exposure that goes on for longer, she said.

On Friday, when authorities issued their latest stakeholder update, there were still over 70 fires – 30 of them uncontrolled – still burning across Tasmania. Smoke has reached as far as Melbourne, and Dr Johnston said that it’s likely around half of Tasmania has been exposed to the damaging haze.

Everybody in Tasmania, more or less, would’ve got some smoke, but it was the people who live up in the north west who really got affected. It was quite bad for a good week, and it’s fluctuating on and off in some cases since then, she said.



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12 February, 2016

The record year 2015 and what helped

Below is just a machine translation from the German of Frank Bosse und Fritz Vahrenholt.  I didn't feel like tidying it up as I think the messages get through anyway. They note that 2015 officially was thirteen hundredths of a degree warmer than 2014 and ask why. They make the obvious point that El Nino was a big contributor but what I think is of particular interest is their attack on the retrospective and controversial "adjustments" to ocean temperature by Tom Karl -- adjustments that wiped out the "pause". 

Bosse and Vahrenholt below use the Argo floats to test the changes.  They find that for the period covered by the Argo floats, the "old" temperature statistics match the Argo record better than did Tom Karl's adjusted statistics.  Since the Argo floats provide the best ocean temperature record by far, it is clear that Karl's adjustments are not validated.  The "old" measurements are the best and the "pause" is back!

The last sentence below is also very interesting.  The entire terrestrial record may by now be too corrupt for any reliance to be placed on it

The 2015 ended with a record: The temperature range GISS recorded +0.87 ° C anomaly compared to the reference period 1951-1981. These were further 0.13° C was observed over the previous year in 2014 globally. They rose strongly on ocean temperatures. A look back at a few months earlier record GISS of May 2015 shows that the global mean temperatures were 2014 then still appear lower by 0.06 ° C than in January 2016.

How can that be? In summer 2015, a correction of ocean temperatures was introduced, we had, among other things here reported. The trigger: The measurement methods for detecting the surface temperatures of the oceans (SST Sea Surface Temperature) changed from 1998. Whereas previously the SST determined from ships, often by the water temperature was measured in buckets or the sucked cooling water, you went to later precise measurements over buoys. This transition was, according to the scientists to T. Karl. By NOAA, a negative distortion, which is minimized (for obvious to warm measurements of the past down to the precise measurements of the presence of upward) with corrections This measure was taken very quickly for the global soil temperature series.

We want to assess the validity of the corrections by T. Karl shortly. As a reference, we use the most homogenous temperature range that is available for sea surface temperatures: The buoy measurements of the Argo program , which since 2004 provides fairly accurate and closely defined data error. We consider the temperatures of the upper 100m globally and comparing the uncorrected series ERSSTv3b and the realigned series ERSSTv4 (NOAA).

Figure 3: The annual mean SST for ERSSTv3b (v3b- black) and ERSStv4 (NOAA red) and the reference of Argo measurements (NODC- blue) with the resulting linear trend of global SST.

It is striking that the trends for the unadjusted series (black) and for very precise reference number of the buoys measurements (blue) are virtually indistinguishable, the adjusted series (red) but provides a stronger by about 50% rising trend since of 2004. The difference is caused by lower values ??in the past, and slightly higher in the present. The comparison with the most modern and authentic data on sea temperatures in any case does not justify the correction of the SST by T. Karl. To record in 2015 was the introduction of the new SST-series at about 0.04 ° C.......

Moreover, the satellite measurements of the troposphere show no record increase: both series of measurements, both UAH and RSS, enter 2015 just as the third warmest year since 1979. That the troposphere temperatures rise more slowly than soil temperatures is a state of affairs that does not reproduce the climate models. You expect it the other way around.

More HERE 

The Profiteers of Doom Were Wrong About Climate

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, Willie Soon & David R. Legates

More than a century from now, on current trends, today’s concentration of CO2 in the air will have doubled. How much warming will that cause? The official prediction, 1.5-4.5 Celsius degrees per CO2 doubling, is proving a substantial exaggeration.

Professor William Happer of Princeton, one of the world’s foremost physicists, says computer models of climate rely on the assumption of the CO2’s direct warming effect that is about a factor two higher, owing to incorrect representation of the microphysical interactions of CO2 molecules with other infrared photons.

As if that were not bad enough, the official story is that feedbacks triggered by direct warming roughly triple it, causing not 1 but 3 degrees’ warming per CO2 doubling. Here, too, the official story is a significant exaggeration, as Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT, the world’s most knowledgeable climatologist, has demonstrated.

The wild exaggerations of both the direct CO2 warming and the supposedly more serious knock-on warming are rooted in an untruth: the falsehood that scientists know enough about how clouds form, how thunderstorms work, how air and ocean currents flow, how ice sheets behave, how soot in the air behaves.

In truth, we do not understand climate enough to make even an uneducated guess about how much global warming our adding CO2 to the air will cause. Other things being equal, we will cause some warming, but – on measurements to date – not much.

The national science academies and the UN’s climate panel have profitably contrived what the late Stephen Schneider called scary scenarios on the basis of inadequate knowledge. Etatiste politicians and bureaucrats have gone along with them.

A quarter of a century has passed since the panel first predicted how fast the world would warm. Measurements since then show the predictions were much overblown. But don’t take it from us. Ask any climatologist the following ten killer questions.

1: Where has the warming that the surface thermometer datasets now say has occurred in the past 18 years come from?

The official theory is that photons interacting with CO2 molecules in the upper air give off heat that warms that air, which warms the lower air, which warms the surface.

Yet the two satellite datasets show no global warming of the lower air for almost 19 of the 21 years of annual UN global-warming conferences. Even if CO2 had warmed the upper air as predicted (and the satellites show it has not), that warming could not have reached the surface through lower air that has not warmed. If the surface has warmed in the past couple of decades, as the surface datasets now pretend, CO2 cannot have been the cause.

In 2006 the late Professor Robert Carter, a down-to-earth geologist who considered global warming a non-problem, wrote in the Daily Telegraph that in eight full years (1998-2005), the Hadley Centre’s global temperature dataset showed no global warming at all.

Yet that dataset, which, like all the surface datasets, was recently adjusted to deliver the global warming that measurements did not show, now indicates a warming trend over those same eight years at a rate equivalent to more than 1.5 degrees/century.

2: Why, two years ago, did every surface temperature dataset agree with the satellites that there had been no global warming this millennium, and why, though the two satellites continue to show little or no warming, was every surface dataset altered in the two years preceding the Paris climate conference in a manner calculated to show significant warming?

3: Why do all the datasets, surface as well as satellite, show a lot less warming than predicted?

Why, even after the numerous questionable adjustments to the surface temperature datasets, has the rate of warming over the past quarter of a century been only one-third to one-half of the central prediction made by the UN’s climate panel in its 1990 First Assessment Report?

The startling temperature clock shows the UN panel’s 1990 predictions as orange and red zones meeting at the red needle representing its then central prediction that by now there should have been global warming equivalent to 2.8 degrees/century.

But the blue needles, representing the warming reported by the three much-altered surface tamperature datasets, show little more than half that warming. The green needles, representing the satellite datasets, show only a third of what the UN had predicted with substantial confidence in 1990.

4: Why is the gap between official over-prediction and observed reality getting wider?

An updated temperature clock shows the warming the UN’s panel predicted in its 2001 Third Assessment Report, compared with measured warming from then till 2015. The measured warming rate, represented by the green zone, is manifestly less than the warming rate since 1990, even though CO2 concentration has risen throughout.

 5: Why is the gap between warming rates measured by satellite and surface datasets widening?

It is legitimate to infer that the surface datasets have been altered to try to bring the reported warming closer to the failed but (for now) still profitable predictions.

6: Why should anyone invest trillions on the basis of official predictions in 1990 and in 2001 that differ so greatly?

Plainly, this is not the settled science we were told it was.

7: Why has the observed rate of warming, on all datasets, been tumbling for decades notwithstanding predictions that it would at least remain stable?

One-third of all Man’s supposed warming influence on climate since 1750 has occurred since the late 1990s, yet satellites show scarce a flicker of global warming in close to 19 years. And the rate of warming from 1950 to the present is lower than the rate from 1950 to any previous year in the past half-century.

Not only the amount but also the pattern of warming fails to match predictions. To the nearest tenth of one per cent, there is no CO2 in the air. Yet the UN’s panel said in 2007 that CO2 would warm the upper air 6 miles above the tropical surface at twice or thrice the surface rate. That tropical mid-troposphere hot-spot (one of us gave it its name) was, we were told, the undeniable fingerprint of manmade global warming. The existence of the hot-spot would prove manmade warming.

8: So, where is the missing tropical upper-air hot-spot?

Satellites do not show it. Millions of measurements taken by balloon-borne radiosondes do not show it. Why, if warming is manmade, has there been very little difference between measured surface and upper-air warming rates for decades?

Just as it is officially predicted that CO2-driven warming will be greatest in the upper air, which will in turn warm the surface, so it is predicted that the near-surface air will warm the ocean surface, which will warm the deeps.

Yet measurements from more than 3600 automated buoys throughout the ocean that dive down a mile and a quarter and take detailed temperature and salinity profiles every ten days show that the deeper strata are warming faster than the near-surface strata.

9: Why, if CO2-driven warming ought to warm the surface ocean first, is the ocean warming from below? And why has the ocean been warming throughout the 11 full years of the ARGO dataset at a rate equivalent to only 1 degree every 430 years?

As Hal Doiron, a  NASA thermal engineer, bluntly puts it: When I look at the ocean I see one of the largest heat-sinks in the solar system. While the ocean endures there can’t be much manmade global warming. And he had to get his heat calculations right or astronauts died.

Believers have silenced serious and legitimate scientific questions such as these by an organized, well-funded and remarkably vicious campaign of personal vilification against anyone who dares to ask any question, however polite or justifiable, about the Party Line. Most scientists, politicians and journalists have learned that they will have a quieter life if they just drift along with what most scientists privately concede is sheer exaggeration.

Believers also insist there is a consensus that manmade global warming is likely to prove dangerous.

10: Given that the authors of the largest ever survey of peer-reviewed opinion in learned papers marked only 64 of 11,944 papers, or 0.5%, as stating they agreed with the official consensus proposition that recent warming was mostly manmade, on what rational, evidence-based, scientific ground is it daily asserted that 97% of scientists believe recent global warming is not only manmade but dangerous?

Millions die worldwide every year because they do not have cheap, clean, continuous, low-tech, coal-fired power. Given the growing and now flagrant discrepancies between prediction and observation that we have revealed here for the first time, the moral case for defunding the profiteers of climate doom and redeploying the money to give coal-fired light and heat to the world’s poorest people is overwhelming.

We are killing millions today with the scientifically baseless aim of saving thousands who are not at risk the day after tomorrow.


Aerial pictures show how climate change  has dried out Bolivia's lake Poopo

What a lot of Poopo! Since there was no statistically significant terrestrial warming for over 18 years the lake was not affected by it. There may have been some local warming due to last year's El Nino but but diversion of water flowing into it will be the big culprit.  And it is shallow so does dry out periodically anyway

A lake the size of Los Angeles has dried up into a desert in Bolivia as a result of climate change and industry, according to scientists.

The shocking aerial photos taken by NASA's Earth Observatory show a dusty plain where the mountainous saline lake used to lie.

Scorching temperatures, an extended drought and the diversion of water for mining and agriculture has left the once 3,000sq km bone dry.

The government has declared the area a 'disaster zone,' but many say not enough has been done to make the area sustainable again.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have lost their livelihoods and left the area after Lake Poopo dried up in a development scientists have warned is the stark reality of climate change.

'We have no lake. There were flamingos. But after the first few days of December, we are not surprised the lake has dried up,' Valerio Calle Rojas, a fishermen from the Untavi community.

Local scientists say the water has evaporated three times as fast between rainfalls.

'Lake Poopo has been tracked for about 60 years and there has been evidence that climate change has had an effect in the last decade, from the 90's in the 20th Century. The temperature has gone up 0.9 degrees Celsius,' said Milton Perez, a professor at the Oruro Technical University told Reuters.

The lake dried up before in 1994, and researchers said it took several years for the water to return and the ecosystem to recover. The lake used to go through drastic changes every eight years as a result of regulated climatic changes, but because of global warming it changes every three years.

High on Bolivia's plains at 12,000ft and long subject to climatic whims, the shallow saline lake has essentially dried up before only to rebound to twice the area of Los Angeles.

As Andean glaciers disappear, so do the sources of Poopo's water. But other factors are in play in the demise of Bolivia's second-largest body of water behind Lake Titicaca.

Drought caused by the recurrent El Nino meteorological phenomenon is considered the main driver. Authorities say another factor is the diversion of water from Poopo's tributaries, mostly for mining but also for agriculture.

More than 100 families have sold their sheep, llamas and alpaca, set aside their fishing nets and quit the former lakeside village of Untavi over the past three years, draining it of well over half its population. Only the elderly remain.

'There's no future here,' said 29-year-old Juvenal Gutierrez, who moved to a nearby town where he ekes by as a motorcycle taxi driver.

Record-keeping on the lake's history only goes back a century, and there is no good tally of the people displaced by its disappearance. At least 3,250 people have received humanitarian aid, the governor's office says.

Poopo is now down to 2 per cent of its former water level, regional Governor Victor Hugo Vasquez calculates. Its maximum depth once reached 16ft. Field biologists say 75 species of birds are gone from the lake.

While Poopo has suffered El Nino-fueled droughts for millennia, its fragile ecosystem has experienced unprecedented stress in the past three decades. Temperatures have risen by about 1 degree celsius while mining activity has pinched the flow of tributaries, increasing sediment.


U.S. Attorneys General Say States Should Ignore Obama’s Climate Plan

State attorneys general called on all states Wednesday to cease all activity on meeting the goals of President Obama’s far-reaching climate rules for power plants, given Tuesday night’s decision by the Supreme Court to stay the regulations.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who is leading 29 states in a fight against the regulations, said on a call with reporters that the decision by the Supreme Court’s five conservative justices was historic, freezing Obama’s illegal Clean Power Plan and lifting all obligations to meet their deadlines until a federal appeals court makes a decision on the merits later this year.

Don’t let them [the administration] spin out of this, this is a very significant win, he said.

The Clean Power Plan is the centerpiece of the president’s agenda to fight climate change. The plan requires states to cut their greenhouse gas emissions a third by 2030, which the 29 states argue is an unconstitutional imposition of the federal government on states. The White House said Tuesday night that it will continue to work with states on compliance, downplaying the court’s decision as procedural.

Morrisey said all states, even those that support the administration’s plan, are obligated under the court’s decision to stop all activity related to complying with the plan’s goals. The Environmental Protection Agency requires states to begin filing plans on meeting the plan’s goals, or ask for extensions, beginning in September.

A number of state utility and environmental regulators, with governor-appointed energy officials, were in Washington to hold a two-day meeting on Clean Power Plan compliance when the decision came down from the court. Morrisey said it is a waste of state resources for them to continue their planning with a stay in place.

States and utilities are not required to prepare a plan, Morrisey said. He added that the need to change state laws and energy portfolios to comply with the emission regulation are stayed as well. The court’s decision says put down your pencils because EPA has no authority, he said.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is slated to address the regulators Thursday.

Morrisey told reporters on the call that the court’s decision gives states the confidence they will prevail on the merits of their case in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is scheduled to hear the case in June. He said the justices would have never halted the rule if they didn’t believe the chances are high the states will win on the strength of their arguments.


Obama’s FY2017 Budget Includes $750 Million for ‘Green Climate Fund’

In his final budget, President Obama is seeking $750 million for the Green Climate Fund – part of a $3 billion commitment which Republican lawmakers earlier vowed to block unless the U.N. climate agreement reached in Paris last December was submitted to the Senate for ratification.

But when Congress passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill days after the Paris deal was struck, the package neither blocked nor included funding for the GCF.

Asked at the time whether the administration would be able to repurpose funds for the GCF under the omnibus, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that based on what we have reviewed so far, there are no restrictions in our ability to make good on the president’s promise to contribute to the Green Climate Fund.

The fiscal year 2017 budget for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), released to Congress on Tuesday.  Totaling $50.1 billion, it includes $989.9 million for Obama’s Global Climate Change Initiative.

Among other things, this covers bilateral and multilateral climate finance funding, and funds to help countries develop and implement low [greenhouse gas] emissions development strategies. It will also support implementation of the U.N.’s Paris climate deal, and $13 million will go to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The $989.9 million sum includes $500 million for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a global fund designed to help developing countries curb greenhouse gas emissions and cope with phenomena attributed to climate change, such as floods, drought and rising sea levels.

A further $250 million for the GCF is included in the Department of Treasury budget, making a total of $750 million for the fund – an increase from $500 million in FY 2016.

Praising the increase, Oxfam America’s climate change policy manager Heather Coleman said Tuesday it reflects U.S. leadership and commitment to the Paris climate agreement, as the GCF serves as one of the convention’s official financial mechanisms.

Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom told reporters at the State Department the $750 million in funding for the GCF will help developing countries leverage public and private financing to reduce carbon pollution and strengthen their resilience to the effects of climate change.

The administration’s budget justification says that [g]lobal climate change threatens the livelihoods of millions in developing countries, and if not addressed will likely stall or even reverse the gains of many development efforts.

Obama in November 2014 pledged $3 billion for the GCF, an initiative that ultimately aims to raise $100 billion a year globally from public and private sources by 2020.

The GCF has long been targeted by GOP lawmakers, and opposition built ahead of the Paris climate conference. 

Days before the gathering began, 37 Republican senators warned the president that they would block taxpayer funds for the GCF until the forthcoming international climate agreement is submitted to the Senate for its constitutional advice and consent.

A similar warning came in a letter signed by 110 members of the House of Representatives, addressed to the chairman and ranking member of the Appropriations Committee.

A concurrent resolution was then introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), and co-sponsored by 33 other Republicans, linking funding for climate change initiatives including the GCF to Senate advice and consent of the Paris deal.

Related sense of Congress resolutions was introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.). and, after the Paris conference ended, in the Senate by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.)

The administration maintains that the agreement forged in Paris does not require additional Senate advise and consent.

Nonetheless, the omnibus spending bill passed in December did not include a provision prohibiting funding for the GCF, an omission that drew criticism from Heritage Foundation experts and prompted climate activists to declare a win.

This is a rebuke to those congressional extremists who tried to play politics with desperately needed money to help the world’s poor take climate action, said Karen Orenstein of Friends of the Earth in response to the absence of language blocking GCF funding.


Australia: CSIRO boss Larry Marshall sorry for saying politics of climate more like religion than science

Looks like he let his real opinion slip out

  CSIRO chief Larry Marshall has apologised for describing the emotion of the climate debate as almost "more religion than science".

 Dr Marshall had told the ABC  the backlash from his decision to restructure the organisation made him feel like an "early climate scientist in the '70s fighting against the oil lobby"  and that there was so much emotion in the debate it almost "sounded more like religion than science".

He also said he would not be backing down on his controversial shakeup of the organisation's climate divisions, telling the ABC he was yet to be persuaded.At Senate estimates this afternoon he backed away from those comments.

"I'd like to apologise for any offence I may have caused to anyone with respect to my reference to religion," Dr Marshall said. "I was merely referring to the passionate zeal around this issue, not any other reference, and I deeply apologise." 

The redirection of climate science priorities at the CSIRO has drawn international condemnation, with thousands of climate scientists signing an open letter protesting against the changes.

 The Oceans and Atmosphere division is expected to be one of the hardest hit, with 60 positions to go through a mix of redeployment and redundancies.All up, 350 jobs will "change" - a plan that has drawn the ire of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change co-chair and even the World Meteorological Organisation which has made an unprecedented statement condemning the decision.

During the Senate estimates hearing Dr Marshall was quizzed about the backlash and was asked if he thought the international scientists were wrong."We're not saying that modelling and measurement are not important.

We're saying that modelling and measuring isn't more important than mitigation and we've chosen to shift our emphasis to mitigation," 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


11 February, 2016

Warmists are not the only secretive scientists

Obama: "The only people who don't want to disclose the truth are people with something to hide"

Warmists have always been rock-solid in refusing to follow the general scientific practice of making their raw data available to others for analysis. And on the big occasion when Warmist data did leak out we saw why. In constructing his hockeystick Michael Mann simply left out proxy data that did not suit him: Totally crooked. Tom Karl's controversial "adjustments" to sea-surface temperatures are also now under attack -- even requests from Congressional committees have not been sucessful in getting the data released.

So a failure to release data shouts loudly that the secretive scientists have something to hide.  It shows that they have no confidence in their own conclusions.  They fear that a re-analysis will arrive at conclusions different from theirs. 

But these days Warmists are not the only unscientific ones.  There is a lot at stake in today's "publish or perish" academic  climate and it seems that people in lots of disciplines have been taking "shortcuts" to get their stuff published.  The example below concerns a controversial medical study.  Because of the great disbelief in the study's conclusions, it was a prime candidate for data release -- so that doubts could be set at rest for once and for all.

The authors have however dug their heels in so that really tells you all you need to know.  There will now be no-one who trusts their conclusions. 

What I find most pathetic is the shallow reasons given for refusing to release the data.  Requests for the data are described as "harassment".  Michael Mann does that too.  A request for normal scientific courtesy is harassment?  It may indeed be harassment if people keep asking for the data and the authors keep resisting but if they had released the data straight away there would have been no reason for multiple requests

The integrity of science as a whole now seems uncertain and faith in it is probably badly damaged.

Data sharing is all over academic news now. We had Research Parasites, a noxious species of scientists who want to analyse others’ published data without granting its owners co-authorships and a certain control over the interpretations. Then there is a major battle between patients and clinicians about the release of the original data from the so-called PACE trial, originally published in The Lancet, which analysed medical efficiency and economic costs of different therapies for chronic fatigue syndrome/ myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). Since the PACE study came out in 2011, the patients, but also a number of academic scientists, remained unconvinced of the published therapy recommendations and suspected a misinterpretation of data. The authors felt harassed and even threatened by the patients’ incessant demands. The relevant research institutions, the Queen Mary University London and the King’s College London, took the side of their clinicians and refused the release of data, using as argument the allegedly inappropriate nature of such requests and the privacy rights of trial participants.

Importantly, the data sharing requests always concerned anonymised patient data, where names and any other personal information of the trial participants was specifically deleted, to avoid any even approximate identification and breach of privacy. Yet even then, several attempts of patients as well as academics, to obtain the anonymised PACE trial data were converted by the universities from academic inquiries into the bureaucratic Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, which were then repeatedly rejected. At the same time, some of the original PACE authors have been apparently somewhat critical of their original interpretations.

In 2012, a cost-effectiveness analysis of the PACE trial therapies was published in the open access journal PLOS One, where the authors by default had to agree to make freely available any materials and information described in their publication that may be reasonably requested by others for the purpose of academic, non-commercial research. James Coyne, professor of Health Psychology at the Dutch University Medical Center in Groningen, has since used this clause to demand the release of the published PACE data (Coyne is also an academic editor at PLOS One and writes a PLOS blog). His request was once again converted into a FOIA and turned down by King’s College London as being vexatious (just as Queen Mary University did before). The official letter to Coyne read:

The university considers that there is a lack of value or serious purpose to your request. The university also considers that there is improper motive behind the request. The university considers that this request has caused and could further cause harassment and distress to staff.

Nevertheless, PLOS One has issued an editorial notification saying:

we are seeking further expert advice on the analyses reported in the article, and we will evaluate how the request for the data from this study relates to the policy that applies to the publication.

Coyne, it seems, brings it in his blog post to the point:

No one forced Peter White [lead author of PACE study,- LS] and colleagues to publish in an open access journal committed to data sharing, but by doing so they incurred an obligation. So, they should simply turn over the data.

More HERE 

Deceiver Phil is back

I have had a fair bit of fun with Phil Plait's writings over the years.  He is not even clever in his deceptions.  Below he hails a new study as refuting the skeptical claim that scientists at NOAA and elsewhere have been "fiddling" the historical temperature record. So I did my usual trick and looked up the study.  It does not do what Phil wants it to do.  It covers only the last ten years so is quite irrelevant to what skeptics say.  Phil also implies that the new study shows ongoing warming.  But it doesn't even attempt to do that.  What a farce.  I wonder what drives Phil?  A hunger for approval, probably:  Pretty infantile.  The study Phil eulogizes is here

A common claim by climate change deniers is that scientists have been altering ground-based temperature data to make it look like the Earth is warming. This claim—which is not just wrong, but exactly wrong, as I’ll get to in a sec—has gotten more traction than most others offered by the forces of anti-science.

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, has been using this false claim as a blunt hammer against scientists in NOAA, for example, holding hearing after hearing trying to pin charges of conspiracy on them. But of course he’s wrong and is wasting huge amounts of taxpayer money pursuing a lie. As I’ve written before, the scientists aren’t altering the data, they’re correcting them.

A new paper has come out reinforcing this. Researchers from Berkeley, the University of York, and NOAA have looked at the temperatures recorded at stations across the U.S. They assessed the corrections being applied to the data and have confirmed their accuracy. In other words, despite Smith’s claims, the techniques the scientists are using to calibrate the data are solid.

The basic idea is this: There are temperature stations all over the U.S., and many have been in use for more than a century. However, over the years, some have been moved, replaced, or their environment has changed. This, of course, changes the temperature they record.

To account for that, scientists apply a correction to the data to make sure that they are comparing apples to apples when looking at modern measurements versus older ones. But how do they know if the corrections are accurate?

Actually, there are quite a few ways, but in the new study the researchers looked at more modern stations that are known to be quite accurate and compared them to the data from nearby older stations during the 12-year period where the two different systems were both in operation at the same time. As was expected, the uncorrected data from the older stations didn’t match the newer ones well. However, when the corrections were applied, the older stations did in fact match the newer ones much better. This shows that the corrections being applied are in fact making the data more accurate.

Smith and his allies want you to think that scientists are nefariously altering the data, but that’s not the case. Calibrating data isn’t altering it. Think of it more like editing typos and bad grammar. Once those are gone, you get a far better picture of what’s actually happening*.


SCOTUS Puts Obama's 'Global Warming' Regs on Ice

    A divided Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to halt enforcement of President Barack Obama's sweeping plan to address climate change until after legal challenges are resolved. The surprising move is a blow to the administration and a victory for the coalition of 27 mostly Republican-led states and industry opponents that call the regulations "an unprecedented power grab."

