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

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

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

The blogspot version of this blog is HERE.
The Blogroll. My Home Page. Email John Ray here. Other mirror sites: Dissecting Leftism, Political Correctness Watch, Education Watch, Immigration Watch, Food & Health Skeptic, Gun Watch, Socialized Medicine, Eye on Britain, Recipes, Tongue Tied and Australian Politics. For a list of backups viewable in China, see here. (Click "Refresh" on your browser if background colour is missing) See here or here for the archives of this site

31 January, 2011

QUIS MAGISTROS IPSOS DOCEBIT? (Who will teach the teachers?)

Obama's pet nut wants to "educate" people. Yet, no matter how hard they tried, nobody could educate Holdren. He has less scientific competence than most first graders. Note that he talks about "the science" without mentioning one single scientific fact. Some background on the amazing wit and wisdom of Holdren here

President Obama's top science adviser said there's a need to "educate" GOP climate change skeptics on Capitol Hill as the White House seeks to advance its green energy agenda. "It is an education problem. I think we have to educate them," said John Holdren, who heads the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, in an interview broadcast Sunday.

Obama, in his State of the Union speech last week, called for deriving 80 percent of U.S. power from "clean" sources by 2035, and funding increased R&D of green electricity and fuels by repealing billions of dollars in oil industry tax breaks. But the effort comes as a substantial number of GOP lawmakers, such as House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-Texas), are questioning climate science.

Holdren, asked about advancing Obama's agenda in the face of skepticism, said the scientific evidence of dangerous human-induced climate change is powerful. "The science of climate change is really very clear in its essentials," Holdren said on Platts Energy Week.

He said there is uncertainty about details, but noted that's always the case in science. What's plain, Holdren said, is that the climate is changing in damaging ways and that human activities - notably burning fossil fuels - are "overwhelmingly likely" to be the primary cause.

"Those points are clear in the science, and we need to talk with the members of Congress who aren't yet convinced of that to try and convince them," Holdren said.

Obama's Jan. 25 speech didn't mention climate change, greenhouse gases, or global warming explicitly, instead referring briefly to protecting the planet, while repeatedly framing green energy as an economic driver.

The careful phrasing comes after emissions-capping legislation collapsed on Capitol Hill last year.


New paper: Climate change is not caused by greenhouse gases

Dr. Noor van Andel, former head of research at Akzo Nobel, has a new paper out showing the available data to date contradicts the notion of greenhouse gas induced global warming or 'climate change.' He notes that while there have been extensive efforts to 'prove' the 'greenhouse' warming theory by bringing computer models and observations into agreement, this has been done "strangely only by adjusting the measurements instead of adjusting the models," in other words, via unscientific means. Dr. van Andel instead finds that ocean oscillations and the cosmic ray theory of Svensmark et al best explain climate changes.

CO2 and climate change
Noor van Andel,, 17-01-2011.

Abstract: It is shown that tropical Pacific sea surface temperature anomalies are closely congruent to global temperature anomalies, and that over more than a century. When we understand the cooling mechanism over the tropical Pacific, and especially its CO2 dependency, we can draw conclusions for the global CO2 climate sensitivity.

It is shown that the cooling of the tropics, or trade wind belt, is by deep convection, i.e. by a few thousand concentrated tropical thunderstorms that carry all the sensible and latent heat swept up by the trade winds all the way on to the tropopause. The physics of deep convection have been formulated since 1958 and are based on sound thermodynamics and measurements on location.

The trends of the temperature in the high atmosphere in the last half century are very negative, starting on this height where the convection reaches. That means that more CO2 has a cooling effect rather than a warming effect. Cloud tops radiate much more intense than the thin air on this height. This is the cause behind the cooling, as much as the CO2 increase.

The cooling trend is quite in discrepancy with the “greenhouse-gas-induced-global-warming” theory, but is quite in accord with increasing deep convection. The adjustment of these temperature measurements to bring them more in line with the climate models leads to unphysical conditions and processes. The response of the upper atmosphere temperature on volcanic eruptions also fits in the deep convection theory, but not in the mainstream theory.

Not CO2 increase, but two other parameters are the cause of climate change: ENSO or El Ni¤o Southern Oscillation, a large change in the cold water upwelling along the coast of South America correlates well to short term climate change, and change in the intensity of hard, deeply penetrating Galactic Cosmic Radiation, well documented by 10Be deposits and 14C levels, correlates very well with long-term climate change including ice ages.

My conclusion is that climate changes are not caused by greenhouse gases.

A selected excerpt from the paper:

The global warming started in 1976 with the “big climate shift”, the trend stopped in 1999 but the climate stayed warm until 2010. We see that in the warming period 1079-2009 not only the warming trend at the surface is higher, but the cooling trend in the high tropical troposphere is more clearly enhanced. We see even a cooling trend 1979-2009 replacing a warming trend 1958-2009 at the tropical 500-800 hPa height. We could even conclude that more CO2 cools the climate, because it cools the upper regions where the deep convection reaches, increasing the effective lapse rate over the whole height with 0.35 K/decade, over 2 decades and 12 km that means 0.07*2/12=0.012 K/km, not much, but we see in the table that a 0.1 K/km lapse rate increase at SST -302K increases the convection top 1.5 km. So this CO2 cooling trend over 2 decades brings the convection top 1.5 km/0.1*0.012=180 m higher, which is not negligible.

This behavior has been a problem for many, as it contradicts the global-warming-by-greenhouse- gases theory. So there has been a large activity to bring models and observations into agreement, strangely only by adjusting the measurements instead of adjusting the models.

And from the paper's conclusion:

Our present climate is due to an increased length of the last interglacial period, more than 10000 years, due to a low level of GCR [galactic cosmic rays] that maintains a low cloud cover, a low albedo, more absorbed sunshine and a pleasant climate. In the very long run, we need not mind about CO2 or global warming, but instead about higher GCR activity and global cooling. There is no way we can influence GCR activity, originating in active black holes and imploding supernovae.


The Effect of Climate Change on Malaria in Western Africa

Discussing: Jackson, M.C., Johansen, L., Furlong, C., Colson, A. and Sellers, K.F. 2010. Modelling the effect of climate change on prevalence of malaria in western Africa. Statistica Neerlandica 64: 388-400.


The authors write that "malaria is one of the most devastating vector-borne parasitic diseases in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world," where they say it affects over 100 countries. Thus, it should come as no surprise that according to the World Health Organization, Africa carries the highest infection burden of any continent, with nearly 200 million cases reported in 2006; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that between 700,000 and 2.7 million people die annually from the dreaded disease (Suh et al., 2004). In addition, Jackson et al. report that "the African region bears 90% of these estimated worldwide deaths," and that "three-quarters of all malaria related deaths are among African children," citing Breman (2001) in this regard. As a result, they -- as well as many others -- opine that "malaria could be greatly affected by the influence of climate change," such as that associated with global warming. But is this really the case?

What was done

In an effort designed to shed some light on this important question, the five U.S. researchers linked reported malaria cases and deaths from the years 1996 to 2006 that they obtained from the World Malaria Report (2008) for ten countries in western Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo) with corresponding climate data they obtained from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center, after which they searched for transitive relationships between the weather variables and malaria rates via spatial regression analysis and tests for correlation.

What was learned

Jackson et al. report that their analyses showed that "very little correlation exists between rates of malaria prevalence and climate indicators in western Africa."

What it means

This result, as they describe it, "contradicts the prevailing theory that climate and malaria prevalence are closely linked and also negates the idea that climate change will increase malaria transmission in the region."


How BBC warmists abuse the science

Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, is an expert in genetics, not climatology

The timing was immaculate. Last Tuesday, across a two-page extract from the memoirs of Peter Sissons, the senior BBC newsreader, was the headline: "The BBC became a propaganda machine for climate change zealots - I was treated as a lunatic for daring to dissent."

The previous evening the BBC had put out a perfect example of the zealotry which had made Mr Sissons, as a grown-up journalist, so angry. Horizon's "Science Under Attack" turned out to be yet another laborious bid by the BBC to defend the global warming orthodoxy it has long been so relentless in promoting.

Their desperation is understandable. The past few years have seen their cherished cause crumbling on all sides. The Copenhagen climate conference, planned to land mankind with the biggest bill in history, collapsed in disarray. The Climategate emails scandal confirmed that scientists at the heart of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had distorted key data. The IPCC's own authority was further rocked by revelations that its more alarmist claims were based not on science but on the inventions of environmental activists. Even the weather has turned against them, showing that all the computer models based on the assumption that rising CO2 means rising temperatures have got it wrong.

The formula the BBC uses in its forlorn attempts to counterattack has been familiar ever since its 2008 series Climate Wars. First, a presenter with some scientific credentials comes on, apparently to look impartially at the evidence. Supporters of the cause are allowed to put their case without challenge. Hours of film of climate-change "deniers" are cherrypicked for soundbites that can be shown, out of context, to make them look ridiculous. The presenter can then conclude that the "deniers" are a tiny handful of eccentrics standing out against an overwhelming scientific "consensus".

Monday's Horizon exemplified this formula to a T. The scientist picked to front the progamme was Sir Paul Nurse, a Nobel Prize-winning geneticist, now President of the Royal Society (which has been promoting warmist orthodoxy even longer than the BBC). The cue to justify the programme's title was all the criticism which greeted those Climategate emails leaked from Sir Paul's old university, East Anglia, showing how scientists had been manipulating their data to support the claim that temperatures have recently risen to unprecedented levels.

One of the two "deniers" chosen to be stitched up, in classic BBC fashion, was the Telegraph's James Delingpole. He has spoken for his own experience on our website. Still worse, however, was the treatment of Professor Fred Singer, the distinguished 86-year-old atmospheric physicist who set up the satellite system for the US National Weather Bureau.

We saw Nurse cosying up to Singer in a coffee house, then a brief clip of the professor explaining how a particular stalagmite study had shown temperature fluctuations correlating much more neatly with solar activity than with levels of CO2. This snippet enabled Nurse to imply that Singer's scepticism is based on one tiny local example, whereas real scientists look at the overall big picture. No mention of the 800-page report edited by Singer in which dozens of expert scientists challenge the CO2 orthodoxy from every angle.

The most telling moment, however, came in an interview between Nurse and a computer-modelling scientist from Nasa, presented as a general climate expert although he is only a specialist in ice studies. Asked to quantify the relative contributions of CO2 to the atmosphere by human and natural causes, his seemingly devastating reply was that 7 gigatons (billion tons) are emitted each year by human activity while only 1 gigaton comes from natural sources such as the oceans. This was so much the message they wanted that Nurse invited him to confirm that human emissions are seven times greater than those from all natural sources.

This was mind-boggling. It is generally agreed that the 7 billion tonnes of CO2 due to human activity represent just over 3 per cent of the total emitted. That given off by natural sources, such as the oceans, is vastly greater than this, more than 96 per cent of the total. One may argue about the "carbon cycle" and how much CO2 the oceans and plants reabsorb. But, as baldly stated, the point was simply a grotesque misrepresentation, serving, like many of the programme's other assertions, only to give viewers a wholly misleading impression.

Another came after Nurse had defended his old university's part in the Climategate emails. Inevitably he claimed that various reports had cleared the scientists involved of any wrongdoing, without mentioning that every one of the inquiries had carefully avoided the scientific questions at the heart of the row. (Yet another superficial parliamentary report last week, despite the heroic efforts of Labour MP Graham Stringer, was rendered meaningless by the same central evasion.)

Nurse then held up a copy of The Sunday Telegraph, showing the headline over one of my columns: "The worst scientific scandal of our generation". He implied that this referred only to Climategate, which would have been absurd. My article in fact explained how the emails merely shed further light on all the other ways in which the scientists involved have for years been finagling data crucial to the warmist case, by exaggerating the recent rise in temperatures and eliminating all the evidence that past temperatures have often, through natural causes, been higher than they are today.

Although Sir Paul presented himself as the champion of objective science, he frequently showed that, for all his expertise in cell biology, he knows little about climate. The fact that someone is an expert in one particular field - even if he is President of the Royal Society - gives him little more authority to pronounce on issues with which he is unfamiliar than a man holding forth in a pub.

Far from it being "science" which is under attack from all those experts who dispute the orthodoxy on global warming, the truth is the very reverse. It is the dissenters who are trying to speak for genuine science, against those who misuse its prestige to promote a cause which has too often betrayed the very essence of proper scientific method.

The fact that the BBC has been turned, in Peter Sissons' words, into a mere "propaganda machine" is scandal enough. But a far greater scandal is the way the authority of science has been hijacked to serve a fatally flawed belief system which threatens to inflict irreparable damage on the future of us all.

Is Met Office again playing games with its weather data?

Dr Benny Peiser and Dr David Whitehouse, of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), have written to John Hirst, chief executive of the beleaguered Met Office, asking for an explanation of a press release issued by his organisation on January 20 and headed "2010 - a near record year". This won headlines by claiming that last year was hotter than any other in the past decade.

When the two men examined the original data from which this claim was derived - compiled by the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit and the Met Office's Hadley Centre - it clearly showed 2010 as having been cooler than 2005 (and 1998) and equal to 2003. It emerged that, for the purposes of the press release, the data had been significantly adjusted.

Comparing the actual data for each year, from 2001 to 2010, with that given in the press release shows that for four years the original figure has been adjusted downwards. Only for 2010 was the data revised upwards, by the largest adjustment of all, allowing the Met Office to claim that 2010 was the hottest year of the decade.

I asked the Met Office to comment on what seems like yet another embarrassing example of juggling with the figures. It denied the charge and I shall report on its lengthily evasive reply, once the GWPF has had a more considered response from Mr Hirst.


Does a huge lapse in mainstream media reporting allow the global warming crisis to stay alive?

For most conservatives, some points about the idea of humans causing global warming are no-brainers: plausible doubt arises in quick glances through web sites like Marc Morano’s ClimateDepot, the SPPI blog, WUWT, and ClimateAudit. We don’t have to get down into the minutiae of science reports seen at those sites, it’s just obvious they contradict the supposedly ’settled science’. For seemingly comic effect, Al Gore and other limousine liberals dictate that we should limit our carbon footprint, but their mansions and jet-setting is not up for debate.

You’d have to have a fairly low IQ not to see the irony of greenies’ mansions & jets, and you’d have a lower one if you’re easily led to believe skeptic web site operators just ‘make stuff up’. The far-left loves saying Rush Limbaugh or Marc Morano fabricate doubt about global warming, as though each creates it out of thin air. These smears evaporate when anybody reads the content at Limbaugh’s, Morano’s, and other skeptics’ sites.

Our far-left friends fervently hope you follow the implied “nothing to see here, move along” instruction. My worry is we are letting another major fault in the so-called global warming crisis slip by, because some conservatives might think there is a little something to see.

That would be the near universal accusation of big industry corrupting skeptic scientists. Supposedly, they accept money from coal and oil companies in exchange for assessments intended to confuse the public about the science being settled. A bribe to make stuff up despite knowing better, in other words. When articles, books and op-eds describe various guilt-by-association situations of skeptic scientists and big coal & oil ….. gosh, it does sound a bit plausible, so maybe the topic should be avoided. Take the example where environmental writer Bill McKibben said this,
Six of the ten largest companies on earth are in the fossil-fuel business. Those companies have spent some small part of their wealth in recent years to underwrite climate change denialism: Jane Mayer's excellent New Yorker piece on the Koch brothers is just the latest and best of a string of such exposes dating back to Ross Gelbspan's 1997 book The Heat Is On.

Uh, oh, conservatives better not draw attention to that. Let’s re-frame the discussion by saying cap & trade is too expensive to contemplate during recessions.

I categorically disagree on two counts: we cede the moral high ground to the far-left who’d say conservatives are too cheap to save the planet, but more important, this completely fails to question McKibben’s fundamental assertion about a ’string of such expos‚s’. Al Gore himself provides a tidbit that begins to undermine that assertion, in his New York Times review of Gelbspan’s 2004 Boiling Point book:
Gelbspan’s first book, ”The Heat Is On” (1997), remains the best, and virtually only, study of how the coal and oil industry has provided financing to a small group of contrarian scientists who began to make themselves available for mass media interviews as so-called skeptics on the subject of global warming….documenting the largely successful efforts of companies like ExxonMobil to paralyze the policy process, confuse the American people and cynically ‘reposition global warming as theory rather than fact,’ as one strategy paper put it…

Wait, that was 2004. When Phil Radford talked about his 2009 promotion to head Greenpeace USA and who inspired him, he described Gelbspan in an April 2009 magazine interview:
Ross has been the lone voice, the moral compass, the beacon that has inspired countless people, me included, to demand our country and our future back from the coal and oil interests behind global warming.

So was there a string of exposes between then and Jane Mayer’s August 2010 New Yorker article? Hardly. As I detailed in my September 15, 2010 American Thinker article “Warmist Slander of Scientific Skeptics“, Mayer’s assertions about questionable funding of skeptic scientists relied on information from Greenpeace, Naomi Oreskes, Joe Romm, and the Center for Public Integrity. Each in turn cite Ross Gelbspan as the source for their information. That would then be the same old "exposes", replete with all the inherent problems I describe there and below.

So have others independently corroborated Gelbspan’s accusation? Sorry, no. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why I started in my research, because I was told by a Society of Environmental Journalists board member (deep within the comments section in this page) that:
Gelbspan was only the first of many to document payments by industry to a small group of scientists who consistently defend the interests of industry reliant on not controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

Document? Or just repeat? Books such as James Hoggan’s & Richard Littlemore’s Climate Cover-Up, Mark Bowen’s Censoring science and Thin ice, Jeff Goodell’s Big Coal, Donald Brown’s American Heat, and others, along with magazine articles and TV programs, all directly cite Gelbspan’s “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” accusation or cite other references that themselves cite Gelbspan. However, as I noted in my July 2010 American Thinker article, “Smearing Global Warming Skeptics“, there are fundamental problems with him simply being the center of attention. He did not actually discover the memo he derives his accusation from, the memo is never seen in its full context (until I showed it), the memo seems to be nothing more than an interoffice set of PR instructions, and he is not the Pulitzer winner he is portrayed to be.

Think about the larger picture. This may not be simply a small matter of libel/slander of skeptic scientists - if an ordinary citizen like me was able to find all these problems, why didn’t the mainstream media find these? Why have they instead surged ahead with the idea the science is settled, in the face of such easily found giant red flags?

The new US House GOP committee chairmen aren’t just presented with a ‘witch hunt’ opportunity to score a few points on the ClimateGate scandal, conservatives everywhere now have an unprecedented opportunity to expose the far-left agenda once and for all. Yes, doctoring temperature data is bad, but when people pushing an ideology resort to portraying critics as villains using an unsupportable accusation, solely to distract us from seeing the IPCC’s highly questionable claims about humans causing global warming, we have a huge problem. When an entity as globally influential as the mainstream media fails to seriously question any part of it, and actually joins in on the push, then we have a monumental problem.


In China, the true cost of Britain's clean, green wind power experiment: Pollution on a disastrous scale

On the outskirts of one of China's most polluted cities, an old farmer stares despairingly out across an immense lake of bubbling toxic waste covered in black dust. He remembers it as fields of wheat and corn. Yan Man Jia Hong is a dedicated Communist. At 74, he still believes in his revolutionary heroes, but he despises the young local officials and entrepreneurs who have let this happen. `Chairman Mao was a hero and saved us,' he says. `But these people only care about money. They have destroyed our lives.'

Vast fortunes are being amassed here in Inner Mongolia; the region has more than 90 per cent of the world's legal reserves of rare earth metals, and specifically neodymium, the element needed to make the magnets in the most striking of green energy producers, wind turbines.

Live has uncovered the distinctly dirty truth about the process used to extract neodymium: it has an appalling environmental impact that raises serious questions over the credibility of so-called green technology.

The reality is that, as Britain flaunts its environmental credentials by speckling its coastlines and unspoiled moors and mountains with thousands of wind turbines, it is contributing to a vast man-made lake of poison in northern China. This is the deadly and sinister side of the massively profitable rare-earths industry that the `green' companies profiting from the demand for wind turbines would prefer you knew nothing about.

Hidden out of sight behind smoke-shrouded factory complexes in the city of Baotou, and patrolled by platoons of security guards, lies a five-mile wide `tailing' lake. It has killed farmland for miles around, made thousands of people ill and put one of China's key waterways in jeopardy.

This vast, hissing cauldron of chemicals is the dumping ground for seven million tons a year of mined rare earth after it has been doused in acid and chemicals and processed through red-hot furnaces to extract its components.

Rusting pipelines meander for miles from factories processing rare earths in Baotou out to the man-made lake where, mixed with water, the foul-smelling radioactive waste from this industrial process is pumped day after day. No signposts and no paved roads lead here, and as we approach security guards shoo us away and tail us. When we finally break through the cordon and climb sand dunes to reach its brim, an apocalyptic sight greets us: a giant, secret toxic dump, made bigger by every wind turbine we build.

The lake instantly assaults your senses. Stand on the black crust for just seconds and your eyes water and a powerful, acrid stench fills your lungs. For hours after our visit, my stomach lurched and my head throbbed. We were there for only one hour, but those who live in Mr Yan's village of Dalahai, and other villages around, breathe in the same poison every day.

Retired farmer Su Bairen, 69, who led us to the lake, says it was initially a novelty - a multi-coloured pond set in farmland as early rare earth factories run by the state-owned Baogang group of companies began work in the Sixties. `At first it was just a hole in the ground,' he says. `When it dried in the winter and summer, it turned into a black crust and children would play on it. Then one or two of them fell through and drowned in the sludge below. Since then, children have stayed away.'

As more factories sprang up, the banks grew higher, the lake grew larger and the stench and fumes grew more overwhelming. `It turned into a mountain that towered over us,' says Mr Su. `Anything we planted just withered, then our animals started to sicken and die.'

People too began to suffer. Dalahai villagers say their teeth began to fall out, their hair turned white at unusually young ages, and they suffered from severe skin and respiratory diseases. Children were born with soft bones and cancer rates rocketed.

Official studies carried out five years ago in Dalahai village confirmed there were unusually high rates of cancer along with high rates of osteoporosis and skin and respiratory diseases. The lake's radiation levels are ten times higher than in the surrounding countryside, the studies found.

Since then, maybe because of pressure from the companies operating around the lake, which pump out waste 24 hours a day, the results of ongoing radiation and toxicity tests carried out on the lake have been kept secret and officials have refused to publicly acknowledge health risks to nearby villages.

There are 17 `rare earth metals' - the name doesn't mean they are necessarily in short supply; it refers to the fact that the metals occur in scattered deposits of minerals, rather than concentrated ores. Rare earth metals usually occur together, and, once mined, have to be separated.

Neodymium is commonly used as part of a Neodymium-Iron-Boron alloy (Nd2Fe14B) which, thanks to its tetragonal crystal structure, is used to make the most powerful magnets in the world. Electric motors and generators rely on the basic principles of electromagnetism, and the stronger the magnets they use, the more efficient they can be. It's been used in small quantities in common technologies for quite a long time - hi-fi speakers, hard drives and lasers, for example. But only with the rise of alternative energy solutions has neodymium really come to prominence, for use in hybrid cars and wind turbines. A direct-drive permanent-magnet generator for a top capacity wind turbine would use 4,400lb of neodymium-based permanent magnet material.

The fact that the wind-turbine industry relies on neodymium, which even in legal factories has a catastrophic environmental impact, is an irony Ms Choi acknowledges. `It is a real dilemma for environmentalists who want to see the growth of the industry,' she says. `But we have the responsibility to recognise the environmental destruction that is being caused while making these wind turbines.'

Our current obsession with wind power, according to John Constable of energy think-tank the Renewable Energy Foundation, stems from the decision of the European Union on how to tackle climate change. Instead of just setting targets for reducing emissions, the EU told governments that by 2020, 15 per cent of all the energy we use must come from renewable sources.

Because of how we heat our houses and run our cars with gas and petrol, 30 per cent of electricity needs to come from renewables. And in the absence of other technologies, that means wind turbines. But there's a structural flaw in the plan, which this winter has brutally exposed.

Study a graph of electricity consumption and it appears amazingly predictable, even down to reduced demand on public holidays. The graph for wind energy output, however, is far less predictable.

Take the figures for December, when we all shivered through sub-zero temperatures and wholesale electricity prices surged. Peak demand for the UK on 20 December was just over 60,000 megawatts. Maximum capacity for wind turbines throughout the UK is 5,891 megawatts, almost ten per cent of that peak demand figure.

Yet on December 20, because winds were light or non-existent, wind energy contributed a paltry 140 megawatts. Despite billions of pounds in investment and subsidies, Britain's wind-turbine fleet was producing a feeble 2.43 per cent of its own capacity - and little more than 0.2 per cent of the nation's electricity in the coldest month since records began.

Wind power's uncertainties don't end with intermittency. There is huge controversy about how much energy a wind farm will produce. Many developers claim their installations will achieve 30 per cent of their maximum output over the course of a year. More sober energy analysts suggest 26 per cent. But even that figure is starting to look generous. In December, the average figure was less than 21 per cent. In the year between October 2009 and September 2010, the average was 23.6 per cent, still nowhere near industry claims.

Then there's the thorny question of how many homes new installations can power. According to wind farm developers like Scottish and Southern Electricity, a house uses 3.3MWh in a year. Lobby group RenewablesUK - formerly the British Wind Energy Association - gives a figure of 4.7MWh. In the Highlands electricity usage is even higher.

Last year, a report from the Royal Academy of Engineering warned that transforming our energy supply to produce a low-carbon economy would require the biggest investment and social change seen in peacetime. And yet Professor Sue Ion, who led the report, warned, `We are nowhere near having a plan.'

So, against the backdrop of environmental catastrophe in China and these less than attractive calculations, could the billions being thrown at wind farms be better spent? Undoubtedly, says John Constable. `The government is betting the farm on the throw of a die. What's happening now is simply reckless.'



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


30 January, 2011

The Met Office winter forecast lie is finally nailed

And heads must roll

With compliments to Katabasis whose FOI request has been dealt with more quickly than mine… The information in the FOI response he has received today and written up in a detailed blog post goes into much more detail than Bishop Hill’s release from the Quarmby audit team.

A look at the information makes clear there is nowhere left for the Met Office to hide. The Met Office has been caught ‘cold’ lying about its winter forecast in a disgraceful attempt to salvage its reputation. Its claim that it forecast the cold start to the winter lays in tatters thanks to an exchange of emails between the department and the Cabinet Office.

As a result the Met Office is completely discredited. Also utterly discredited is the BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin, who on the Met Office’s behalf used a column in the Radio Times (later carried in the Telegraph and the Daily Mail) to state that:
In October the forecaster privately warned the Government - with whom it has a contract - that Britain was likely to face an extremely cold winter. It kept the prediction secret, however, after facing severe criticism over the accuracy of its long-term forecasts.

Harrabin went on to say in his piece that:
Why didn't the Met Office tell us that Greenland was about to swap weather with Godalming? The truth is it [The Met Office] did suspect we were in for an exceptionally cold early winter, and told the Cabinet Office so in October. But we weren't let in on the secret. "The reason? The Met Office no longer publishes its seasonal forecasts because of the ridicule it suffered for predicting a barbecue summer in 2009 - the summer that campers floated around in their tents.

The email exchange in the screenshot below proves this is a lie. The Cabinet Office civil servant (bottom message) confirms the weather outlook supplied by the Met Office earlier that day is what the government will use in its ‘Forward Look’. The Met Office employee (top message) agrees with it.

The all important sentence is the first. ‘The Met Office seasonal outlook for the period November to January is showing no clear signals for the winter’. The Met Office knew this was the case when it sent Harrabin scurrying off to spin its lie that the Met Office did suspect we were in for an exceptionally cold early winter, and told the Cabinet Office so in October‘. The briefing to the Cabinet Office contains no such warning – and vindicates the parliamentary answer given by Francis Maude when questioned about the forecast the government received from the Met Office.

What is worse is that the Met Office knew this, yet with its claim tried to place responsibility for the lack of prepareness for an extremely cold start to the winter on government inaction. Harrabin added to this by saying he had put in a FOI to the government (referenced in this post) to discover what they were told, the insinuation being it was the government that had something to hide. This is very dangerous ground that leans towards the possibility of the Met Office and a BBC reporter engaging in a joint effort to undermine the government’s credibility.

This leads us to ask a serious question that must be answered: How is it possible that Roger Harrabin could claim the Met Office line he was retailing was the ‘truth’ with such certainty?

Either way Roger Harrabin’s position is now untenable and in addition to resigning he must make a full public apology. As for the Met Office, the buck stops with the Chief Executive, John Hirst, who has looked on as this false narrative was constructed and insinuations were made to deflect criticism from his department, yet did nothing to correct it.

We now have the truth. It is what many people have suspected since the story materialised. It’s now time for those who engineered the deception and those who allowed it to happen to pay the price for their actions. Over to the executive board of the Met Office and the trustees of the BBC.


Temperatures of the Past Six Millennia in Alaska

Discussing: Clegg, B.F., Clarke, G.H., Chipman, M.L., Chou, M., Walker, I.R., Tinner, W. and Hu, F.S. 2010. Six millennia of summer temperature variation based on midge analysis of lake sediments from Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 3308-3316.

What was done

The authors conducted a high-resolution analysis of midge assemblages found in the sediments of Moose Lake (61°22.45'N, 143°35.93'W) in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve of south-central Alaska (USA), based on data obtained from cores removed from the lake bottom in the summer of AD 2000 and a midge-to-temperature transfer function that yielded mean July temperatures (TJuly) for the past six thousand years.

What was learned

The results of the study are portrayed in the accompanying figure, where it can be seen, in the words of Clegg et al., that "a piecewise linear regression analysis identifies a significant change point at ca 4000 years before present (cal BP)," with "a decreasing trend after this point." And from 2500 cal BP to the present, there is a clear multi-centennial oscillation about the declining trend line, with its peaks and valleys defining the temporal locations of the Roman Warm Period, the Dark Ages Cold Period, the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age -- during which the coldest temperatures of the entire interglacial or Holocene were reached -- and, finally, the start of the Current Warm Period, which is still not expressed to any significant degree compared to the Medieval and Roman Warm Periods.

Mean July near-surface temperature (°C) vs. years before present (cal BP) for south-central Alaska (USA). Adapted from Clegg et al. (2010).

What it means

In discussing their results, the seven scientists write that "comparisons of the TJuly record from Moose Lake with other Alaskan temperature records suggest that the regional coherency observed in instrumental temperature records (e.g., Wiles et al., 1998; Gedalof and Smith, 2001; Wilson et al., 2007) extends broadly to at least 2000 cal BP," while noting that (1) climatic events such as the LIA and the MWP occurred "largely synchronously" between their TJuly record from Moose Lake and a ?18O-based temperature record from Farewell Lake on the northwestern foothills of the Alaska Range, and that (2) "local temperature minima likely associated with First Millennium AD Cooling (centered at 1400 cal BP; Wiles et al., 2008) are evident at both Farewell and Hallet lakes (McKay et al., 2008)."

In closing, it is instructive to note that even with the help of the supposedly unprecedented anthropogenic-induced increase in the atmosphere's CO2 concentration that occurred over the course of the 20th century, the Current Warm Period has not achieved anywhere near the warmth of the MWP or RWP, which suggests to us that the climatic impact of the 20th-century increase in the air's CO2 content has been negligible, for the warming that defined the earth's recovery from the global chill of the LIA -- which should have been helped by the concurrent increase in the air's CO2 content -- appears no different from the non-CO2-induced warming that brought the planet out of the Dark Ages Cold Period and into the Medieval Warm Period.


Prof. Claes Johnson throws down the gauntlet

For next week's Big Greenhouse Gas Debate on Judith Curry's blog

Questions to Lord Monckton, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, Judith Curry, Fred Singer (and John Costella)

I pose the following questions to Lord Monckton and Roy Spencer motivated by their criticism of the book Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory:

* Do you consider the Kiehl-Trenberth energy budget to be essentially correct?

* Do you consider backradiation from cold to warm to be a real physical phenomenon?

* Have you read and understood my derivation of Planck's radiation law without statistics?

* Do you consider the derivation to be essentially correct?
Have you read and understood Planck's derivation of his law based on statistics?

* Which derivation do you consider to best represent physics?

* Do you think it is necessary to understand the derivation of a physical law to properly understand the meaning of the law?

* Is it correct to speak of a greenhouse effect from a whole range of a causes, but then connect the effect to one (small) cause?

* Is it correct to speak about a greenhouse effect from CO2 which may very well be zero?

* Is it correct to speak about a no-feedback climate sensitivity of +1 C from doubled CO2 obtained by a direct application of Stefan-Boltzmann's radiation law without any consideration of thermodynamics, as a basic value with physical significance? Isn't it a formality like a definition twisted into a physical fact?

* Do you think an IR-meter can give information of radiative flux by effectively measuring temperature? If so, how is the translation from temperature to radiation performed by the instrument?


Yet Another Warmist Group Says Communist Dictatorship “Looks Very Attractive”

What is with the warmist’s love affair with communist dictatorships? Yet another group of committed climate change worriers has come out to declare their abiding admiration for Chinese-style dictatorship.

The Islington and Hackney Carbon Reduction Action Group (how annoying do they sound?) have posted a notice to say that they are no longer trading carbon with each other, due to the fact that there are now only four people willing to trade carbon with each other, and no one wants to do the maths:
"Back in 2006, I thought that personal carbon allowances would be a great leveller in more ways that just in terms of carbon emissions and perhaps that would be a good thing. But now I think that even moderate greens living in our energy intensive, consumer driven western economies would be perfectly happy to buy up carbon credits from another person without feeling much guilt or being too concerned about the morality of it . . .

Looking at the global stage, back in 2006 I would never have believed that so little would be achieved at the international climate conferences over the following 4 years. But until politicians in the West, accept that the largest per capita emitters have to make the largest emissions reductions, and they can find a way of getting the electorate to still vote for them, progress is going to be slow. The Chinese system of command and control government seems very attractive from afar."

As The Register points out, the group managed to reduce their carbon emissions to 3.36 tons per person per year by “heroic” efforts, but their Co2 emissions were still way above the supposedly “sustainable” emissions levels of 0.5 tons.

Sadly for the Islington and Hackney Carbon Reduction Action Group, and warmists everywhere, the sort of WWII sacrifices that Greens are calling for are just not going to happen in a democracy, which perhaps explains the evident longing for the Chinese Communist “command and control” style of Government where they can just tell people what to do (for their own good, of course).


More Greenie misanthropy

To Warmists, Genghis Khan was a good guy

A study touting Genghis Khan's environmental record is being cheered by the team which produced Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Genghis Khan's great accomplishment for the green cause? Killing off 40 million humans so their un-tilled fields would be overtaken by forests.

While some may find genocide morally repugnant, environmentalists had a different concern: Would reforestation be enough to overcome the greenhouse gases released by all those decaying bodies? Julia Pongratz, who headed the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology research project from the Institution's Stanford University campus offices, provides the answer in a January 20 news release:
We found that during the short events such as the Black Death and the Ming Dynasty collapse, the forest re-growth wasn't enough to overcome the emissions from decaying material in the soil. But during the longer-lasting ones like the Mongol invasion ... there was enough time for the forests to re-grow and absorb significant amounts of carbon.

In other words, the problem with the bubonic plague was that is just didn't stick around long enough. The CO2 emissions from all those putrefying corpses were just too much for the regrowing forests to overcome. But Genghis Khan and his successors cleared out their empire for centuries. Once the initial wave of putrefaction ran its course, net CO2 uptake began in earnest.

The Carnegie Institution's conclusion is seconded by the Gore team. An article posted on "Take Part, Inspiration to Action" is titled "War, Huh-Yeah, What Is It Good For? The Climate, Apparently." Its author cheers:
According to a new study, however, war is indeed good for something -- the environment. ...

The study appears to reaffirm cold-blooded Malthusian common sense: there will be more of something (trees) when there are less of the parasites (people) cutting that something down.

So, can we safely assume that to save the planet we just need to wipe each other out in a series of protracted wars? Even that, according to Pongratz's study, may not be enough to overcome the negative effects of deforestation-induced climate change.

Which "we" would be "safe" if the rest were "wiping each other out"? Apparently the Gore team believes that the smug, "enlightened, conscious, and progressive" elite would be above it all.

"Take Part, Inspiration to Action" is part of the corporation which produced An Inconvenient Truth. According to its website, "TakePart is a website, for one, and also a Social Action Network that includes individuals, NGOs, online communities and brands who share a common interest in making the world a better place. We are a division of Participant Media, which has produced culture-shifting films such as An Inconvenient Truth, The Cove, and Waiting for Superman."

Gore's team and the Carnegie Institution are not alone. Leading environmentalists around the world are cheering -- and showing that they fully comprehend the study's misanthropic conclusions. cheers "How Genghis Khan cooled the planet" and takes the time to point out that modern environmentalists must destroy agriculture, not just industry:
"It's a common misconception that the human impact on climate began with the large-scale burning of coal and oil in the industrial era," says Pongratz, lead author of the study in a press release. "Actually, humans started to influence the environment thousands of years ago by changing the vegetation cover of the Earth‘s landscapes when we cleared forests for agriculture."

The answer to how this happened can be told in one word: reforestation. When the Mongol hordes invaded Asia, the Middle East, and Europe they left behind a massive body count, depopulating many regions. With less people, large swathes of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Mother Nature Network asks, "Was Genghis Khan history's greenest conqueror?"
... the Mongol invasion cooled the planet, effectively scrubbing around 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere.

So how did Genghis Khan, one of history's cruelest conquerors, earn such a glowing environmental report card? The reality may be a bit difficult for today's environmentalists to stomach, but Khan did it the same way he built his empire - with a high body count.