    By temporarily freezing the rule the high court's order signals that opponents have made a strong argument against the plan. A federal appeals court last month refused to put it on hold. The court's four liberal justices said they would have denied the request.

    The plan aims to stave off the worst predicted impacts of climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions at existing power plants by about one-third by 2030. Appellate arguments are set to begin June 2.

    The compliance period starts in 2022, but states must submit their plans to the Environmental Protection Administration by September or seek an extension.

    Many states opposing the plan depend on economic activity tied to such fossil fuels as coal, oil and gas. They argued that power plants will have to spend billions of dollars to begin complying with a rule that may end up being overturned.

One small step for mankind. The high court ruling means the Obamabots can't start implementing the economy-crushing regulations and then present a fundamentally transformed country with a fait accompli somewhere down the long and winding legal road. For now, a victory for common sense against "green" superstition and cultism.


Wind Energy Lobbyist: ‘Drastic Steps’ On Climate Change Or We’ll ‘Lose Up To 50% Of The Global Species In Our Generation’

Refuses to face the mayhem his windmills cause among birds

John Anderson, senior director for permitting policy and environmental affairs at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), said at an event on Friday on Capitol Hill that climate change, not wind turbines, poses the greatest threat to wildlife and that without drastic steps being taken, up to half of all species around the world will be lost in our generation.

In his prepared remarks, Anderson said, Regardless of what type of individual, localized impacts you might see from any type of human activity, climate change is the single greatest threat to wildlife. cited statistics from a 2013 study in the Wildlife Society Bulletin, reported by the Institute for Energy Research (IER) in 2015, showing that every year 573,000 birds, including 83,000 raptors, and 888,000 bats, are killed by wind turbines, and asked Anderson if he could provide data showing how climate change posed a greater threat to the birds.

You can find all sorts of information at National Audubon, National Wildlife Federation, National Resource Defense Council – all commissioned studies --showing that if we don’t take drastic steps to reduce the impacts of climate change, that we will lose up to 50 percent of the global species in our generation, Anderson said.

Anderson also said he was not familiar with the source for the statistics cited, but that he preferred data gathered at wind operations, and a 2007 estimate by the National Academy of Sciences on bird fatalities.

I’m going to go with the number that’s the most statistically robust and that’s the number that we had, he said.  That said, the bigger point is that I’m going to trust the National Academy of Sciences that said that .0003 percent of all bird fatalities are attributed to wind.

In a press release distributed at the event, the trade association concluded, All forms of energy generation have impacts, some are acute and have a significant effect on human health and the natural environment. However, the impacts of the wind energy industry are comparatively modest, particularly when one considers the benefits of generating electricity from wind, including that it does not create air or water pollution, greenhouse gases, use water, require mining or drilling for fuel, or generate hazardous waste that requires permanent storage.


Ignoring Truth at Our Peril: Lessons From NASA

Thirty years ago, on January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger shattered out of existence.

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, the most famous member of the panel assigned to study the disaster, argued that the estimates of reliability offered by NASA management were wildly unrealistic, differing as much as a thousand times from the estimates of the engineers, who had called for the mission to abort due to extreme cold.

But management, determined to fly, ignored their advice, holding to fancy rather than facts.

Seven astronauts lost their lives — a physicist, five engineers and one school teacher.

Feynman observed, For a successful technology reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.

Thirty years later, little has changed at NASA. It exemplifies many problems we see in science and culture — an inability or, perhaps more accurately, a dangerous unwillingness to deal with reality and truth. Truth seekers examine the world for what it is rather than fixate on what they want it to be. Ignoring reality can be dangerous.

Scientists should know this. But an emphasis on models has shown that new generations of scientists are becoming astonishingly immune to such reasoning. Trained mainly on computer modeling rather than real-world observations, they self-consciously admit that they frequently fail to distinguish models from reality. They keep aggressively massaging actual data, trying to make them fit models.

Huge sums have been thrown at studying global warming, nowhere more than at NASA, whose annual budgets for that alone now tally in the billions. Given lavish funding to blame global warming on human carbon dioxide emissions, NASA has done just that.

The problem is that data don’t match the models. The alarming warming one hears about is more a figment of modelers' imagination than reality. Their climate models simulate two to three times the observed warming. And no models predicted that for about 20 years there’s been no warming apparent in NASA’s satellite records, the most reliable data source because it’s the least contaminated and least adjusted.

In 1958 NASA launched into existence with the National Aeronautics and Space Act. Its mission was, To provide for research into problems of flight within and outside the earth’s atmosphere, and for other purposes. Since then the mission has been updated more than a few times: To understand and protect our home planet; To explore the Universe and search for life; To inspire the next generation of explorers … as only NASA can.

Inspiration and E.T.? Look, if you want inspiration, you can get it for a few bucks from Star Trek or Starbucks. You can boldly go … across the road. And looking for extraterrestrial civilization is about as nebulous a vision as Superman opening his own security firm. What next — no alien left behind?

Well, sort of. A few years ago President Obama refocused the NASA mission: to reach out to the Muslim world … to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering.

It is difficult to see how making Muslims feel good about their worldview has anything to do with the science of going to space. But then, in our times, the pursuit of truth seems less important than thinking the correct political thoughts. Truth must bend the knee to other considerations. That there is no point beyond politics seems to be the point of NASAs reimagined vision.

When this modus operandi becomes the norm at the highest levels of a society, truth is only the first casualty. There is a loss to science via the useless diversion of valuable resources, a coarsening of the culture as people cynically begin to play the game, and eventually people die.

Models don’t match reality? No problem. Keep changing the data till they do. We even have a technical term for it now, drawn from the name of the government scientist behind last year’s attempt to erase the 18-year lack of warming by dodgy adjustments to already dodgy data: Karlization.

Shouldn’t genuine pursuit of truth prefer to modify models? Instead, some scientists alter official climate records when they don’t fit with their models. That is to prefer fancy over fact. It is tragic. And deadly.


Intelligence Director: Climate Change Could Lead to Larger Refugee Crisis

Perhaps it would -- if we ever have any climate change

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned Tuesday that the effects of climate change could lead to mass migrations in the years ahead that will strain the western world on a much larger scale than the Syrian refugee crisis, adding that worldwide resources to support a growing population are somewhat of a finite resource.

What we have in the world by way of resource to feed and support the growing population is somewhat of a finite resource, said Clapper, adding that there’s only so much water, air and land that can be used to grow crops, so climate change will foment more pressure for migrants in addition to instability of governance.

At a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on worldwide threats, Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said Tuesday that he was afraid that the Syrian refugee crisis will be a precursor to a larger refugee crisis over the next 10-20 years based upon predictions of climate change.

You touch on this Director Clapper in your report. I’m afraid that the Syrian refugee crisis is a precursor of a larger refugee crisis that we could be facing over the next 10 or 20 years, based upon predictions of climate change, said King.

The band of the world that is going to be subject to drought, famine, crop loss, flooding in some areas, incredible heat in the band around north Africa, central Africa, into southeast Asia. We could see mass migrations that could really strain the western countries. Would you concur in that secretary? King asked.

Well I think you’re quite right, and I alluded to that at least briefly in my oral statement about the fact that we have some 60 million people around the globe displaced in one way or another, and I think that— Clapper responded.

If that increases, it’s going to create—because all those people are going to want to go where things are better, which happens to be the north hemisphere, King interjected.

Exactly, and so that’s why that …will place ever greater stresses on the remainder of the countries – whether here in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, wherever – and the effects of climate change, of weather aberrations – however you want to describe them – just exacerbate this, Clapper said.

What we have in the world by way of resource to feed and support the growing population is somewhat of a finite resource. There’s only so much water, only so much arable land, and so the conditions that you mention I believe are going to foment more pressure for migrants – that on top of the instability of governance that I spoke briefly in my oral statement as well I think are going to make for a challenging situation in the future, he added.

In written testimony provided to the committee, Clapper said: Extreme weather, climate change, environmental degradation, related rising demand for food and water, poor policy responses, and inadequate critical infrastructure will probably exacerbate—and potentially spark—political instability, adverse health conditions, and humanitarian crises in 2016.

Several of these developments, especially those in the Middle East, suggest that environmental degradation might become a more common source for interstate tensions. We assess that almost all of the 194 countries that adopted the global climate agreement at the UN climate conference in Paris in December 2015 view it as an ambitious and long-lasting framework, he wrote in his opening statement.

Clapper cited a UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report, which attributes extreme weather events in the tropics and sub-tropical zones in 2015 to both climate change and an exceptionally strong El Niño that will probably persist through spring 2016.

An increase in extreme weather events is likely to occur throughout this period, based on WMO reporting, he wrote.

Human activities, such as the generation of greenhouse gas emissions and land use, have contributed to extreme weather events including more frequent and severe tropical cyclones, heavy rainfall, droughts, and heat waves, according to a November 2015 academic report with contributions from scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Clapper wrote.

Scientists have more robust evidence to identify the influence of human activity on temperature extremes than on precipitation extremes, he added.

The Paris climate change agreement establishes a political expectation for the first time that all countries will address climate change, Clapper wrote.

The response to the deal has been largely positive among government officials and nongovernmental groups, probably because the agreement acknowledges the need for universal action to combat climate change along with the development needs of lower income countries, he added.

Clapper noted that independent team of climate analysts and the Executive Secretary of the UN climate forum have concluded that countries’ existing national plans to address climate change will only limit temperature rise to 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100.



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, 2016

Wot! No hockeystick?

When Mike Mann's proxy-based "hockeystick" picture of the earth's climate history over the last 1,000 years came out, it was greeted with wild acclaim by Warmists.  It even featured at the front of an IPCC report or two.  It showed an unchanging temperature until the late 20th century, when the temperature suddenly shot up -- exactly the Warmist dream.  It was however soon shown as a botch and the IPCC no longer mentions it. 

But Mann  and some others still find hockeysticks wherever they look  so I thought a careful proxy study of the last 1,000 years would be useful.  The one below is from 2011 but is notable for its careful assembly of all available proxies.  Following the abstract, I present one of their graphs, which shows most clearly what they found.  You will see that our climate history is one of ups and downs and we are just at an end of an up

Northern Hemisphere temperature patterns in the last 12 centuries

F. C. Ljungqvist et al.


We analyze the spatio-temporal patterns of temperature variability over Northern Hemisphere land areas, on centennial time-scales, for the last 12 centuries using an unprecedentedly large network of temperature-sensitive proxy records.

Geographically widespread positive temperature anomalies are observed from the 9th to 11th centuries, similar in extent and magnitude to the 20th century mean.

A dominance of widespread negative anomalies is observed from the 16th to 18th centuries. Though we find the amplitude and spatial extent of the 20th century warming is within the range of natural variability over the last 12 centuries, we also find that the rate of warming from the 19th to the 20th century is unprecedented. [More warming in the 19th century!]

The positive Northern Hemisphere temperature change from the 19th to the 20th century is clearly the largest between any two consecutive centuries in the past 12 centuries. [Reflecting recovery from the Little Ice Age]

Figure A1

Clim. Past Discuss., 7, 3349–3397, 2011

More stupid speculation about the distant future

Do they seriously think they can predict what will happen in the year 2300?  Warmists have never made an accurate prediction yet so they have zero credibility.  And their conclusions depend on them knowing a hotly contested figure:  The sensitivity of global temperature to CO2. Judging by both theory and past experience it is probably negligible, if not zero.  So that's yet another reason to regard the report below as just a bit of fantasy designed to prop up true believers.  It's totally speculative and implausible

Sea level rise caused by man-made climate change could last 10,000 years, according to 'stunning' new study.  Even if global warming falls below the governments' target of 2°C, around 20 per cent of the world's population will be forced to migrate away from coasts.

That means that unless we cut carbon emission drastically, major cities such as New York, London, and Shanghai, will be completely submerged, scientists have warned.

The study, published in Nature Climate Change, argues that scientists have been short-sighted in looking at the impact of climate change over one or two centuries.

In the latest research, scientists looked at the impact of four possible levels of carbon pollution —1,280 to 5,120 billion tonnes— emitted between the year 2000 to 2300.

Studying data from over the last 20,000 years, the researchers predicted what will happen to global temperatures, sea level, and ice cover over the next 10,000 years.

The complex modelling effort was led by Michael Eby of the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University.

'Carbon is going up, and even if we stop what we are doing in the relatively near future, the system will continue to respond because it hasn't reached an equilibrium,' Marcott explains.

'If you boil water and turn off the burner, the water will stay warm because heat remains in it.'

A similar but more complex and momentous phenomenon happens in the climate system, according to the study which is written by nearly two dozen leading Earth scientists.

Current releases of the carbon contained in carbon dioxide total about 10 billion tons per year.

The number is growing 2.5 per cent annually, more than twice as fast as in the 1990s.

Humans have already put about 580 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The researchers looked at the effect of releasing another 1,280 to 5,120 billion tons between 2000 and 2300.

'In our model, the carbon dioxide input ended in 300 years, but the impact persisted for 10,000 years,' Marcott says.

By 2300, the carbon dioxide level had soared from almost 400 parts per million to as much as 2,000 parts per million.

The most extreme temperature rise - about 7°C by the year 2300 - would taper off only slightly, to about 6°C, after 10,000 years.

The picture is disturbing, says co-author Shaun Marcott, an assistant professor of geoscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Perhaps the most ominous finding concerns 'commitment,' Marcott says.  'Most people probably expect that temperature and carbon dioxide will rise together and then temperature will come down when the carbon dioxide input is shut off.  'But carbon dioxide has such a long life in the atmosphere that the effects really depend on how much you put in.

'We are already committed to substantial rises in temperature. The only question is how much more is in the pipe.'

The warming ocean and atmosphere that are already melting glaciers and ice sheets produce a catastrophic rise in the ocean.

'Sea level will go up due to melting, and because warming expands the ocean.

'We have to decide in the next 100 years whether we want to commit ourselves and our descendants to these larger and more sustained changes,' Marcott says.

First author Peter Clark and co-authors calculated that ocean encroachment from just the lowest level of total carbon pollution would affect land that in 2010 housed 19 per cent of the planet's population.

However, due to climate's momentum, that effect will be stretched out over thousands of years.

'This is a stunning paper,' says Jack Williams, a professor of geography and expert on past climates at UW–Madison.

'At one level, it just reinforces a point that we already knew: that the effects of climate change and sea level rise are irreversible and going to be with us for thousands of years,' says Williams, who did not work on the study.

'But this paper shows just how devastating sea level rise will be, once we look out beyond 2100.'

The melting in Greenland and Antarctica from the highest level of carbon pollution 'translates into a sea level rise of 80 to 170 feet,' Williams says.

'That's enough to drown nearly all of Florida and most of the Eastern Seaboard.'

For simplicity, the study omitted discussing other major drivers and effects of climate change, including ocean acidification, other greenhouse gases, and mechanisms that cause warming to accelerate further.

Marcott says a recent slogan of climate campaigners, 'Keep it in the ground,' is apt.  'In the ideal situation, that is what would happen, but I can't say if it is economically or politically viable.'

'The paper emphasises that we need to move to net-zero or net-negative carbon emissions and have only a few more decades to do so,' says Williams.  'But the real punch in the gut is the modelled sea level rise and its implications.'


Atlantic Sea Ice Could Grow in the Next Decade

They rope in global warming at the end of their paper  as an assumption about the long term

Changing ocean circulation in the North Atlantic could lead to winter sea ice coverage remaining steady and even growing in select regions.

The massive conveyor belts of the ocean and atmosphere transfer energy around the globe and drive Earth’s climate. Improved models and increases in computer power are starting to allow scientists to get a better glimpse of future surface conditions in the Atlantic by taking into account changes in the ocean heat conveyor. The ocean’s influence on sea ice is not obvious, but in a new study, Yeager et al. argue that it plays a key role in accurate projections of sea ice.

The researchers analyzed simulations from the Community Earth System Model, modeling both atmosphere and ocean circulation. They found that decadal-scale trends in Arctic winter sea ice extent are largely explained by changes in ocean circulation rather than by large-scale external factors like anthropogenic warming.

The team emphasized the influence of the thermohaline circulation (THC), a global current that carries heat around the planet and that experts believe has been slowing down in the Atlantic since about 2000. Although anthropogenic warming may produce a long-term global temperature rise, the THC slowdown contributes to short-term cooling in the subpolar Atlantic and, consequently, a decline in the ice melt rate. The researchers make the connection between these circulation changes and satellite observations taken between 2005 and 2015 that show a positive trend in winter ice cover. In other words, slowing circulation hinders heat transport to the North Atlantic, allowing surface waters to stay cool and sea ice to expand.

Ultimately, the rise of global temperatures will generate a loss of sea ice cover over the coming century. This study is a stepping-stone toward the ultimate goal of decadal climate prediction, which is vital to understanding and anticipating the short-term trends and changes that communities will be tackling in the near future. (Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1002/2015GL065364, 2015)


5 Moneyed Environmentalists Who Profit Off Global Warming

Environmentalists like to claim skeptics are making money off hampering global warming regulations, but those same greens are making a lot of money promoting global warming alarmism. Earlier this week, the Feds even took down a green energy scheme that took $1.4 million from taxpayers.

Counting only private money, environmental groups massively outspend their opponents. Opposition to global warming activism only raises $46 million annually across 91 conservative think tanks, according to analysis by Forbes. That’s almost six times less than Greenpeace’s 2011 budget of $260 million, and Greenpeace is only one of many environmental groups. The undeniable truth is that global warming activists raise and spend far more money than their opponents.

1: Al Gore

The former vice president’s global warming activism has helped increase his net worth from $700,000 in 2000 to an estimated net worth of $172.5 million by 2015. Gore and the former chief of Goldman Sachs Asset Management made nearly $218 million in profits between 2008 and 2011 from a carbon trading company they co-founded. By 2008, Gore was able to put a whopping $35 million into hedge funds and other investments.

Gore also has a remarkable record of investing in companies right before they get huge grants from the government.

2: Elon Musk

This billionaire chairs a number of companies, such as Tesla Motors and SolarCity, which rake in billions in federal green energy subsidies.

In 2014, Musk received $1.4 billion from Nevada taxpayers to build a gigafactory for his electric car company Tesla Motors. SolarCity also got a large payout to move to Nevada. Musk helped found SolarCity and still serves as its chairman.

When Nevada changed the way it subsidized solar power in a way that didn’t favor Musk or SolarCity, the company pulled out of of the state.

Tesla also sells lithium ion-battery Powerwalls for a mere $7,340 to store electricity for homes. The original intention of a Powerwall was to make rooftop solar panels economically viable for consumers. Powerwalls are estimated to take approximately 40 years to pay for themselves. Naturally, Tesla only offers five to 10 year warranties and predicts they will last for only 15 years.

3: Warren Buffett

Billionaire Warren Buffett has invested a great deal in electrical utilities, such as NV Energy, and has also taken advantage of lucrative green energy. Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway Energy has invested up to $30 billion into green energy sources.

Buffett was instrumental in lobbying the Nevada state government to revise net-metering rules to help utilities. That single policy change caused rival billionaire Elon Musk to lose roughly $165 million in a single day.

4: Vinod Khosla

The Indian billionaire has poured over a billion dollars of his own money, as well as the government’s, into 50 different green energy startups. He has been behind some of the green tech industry’s most spectacular failures. Despite these repeated flops, he’s still pouring money into green energy, according to The New York Times.

Khosla has spent a lot of money investing in ethanol, which is heavily dependent on a federal mandate requiring gasoline sold in the U.S. contain a certain amount of ethanol. Ethanol tax credits are estimated to have cost the federal government up to $40 billion between 1978 and 2012, according to The National Review

Khosla was heavily invested in the ethanol company KiOR, even talking the company up during an interview with 60 Minutes. KiOR went bankrupt in November 2014 and devastated the state of Mississippi, which had given KiOR a $75 million, 20-year, no-interest loan after Khosla assured the state that he would build facilities worth $500 million that would create 1,000 jobs.

5: James Cameron

Film director James Cameron has also profited immensely off environmentalism and holds a long history being green, even claiming that [w]e need to mobilize like we did during World War II to fight global warming.

When asked about scientists who were skeptical of global warming, Cameron claimed I want to call those deniers out into the street at high noon and shoot it out with those boneheads. Anybody that is a global-warming denier at this point in time has got their head so deeply up their a** I’m not sure they could hear me.

The environmentally-themed film Avatar netted Cameron over $650 million, making him one of the richest directors of all time with an estimated net worth of $700 million.


Pentagon orders commanders to prioritize climate change in all military actions

The Pentagon is ordering the top brass to incorporate climate change into virtually everything they do, from testing weapons to training troops to war planning to joint exercises with allies.

A new directive’s theme: The U.S. Armed Forces must show resilience and beat back the threat based on actionable science.

It says the military will not be able to maintain effectiveness unless the directive is followed. It orders the establishment of a new layer of bureaucracy — a wide array of climate change boards, councils and working groups to infuse climate change into programs, plans and policies.

The Pentagon defines resilience to climate change as: Ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions.

To four-star generals and admirals, among them the regional combatant commanders who plan and fight the nation’s wars, the directive tells them: Incorporate climate change impacts into plans and operations and integrate DoD guidance and analysis in Combatant Command planning to address climate change-related risks and opportunities across the full range of military operations, including steady-state campaign planning and operations and contingency planning.

The directive, Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience, is in line with President Obama’s view that global warming is the country’s foremost national security threat, or close to it. Mr. Obama says there is no debate on the existence of man-made global warming and its ensuing climate change. Supporters of this viewpoint label as deniers any scientists who disagree.

But there are stubborn doubters. A climate center in Colorado has said its researchers looked at decades of weather reports and concluded there has been no uptick in storms. The United Nations came to a similar finding, saying there is not enough evidence to confirm an increase in droughts and floods.

A previous Pentagon report on climate change attributed Super Storm Sandy to climate change.

Dakota Wood, a retired Marine Corps officer and U.S. Central Command planner, said the Pentagon is introducing climate change, right down to military tactics level.

By equating tactical actions of immediate or short-term utility with large-scale, strategic-level issues of profound importance, the issue of climate change and its potential impact on national security interests is undermined, he said. People tend to dismiss the whole, what might be truly important, because of all the little silly distractions that are included along the way.

He said climate change is typically measured in long stretches of time.

The climate does change over great periods of time, typically measured in millennia, though sometimes in centuries, he said. But the document mentions accounting for such down to the level of changes in ‘tactics, techniques and procedures’ as if reviewing how a squad conducts a patrol should be accorded the same level of importance and attention as determining whether the naval base at Norfolk, Virginia, might have to be relocated as sea levels rise over the next 100 years.

Multipoint strategy

The directive originated in the office of Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. Final approval came from Deputy Defense Secretary Robert O. Work.

The directive is loaded with orders to civilian leaders and officers on specifically how counter-climate change strategy is to permeate planning.

This involves deliberate preparation, close cooperation, and coordinated planing by DoD to provide for the continuity of DoD operations, services and programs, it states.

The DoD must be able to adapt current and future operations to address the impacts of climate change in order to maintain an effective and efficient U.S. military, it adds. Mission planning and execution must include anticipating and managing any risks that develop as a result of climate change to build resilience.

Climate change must be integrated in:

 *  Weapons buying and testing across the life cycle of weapons systems, platforms and equipment.

 *  Training ranges and capabilities.

 *  Defense intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance.

 *  Defense education and training.

 *  Combatant commander joint training with allies to assess the risks to U.S. security interests posed by climate change.

 *  Joint Chiefs of Staff collaboration with allies and partners to optimize joint exercises and war games including factors contributing to geopolitical and socioeconomic instability.

Mr. Wood, now a military analyst at The Heritage Foundation, said the directive is muddled.

I understand the motivation behind and intent for such guidance, he said. The problem is that it includes such a wide variety of issues with no explication or context that enables the offices mentioned to differentiate and prioritize activities and efforts across time or intensity.

‘A lack of evidence’

The Department of Defense last issued a broad directive on climate change in July. It declared climate change an urgent and growing threat to our national security and blamed it for increased natural disasters.

The report also told commanders there are more frequent and/or severe extreme weather events that may require substantial involvement of DoD units, personnel and assets in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

This assertion is not supported by the U.N.’s most recent global warming predictions.

Roger Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the Center for Science and Technology Police Research at the University of Colorado, also has come to conclusions at odds with the Obama administration. He has testified on Capitol Hill, clashing with liberals who say his data are wrong.

Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century, he wrote in 2013. No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin.

In summary, there continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.

Rep. Raul M. Grijalva, Arizona Democrat, tried to silence Mr. Pielke by unleashing allegations and starting an investigation.

Fellow scientists have come to Mr. Pielke’s defense and accused Democrats of violating academic freedom.

Congressman Grijalva doesn’t have any evidence of any wrongdoing on my part, either ethical or legal, because there is none, Mr. Pielke wrote on a blog. He simply disagrees with the substance of my testimony — which is based on peer-reviewed research funded by the U.S. taxpayer, and which also happens to be the consensus of the IPCC.

The IPCC is the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

I have no funding, declared or undeclared, with any fossil fuel company or interest. I never have. Rep. Grijalva knows this too, because when I have testified before the U.S. Congress, I have disclosed my funding and possible conflicts of interest, Mr. Pielke said. So I know with complete certainty that this investigation is a politically motivated ‘witch hunt’ designed to intimidate me [and others] and to smear my name.


Western Australia’s north hits 47C to become one of the hottest places on Earth

Western Australia has always had records for high temperatures so this is not at all new.  Needless to say, however, Warmists are hopping on the bandwagon with claims that global warming is partly behind it.  And equally needless to say, they are talking through their anus.  There has been no global warming for over 18 years and things that don't exist don't cause anything.

Furthermore, the phenomenon is not only not global but it is also not Australia-wide.  Where I live in Queensland we have had an unusually mild summer.  Throughout December and January we had only a few very hot days and that is still so in February. 

I am quoting my own long experience of Brisbane summers in saying that.  I have no interest in seeing what the lying BOM say.  But I do have strong confirmation of what I say.  I have in my back yard eight Crepe Myrtle trees that in their time have always blossomed in January -- but it is now well into February and they are still not out.  Their inbuilt thermometers too say it is not yet a real summer

WESTERN Australia may well be the hottest place on earth right now, and we don’t mean when it comes to being on-trend.

An isolated air strip in the state’s north west suffered through temperatures surpassing 45C yesterday which could be more than anywhere else on the planet.

By 8am this morning temperatures had already nudged 30C at Garden Island, south of Perth, and highs of 42C are expected in the city this afternoon. Further north, Gascoyne Junction, in the state’s north could reach a whopping 47C.

There is little relief in sight with the Western Australian capital set to swelter through four consecutive 40C days for the first time in 83 years. If Perth passes 40C each day to Wednesday it will equal a record set in 1933.

While temperatures may dip slightly heading towards the weekend, meteorologists say it’s likely to be a temporary reprieve with the sticky weather hanging around into next week

Meanwhile, the hot weather has brought out the Western Australian sense of humour with a slew of social media posts about the heatwave including one showing someone frying an egg with the aid of the scorching temperatures.

Shark Bay Airport, situated south of Carnarvon in the Gascoyne region in the state’s north, hit 47C yesterday. According to some reports that was enough to make it the hottest place on earth.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster, Paul Vivars, said it wasn’t surprising Western Australia was pushing the mercury higher than anywhere else.

We’re in summer in the southern hemisphere and while I’m not sure what the temperature is in central Argentina, it’s very possible WA is hotter, he said.

Nevertheless, Perth was easily the hottest city on earth on Monday, with a high of almost 43C in the city’s eastern suburbs, and no other region on the planet had such widespread scorching temperatures as WA.

Mr Vivers said a slow moving high pressure system parked near the coast was in no rush to move on.  It’s been a steady pattern and conditions around Perth haven’t really changed much., he said.

It’s going to stay pretty warm until Friday. Saturday or Sunday night might see five or six degree drop on the coast but after Sunday another trough could bring more hot weather in the mid to high 30s.

The extreme heat has sparked fire and public health warnings for much of the state, with a total fire ban for most of the south of the state.

All fires in the open air, hot work such as metal work, grinding, welding, soldering or gas cutting without a permit and any other activity that may lead to a fire are prohibited.

Firefighters are already battling one large bushfire in the shire of Harvey, which has burnt out 400ha, with authorities battling extreme fire conditions as they fight to bring it under control.

Western Power is expecting near record power demand, with overnight temperatures set to drop no lower than 25C for the next two nights.

If you thought the scorching weather was just a fluke, think again, with a climate scientist today saying we should expect more of the same. Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, from the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW, said there had been an increase in heatwaves in the past five years particularly in southern parts of Australia.

Rare heatwaves that we might only have seen every 20 years we could now see every two years which may not have happened if climate change hadn’t occurred, Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick said.


9 February, 2016

"Mr 97%" wimps out

On 31 January, I put up a challenge to Warmist John Cook.  Cook runs a blog that purports to debunk skeptical challenges to Warmism and is the author of one of the famous "97% consensus" papers. He is much quoted by Warmists and could reasonably be regarded as one of the heavyweights of Warmism -- although he is in fact a young psychologist who has not even got his doctorate yet.

So my challenge stemmed from his claim that he can debunk all climate skepticism.  As it happens, I live only about a 15 minute drive from where he works.  So I invited him to visit me and give me the evidence that would prove imminent catastrophic global warming.

Somewhat to my surprise, he responded -- by email.  He agreed to chat with me over coffee.  I then emailed him asking if it would be OK if I recorded the conversation.  I have not heard from him since!  So we have the situation where a skeptic is not afraid to have his words recorded but a Warmist is.  What does that tell you about who has something to hide?  I think it speaks volumes.

But he is on to a good thing.  He will undoubtedly get rapid promotion to a senior position.  He knows on which side his bread is buttered:  Definitely a young man going places -- JR

Are increases in global mean surface temperature a function of cumulative CO2 emissions?

The summary for policymakers issued by the IPCC in 2013 claims that they are and it has a graph here to prove it.  The graph and associated work was celebrated in "Nature Climate Change" in November 2013.  So are cumulative values the key to proving global warming?  Is it a valid statistical approach? Jamal Munshi below shows that it is not.  You can get similar results with random numbers


Jamal Munshi


Monte Carlo simulation shows that cumulative values of unrelated variables have a tendency to show spurious correlations. The results have important implications for the theory of anthropogenic global warming because e mpirical support for the theory that links warming to fossil fuel emissions rests entirely on a correlation between cumulative values


It is THICK ice that is killing polar bears

Thick spring ice due to natural causes is currently the single biggest threat to polar bears. Not declining summer sea ice – thick spring ice. That could change in the future but right now, the evidence supports that statement.

Polar bear deaths due to cyclical changes in Arctic sea ice thickness in the spring have continued despite rising CO2 emissions and declining summer sea ice extent (last major incident, 2004-2006): there is no reason to expect this will not continue. Unwarranted attention on summer ice extent has deflected attention from this major cause of local polar bear population decline.

Sea ice models do not address past or future changes in spring ice thickness and predictive models of polar bear survival blame all population declines on summer sea ice declines despite strong evidence to the contrary (Crockford 2015: The Arctic Fallacy).
Thick spring ice near shore drives seals to give birth elsewhere because they cannot maintain their breathing holes in the ice (below). This leaves mothers emerging from onshore dens with newborn cubs (above) with nothing to eat at a time when they desperately need food: cubs die quickly, mothers more slowly. Young bears on their own for the first time also die at higher rates than usual.

While some bears die, an unknown portion of the population size change is due to bears moving out of the region to find better hunting.

Despite the hype over September sea ice declines in recent years, the reality is that since 1973, when wanton over-hunting was halted, thick spring ice due to natural causes has been the single biggest threat to polar bears. Over the last 40 years or so, marked polar bear population declines have virtually always been associated with thick spring ice that reduced local ringed seal prey, although in some areas (like Hudson Bay) thick snow on top of sea ice have produced a similar result some years.

Thick spring sea ice conditions have occurred repeatedly in the Southern Beaufort (where numbers may have declined up to 50%, most recently in 2004-2006, but also in 1974-76) and occasionally in Hudson Bay. Historically, similar conditions have been noted in East Greenland.

Fortunately, when sea ice returns to normal, numbers have largely rebounded but where they have not, it’s possible some bears moved permanently out of the area. Evidence going back hundreds of years suggests this kind of population size fluctuation has always occurred and likely always will.

Despite these incidents, global polar bear numbers are higher than they have been in more than 50 years, although exact figures are still frustratingly uncertain after 40 years of research effort (newest estimate, by IUCN Red List 2015: 20,000-31,000).


Bird protection society betrays its mission

The cover of the January-February 2016 issue of Audubon Magazine  proclaims: "Arctic on the Edge: As global warming opens our most critical bird habitat, the world is closing in". In reality, it is the magazine’s writers and editors who have gone over the edge with their misleading reports on the Arctic.

This magazine is so awash in misstatements of fact and plain ignorance of history, science, and culture, that they must not go unchallenged – especially since they epitomize the false and misleading claims that have characterized far too much of the U.S. and worldwide news coverage of dangerous manmade climate change. The following analysis corrects only some of the most serious errors, but should raise red flags about virtually every claim Audubon makes from the front cover to the back page.

Country-by-Country Deceptions

The first part of the January-February issue devotes pages to each of the countries surrounding the Arctic Ocean. The Finland page says storms become more severe with warming. The writers are either clueless or intentionally misleading. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, as they likely did not take Earth Science or Meteorology, and they certainly have no clue about atmospheric fluid dynamics. The pole to equator temperature difference drives the strength of storms. If there actually is more warming in the Arctic, that temperature difference declines, and storm strength becomes less severe – not more so.

The Russia page mentions a familiar location, the Yamal Peninsula, home of one of climate science’s most famous trees. Both the Russia page and the Finland page say that current warming is causing soggy tundra, which is certainly not the case in North Slope Alaska, as discussed later in this article.

The Norway page describes the Black-legged Kittiwake and speculates that warming in the Barents Sea attracts herring which feed on Kittiwake prey. The authors are clearly unaware that natural warming and cooling cycles have been occurring for centuries. In the map below (Figure 2), the green dashed line shows extensive warming in the Barents Sea in 1769, just prior to the American Revolution, as derived from the Norwegian Polar Institute’s recent examination of ship logs to determine the extent of Nordic Sea ice. During that particular warm period, ocean currents and weather conditions made Svalbard and even parts of Novaya Zemlya (where the Soviets conducted their nuclear tests) ice-free.

Arctic Sea Ice

 The Greenland page features Greenland Warming, with an image of tundra and a glacier in the background. However, only about 80% of Greenland is ice-covered; Greenland was warmer than today during the Medieval Warm Period; and abundant new ice formed in Greenland during the past century. A recent blog post estimates that only 0.3% of Greenland’s ice was lost during the twentieth century, and enough snow and ice accumulated on the Greenland Ice Sheet that Glacier Girl, the P-38 airplane that landed there in 1942, was buried in 268 ft of ice before she was recovered in 1992. That’s 268 feet in 50 years, well over 5 feet a year of ice accumulation, much of it during a period when Earth was warming and Greenland supposedly losing ice.

The cover photograph features a Russian oil rig amid an ice-covered Arctic Ocean. It, too, is supposed to instill fear, based on the suggestion that a once solidly icy Arctic is rapidly melting. However, history shows that the Nordic ice extent has been decreasing since at least the 1860s, and probably since the depth of the Little Ice Age, around 1690. The historic data, shown in Figure 3 below, indicate that multi-decadal variability of the Nordic Sea extent (on the order of 30-45% up or down each time) has been occurring for over 150 years.

Melting tundra deceptions

Toward the end of the January-February issue is an account of a visit to Wainwright, Alaska, an Inupiat village of about 556 natives, located on the Arctic Ocean in North Slope Borough. The native Inupiat desire to maintain their subsistence culture, which has been their tradition since their ancestors settled nearby about 13,000 years ago.

The article on Wainwright cites a 5 degree F increase in temperature on Alaska’s North Slope, an apparent reference to a supposed increase of that amount around Barrow. However, that increase was found to be contaminated by the urban heat island effect: even in Alaska, a winter average contamination of +4 degrees F to an extreme of almost +11 degrees F. In reality, there has been little or no warming in Barrow or the North Slope, as proven by the fact that, a mere four miles east-northeast of Barrow, the Berkeley Earth measuring station shows no temperature change over the past decade.

The caption to Figure 4 (from Audubon magazine) emphasizes rising ocean waters. However, most of Alaska has falling sea levels, the result of the isostatic adjustment of northern North America. This rebound effect began with the melting of the Wisconsin Ice Sheet, as Earth emerged from the Wisconsin Ice Age and entered the Holocene between 15,000 and 10,000 years ago. The nearest tide guage to Wainwright is Prudhoe Bay, and sea-level rise there is very small, 1.20 mm/year +/- 1.99 mm/year – so small that sea levels might actually be falling there, as well.

The Audubon writers mention melting permafrost numerous times, but when the natives spoke in 1979, they clearly did not think this is a problem. In fact, in their own words, as recorded in The Inupiat View, the natives specifically note that melt water is scarce in the North Slope Borough. What has happened in the years since?

First, the North Slope has a summer, and from early June until mid-September air temperatures average warmer than 32 degrees F; Wainwright’s extreme maximum once reached 80 degrees Fahrenheit! During the summer months, the soil melts, creating an active layer, meaning the surface is not permanently frozen, but is melted part of the year. Whether there actually is a melting permafrost, as claimed by Audubon, can be determined only by finding the long-term trend in the thickness of the active layer.

Specialists do study this phenomenon and publish reports on it in the Circumpolar Active Layer Monitoring Network, NOAA’s annual Arctic Report Card and elsewhere. Not all the Arctic Report Cards address permafrost issues, but the 2012 edition had an extensive section on permafrost.  A quote from this edition pours freezing water on Audubon’s melting permafrost claim:  Active-layer thickness on the Alaskan North Slope and in the western Canadian Arctic was relatively stable during 1995-2011, it notes.

The literature seems rife with alarmist claims, many of which seem to be politically motivated, as is this issue of Audubon. The NOAA Arctic Reports have a heavy dose of alarmist rhetoric, especially in the boilerplate introductory sections. But the actual measurements and data present nothing that supports the alarmist polemic of the day. If you look at the data, especially long-term data, the pattern which emerges is a centuries-long slow warming, with multi-decadal fluctuations. Significant or alarming anthropogenic trends are simply not there.

Audubon should focus on real problems

The Audubon Society and its magazine should stay away from areas where they have no expertise – specifically the imagined or invented catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. Audubon’s equivocal policy on wind power ostensibly calls on wind energy developers to consider planning, siting, and operating wind farms in a manner that avoids bird carnage and supports strong enforcement of laws protecting birds and wildlife. On the other hand, the same Audubon policy speaks about species extinctions and other catastrophic effects of climate change and pollution from fossil fuels.

When read together, this schizophrenic policy clearly puts Audubon on the side of climate alarmism – with the loss of protected, threatened and endangered birds and bats merely a small price to pay in an effort to save the planet.


No Dissent Allowed: U.S. Senators introduce amendment to muzzle climate ‘denial apparatus’

A Warmist report below

Democratic U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), Ed Markey (MA) and Brian Schatz (HI) introduced an amendment into the energy bill yesterday intended to express Congress’s disapproval of the use of industry-funded think tanks and misinformation tactics aimed at sowing doubt about climate change science.

The amendment evokes the history of notorious anti-science efforts by the tobacco and lead industries to avoid accountability for the damage caused by their products, focusing similar ire on the fossil fuel industry’s decades-long climate cover-up.

Although it doesn’t name specific companies, the amendment is surely inspired by recent revelations about ExxonMobil’s early and advanced knowledge of the role of fossil fuels in driving climate change — which was followed by the company’s subsequent, unconscionable climate science denial efforts.

Just as tobacco and lead companies sowed doubt about the dangers of their products through the use of front groups and third-party experts, so did ExxonMobil — through its funding of a sophisticated network of denialists — work to deceive the public about climate science and the need for political action to end the fossil fuel era.

The most recent and damning #ExxonKnew revelations were published late in 2015 in investigative articles by both InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times in collaboration with the Columbia School of Journalism.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) joined the amendment as a co-sponsor once it was introduced.

It is the sense of the Senate that according to peer-reviewed scientific research and investigative reporting, fossil fuel companies have long known about the harmful climate effects of their products, the amendment reads.

[A]nd contrary to the scientific findings of the fossil fuel companies and of others about the danger fossil fuels pose to the climate, fossil fuel companies used a sophisticated and deceitful campaign that included funding think tanks to deny, counter, and obstruct peer-reviewed research; and used that misinformation campaign to mislead the public and cast doubt in order to protect their financial interest.

In closing, the amendment lends support to the ongoing state Attorneys General investigations in both New York and California into what ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel interests knew, and when, about climate change risks and why the industry chose instead to attack the science to prolong its profits.

The amendment states the Senate disapproves of activities by certain corporations and organizations funded by those corporations to deliberately undermine peer-reviewed scientific research about the dangers of their products and cast doubt on science in order to protect their financial interests…and urges fossil fuel companies to cooperate with active or future investigations into their climate-change related activities and what the companies knew and when they knew it.

The Senate will continue deliberations on the full energy bill this week. Unfortunately, it is rife with fossil fuel industry giveaways, including expedited permitting for liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, subsidies for coal technology and more.

So it’s nice to see an amendment designed to shame, and hopefully stop, industry misinformation campaigns that have delayed much-needed action to usher the end of the fossil fuel era.


Warmists hoist with their own petard

Judith Curry comments on the cutbacks to climate science at Australia's CSIRO research organization

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, CSIRO was the word leader on atmospheric boundary layer research.  In the 1970’s and 1980’s, CSIRO was a leader in atmospheric physics research, producing such scientists as Graeme Stephens and Peter Webster (who both  left Australia for the U.S. in the 1980’s).  Since the 1990’s, CSIRO has done important climate monitoring, and has also done climate modeling research, participating fully in the various CMIP and IPCC exercises.  One has to wonder whether the health of climate science in Australia would be better if they hadn’t bothered with global climate modeling and playing the IPCC games, but rather focused on local climate issues and the climate dynamics of the Southern Hemisphere.

Now that the UN’s community of nations has accepted a specific result from consensus IPCC climate science to drive international energy and carbon policy, what is the point of continued heavy government funding of climate research, particularly global climate modeling?  I have argued previously [e.g. link] that we have reached the point of diminishing returns from the current path of climate modeling.  That said, we still don’t understand how the climate system works on decadal to centennial time scales, and have very little predictive capability on these time scales, particularly on regional scales.

To make progress, we need to resolve many scientific issues, here is the list from my APS Workshop presentation:

* Solar impacts on climate (including indirect effects)
* Multi-decadal natural internal variability
* Mechanisms of vertical heat transfer in the ocean
* Fast thermodynamic feedbacks (water vapor, clouds, lapse rate)

See also my previous post The heart of the climate dynamics debate.  It is critical that we maintain and enhance our observing systems, particularly satellites.  And we need much better data archaeology to clarify what was going on in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and also some more serious paleoclimatic reconstructions (that avoid Mannian tree ring ‘science’.)

Looking forward to a new U.S. President next year, whether the Democrats or the Republicans are in power, I don’t expect a continuation of the status quo on climate science funding.  The Democrats are moving away from science towards policy – who needs to spend all that funding on basic climate science research?  Global climate modeling might be ‘saved’ if they think these climate models can support local impact assessments (in spite of widespread acknowledgement that they cannot).  If the Republicans are elected, Ted Cruz has stated he will stop all funding support for the IPCC and UNFCCC initiatives.  That said, he seems to like data and basic scientific research.

In any event, I don’t think the current status quo regarding scientific research will continue.  We will undoubtedly see many climate scientists redirecting their research, or leaving research positions for the private sector.  Ironically, circa 1990, the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program [link] was seeded by retreading nuclear scientists and engineers from the DOE labs to radiation and climate science.

JC message to climate scientists advocating for more funding at the same time they are claiming ‘settled science’ [e.g. Marcia McNutt]:  you have been hoisted on your own petard.  You are slaying climate science in the interests of promoting a false and meaningless consensus.



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

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


8 February, 2016

Another example of not telling the whole story:  The standard Green/Left deception technique

It's difficult to know where to start on commenting on the scare below but let me start by noting that an increased level of CO2 absorption by water is a sign of COOLING -- carefully not mentioned below.  And because there are great uncertainties in measuring ocean temperatures exactly that could be going on.

OK.  Next point.  If CO2 levels in the ocean are "too" high, global warming will cure it. Because warming water will cause the CO2 to outgas.  Just open a can of coke or Pepsi while it is at room temperature and watch it happen.  So global warming will cure the "problem", not worsen it

Point 3: There are plenty of studies showing that crustaceans and shellfish are not affected by acidity in the simple way Warmists assume.  They can in fact flourish in a more acid environmrent.  See here and here.

Point 4: The oceans are quite alkaline and it would take a huge change to make them acidic. Measured in the open ocean, sea water has a pH of about 8.2. According to computer models, doubling of atmospheric CO2 would decrease ocean pH to about 7.9, still alkaline, but less so.

Enough said?

The  North Atlantic absorbed 100 percent more man-made carbon dioxide over the last decade, than the previous one, researchers have found.

They say the find is a clear indication of the impact burning of fossil fuels has had on the world’s oceans in just 10 years.

The uptake of CO2 has massive impacts on the ocean's ecosystem, by decreasing the pH, and could affect as corals and mollusks, which require a certain pH level in the surrounding water to build their calcium carbonate-based shells and exoskeletons.

This study shows the large impact all of us are having on the environment and that our use of fossil fuels isn’t only causing the climate to change, but also affects the oceans by decreasing the pH, said Ryan Woosley, a researcher in the UM Rosenstiel School, Department of Ocean Sciences who led the research.

Decreasing pH in seawater can harm the ability of shelled organisms, from microscopic coccolithophores to the oysters and clams that show up on our dinner plates, to build and maintain their bony exteriors.

Burning oil, coal, and natural gas for energy, along with destruction of forests, are the leading causes of the carbon dioxide emissions

The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 355 parts per million in 1989 to just over 400 ppm in 2015. [Quibble:  Cape Grim has the level just under 400ppm]

To determine the total uptake and storage of carbon dioxide in the North Atlantic over the last several decades, researchers analyzed data collected from the same locations, but 10 years apart, to identify changes caused by man-made CO2.

The data were collected during two National Science Foundation-funded international ship-based studies, CLIVAR (Climate Variability CO2 Repeat Hydrography) and GO-SHIP (Global Ocean Ship-Based Hydrographic Investigations Program).

The oceans help to slow the growth of human produced CO2 in the atmosphere by absorbing and storing about a quarter of the total carbon dioxide emissions. 

The researchers hope to return in another 10 years to determine if the increase in carbon uptake continues, or if, as many fear, it will decrease as a result of slowing thermohaline circulation.

The study, titled Rapid Anthropogenic Changes in CO2 and pH in the Atlantic Ocean: 2003-2014 was published in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles.


Global warming making dogs depressed?

Ya gotta laugh!  Since there has been no global warming for over 18 years this is a non-explanation</>

A boredom epidemic is sweeping through Britain’s dog population – and global warming could be to blame.

Across the country, there are reports of down-in-the-mouth mutts, and under-the-weather canines.

Leading pet behaviourists told The Independent that the number of depressed and unsettled dogs they have seen in recent months is unprecedented.

And they suggested that the spate of wet winters could be at the root of the problem, as owners cut down on the daily walks that are crucial to keeping dogs’ spirits up.

I’ve been working with dogs for more than 20 years and I can’t remember a time when they’ve been this bored. I tend to see boredom in bursts but I’m seeing it chronically this winter, said Carolyn Menteith, a dog behaviourist who was named Britain’s Instructor of the Year in 2015.

They are just really, really, bored. People are quite happy to get their dogs out in frosty, hard weather but not when it’s muddy and horrible.

But we have over 200 breeds of dog in this country and an awful lot of them – especially family dogs like Labradors, retrievers and spaniels - were bred to do a job. So they are hardwired to work and need a lot of exercise.

The lack of physical exercise – and mental stimulation that comes with it - is having noticeable consequences on the nation’s nine million dogs, she added.

Ms Menteith spends much of her time outside walking dogs and has noticed a significant change in the weather in the past five years or so – as cold, crisp winters gradually give way to constant wet dreariness.

She – like many scientists and meteorologists – puts this down to climate change and expects to see more bored dogs in the future as global warming unleashes increasingly frequent and intense bouts of winter rainfall.


Like Cheap Gas? How About a New Oil Tax?

Accompanying his proposed budget for the Department of Transportation, Barack Obama will issue a plan to increase the government’s investment in clean energy infrastructure by 50% with a $10 tax on each barrel of oil sold by the nation’s oil companies. The plan would supposedly fund high-speed rail, public transportation and research into self-driving vehicles in hopes of reducing the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. It follows the formula that the government uses when it taxes cigarettes. Higher prices will mean fewer people pick up smoking, and the revenue, in theory, goes to anti-smoking initiatives. A White House fact sheet on the transportation plan read: By placing a fee on oil, the president’s plan creates a clear incentive for private sector innovation to reduce our reliance on oil and at the same time invests in clean energy technologies that will power our future.

This is the man who, just a month ago in his State of the Union Address, took credit for the nation’s low gas prices. Don’t think for a minute that the oil companies would simply absorb this tax, either. For the last year, the oil industry has been sloughing off jobs. It’s not exactly a profitable business to be in at the moment, so the tax on oil companies will be picked up by everyone driving a car.

Taxes are like nicotine: Once the government is hooked, it’s hard to funnel the money into programs that will destroy the flow of money. While cigarette taxes are supposed to fund anti-smoking programs, much of that money has simply flowed into governments' general funds. Obama’s plan will do more to handicap the economy on which Americans currently rely than to create a green transportation infrastructure.


Obama Admin. Just Contradicted Its Own Global Warming Alarmism

The White House’s global warming claims are now being contradicted by the Obama administration’s own scientists.

President Barack Obama’s administration has repeated the talking point over the year that man-made global warming has increased the incidence of heavy rainfalls across the U.S., but a new study casts doubt on this assertion.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists recently published a report claiming heavy daily precipitation trends have been intimately linked to internal decadal ocean variability, and less to human-induced climate change.

Analysis of model ensemble spread reveals that appreciable 35-yr trends in heavy daily precipitation can occur in the absence of [man-made greenhouse gas] forcing, thereby limiting detection of the weak anthropogenic influence at regional scales, NOAA scientists wrote.

NOAA’s new study, however, runs up against the Obama administration’s 2014 National Climate Assessment (NCA), which claims global warming is increasing heavy downpours.

While both studies agree heavy rainfall events have increased, the 2014 NCA suggests global warming is mostly to blame. NOAA, on the other hand, claims man-made warming played a minimal role in increasing heavy rains.

Human-induced climate change has already increased the number and strength of some of these extreme events, according to the NCA. Over the last 50 years, much of the U.S. has seen increases in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, heavy downpours, and in some regions, severe floods and droughts.

Global analyses show that the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere has in fact increased due to human-caused warming, reads the NCA. This extra moisture is available to storm systems, resulting in heavier rainfalls. Climate change also alters characteristics of the atmosphere that affect weather patterns and storms.

Concern about heavy rains and flooding has been growing in recent years. For example, the Midwest experienced heavy flooding over the holidays last year after being hit with torrential rain. There were also a string of tornadoes hitting towns across the country. The media immediately suggested global warming was at least partly to blame.

In October, South Carolina was hit with a 1-in-1,000 year rain event as Hurricane Joaquin moved past the U.S. and out into the Atlantic Ocean. Again, it was not so subtly hinted in media reports that global warming caused heavy rains to increase, causing the state to experience massive amounts of flooding.

Nevertheless, it’s difficult to tie global warming to any single weather event, no matter how extreme. Cato Institute climate scientists Patrick Michaels and Chip Knappenberger noted the new NOAA study provides much-needed restraint to alarmist government climate reports.

[B]asically they’re saying that the federal government’s assessment of the impacts of climate change greatly overstates the case for linking dreaded carbon dioxide emissions to extreme precipitation events across the United States, Michaels and Knappenberger wrote.

[T]hey think that folks (including the president and the authors of the National Climate Assessment) are far too premature in linking observed changes to date with our reliance on coal, oil, and natural gas as primary fuels for our energy production, the Cato scientists noted.

Whether or not at some later date a definitive and sizeable (actionable) anthropogenic signal is identifiable in the patterns and trends in heavy precipitation occurrence across the United States is a question whose answer will have to wait—most likely until much closer to the end of the century or beyond, they added.


Here’s Why Scientists Hide Their Doubts About Global Warming In The Media

A recent study looking into how scientists explain global warming uncertainty to the public has some interesting findings: Many scientists don’t actually talk about uncertainty when speaking to journalists.