Over the course of the century and a half run of the Mongol Empire, about 22 percent of the world's total land area had been conquered and an estimated 40 million people were slaughtered by the horse-driven, bow-wielding hordes. Depopulation over such a large swathe of land meant that countless numbers of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests.

In Science Daily, putrefaction headlines the story "War, Plague No Match for Deforestation in Driving CO2 Buildup." The article explains: "Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes had an impact on the global carbon cycle as big as today's annual demand for gasoline. The Black Death, on the other hand, came and went too quickly for it to cause much of a blip in the global carbon budget."

Similarly, environmentalists could conclude that the Nazi Holocaust just didn't last long enough. After twelve years of Nazi rule, Germany was defeated, and humans began to grow in number again. For seventy years, communist Gulags kept populations down on a more "sustainable" basis -- but alas, they too are gone. Now it is up to environmentalists, who have for years dominated the culture and legal system of democratic countries, to prove that they can surpass these earlier efforts and -- as Khan did -- achieve much more long-lasting results.

Pongratz explains: "Based on the knowledge we have gained from the past, we are now in a position to make land-use decisions that will diminish our impact on climate and the carbon cycle. We cannot ignore the knowledge we have gained."

According to its website, "The Department of Global Ecology was established in 2002 to help build the scientific foundations for a sustainable future."

After nine years, they have finally discovered the foundation of "sustainability."


What is green job?

What is a green job? That question has a special relevance here in the early part of 2011 now that Team Obama has altered its environmental strategy.

When he campaigned in 2008, President Obama said he would create 5 million new green collar jobs. Even if you do not accept the premise of man-made global warming, it is necessary for the U.S. to transition away from traditional energy sources and embrace new, clean energy technology that create new employment opportunities, Obama declared in his first State of the Union address.

“I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change, Obama said. “But here’s the thing — even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future — because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation.”

On Tuesday, Obama continued his environmental pitch by asking Congress to mandate 80 percent of U.S. electricity come from ‘clean energy’ by 2035. Even with the the demise of “cap and trade” on Capitol Hill, it is now evident the administration remains irrevocably committed to interventionist polices that will ultimately translate into higher costs. The Institute for Energy Research (IER) has issued a report that shows electricity prices are almost 40 percent higher in states that have renewable mandates. Americans who live in the more industrialized areas have good cause to be concerned about policies that could unsettle cheap energy sources.

Thanks to the concerted efforts of various free market groups the public quite rightly came to identify “cap and trade” with “energy rationing” and “higher taxes.” But the repackaged environmental scheme Obama discussed in his second SOTU address is just as menacing to the free market. Benign sounding phrases like “green jobs” belie hard economic realities that deserve greater scrutiny.

Generally speaking, green jobs intersect with the same renewable energy sources that Obama Administration officials favor as a substitute for fossil fuels. But there is no clear definition.

Ben Lieberman, an analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) has identified some key complications. “Some jobs are only occasionally green,” he has noted. “For example, workers who produce steel or cement are counted as having green jobs to the extent their products go into making wind turbines — but not when they go into coal-fired power plants.” Moreover, he points out, the definition becomes highly malleable once politics figures into the equation.

“In truth, the definition of a green job is highly subjective and can depend every bit as much on fads and fashions and political correctness as on any objective criteria,” Lieberman has observed. “Of course, now that federal money is involved, various special interests are vying to characterize themselves as green.”

However they are defined, there is no escaping the economic fallout from government policies that prop up green jobs, which would not otherwise be sustainable in the free market.

“To a large extent, the green jobs agenda represents the Europeanization and the Californiazation of the American Economy,” Lieberman has noted. That is bad news for job growth.”

Obama has cited Spain as model for the clean energy economy of the future. But here again, facts and economic realities intrude. Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Spain, has produced a study that shows green jobs are mostly temporary, heavily subsidized and subtract away from economic performance.



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


29 January, 2011

Hansen to give a "secret" lecture -- for initiates only

Maybe he is going to be even more extreme than he usually is. Or maybe he fears questioning. The following is an email just in from a UCLA alumnus:

I just got an email from the UCLA College of Letters and Sciences inviting me to attend a James Hansen "Research Lecture" on "Climate Sensitivity" on February 22, 2011, at the Ackerman Grand Ballroom, and a James Hansen "Public Lecture" on "Human-Made Climate Change: A Scientific, Moral and Legal Issue" on February 23, 2011, at the Covel Commons Grand Horizon Room.

Both these lectures will happen under the auspices of the "2011 Mautner Memorial Lecture Series at UCLA". It looks like both these events are invitation only - they want formal registration with registration ID numbers provided in the email announcements.

Global warming is not commonsense -- and it isn't global anyway

Or so a Warmist professor says below. Note that he gives a meteorological explanation for cold weather. Odd that Warmists never give a meteorological explanation for warm weather. And what is behind the meteorological events anyway? He does not know. He certainly does not consider that it might be the sun-driven onset of global cooling. He is blind to the possibility that what goes up might also come down -- as indeed it always has in the earth's climate record

The weather seems to be going berserk, with more snow dumped on our beleaguered Northeastern cities in a month than in a year, paralyzing business and our lives. Records are being broken even as we speak.

Common sense says that it's the freezing cold that is behind the freaky weather. But physics says otherwise.

Basically, snowstorms in this region arise from the collision of cold Arctic air from Canada moving south and bumping up against warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico, causing water vapor to condense and freeze and then form snowstorms, which travel up the Northeast corridor.

Among many factors, the amount of snow dumped is largely driven by the amount of moisture in humid air and not so much the temperature, and this seems to go against common sense. (For example, if we are making ice cubes, the amount of water in the ice tray, not the temperature, determines how much ice we can make. If we crank down the temperature dial in our freezer, this simply makes the ice freeze faster but does not increase the amount of ice produced.)

There is no single smoking gun that can point us to the origin of these monster snowstorms. But we can focus our attention on two likely culprits. The first is pure chance. There are many random fluctuations in the weather due to many diverse factors (for example, last year's weather was affected by El Niño).

But the second is global warming. This also seems to violate common sense, but realize that global warming can heat the oceans and generate more moisture, which in turn can drive larger storms. Last year was, in fact, tied with 2005 as the hottest year recorded since 1880, when precise measurements began.

However, some people may object, there are vastly different weather patterns around the world. But realize that global warming causes swings in the weather, not a uniform rise in world temperature.


Is It Really The Warmest Ever?

By Joseph D’Aleo

Both NOAA and NASA this month announced that 2010 was tied for the warmest year. The UK Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University proclaimed 2010 the second warmest year since 1850.

But after the incredibly cold and snowy winters in 2008/09 and 2009/10 and so far in 2010/11, those claims are falling on increasingly deaf ears. The public doubt about global warming has been increasing given the Climategate disclosures suggesting scientists have been ‘cooking the books’, especially when earlier promises of warm, snowless mid-latitude winters failed miserably.

Back on March 20, 2000, The Independent, a British newspaper, reported Dr. David Viner’s of the UK's Climate Research Unit warning that within a few years snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event.” Indeed, Viner opined, “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”

Similarly, David Parker, at the UK’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, said that eventually British children could have only “virtual” experience of snow via movies and the Internet.

The last three winters in the UK were forecast by the UK Met Office to be mild and snowless. Instead, brutal cold and snow in the UK has the UK Met Office on their heels. Indeed the cold and snow was a throwback to the age of Dickens in the early 1800s. UK MPs called for Official Parliamentary Probe into whether the UKMO reliance on their ideology and CO2 models had biased their predictions.

In the United States, NOAA echoing the UN IPCC, claimed snow would retreat north with the storm tracks and major cities would get more rain and mild winters. The Union of Concerned Scientists said in 2004 scientists claim winters were becoming warmer and less snowy. In 2008, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. bemoaned that children would be robbed of the childhood joys of sledding and skiing in the DC area due to global warming. A year later, the area set a new seasonal snowfall record with 5 to 6 feet of snow and sleds and skis were the only way to get around.

The winter of 2009/10 was the coldest ever in parts of the southeast, and in parts of Siberia and the coldest since 1977/78 or 1962/63 in many parts of the United States, Europe and Asia.

The spirits of alarmists and their cheerleaders in the media were buoyed by the hot summer in the eastern United States and western Russia even though that is the normal result when a strong La Nina follows on the heels of a strong El Nino winter. But as is usually the case in La Ninas, global cooling usually follows within 6 months. Indeed, temperatures plunged as winter approached and this past December (2010) was the second coldest in the entire Central England Temperature record extending back to 1659. It was the coldest ever December in diverse locations like Ireland, Sweden, and Florida.

Reluctantly, alarmists and their cheerleaders in the media changed their tune and the promise of warm and snowless winters with ‘global warming’ morphed into global warming means cold and snowy winters. ABC News even said cold and snowy winters would be the new norm because of global warming. Non sequiturs like that have sadly become ‘the new norm’ in the wacky world of the mainstream media.

In Australia, the government’s Bureau of Meteorology and university alarmist scientists promised major drought and blocked dams and flood mitigation projects, but when devastating floods occurred this summer, they blamed that on global warming and again enviros and government agencies escaped the blame. Other scientists had warned that changes in the Pacific would lead to a return of the flood years like 1974, but they were ignored by agenda driven, green leaning government.

In fact environmentalists and alarmist scientists have reinvented global warming and now attribute all weather to global warming – cold, warm, drought and flood. They call it ‘climate disruption’. But the climate has not been cooperating in a way that is convincing the public they have to sacrifice even more to stop a problem they don’t sense is real. Just imagine if they knew how much they really would cost (trillions – several thousands of dollars per year per family) and how little these deep sacrifices would change the climate (not measureable).

Despite claims to the contrary, in recent years, global temperatures stopped warming. Even Phil Jones of the UK Climate Research Unit after Climategate admitted there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995 (15 years) and between 2002 and 2009, the global temperatures had declined 0.12C (0.22F).

To try and stop the bleeding, NOAA and NASA took steps to reduce or eliminate the cooling.

This aggravated what already was an already a bad situation. CRU data base programmer Ian ‘Harry’ Harris’s frustrated rants in his Climategate log were eye-opening:

“[The] hopeless state of their (CRU) data base. No uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found...There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations…and duplicates… Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight. This whole project is SUCH A MESS. No wonder I needed therapy!!”

Furthermore, in a candid interview on the BBC, CRU’s Director Phil Jones admitted his “surface temperature data are in such disarray they probably cannot be verified or replicated”.

So should we avoid CRU and focus on NOAA and NASA. The answer is an unequivocal no.

In a Climategate email, Phil Jones acknowledges that CRU mirrors the NOAA data. “Almost all the data we have in the CRU archive is exactly the same as in the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) archive used by the NOAA National Climatic Data Center.” And NASA uses NOAA data applying their own adjustments. All three data bases suffer from the same flaws.

All have managed to extract a warming trend from data that suggests cyclical changes and little long term trend. See how the three data centers working off the same data have reconstructed the global temperature history. NASA in green show the warmest anomalies, CRU generally the lowest. Part of this is the base period for computing averages (NASA uses the cold 1951 to 1980 30 year period for normals, CRU 1961 to 1990 and NOAA the entire period of record.

All show a warming period from the 1920s to early 1940s, a cooling from the 1940s to 1970s another warming from late 1970s to around 1998, and then as Jones noted a flattening. The warming early in the century before the industrial boom was very similar to that from 1978 to 1998. The cooling post WWII was during the post war boom.

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

Britons going cold on global warming: Number of climate change sceptics doubles in four years

The number of climate change sceptics has almost doubled in four years, official research showed yesterday. A quarter of Britons are unconvinced that the world is warming following successive freezing winters and a series of scandals over the credibility of climate science.

The figures suggest that a growing proportion of the public do not share the belief of all three major political parties and Whitehall – that climate change is a major and urgent challenge requiring radical and expensive policies.

The survey, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, has plotted levels of acceptance of the theory of man-made global warming since 2006. In that year it found that 87 per cent of people were at least ‘fairly convinced’ that climate change was happening. Last year that share had dropped to 75 per cent. Numbers who say they are unconvinced went up from 12 to 23 per cent.

The erosion of the public consensus behind global warming coincided with the ‘Climategate’ fiasco which came after damaging e-mails from the University of East Anglia were leaked in November 2009, and the arrival of another cold winter.

There were also setbacks for climate change advocates over flaws in UN reports on global warming and evidence that temperatures across the world have been falling.

The proportion of those who said they were ‘not very concerned’ about global warming now includes more than one in five.

The latest polling, carried out in August last year, came before the arrival of another big freeze.

There is also an increasing reluctance to take personal steps to tackle climate change. Fewer than half those polled – 46 per cent – are ready to use their cars less, and only 47 per cent are prepared to take public transport more often. Fewer than a quarter – 23 per cent – are willing to fly less.


Browner Resignation, Obama Omission Could Spell the End of Global Warming Policy, Say Climate Change Analysts

The abrupt resignation of Carol Browner, President Barack Obama’s global warming czar, and the omission by Obama of global warming from his State of the Union speech on Tuesday could mean that the White House has given up on global warming, according to climate change analysts.

Browner, who announced her resignation Tuesday, led the White House effort to enact global warming legislation and policy. A former director of the Environmental Protection Agency during the Clinton administration, Browner was well regarded in the environmentalist community and served officially as director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Obama left out any reference to global warming or the more ambiguously named climate change, seemingly abandoning what had been one of the most prominent policy areas of the past two years.

Browner’s signature legislative goal – cap and trade legislation – failed in Congress last year when it was not brought up for a vote in the Senate after narrowly passing in the House.

Most recently, Browner was rumored to be in the running to replace Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff. Instead of Browner, Obama chose former J.P Morgan Chase executive William Daley. proprietor Marc Morano told that Browner’s departure was likely a sign of frustration with Obama and the president’s lack of attention to her signature issues.
“She’s probably frustrated with Obama’s lack of commitment on this issue,” Morano said. “I think Carol Browner is frustrated because she realizes Obama is not the man she thought he was when it comes to global warming.”

“Obama is terrified of the issue – it’s never been more than a check-box issue for him – so she was basically reduced to not doing that much of anything and she realized that nothing was going to happen,” he said.

Morano also said that Browner probably read the writing on the wall following the November election that swept a wave of conservative Republicans into Congress, effectively making any new environmental legislation all but impossible. “I think she realizes that her hands may be tied,” Morano said. “She [probably] doesn’t feel like she can be as effective as she wants to. She is a hardcore, committed greenie [environmentalist].”

Morano said that Obama’s omission of global warming from his State of the Union indicated that he would be “running” away from the issue in 2012 because it has become politically unpopular... “The new political expediency is skepticism,” he said. “Man-made global warming is the new butt of jokes in Washington.”

Myron Ebell, director of Energy and Global Warming Policy at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute, said it was “hard to say” why Browner left, citing her rumored loss of the chief of staff position.

Ebell said that her departure and Obama’s omitting global warming from his speech may indicate that the administration was merely putting global warming policy on the back burner, preferring a stealthier approach. “It may be that the White House decided, well, we’re off global warming and she’s the point person on global warming so she no longer has a role here,” he said.

“Remember that when Obama acknowledged this fall that cap and trade was not going to be enacted he said that – and this is pretty close to an exact quote – that there’s more than one way to skin that cat,” said Ebell. “And I think what they’re doing is they are adopting a lower-profile policy, a set of policies, to achieve the same goals without ever mentioning global warming or cap and trade or anything that will allow us to refer back to candidate Obama’s comment [to the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle] when he was senator that ‘under my cap and trade plan electric rates will necessarily skyrocket.’”

“They still want that, they just want to achieve it in a way that the public will have a much harder time seeing and therefore opposing,” said Ebell.


Brazil approves clearing of Amazon forest to make way for controversial dam

No! no! Not one fraction of the sacred Amazon, say Greenies everywhere

Brazil's environmental agency has approved the clearing of nearly 600 acres of Amazon forest so that work can begin on a controversial hydroelectric dam. The Belo Monte dam, which will be the third-largest such project in the world, has been strongly opposed by environmental campaigners and indigenous people who face being displaced.

Last year James Cameron, the film director, compared the plans to the plot of his box office hit Avatar, in which the Na'vi race fight to protect their planet from outside forces seeking to extract resources.

Ibama, the Brazilian environment agency, said on its website that it has approved the clearing of 588 acres (238 hectares) of forest at the site where the dam will be built in the state of Para.

It also said that Norte Energia, the consortium that won the bidding to construct the dam, can begin building roads to reach the remote site on the Xingu River, a tributary to the Amazon.

Contracts for the dam - which the government expects to cost nearly £10bn - were finally signed last August after decades of disputes about plans for a dam in the area and a series of court injunctions.

But several potential legal hurdles remain, with licences still to be granted for the actual building of the plant, which the government wants to see completed by 2015.

The 3.7 mile wide dam will lead to around 190 square miles of land being flooded. Environmental groups have warned that this could displace tens of thousands of people and threaten the survival of indigenous groups in the area.

But Brazil's government has been determined to press ahead with Belo Monte, which is crucial to efforts to keep up with rising demand for energy as the country's rapid economic growth continues.

Ministers have also defended the scheme as a source of clean and renewable energy and Edison Lobao, the Energy Minister, has referred to it as "the jewel in the crown."


Hybrid cars are not about fuel economy

They are about making things difficult for people, in the usual Greenie way. Diesels do all that hybrids do and more -- so they are largely banned in the USA!

I’ve mentioned the little Suzuki Swift Turbo Inter-cooled Diesel Before, this is a prime example of the auto that MIT said would likely rule the road as per efficiency through the year 2040. Nothing on the drawing board comes close to the compression ignition engine which delivers far more work for the energy dollar.

At 61.4 MPG, and with performance auto enthusiasts are giddy over, you can travel 30,000 miles for the same money it cost to purchase and install the optional 240 VAC home charger for the Chevy Volt! When you consider that the inner city crowd make up the majority of folks attracted to the Chevy Volt, and the limited amount of miles they drive, the cost of the Volt home battery charger and installation could pay for all the fuel the Suzuki might use over the average period of ownership for this group of drivers. This is based on $3 a gallon fuel cost, and the information I found on the GM Chevy Volt forum. The optional charger allows you to charge the battery in as little as four hours, the 120 volt charger system won’t cut it for most drivers.

Of course your friends who are all excited by the Chevy Volt will think this Zuk is a stinker! Nothing could be further from the truth, read the article here

The only thing that stands between us and the People’s Car is the EPA. There’s a new conspiracy theory I heard… was it out of wikileaks? It’s reported that American Big Oil bribed top officials at the EPA in order to keep the super high efficiency vehicles out of the Country….. Ralph Nader Killed the Corvair, and now this… when will the corruption end? When will the American public be able to own the cars they want?

As I look at the hybrids and think about the advantages we might all visualize in stop and go traffic, my thoughts are interruped by reality.. I think of all the days here that it’s so wet, the windshield wipers on, the heater and defrosters going to keep a safe view of the road in all directions, and other reasons the power consumption is high. About the time these conditions let up, it’s too hot, the AC is on as we watch the heat waves rise from the hot asphalt. But there’s more to think about. In EV mode, we might charge batteries off the grid, but what kind of losses have we then inserted between the distant prime mover and the rear wheels of our Car? What investment will it take to assure the grid can handle the charge current of all these EVs?