In fact, scientists who regularly talk to the press are more likely to sound the alarm on global warming, and are often reluctant to publish research results in the media that don’t conform to the narrative of catastrophic warming.

Researcher Senja Post surveyed 300 German scientists and found that the more climate scientists are engaged with the media the less they intend to point out uncertainties about climate change and the more unambiguously they confirm the publicly held convictions that it is man-made, historically unique, dangerous and calculable.

Post also found that climate scientists object to publishing a result in the media significantly more when it indicates that climate change proceeds more slowly rather than faster than expected, which finding, in her words, gives reason to assume that the German climate scientists are more inclined to communicate their results in public when they confirm rather than contradict that climate change is dramatic.

Such findings are saddening and shameful, highlighting a near-ubiquitous bias among climate scientists (at least in Germany) who willfully suppress the communication of research findings and uncertainties to the public when they do not support the alarmist narrative of CO2-induced global warming, Craig Idso, a climate scientist at the libertarian Cato Institute, wrote in a Thursday blog post commenting on the study.

For German scientists, the more worried they were that human activities were causing catastrophic warming, the more likely they were to use the media to promote that narrative.

Such deceit has no place in science, Idso wrote.

That sort of arrangement makes sense to a degree. Reporters need people to read their articles, and if a reporter is covering global warming, the more alarming the headline — and quotes backing it up — the more eyes it’s likely to attract.

Scientists benefit from this by getting their name and research out there in a way that’s not mired in scientific jargon that immediately makes people’s eyes glaze over.

Dr. Richard Lindzen, a climate scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has written a lot on the perverse incentive faced by scientists in research fields as politicized as climate science.

In a 2013 paper, Lindzen argued scientists make meaningless claims about certain phenomenon. Activists and the media then take up claims made by scientists, and politicians respond to this alarmism by doling out more research funding. Lindzen called this cycle the Iron Triangle.

Although there are many reasons why some scientists might want to bring their field into the public square, the cases described here appear, instead, to be cases in which those with political agendas found it useful to employ science, Lindzen wrote.

This immediately involves a distortion of science at a very basic level: namely, science becomes a source of authority rather than a mode of inquiry, he added. The real utility of science stems from the latter; the political utility stems from the former.


Climate Scientist Destroys WaPo Global Warming Alarmists

The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang (CWG) blog attempted to link the recent East Coast blizzard to global warming Wednesday, only to be shot down by veteran climate scientist Chip Knappenberger.

To me some folks at Capital Weather Gang are overly eager to link human-caused climate change to extreme weather events, Knappenberger, a climate scientist at the libertarian Cato Institute, told The Daily Caller Caller News Foundation. There is a lot of scientific research out there on the complexities of extreme weather events and undoubtedly there is much more still to come. In fact, the breadth of extreme weather literature is so large that, through careful selection, you can pretty much build any story you want to when it comes to how any particular type of event may (or may not) have been influenced by greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.

CWG reported Wednesday that seven of the top ten snowstorms in the Washington, D.C.-area have occurred since 1979. The Gang used this fact to go ahead and argue the tempo of big storms for the city has increased due to global warming. The Post concluded that the planet may be changing in multiple ways to help intensify the most severe East Coast snowstorms, even as the climate warms and becomes less hospitable for snow.

Knappenberger disagreed and pummeled CWG with a blizzard of tweets detailing why the argument was overblown.

The literature on most extreme weather types indicates that while enhanced atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases may play some role in the evolution of the development, intensity, track, etc. of the event, that the impact is both uncertain and dwarfed by natural variability, Knappenberger continued.

CWG also tied blizzards to global warming by citing a 2012 opinion piece by meteorologist Jennifer Francis, but Knappenberger noted that Francis’ work has been contradicted by more recent climate research.

The three largest D.C. blizzards occurred in 1899, 1922 and 1979, with D.C.’s annual average snowfall steadily declining in recent years, according to The Washington Post. CWG acknowledged that in the early 1900s, D.C. averaged about 21 inches of snow per year, while it currently averages just 15.4 inches.

This isn’t the first time The Washington Post has tried to tie global warming to huge blizzards. The paper recently compared January’s East Coast blizzard to the film The Day After Tomorrow, where global warming causes a new ice age. In the movie, global warming shuts down ocean currents and creates weather catastrophes, including a worldwide blizzard.



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7 February, 2016

If ifs and ans were pots and pans, there'd be no room for tinkers

My heading above is an old English proverb expressing skepticism about all sorts of theories, prophecies and maybes.  It dates from the time when the Middle English word "an" (meaning "if") was still understood in the Middle English sense. 

Tinkers were itinerant handymen who fixed up damaged pots and pans -- as pots and pans were valuable household goods in those days. Few people reading this will have seen a saucepan with a hole in it -- but I have.  A couple of my mother's saucepans developed holes in them at one time when I was just a lad.  Being a handy kid, however I went to Woolworths and bought a set of "Mendets" -- which I used to fix the saucepans concerned.  So tinkering in its original sense existed within living memory.

I tell that little story because the article below immediately brought that old proverb to my mind.  Putting it in modern English, I might have said:  "More useless speculation".  All it tells us is what would happen IF one of the hot periods of the earth's past were to be repeated.  They assign no probability to that occurring, however.  I wonder why?

They do however pop in a little bit of deceit.  They talk of global warming "continuing".  But it is not ongoing so it cannot continue. 

Warming stopped over 18 years ago so all that can continue is stasis. And they claim that Antarctica is losing mass, when it isn't.  It is gaining mass.  Even Warmist scientists such as Zwally admit that. See here and here

Just the usual Warmist claptrap but it will worry some people

If the West Antarctic ice sheet was to melt in response to increasing global temperatures, sea levels could swamp coastal towns and cities around the world.

That's the warning from Scottish researchers who have plotted how the ice sheet is expected to respond to global warming.

In particular, they claim that loss of ice in West Antarctica caused by a warming ocean could raise sea levels by a staggering 10ft (3 metres).

In the first study of its kind, researchers were able to gauge how levels of ice covering the land have changed over hundreds of thousands of years.

They did this by studying peaks protruding through ice in the Ellsworth Mountains, on the Atlantic flank of Antarctica.

The team assessed changes on slopes at various heights on the mountainside, which indicate levels previously reached by the ice sheet.

They also mapped the distribution of boulders on the mountainside, which were deposited by melting glaciers.

Chemical technology - known as exposure dating - showed how long rocks had been exposed to the atmosphere, and their age.

Their results indicate that during previous warm periods, a substantial amount of ice would have been lost from the West Antarctic ice sheet by ocean melting, but it would not have melted entirely.

This suggests ice would have been lost from areas below sea level, but not on upland areas.

The study shows that parts of the West Antarctic ice sheet have existed continuously for at least 1.4 million years.

However, if global temperatures continue to rise, causing the oceans to become warmer, the a substantial amount of ice could be lost from the sheet.

This could see sea levels rise by as much as 10ft (3 metres). 

Dr Andrew Hein, of the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences, joint leader of the study, said: 'Our findings narrow the margin of uncertainty around the likely impact of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet on sea level rise.

'This remains a troubling forecast since all signs suggest the ice from West Antarctica could disappear relatively quickly.'

Professor John Woodward of the University of Northumbria, who co-led the study, said: 'It is possible that the ice sheet has passed the point of no return and, if so, the big question is how much will go and how much will sea levels rise.'

The study, published in Nature Communications, was carried out by researchers at the University of Edinburgh with Northumbria University and the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre. 


Electric cars: Another failed Obama Campaign promise, and that’s a good thing

While campaigning in August 2008, President Obama called for 1 million plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles (EV) on the road by 2015. According to, the campaign circulated an 8-page fact sheet that contained this promise: Half of all cars purchased by the federal government will be plug-in hybrids or all-electric by 2012.

Once in office, he backed that up with a March 2009, executive order that offered $2.4 Billion in Funding to Support Next Generation Electric Vehicles to help meet the President’s goal of putting one million plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015. He continued the electric-car drumbeat in his January 2011 State of the Union Address: We can break our dependence on oil…and become the first country to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

A February 2011 Scientific American analysis titled: Raising the Volt-Age: Is Obama’s Goal of 1 Million Electric Vehicles on U.S. Highways by 2015 Realistic? states: the Obama administration realizes that attaining such a goal will be impossible without help from the federal government. It then delineates the billions of dollars in federal spending aimed at reaching what it acknowledges may still be just a pipe dream. It concludes: So much federal involvement has helped spur state governments and private industry to make significant investments in the EV sector as well.

That same month, a Department of Energy (DOE) report called the 1 million electric cars by 2015 ambitious, and achievable. It states: For that reason, President Obama has proposed steps to accelerate America’s leadership in electric vehicle deployment, including improvements to existing consumer tax credits, programs to help cities prepare for growing demand for electric vehicles and strong support for research and development.

In 2013, the DOE eased off the quixotic objective, as called it. According to Reuters, on January 2013, the DOE said: Whether we meet that goal in 2015 or 2016, that’s less important than that we’re on the right path to get many millions of these vehicles on the road. Then, a year ago, with only 11 months left to fulfill Obama’s pledge, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz acknowledged reality: We’re going to be a few years after the president’s aspirational goal of the end of 2015, but I think that we are within a few years of reaching that goal.

2015 is now in the record books and, after billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in EV subsidies for consumers and industry, Reuters reports: only about 400,000 electric cars have been sold. Last year, sales fell 6 percent over the previous year to about 115,000, despite the industry offering about 30 plug-in models, often at deep discounts. Though 400,000 EVs may have been sold, the actual number on the road is likely far less. Most of the sales are actually leases and when the lease term is over, the EVs get turned back into the dealer, and then the manufacturer. Drivers, even with generous incentives to buy the model they are driving, don’t want them. According to the Wall Street Journal, there is little demand for used electric cars.

Regardless of the slow sales, Reuters says: the industry continues to roll out new models in response to government mandates and its own desire to create brands known for environmental innovation. And there is the crux of the EV effort: environmental innovation—there is a sense that EVs are the right thing for the environment. Reuters continues: Many automakers worry that consumers will perceive them as technologically backward if they don’t build electric cars—even if they can’t sell them in large numbers. Green car advocates say: EVs are a crucial part of the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

While sales have been disappointing, the industry is ramping up EV production, in response to an influx of state and federal cash and related mandates which is cramming EVs into the market at way below what it costs to make them. Throwing good money after bad, a year ago, Moniz declared that the DOE will award $56 million in new grants for research projects that aim to reduce and improve the efficiency of plug-in electric cars.

All of this, to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and appear environmentally innovative and technologically forward is missing the mark.

In December 2014, a study was released that claimed that electric cars actually produced 3.6 times more soot and smog deaths than those powered by gas. Study co-author Julian Marshall, and engineering professor at the University of Minnesota, says: It is kind of hard to beat gasoline. …A lot of technologies that we think of as being clean are not better than gasoline. In reality, these zero-emissions vehicles are generally fueled by coal.

Reading the comments on the CBS coverage of the study, EV advocates dismiss the conclusion that EVs are not as green as we are made to think they are. One even states: Do I get a whiff of the not-so faint smell of Big Oil adjusted results studies here???

According to Popular Mechanics, researchers set out to study the effects on human health of various alternative ways to power a car. Surprisingly, Internal combustion vehicles running on corn ethanol and electric vehicles powered by electricity from coal were the real sinners.

While EV advocates want to claim, as one did, that EVs are powered by wind and solar energy, the facts don’t support the fantasy.

In November, the Washington Post (WP) ran a major story: Electric cars and the coal that runs them. It points out: Alongside the boom has come a surging demand for power to charge the vehicles, which can consume as much electricity in a single charge as the average refrigerator does in a month and a half.

The Dutch city of Rotterdam is banning the oldest exhaust spewing vehicles from the city center. Thanks to generous tax incentives, the share of electric vehicles has grown faster in the Netherlands than in nearly any other country in the world.  How are they meeting the surging demand for power? With three new coal-fueled power plants.

The WP concludes: But for all its efforts locally and nationally, the Netherlands will blow past its 2020 emissions targets, the result of the new coal-fired power plants. More new coal-fired plants—powered by cheap American coal—are projected due to the increased demand from EVs.

The results are similar in China where EV sales have quadrupled. WP states: Chinese leaders have embraced electric cars as a way of cleaning up cities that have some of the worst air quality in the world. But the Chinese electricity market is heavily dependent on coal; the pollution is simply being taken from the centers of cities and moved to their outskirts. Last week Reuters addressed a series of studies by Tsinghua University. The results? Electric cars charged in China produce two to five times as much particulate matter and chemicals that contribute to smog versus petrol engine cars.

Since the ‘70s, car manufacturers, thanks to American innovation and initiative, have dramatically cleaned up exhaust. Moving the global transportation fleet to EVs, as tax incentives have tried to do, makes no sense environmentally or economically. Former GM vice chairman Bob Lutz, who headed up development of the original Chevy Volt explains: If gasoline was $8 a gallon, consumers would amortize the cost of an electric vehicle pretty quickly. But at $1.50 a gallon, who is going to be willing to pay the $8,000 or $10,000 premium?

It turns out, Obama’s 1 million EVs by 2015 was a pipe dream after all. Even the federal government didn’t buy the projected quantities. His ideals are not consistent with either consumer interest or technology.


US Bound by Climate Change Deal That Skirts Constitution, House Panel Told

President Barack Obama bound the United States to an international agreement on climate change, but the administration’s decision to circumvent Congress to implement the deal has lawyers questioning its constitutionality.

Despite legally binding elements in the Paris Protocol, which require Senate ratification, negotiators worded the deal in a manner that enables Obama to handle it as an executive agreement and avoid congressional input.

The president’s decision to treat the Paris agreement as an executive agreement instead of a treaty is just his latest use of executive power to achieve an end that he knows full well would not pass congressional muster, Steven Groves, a lawyer who is an expert on treaties at The Heritage Foundation, testified Tuesday before a congressional committee.

Appearing at a hearing held by the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Groves argued that the Obama administration knew that the Republican-led Congress would reject the climate plan.

Instead of risking failure, he testified, Obama chose to sidestep the constitutional requirement that a president secure approval from two-thirds of the Senate before he may subject the U.S. to a legally binding treaty.

Negotiators representing 195 United Nations member states met in Paris at the end of last year to finalize an international agreement aimed at cutting carbon emissions in hopes of slowing the potentially detrimental effects of climate change. Those effects, and their causes, continue to be hotly debated among scientists.

Under the deal, the U.S. and participating countries will be legally required to meet every five years beginning in 2020 to present new plans intended to make deeper cuts in carbon emissions. Beginning in 2023, countries will be legally compelled to meet every five years to report on emissions levels and reductions.

Although it isn’t legally binding, Obama also has pledged to pour $3 billion into the Green Climate Fund, a pot of international aid funded by developed countries to assist developing, poverty-stricken countries in reducing carbon emissions.

Groves testified that the White House’s decision to avert congressional input flies in the face of the climate change treaty brokered during the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention. The goal of that treaty was to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions within a set time frame.

Groves argued that President George H.W. Bush agreed with the Senate, then led by Democrats, that the chamber would ratify the 1992 treaty with the requirement that any future agreement containing targets and timetables be submitted to the Senate.

Proponents of the Paris Protocol, including Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, contend that the deal is a hybrid agreement. They say it includes both legally binding conditions and voluntary pledges, and so does not require Senate ratification.

Having looked at this very carefully with our legal scholars, our scientists, and our economists, our view is that the agreement strikes the right balance between legally binding and nonbinding, given where we are as a global civilization, Steer testified to the committee.

The Obama administration intends to implement the agreement domestically through regulations written by the Environmental Protection Agency, including those created under the agency’s controversial Clean Power Plan.

It’s a clever thing that the White House did —you go and you make an international commitment in Paris, you bypass Congress completely, and then you go to enforce it domestically through EPA regulations, Groves said. There’s a lack of democratic legitimacy on almost every level of the creation of this document and its enforcement.

Groves, the Lomas senior research fellow in Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, predicted that the EPA regulations will be litigated among cities and corporations.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans have adopted resolutions disapproving of the administration’s plans.

If you want a durable climate change agreement, you have to involve Congress. This administration has chosen not to do that, Stephen Eule, vice president for climate and technology at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, testified during the hearing.

So, the question is, is this a durable and legal agreement? I would say no.


Is the Christmas tree to blame for global warming?

Makes a change from CO2 being the culprit, I guess

An expansion of Europe's forests towards dark green conifers has stoked global warming, according to a study on Thursday at odds with a widespread view that planting more trees helps human efforts to slow rising temperatures.

Forest changes have nudged Europe's summer temperatures up by 0.12 degree Celsius (0.2 Fahrenheit) since 1750, largely because many nations have planted conifers such as pines and spruce whose dark colour traps the sun's heat, the scientists said.

Overall, the area of Europe's forests has expanded by 10 percent since 1750.

'Two and a half centuries of forest management in Europe have not cooled the climate,' the team led by France's Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l'Environnement wrote in the journal Science.

They said the changes in the make-up of Europe's forests outweighed trees' role in curbing global warming. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels, from the air as they grow.

'It's not all about carbon,' lead author Kim Naudts told Reuters, saying government policies to favour forests should be re-thought to take account of factors such as their colour and changes to moisture and soils.

A Paris agreement among 195 nations in December, meant as a turning point from fossil fuels, promotes forests to help limit a rise in temperatrues, blamed for causing more floods, heatwveas and rising sea levels.

Average world temperatures have risen by 0.9C (1.6F) since the Industrial Revolution.

Since 1750, Europe's forests have gained 196,000 sq kms (76,000 sq miles) - an area bigger than Greece - to reach 2.13 million sq kms in 2010, the study said.

In the same period, conifer forests expanded by 633,000 sq kms while broad-leaved forests shrank by 436,000 sq kms. Over the period, Europeans have harvested ever more wood from the forests, reducing their role in storing carbon.

Thursday's study was restricted to Europe but said similar effects were likely in other parts of the world with big forest planting programmes such as China, the United States and Russia.


$12 Trillion Won't Save the World

Two degrees Celsius. That’s the maximum amount of future global warming environmentalists say the world can tolerate. Anything more, they claim, and our efforts to stave off a climate catastrophe will fall flat. It’s a spurious magic number, but one that was formally adapted into the Paris climate agreement in December. And it won’t come cheap.

"If the world is serious about halting the worst effects of global warming, the renewable energy industry will require $12.1 trillion of investment over the next quarter century," according to a new report published in Bloomberg. For perspective on just how much money we’re talking about here, consider that gross domestic product in the United States was $17.4 trillion in 2014, according to the World Bank. That’s good for number one in the world. But China, which came in at number two, produced $10.4 trillion in GDP. That means an entire year’s worth of Chinese economic output wouldn’t be enough to cover the low-carbon investments the Bloomberg report says is needed over the next quarter century. So it comes as no surprise that current funding projections are well short of the goal:

The findings from Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Ceres, a Boston-based coalition of investors and environmentalists, show that wind parks, solar farms and other alternatives to fossil fuels are already on course to get $6.9 trillion over the next 25 years through private investment spurred on by government support mechanisms. Another $5.2 trillion is needed to reach the United Nations goal of holding warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) set out in the climate agreement."

And no doubt that gap will be filled via wealth redistribution. Even worse, these numbers aren’t as bad as depicted in other studies, such as the International Energy Agency’s $16.5 trillion cost estimate. And that’s just through 2030. Instead of redistributing trillions of dollars, the better option would be for poorer countries to invest in energy sources we already know save lives — and let the free market figure out the future of energy.


Don't shrink Australia's ocean sanctuaries, scientists urge ministers

On "environmental" grounds, the previous Labor party government banned fishing in so much of Australian coastal waters that there are now few areas open to fishermen.  So despite its enormous expanse of coastal waters, Australia has to import a lot of the fish it needs.  There has to be compromise but when did you ever hear a Greenie compromise?

Australia’s leading marine scientists are appealing to the federal government to reject a review expected to recommend a significant reduction in the size of ocean sanctuaries and an expansion of areas permitted for commercial fishing.

Tony Abbott announced the review of the boundaries of Labor’s marine parks, counted by the former government as one of its greatest environmental achievements, during the 2013 election campaign, and said he would scrap the just-finished management plans so that the fishing industry could be given a greater say.

The leading scientists understand the review, now finally completed, recommends a sizeable reduction in some areas previously designated as closed to fishing and trawling, particularly in the Coral Sea, and say it has ignored expert scientific advice.

If the government winds back what was already just partial environmental protection it would be terrible for the environment and send a terrible message to the world, said West Australian marine science professor Jessica Meeuwig.

We have no faith in this process. They haven’t spoken to marine scientists, despite our best efforts. They spent a lot of time talking to the extractive industries. If Malcolm Turnbull is serious about being guided by science and by evidence he will reject recommendations to reduce marine sanctuary zones, she said.

Meeuwig is one of 10 leading marine researchers who have formed the Ocean Science Council of Australia and have published benchmarks against which the review should be judged, including:

    No further diminishment of marine national park zoning in bioregions and key ecological features should occur as these are already significantly under-represented in the 2012 plans

    The international standard for ocean protection of a minimum of 30% of each marine habitat in highly protected no-take marine national parks should be met;

    Very large marine national parks such as that proposed for the Coral Sea should be preserved

We have seen little evidence that the review process has focused on scientific evidence, rather it appears to have largely been an exercise in appeasing stakeholders with extractive interests, the OSCA members state in the analysis report.

We further note that there has been no formal consultation with OSCA despite our significant capacity to provide input to a scientific review.

Osca’s members also include Hugh Possingham, the director of the Australian Research Council Centre for environmental decisions at the University of Queensland and Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, director of the Global Change Institute and professor of marine science at the University of Queensland.

After fierce lobbying from recreational and commercial fishers and colleagues, Abbott announced the review during a visit to a fishing trade show on the Gold Coast, saying the Coalition would not lock up the oceans.

We know that the biggest supporter of environmentally responsible fishing practices is the fishing industry – because they do not want to harm the very environment that is providing them with a living, the Coalition said in its policy statement.

Australians aren’t just proud fishers, they are smart fishers – and they know that Labor’s marine park lockouts are about managing the Greens, not managing the environment.

Labor always rejected concerns by the fishing industry that it was locking up oceans, saying less than 2% of commercial fisheries’ catches would be affected by the new protected areas and recreational fishers would not be affected at all because the parks were hundreds of kilometres offshore and therefore well out of reach of a fisherman in a tinnie.

After a long period of consultation, Labor announced its decision to protect more than 2.3m sq km of ocean in marine parks in late 2012, offering $100m in compensation to the fishing industry.

Environmental groups declared a historic victory, but fishers and charter operators began a furious campaign against the move, strongly backed by some Liberal and National party MPs.

The then environment minister Tony Burke said the marine parks would protect some incredible marine environments, including the Perth Canyon in the south-west and the stunning reefs of the Coral Sea, and this announcement cements Australia’s position as a world leader on environmental protection’’.

Restrictions on fishing in the reserves varies from a total ban to a trawling ban, to areas where recreational catch and release are permitted.

Announcing the panels conducting the review in 2014 environment minister Greg Hunt said it would be based on science and aimed to restore community confidence in the marine reserve system.

Unlike the previous government, we are committed to getting the management plans and the balance of zoning right, so we have asked the expert panels to consider what management arrangements will best protect our marine environment and accommodate the many activities that Australians love to enjoy in our oceans, 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


5 February, 2016

Still no success in measuring ocean heat

A good laugh today.  Below we have an article from Prof. John Abraham, famous for taking on Lord Monckton and getting a scarifying reply.  He repeats the usual claim that all the greenhouse heat is being gobbled up by the oceans.  And he tells us that it is therefore very important to measure the heat in the oceans.  And he creates the impression that we can measure it and have confirmed the Warmist claim

He finds temperature measurements old hat however.  He wants to measure heat. That is his academic specialty so no surprises there.  What he thinks tells the tale about global warming is the "earth's energy imbalance" (EEI).  And to measure that you have to measure the heat in the oceans.  The oceans are proposed as the place where the EEI is to be found. He then gives a long and thoroughly persuasive account of just how difficult measuring ocean heat is.

But he takes heart from a recent study by Schuckman et al. (2016) which, he says, gives us the answers we need.  So has Schuckman in fact given us an accurate measure of ocean heat content?  From what Abraham says, you would think so.  He uses weasel words but that is the impression.

In my usual pesky way, however, I went back to the original academic journal article and had a good look at it.  And the result is hilarious.  I reproduce below two snippets from towards the end of the article.

They are a complete confession of failure to measure EEI -- and the oceans are the alleged chief repository of EEI.   So the Schuckman article too says we cannot yet  measure ocean heat content. So we now have it from Warmist experts that the  claim about heat-gobbling oceans is just theory, not fact.  LOL.

There is a word for Prof. Abraham in Australian slang.  He is a Galah.  A Galah is a pretty but very foolish Australian parrot that sometimes kills itself by dive-bombing cars etc.  Prof. Abraham is about that silly.

Human emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide are causing the Earth to warm. We know this, and we have known about the heat-trapping nature of these gases for over 100 years. But scientists want to know how fast the Earth is warming and how much extra energy is being added to the climate because of human activities.

If you want to know about global warming and its future effects, you really need to answer these questions. Whether this year was hotter than last year or whether next year breaks a new record are merely one symptom of a warming world. Sure, we expect records to be broken, but they are not the most compelling evidence.

The most compelling evidence we have that global warming is happening is that we can measure how much extra heat comes in to the Earth’s climate system each year. Think of it like a bank account. Money comes in and money goes out each month. At the end of the month, do you have more funds than at the beginning? That is the global warming analogy. Each year, do we have more or less energy in the system compared to the prior year?

The answer to this question is clear, unassailable and unequivocal: the Earth is warming because the energy is increasing. We know this because the heat shows up in our measurements, mainly in the oceans. Indeed the oceans take up more than 92% of the extra heat. The rest goes into melting Arctic sea ice, land ice, and warming the land and atmosphere. Accordingly, to measure global warming, we have to measure ocean warming. Results for 2015 were recently published by Noaa and are available here.

A recent paper by Karina von Schuckmann and her colleagues appeared in Nature Climate Change, and provides an excellent summary of our knowledge of the energy balance of the Earth and recent advances that have been made. The article describes the complexity of the situation. The Earth is continuously gaining energy from greenhouse gases, but there are also natural fluctuations that cause both increases and decreases to the energy flows.