Some will note, compression ignition engines run cool while idling, it’s a sign of their far better efficiency, and under realistic conditions, and over a reasonable periods of time, it’s going to be very difficult for the EVs to deliver cost per mile at less cost than a diesel like the Zuk. I say the Volt doesn’t have a chance. History will tell. The Zuk Diesel is my choice for ‘Car of the Year’

OK, OK, I can hear it now..some will say.. ”you don’t understand, the Volt is no People’s car, there’s more luxury here, it’s a step up from your diesel Zuk” my reply… “Then why are all Americans forced to subsidize it, let the wealthier people buy their own Volt”.



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


28 January, 2011

Skeptical paper accepted for presentation at GCGW (Global Conference on Global Warming) Lisbon, Portugal, July 201‏1

The paper is "C curves and the Global Warming phenomenon". Summary from author Ritesh Arya [] below. Presumably, the final paper will include clarifying graphics

The paper for the first time shows actual geological evidence to show global warming is a 100% natural cyclic process and man and his activities have no role in enhancing or reducing the cyclic process.

The proposal highlights the discovery of paleo climatic signatures by Dr Arya carved on batholiths of Ladakh Indian Himalayas due to climate change mainly induced due to global warming and cooling since time immemorial and tends to redefine global warming as part of a natural cyclic process responsible for transporting various materials deposited during global cooling times.

It is evident that we are in a global warming era and the process of warming has been continuing since the last ICE age -- believed to have ended around 10,000 years ago. Taphonomical research of these preserved signatures on banks of the River Indus reveal that beautiful C shaped structures were carved by action of Indus Glacier(cooling) and river (warming) in past on the batholiths.

Structures preserved clearly show that warming and cooling don’t have a linear or a hockey stick curve relationship but follow a C type structure. If these paleo-signatures embedded are critically analysed they show cyclicity in events of warming and cooling in form of C alphabet. Where C represents and is symbolic for completeness of natural climatic cycles of cooling – warming – cooling processes.

If we write the alphabet C then starting and ending of C alphabet show some linearity which represents – cooling and curve portion in C alphabet represents warming. C shape also shows that cooling-warming and again cooling are all part of natural cyclic processes and the transition from one into another is somewhat gradational in nature, one complements the other.

Centre of C alphabet represents global warming maxima and it is at this time where maximum mountain flash flooding leading to maximum destruction and erosion along glacio-fluvial basin takes place ultimately leading to sea level rise and land submergence in coasts. This global maxima in C curve is cause of maximum destruction and submergence.

The author was able to discover 8 such cycles and 1 half intermittent cycle. Actually after every four cycles of 1176 years we have a half cycle of 588 years. Beauty of these cycles is uniformity in thickness and size. If 10,000 years is bench mark then each C cycle represents a time of about 1176.47 years roughly and each global maximum(marked by massive flash floods, cyclones and sea level rise will be around 500-600 years respectively.

Thus by knowing which part of the C curve paleo signature we are in, we can actually predict whether we are entering the global warming or cooling phase and when will the next global warming maxima going to be.

But lot depends of accuracy of exact age of the last ICE age. Presently we are in a half cycle and seeing these signatures at present it seems that we have entered into warming phenomenon and are yet to experience the global maxima in the present C curve which may be around from today.

The proposal tries to corroborate the geomorphological evidences carved by the forces of warming in the historical past along with Borewell data to understand the dimensions of the warming events in the geological past.

Historical and religious events are also used to corroborate the findings of C curves and make the understanding of warming and cooling simpler and easier and end the debate about man-made global warming processes

Confirmation bias in the name of global warming

A new paper has been published in Ecology Letters: Ran Nathan, Nir Horvitz, Yanping He, Anna Kuparinen, Frank M. Schurr, Gabriel G. Katul. Spread of North American wind-dispersed trees in future environments. Ecology Letters, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01573.

In this paper the authors have assumed that climate change will cause changes to CO2 concentration and wind speed. They have assumed also that increased CO2 will “increase fecundity and advance maturation”. They have then modelled the spread of 12 species as a function of wind speed.

So far so good – they have actually modelled only the effect of wind speed which they assume will reduce due to climate change.

Their results basically showed no effect of wind speed: “Future spread is predicted to be faster if atmospheric CO2 enrichment would increase fecundity and advance maturation, irrespective of the projected changes in mean surface windspeed”.

And now comes the perversion!

From their fundamental conclusion that wind speed has no effect and that therefore any CO2 increase resulting from climate change will enhance the spread of the trees, they invoke “expected” effects to deny what they have just shown: “Yet, for only a few species, predicted wind-driven spread will match future climate changes, conditioned on seed abscission occurring only in strong winds and environmental conditions favouring high survival of the farthest-dispersed seeds. Because such conditions are unlikely, North American wind-dispersed trees are expected to lag behind the projected climate range shift.”

This final conclusion is based on absolutely nothing and their modelling showed nothing and yet this paper was accepted for publication. I have no problem that a result showing “no effect of wind speed” be published but suspect that it needed the nonsense, speculative conclusion to comply with current dogma.

Science Daily then produces the headline: Climate Change Threatens Many Tree Species when the reality is:

This study Shows No Effect of Wind Speed But Yet We Believe that Climate Change Threatens Many Tree Species
“Our research indicates that the natural wind-driven spread of many species of trees will increase, but will occur at a significantly lower pace than that which will be required to cope with the changes in surface temperature,” said Prof. Nathan. “This will raise extinction risk of many tree populations because they will not be able to track the shift in their natural habitats which currently supply them with favorable conditions for establishment and reproduction. As a result, the composition of different tree species in future forests is expected to change and their areas might be reduced, the goods and services that these forests provide for man might be harmed, and wide-ranging steps will have to be taken to ensure seed dispersal in a controlled, directed manner.”

Whether the perversion is by the authors themselves anticipating what is needed to get a paper published or whether it is due to pressure from the Journal Ecology Letters or by their referees is unclear.

Despite ample research, understanding plant spread and predicting their ability to track projected climate changes remain a formidable challenge to be confronted. We modelled the spread of North American wind-dispersed trees in current and future (c. 2060) conditions, accounting for variation in 10 key dispersal, demographic and environmental factors affecting population spread. Predicted spread rates vary substantially among 12 study species, primarily due to inter-specific variation in maturation age, fecundity and seed terminal velocity. Future spread is predicted to be faster if atmospheric CO2 enrichment would increase fecundity and advance maturation, irrespective of the projected changes in mean surface windspeed. Yet, for only a few species, predicted wind-driven spread will match future climate changes, conditioned on seed abscission occurring only in strong winds and environmental conditions favouring high survival of the farthest-dispersed seeds. Because such conditions are unlikely, North American wind-dispersed trees are expected to lag behind the projected climate range shift.

In essence this paper is only based on belief and the results actually obtained are denied. It seems to me that denying or twisting or “moulding” results actually obtained to fit pre-conceived notions is not just a case of confirmation bias but comes very close to scientific misconduct.


Power of Language: "Refrigerator Effect" vs "Greenhouse Effect"

Below is a post from Swedish mathematician and physicist Claes Johnson. He claims that the entire notion of a greenhouse effect is contrary to basic physics so he is critical of other skeptics who take a less radical position than that. He announces below that his contentions are now to be debated on a prominent Warmist site and also offers below some provocative preliminary comments -- JR

Lord Monckton, Judy Curry and Roy Spencer are critical of the critique in the new book Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory of the "greenhouse effect" underlying CO2 climate alarmism. My arguments that the standard conception of the "greenhouse effect" represents a scientific dead end, are summarized in my contributions to the book:

* Computational Blackbody Radiation

* Climate Thermodynamics.

By double negation (critique of critique) Monckton, Curry and Spencer effectively come out as supporters of the claimed consensus of (alarming) global warming by a "greenhouse effect".

M, C and S claim that they do not have the time required to enter into the mathematics of the criticism in the articles, but nevertheless remain critical of the critique referring to a strong belief that the greenhouse gas theory with its "greenhouse effect" cannot be killed because it is strong, healthy and very much alive. A seemingly invincible Sky Dragon...

It is natural to ask how it is possible to be so sure about the existence of a "greenhouse effect", which in fact is not well described in the scientific literature? The meaning of the term ranges from the total effect of the atmosphere as an "atmosphere effect" to the absorption spectrum of the "greenhouse gas" CO2 with unknown warming effect.

Is it simply due to the folklore description of the "greenhouse effect" acting like a "blanket" or "sheet of glass" helping us to stay warm in a chilly Universe at 3 K? Even if the atmosphere does not act like a blanket or sheet of glass at all?

Is the power of language so strong that the "greenhouse effect" from a "blanket in the sky" is so seducing for the soul that the body becomes convinced? Maybe.

Suppose then that we change vocabulary and describe the effect of the atmosphere as the "refrigerator effect", which is in fact more logical than the "greenhouse effect", because what the atmosphere does is to transport heat (from insolation) away from the Earth surface to the top of the atmosphere for radiation to outer space. In the same way as the cooling system of a refrigerator transports heat from the inside of the refrigerator to the outside.

OK, so everybody can now understand the "refrigerator effect" and with this understanding comes the immediate threat of a too strong effect of global cooling. Like with alchohol the risk is a too strong effect, not a too small effect (unless you are completely addicted).

So, with a "greenhouse effect" the imminent risk is too much of the effect into global warming. While with the "refrigerator effect" the threat is instead global cooling.

We see that semantics can twist our brains into firm beliefs which may lack scientific rationale. Of course we are all too familiar with this phenomenon in politics.

So how would the debate change if "greenhouse effect" was changed to "refrigerator effect? Such a change could get quick acceptance this winter.

Judy now signals that she is ready to initiate a discussion on her blog starting from the two articles listed above. I look forward to this discussion. Science without discussion is dead immobile science, while science with discussion is live science which can move forward.

PS If you want to get to understand thermodynamics for the first time in your life, download the draft of my upcoming book Computational Thermodynamics and explore physics with confusing statistics replaced by analog finite precision computation (reality) modeled by digital finite precision computation (virtual reality).

The idea of finite precision computation also underlies the new analysis of blackbody radiation as Computational Blackbody Radiation.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The “Green” Treason

It’s the same old story: The U.S. has abundant natural resources, but refuses to extract and produce them, as usual, because of environmental restrictions and regulatory costs. In the meantime, we are exporting our energy security, job security, and now, national security to China and other emerging markets.

Since 2002, the U.S. has not mined any rare earth elements (REEs) — today used in U.S. smart bombs, silent helicopter blades, night vision, missiles, and tank guns, as well as computers, cell phones, DVD players, and other civilian technologies.

These metals are not even that rare. The nation as a whole has about 13 million metric tons in reserves according to the U.S. Geological Survey. We could make them ourselves. But we don’t.

Leaving that aside for a moment, a modern military, and many common conveniences we today take for granted, would not be possible without these metals. They are essential.

Which is why China has rapidly developed its rare earth element mining sector, with over 55 million metric tons in reserves and 130,000 metric tons of annual production. It now controls over 97 percent of REE mining and refinement in the entire world. China is largely able to do so because it holds about 36 percent of global reserves, has lower labor costs, and because it largely ignores the environmental impact of the REEs. Finally, it lacks competition since the U.S. dropped out of the market.

With the rise of China’s REE near-monopoly, concerns have emerged that the communist dictatorship has too much control over these metals that have become critical to defense and other high technology needs.

So, how could China, an adversary, gain so much control over such a strategically critical industry? Call it the green treason.

The problem is that nearly all of the nation’s production of REEs was done by a single company, Molycorp, at a single mine in California, Mountain Pass. From 1965 to 1985, Molycorp was the world’s leader in this industry, but because of a series of main wastewater pipeline spills from the mine, state and federal environmental regulators all but shut it down.

As reported by the Washington Independent, “Mining at Mountain Pass stopped soon after the spills came to light. Industry sources say Union Oil of California, which bought Molycorp in 1977, couldn’t afford to comply with environmental rules and felt that it couldn’t compete with China.” In other words, the environmental regulatory costs made it cost-prohibitive to produce the metals at a competitive price versus the Chinese.

But, rather than help the industry out with the regulatory problems, the government acted punitively against Molycorp. The regulators were indifferent if domestic production was completely turned off. It made sure production of REEs in the U.S. was severely hindered, even though shortages would disrupt the defense supply chain.

Just like that, a few faceless bureaucrats shut down an entire domestic industry — essential to national security — just as the Chinese overseas competitor was emerging. And it was all in the name of radical environmentalism.

Fears of Chinese manipulation in the market have subsequently been confirmed in July when China once again reduced its export quotas for these metals. Since 2005, it has reduced these quotas from over 65,000 metric tons to just over 30,000, according to the Department of Energy. This has caused prices of the metals to skyrocket.

Already, the scarcity of the REEs is having an impact on U.S. defense capabilities. According to a Governmental Accountability Office (GAO) summary, “A 2009 National Defense Stockpile configuration report identified lanthanum, cerium, europium, and gadolinium as having already caused some kind of weapon system production delay and recommended further study to determine the severity of the delays.” Which, unless the U.S. ramps up production, will only get worse as China tightens the entire world’s supply of REEs.

The GAO report notes the decline of the nation’s capabilities in this area: “The United States previously performed all stages of the rare earth material supply chain, but now most rare earth materials processing is performed in China, giving it a dominant position that could affect worldwide supply and prices.” The Department of Defense is undergoing several other evaluations to determine its dependency on these metals, but we already know that it is high.

So, what can be done to ramp up new domestic production? Right now, the U.S. imports about 10,000 metric tons of these metals, or 7.6 percent of global production, according to the USGS.

Unfortunately, the Mountain Pass mine has been gutted. According to the GAO, it “currently lacks the manufacturing assets and facilities to process the rare earth ore into finished components, such as permanent magnets.” It also lacks “substantial amounts of heavy rare earth elements” used in industry and defense. Nonetheless, Molycorp intends to begin mining again this year, and in July offered a successful $393.75 million IPO to rebuild its capabilities.

According to Dr. Madan Singh, director of the Department of Mines and Mineral Resources (DMMR) in Arizona, it could take up to two years to get the mine back online.

But to get the heavy rare earths, we’ll also need to mine in Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Missouri, Utah, and Wyoming. Again, the GAO report is not comforting: “Once a company has secured the necessary capital to start a mine, government and industry officials said it can take from 7 to 15 years to bring a property fully online, largely due to the time it takes to comply with multiple state and federal regulations [emphasis added].”

So, barring regulatory waivers being granted to companies to begin extraction immediately, it won’t be until 2020 at least before the nation’s REE capabilities can be fully reconstituted. In the meantime, it is likely that China will continue to reduce its export quotas, ratchet up prices, and hoard the REEs for its own defense stockpiles.

It’s bad enough that environmental radicalism has made the nation more dependent on foreign sources of fuel, and has exported hundreds of thousands of jobs. Now, it is harming our security as a nation.

It is up to Congress to urgently enact legislation that will cut through the red tape and help this domestic industry get its feet back on the ground. We have to make sure we’re not dependent on a hostile nation like China or a single mine in California in order to maintain first-rate defense capabilities. And our security must not be held hostage to onerous environmental regulations. This green treason must be stopped.


Revkin doubts the efficacy of putting Warmist propaganda into movies

Revkin is chief Warmist for the NYT

David Roberts has posted an interesting Grist interview with Sandra de Castro Buffington, who directs the Hollywood, Health and Society program at the University of Southern California.

The program, in collaboration with several federal health agencies, works behind the scenes in Hollywood to foster smarter public health choices by, among other things, shaping story lines in scripts for TV shows and movies. One example was the “Hammered” episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which focused on alcohol abuse.

In the Grist piece, Buffington talks enthusiastically about doing for human-driven global warming what’s been done for HIV awareness, diabetes, alcoholism and the like. (This is not entirely new terrain, mind you; the Environmental Media Association began doing the same thing starting in the late 1980s.)

I could see storytelling, particularly melding images and ideas, bringing a fresh focus to the scope of the country’s, and world’s, energy gap. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t repeatedly post the photo of kids doing homework under parking lot lights in Guinea (and more recently the hopeful photos of kids in rural Kenya doing the same thing at home because of a small solar panel).

But I’m deeply doubtful that this is a path to changing public attitudes and — more importantly — behaviors related to curbing emissions of greenhouse gases. There’s simply too much evidence that the fundamental characteristics of the rising human influence on climate are a very bad fit for how humans absorb and respond to risks.


“Capitol Greening” program scrapped by GOP

Nancy Pelosi promised to "drain the swamp" when she took the gavel as speaker. Now Republicans want to clean up the compost heap.

Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., announced this week that he's ordered an end to the Pelosi-championed composting program in the House of Representatives. The chairman of the House Administration Committee said an internal review of the program showed it wasn't living up to expectations. "After a thorough review of the House's composting operations, I have concluded that it is neither cost-effective nor energy-efficient to continue the program," Lungren said in a written statement, claiming the composting was costing taxpayers $475,000 a year.

The decision is a symbolic but disappointing one for Democrats who pushed the composting as a pillar of Pelosi's "Green the Capitol" initiative. Under Pelosi, Styrofoam and plastic materials were discontinued in House eateries, replaced by biodegradable alternatives. The House then shipped its biodegradable waste to a composting site in Maryland.

"Obviously, it is disappointing to see this important component of the program suspended. The commercial food composting industry has not fully developed yet, and we would hope that when a closer commercial composting site opens and more competition brings down costs, the program would be reinstituted," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in an e-mail.

It's not clear what other elements of the "Green the Capitol" program might come under scrutiny, but Lungren committed to keeping the Hill clean and green where possible. "While I am suspending this program because it is costly and increases energy consumption, I would like to assure the House community that this committee will continue to evaluate all components of House operations and will work with the appropriate agencies to incorporate environmentally sustainable practices when feasible," he said.

More here


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


27 January, 2011

Climate crook Jones is protected by the reluctance of academic institutions to admit error

Last time, I examined the issue of data availability in climate science in the context of Phil Jones’ paper on the urban heat island in Nature. The case of the Jones paper is simple — data supporting conclusions of this important paper are not available and there are serious doubts whether such data was present at the time the paper was written. As first author, Jones has however categorically stated he does not intend to correct the situation or address it in any fashion.

It is notable that Nature magazine’s editorial policy states:
After publication, readers who encounter refusal by the authors to comply with these policies should contact the chief editor of the journal (or the chief biology/chief physical sciences editors in the case of Nature). In cases where editors are unable to resolve a complaint, the journal may refer the matter to the authors’ funding institution and/or publish a formal statement of correction, attached online to the publication, stating that readers have been unable to obtain necessary materials to replicate the findings.

In the present situation, after many years and attempts by several parties, Nature has reported a direct admission from the paper’s author Phil Jones that making data available is ‘impossible’. In some ways, this is quite unprecedented. A request that Nature publish a formal statement of correction therefore seems logical.