For instance, volcanic eruptions may temporarily reflect some solar energy back to space. Natural variability like the El Niño/La Niña cycle can change heat flows and how deep the heat is buried in the ocean. The energy from the sun isn’t constant either; it varies on an 11-year cycle, but by less than 0.01%. With all of this and more happening, how do we know if an energy imbalance is natural or human caused? How do we separate these effects?

The effort to separate human from natural effects is seen to be possible when one considers how the imbalance is measured in the first place. There are multiple complementary ways to make these measurements. Each technique has advantages and disadvantages and they have to be considered together.

One way is through satellites that orbit the Earth. These satellites can measure the heat entering the atmosphere and the heat leaving the system. The difference between them is the imbalance. Currently, the longest operating satellite measurement for this is from Nasa and is named Ceres (Clouds and Earth’s Radiation Energy System). The difficulty is that the energy imbalance is only about 0.1% of the actual energy flows in and out, and while the changes can be tracked, their exact values are uncertain.

Another way to measure the imbalance is to actually take the ocean’s temperature. Temperature tells us how much heat a system has. If the temperature is increasing, it means the energy within the system is increasing as well – the system is out of balance. Not only do we have to measure the ocean temperatures accurately, but there is a need to measure the temperatures year after year after year exceedingly accurately to much better than a 0.1°C margin. What really matters is how the temperature is changing over long periods of time.

While it may sound easy to measure the oceans, it is actually quite challenging. The oceans are huge (and deep) and difficult to access. The need is for enough measurement locations at enough depths and with enough precision to get an accurate temperature.

In recent years, we have relied upon a system of automated ocean measurement devices called the Argo fleet. These devices are scattered across the globe and they autonomously rise and sink (down to 2,000 meters) and record temperatures and salinity during their travels. Because of the Argo fleet, we know a lot more about our oceans, and this new knowledge helps us ask better questions. But the fleet could be made even better. They do not measure the bottom half of the ocean (below 2,000m depth) and they do not fully cover regions near or under ice or near shores.

Furthermore, a 10-year trend is much too short to make long-term climate conclusions. We have to stitch Argo temperatures to other instruments, which have been measuring the oceans for decades. That stitching process has to be done carefully so that a false cooling or warming trend is not introduced.

Another way is through ocean levels. As the oceans warm, the water expands and sea levels rise. So, just by measuring the changing water levels, it is possible to assess how much heat the oceans are absorbing. The drawback to this method is that oceans are also rising because ice around with world is melting, particularly in Greenland and Antarctica. As this melted ice water flows into the oceans, it too causes sea levels to rise. So, it’s important to separate how much of ocean level rise is from heat-expansion and how much is from ice melting.

And another way is through the use of climate models, which are computer simulations of the environment. Very powerful computers are used to calculate the state of the climate at millions of locations across the globe, in both the oceans and in the atmosphere. The calculations use basic physics and thermodynamics equations to track the thermal energy at each of the locations.

So, there are many ways to measure the Earth’s energy imbalance. While all methods are telling us the Earth has a fever, they differ in details and better synthesis of all the information is essential to improve the knowledge of what Earth’s energy imbalance is. Right now, the Earth is gaining perhaps as much as 1 Watt of heat (a Joule per second) for every square meter of surface area. Considering how large the Earth is, this is an incredible amount of heat being gained day and night year after year. This is over 1 zettaJoules (sextillion Joules) per year.

What I like about this new paper is the recommendations for the future. Perhaps the most important recommendation is that we need to continue to make accurate measurements of the Earth’s temperatures, especially in the oceans. We need to extend those temperate measurements to deeper locations (below 2,000 m) and make measurements near shores, in the Polar Regions, underneath ice, etc. This will require a sustained funding of our measurement systems and a long-term view of the Earth’s changing climate.

Fully understanding where the excess heat is going in the Earth system is a first step to making good predictions as to what its consequences are for the future climate and the oceans.


Alabama scientist proves to Congress global warming projections ‘don’t match facts’

WASHINGTON — Alabama’s state climatologist during Congressional testimony on Wednesday warned members of the U.S. House that global warming projections, many of which have been used to justify the Obama administration’s climate agenda, have been wildly inaccurate when compared to real data.

"I would not trust model projections on which all policy is based here because they just don’t match facts," said Dr. John Christy, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) who has been Alabama’s State Climatologist since 2000.

To illustrate his point, Christy displayed a simple chart before the committee that shows how wildly inaccurate global warming projections have been once compared to real data.

The red line on the chart below shows the average temperature increase that all of the global warming models projected over the last several decades. The green circles and blue squares at the bottom are the climate variations that actually occurred.

"This particular chart has caused considerable anxiety for the climate establishment who want to believe the climate system is overheating according the theory of how extra greenhouse gases are supposed to affect it," Dr. Christy stated calmly. "The message here is very simple: the theory does not match the observations as measured independently by both satellites and balloons."

"It is a bold strategy on the part of many in the climate establishment to put one’s confidence in theoretical models and to attack the observed data," he continued. "To a scientist, this just doesn’t make sense."

This is the second time Dr. Christy has made climate-related news in recent weeks. In January he found himself at odds with many scientists and media outlets who were claiming 2015 was the hottest year on record.

"2015 Was Hottest Year in Historical Record, Scientists Say," read a headline atop the New York Times.

"The whole system is warming up, relentlessly," warned Gerald A. Meehl, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

"At some point, you would think most climate change deniers would throw in the towel," added Peter Hannam, Environment Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Dr. Christy agrees with his colleagues that the climate is always changing, but believes their alarmist rhetoric — and even some of their research — is misguided at best, and perhaps even deliberately misleading.

The temperature data cited by most global warming alarmists comes from surface-level measurements, which are notoriously inaccurate.

A 2009 study of the surface-level reading stations found many of them "located next to the exhaust fans of air conditioning units, surrounded by asphalt parking lots and roads, on blistering-hot rooftops, and near sidewalks and buildings that absorb and radiate heat." Sixty-eight stations were found to be "located at wastewater treatment plants, where the process of waste digestion causes temperatures to be higher than in surrounding areas."

Dr. Christy notes that there are more accurate ways to measure temperature data, but they are often ignored by climate scientists because they do not affirm their predetermined outcomes.

"The deep atmospheric temperature – a much better metric for monitoring climate – as measured by satellite sensors was the 3rd warmest year since 1979," he said of 2015. "If no mention is made of what the bulk of the atmosphere is doing, then these folks are withholding important information."

Dr. Christy laid out his approach to climate science during testimony before the U.S. Senate last year.

"I build data sets from scratch to answer questions about climate variability and to test assertions people make about climate change," he said. "That’s really what the scientific method is all about."

It is that commitment to starting "from scratch" that has made him a particularly bothersome thorn in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) side in recent years.

While Christy does not deny the Earth’s climate is changing, he vehemently rejects the assumptions at the core of the EPA’s growing list of environmental regulations.

In its Clean Power Plan, the EPA is pushing for a 750 million metric ton reduction in CO2 emissions, which it seeks to achieve in large part through regulations on existing power plants, especially coal-fired plants.

A study released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last year predicts the environmental mandates in the plan will ultimately cost the United States more than 220,000 jobs.

According to the study, the proposed regulations will have a disproportionate impact on southern states, where energy costs would jump by $6.6 billion per year over the next decade-and-a-half. The "East-South-Central" region of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky would see its GDP shrink by an estimated $2.2 billion and would lose 21,400 jobs as a result of the plan.

Dr. Christy on Wednesday testified that such onerous regulations will do little to nothing to actually impact the climate.

"If the United States had disappeared in 2015, no more people, no cars, no industry, the impact on the climate system would be a tiny few hundredths of a degree over 50 years – and that’s if you believe climate models," he concluded.


Climatologist Douglas offers alternative viewpoint on global warming

SPOKANE — Theories about increasing global temperatures fail to take into account the impact of factors other than the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the cyclic nature of climate, a well-known meteorologist told farmers on Feb. 2.

Art Douglas, professor emeritus at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., spoke about global warming during his presentation at the Spokane Ag Expo and Pacific Northwest Farm Forum.

One problem he sees is relying on air temperature records. "I trust sea surface temperatures more than I do air temperature," Douglas said. "Air temperature is screwed up by cities. You have a whole mix of things that can screw up an air temperature record."

Much has been said because the last two years were the warmest on record, with the globe warming by 0.7 degrees centigrade.

However, Douglas said that carbon dioxide and global temperature patterns from the last 50 years seem to match cyclical patterns going back 400,000 years.

He showed two charts — one of the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere and one of the air temperatures — that were produced using Antarctic ice core samples and go back 400,000 years. In those cycles, global temperatures increase as the amount of carbon dioxide increases — and both cycle lower after reaching a peak before building back up.

Douglas said the recent warming trend can be attributed 50-50 to human activity and natural climate variability.

Assigning contributions to global warming solely by each carbon dioxide emissions ignores the impacts of other climate cycles and sun spots, Douglas said.

"Historically speaking, we’re in a very cold period and a low CO2 period in terms of the planet," Douglas said.


The Surprising Way Ships' Wakes Could Help Ease Global Warming

It's all about making the Earth's surface more reflective.

The wakes of large ships could be used to curb global warming, scientists argue.

The shipping industry gets blamed for its share of environmental ills, from air and water pollution to collisions that kill whales and other marine animals.

But in a new paper published last week in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, scientists argue that the wakes of big ocean-going vessels might actually be used to curb global warming.

The scientists say that dramatically extending the lifetimes of the foamy wakes (and making them a bit brighter) would boost the Earth's surface reflectivity (what scientists call albedo) and reduce the extent to which sunlight warms our planet.

Wake bubbles typically pop within a matter of minutes. But "if we could make the bubbles in the wake last for 10 days, then I believe this scheme could potentially reduce global warming to some extent," Dr. Julia A. Crook, a research fellow in the Institute for Climate & Atmospheric Science at the University of Leeds in England, told The Huffington Post in an email.

Crook and her co-authors maintain that their climate model shows the scheme could bring a 0.5-degree Celsius reduction in the Earth's average surface temperature by 2069, helping to offset the 2-degree warming expected by then.

According to Crook, the effect is comparable to those achieved by other so-called geoengineering schemes that have been proposed in recent years.

Of course, those bubbles won't resist popping just because we want them to. The scheme calls for the ocean-going ships to pump out a stream of chemicals known as surfactants as they move along. Surfactants help prevent popping by affecting the surface tension of water -- at the same time making the wakes a bit whiter than they would be ordinarily.

But it's not clear whether the scheme would be safe for marine life. And then there's the matter of its effect on air quality.

"Previous research suggests surfactants reduce the amount of CO2 uptake by the ocean, which would mean by adding surfactant we might cause atmospheric CO2 to go up," Crook said. "But by how much and whether the resulting warming from the extra CO2 would outweigh the increased albedo is unknown. This could be a show-stopper."

Dr. David Keith, a professor of applied physics and public policy at Harvard and a noted expert on geoengineering, said real-world feasibility and cost are other key issues.

"Nobody doubts that if you can make the bubbles last it makes the sea whiter," Keith said. "That’s easy. The hard part is whether you can make the bubbles persist and do it in sea water."

To fully assess the scheme's cost, safety and feasibility, he said, it will take more than a climate model. It will take real-world experiments.


Finally, America May Be Catching On to Ethanol Racket

The results of the Iowa caucus proved that even Iowans—long seen as fervent proponents of ethanol—don’t view Washington’s favoritism to it as necessarily still required.

Much like many campaigns out there, the Renewable Fuel Standard that mandates the use of biofuels in our gasoline has been full of empty promises. When Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2005 and expanded the mandate in 2007, policymakers promised reduced dependence on foreign oil, a new source of cleaner energy to lower gas prices, a stronger economy, and an improved environment.

This was certainly wishful thinking, as none of it has come true.

Instead, the policy has resulted in adverse effects to the economy and the environment and demonstrated the folly of the government attempting to centrally plan America’s energy future.

The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.  We’ll respect your inbox and keep you informed.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 first mandated that renewable fuels be mixed into America’s gasoline supply, primarily using corn-based ethanol. The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act increased the quotas significantly.

By 2022, there must be 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol and a total of 36 billion gallons of biofuels blended into the nation’s fuel supply, including soybean-based biodiesel. The program does not end in 2022, however, but grants the Environmental Protection Agency authority to set yearly targets.

The mandate has harmed Americans in a number of ways. Ethanol has only two-thirds the energy content of petroleum-based gasoline, so drivers pay more. In addition, the Renewable Fuel Standard has not delivered on the promise of reducing dependence on oil and protection from high prices.

Because ethanol contributes such a small percentage of the overall transportation fuel market (a mere 5 percent in 2014), it has failed to tamp down prices, which mostly continued to climb from 2002 to 2012 despite increased mandated ethanol use and high oil prices allegedly making ethanol more competitive.

Supply and demand (largely of crude oil) will determine the price at the pump, and the contribution of the Renewable Fuel Standard as a transportation fuel is a mere drop in the bucket against the nation’s entire fuel use.

The Renewable Fuel Standard also artificially diverts food to fuel, driving up prices at the grocery store.

A few years ago, 40 percent of America’s corn crop went to ethanol production. In 2012, the amount of corn used to produce ethanol in the U.S. exceeded the entire corn consumption of the continent of Africa and in any single country with the exception of China.

Now, if market forces drove corn production away from food use and toward transportation fuel because it were more profitable, there would be no problem. But that’s not what is occurring here. Producers are diverting food to fuel because of the government-imposed mandate, and since corn is a staple ingredient for many foods and an important feedstock for animals, families are hit with higher prices from a wide range of food products.

Policymakers hailed biofuels as the green solution to dirty oil. But, in its first of three reports to Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency projected that nitrous oxides, hydrocarbons, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, ground-level ozone, and ethanol vapor emissions, among other air pollutants, increase at different points in the production and use of ethanol.

A study by Iowa State University researchers concluded that incentivizing more biofuel production with government policies leads to more adverse environmental consequences caused by farming, the use of fertilizers, and land-use conversion for agricultural production, resulting in increased soil erosion, sedimentation, and nitrogen and phosphorus runoff into lakes and streams.

Though the mandate benefits a select few in the Midwest, the Renewable Fuel Standard spreads the cost to the rest of Americans, including many in the agricultural community. The biofuels mandate gives preferential treatment to the production of corn and soybeans at the expense of other agricultural products and artificially eliminates the risk and competition necessary to drive innovation and economic growth.

The problem with the Renewable Fuel Standard is not the use of biofuels themselves, but rather that it is a policy that mandates the production and consumption of the fuel.

Having politicians centrally plan energy decisions best left for the private sector distorts markets and demonstrates the high costs and unintended consequences of government control.

Congress should admit that the Renewable Fuel Standard is costly to the economy and the environment, benefiting a select group of special interests. Importantly, Congress should recognize that the federal government has no business determining what type of fuel we should use and how much of it we should consume each year.

The only viable solution to this broken policy is to repeal the biofuels mandate altogether.


Australia: Climate science on chopping block as CSIRO braces for shake-up

Global warming research to be re-oriented towards mitigation

The CSIRO's climate science divisions are expected to be pared back as part of a massive shake-up of the organisation.

The ABC understands cuts are expected to be made within the Oceans and Atmosphere and Land and Water divisions and up to 350 positions in the organisation will change.

The organisation will attempt to redeploy as many staff as possible into emerging areas such as data science, but there are likely to be redundancies in the process.

CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall said the changes would see the organisation move away from measuring and monitoring climate change, to instead focus on how to adapt to it.

"It's inevitable that people who are gifted at measuring and modelling climate may not be the same people who are gifted at figuring out what to do about it how to mitigate it," he said.

"Some of the climate scientists will be able to make that transition and some won't."

Dr Marshall said the shake-up was about renewal for the organisation and addressing the low turnover rates of staff.

"On the good side that means people love working for CSIRO but on the bad side most companies have much higher turnover than we do," he said.

The good thing about turnover is it creates a career path for junior scientists to aspire to.

In a statement, a spokesman for Science Minister Christopher Pyne said:  "This is an operational decision of the CSIRO.   After an extensive review, the management of the CSIRO have stated the need to re-organise the organisation to better fulfil its mission as outlined in its strategic plan"

In 2014, the Federal Government slashed more than $110 million from the organisation's budget, prompting national protests.

But scientists became far more optimistic when the Prime Minister launched the National Innovation and Science Agenda in December last year.

Malcolm Turnbull committed $90 million to the CSIRO to support increased commercialisation of research.

He also announced $75 million of funding to a CSIRO business unit known as Data61, which will focus research on areas such as cybersecurity and robotics.

At the time, Science Minister Christopher Pyne said organisations like the CSIRO were "among the best in the world".



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, 2016

Wotta lotta bull...

England had a lot of flooding last year, caused mainly by neglect of flood defences during 13 years of Labour party rule.  But Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all below are determined to say it was all caused by global warming.  You immediately begin to wonder why they bother.  Since there has been no global warming for many years it can't have caused ANYTHING!  See the graph below

So the article is solid BS from beginning to end.  But it's just modelling anyway, which proves nothing.  Actual data were obviously too boring for them. 

The sad thing is that some people have taken the trash seriously. One of Britain's Left-leaning papers has a big splash on it.  So the myths about the flooding will grow

Human influence on climate in the 2014 southern England winter floods and their impacts

By  Nathalie Schaller and many others


A succession of storms reaching southern England in the winter of 2013/2014 caused severe floods and £451 million insured losses. In a large ensemble of climate model simulations, we find that, as well as increasing the amount of moisture the atmosphere can hold, anthropogenic warming caused a small but significant increase in the number of January days with westerly flow, both of which increased extreme precipitation. Hydrological modelling indicates this increased extreme 30-day-average Thames river flows, and slightly increased daily peak flows, consistent with the understanding of the catchment’s sensitivity to longer-duration precipitation and changes in the role of snowmelt. Consequently, flood risk mapping shows a small increase in properties in the Thames catchment potentially at risk of riverine flooding, with a substantial range of uncertainty, demonstrating the importance of explicit modelling of impacts and relatively subtle changes in weather-related risks when quantifying present-day effects of human influence on climate.

Nature Climate Change. (2016).  doi:10.1038/nclimate2927

What global warming? Large parts of Earth expected to COOL over next five years

LARGE areas of the globe are set to cool over the next five years, according to weather forecasters.

In its latest five-year forecast, up to 2020, the Met Office has said the Antarctic ocean is expected to cool over the period.

The North Atlantic ocean is also likely to see a minor cooling - meaning lower temperatures in the USA, Europe and even north Africa.

The forecast, which is said to be its most accurate five-year prediction yet because it uses the same system as its short-term forecasts, also predicts that average global temperature rises will not reach the upper-most predictions accepted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The forecast said a trend of hottest years on record, including 2015, is likely to end next year.

But overall the Met Office said the trend would continue to be a gradual creeping upwards over a longer timespan, so the threat of climate change remains real.

A Met Office spokesman said: "There is some indication of continued cool conditions in the Southern Ocean and of relatively cool conditions in the north Atlantic.

"The latter is potentially important for climate impacts over Europe, America and Africa."

But he warned there would be slight increases in some areas, mainly in the very far northern latitudes.

He said: "Averaged over the five-year period 2016-2020, forecast patterns suggest enhanced warming over land, and at high northern latitudes.

"This forecast also suggests global temperatures over the next five years are likely to be well within, or even in the upper half, of the range of warming expected by the CMIP5 models, as used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."

The forecast is an average rise of between 0.28C and 0.77C above the long-term average for 1981 to 2010.

Last year is currently the warmest year on record since the Met Office records dating back to 1850 began and 2015 was 0.44C above the 1981 to 2010 long-term average.

Doug Smith, an expert on decadal prediction at the Met Office Hadley Centre, said: "We expect the global average temperatures for 2016 are likely to be at least as warm as 2015 - a record-breaking year.

Considering the influence of the very strong El Niño, currently active in the Pacific, then 2016 could well be another record year.

"However, the run of consecutive record years for globally-averaged temperature may end in 2017, as the influence of the current El Niño ends, nevertheless high levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will continue to influence the climate and drive very warm years."

Warren Meyer is a climate change sceptic who has written a series of articles about how various climate change temperature rise models have been highly exaggerated.

He said he could not comment on the Met Office forecast without seeing the science behind it. But he said: "It would take years to get a model right. What is bad science is when they try to say a bad snow storm or other weather event is caused by climate change."

Mr Meyer says climate sceptics are largely misunderstood.  In an article setting out their general position, he said: "Few sceptics doubt or deny that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas or that it helps to warm the surface of the Earth. "Few sceptics deny that man is probably contributing to higher CO2 levels through his burning of fossil fuels.

"What skeptics deny is the catastrophe, the notion that man’s incremental contributions to CO2 levels will create catastrophic warming and wildly adverse climate changes."

He said he disputes the science behind the climate change argument that if the average temperature does top 1°C, it will trigger a positive feedback scenario that could see further rises of five to eight degrees within a relatively short time


Global warming too weak to be a theory

The IPCC is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, not the Interscientific Panel on Climate Change. Although the Working Groups are composed and led by scientists, their final product is shaped by government apparatchiks. Considering how many column-inches newspapers devote to this topic, it is clear climate change moved a long time ago from scientific debate in peer-reviewed publications to political debate with strident voices.

But let’s back up a bit. The IPCC’s charter from the outset has been "to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation." The IPCC (more accurately: the research community) is not looking significantly at natural variability causes, and given the full-court research press on human-induced factors, research monies are wanting in that area. The climate has always changed, and it has been both hotter and cooler in the past before the rise of mankind’s industry. It would be good to know why. Considering we are exiting from the Little Ice Age, it is not surprising things are warming.

The debate is the degree to which anthropogenic forces stack up against natural forces. That debate is far from settled. The significant slowdown over the last 18 years in global average temperature increases, despite over one-fifth of all human CO2 ever emitted going into the atmosphere, is fostering increasing doubt on the General Circulation Models (GCMs) used to underpin the IPCC conclusions.

This was noted in the final draft of the most recent Assessment Report (AR5) Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) of the IPCC:  "Models do not generally reproduce the observed reduction in surface warming trend over the last 10-15 years." Unfortunately, when government representatives (vs. the scientists) released the final SPM, this language was removed.

Mr. Peterman goes on about the hypothesis of climate change (I would suggest the evidence is too weak to term it a theory) and Arrhenius. While the basic physics of the greenhouse effect are well understood, the modeled effect on the climate requires the introduction of feedback loops and amplification, notably water vapor.  Some of these feedbacks are poorly understood.  Consider the language by Working Group 1 of AR5: "The assessed literature suggests that the range of climate sensitivities and transient responses covered by CMIP3/5 cannot be narrowed significantly by constraining the models with observations of the mean climate and variability, consistent with the difficulty of constraining the cloud feedbacks from observations. "

Translation: despite significant expenditure of resources, we cannot further narrow climate sensitivities (that is, the change in temperature in response to various forcing factors) and still don’t understand clouds. In fact, scientists are unsure on whether the feedback from clouds is positive or negative.

The climate models are increasingly diverging from the observed temperature record; they fail the engineering test of usability through a lack of validation and verification. From an engineering perspective, models behaving this way would be in the dustbin. Instead, we have zealots that want to reshape the regulatory state and energy economy on the basis of such shabby models. Unbelievable.


Electric Vehicle Expectations Short Circuit

With the per-barrel cost of crude oil hovering below $35 and showing no signs of spiking, gasoline prices continue to drop. Today, the national average for a gallon of regular unleaded fuel is a remarkably low $1.79. The steady decline throughout 2015 no doubt propelled the auto market on its way to setting a new benchmark. Last month, the Associated Press reported that "U.S. auto sales hit a record high of 17.47 million in 2015, topping the old record of 17.35 million set in 2000." The report added, "Analysts expect sales could go even higher this year as unemployment continues to decline and more young buyers enter the market."

However, the outlook for the electric vehicle market is far less sublime. Recall this prediction from Barack Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address: "With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015." But with 2015 in the history books, the report card is rustier than a decades-old junk car. According to statistics provided by, a total of 411,120 plug-in electrified vehicles (PEV) have been purchased in the United States since 2008. Obama’s prediction would be right if he was talking globally — about 1.2 million PEVs have been sold worldwide — but he wasn’t, which means he only reached about 41% of his goal. In other words, good enough to earn an "F." But who said anything about graded tests? This is government, after all.

The ironic thing is that both cheap gasoline and the struggling electric vehicle market are the result of failed policies. Instead of depending less on gasoline-powered vehicles, millions of Americans are buying them in droves despite Obama taking undeserved credit. And notes, "Last year the U.S. purchased 2.8 percent fewer PEVs than it did in 2014." No wonder Tesla CEO Elon Musk says "the industry as a whole, I think, will definitely suffer from lower oil prices." The trends are completely opposite what Obama said they would be. But he’ll gladly take credit for them anyway. Only in government is missing your goal by 59% considered a success.


How West Virginia Is Leading the Charge Against Obama’s Environmental ‘Power Grab’

CHARLESTON, W.Va.—The Mountain State has its back against the wall, and time is running out. Leading a coalition of more than two dozen coal states, West Virginia is asking the Supreme Court for an emergency stay of President Obama’s new regulations governing the coal industry.

West Virginia and 26 other states argue that the Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its authority by circumventing Congress to unilaterally implement the package of rules.

The EPA calls it the Clean Power Plan. The states call the move an unconstitutional "power grab" and complain that it will bankrupt their local coal industries.

But while they’re confident the law is on their side, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says time is not. That’s why the states have asked the Supreme Court for an emergency stay to temporarily freeze the Clean Power Plan as the case moves through the legal system.

At issue is whether the EPA will be allowed to become "a central energy planning authority," Morrisey said.

The District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals last week agreed to hear the case on an expedited basis but declined to halt the EPA from implementing the new rules. And while oral arguments are set to begin in June, the battle likely will drag on into next year.

That’s the perfect scenario for the EPA to run out the clock, Morrisey says.

"The EPA’s goal is to obtain compliance," he tells The Daily Signal, "whether or not the regulation is upheld in court."

In an unusual legal play at this stage of the litigation process, the states asked Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to grant the freeze in the rules. The court has invited the Obama administration to file a rebuttal by Feb. 4 and likely will hand down a decision the following week.

Morrissey says he is cautiously optimistic that the high court will grant a stay.

"The EPA has consistently run roughshod over the rule of law and West Virginia," Morrisey says.

And he says he is confident a temporary freeze is justified since the Clean Power Plan "is causing irreversible harm."

States are scrambling to comply with the plan, which is considered a key component of Obama’s broader effort to achieve climate change goals negotiated in Paris last year.

The president calls the Clean Power Plan "a tremendously important step in the fight against global climate change." Vetoing a bill from Congress that would have derailed the plan last month, Obama wrote that the measure "gives states the time and flexibility they need to develop tailored, cost-effective plans to reduce their emissions."

The regulations require states to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent before 2030  and give them until Sept. 6 to submit implementation plans to do it.

Opponents in West Virginia fear that costly regulation will price coal out of the energy market. They point to a recent study by the West Virginia College’s Bureau of Business and Economics that forecasts an 18-percent reduction in the state’s coal production by 2035.

Brian Lego, an assistant research professor at the college, tells The Daily Signal that the production decrease could be as much as 25 percent in the long run. And as businesses brace for the new regulation, Lego predicts that West Virginia will witness more layoffs of coal miners and more shutdowns of mines.

So far this year, the state has seen an avalanche of layoffs. The West Virginia Coal Association estimates that as many as 2,000 miners were put out of work in January.

The CEO of one of the nation’s largest coal producers, Murray Energy, tells The Daily Signal that’s part of a growing trend.

Bob Murray says his company "peaked at 8,400 direct employees on May 1, 2015." Now his company’s payroll has dwindled to about 6,000.

Murray, whose company is one of the litigants requesting that the Supreme Court put a hold on the Clean Power Plan, says that under the new regulations, "people on fixed income aren’t going to be able to pay their electric bills."

And domestic manufacturers, he says, "won’t be able to compete in the global market because electric rates are soaring."

In addition to this "economic and personal carnage," Morrisey told the West Virginia Coal Symposium last week that the Clean Power Plan does "violence to the rule of law." He also argues that "these rules will transform the EPA from environmental regulators into a central energy planning authority."

West Virginia’s first Republican attorney general in 73 years, Morrisey has brought the state to the forefront of several legal cases against the Obama administration. But he tells The Daily Signal the current challenge could prove the most significant.

The EPA is trying to "pick winners and losers within the energy marketplace," he says, warning that if this "unprecedented" action isn’t curbed, the agency’s authority "moves to levels we can’t possibly comprehend."


A battery for the home comes to Australia

And it ONLY costs $12,000.00 -- so is not for the average Joe.   It would appear to be a modified version of Tesla's car battery so is not new technology.  Lithium-ion batteries are common in consumer electronics.

The Powerwall, a lithium-ion battery system designed to store electricity generated from rooftop solar panels, is widely considered to be a game-changer for the electricity industry. 7.30 has asked consumer group Choice to crunch the numbers. Here's what they found.

While the concept of a home battery storage system is not new to Australians, the Tesla Powerwall unit has been highly anticipated.

The Powerwall is a 7 kilowatt hour (kWh) lithium-ion-battery system that stores electricity generated from rooftop solar panels (or PV panels) during the day so that electricity can be used at night during the peak-usage times.

The system has attracted a cult-like following in recent months after the announcement that Australia would be one of the first countries to have access to it.

The first installations of the Tesla Powerwall are now underway and have a 10-year warranty period.

How does it work?

The battery has a daily cycle, meaning it is designed to charge and discharge each day.

The efficiency of the battery is 92 per cent, so although it has a 7kWh capacity, the Powerwall's working capacity is more like 6.4kWh.

Tesla also has a 10kWh weekly cycle version intended for back-up applications, but it is the 7kWh version you will see in most home installations.

People who already have solar panels will be able to use their own power rather than exporting it to "the grid" — the energy distribution network that carries electricity from power stations to homes and businesses.

One of the Australian providers of the Powerwall, Natural Solar, says that there are only two inverters currently on the market which are compatible with the Powerwall, so most existing solar panel owners will need to obtain a new inverter.

If you do not already have solar panels, the Powerwall can be purchased as part of a complete system that includes solar panels and an inverter.

You will need a solar array large enough to power both your home and charge the Powerwall — for most homes that would mean at least a 4kWh array.

How much does it cost?

If you already have solar panels, the Powerwall and a compatible inverter will cost you between $12,000 and $12,500 depending on which inverter you choose.

Energy companies are selling Powerwall packages for between $13,990 and $16,500 (GST inclusive) and with consideration to rebates for small-scale technology certificates (STCs).

Is the Powerwall big enough to take my house off the grid?

It depends on your energy needs and the number of people in living in your household, but a 7kWh battery is not going to be enough to make most households independent of the electricity grid.

It is possible to install two or more battery units to increase your storage capacity.



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

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


3 February, 2016

Ted Cruz upsets the Greenies

I have a few comments on the article below at the foot of it

A few days after accusing "global warming alarmists" like California Governor Jerry Brown (D) of ridiculing and insulting "anyone who actually looks at the real data" around climate change, newly-declared presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-TX) upped his rhetoric against those who care about the issue.
Speaking to the Texas Tribune on Tuesday, Cruz said that contemporary "global warming alarmists are the equivalent of the flat-Earthers."

"You know it used to be it is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat, and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier," he said.

In Cruz’s opinion, when it comes to climate change, his denier position places him alongside 17th Century scientist Galileo Galilei, who was also considered to be denying the mainstream knowledge of his day. According to Cruz’s logic, he is taking the minority view that human-caused climate change is not happening, just as Galileo took the minority view that the scientific method should be trusted over the Catholic Church.

Galileo, who helped perpetuate the notion that the Earth rotates around the sun, was eventually excommunicated from the Church for his views. In the centuries since he has come to be known as the "father of modern physics" and "the father of modern science."
Cruz mentioned in the interview that his parents were mathematicians; however he himself studied public policy before going to law school.

Cruz also said he had read a 1970s Newsweek article that morning about "global cooling." He explained how all the people who believed in global cooling suddenly switched over to global warming when the evidence on cooling didn’t line up.

The solutions to both warming and cooling, Cruz said, involved "government control of the energy sector and every aspect of our lives."

Either Cruz is suddenly interested in minor 1970s scientific theories or he is scrambling to find ways to push back against the overwhelming evidence that human-caused climate change is happening.

Cruz is not the first to compare Galileo to those who speak out against the accepted science of climate change. In 2011, former presidential candidate and Texas governor Rick Perry dropped Galileo’s name as justification for his anti-climate position.
As the website Skeptical Science points out, "the comparison is exactly backwards."

"Modern scientists follow the evidence-based scientific method that Galileo pioneered," the website reads. "Skeptics who oppose scientific findings that threaten their world view are far closer to Galileo’s belief-based critics in the Catholic Church."
President Obama seems to have gotten the analogy correct when he said in 2013 that "we don’t have time for a meeting of the flat-Earth society" when it comes to doing something about climate change.


The feeble claim that Warmists follow "the science" is amusing.  The author has probably never heard of statistical significance, an essential scientific tool in evaluating differences between two things.  It alerts you to differences that are too small to take seriously.  But scientists know of it  and they don't ignore it.  Yet Warmists regularly ignore it when they make their regular pronouncements about "warmest year", "third warmest year" etc.  Those year to year differences are statistically non-significant and when that occurs a scientist "accepts the null hypothesis"  -- i.e. says there is no difference between the things compared.  Warmists however proclaim the differences as real.  They're not a scientist's asshole.  Their own statistics show no warming


This is a most amusing study, showing that the earth's temperature is largely self regulating and tends toward a stable state.  Since I have often noted that we in fact live in an era of great climatic stability,  I like the finding.

That's a very bad finding for Warmists, however, so they throw in a few comments meant as a a sop to the Warmists.  They throw in a statement that man could upset or maybe has upset the process.  They offer no evidence that man has, however

By examining how Earth cools itself back down after a period of natural warming, a study by scientists at Duke University and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirms that global temperature does not rise or fall chaotically in the long run. Unless pushed by outside forces, temperature should remain stable.

The new evidence may finally help put the chill on skeptics’ belief that long-term global warming occurs in an unpredictable manner, independently of external drivers such as human impacts.  [A straw man. Skeptics don't believe that climate changes are uncaused.  They believe they are caused primarily by variations in solar activity -- as articulated by Svensmark]

"This underscores that large, sustained changes in global temperature like those observed over the last century require drivers such as increased greenhouse gas concentrations," said lead author Patrick Brown, a PhD student at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. [What rubbish! There have often been "sustained changes in global temperature" long before the modern era]

Natural climate cycles alone are insufficient to explain such changes, he said.

Brown and his colleagues published their peer-reviewed research Feb. 1 in the Journal of Climate.

Using global climate models and NASA satellite observations of Earth’s energy budget from the last 15 years, the study finds that a warming Earth is able to restore its temperature equilibrium through complex and seemingly paradoxical changes in the atmosphere and the way radiative heat is transported.

Scientists have long attributed this stabilization to a phenomenon known as the Planck Response, a large increase in infrared energy that Earth emits as it warms. Acting as a safety valve of sorts, this response creates a negative radiative feedback that allows more of the accumulating heat to be released into space through the top of the atmosphere.

The new Duke-NASA research, however, shows it’s not as simple as that.

"Our analysis confirmed that the Planck Response plays a dominant role in restoring global temperature stability, but to our surprise we found that it tends to be overwhelmed locally by heat-trapping positive energy feedbacks related to changes in clouds, water vapor, and snow and ice," Brown said. "This initially suggested that the climate system might be able to create large, sustained changes in temperature all by itself."

A more detailed investigation of the satellite observations and climate models helped the researchers finally reconcile what was happening globally versus locally.

"While global temperature tends to be stable due to the Planck Response, there are other important, previously less appreciated, mechanisms at work too," said Wenhong Li, assistant professor of climate at Duke. These other mechanisms include a net release of energy over regions that are cooler during a natural, unforced warming event. And there can be a transport of energy from the tropical Pacific to continental and polar regions where the Planck Response overwhelms positive, heat-trapping local effects.

"This emphasizes the importance of large-scale energy transport and atmospheric circulation changes in restoring Earth’s global temperature equilibrium after a natural, unforced warming event," Li said.


Climate Change: The Burden of Proof

Fred Singer

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has to provide proof for significant human-caused climate change; yet their climate models have never been validated and are rapidly diverging from actual observations. The real threat to humanity comes not from any (trivial) greenhouse warming but from cooling periods creating food shortages and famines.

Burden of proof

Climate change has been going on for millions of years—long before humans existed on this planet. Obviously, the causes were all of natural origin and not anthropogenic. There is no reason to think that these natural causes have suddenly stopped. For example, volcanic eruptions, various types of solar influences, and atmosphere-ocean oscillations all continue today. We cannot model these natural climate-forcings precisely and therefore cannot anticipate what they will be in the future.

But let’s call this the "Null hypothesis." Logically therefore, the burden of proof falls upon alarmists to demonstrate that this null hypothesis is not adequate to account for empirical climate data. In other words, alarmists must provide convincing observational evidence for anthropogenic climate change (ACC). They must do this by detailed comparison of the data with climate models. This is of course extremely difficult and virtually impossible since one cannot specify these natural influences precisely.

We’re not aware of such detailed comparisons, only of anecdotal evidence— although we must admit that ACC is plausible; after all, CO2 is a greenhouse gas and its level has been rising mainly because of the burning of fossil fuels.

Yet when we compare greenhouse models to past observations ("hindcasting"), it appears that ACC is much smaller than predicted by the models. There’s even a time interval of no significant warming ("pause" or "hiatus") during the past 18 years or so—in spite of rapidly rising atmospheric CO2 levels.

There seems to be at present no generally accepted explanation for this discrepancy between models and observations, mainly during the 21st century. The five IPCC reports [1900 to 2014] insist that there is no "gap." Yet strangely, as this gap grows larger and larger, their claimed certainty that there is no gap becomes ever greater. Successive IPCC reports give 50%, 66%, 90%, 95%, and 99% for this certainty.

Needless to say, there are no sufficient conditions to establish the existence of any significant ACC from existing data. Even necessary conditions based on empirical data, like temperature vs altitude and latitude, cloud cover, precipitation, are difficult to establish.

To summarize, any major disagreement of data with models therefore disproves ACC.

IPCC’s models are not validated—and therefore not policy-relevant

In other words, GH models have not been validated and may never be validated—and therefore are not policy-relevant.

Anyway, any warming observed during the past century appears to be trivially small and most likely economically beneficial overall. Careful studies by leading economists and agricultural experts have established these facts [see for example NIPCC-ClimateChangeReconsidered-II – 2014].

I therefore regard the absence of any significant GH warming as settled; note my emphasis on the word "significant." Policies to limit CO2 emissions are wasting resources that could better be used for genuine societal problems like public health. They are also counter-productive since CO2 promotes plant growth and crop yields, as shown by dozens of agricultural publications.

Surviving a coming climate cooling

I am much more concerned by a cooling climate—as predicted by many climate scientists—with its adverse effects on ecology and severe consequences for humanity.

Singer and Avery in "Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years" have described one form of observed cyclical climate change. It was first seen during the past glaciation. Loehle and Singer claim evidence for these cycles to extend into the present.

In particular, historical records identify the recent cycle of a (beneficial) Medieval Warm Period (MWP) and the (destructive) Little Ice Age (LIA) with its failed harvests, starvation, disease, and mass deaths. Many solar experts predict another LIA cooling within decades.

I have therefore explored ways to counter the (imminent) next cooling phase through low-cost and low- ecological-risk geo-engineering, using a specific greenhouse effect—not based on CO2.

At the same time, assuming that our scheme does not work perfectly, we need to prepare for adaptation to a colder climate, with special attention to supply of food and sustainable water and energy.

The outlook for such adaptation appears promising—provided there is adequate preparation. However, the coming cold period will test the survivability of our technological civilization.


The Truth about Tesla Motors

During a January 19th panel discussion at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Tesla Motors general counsel Todd Maron said: "We make money from one thing: car sales and car sales alone." In reality, electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Tesla Motors loses more than $4,000 on every car it sells on a "full-cost" basis (keep in mind that some of Tesla’s costs are heavily subsidized). Tesla’s losses per vehicle are even greater using generally accepted accounting principles. CNBC and Reuters explains:

Tesla reports its finances in a different way from the Detroit automakers. Using the generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, used by GM or Ford, Tesla’s operating losses per vehicle have steadily widened to $14,758 from $3,794 in the second quarter of 2014.

Instead, Tesla survives on government handouts.

In 2015, Tesla delivered 50,580 cars worldwide, with 25,700 going to U.S. customers. This is a trivial percentage of both the worldwide and U.S. auto markets. A record 17.5 million passenger vehicles were bought in the United States in 2015. Yet only 0.67 percent—or 116,548 vehicles—were all-electrics or plug-in hybrids, 6,500 fewer than in 2014. EVs account for 0.16 percent of the 250 million U.S. passenger vehicles on the road. The market for electric cars is trivial, despite massive government support.

Instead of making money from car sales, Tesla survives by participating in many government subsidy programs. One lucrative program is California’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) credit program. Phil Kerpen explained how the program works:

ZEV credits are a mandate dreamed up by the bureaucrats at the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which requires [auto] manufacturers to build and dealers to sell an arbitrary number of "zero-emission" vehicles each year. . . . Tesla’s Model S generates four credits per unit sold. This means the company can sell $20,000 in ZEV credits to other [auto] manufacturers for each Model S sold—a cost borne by purchasers of other cars.

ZEV credits, pioneered in California, have spread to nine other states. Tesla has collected more than $517 million from competing automakers by selling ZEV credits to those who fail to sell enough zero-emissions cars to meet arbitrary mandates.

Charles Lane of the Washington Post said: "Tesla owes its survival to subsidies from taxpayers, who are usually less well-heeled than its plutocratic customers." The average household income of Tesla owners is $320,000, according to Strategic Visions, a consumer research company.

Tesla buyers have also raked in $38 million in California government rebates (they receive a $2,500 rebate for each Tesla bought) and $284 million in federal tax incentives (they receive a $7,500 federal tax credit for each purchased Tesla).

The Los Angeles Times calculated that Elon Musk’s three companies, Tesla Motors, SolarCity, and SpaceX, combined have received a staggering $4.9 billion in government support over the past decade. As Kerpen noted: "Every time a Tesla is sold . . . average Americans are on the hook for at least $30,000 in federal and state subsidies" that go to wealthy Tesla owners. This is crony capitalism at its worst.

Tesla is in the business of capturing government subsidies, not making cars that people actually buy. At the same FTC panel, Tesla’s Maron said: "It’s imperative [that gas powered cars] are replaced entirely by electric vehicles." What’s the plan for achieving this? Buried in its 2013 annual report Tesla admitted: "Our growth depends in part on the availability and amounts of government subsidies and economic incentives."

Hold onto your wallets everyone, Tesla wants to grow.


Clinton: ‘Deploy Half a Billion More Solar Panels by End of My First Term’

Speaking at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Saturday former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said fighting climate change will "create millions of jobs" and pledged that if she is elected she will put in place "half a billion more solar panels."

"Let’s create millions of jobs," Clinton said. "And I’ve set two big goals.

"Let’s deploy a half a billion more solar panels by the end of my first term and enough clean energy to power every home by the end of my second term," Clinton said. "We can do this."

Clinton, who was introduced by her husband, former president Bill Clinton, and her daughter, Chelsea, said the Republicans who don’t accept climate change should talk to scientists and science teachers at the high school where the rally was held.

"Come to this high school and talk to science teachers and you will understand what climate change is," said Clinton, noting that one third of electricity in Iowa in generated by "renewable" energy sources, mostly wind.

According to the Energy Information Administration, renewable energy sources provided about 11 percent of electricity generation in the United States in 2014, with 81 percent of energy production coming from oil, natural gas and coal.


Poll: 91% Of Americans Aren’t Worried About Global Warming

A new poll has surfaced showing once again the vast majority of Americans don’t rank global warming as the most serious issue facing the country.

A YouGov poll of 18,000 people in 17 countries found only 9.2 percent of Americans rank global warming as their biggest concern. Only Saudi Arabians were less concerned about global warming at 5.7 percent. The biggest concern for Americans was global terrorism — 28 percent of Americans polled listed this as their top issue.

Despite a big PR push by President Barack Obama to tout his administration’s global warming agenda, most Americans have been unconvinced it’s the country’s most pressing issue. A Fox News poll from November found only 3 percent of Americans list global warming as their top concern.

The Fox poll came out just before Obama met other world leaders in Paris to kick off another round of negotiations for an international treaty to cut carbon dioxide emissions. After weeks of haggling, United Nations delegates agreed to non-binding emissions cuts.

Then, government scientists declared 2015 the warmest year on record. This news only emboldened politicians and environmental activists who want to build public support for more regulations on fossil fuels.

"In Paris, the entire world acted as one by agreeing to a universal climate accord that set an expiration date on fossil fuels–but now we must pick up the pace," Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, fossil fuel corporations are doing everything they can to hang on to their profits as long as possible," Brune said. "Largely as a result, if one of the leading Republican candidates were to be elected President of the United States, they would be the only head of state on earth to oppose global climate action."

But Brune’s insistence that Republican lawmakers and corporations are responsible for keeping the American public ignorant of the dangers of global warming doesn’t seem to be backed up by the polling data.

Polls have consistently shown global warming never ranks high on the American public’s radar. A CNN poll from January 2015 found that 57 percent of Americans did not expect global warming to threaten their way of life.

"Meanwhile, only 50 percent of Americans believe global warming is caused by man-made emissions, while 23 percent say it’s caused by natural changes and 26 percent say it isn’t a proven fact," CNN reported.

A Gallup poll from March 2015 found Americans’ concern about global warming fell to the same level it was in 1989. Global warming ranked at the bottom of a list of Americans’ environmental concerns — only 32 percent said they worried about it a "great deal."

"Importantly, even as global warming has received greater attention as an environmental problem from politicians and the media in recent years, Americans’ worry about it is no higher now than when Gallup first asked about it in 1989," Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones wrote.



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, 2016

As the ‘blue Arctic’ expands thanks to global warming, an icebreaker finds no ice to break (?)

A large excerpt below from an article by Tom Yulsman, an old Warmist from wayback.  The climategate emails shook him for a while but he soon got back on track. And as is often the case with  Greenies, what he does not say is what you need to know.  Let's start with this graph from Cryosphere Today, the Polar Research Group at the University of Illinois. It's too big to be put up legibly on this blog but you can click on the link to see it. It shows no trend in global sea ice area from 1979 to today. 

But what about Tom's pretty graphs showing ice area today being much below average?  The graphs seem to be right but they are not graphs of anything remotely global.  And we are supposed to be talking about GLOBAL warming, are we not?  The graph I link to is a graph of global sea ice but Tom ignores that and puts up a graph of Arctic ice only.  Are we now expecting catastrophic warming in the Arctic only?  That seems to be where Tom is going. 

Do I need to say anything more about Tom's BS?  Probably not but just one point.  Nobody seems to know why but there is substantial subsurface vulcanism at both poles.  The earth is flattened at the poles so that may be it.  The magma could well be closer to the surface there.

And the volcanoes underneath the Arctic sea ice are huge, particularly along the Gakkel ridge.   And you would melt if you had a volcano under you too.  So the melting in the Arctic is just what is to be expected from  known volcanic activity.  In the Antarctic only a small part of the area is affected by volcanoes so the Antarctic is in fact now gaining ice overall -- which balances out the loss in the Arctic.

Warmists are such crooks!

During a recent mission off the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, a Norwegian Coast Guard icebreaker encountered unusual winter conditions for an area just 800 miles from the North Pole.

Open water.

At this time of year, sea ice usually closes in around Svalbard’s northern and eastern coasts. But not this year. The sturdy 340-foot-long, 6,375-ton KV Svalbard had no ice to break, reports Oddvar Larsen, the ship’s First Engineer.

I spoke with Larsen and other sailors on board the icebreaker during the kickoff event of the 10th Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromsø, Norway on Jan. 24, 2016. This is the first post of several I have planned based on reporting I did at the conference.

Larsen told me that he has observed "big changes" in the Arctic during his nearly 25 years at sea. In addition to shrinking in extent, "most of the ice we encounter now is young — just one year old."

In the past, thicker, multi-year ice was dominant, including old ice greater than nine years of age. Today that oldest ice is almost gone.

The lack of sea ice that Oddvar Larsen and his crewmates experienced around Svalbard this winter wasn’t just a small geographical anomaly. At 301,000 square miles below the long-term average, Arctic sea ice extent in December was the fourth lowest for the month in the satellite record.

To give you a sense of just how much below average that extent was, consider that 301,000 square miles is almost the size of California, Oregon and Washington combined.

Since December, conditions have not improved. In fact, the extent of Arctic sea ice overall now is at record low levels for this time of year:

As Oddvar Larsen’s experience suggests, the lack of sea ice that his icebreaker recently encountered around Svalbard comprises just one data point in a broader, long-term trend. Since satellite monitoring began in 1979, Arctic sea ice extent in December has declined at a rate of 3.4 percent per decade.

That’s in winter, when the region is typically gripped by polar cold. In September, when Arctic sea ice reaches it’s lowest annual extent after the relatively warm months of summer, the decline has been much more rapid: 13.4% per decade.

The shrinking geographic extent of Arctic sea ice is just one measure of the impact of human activities on Earth’s climate. Its total volume is another — and that has been declining over the long run too.

If you pay too much attention to data cherrypickers looking to cast doubt on global warming, you’ll hear a different story. But the full data record, backed up by the personal experiences of sailors like Oddvar Larsen and others (keep reading; more to come below…), show conclusively that Arctic sea ice continues to decline.

Given the heat energy building up in Earth’s natural systems from greenhouse gas emissions, we shouldn’t expect anything different. In the end, it’s really just a matter of physics.

Moreover, fully 90 percent of the heat energy our activities are generating has been going into the oceans. How much energy are we talking about?

To help Arctic Frontiers’ conferees wrap their heads around that question, a geoscientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory offered a startling comparison. Citing recent research, Peter Schlosser noted that since 1997, the heat energy going into the oceans has been equivalent to "one Hiroshima-sized atom bomb being exploded every second for 75 years."

The result: an increasingly "blue Arctic" whose relatively dark waters (compared to white sea ice) are helping to amplify warming in the high north even further. And this, in turn, is possibly contributing to extreme events like the brutal winter weather that parts of the United States have endured in recent years.

In her own talk at the conference, NASA’s chief scientist, Ellen Stofan, explained the process this way: "As we expose more ocean, the dark water absorbs more heat, and that heat is pumped back into the climate system as added energy." This Arctic amplification process, she added, could be implicated in "a lot of the extreme weather events that have been occurring."

A connection between shrinking Arctic sea ice, Arctic amplification, and extreme weather is supported by research conducted by Jennifer Francis at Rutgers University, including a paper published last June.  Here’s how the connection works, at least theoretically:

The disproportionate warming experienced in the Arctic has weakened the difference in temperature between the lower and higher latitudes, causing the jet stream to become wavier for longer periods of time. The result: deep meteorological ridges and troughs that tend to be more persistent.

"As emissions of greenhouse gases continue unabated, therefore, the continued amplification of Arctic warming should favor an increased occurrence of extreme events caused by prolonged weather conditions," Francis and her colleague concluded in their recent paper.

It’s an intriguing theory. But it’s also still the subject of a robust scientific debate.


Proof that the man-made global warming theory is false

There is scientific evidence that anthropogenic (man-made) global warming is not a real phenomenon.  Ironically, this evidence is simple, easy to find, has nothing to do with temperature, and is from the United States government.  This proof is the proverbial elephant in the living room.

The anthropogenic global warming hypothesis originated from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  It is in two steps: "Increasing fossil fuel causes increasing carbon dioxide in the air; and increasing carbon dioxide in the air causes climate change."  Oil, natural gas and coal are called "fossil fuel" by the IPCC.

The first part of the hypothesis, that increasing fossil fuel causes increasing carbon dioxide in the air, has generally been a "given" in the past.  Heretofore, it has received practically no scrutiny.  It is the second part of the hypothesis, that increasing carbon dioxide in the air causes climate change, which has received many scientific arguments.  Predictions into the future require "models" which require assumptions.  It is said that assumptions are the mother of all screw-ups.  Testing of models by the reliable and venerable Scientific Method has been unable to obtain reproducible test results.  The second part of the hypothesis has never been proven.

After World War II, it was said that the Allies floated to victory on a sea of oil.  U.S. oil production increased by 3 billion barrels annually during the war.  A massive amount of fossil fuel was used in World War II.

The proof that the first part of the hypothesis, increasing fossil fuel causes increasing carbon dioxide in the air, is not true can be found in this data from NASA.