It has to be pointed out, perhaps much to the chagrin of climate science activists, that reproducibility of published studies is an acute concern in science.

Cancer research and the case of Anil Potti and Duke University

The case of cancer researcher Anil Potti at Duke University is illustrative of the consequences of full data availability. In 2006 Anil Potti published results of using gene microarray data to identify ‘signatures’ of chemosensitivities to anti-cancer drugs. His group published their work in the prestigious journal, Nature Medicine. They claimed to have developed a method to identify patients who would respond better to certain drugs. The paper was hailed as a breakthrough in oncology research.

The story takes a familiar turn at this point. Biostatisticians at the MD Anderson Cancer Center Keith Baggerly and Kevin Coombes attempted replication of the findings. Incomplete data and software code availability made their efforts difficult – they had to ‘recreate what was done, rather than just retest the model’. Eventually, Baggerly and Coombes employed forensic bioinformatics, working backwards to reconstruct prediction models Potti used. By November 2007, in their letter to Nature Medicine Coombes, Wang and Baggerly pointed out errors in Potti’s software code and column-data which was made available. They concluded:
We do not believe that any of the errors we found were intentional. We believe that the paper demonstrates a breakdown that results from the complexity of many bioinformatics analyses. This complexity requires extensive double-checking and documentation to ensure both data validity and analysis reproducibility. We believe that this situation may be improved by an approach that allows a complete, auditable trail of data handling and statistical analysis.

This produced no visible effect. What was more – Potti and allied researchers published more papers with the same method. Baggerly found further errors in these papers as well, but the journals refused to publish the findings. Matters at Duke had meanwhile evolved to the next stage – clinical trials on patients, employing Potti’s cancer genomic signature tests got underway. The MD Anderson team now changed their approach; Baggerly had a standalone paper ready, summarizing his findings. A prominent biological journal reportedly rejected their paper because “it was too negative”. In November 2009, they eventually published this paper in a statistics journal, the Annals of Applied Statistics.

As Baggerly and Coombes published their findings, Duke University initiated an internal review of Potti’s methods and data, and stopped the clinical trials. Surprisingly, the university concluded that its review found Potti’s conclusions were “confirmed”, but chose to keep the report confidential. The trials were restarted. The hidden nature of the review caused an uproar.
Duke administrators accomplished something monumental: they triggered a public expression of outrage from biostatisticians. In a first such action in anyone’s memory, 33 top-level biostatisticians wrote a letter [to NCI Director Harold Varmus] urging a public inquiry into the Potti scandal.

Duke remained unmoved. About 4 months later (May 2010), a FOI request submitted to the National Cancer Institute, finally made the Duke report public. Strangely enough, in contrast to the university’s claims the redacted report seemed to state that it could not confirm Potti’s results.

In the end, revelations that Potti had falsely stated or implied that he was a Rhodes scholar in grant applications resulted in a final suspension of the clinical trials. Writing in Oncology Times magazine, Rubiya Tuma said that the oncology community was “shocked” at the falsification regarding a well-known scholarship as the Rhodes. In November last year, Anil Potti resigned from Duke University. His papers in Nature Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Oncology have been retracted. Some termed the whole episode ‘Pottigate‘.

Keith Baggerly estimated their team spent 15,000 hours trying to recreate Potti’s methods from published descriptions. What is interesting is that Baggerly and colleagues stumbled upon a recurring problem in science – inadequate description of methods and reluctance to share code. In their paper in Annals of Applied Statistics, Baggerly and Coombes noted:
High-throughput biological assays such as microarrays let us ask very detailed questions about how diseases operate, and promise to let us personalize therapy. Data processing, however, is often not described well enough to allow for exact reproduction of the results, … Unfortunately, poor documentation can shift from an inconvenience to an active danger when it obscures not just methods but errors.

They were more pointed in their conclusions.
In the case of reproducibility in general, journals and funding agencies already require that raw data (e.g., CEL files) be made available. We see it as unavoidable that complete scripts will also eventually be required.

Speaking about descriptions of methods, David F Ransohoff, professor of cancer epidemiology at University of North Carolina said,
“If you look at the really big picture— and this is the key point—the entire purpose of methods sections in science articles is to let someone else reproduce what you did,” “That is really why it is there. So I can see what you’ve done, build on that, or, if I want, see if it is right or wrong. And what has happened as studies have gotten more complex, is that is harder to do. But we, as a scientific field, may have to decide if the solution to that is to say that we are not going to try anymore, or to try to figure out how we can preserve that goal, which is a very important goal in science.”

From cancer to climate science

Involved statistical errors can have real consequences. Joyce Shoffner, a cancer patient who was enrolled in the Potti Duke University trial felt “betrayed”, reported the Raleigh News Observer. Shoffner had received a drug based on tests that suggested it would work very well against her tumor, but this was not borne out in her clinical course. Shoffner volunteered: — “There needs to be some kind of auditor of the data”.

For anyone following the climate debate, the parallels between examination of Potti’s results by biostatisticians Kieth Baggerly et al and examination of Michael Mann’s work by Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick are glaring. There are startling parallels between how the University of Albany investigated Doug Keenan’s fraud charge against Jones’ co-author Wei-Chyung Wang and Duke University’s internal investigations of Potti as well. The blog Duke.Fact.Checker recalled the story thus:
For four years, some entrenched people at Duke tried to discredit these challenges in any way they could, including disparaging remarks that biostatisticians were not scientists are all, and that the MD degree yields more expertise in the emerging genome field than a Ph.D. At one point a Dean asked aloud who would believe a bunch of internet fools.

Recounting their conclusions, Baggerly and a joint team of 43 biostatisticians wrote in a joint letter to Nature recently:
The independent reanalysis of these signatures took so long because the information accompanying the associated publications was incomplete. Unfortunately, this is common: for example, a survey of 18 published microarray gene-expression analyses found that the results of only two were exactly reproducible (J. P. Ioannidis et al. Nature Genet. 41, 149–155; 2009). Inadequate information meant that 10 could not be reproduced.

To counter this problem, journals should demand that authors submit sufficient detail for the independent assessment of their paper’s conclusions. We recommend that all primary data are backed up with adequate documentation and sample annotation; all primary data sources, such as database accessions or URL links, are presented; and all scripts and software source codes are supplied, with instructions. Analytical (non-scriptable) protocols should be described step by step, and the research protocol, including any plans for research and analysis, should be provided. Files containing such information could be stored as supplements by the journal.


Warmists peeved that Obama did not mention warming in his SOTU address

See below. Not a sigle scientific fact is mentioned, of course, just the mythical "consensus"

In his 2009 State of the Union-esque speech, Obama spoke of "saving our planet from the ravages of climate change." In his 2010 SOTU, he affirmed the "overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change." In 2011, fresh off the hottest year on record, Obama said ... nothing about climate change. It didn't come up.

This is a failure on Obama's part. A moral failure, a failure of leadership, but also, I would argue, a political failure.

Andy Revkin and Bryan Walsh both note the obvious reason for the omission: climate change has become a "partisan issue." It's "divisive." As Revkin says, Obama is trying to "build a new American energy conversation on points of agreement rather than clear ideological flash points like global warming." I understand that. But I think capitulating to that logic is myopic and counterproductive.

First of all, consider the larger analogy at the heart of Obama's speech: America is at a "Sputnik moment." Well, why was Sputnik a Sputnik moment? Not because Americans said, "Wow, the USSR is getting really good at technology! We're getting outcompeted!" No, what the public said was, "Holy sh*t! Our mortal enemy is putting stuff in space! They're going to rain rockets down on us and we're all going to die!" In other words, Sputnik was not some friendly challenge to see who can win the race to the future (or whatever). It was a threat. That's what lit a fire under America's ass and that's why America rose to the challenge.

Obama wants to launch a clean energy race. And good for him. But what are the stakes? What is the threat? Where is the urgency? If it's just about international competition, why not focus on good macroeconomic policy -- why go to such lengths to build up this economic sector, these technologies? Why not just leave it to the market?

Here's why: The U.S. needs to get at or close to zero carbon emissions by the middle of this century or there will be severe and possibly irreversible changes in the climate, leading to massive, widespread human suffering. That's why we don't have time to wait for the invisible hand of the market. That's why we need massive investments, tighter regulations, and a price on climate pollution. That's the threat. Without it, a push for clean energy is a nice slogan that can easily be shunted aside when, oh, gas prices are rising, or there's a recession, or Joe Manchin need to get reelected.

The threat of climate change is what justifies and animates the clean energy race. That's the substantive need.

But telling the truth about climate change is also good politics. Avoiding the issue because it's an "ideological flash point" is just to allow Republicans to succeed in making it an ideological flash point! It is to affirm that it's partisan and divisive, which is exactly what conservatives have been trying to make it for years. If they can do it to climate, why won't they go right on to do it to clean energy, or innovation, or investment? (Hint: They already are.) It gives them control over public dialogue.

In fact, the best American scientists, along with scientists all over the world, say climate change is a pressing threat to our nation's health and security. One does not tiptoe around such threats because a core group of ideologues in the other party doesn't like hearing about them. That's not leadership.


Did you think global warming alarmism was about saving polar bears?

From across the pond, AFP reports from Paris: “From being a marginal and even mocked issue, climate-change litigation is fast emerging as a new frontier of law where some believe hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake. Compensation for losses inflicted by man-made global warming would be jaw-dropping, a payout that would make tobacco and asbestos damages look like pocket money.”

We’re shocked, shocked to find people are going to sue you because of your carbon footprint. Shocked.

AFP continues: “In the past three years, the number of climate-related lawsuits has ballooned, filling the void of political efforts in tackling greenhouse-gas emissions. . . Seminars on climate law are often thickly attended by corporations that could be in the firing line — and by the companies that insure them.”
Profiteering? Who would have guessed? Well, OK. It was transparently obvious from Day 1.

But there is a glimmer of hope, says AFP’s report: “… legal experts sound a note of caution, warning that this is a new and mist-shrouded area of justice. Many obstacles lie ahead before a Western court awards a cent in climate damages and even more before the award is upheld on appeal.

“There’s a large number of entrepreneurial lawyers and NGOs who are hunting around for a way to gain leverage on the climate problem,” said David Victor, director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the University of California at San Diego.

The bottom line (so far)? “The number of suits filed has increased radically. But the number of suits claiming damages from climate change that have been successful remains zero.”


Being Green Is Not a Sign of Health

There are two new reports in the Wall Street Journal about flops in the green energy movement — further illustrations of how much hype there is in it.

The first (Jan. 19) reveals that the vaunted new “amazingly energy efficient,” compact fluorescent light bulbs aren’t so energy efficient after all.

Pushing the hapless consumer to replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) has been the received wisdom among lawmakers for years, and no more so than in California, the ever-green state. California’s utilities alone spent $548 million over the past seven years in CFL subsidies. In fact, California utilities have subsidized over 100 million CFLs since 2006. And on the first of this year, the state started phasing out incandescent bulb sales.

Of course, when I say that the California utilities have been subsidizing the CFLs, I really should say that the aforementioned hapless consumers have been doing so, because all the subsidy money — about $2.70 out of the actual $4.00 cost of the CFL, i.e., more than two thirds of the actual cost — is paid by the consumer in the form of higher utility rates.

Naturally, the rest of the country — and, for that matter, the world — is set to follow California’s lead on CFLs. A federal law effective January 1 of next year will require a 28% step-up in efficiency for incandescent bulbs, and bans them outright by 2014. One consequence of this federal policy — unintended, perhaps, but none the less foreseeable — is that the last US plant making incandescent bulbs has been shut down, and China (which now makes all the CFLs) has seen even more of a jobs expansion, and is able to buy even more of our debt.

The UN is also pushing CFLs to help solve global warming, estimating that about 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are caused by lighting. The World Bank has been funding the distribution of CFLs in poorer nations. Last year, for example, Bangladesh gave away five million World Bank funded CFLs in one day.

But now — surprise! — California has discovered that the actual energy savings of switching to CFLs were nowhere near what was originally estimated. Pacific Gas and Electric, which in 2006 set up the biggest subsidy fund for CFLs, found that its actual savings from the CFL program were collectively about 450 million kilowatt hours, which is only about one-fourth of the original estimate.

There are several reasons for the fact the switch to CFLs hasn’t lived up to expectations. First, not as many of the heavily subsidized CFLs were sold as originally estimated. PG & E doesn’t say why, but I will hazard a guess, based on personal experience. Many consumers dislike the light produced by CFLs, which they find dimmer or more artificial in its effect. Also, many complain that lights create static in AM radio reception. In a free market (i.e., one that, among other things, contains no subsidies), it is likely that few consumers would want to switch.

Second, the useful life of the CFLs is less than 70% of original estimates. Amazingly, the estimates were based on tests that didn’t factor in the actual frequency with which consumers turn them on and off. CFLs burn out more quickly the more often they are turned on and off than do the old incandescent bulbs.

Not mentioned in the story is the fact that CFLs contain mercury, and so are supposed to be specially disposed of (which presents an added cost to the consumer in time, money, and energy). The alternative is for the consumer to throw them out in the regular trash, making toxic waste sites out of ordinary trash dumps, with future clean-up costs of God only knows what.

The second Journal story (Jan. 18) reports that Evergreen Solar has closed its Massachusetts plant and laid off all the workers there.

This is deliciously ironic. Evergreen Solar was the darling of Massachusetts. Governor Deval Patrick, devout green and all-around Obama Mini-Me, gave Evergreen a package of $58 million in tax incentives, grants, and other handouts to open a solar panel plant there. In doing so, he simply ignored Evergreen’s lousy track record — a record of losing nearly $700 million bucks in its short life (its IPO was in 2000), despite lavish subsidies from federal and state governments.

Now Evergreen is outsourcing its operations, blaming competition with China, and whining like a bitchslapped baby about China’s subsidies of its solar energy and its lower labor costs. But Evergreen has itself sucked up ludicrously lavish subsidies, and it knew all along about China’s labor rates compared to Massachusetts’.

So Patrick winds up looking like a complete ass, and the taxpayers of Massachusetts wind up eating a massive loss.

But that’s not all. Near the end of last year, the Journal (Dec. 20) revealed still another case of American crony capitalism, of the green sort. It turns out that the wind industry — aptly dubbed “Big Wind” — copped a one-year, $3 billion extension of government support for wind power. It was part of the end-of-2010 tax deal.

Originally, this government subsidy was a feature of the infamous 2008 stimulus bill, under which taxpayers were forced to cover 30% of the costs of wind power projects. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) begged for the subsequent bailout, because without it 20,000 wind power jobs would be lost (one-fourth of all such jobs in America). But despite the billions in subsidies, Big Wind is sucking wind; its allure is dropping like a stone. The AWEA’s own figures show a 72% decline in wind turbine installations from 2009, down to the lowest since 2006.

Besides trying to make the 30% subsidy(!) permanent, the AWEA is pushing for a national “renewable energy” mandate that will force utilities to buy a large chunk of the power they sell from renewable sources (mainly solar and wind), irrespective of the fact that the price of renewable energy is sky high. The association has gotten more than half the states to enact such mandates, with higher energy bills for consumers as the result. Not surprisingly, Big Wind is also pushing the EPA to make energy from fossil fuels vastly more costly.

According to the federal government’s own figures, wind and solar take 20 times the subsidy to produce electricity than do coal and natural gas. So you can see why Big Wind keeps blowing smoke up the public’s rear about the fabulous future of renewable energy. You can also see why Big Wind is such a big contributor to the campaign coffers of Democratic politicians. They are the only ones who keep this outrageous boondoggle awash in money.

Meanwhile, the promises of green energy look more and more hollow, every day.


Earth's climate crisis ain't necessarily so

Viscount Monckton writes for an Australian audience below

WHILE the Gillard government's climate-change parliamentary committee plots to wreck Australia's economy with a rigged market to make motoring and electricity unaffordable as soon as the new Greens-infected Senate starts work in July, thoughtful pollies are at last - privately, quietly - beginning to ask the Gershwin question.

What if it ain't necessarily so? Suppose there's no climate crisis?

The Romans used to farm out tax collection to "tax farmers" such as St Matthew. The cap-and-tax boondoggle is a tax-farming scam to impoverish the working man and enrich the new tax farmers: bankers, traders, ministers, officials and media moguls. None of them saints.

Cap-and-tax in Europe has been a wickedly costly fiasco. The rigged market has collapsed twice. Member states cheated by allowing themselves more rights to emit than their actual emissions, so the price of emission rights plummeted. Then the tax farmers simply invented 90 per cent of their carbon trades.

Result: electricity prices have doubled. In the name of preventing global warming, many Britons are dying because they cannot afford to heat their homes.

Cap and tax is as pointless as it is cruel. Australia accounts for 1.5 per cent of global carbon emissions. So if it cut its emissions, the warming forestalled would be infinitesimal.

It's worth explaining exactly why. Suppose the Australian committee's aim is to cut emissions by 20 per cent by 2050. Anything more ambitious would shut Australia down, especially while the Greens insist on not letting the country use its own zero-carbon-emitting uranium as fuel.

A 20 per cent cut by 2050 is an average 10 per cent cut from now until then. Carbon dioxide concentration by 2050 probably won't exceed 506 parts per million by volume, from which we deduct today's concentration of 390 ppmv. So humankind might add 116 ppmv from now until then.

The CO2 concentration increase forestalled by 40 years of cap-and-tax in Australia would be 10 per cent of 1.5 per cent of that 116 ppmv, or just 0.174 ppmv. So in 2050 CO2 concentration would be - tell it not in Gath and Ashkelon - 505.826 ppmv, not 506.

Thus what we maths wonks call the proportionate change in CO2 concentration if the committee got its way would be 505.826 divided by 506, or 0.9997. The UN says warming or cooling, in Celsius degrees, is 3.7 to 5.7 times the logarithm of the proportionate change.

It expects only 57 per cent of manmade warming to occur by 2100: the rest would happen slowly and harmlessly across 1000-3000 years.

To be charitable to the committee, let us take the UN's high-end estimate. The warming forestalled by cutting Australia's emissions would be very unlikely to exceed 57 per cent of 5.7 times the logarithm of 0.9997: that is - wait for it - a dizzying one-thousandth of a degree by 2050.

I have set out this calculation to show how certainly it is known that all attempts to cut CO2 emissions will expensively fail. Focused adaptation to any adverse consequences of such warming as may occur would be orders of magnitude more cost-effective. But do we need to cut CO2 at all? Some cold facts:

Satellite datasets show last year was not the warmest on record. It was not the least snow-covered year but the most snow-covered: a largely unreported gain in Antarctic sea ice since 1979 almost matches the widely reported loss of Arctic sea ice.

It was not the worst year for hurricanes, but the best year: the accumulated-cyclone-energy index shows less tropical-cyclone activity worldwide than for 30 years.

The forest fires in Russia and southern Australia, and the floods in Pakistan and eastern Australia, were far from the worst ever. Nor can they be attributed to human influence: the UN's climate panel has warned us against that.