The best scientific data available, which is from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, shows that carbon dioxide levels "flat-lined" during the decade of 1940 to 1950.  The carbon dioxide level in the air in 1941 was 311 parts per million.  The wobble was only down to 310.2 parts per million, only 0.8 parts per million less than the amount in 1941.

World War II's massive increase in the use of fossil fuel did not cause a corresponding increase in carbon dioxide in the air.  Increasing fossil fuel does not always cause increasing carbon dioxide.  Since the first part of the hypothesis is not true, the entire hypothesis is not true.  Arguments over the second part are moot. No one has evidence that carbon dioxide in the air increased during World War II.

The problem is that the IPCC's climate change hypothesis was adopted by President Carter, Vice President Gore, and President Obama as the Democratic climate policy.  Currently, the economy, jobs, income, grants, subsidies, taxes, favored industries, federal land leases, savings, investments -- even foreign oil imports -- are greatly dependent upon the invalid climate change hypothesis.


Here we go again: "Global warming means exotic fruits now being grown in Britain"

Since there has been no global warming for over 18 years, the attribution given for the events described below is demonstrably wrong.  There could have been some local warming but the breeding of horticultural varieties of food crops to be cold-tolerant is most probably what lies behind the events described.  The Japanese grow rice, a tropical crop, in cold Hokkaido so plant breeding can do amazing things

Britain’s first ever crop of sweet, seedless "table" grapes will hit Asda’s shelves this autumn, as global warming adds another exotic fruit to the nation’s tables. It’s the latest in a growing list of now regular crops that also includes tea, sunflowers, sweet potatoes, water melons and walnuts.

Existing crops, such as strawberries, raspberries, sugar beet and asparagus, have also flourished – and not just in the south – as global warming pushes up the temperature and extends the growing season. The trend is set to keep on improving yields across a wide variety of crops in the UK and much of Northern Europe in the coming decades.

But the improving prospects for British farming bring a huge responsibility to help feed those parts of the world where global warming will destroy agriculture, says Professor Ian Crute, one of the country’s leading crop experts.

"Since 2000 we’ve seen some very clear signs that climate change is already changing agriculture in this country. And it’s highly likely that this will be good for our arable crop production in the future," said Professor Crute, a former director of Rothamsted Research, the world’s oldest agricultural research centre.

"We have an opportunity for ourselves in the temperate regions to grow more food. But we also have an obligation to grow even more, to help feed those parts of the world where it will become increasingly difficult to produce food reliably. If we don’t, then people are going to be marching north," added Professor Crute, a board director of the farmer’s official research body, the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board.

The southern hemisphere has traditionally fed the north. But in the future the north will need to feed the south, as large swathes of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, central and south America and Australia look set to be ruined, he says. The changes that climate change will inflict on farming all over the world this century will dramatically redraw the global agricultural map, says Professor Chris Elliott, a food expert who led the Government’s inquiry into the horsemeat crisis.


Mushrooms do it too

EVERYTHING causes global warming

 As global warming is increasing with each day that passes and the poles begin to thaw. There has been little research into the harm caused by fungi (mold that contribute to the production of greenhouse gases.
As determined by a study conducted at the University of California by the Mexican Adriana Romero, fungi from Alaska begin to adapt to and contribute to global warming by increasing the amount of (CO2) in the atmosphere.

Master in Molecular Ecology from the University of Baja California, Adriana explained that fungi are responsible for destroying the such as leaves that fall from the trees, and feed nutrients to plants.

"Because in Alaska, most of the time it's cold, fungi are asleep and do not contribute to global warming, but with high temperatures (10-30 °C), the organisms wake up and generate CO2."

The study was conducted by growing mushrooms in tubes 30 centimeters long and exposing them to temperatures above 25 °C.

"We chose the orange mold as a model because it is a species that commonly grows in the area, plus all its physiology, life cycle, genes and what do they code for are known," said Romero, a native of Sonora, northern state of Mexico.

When this mold grows, there is a cell division that is interpreted as a new generation. In the experiment, by cultivating 15 tubes for eight months 1,500 generations were achieved. After that, a physiological assay compared these tubes to fungi not exposed to high temperatures.

The results determined that the fungus shows a faster metabolism; it grows and reproduces more quickly, breathes more oxygen and exhales more carbon dioxide. With this information, it is possible to extrapolate for the whole community of fungi in the planet.

Romero's work is complemented by field studies in Alaska, where she observed in real time how climate change affects the community of forest mushrooms.

"Fungi breathe as humans; they inhale oxygen and exhale CO2 and although there are many of us, we are nothing compared with the amount of fungi," said the specialist.

She explained that Alaska is the region with the most fungi in the world. As summers have grown longer, up to five months, these organisms are more active for longer periods during the year.

Some scientific models determine that if fungi adapt to global warming, as Romero warns, they will not maintain a for a long time, which means that there will be a peak contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere, that will later drop and return to normal conditions; however, the climate damage will be irreversible.

"Although there are things we cannot control such as metabolism, evolution and adaptation of , we can make changes in our daily life that may contribute to curb and avoid drastic changes in temperature," concluded the researcher.


‘Cli-fi’ and the incorporation of climate change/global warming into college curricula

It’s not mandatory –yet — but the University of California-Irvine is offering faculty up to $1,200 in "incentives" to attend a workshop (and follow-up) on how to incorporate "climate change and/or sustainability concepts into their courses."

"The overall goal of this curriculum program," the UCI Sustainability website says, "is to boost climate change/sustainability education at UCI, especially targeting those students for whom climate and sustainability may not be a focus."

The College Fix received a tip from a source at UC-Irvine which offered suggestions on how to do just that, in this case for an English-related course.

The ideas included making use of "appropriate" vocabulary and readings since, after all, the goal of the program is to make sure all students on campus are reached.

Naturally, I was left wondering: Would it be acceptable to utilize vocabulary and readings (and writing assignments) that are skeptical of the conventional climate wisdom? Skeptical of current methods of sustainability?

This comes at a time when the genre of climate fiction, or "cli-fi," is becoming rather popular in pedagogy, despite it having been around for decades.

Blogger Daniel Bloom reports on a Vanderbilt professor who’s teaching two courses on cli-fi this coming spring semester.

Edward Rubin teaches law and political science at Vandy, and is offering a freshman course titled "Visions of the Future in Cli-Fi," as well as one for the school’s lifelong learning program called "Climate Change Literature: A New Fictional Genre about a Real Problem."

The latter has a more detailed description available:

In recent years a new genre of modern novels has emerged — climate change fiction, or "cli-fi." It now includes dozens, maybe hundreds of books, some in the science fiction mode, others realistic works set in contemporary times, but with a climate change theme. These books are often entertaining in themselves, but also reflect our society’s effort to come to terms with an impending crisis. We’ll approach these books as literature, but we’ll also talk about the underlying issue of climate change, and what the novels say about it.

The reading list is pretty extensive, dealing with topics other than climate (but have some effect on it): plague, nuclear war, and genetic engineering.

I’ve read a few on the list: Earth Abides is a 1950s tale detailing how some of the planet’s few survivors of a plague make their way in a new world; The Postman (also a film starring Kevin Costner) examines the collapse of society following EMP and biological attacks; and lastly, the world of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the basis for the film Blade Runner) has been decimated by radiation poisoning.

Cli-fi disaster scenarios have been popular for decades, but the global warming aspect of the genre has taken precedence over the last 25 years or so.

One of the more popular stories of the last 10-15 years is The Day After Tomorrow, which features scientist Dennis Quaid attempting, futilely, to persuade an overt Dick Cheney stand-in to "do something" before it’s "too late."

The film plays on predictable stereotypes — that we’re all doomed unless we act now, and the GOP is comprised of science-hating Luddites and anti-immigrant racists … all the while the "science" that serves as the film’s basis is beyond ridiculous.

Conservatives/Republicans actually aren’t anti-science when it comes to climate change; indeed, they "suffer" from "solution aversion" — when "proposed solutions are ‘more aversive and more threatening to individuals'" than the problem itself.

For example, researchers at Duke found that when free market solutions were proposed to address climate change instead of government regulatory measures, the percentage of conservatives agreeing with statements about global temperature increase more than doubled.

(Note: the same researchers found that progressives suffer from the same malady: they will "deny facts and science too, when the popular solutions and implications are undesirable to them.")

And hey, isn’t a healthy degree of skepticism a good thing? After all, does anyone recall how pollution and overpopulation were going to be the end of us? A lot of cli-fi from the late 1960s and 1970s proclaimed just this.

The novel Make Room! Make Room!, the foundation for the classic film Soylent Green, portrayed a ridiculously overcrowded New York City of the year 1999 (over 40 million people in the film), and while the film doesn’t specifically mention greenhouse gasses being responsible for the constant heat (I can’t recall if the book does), it does talk about man’s irresponsible use of natural resources and general pollution of the planet.

But the overpopulation worry never materialized despite warnings by folks like Paul R. Ehrlich, and the environment has actually gotten cleaner (excluding the new "pollutant" CO2, of course).

Still, those questioning agendas are often referred to as "rightwing climate denialists," like this gent who reviewed the global warming novel The Water Knife.

If you’re interested in reading a climate apocalypse story with a 180-degree twist on global warming, get a copy of 1991’s Fallen Angels by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and Michael Flynn.

The novel envisions a world in which technology-averse "green" parties have assumed power, and have established strict environmental standards. These measures serve to accelerate the next ice age in which runaway glaciers are rapidly advancing southward.

I wonder if UC-Irvine would approve of this book …


Congress Needs to Fix FDA Vapor Rule

After a lengthy and heavily contested regulatory process, a final rule deeming vapor products to be subject to pervasive FDA regulation is currently in the White House Office of Management and Budget for a final review before it is published and takes effect this year.  Leaks of the purported final rule suggest it remains deeply flawed and will impose a draconian, one-size-fits-all model that risks disrupting the fast-growing vapor industry and denying access to products that pose vastly less health danger than conventional tobacco cigarettes.  Unfortunately, in the final negotiations over last year’s omnibus bill a provision addressing this issue was dropped, but that should not be the last word on the issue from Congress.

Mitch Zeller, the FDA’s top tobacco regulator, told Congress "If we could get all of those people [who smoke] to completely switch all of their cigarettes to noncombustible cigarettes, it would be good for public health."

Indeed, vapor products are displacing regular cigarettes.  The most recent data from the CDC show the percentage of the adult population that smokes has dropped six consecutive years, from 20.6 percent in 2009 to 14.9 percent in the first half of 2015. An estimated two million ex-smokers are using vapor products.

So we’re on the right track, and Zeller warned: "Let’s not lose our focus on what the primary cause is for those 480,000 avoidable deaths each year—it’s primarily burning, combusting cigarettes."

Unfortunately, his agency is poised to do precisely that with its deeming rule.

"This is not really regulation. It’s prohibition," says Boston University community health sciences professor Dr. Michael Siegel.

He’s referring to a feature of the rule that sets a grandfather date of February 15, 2007 – effectively denying grandfather status to nearly every vapor product on the market and forcing each to go through a lengthy approval process or be pulled from the market within 24 months.

That date and timeline were established by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, passed by Congress in 2009 – and it grandfathered all but the very newest cigarette products.  By now deeming vapor products subject to regulation seven years later, the FDA is subjecting these safer products to more draconian regulation.

Jan Verleur, co-founder and CEO of VMR Products, a major manufacturer of vapor devices, said: "It’s essentially a death sentence for industry. It could be held up in litigation for many years."

That’s only slight hyperbole.

Once the rule is final, manufacturers would be required to submit to the FDA, for each product, a Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA) or a Substantial Equivalence (SE) report.  The PMTA process is complex and expensive and would be challenging for all but the largest manufacturers – the major tobacco companies – to navigate.  The SE choice depends upon showing that a predicate product is already approved, but vapor technology is new and rapidly evolving, ruling this option out. The investment driving that innovation would be chilled by time and expense of submitting every product for regulatory approval – and the agency already has a substantial backlog.

The solutions are simple but will require Congress to act quickly, because the rule currently sits at OMB and could be published any day.  On the next appropriate must pass vehicle Congress should include language that either delays the rule completely or fixes its most egregious flaws – the imposition of an inappropriate grandfather date and an insufficient approval period.  Failure to do so will result in regulating vapor more strictly than cigarettes, destroying thousands of small businesses, and, tragically, likely increasing tobacco-related sickness and death.


Australia: Changes to Victoria's bush will have to be accepted under global warming: scientists

This is on the whole broadly sensible but it will be used to justify bans on almost all logging. So timber and paper will have to be almost wholly imported and local livelihoods will be affected in many areas

There will be no choice but to accept permanent changes to Victoria's beloved bushland as climate change worsens, some of the state's leading environmental scientists say.

Accepting those changes could force a rethink of how some areas are protected and restored in order to give Victoria's threatened wildlife species the best chances of survival in warmer conditions.

The need to accept change is one of the main findings of a landmark symposium that drew together research on the pressures global warming is placing on Victoria's unique plants and animals, and what might be done to protect them.

The results of the symposium, held last year, have been turned into a series of 10 measures that scientists say should be taken to lessen the climate blow on nature, which will be released online on Monday under the title VicNature 2050.

They include ramping up many traditional conservation efforts, such as eradicating pest threats, stopping habitat clearing, and the protecting of reserves. But there are limits, and another recommendation says, "we will have no choice but to accept more changes in natural areas than we are accustomed to".

"There is no simple answer. But accepting that some things are going to change is something that has not quite got across to a lot of people yet," Professor Ary Hoffmann, from the Bio21 Institute at the University of Melbourne, told Fairfax Media,.

"There is a mindset that has to shift, that all of a sudden we're not trying to revert things back to a pristine position."

One example raised was whether alpine ash trees should be continued to be reseeded in the Alpine National Park after bushfires, which become more frequent and intense in Victoria under many future climate change scenarios.

To replace dead trees after recent fires, authorities sowed 1800 hectares of alpine ash seeds. But needing 20 years to be fully established, questions were raised at the symposium about whether the same species should be reseeded again if another bushfire wiped the seedlings out.

Professor Hoffmann said that in areas where the alpine ash could still survive it should be protected and restored. But in some places, more fire-resilient tree species might need to be considered in the face of a more frequent fire threat, to ensure continued species habitat.

"We may have to accept the fact there is not much point trying to recreate that environment, and have a debate about what this area should look like so you are still preserving the ecosystem function of those areas," he said.

Evidence presented to the the symposium last year found climate change would by 2050 increase the average temperature of Victoria by 1.5 to 2.5 degrees. This would create similar climate conditions to Wagga Wagga.

Professor Andrew Bennett, an ecologist from La Trobe University and the Arthur Rylah? Institute, said it was still important to ensure existing natural systems were as robust as possible, such as protection of vegetation and eradicating feral pests, to give threatened species the best chance under climate change.

For instance, he said his group's research had shown Victorian bird species had recovered better from the record-breaking millenium drought in areas with well vegetated streams and riversides as opposed to those which were cleared.

Professor Bennett said he took a cautious approach to adopting new wildlife species to prepare for future climates, and the first step should be trials in already cleared areas.

The "managing Victoria's biodiversity under climate change" symposium was organised by the Victorian National Parks Association, the Royal Society of Victoria and the University of Melbourne.



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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1 February, 2016

Statistician Briggs savages the latest Michael Mann paper

I have commented about this paper before but the Briggs comments were not out at the time I wrote.  The Mann et al. paper says that the known pattern of global temperature changes is consistent with human influences and that the pattern of temperature changes is unlikely to have happened without human influences.

Briggs takes us on a tour of statistical theory with common-sense examples to help us understand.  He shows that the Mann et al. paper makes a lot of assumptions that are just that: assumptions, and wrong assumptions at that.

I will not try to further explain or simplify what Briggs has written because he himself has probably gone as far as one can in that direction.  Very broadly, however, I will note that what Mann et al have written about is probabilities only -- and the probable does not always happen. 

And, if there are sufficient uniformities in events, we can know probabilities and thus make accurate predictions from them without understanding anything about the causes of the events concerned.  Probability is not causation. So Mann et al. could in theory make accurate predictions but still be totally wrong about the causes of the events concerned.  As it happens, however, Mann & Co. have never even been able  to make accurate predictions.  So it is quite clear that they do NOT know what caused the observed temperature fluctuations.

Thinking about all that, I had a closer look at the journal abstract (reproduced again below).  And it seems their reasoning is circular.  They clearly assume some figure for human influence in doing their modelling.  But it is the extent of human influence that they have to prove!  They get the conclusion they do because they assume what they have to prove!  The usual high intellectual standards of Warmists.

The Likelihood of Recent Record Warmth

Michael E. Mann, Stefan Rahmstorf, Byron A. Steinman, Martin Tingley & Sonya K. Miller


2014 was nominally the warmest year on record for both the globe and northern hemisphere based on historical records spanning the past one and a half centuries1,2. It was the latest in a recent run of record temperatures spanning the past decade and a half. Press accounts reported odds as low as one-in-650 million that the observed run of global temperature records would be expected to occur in the absence of human-caused global warming. Press reports notwithstanding, the question of how likely observed temperature records may have have been both with and without human influence is interesting in its own right. Here we attempt to address that question using a semi-empirical approach that combines the latest (CMIP53) climate model simulations with observations of global and hemispheric mean temperature. We find that individual record years and the observed runs of record-setting temperatures were extremely unlikely to have occurred in the absence of human-caused climate change, though not nearly as unlikely as press reports have suggested. These same record temperatures were, by contrast, quite likely to have occurred in the presence of anthropogenic climate forcing.

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 19831 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep19831

Ozone hole theory wrong

Below is the abstract of a recent paper.  Greenies think that banning these harmless gases was their greatest regulatory triumph

An Empirical Test of the Chemical Theory of Ozone Depletion

Jamal Munshi

The overall structure of changes in total column ozone levels over a 50-year sample period from 1966 to 2015 and across a range of latitudes from -90° to 71° shows that the data from Antarctica prior to 1995 represent a peculiar outlier condition specific to that time and place and not an enduring global pattern. The finding is inconsistent with the Rowland-Molina theory of chemical ozone depletion.


Trumping hydrocarbon fuels and consumers

Too many presidential candidates court corporate cash by promoting ethanol

Paul Driessen

Donald Trump loves to tout his poll numbers. But if he’s doing so well, why does he pander to Iowa’s ethanol interests?

The gambit might garner a few caucus votes among corn growers and ethanol producers. It certainly brings plaudits from renewable energy lobbyists and their political enablers. But it could (and should) cost him votes in many other quarters – beyond the Corn Ethanol Belt and even in Iowa.

The fact is, the 14.5-billion-gallon-per-year ethanol mandate prolongs policies that are bad for consumers and the environment. And yet many presidential candidates and other politicians support it.

The ethanol mandate forces refiners to blend ethanol into gasoline. It’s the epitome of feel-good government programs run amok. Congress enacted the steadily expanding ethanol blending requirement to stave off the "imminent" depletion of crude oil worldwide, decrease US imports of oil whose price was "only going to increase," reduce gasoline costs for motorists, and prevent manmade climate change.

We now know all these concerns were misplaced. In fact, the ethanol mandate fails every economic and environmental test.

The "fracking revolution" (horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing) has unleashed a gusher of US oil and gas production. Domestic oil production in 2014 reached its highest level in 114 years, and the United States is now the world’s biggest hydrocarbon producer. Global crude and American gasoline prices have plummeted. Fracking technology can be applied to shale deposits anywhere in the world, and even to conventional oil fields, ensuring that the world has at least another century of oil and natural gas supplies – and ample time to develop new energy technologies that we cannot even conceive of today.

Since ethanol gets a third less mileage than pure gasoline, adding ethanol to fuel actually increases fuel costs per tank, especially when crude oil fetches less than $30 per barrel and regular gasoline is under $2 per gallon in most states. For motorists driving 15,000 miles a year, $1.85-per-gallon gas means $1,200 in savings, compared to April 2012 prices. Ending the ethanol mandate would save them even more.

As to climate change, numerous studies demonstrate that there is no credible evidence that manmade carbon dioxide is causing dangerous global warming. Moreover, rising CO2 emissions from China, India and other rapidly developing nations overwhelm any imaginable US reductions.

The ethanol mandate has devolved into a black hole that sucks hard-earned cash from consumers’ wallets, while padding the pockets of special interests and their political patrons. Poor, minority, middle class and blue-collar families are especially hard hit.

Devoting 40% of America’s corn crop to ethanol production has significantly increased corn prices and thus the price of all foods that utilize the grain: beef, milk, pork, chicken, eggs, farm-raised fish, and countless products that include corn syrup. The corn converted into biofuel each year could feed more than 400,000,000 malnourished people in impoverished and war-torn countries.

Ethanol is corrosive and mixes easily with water, resulting in serious damage to gaskets and engines. Consumers have spent billions "degunking" and repairing cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles, chain saws and other small engine equipment, to prevent (or in the aftermath of) fuel leaks, engine failures and even fires. Vehicle, outdoor equipment and marine engine manufacturers warn against using gasoline blends containing more than 10% ethanol.

The mandate raised fuel costs nationwide by an estimated $83 billion between 2007 and 2014. In New England it is expected to cost the economy $20 billion, reduce labor income by $7.3 billion, and eliminate more than 7,000 jobs annually between 2005 and 2024. It has cost Californians $13.1 billion in higher fuel costs since 2005, and could inflict $28.8 billion in additional costs there by 2025.

Corn ethanol’s ecological impacts have convinced the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Environmental Working Group (EWG) and other organizations to oppose further extensions of the mandate. More than 35,000,000 acres (an area larger than Iowa) are now devoted to growing corn for ethanol, and the EWG says the mandate encourages farmers to convert extensive wetlands and grasslands into cornfields.

Growing corn, turning it into ethanol and trucking it to refineries (since it attracts water, it cannot be carried by pipeline) also requires vast amounts of water, fertilizer, pesticides, diesel fuel and natural gas. Only a tiny fraction of that acreage, water and fuel is required to produce far more energy via fracking.

Contrary to Environmental Protection Agency claims that ethanol helps reduce carbon dioxide emissions, those lands released an additional 27,000,000 tons of CO2 in 2014, the EWG calculates. In fact, the group says, corn ethanol results in more carbon dioxide emissions than estimated for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The United States also imports sugarcane ethanol from Brazil. The American Energy Alliance says the EPA does not account for the associated greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, EPA calls sugarcane ethanol an "advanced" fuel, even though it has been around since the 1920s.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) set expectations for biofuel development based on aspirations, not reality. It assumed switch-grass and wood waste could be converted into advanced cellulosic fuels, but the process has proven very costly and difficult. In an effort to hide this inconvenient truth, EPA now defines even some kinds of liquefied natural gas, compressed natural gas and electricity as derived from cellulosic fuels, in an effort to meet the mandate – even though none of these fuels can be blended into gasoline.

It’s encouraging that EPA’s Inspector General wants the agency’s pro-ethanol rhetoric investigated.

Many consumers are rejecting ethanol-blended fuels, and sales of straight gasoline have climbed from just over 3% of total US gasoline demand in 2012 to nearly 7% in 2014.

Simply put, the ethanol mandate is a disaster. When the government writes fuel recipes and meddles in the free market system, everyone loses except ethanol special interests. Texas Senator Ted Cruz is right: ethanol mandates and energy subsidies should all be terminated. Let biofuel, wind and solar power compete on their own merits, instead of being force-fed to consumers and taxpayers.

However, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has made support for ethanol a litmus test for the February 1 presidential caucuses. He wants Senator Cruz defeated for opposing the ethanol mandate. The governor’s stance also reflects the fact his son heads up the pro-ethanol America’s Energy Future lobbying group, and ethanol interests have contributed sizable amounts to the six-term Republican governor’s reelection campaigns.

There’s even a pro-ethanol van following Mr. Cruz around Iowa, to change recent polling results that found half of Iowa voters do not care much or at all about preserving the federal corn ethanol mandate.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump still thinks the mandate should be increased from this year’s 14.5 billion gallons to the full 15 billion gallons allowed under the antiquated RFS law. Jeb Bush and Chris Christy also support ethanol coercion. While this position might be politically expedient in Iowa, its affect on voters beyond the Hawkeye State is likely negative.

Mr. Trump and other candidates often say they will surround themselves with experts who know their stuff on important issues. Their pro-ethanol stance makes you wonder which wunderkinds are advising them right now. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, by contrast, share Senator Cruz’s disdain for energy mandates and subsidies.

The issue is a small but important indication of what’s at stake in the 2016 presidential election.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Via email

300 Scientists Want NOAA To Stop Hiding Its Global Warming Data

Hundreds of scientists sent a letter to lawmakers Thursday warning National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists may have violated federal laws when they published a 2015 study purporting to eliminate the 15-year "hiatus" in global warming from the temperature record.

"We, the undersigned, scientists, engineers, economists and others, who have looked carefully into the effects of carbon dioxide released by human activities, wish to record our support for the efforts of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology to ensure that federal agencies complied with federal guidelines that implemented the Data Quality Act," some 300 scientists, engineers and other experts wrote to Chairman of the House Science Committee, Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith.

"In our opinion… NOAA has failed to observe the OMB [Office of Management and Budget] (and its own) guidelines, established in relation to the Data Quality Act."

The Data Quality Act requires federal agencies like NOAA to "ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information, including statistical information."

Smith launched an investigation into NOAA’s study last summer over concerns it was pushed out to bolster President Barack Obama’s political agenda. Democrats and the media have largely opposed the probe into NOAA scientists and political appointees, but Smith is determined to continue investigating. NOAA officials surrendered emails to congressional investigators in December.

"It is this Committee’s oversight role to ensure that federal science agencies are transparent and accountable to the taxpayers who fund their research," Smith told The Daily Caller News Foundation. "Americans are tired of research conducted behind closed doors where they only see cherry-picked conclusions, not the facts. This letter shows that hundreds of respected scientists and experts agree that NOAA’s efforts to alter historical temperature data deserve serious scrutiny."

Of the 300 letter signers, 150 had doctorates in a related field. Signers also included: 25 climate or atmospheric scientists, 23 geologists, 18 meteorologists, 51 engineers, 74 physicists, 20 chemists and 12 economists. Additionally, one signer was a Nobel Prize winning physicist and two were astronauts.

NOAA scientists upwardly adjusted temperature readings taken from the engine intakes of ships to eliminate the "hiatus" in global warming from the temperature record.

The NOAA study in dispute claims the scientists found a solution to the 15-year "pause" in global warming. They "adjusted" the hiatus in warming the temperature record from 1998 to 2012, the "new analysis exhibits more than twice as much warming as the old analysis at the global scale."