They were caused by naturally occurring weather patterns called blocking highs. And global warming can scarcely be blamed after a decade without any.

Nor did 2010 see the second-highest level of natural catastrophes. Yes, 90 per cent of them were weather-related, but in most years that is true, and was true long before we could have influenced climate.

Nor is sea level rising fast. It has risen at the rate of just 0.3m a century since satellites measured it reliably in 1993, under a quarter of the average rate during the past 11,400 years. The Greens don't believe their own whining about sea level: their Hobart office is just metres from the "dangerously" rising ocean.

Nor do most scientists believe man-made global warming will be catastrophic. Most are not climate scientists and take no view, and only a few climatologists have published on the central question how much warming there will be.

Of these, the researchers using measurement and observation rather than modelling have shown that much of the radiation the models say should be warming the surface is escaping to space as before.

The upper air in the tropics that the models predict should warm at thrice the surface rate is warming only at the same rate; model-predicted surface evaporation in response to warming is a third of the observed rate.

The missing heat energy imagined by the models but not present as warming in the past decade is not lurking in the oceans; and the entire warming of the late 20th century can easily be explained without blaming man.

Just one of these fatal discrepancies between prediction and reality - and each points to very little future warming - would normally be enough to dismiss climate catastrophism.

As the Gershwins rightly concluded, "It ain't nessa, ain't nessa, ain't nessa, ain't nessa, ain't necessarily so."


Study: Biofuels of no benefit to military

A new analysis presented to Congress yesterday paints a stark picture for the Defense Department's current efforts to secure renewable fuels. Fuels made from plant waste or algae will not be achievable in large or cheap enough quantities to make sense for military applications in the next decade, concluded the report penned by the RAND Corporation.

"The use of alternative fuels offers the armed services no direct military benefit," it added, urging the military and Congress to rethink dedicating defense appropriations to alternative fuels research.

Though the Defense Department has said using more renewable energy will reduce the need for fuel convoys in the battle zone, RAND questions biofuel's role in that effort, saying that any alternative fuels -- either with biofuel blends or coal-to-liquid technology -- would still require those fuel convoys or compound logistical challenges on the front lines.

"In short, the military is best served by efforts directed at using energy more efficiently in weapon systems and at military installations," it said.

The work assessed the current status of the alternative fuels market and concluded that the only fossil fuel substitutes that could be attainable in the foreseeable future would be those produced through the Fischer-Tropsch process, a method with a hefty carbon footprint that produces synthetic diesel from coal, natural gas or coal-biomass blends.

"Considering economics, technical readiness, greenhouse gas emissions and general environmental concerns, [Fischer-Tropsch] fuels derived from a mixture of coal and biomass represent the most promising approach to producing amounts of alternative fuels that can meet military, as well as appreciable levels of civilian, needs by 2030," the report said.

More here


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


26 January, 2011

More Greenie charm

The Fascist mentality shows itself: Warmists Demand Armed Uprising and Ask: “Why Aren’t Greens Kicking The S**t Out of Corporate America?”

In a post typical of the “violent rhetoric” of the global warming debate, an alarmist website has called for the movement to ditch legislative changes in favour of a far more violent approach.

The website, It’s Getting Hot in Here, is aimed at children and youngsters, and is staffed and written by activists who come from Greenpeace,, The Breakthrough Institute, and the WWF.

In its latest outburst it said that it was pointless to expect any action from “corporate shills like Barak Obama” and said that Greens should be looking towards an armed insurrection on the lines of the Cuban Marxist revolution:

With this quagmire of conflicted interests governing the White House, K Street Lobbying Firms and the boards of large environmental groups, how are we ever going to see real change come out of Washington D.C.?

To say, “we need to fight back” is the understatement of understatements. I think last time we needed to be fighting back this hard, John Brown led an armed raid on Harper’s Ferry. Instead of looking for leadership from corporate shills like Barak Obama and the Democratic Party, environmental and climate movements should be kicking the SHIT out of Corporate America with the uncompromising guerilla fervor of a Che Guevara or a Geronimo.

The article concluded that “Challenging the root causes of climate change should be the role of our movement, and that root cause is corporate power”.

It is still unclear at this stage how many global warmists are up for the “armed raid” to “kick the sh*t” out of the “corporate shills” in Washington, as called for in the article.

Leo Hickman and Damian Carrington of The Guardian have not yet denounced this latest example of violent rhetoric. But given their awareness of the “terrifying atmosphere” that can generated by such rhetoric, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they do so, in unequivocal terms.

For the record, this blog denounces ALL violent rhetoric, on all sides of the ongoing debate over global warming.


New study affirms natural climate change

By Dennis Avery

It’s nice when people validate your work. Fred Singer and I—co-authors of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years—are currently basking in the glow of a new paper that affirms the earth’s long, moderate, natural climate cycle. The study is by Dr. U.R. Rao, former chair of India’s Space Research Organization. He says solar variations and cosmic rays account for 40 percent of the world’s recent global warming.

Dr. Rao says the data between 1960 and 2005 show lots fewer cosmic rays hitting the earth, due to a periodic expansion of the sun’s magnetic field. The bigger solar magnetic field blocked many of the cosmic rays that would otherwise have hit earth. Fewer cosmic rays hitting the earth meant fewer water droplets shattering in our atmosphere, and thus fewer of the low, wet clouds that deflect solar heat back into space. So the earth warmed.

Fred and I tried to tell the world in 2007 that the moderate 1500-year Dansgaard-Oeschger cycle was the cause of the warming since 1850, based on historic and paleoclimatic evidence. The cosmic ray linkage was put forth in 2008 by Henrik Svensmark of Denmark. The UN’s panel on climate change dismissed that whole approach, claiming the variations in the sun’s irradiance were far too small to account for the rapid warming from 1976–98.

The flaw in the UN reasoning is clear, however. The alarmists claim the global warming since 1976 has been too rapid to be caused by natural forces, and therefore must be man-made. However, the earth’s Industrial Revolution went global after 1945—releasing the first big flush of CO2 emissions. That burst of greenhouse gases should have sharply boosted the earth’s temperatures. Instead, the earth’s temperature declined from 1940–75.

Commenting on Rao’s paper, V. Ramanathan of the U.S.-based Scripps Institute of Oceanography says, “The observed rapid warming trends during the last 40 years cannot be accounted for by trends in [cosmic rays].” But didn’t earth’s warming from 1915–1940, too early to blame on CO2, move just about as fast for just about as long as the “unnatural” warming from 1976–98?

Did human greenhouse emissions account for the other 60 percent of our Modern Warming? Well, a modern city is fully capable of warming its own temperatures by 7 degrees C or more through expanded brick and blacktop and lost greenery. A huge number of rural weather stations have been dropped from the rolls in recent years, putting our thermometers still more heavily in debt to Urban Heat Islands.

A study by Dr. Eugenia Kalnay of the University of Maryland says 40 percent of our net temperature increase since 1940 was actually caused by expanding urban heat islands and land use changes. Since the official net warming over that period is only about 0.2 degree C, that doesn’t leave much for Al Gore to deplore.

Nor do these studies offer much support for the EPA’s recent finding that global warming presents “public endangerment.” One of EPA’s own senior scientists produced a contrary evaluation, but he’s been retired and his paper has been ignored up by the government and the mass media.

India may be the most scientifically advanced country that refuses to agree the current global warming is man-made. Dr. Rao’s paper has just been accepted by India’s most prestigious science journal, Current Science.


The BBC became a propaganda machine for climate change zealots, says Peter Sissons... and I was treated as a lunatic for daring to dissent

Institutionally biased to the Left, politically correct and with a rudderless leadership. This is Peter Sissons’ highly critical view of the BBC in his new memoirs, in which he describes his fascinating career over four decades as a television journalist. Here, in the latest part of our serialisation, he reveals how it was heresy at the BBC to question claims about climate change

My interest in climate change grew out of my concern for the failings of BBC journalism in reporting it. In my early and formative days at ITN, I learned that we have an obligation to report both sides of a story. It is not journalism if you don’t. It is close to propaganda.

The BBC’s editorial policy on ­climate change, however, was spelled out in a report by the BBC Trust — whose job is to oversee the workings of the BBC in the interests of the public — in 2007. This disclosed that the BBC had held ‘a high-level seminar with some of the best scientific experts and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus’.

The error here, of course, was that the BBC never at any stage gave equal space to the opponents of the consensus.

But the Trust continued its ­pretence that climate change ­dissenters had been, and still would be, heard on its airwaves. ‘Impartiality,’ it said, ‘always requires a breadth of view, for as long as minority ­opinions are coherently and honestly expressed, the BBC must give them appropriate space.’ In reality, the ‘appropriate space’ given to minority views on climate change was practically zero.

Moreover, we were allowed to know practically nothing about that top-level seminar mentioned by the BBC Trust at which such momentous conclusions were reached. Despite a Freedom of Information request, they wouldn’t even make the guest list public.

There is one brief account of the ­proceedings, written by a conservative commentator who was there. He wrote subsequently that he was far from impressed with the 30 key BBC staff who attended. None of them, he said, showed ‘even a modicum of professional journalistic ­curiosity on the subject’. None appeared to read anything on the subject other than the Guardian.

This attitude was underlined a year later in another statement: ‘BBC News currently takes the view that their reporting needs to be calibrated to take into account the scientific consensus that global warming is man-made.’ Those scientists outside the ‘consensus’ waited in vain for the phone to ring.

It’s the lack of simple curiosity about one of the great issues of our time that I find so puzzling about the BBC. When the topic first came to ­prominence, the first thing I did was trawl the internet to find out as much as possible about it.

Anyone who does this with a mind not closed by religious fervour will find a mass of material by respectable scientists who question the orthodoxy. Admittedly, they are in the minority, but scepticism should be the natural instinct of scientists — and the default setting of journalists.

Yet the cream of the BBC’s inquisitors during my time there never laid a glove on those who repeated the ­mantra that ‘the science is settled’. On one occasion, an MP used BBC airtime to link climate change ­doubters with perverts and holocaust deniers, and his famous interviewer didn’t bat an eyelid.

Meanwhile, Al Gore, the former U.S. Vice-President and climate change campaigner, entertained the BBC’s editorial elite in his suite at the Dorchester and was given a free run to make his case to an admiring internal audience at Television Centre.

His views were never subjected to journalistic scrutiny, even when a British High Court judge ruled that his film, An Inconvenient Truth, ­contained at least nine scientific errors, and that ministers must send new guidance to teachers before it was screened in schools. From the BBC’s standpoint, the judgment was the real inconvenience, and its ­environment correspondents downplayed its significance.

At the end of November 2007 I was on duty on News 24 when the UN panel on climate change produced a report which later turned out to contain ­significant inaccuracies, many stemming from its reliance on non-peer reviewed sources and best-guesses by environmental activists.

But the way the BBC’s reporter treated the story was as if it was beyond a vestige of doubt, the last word on the catastrophe awaiting mankind. The most challenging questions addressed to a succession of UN employees and climate ­activists were ‘How urgent is it?’ and ‘How much danger are we in?’

Back in the studio I suggested that we line up one or two sceptics to react to the report, but received a totally negative response, as if I was some kind of lunatic. I went home and wrote a note to myself: ‘What happened to the journalism? The BBC has ­completely lost it.’

A damaging episode illustrating the BBC’s supine attitude came in 2008, when the BBC’s ‘environment ­analyst’, Roger Harrabin, wrote a piece on the BBC website reporting some work by the World ­Meteorological Organization that questioned whether global ­warming was going to continue at the rate ­projected by the UN panel.

A green activist, Jo Abbess, emailed him to complain. Harrabin at first resisted. Then she berated him: ‘It would be better if you did not quote the sceptics’ — something Harrabin had not actually done — ‘Please reserve the main BBC online channel for emerging truth. Otherwise I would have to conclude that you are insufficiently educated to be able to know when you have been psychologically manipulated.’

Did Harrabin tell her to get lost? He tweaked the story — albeit not as radically as she demanded — and emailed back: ‘Have a look and tell me you are happier.’

This exchange went round the world in no time, spread by a ­jubilant Abbess. Later, Harrabin defended himself, saying they were only minor changes — but the sense of the changes, as specifically sought by Ms Abbess, was plainly to harden the piece against the sceptics. Many people wouldn’t call that minor, but Harrabin’s BBC bosses accepted his explanation.

The sense of entitlement with which green groups regard the BBC was brought home to me when what was billed as a major climate change rally was held in London on a ­miserable, wintry, wet day.

I was on duty on News 24 and it had been arranged for me to ­interview the leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas. She clearly expected, as do most environmental activists, what I call a ‘free hit’ — to be allowed to say her piece without challenge.

I began, good naturedly, by observing that the climate didn’t seem to be playing ball at the moment, and that we were having a particularly cold winter while carbon emissions were powering ahead.

Miss Lucas reacted as if I’d ­physically molested her. She was outraged. It was no job of the BBC — the BBC! — to ask questions like that. Didn’t I realise that there could be no argument over the science?

I persisted with a few simple observations of fact, such as there appeared to have been no warming for ten years, in contradiction of all the alarmist computer models.

A listener from one of the sceptical climate-change websites noted that ‘Lucas was virtually apoplectic and demanding to know how the BBC could be making such ­comments. Sissons came back that his role as a journalist was always to review all sides. Lucas finished with a veiled warning, to which Sissons replied with an “Ooh!”’

A week after this interview, I went into work and picked up my mail from my pigeon hole. Among the envelopes was a small Jiffy Bag, which I opened. It contained a substantial amount of faeces wrapped in several sheets of toilet paper.

At the time no other interviewers on the BBC — or indeed on ITV News or Channel Four News — had asked questions about climate change which didn’t start from the assumption that the science was settled.

I’m glad to say that more recently a number of colleagues have started to tiptoe on to the territory that was for so long off-limits. After the abortive Copenhagen climate ­summit and the Climategate scandal at the University of East Anglia, a questioning note was injected into some BBC reports. But even then, leading ‘sceptics’ were still generally regarded with disdain and kept at arm’s length.


The Horrid Ms. Browner

By Alan Caruba

The announced departure of Carol Browner as President Obama’s climate “czar” is very good news for America, given her long record of contempt for the truth regarding “global warming” and a range of other Environmental Protection Agency initiatives when she served as former President Clinton’s director of the EPA.

The decision to leave could have been motivated to put some distance between herself and the White House to afford the President some political cover.

Whatever reason will be put forth for her leaving, the real reason is her justified concern that she will be summoned before a congressional committee to explain why, for example, she deliberately misled Americans during the BP oil spill, going on national television to say that most of the oil was gone. She cited a White House commission created to investigate the spill, implying that the scientist’s report had confirmed the need for a moratorium on oil drilling in the Gulf when, in fact, they had not supported it.

Browner has been a dedicated socialist, serving as a Commissioner of the Socialist International, an umbrella group for 170 “social democratic, socialist, and labor parties” in 55 nations. According to its “organizing document”, the SI cites capitalism as the cause of “devastating crisis”, “mass unemployment”, “imperialist expansion” and “colonial exploitation” worldwide. This is straight out of the Communist Manifesto.

When her role with SI was revealed, its website scrubbed her photo and evidence of her commission membership. No doubt several of Obama’s “czars” have shared similar views of capitalism. One, Van Jones, was forced to resign as the "Green Jobs Czar" when it was revealed he was a communist.

Obama’s election was, in effect, a socialist takeover of the executive branch of the U.S. government.

Browner’s dedication to the Big Lie of “global warming” goes back to her days when she served as then-Senator Al Gore’s legislative director from 1988 to 1988. Browner’s devotion to environmentalism resulted in her being named Florida’s Secretary of Environmental Regulation from 1991 to 1993. After the 1992 presidential election, she served as a transition director for Vice President-elect Gore.

Global warming is the assertion that the Earth is rapidly warming as the result of the buildup of “greenhouse gases”, most particularly carbon dioxide.

The “theory” is now totally discredited, but continues as justification for a variety of policies such as the administration’s emphasis on wind and solar energy, attacks on the coal and oil industries, and efforts that would drive up the cost of electricity to business, industry, and all consumers.

Browner is on record saying that global warming is “the greatest challenge ever faced” despite revelations in 2009 that the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had rigged the computer model's global temperature records to advance the fraud.

Global warming is the basis for the Cap-and-Trade legislation that was stalled in the Senate during the first half of Obama’s term. Since then, the EPA under Lisa Jackson, a Browner acolyte, has asserted that it intends to regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases. The EPA has no such authority under the Clean Air Act. Such regulations would have a devastating affect on the nation’s economy.

In December 1992, President-elect Bill Clinton named Browner as his choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency and she was confirmed by the Senate on January 21, 1993. She would become the longest-serving EPA director.

Despite a J.D. degree from the University of Florida College of Law in 1979, Browner has frequently shown a contempt for the law. In 1995, she used her position at the EPA to lobby more than a hundred grassroots environmental groups to oppose the Republican-led Congress’s regulatory initiatives to curb the EPA. In doing so, she violated the Anti-Lobbying Act. The Browner-led EPA was strongly rebuked by a bipartisan subcommittee of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee.

On her last day as EPA Director, Browner ordered a computer technician to delete all her computer files despite a federal judge’s order requiring the agency to preserve those files. It was later learned that three other high-ranking EPA officials had also violated the judge’s order. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth held the EPA in contempt of Congress in 2001.

During secret negotiations with auto industry executives on behalf of the Obama administration, Browner directed them “to put nothing in writing” as she orchestrated an agreement to increase federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFÉ) standards. Federal law requires officials to preserve documents concerning significant policy decisions.

In these and countless other unknown ways, Carol Browner has used the reins of power as EPA Director and later as President Obama’s climate advisor to assert EPA and government control over every aspect of the lives of Americans, limiting their choices, and in the process harming the nation’s economy.

Until the nation is released from the grip of such environmental/socialist zealots, its future remains in jeopardy.


Four people killed as U.S. east coast shivers in temperatures as low as -50F

At least four people died after an Arctic ice blast gripped large swathes of the eastern U.S. and sent temperatures plunging as low as a record -50F.

Brother and sister Joseph Cody, 12, and Grace Cody, nine, were killed when the ice pond they were sledding on gave way from underneath them in Southwest City, Missouri. In North Haven, Connecticut, 50-year-old Denise O'Hara is feared to have slipped and knocked herself unconscious on the driveway of her home late at night - neighbours found her frozen body the following morning. And in Lansford near Philadelphia Alan Kurtz, 49, died after sleeping in his car amid sub-zero temperatures.

All four were victims of the coldest weather to grip America this winter so far.

It is being caused by an Arctic blast from Canada has swept down through the Mid West and spread across more than 20 states in the North and East Coast. Temperatures were not expected to get above freezing anywhere affected but in Maine the wind chill could make it feel like -50F, a joint record.

The coldest temperature ever seen in Maine is -50F which has happened twice: a remote site in northern Maine recorded a minus 50F reading on Jan 16, 2009, that tied a 1933 record set in Bloomfield, Vermont for the coldest temperature recorded in New England. ‘This is the coldest air we’ve had in about two years,’ said Michael Hill, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Caribou.

Doctors warned that under such circumstances frostbite could set in in just 60 seconds. Even in warmer places such as New York, where temperatures could be -4F, the condition could begin in five minutes.

The deaths of Joseph and Grace Cody left the tiny farming community of Southwest City in shock with teachers describing them as ‘two of the brightest, most polite children they had dealt with’.

Such was the strength of feeling that residents carried out a candlelit vigil on Sunday night at the spot where they died Grace was in the ice and water for more than five hours before she was found, while her brother was pulled out after about an hour, said Southwest City Mayor Ryan McKee, a member of the volunteer fire department that responded to the scene. Both died later in hospital.

‘Things like this just don't happen here,’ said William Goodwin, owner of Ozark Funeral Home in the town, which has a population of just 850. Investigators in Philadelphia said it was unclear why Mr Kurtz spent the night in his car.

And in North Haven police were unable to explain how Miss O’Hara died, but it is thought that she may have perished from exposure to the freezing conditions.

The cold weather has led to teachers warning parents to make sure their children are bundled up on the school run so they don’t catch a cold. Commuters were also braced for travel chaos amid treacherous conditions and ice on the roads.

New York’s Central Park was expected to hit high of 24F but wind chills made daytime temperatures feel more like 3F to 7F The National Weather Service predicted a high of 19F on Monday, the coldest it's been in New York City since Jan 16, 2009, when the high was 16F. In the famous Bryant Park the fountains turned into giant blocks of ice whilst pictures of cars looked as if they had spent the night in a deep freezer.

In Pittsburgh, where the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the New York Jets in the NFL playoffs on Sunday evening, the temperature was about 13F at game time. Fans told ABC News that they wrapped up in six pairs of trousers and three coats to stay warm.


Australia: A pesky one for the Warmists

In their usual form, Warmists have been out in force blaming the recent Brisbane flood on global warming (e.g. here), quite ignoring the fact that Brisbane flooding has been happening since Brisbane was founded nearly 200 years ago.

They also allege that the world has warmed significantly in recent decades. That should mean that the recent flood was greater than previous floods. Since the previous flood, however, a conservative government built the huge "Wivenhoe" flood mitigation dam. So flood levels don't necessarily tell us much.

What DOES tell us something is the amount of rainfall. If global warming were the dark person in the woodpile, recent rains should have been a record high. They were not. The recent Brisbane rainfall was dwarfed by the amount of rain that fell during the previous flood 36 years ago

BRISBANE had more rainfall in the 1974 floods than it did in the latest episode, preliminary figures show. And rainfall during the 1893 floods may have dwarfed both the 1974 and 2011 events.

The weather bureau on Tuesday unveiled rainfall comparisons suggesting the city falls were relatively light compared with '74. But the inland falls that caused the flooding of the Brisbane River were extremely heavy. The bureau stressed all data was not yet complete.

But weather experts suggested "peak rainfalls from the 1974 event were substantially heavier than those in 2011". Brisbane's three-days and one-day totals were 600mm and 314mm in 1974, compared with 166mm and 110mm in 2011. "However, in 1974 the heaviest rains were closer to the coast whereas in 2011 heavy rains spread further inland," the bureau said.

Insufficient data exists for a comprehensive assessment of the 1893 floods. But what data the bureau has suggests 1893's rainfall was extreme. Crohamhurst in the Glass House Mountains, inland from the Sunshine Coast, received 907mm on February 3, 1893. That remains an Australian daily record.



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


25 January, 2011

Warming to produce FEWER extreme weather events

We focus on polar lows this week given an article that has appeared in Nature written by two scientists with Europe’s University of Reading and University of Hamburg. Zahn and von Storch begin their piece noting:

“Every winter, the high-latitude oceans are struck by severe storms that are considerably smaller than the weather-dominating synoptic depressions. Accompanied by strong winds and heavy precipitation, these often explosively developing mesoscale cyclones— termed polar lows—constitute a threat to offshore activities such as shipping or oil and gas exploitation. Yet owing to their small scale, polar lows are poorly represented in the observational and global reanalysis data often used for climatological investigations of atmospheric features and cannot be assessed in coarse-resolution global simulations of possible future climates”.

They fired up regional climate models and found they could reasonably accurately downscale the output and reproduce the basic climatology of the polar lows of the North Atlantic. Satisfied with those results, they then simulated what would happen to the polar lows under various future scenarios suggested by the IPCC. In their own words, they describe the results stating:

"In projections for the end of the twenty-first century, we found a significantly lower number of polar lows and a northward shift of their mean genesis region in response to elevated atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration. This change can be related to changes in the North Atlantic sea surface temperature and mid-troposphere temperature; the latter is found to rise faster than the former so that the resulting stability is increased, hindering the formation or intensification of polar lows. Our results provide a rare example of a climate change effect in which a type of extreme weather is likely to decrease, rather than increase."

We were caught a bit off guard by that final sentence in the abstract. While it is true that a decline in the number of polar lows is an example of a type of exteme event that is projected to decline under a warming climate, we were a bit suprised by Zahn and von Stroch’s assertion about how unusual it is to find any type of extreme weather phenomenon that is expected to decrease rather than increase. If you look through our back pages, you will find dozens of examples in which we show theoretical modeling studies and/or empirical studies predicting or showing no change or even a decline in everything from hurricanes to tornados to heavy rain events to blizzards. The most recent IPCC assessment states on page 308 “Observational evidence for changes in small-scale severe weather phenomena (such as tornadoes, hail and thunderstorms) is mostly local and too scattered to draw general conclusions”.

We conducted a web search on “Global Warming and Extreme Weather” and found over 600,000 sites almost universally insisting that global warming will increase extreme weather events all over the world. We would never deny that the scientific literature contains many articles that indeed support this assertion, and predicting an increase in extreme weather events is certain to attract a lot of media coverage. As we have shown repeatedly in our essay series, the literature is alive with articles predicting or showing no change in extreme weather events throughout the world. These articles are certainly more difficult to publish (predicting or showing no change is a tough sell to reviewers and/or editors), and they tend to receive no press coverage whatsoever. Like it or not, predicting no change in extreme weather is simply not going to sell newspapers anytime soon.


Five Reasons the Planet May Not Be Its Hottest Ever

Global warming is in full swing, say some of the world's climatologists. Or is it? On Thursday the U.N.'s weather agency announced that 2010 was a milestone, the warmest year on record, in a three-way tie with 2005 and 1998. "The 2010 data confirm the Earth's significant long-term warming trend," said Michel Jarraud, the World Meteorological Organization's top official. He added that the ten warmest years after records began in 1854 have all occurred since 1998.

But how reliable is the data? Here are five good reasons some scientists are skeptical of these claims.

1. Where does the data come from? Average temperatures globally last year were 0.95 degrees Fahrenheit (0.53 Celsius) higher than the 1961-90 mean that is used for comparison purposes, according to the WMO -- a statement based on three climate data sets from U.K. and U.S. weather agencies. They gather readings from land-based weather and climate stations, ships and buoys, and satellites -- and they've come under dramatic scrutiny in recent years.

The land data is being challenged extensively by Anthony Watt on his website. Watts recently graded 61% of the stations used to measure temperature with a D -- for being located less than 10 meters from an artificial heating source. Many climate skeptics also take issue with NASA and NOAA, the U.S. agencies that gather U.S. climate data, but also manipulate and "normalize" it.

Satellite data is arguably the most accurate way to measure temperature. Roy Spencer, a climatologist and former NASA scientist, takes issue with the way that data is normalized and adjusted, instead presenting raw, unadjusted data on his website. The WMO does not use this data.

Watts pointed to a new, peer-reviewed paper that looks at the reliability of the land-based sensor network, concluding that "it is presently impossible to quantify the warming trend in global climate."

2. There's less ice is in the oceans. Or more. Or something. The WMO report notes that Arctic sea-ice cover in December 2010 was the lowest on record, with an average monthly extent of 12 million square kilometers, 1.35 million square kilometers below the 1979-2000 average for December. The agency called it the third-lowest minimum ice extent recorded in September.

In fact, the overall sea-ice record shows virtually no change throughout the past 30 years, argued Lord Monckton, a British politician, journalist, and noted skeptic of global warming. He points out that "the quite rapid loss of Arctic sea ice since the satellites were watching has been matched by a near-equally rapid gain of Antarctic sea ice."

When the summer Arctic sea ice reached its lowest point in the 30-year record in mid-September 2007, just three weeks later the Antarctic sea extent reached a 30-year record high, Monckton said.

3. El Niño has been playing havoc with temperatures. Over the ten years from 2001 to 2010, global temperatures have averaged 0.46°C (0.83°F) above the 1961-1990 average, the report points out, calling these measurements "the highest ever recorded for a 10-year period since the beginning of instrumental climate records." The WMO notes that warming has been especially strong in Africa, parts of Asia, and parts of the Arctic.

Of course temperatures are up, said Joe Bastardi, a meteorologist with Accuweather: It's El Niño, stupid.

"El Niños cause spikes up. La Niñas drop it down," Bastardi told "Why have we gone up overall in the past 30 years? Because we've been in a warm cycle in the Pacific," he said. "But the tropical Pacific has cooled dramatically, and it's like turning down your thermostat -- it takes a while, but the house will cool."

Japan's Meteorological Agency agrees with Bastardi's conclusion, stating recently that "it can be presumed that the high temperatures in recent years have been influenced by natural climate fluctuations with the periods ranging from several years to several decades," as well as by greenhouse gases including CO2.
"This year’s warming can also be attributable to an El Niño event which lasted from summer 2009 to spring 2010," the agency said.

4. Besides, it's getting chilly. 2010 may have been a warm year, but 2011 has been off to a very cold start -- and may be among the coldest in decades.

"December 2010 was the second-coldest December in the entire history dating back to 1659," noted Steve McIntyre, a climate scientist and the editor of climate blog Climate Audit. He bases his claim on data from the longest continuous record in the world, kept by The Met Office, the U.K.'s official weather agency.

It's an odd fact, one Bastardi thinks is telling. He said that the transition from the El Niño warming period into the La Niña cooling period will herald a crash of global temperatures, normalizing world heat levels -- especially when analyzed via Spencer's satellite data charts.

"If we look at the last 30 years, then the coming 30 years will cool back to where we were in the late 70s," he said. "Look at it this way. Suppose you didn't have a scale until 3 weeks ago. Every day for the last 3 weeks you weigh yourself and you are 175 or so. One morning you are 175.1 How much weight have you gained?"
You're the heaviest you have ever been, right? "If you weren't weighing yourself before, or were using a different scale, can you really say this is the heaviest ever?" he asked.

5. Forecasts are often wrong. Predicting the weather -- especially a decade or more in advance -- is unbelievably challenging. In 2000, a scientist with the Met Office's Climatic Research Unit declared that within ten years, snowfall would be "a very rare and exciting event."

And in 1970 at the first Earth Day event, one researcher predicted that the planet would be 11 degrees colder by the year 2000. recently compiled eight of the most egregiously mistaken predictions, and asked the predictors to reflect on what really happened.


Warmists New Claim: Little Ice Age Caused By American Settlers

Can you imagine what it would be like if scientists were discussing the deaths of millions, not in terms of moral outrage, but rather the effect on reducing Co2 emissions?

If you follow the news on global warming, you’ll have noticed an increasing trend towards studies that try and show a link between historical events and climactic changes, inevitably blaming them (somehow) on mankind in general.

Yet another one of these studies has just been released from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Laussane of Switzerland, which suggests that the little ice age can be blamed on the early American settlers:
a significant decrease in emissions began in the 16th century – the one which would herald the minor ice age. Jed Kaplan has an audacious hypothesis to explain the dip in the data curve: “Thanks to the reports of the early explorers, we know that the forests were less abundant on the American continent. Then the settlers gradually eliminated the indigenous population.” Threatened with extinction, these populations effectively deserted the forested areas, which – by taking up the carbon in the atmosphere – in turn set off the legendary frosts of the 19th century. “Of course, it’s only a hypothesis”, he concludes, “but given the data we have gathered, it’s entirely plausible”.

So let me get this straight: Dr Jed Kaplan is arguing that the early American settlers turned up, started driving the natives off the land. Once the natives had been eliminated, the forests started to regrow, thus cooling the world and causing the Little Ice Age. Is that it?

This is not a new argument. As I’ve already pointed out on this website, the historian Edward Gibbon was making essentially the same argument hundreds of years ago.

What’s disturbing about this trend, though, is that it appears to be neo-Malthusianism by the back door. These studies are reported by the warmists in such a way that massive depopulation by death is a good thing, and civilization a bad thing, at least in terms of Co2 emissions:
The results of this research tell a very different story from that which has been circulating up until now. They show, for example, a first major boom in carbon emissions already 2000 years before our era, corresponding to the expansion of civilizations in China and around the Mediterranean.

Certain historical events, almost invisible in the preceding models, show up strongly in the data produced by the scientists. A good example is the re-growth of the forests as a consequence of the fall of the Roman Empire. The Black Death, a plague which resulted in the death of more than a third of the European population, also led to a fall in carbon emissions.

See what I mean? The birth of civilization around the Mediterranean and in China is seen as leading to a “major boom in carbon emissions” whereas the fall of the Roman Empire is seen as a “good example” of how forests lead to carbon uptake. The black death, which wiped out around a third of the population of Europe is seen as having “led to a fall in carbon emissions”.

I’m not trying to imply that Dr Kaplan wants a massive die-off of humans to help combat global warming, far from it. What I am bemoaning, though, is the way that the deaths of millions and millions of human beings are discussed coldly and clinically solely in terms of their effect on carbon emissions. There is no mention of plague, collapse or genocide being a ‘tragedy’ or an ‘outrage’.

Can you imagine if, instead of ancient or medieval history, these studies were discussing the Nazi genocide in terms of Co2 emissions? Would it be acceptable? Of course not. Because you can’t reduce people to carbon emissions and discuss, with clinical detachment, the death of millions as leading to “a fall in carbon emissions”. Can you?

Source (See the original for links)

Arctic cold forces school closings in upstate NY

Albany-to-New York City rail service is scheduled to return to normal Tuesday after being suspended because of the arctic cold.

Amtrak shut down its Empire Service between New York City and Albany as a precaution Monday because some signals and switches were frozen. The Ethan Allen Express to Rutland, Vt., was also canceled. Trains to Montreal, Chicago and Toronto operated normally.

The Ethan Allen will run between Albany and New York City Tuesday, with buses carrying passengers between Albany and Rutland. And passengers on the route from Niagara Falls to New York should check for a schedule change involving one train.

The National Weather Service said early morning low temperatures reached double digits below zero across much of upstate New York.


Obama’s Green Economy Bag Men: Chief of Staff Bill Daley and GE CEO Jeff Immelt

The recent White House personnel shifts signal the kickoff of President Obama’s 2012 re-election bid. Of the many changes, the selection of Bill Daley as White House chief of staff and General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt as the head of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness are the most important because they will play a key fundraising role in the upcoming presidential campaign.

Choosing Daley and Immelt are not signs of political moderation by President Obama, as some have suggested, but is the stone cold political realization that the president needs big-business cash to fuel his 2012 campaign.

It’s been reported that Obama’s 2012 re-election bid will shatter the record $750 million in contributions collected during the 2008 campaign by reaching the billion dollar mark.

To raise that staggering amount of cash, Obama is going to need substantial support from corporate deep pockets. Big-business donors, such as CEOs, hedge fund managers and law firm partners typically are not ideologues seeking to advance a political philosophy but are pragmatists wanting to know how Obama’s policies can increase their influence, business strategies and wealth.

Translating Obama’s policy into business returns and campaign dollars will be job one for Daley. As a political and Wall Street insider, Daley has the contacts to make the sale but Obama’s rhetoric and policies has not endeared the president to the animal instincts of many big-business leaders.

There is, however, one policy that can galvanize the president’s fundraising base: Obama’s war on fossil fuels and his unyielding promotion of renewable energy and a green economy.

Billions of dollars invested in renewable energy are now in jeopardy because Congress did not pass Obama’s cap-and-trade plan, which would make energy derived from the burning of fossil fuels more expensive – or, as the president said, “skyrocket.” Because renewable energy can’t compete with the price and reliability of fossil fuels, the financial viability of these investments is dependent on government action to raise the cost of carbon-based energy.

At a recent policy forum at the Brookings Institution, GE CEO Jeff Immelt emphasized the importance of a government policy that would raise energy prices to spur renewable energy. According to Reuters, “On energy, Immelt said a clear U.S. policy making fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gasses more expensive is needed ‘to move the needle’ on accelerating advanced technology investments. ‘There has to be a price on carbon,’ he said.”

Daley and Immelt are the perfect team to appeal to other corporations that gambled on climate change fears and merge these interests with progressive activists, and the social and media elites to unleash the political donating frenzy for Obama’s re-election.

Before joining team Obama, Daley was the head of JPMorgan Chase's corporate social responsibility department, which developed a climate change policy that is hostile to carbon-based energy - coal, oil and natural gas. JPMorgan’s policy is “to advocate that the US government adopt a market-based national policy on greenhouse gas emissions, which includes all sources of emissions and is fair. Options include either a cap-and-trade or tax policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest possible cost.”

JPMorgan, like many other financial institutions, is banking on making money by trading carbon credits and by investing in renewable energy projects. GE and JPMorgan are not the only companies that have a business interest in seeking higher energy prices. Exelon, the Chicago-based utility, has taken a lead role in attacking coal-based electricity generation.

Exelon is a member of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a cap-and-trade lobbying organization, and the company was a recipient of a $200 million grant from Obama's economic stimulus plan.

Daley also has ties to Exelon – he advised the company on its failed effort to buy Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. in 2004.

The failure of California Proposition 23 last November shows the fundraising potential behind the war on fossil fuels. A collection of left-wing philanthropists, activist groups and business interests contributed over $30 million to defeat the measure, which would have delayed implementation of a state law mandating a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions until unemployment rates drop to a specific level.

Green technology venture capitalists John Doerr and Vinod Khosla gave $2,100,000 and $1,037,267, respectively, and PG&E, a California utility and USCAP member, kicked in another $500,000.

Doerr’s involvement deserves special attention. Along with Immelt, Doerr is a member of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. He also is Al Gore’s business partner.

The campaign to defeat Prop 23 reveals the money behind the war on fossil fuels. With billions of dollars invested in a green economy, we can expect huge sums of special interest money to back Obama.

As the 2012 presidential election draws closer, we can expect to see Daley and Immelt playing a major role in selling Obama’s green economy to those dependent on legislative fixes to their business plans.

Let’s hope the fossil fuel industry recognizes Obama’s new team is not going to be a moderating voice in the White House. Rather, Daley and Immelt will be green economy bag men collecting cash to put them out of business.



Three current articles below

Another huge "Green" hit on the pocket of the taxpayer

SHORTLY before Christmas, federal Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson announced seven proposals were being assessed for two spots in the first round of subsidies for large-scale solar power.