"As has been acknowledged by numerous scientists, the engine intake data are clearly contaminated by heat conduction from the structure, and as such, never intended for scientific use," wrote climate scientists Dr. Patrick J. Michaels and Dr. Richard S. Lindzen of the libertarian Cato Institute on the in the science blog Watts Up With That. "Adjusting good data upward to match bad data seems questionable."

"If we subtract the [old] data from the [new] data… we can see that that is exactly what NOAA did," climate expert Bob Tisdale and meteorologist Anthony Watts wrote on the same science blog. "It’s the same story all over again; the adjustments go towards cooling the past and thus increasing the slope of temperature rise. Their intent and methods are so obvious they’re laughable."


Global Warming believer is disappointed

Scotland's only vineyard could be all washed up after its owner announced that the business was in crisis as the area is too rainy.

The vineyard, in Upper Largo, near Fife, did not make a single bottle of wine last year, having made only 10 the year before, only for critics to brand it undrinkable.

Owner Christopher Trotter, from Aberdeen, planted vines in 2011 and opened the vineyard three years later in the hope that global warming would make wine-harvesting viable in Scotland.

Mr Trotter told The Times: 'Growing grapes to work with two years ago proved my point that they can be ripened this far north, but unfortunately we just weren't good a making wine.

'I will continue to prune and weed the vines, and generally take care of them. The vines will live for 50 years but I really need someone to come and make the wine with me.'

There was international interest when Mr Trotter revealed his bid to make wine in one of Europe's wettest countries, and the first bottles of 'Chateau Largo' had been keenly awaited.

But he admitted his first vintage from the Upper Largo vineyard has fallen short of expectations.

'It's not great,' he said. 'We have produced a vintage of, shall we say, a certain quality, but I'm confident the next will be much better. We have proved we can grow grapes in the Scottish climate.'

He believes his mistake was not chilling the grapes quickly enough after they were picked, which allowed oxidisation to occur.

Richard Meadows, owner of Great Grog Company, an Edinburgh-based wine merchants, was among the first to sample Chateau Largo in 2015.  He said: 'It has potential. It doesn't smell fresh but it's crisp and light and structurally it's fine. 'It's not yet drinkable but, that said, I enjoyed it in a bizarre, masochistic way.'

The sherry-like concoction was also said to have 'nutty notes' that might complement a 'very strong cheese'.

Mr Trotter, who trained at London's Savoy Hotel as a chef and hotelier, was inspired to plant vines after a friend suggested global warming would give Fife the ideal climate for grapes in two decades.

Studies have suggested that up to three-quarters of today's major wine-growing regions will no longer enjoy optimal weather conditions by 2050 due to climate changes.


Hi-tech responses to global warming fears

Some MIT professors are researching nuclear power plants that can float in the ocean. Others are testing atom-sized solar cells that can coat skyscraper windows or smartphone screens. And still others are looking at how to mix algae with sunlight to make a reliable, clean fuel.

Policy makers, scientists, and many others are banking on technological breakthroughs in the wake of an agreement last month by 195 nations to cut carbon emissions — a landmark effort to slow the rise of global temperatures.

But the Paris climate agreement has no enforcement method.

So researchers at colleges and universities across the country — including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — are looking at a range of ways to combat climate change and to reduce the costs of current energy sources.

"History says we can invent our way out of this, and that’s what we’re trying to do," said Robert Armstrong, a professor of chemical engineering who is the director of the MIT Energy Initiative.

For example, Jacopo Buongiorno, a professor of nuclear science and engineering who serves as director of the Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems at MIT, envisions a future for nuclear power — at sea.

The regulatory challenges may be too great in the United States, where the number of nuclear plants has declined in recent years, but he has been working on building a plant that could be moved around the world, depending on where market conditions were favorable.

His design for a nuclear plant that could be moored at sea, like an oil rig, would cost about one-third less than a conventional plant and take about half the time to build, he said.

Other advantages include that it wouldn’t be in anyone’s backyard, minimizing siting issues, and its reactor would be submerged, reducing the risks of a meltdown.

"We need nuclear — big time," Buongiorno said. "Renewables are not as easily scalable as nuclear, and they’re intermittent. With nuclear, you get the energy when you need it. This is very doable."

Professor Yet-Ming Chiang, a professor of materials science and engineering who cofounded the companies A123 Systems and 24M, has spent years studying how to make batteries cheaper and last longer. He’s now seeking to cut in half the costs of the kind of lithium-ion batteries that power cutting-edge electric cars made by Tesla. He’s also looking at building batteries for electrical grids that can store energy from wind turbines or solar farms, so it can be distributed when needed.

"The right storage can solve many of the problems we have now with creating a low-carbon future," he said.

Jeffrey Grossman, another professor of materials science and engineering, is working on making solar panels as much as 100 times thinner than those today, allowing them to be used in glass or paint, so they can charge electronic devices, buildings, and much more.

He’s also researching how to store energy in the form of heat.

"We’ve demonstrated these technologies are possible, but we don’t know yet how to manufacture them at a large scale," he said. "We need to be trying a lot of things, in parallel with one another. We have many more ideas than we have the funds."

Meanwhile, MIT is embarking on an unprecedented program to accelerate progress on low-carbon energy technologies. In the coming months, MIT plans to launch eight "energy centers" on campus that will seek more than $300 million in research funding over the next five years from companies, foundations, and other sources.

The centers, announced last fall as part of a "plan for action" to curb carbon emissions, aim to further research and ultimately commercialize new technologies in the areas of solar energy, nuclear energy, energy storage, energy bioscience, electrical grids, nuclear fusion, materials science, and the capture and use of carbon.

Spurred by criticism from student groups about its investments and relationships with fossil fuel companies, MIT’s plan cites the "overwhelming" scientific evidence of climate change and the "risk of catastrophic outcomes" if emissions aren’t reduced.

"Given the scale of the risks, the world needs an aggressive but pragmatic transition plan to achieve a zero-carbon global energy system," the authors of the report wrote.

In addition to the centers, MIT promised to devote $5 million to its Environmental Solutions Initiative, hold a competition among alumni for new ideas, and deepen research on new technologies for utilities, cities, and ground and air transportation.

University officials also pledged to eliminate the use of oil as a fuel by 2019, reduce its emissions by 32 percent by 2030, and expand its educational offerings on climate issues, including the creation of an environment and sustainability degree.

But some students argue that the university should be doing more, including divesting from some 200 fossil fuel companies.

MIT continues to invest its $13.5 billion endowment in companies such as ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, and Shell.

"The plan is insufficient — incommensurate with limiting warming," said Geoffrey Supran, a PhD candidate and leader of Fossil Free MIT, which has held a sit-in outside the president’s office since October. "But it’s a start, and we’re doing everything we can to work with our administration to make it stronger. Nothing less than science and our futures are at stake."

MIT’s plans are part of a broader international effort to increase research and development on energy.

As part of the Paris climate accord, the United States and 19 other countries vowed to double their budgets on clean energy.

The United States pledged to increase its investments to $10 billion over the next five years.

In a statement accompanying the agreement, Obama administration officials said investments and other policies over the past seven years have helped reduce the price of wind projects by more than 40 percent, solar photovoltaic modules by 80 percent, and LED lighting by nearly 90 percent.

The United States now generates three times as much wind energy and 20 times more solar power than it did in 2008, they said.

Another global effort called the Breakthrough Energy Coalition involves recent pledges by 20 billionaires, including American tech magnates Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg, to invest in new clean energy projects and help commercialize them.

"Our primary goal with the coalition is as much to accelerate progress on clean energy as it is to make a profit," Gates wrote on his website, noting that global energy use is expected to increase some 50 percent by the middle 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



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This Blog by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), writing from Brisbane, Australia.

I am the most complete atheist you can imagine. I don't believe in Karl Marx, Jesus Christ or global warming. And I also don't believe in the unhealthiness of salt, sugar and fat. How skeptical can you get? If sugar is bad we are all dead

Global warming has now become a worldwide political gravy-train -- so only a new ice-age could stop it. I am happy however to be one of the small band who keep the flame of truth alive

This site is in favour of things that ARE good for the environment. That the usual Greenie causes are good for the environment is however disputed. Greenie policies can in fact be actively bad for the environment -- as with biofuels, for instance

Context for the minute average temperature change recorded: At any given time surface air temperatures around the world range over about 100°C. Even in the same place they can vary by nearly that much seasonally and as much as 30°C or more in a day. A minute rise in average temperature in that context is trivial if it is not meaningless altogether. Scientists are Warmists for the money it brings in, not because of the facts

The world's first "Green" party was the Nazi party -- and Greenies are just as Fascist today in their endeavours to dictate to us all and in their attempts to suppress dissent from their claims.

"When it comes to alarmism, we’re all deniers; when it comes to climate change, none of us are" -- Dick Lindzen

The EPA does everything it can get away with to shaft America and Americans

Cromwell's famous plea: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken" was ignored by those to whom it was addressed -- to their great woe. Warmists too will not consider that they may be wrong ..... "Bowels" was a metaphor for compassion in those days

Warmism is a powerful religion that aims to control most of our lives. It is nearly as powerful as the Catholic Church once was

Leftists have faith that warming will come back some day. And they mock Christians for believing in the second coming of Christ! They obviously need religion

Global warming has in fact been a religious doctrine for over a century. Even Charles Taze Russell, the founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, believed in it

A rosary for the church of global warming (Formerly the Catholic church): "Hail warming, full of grace, blessed art thou among climates and blessed is the fruit of thy womb panic"

Pope Francis is to the Catholic church what Obama is to America -- a mistake, a fool and a wrecker

The plight of the bumblebee -- an egregious example of crooked "science"

Inorganic Origin of Petroleum: "The theory of Inorganic Origin of Petroleum (synonyms: abiogenic, abiotic, abyssal, endogenous, juvenile, mineral, primordial) states that petroleum and natural gas was formed by non-biological processes deep in the Earth, crust and mantle. This contradicts the traditional view that the oil would be a "fossil fuel" produced by remnants of ancient organisms. Oil is a hydrocarbon mixture in which a major constituent is methane CH4 (a molecule composed of one carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms). Occurrence of methane is common in Earth's interior and in space. The inorganic theory contrasts with the ideas that posit exhaustion of oil (Peak Oil), which assumes that the oil would be formed from biological processes and thus would occur only in small quantities and sets, tending to exhaust. Some oil drilling now goes 7 miles down, miles below any fossil layers

As the Italian chemist Primo Levi reflected in Auschwitz, carbon is ‘the only element that can bind itself in long stable chains without a great expense of energy, and for life on Earth (the only one we know so far) precisely long chains are required. Therefore carbon is the key element of living substance.’ The chemistry of carbon (2) gives it a unique versatility, not just in the artificial world, but also, and above all, in the animal, vegetable and – speak it loud! – human kingdoms.

David Archibald: "The more carbon dioxide we can put into the atmosphere, the better life on Earth will be for human beings and all other living things."

Warmists depend heavily on ice cores for their figures about the atmosphere of the past. But measuring the deep past through ice cores is a very shaky enterprise, which almost certainly takes insufficient account of compression effects. The apparently stable CO2 level of 280ppm during the Holocene could in fact be entirely an artifact of compression at the deeper levels of the ice cores. Perhaps the gas content of an ice layer approaches a low asymptote under pressure. Dr Zbigniew Jaworowski's criticisms of the assumed reliability of ice core measurements are of course well known. And he studied them for over 30 years.


"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." --- Richard P. Feynman.

Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough - Michael Crichton

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" -- Karl Popper

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman

"The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it" -- H L Mencken

'Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action' -- Goethe

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” -- Voltaire

Lord Salisbury: "No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe soldiers, nothing is safe."

Calvin Coolidge said, "If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." He could have been talking about Warmists.

Some advice from long ago for Warmists: "If ifs and ans were pots and pans,there'd be no room for tinkers". It's a nursery rhyme harking back to Middle English times when "an" could mean "if". Tinkers were semi-skilled itinerant workers who fixed holes and handles in pots and pans -- which were valuable household items for most of our history. Warmists are very big on "ifs", mays", "might" etc. But all sorts of things "may" happen, including global cooling

Bertrand Russell knew about consensus: "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld, French writer and moralist (1613-1680)

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate" -- William of Occam

Was Paracelsus a 16th century libertarian? His motto was: "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself." He was certainly a rebel in his rejection of authority and his reliance on observable facts and is as such one of the founders of modern medicine

"In science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge; in religion it is condemned as heresy". (Bob Parks, Physics, U of Maryland). No prizes for guessing how global warming skepticism is normally responded to.

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus

"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." -- Thomas H. Huxley

Time was, people warning the world "Repent - the end is nigh!" were snickered at as fruitcakes. Now they own the media and run the schools.

"One of the sources of the Fascist movement is the desire to avoid a too-rational and too-comfortable world" -- George Orwell, 1943 in Can Socialists Be Happy?

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts -- Bertrand Russell

“Affordable energy in ample quantities is the lifeblood of the industrial societies and a prerequisite for the economic development of the others.” -- John P. Holdren, Science Adviser to President Obama. Published in Science 9 February 2001

The closer science looks at the real world processes involved in climate regulation the more absurd the IPCC's computer driven fairy tale appears. Instead of blithely modeling climate based on hunches and suppositions, climate scientists would be better off abandoning their ivory towers and actually measuring what happens in the real world.' -- Doug L Hoffman

Something no Warmist could take on board: "Knuth once warned a correspondent, "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it." -- Prof. Donald Knuth, whom some regard as the world's smartest man

"To be green is to be irrational, misanthropic and morally defective. They are the barbarians at the gate we have to stand against" -- Rich Kozlovich

“We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.“ – Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation

“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Leftists generally and Warmists in particular very commonly ascribe disagreement with their ideas to their opponent being "in the pay" of someone else, usually "Big Oil", without troubling themselves to provide any proof of that assertion. They are so certain that they are right that that seems to be the only reasonable explanation for opposition to them. They thus reveal themselves as the ultimate bigots -- people with fixed and rigid ideas.


This is one of TWO skeptical blogs that I update daily. During my research career as a social scientist, I was appalled at how much writing in my field was scientifically lacking -- and I often said so in detail in the many academic journal articles I had published in that field. I eventually gave up social science research, however, because no data ever seemed to change the views of its practitioners. I hoped that such obtuseness was confined to the social scientists but now that I have shifted my attention to health related science and climate related science, I find the same impermeability to facts and logic. Hence this blog and my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog. I may add that I did not come to either health or environmental research entirely without credentials. I had several academic papers published in both fields during my social science research career

Update: After 8 years of confronting the frankly childish standard of reasoning that pervades the medical journals, I have given up. I have put the blog into hibernation. In extreme cases I may put up here some of the more egregious examples of medical "wisdom" that I encounter. Greenies and food freaks seem to be largely coterminous. My regular bacon & egg breakfasts would certainly offend both -- if only because of the resultant methane output

Since my academic background is in the social sciences, it is reasonable to ask what a social scientist is doing talking about global warming. My view is that my expertise is the most relevant of all. It seems clear to me from what you will see on this blog that belief in global warming is very poorly explained by history, chemistry, physics or statistics.

Warmism is prophecy, not science. Science cannot foretell the future. Science can make very accurate predictions based on known regularities in nature (e.g. predicting the orbits of the inner planets) but Warmism is the exact opposite of that. It predicts a DEPARTURE from the known regularities of nature. If we go by the regularities of nature, we are on the brink of an ice age.

And from a philosophy of science viewpoint, far from being "the science", Warmism is not even an attempt at a factual statement, let alone being science. It is not a meaningful statement about the world. Why? Because it is unfalsifiable -- making it a religious, not a scientific statement. To be a scientific statement, there would have to be some conceivable event that disproved it -- but there appears to be none. ANY event is hailed by Warmists as proving their contentions. Only if Warmists were able to specify some fact or event that would disprove their theory would it have any claim to being a scientific statement. So the explanation for Warmist beliefs has to be primarily a psychological and political one -- which makes it my field

And, after all, Al Gore's academic qualifications are in social science also -- albeit very pissant qualifications.

A "geriatric" revolt: The scientists who reject Warmism tend to be OLD! Your present blogger is one of those. There are tremendous pressures to conformity in academe and the generally Leftist orientation of academe tends to pressure everyone within it to agree to ideas that suit the Left. And Warmism is certainly one of those ideas. So old guys are the only ones who can AFFORD to declare the Warmists to be unclothed. They either have their careers well-established (with tenure) or have reached financial independence (retirement) and so can afford to call it like they see it. In general, seniors in society today are not remotely as helpful to younger people as they once were. But their opposition to the Warmist hysteria will one day show that seniors are not completely irrelevant after all. Experience does count (we have seen many such hysterias in the past and we have a broader base of knowledge to call on) and our independence is certainly an enormous strength. Some of us are already dead. (Reid Bryson and John Daly are particularly mourned) and some of us are very senior indeed (e.g. Bill Gray and Vince Gray) but the revolt we have fostered is ever growing so we have not labored in vain.

A Warmist backs down: "No one knows exactly how far rising carbon concentrations affect temperatures" -- Stefan Rahmstorf, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Jimmy Carter Classic Quote from 1977: "Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.


Today’s environmental movement is the current manifestation of the totalitarian impulse. It is ironic that the same people who condemn the black or brown shirts of the pre WW2 period are blind to the current manifestation simply because the shirts are green.

Climate is just the sum of weather. So if you cannot forecast the weather a month in advance, you will not be able to forecast the climate 50 years in advance. And official meteorologists such as Britain's Met Office and Australia's BOM, are very poor forecasters of weather. The Met office has in fact given up on making seasonal forecasts because they have so often got such forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Their global-warming-powered "models" just did not deliver

Here's how that "97% consensus" figure was arrived at

97% of scientists want to get another research grant

Hearing a Government Funded Scientist say let me tell you the truth, is like hearing a Used Car Salesman saying let me tell you the truth.

A strange Green/Left conceit: They seem to think (e.g. here) that no-one should spend money opposing them and that conservative donors must not support the election campaigns of Congressmen they agree with

To Greenies, Genghis Khan was a good guy, believe it or not. They love that he killed so many people.

Greenie antisemitism

After three exceptionally cold winters in the Northern hemisphere, the Warmists are chanting: "Warming causes cold". Even if we give that a pass for logic, it still inspires the question: "Well, what are we worried about"? Cold is not going to melt the icecaps is it?"

It's a central (but unproven) assumption of the Warmist "models" that clouds cause warming. Odd that it seems to cool the temperature down when clouds appear overhead!

To make out that the essentially trivial warming of the last 150 years poses some sort of threat, Warmists postulate positive feedbacks that might cut in to make the warming accelerate in the near future. Amid their theories about feedbacks, however, they ignore the one feedback that is no theory: The reaction of plants to CO2. Plants gobble up CO2 and the more CO2 there is the more plants will flourish and hence gobble up yet more CO2. And the increasing crop yields of recent years show that plantlife is already flourishing more. The recent rise in CO2 will therefore soon be gobbled up and will no longer be around to bother anyone. Plants provide a huge NEGATIVE feedback in response to increases in atmospheric CO2

Every green plant around us is made out of carbon dioxide that the plant has grabbed out of the atmosphere. That the plant can get its carbon from such a trace gas is one of the miracles of life. It admittedly uses the huge power of the sun to accomplish such a vast filtrative task but the fact that a dumb plant can harness the power of the sun so effectively is also a wonder. We live on a rather improbable planet. If a science fiction writer elsewhere in the universe described a world like ours he might well be ridiculed for making up such an implausible tale.

Greenies are the sand in the gears of modern civilization -- and they intend to be.

The Greenie message is entirely emotional and devoid of all logic. They say that polar ice will melt and cause a big sea-level rise. Yet 91% of the world's glacial ice is in Antarctica, where the average temperature is around minus 40 degrees Celsius. The melting point of ice is zero degrees. So for the ice to melt on any scale the Antarctic temperature would need to rise by around 40 degrees, which NOBODY is predicting. The median Greenie prediction is about 4 degrees. So where is the huge sea level rise going to come from? Mars? And the North polar area is mostly sea ice and melting sea ice does not raise the sea level at all. Yet Warmists constantly hail any sign of Arctic melting. That the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level is known as Archimedes' principle. Archimedes demonstrated it around 2,500 years ago. That Warmists have not yet caught up with that must be just about the most inspissated ignorance imaginable. The whole Warmist scare defies the most basic physics. Yet at the opening of 2011 we find the following unashamed lying by James Hansen: "We will lose all the ice in the polar ice cap in a couple of decades". Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny. So even after "Climategate", the secrecy goes on.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

After fighting a 70 year war to destroy red communism we face another life-or-death struggle in the 21st century against green communism.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Jim Hansen and his twin

Getting rich and famous through alarmism: Al Gore is well-known but note also James Hansen. He has for decades been a senior, presumably well-paid, employee at NASA. In 2001 he was the recipient of a $250,000 Heinz Award. In 2007 Time magazine designated him a Hero of the Environment. That same year he pocketed one-third of a $1 million Dan David Prize. In 2008, the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented him with its Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. In 2010 he landed a $100,000 Sophie Prize. He pulled in a total of $1.2 million in 2010. Not bad for a government bureaucrat.

See the original global Warmist in action here: "The icecaps are melting and all world is drowning to wash away the sin"

I am not a global warming skeptic nor am I a global warming denier. I am a global warming atheist. I don't believe one bit of it. That the earth's climate changes is undeniable. Only ignoramuses believe that climate stability is normal. But I see NO evidence to say that mankind has had anything to do with any of the changes observed -- and much evidence against that claim.

Seeing that we are all made of carbon, the time will come when people will look back on the carbon phobia of the early 21st century as too incredible to be believed

Meanwhile, however, let me venture a tentative prophecy. Prophecies are almost always wrong but here goes: Given the common hatred of carbon (Warmists) and salt (Food freaks) and given the fact that we are all made of carbon, salt, water and calcium (with a few additives), I am going to prophecy that at some time in the future a hatred of nitrogen will emerge. Why? Because most of the air that we breathe is nitrogen. We live at the bottom of a nitrogen sea. Logical to hate nitrogen? NO. But probable: Maybe. The Green/Left is mad enough. After all, nitrogen is a CHEMICAL -- and we can't have that!

UPDATE to the above: It seems that I am a true prophet

The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) must have foreseen Global Warmism. He said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?

For many people, global warming seems to have taken the place of "The Jews" -- a convenient but false explanation for any disliked event. Prof. Brignell has some examples.

Global warming skeptics are real party-poopers. It's so wonderful to believe that you have a mission to save the world.

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

The claim that oil is a fossil fuel is another great myth and folly of the age. They are now finding oil at around seven MILES beneath the sea bed -- which is incomparably further down than any known fossil. The abiotic oil theory is not as yet well enough developed to generate useful predictions but that is also true of fossil fuel theory

Help keep the planet Green! Maximize your CO2 and CH4 output!

Global Warming=More Life; Global Cooling=More Death.

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

Cook the crook who cooks the books

The great and fraudulent scare about lead

Green/Left denial of the facts explained: "Rejection lies in this, that when the light came into the world men preferred darkness to light; preferred it, because their doings were evil. Anyone who acts shamefully hates the light, will not come into the light, for fear that his doings will be found out. Whereas the man whose life is true comes to the light" John 3:19-21 (Knox)

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

Recent NASA figures tell us that there was NO warming trend in the USA during the 20th century. If global warming is occurring, how come it forgot the USA?

Warmists say that the revised NASA figures do not matter because they cover only the USA -- and the rest of the world is warming nicely. But it is not. There has NEVER been any evidence that the Southern hemisphere is warming. See here. So the warming pattern sure is looking moth-eaten.

The latest scare is the possible effect of extra CO2 on the world’s oceans, because more CO2 lowers the pH of seawater. While it is claimed that this makes the water more acidic, this is misleading. Since seawater has a pH around 8.1, it will take an awful lot of CO2 it to even make the water neutral (pH=7), let alone acidic (pH less than 7).

In fact, ocean acidification is a scientific impossibility. Henry's Law mandates that warming oceans will outgas CO2 to the atmosphere (as the UN's own documents predict it will), making the oceans less acid. Also, more CO2 would increase calcification rates. No comprehensive, reliable measurement of worldwide oceanic acid/base balance has ever been carried out: therefore, there is no observational basis for the computer models' guess that acidification of 0.1 pH units has occurred in recent decades.

The chaos theory people have told us for years that the air movement from a single butterfly's wing in Brazil can cause an unforeseen change in our weather here. Now we are told that climate experts can "model" the input of zillions of such incalculable variables over periods of decades to accurately forecast global warming 50 years hence. Give us all a break!

If you doubt the arrogance [of the global warming crowd, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming -- infinitely more untested, complex and speculative -- is a closed issue

Scientists have politics too -- sometimes extreme politics. Read this: "This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism... I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child." -- Albert Einstein

The "precautionary principle" is a favourite Greenie idea -- but isn't that what George Bush was doing when he invaded Iraq? Wasn't that a precaution against Saddam getting or having any WMDs? So Greenies all agree with the Iraq intervention? If not, why not?

A classic example of how the sensationalist media distort science to create climate panic is here.

There is a very readable summary of the "Hockey Stick" fraud here

The Lockwood & Froehlich paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film. It is a rather confused paper -- acknowledging yet failing to account fully for the damping effect of the oceans, for instance -- but it is nonetheless valuable to climate atheists. The concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years (See the first sentence of the paper) really is invaluable. And the basic fact presented in the paper -- that solar output has in general been on the downturn in recent years -- is also amusing to see. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even have been the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards. See my post of 7.14.07 and very detailed critiques here and here and here for more on the Lockwood paper and its weaknesses.

As the Greenies are now learning, even strong statistical correlations may disappear if a longer time series is used. A remarkable example from Sociology: "The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre’s yield of cotton. He calculated the correla­tion coefficient between the two series at –0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic condi­tions and lynchings in Raper’s data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his anal­ysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic condi­tions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added." So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. In the Greenie case, the correlation between CO2 rise and global temperature rise stopped in 1998 -- but that could have been foreseen if measurements taken in the first half of the 20th century had been considered.

Relying on the popular wisdom can even hurt you personally: "The scientific consensus of a quarter-century ago turned into the arthritic nightmare of today."

Greenie-approved sources of electricity (windmills and solar cells) require heavy government subsidies to be competitive with normal electricity generators so a Dutch word for Greenie power seems graphic to me: "subsidieslurpers" (subsidy gobblers)


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