Though dwarfed by the waste demonstrated in the $42 billion Building the Education Revolution, the government's Solar Flagship program aims to provide $1.5bn to assist in the creation of intrinsically uneconomic large-scale solar electricity generation.

Infigen, created out of the carcass of Babcock & Brown, has received preliminary approval from the NSW government for a 100 megawatt capacity solar farm at Nyngan in the northwest of NSW, the cost of which is $300 million.

The simple arithmetic on the investment costs, assuming an 11 per cent return on capital, suggests the project would require its output to be sold at a price of more than $240 per megawatt hour if it were to be viable. But $240 per MWh is more than eightfold the average spot market price in the 2010-11 year to date. So how can the proposal be contemplated?

Well, first, it will receive a subsidy of about $80m from the financially beleaguered NSW government. In a triumph of hope over experience, the Keneally government hopes the project will "contribute to the development of the utility scale renewable energy industry in NSW". An ambitious Victorian solar scheme sponsored by the previous Labor government was to create a new industry and 10,000 jobs, but was mugged by reality and abandoned, with considerable loss to its commercial sponsor.

Second, the Nyngan proposal aims to get another $100m courtesy of the taxpayer from the commonwealth government. To earn an adequate return on the $120m of private capital invested would still require a wholesale market price for electricity of $100 per MWh, compared with the prevailing $30 to $40 price. To bridge the gap, there are further subsidies paid by the consumer as a result of government regulations.

The first of these is the renewable energy requirement, which compels energy retailers to incorporate a rising proportion of uneconomic renewable energy into our electricity supply. Under present legislation this proportion will be 20 per cent by 2020. To meet the commitment, the retailer has to buy Renewable Energy Certificates, which represent electricity supply that is not derived from any commercial supply source such as large-scale hydro. The REC price is presently low due to the overfulfilment of rooftop solar systems (another subsidised renewable scam), but if the REC price rises to $55 per MWh, large-scale solar power systems would start to look profitable if they could sell their electricity at $45 per MWh.

This is feasible since, as a result of the government-created risk of a carbon tax, there is precious little investment in new electricity generation from commercial sources. The upshot is that prices must inevitably rise for electricity as a whole. If they rise from the present (somewhat depressed) level of $30 per MWh to $60 per MWh, this would provide a cushion and allow a large-scale solar plant to turn a profit. Hence, to convert a $300m sow's ear that would produce electricity for a cost that is eightfold its value into a silk purse requires four waves of the governmental magic wand:

* A NSW government grant of $80m.

* A commonwealth Solar Flagship grant of $100m.

* The subsidy from the "20 per cent by 2020 renewable energy" requirement, which doubles the venture's returns.

* And, bringing home the proposal's bacon, the government-created risk of a carbon tax, which prevents new commercial supplies being built and is likely to increase the ex-generator national electricity price by about 50 per cent ($20 to $30 per MWh).

Government regulations and subsidies therefore leverage an investment with a market value of $30m to one that can be profitable at a cost of $300m. The Solar Flagships scheme may not be the most extravagant piece of government expenditure, but the "mere" $1.5bn it is budgeted to squander in taxpayer resources serves to illustrate just how inured we have all become to misused government spending. Moreover, combined with other government distortions of the marketplace, the Solar Flagships scheme is destabilising the commerciality of the electricity supply industry.

As such, it is undermining what was arguably the world's most efficient electricity supply industry, bringing adverse consequences directly to the consumer and to industry competitiveness.


An embarrassing $150 million "clean coal" flop

Two Bligh Government bureaucrats went on a $30,000 round-the-world trip to tell the world Queensland's $150 million clean coal dream was in tatters. In a final "sayonara" for the Japanese-backed ZeroGen project, Department of Economic Development associate director-general Dan Hunt and Queensland Treasury official Lloyd Taylor embarked on the 10-day business-class jaunt in late-October across Japan and the United States.

The move came only weeks before The Sunday Mail revealed in December the government would give ZeroGen to the coal industry and can its proposed $4.3 billion clean coal power plant in central Queensland after taxpayers pumped $150 million into the initiative.

However, there are conflicting claims for the purpose of the trip to Tokyo, New York and Washington DC. Mr Hunt yesterday said the $30,285 trip satisfied government guidelines and was designed to brief technology vendors, including representatives from ZeroGen backer Mitsubishi, personnel of other investors and government officials.

"(The briefings were about the) Government's future investment strategy in low-emission coal technologies and its implication for the ZeroGen and Wandoan Power projects," he said.

However, former premier Peter Beattie wrote in a newspaper column on October 23 the trip was held to try to sell ZeroGen. "The Queensland Government is now selling this project," Mr Beattie wrote. "Dan Hunt and a key Treasury officer have been dispatched this past week to Japan and US to begin negotiations for ZeroGen's sale."

However, this is contradicted by a departmental annual report released at the time which shows the government had already written off its portion of the $150 million investment as a loss.

ZeroGen sources have told The Sunday Mail the Tokyo leg of the trip was essentially to say sorry after it was thought damage had been done to the relationship with the state's key trading partner. "They went there to apologise to the Japanese," a source said. "The government was so rude to them by stuffing them around over the past year before finally abandoning the project."


Green scheme in the red

TAXPAYERS are spending millions of dollars to subsidise the electricity bills of Cate Blanchett's Sydney Theatre Company and replace in-room fridges with "green" Eskies on Heron Island.

Designed to demonstrate solar power and save water, the Gillard Government has spent $15 million on the Green Precinct program at just a dozen "high profile" demonstration projects.

They include a grant of $1.2 million towards the Sydney Theatre Company's Greening The Wharf project that will reduce energy costs by just $100,000 a year. The total program cost is $5 million.

The cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is sky high under the scheme compared to the Government's failed bid to introduce an emissions trading scheme with a carbon price of around $30 a tonne. Based on the projected savings under the scheme, the Opposition estimates the Green Precincts Fund comes with an estimated price tag of $2022 per tonne of carbon dioxide saved.

Coalition spokesman on Scrutiny of Government, Jamie Briggs said: "If there is a more expensive way of delivering a government program this Labor Government will find it." "While Australians are wrestling with increased power bills, Labor is finding new ways to burn money."

First announced in the 2008 Federal Budget, the projects are designed to save 142 megalitres of water and 9 million kilowatt hours of energy.

The scheme has proven a winner for lucky recipients including the Sydney Theatre Company, whose general manager Patrick McIntyre confirmed he hoped to slash the company's $140,000-a-year electricity bill by 70 per cent.

The Department of Sustainability disputed the Coalition's calculations on the cost of the scheme in terms of the cost of carbon abatement per tonne, but was unable to provide its own estimate. A spokeswoman said, for example, if the Sydney Theatre Company saved 555 tonnes per year over 20 years, the cost per tonne would be $108 per tonne, not $2162.


* Sydney Theatre Company: For solar power and rainwater harvesting: $1.2 million (Expected to save $98,000 a year on power bills during next decade . total investment of $5 million)

* Wide Bay Water Corporation of Heron Island: To generate solar power and 'replace in-room refrigeration with coolers' at the Heron Island resort: $1.29 million

* Blue Mountains Sustainable Precinct: For rainwater harvesting and rooftop rain gardens: $1.5 million

* Perth's Shire of Peppermint Grove's Library Project: Rainwater harvesting, climate-sensitive building design, including thermal maze and double glazing: $1.5 million

* Essendon Football Club: $1.5 million

* Australian National University: $1 million



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


24 January, 2011

The original Moonbat in 2002

Are you beginning to feel starved? No? Well you will next year, so there! Or so said gorgeous George in 2002. No wonder the Green/Left hate history. George is revealed as yet another false prophet

In a recent article George Monbiot lambasted his opponents (and to be fair, they are legion) for claiming that many of his fellow greenies were anti-human and spouted hate-filled rhetoric. "The great majority of greens are powerfully motivated by a concern for social justice, and recognise that if we don't defend our life-support systems, humanity will suffer grievously" he wrote sententiously.

Really? Let's examine that claim. In fairness to Monbiot, rather than picking someone from the green movement at random we'll restrict ourselves to people whom Monbiot himself relies on when writing his articles.

Back in 2002, Monbiot warned us of a meat-apocalypse by as soon as 2012:
Within as little as 10 years, the world will be faced with a choice: arable farming either continues to feed the world's animals or it continues to feed the world's people. It cannot do both.

The impending crisis will be accelerated by the depletion of both phosphate fertiliser and the water used to grow crops. Every kilogram of beef we consume, according to research by the agronomists David Pimental and Robert Goodland, requires around 100,000 litres of water. Aquifers are beginning the run dry all over the world, largely because of abstraction by farmers.

And it wasn't just eating meat, that Monbiot was demanding we ditch - "vegetarians who continue to consume milk and eggs scarcely reduce their impact on the ecosystem". As the title puts it, "Vegans were right all along". Give up meat, eggs, cheese, butter and milk, or we'll all be starving within as little as ten years, he warned.

100,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilogram of beef is a big claim - so who is Monbiot relying on for his argument here? He cites "agronomists Robert Goodland and David Pimental". And who is David Pimental? He is a professor at Cornell University, an environmentalist and, according to the SPLC and others, an anti-immigrant campaigner.

The anti-racist organisation, the Center for New Community, notes that Pimental was at the centre of attempts to comandeer the respectable conservationist outfit, the Sierra Club to turn it into an anti-immigrant organisation:
By the 2004 Sierra Club elections, SUSPS needed to elect only three additional candidates to the board in order to control the organization and impose its anti-immigration plank. Its three main candidates were Richard D. Lamm, national advisor to Tanton's Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR); Frank Morris, board member of Tanton's Center for Immigration Studies; and David Pimental, board member of the Carrying Capacity Network whose president, Virginia Abernethy, described herself as a "white separatist."

Pimental is an advisor to "Progressives for Immigration Reform" as well as being a board member of the Carrying Capacity Network, which the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) describes as a "hate group". Pimental was listed by the SPLC in its report "Greenwash: Nativists, Environmentalism, and the Hypocrisy of Hate" as one of the "Key Groups and Individuals" of concern.

Pimental gladly works with racists, Malthusians and people who defend Holocaust deniers -is this the sort of person Monbiot really wants to be getting his information from?

No matter, because as 2012 meat-apocalypse day drew near, Monbiot threw his ideology into reverse gear and reversed his edict on veganism. Echoing the contemptuous "Let them eat cake" quip of pre-revolutionary France, Monbiot now decreed "let them eat meat" - and admitted that his 2002 claim on the end of meat-eating was total BS:
Like many greens I have thoughtlessly repeated the claim that it requires 100,000 litres of water to produce every kilogram of beef. Fairlie shows that this figure is wrong by around three orders of magnitude. It arose from the absurd assumption that every drop of water that falls on a pasture disappears into the animals that graze it, never to re-emerge. A ridiculous amount of fossil water is used to feed cattle on irrigated crops in California, but this is a stark exception.

At least Monbiot admitted that in this case he was wrong "by about three orders of magnitude" - hopefully when the global warming theory is finally seen to be bogus he will feel capable of issuing a similar mea culpa.

Monbiot is not a racist. He is not even a neo-Malthusian. But in his eagerness to impose austerity on everyone, he gets taken in by the arguments of those who are. It's why he earnestly believed the patently ludicrous claim that it took 100,000 litres of water to make 1 kilogram of beef, a risible claim that anyone not ideologically blinded would instantly dismiss as nonsense, as he himself was forced to do as 2012 approached.

More HERE (See the original for links)

No Matter What Happens, It Is Due To Global Warming
For years, scientists have recorded the gradual march of plants and animals up mountain slopes and toward higher latitudes as global warming has forced them to chase their climatic comfort zones.

A new study suggests that for plants, however, a warming climate can send them downhill as well


UK Government Goes MAD: Plans to Airlift Fish to "Cope With Global Warming"

The British Government appears to have been poisoned with LSD or a similar hallucinogen, and has announced that it will be releasing more than ONE HUNDRED reports on how it intends to cope with global warming.

The first of the reports, due to be released later this week, will lay out plans - apparently in all seriousness - to airlift fish from areas like the lake district hundreds of miles north to Scotland. As The Ministry of Truth reports:
Fish from the Lake District will be moved to cooler waters in Scotland under radical plans - which will be unveiled this week - aimed at coping with climate change.

The first seven of more than 100 reports by government agencies and utility companies will set out how Britain needs to change to cope with hotter summers and wetter winters. They will highlight the risks - and potential costs - of more landslides, buckled railway lines, crumbling water pipes and rising sea levels threatening lighthouses around the coast. Officials say the studies are needed because levels of carbon emissions mean climate change over the next four decades is unavoidable

You have to marvel at the complete circularity of the reasoning presented by this palpably barking mad idea. This is necessary because it's going to get very hot - and why is it going to get very hot? Because of the amount of carbon dioxide being released.

Thus, even though temperatures in the UK have shown no discernible change from normal, despite Co2 emissions going up and up, the government is spending a fortune in taxpayer's money to fund 100 reports on how we're going to cope. Madness.


NASA extremist advocates U.S. decline

Radical green James Hansen pushes Chinese war on American economy

Imagine if a former military officer, a traditional-values conservative now an attache at the State Department, wrote for a largely foreign audience to urge an international boycott of U.S. goods. The aim was to ruin the American economy to protest the new policy of allowing open homosexuality in the armed forces. Media outlets and politicians would be screaming for his dismissal. Free speech is one thing, but nobody on the taxpayer dole in a position of responsibility would be allowed to call for the destruction of our economy. One way or another, the man would be forced out.

Now consider James E. Hansen, director of the taxpayer-funded NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Last week, blogger Marc Morano discovered a Nov. 24 blog post by Mr. Hansen calling on China to lead an international effort to impose fees on carbon-dioxide emissions, then lead the World Trade Organization to allow import fees on goods from any county - with the U.S. being the target - without such fees. The goal would be to punish America, causing "continual descent into second-rate and third-rate economic well-being," until the "fossil-money- 'democracy'" no longer "rules the roost in Washington." Mr. Hansen also praised communist Chinese leadership for "tak[ing] the long view ... in contrast to the West with its [lamentably] short election cycles."

This blog-burst followed a Hansen trip to the Middle Kingdom, where he wrote similar columns for Chinese newspapers. This is part of a continuing pattern of behavior that could be in violation of ethical rules for civil servants. On Wednesday, the Environmental Law Center of the American Tradition Institute filed a lengthy Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request suggesting Mr. Hansen's office has countenanced employment and honoraria receipts, without legally required waivers, outside of taxpayer-funded jobs. The FOIA request also sought apparently missing "statement* of conflicts of interest by James E. Hansen" and "any internal discussion of any cautions or warnings of actual or possible disciplinary action" involving Mr. Hansen.

His anti-democracy disposition is real. Mr. Hansen supports American courts forcing carbon-dioxide limits on the public without presidential or congressional action. A year ago, he endorsed "Time's Up" by Keith Farnish, who argued, "The only way to prevent global ecological collapse and thus ensure the survival of humanity is to rid the world of Industrial Civilization." The book considers "razing cities to the ground ... along with an (almost certainly necessary) element of sabotage."

U.S. taxpayers shouldn't have to pay the salary of an anti-American loose cannon like Mr. Hansen.


British public sceptical of all-electric cars

THE electric car revolution is unlikely to get out of first gear any time in the near future, motor dealers in Britain have warned.

The slow uptake is forecast despite the promise of tens of millions of pounds in government subsidies.

Senior figures at the Retail Motor Industry Federation said that battery-driven electric vehicles were causing anxiety over their range, the lack of charging infrastructure in place and because of their cost - starting at about œ24,000 ($38,800) even after a œ5000 government incentive.

Paul Williams, chairman of the RMI, said: "At a meeting with dealer groups last week, I was particularly disappointed at the lack of involvement from the motor industry in general with the retail sector in promoting the case for electric cars to consumers.

"There is a distinct lack of awareness by the consumer of this product group, which, given the opportunity, the motor retailers could enhance substantially."

Rob Foulston, the RMI's chief executive, said: "If the range of the average production electric vehicle is only 100 miles (161k), then we are still a long way off a mass market consumer proposition.

"The long-awaited battery-driven Nissan Leaf is due in dealerships in March and Peugeot's iOn has already been soft-launched. However, all-electric cars look likely to be superseded by the next generation of plug-in hybrids, such as the Toyota Auris and the Chevrolet Volt.

"These cars use petrol to extend the vehicle range to hundreds of miles. Last autumn, the coalition cut the Labour Government's pledge of œ230m in support for electric car subsidies to œ43m. It plans to review the scheme next January.


Water, Water Everywhere...Except for California's Farms

By Tom McClintock, House Chamber, Washington, D.C., speaking January 19, 2011

Mr. Speaker:

The Department of Interior issued an announcement yesterday that perfectly illustrates the irrationality of our current approach to water issues.

California's precipitation this season has gone off the charts. Statewide snow water content is 198 percent of normal; in the all-important Northern Sierra snowpack is 174 percent of normal. This is not only a wet year - it is one of the wettest years on record.

Yet yesterday, we have this announcement from the Department of the Interior: that despite a nearly unprecedented abundance of water, the Bureau of Reclamation will only guarantee delivery of 45 percent of the California Central Valley's contracted water supply south of the Delta. This is the same percentage they received last year with barely average rainfall.

This is of crucial importance to the entire nation, since the Central Valley of California is one of the largest producers of our nation's food supply. California produces half of the U.S.-grown fruits, nuts and vegetables on the nation's grocery shelves and the prices you pay are directly affected by the California harvest.

The deliberate decision by this administration in 2009 and 2010 to divert hundreds of billions of gallons of water away from the Central Valley destroyed a quarter million acres of the most productive farmland in America, it threw tens of thousands of families into unemployment and it affected grocery prices across the country.

At the time, the administration blamed a mild drought, but never explained why a drought justified their decision to pour 200 billion gallons of water (that we did have) directly into the Pacific Ocean. In a rational world a drought means that you are more careful not to waste the water that you have.

The real reason for this irrational policy, of course, is that they were indulging the environmental Left's pet cause, a three-inch minnow called the Delta Smelt. Diverting precious water to Delta Smelt habitat was considered more important than producing the food that feeds the country and preserving the jobs that produce the food.

But that issue is now moot. This year we have nearly twice the normal water supply at this point in the season, and yet the Department of Interior will allow only 45 percent of normal water deliveries to California Central Valley agriculture south of the Delta. The difference comes to 1.1 million acre-feet of water. 1.1 million acre feet. Now consider this: since December 1st, the Central Valley Project has released 1.4 million acre feet more water into the Pacific Ocean than they did just last year.

Let me repeat that. At the same time this Administration is denying California Central Valley agriculture 1.1 million acre feet of their rightfully contracted water in one of the wettest years on record, it is dumping 1.4 million acre feet of additional water into the Pacific Ocean.

M. Speaker, this is insane. Coleridge's lament "Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink" appears to have become the policy of this administration. The American people did not invest billions of dollars into federal water projects so that their water can be dumped into the ocean to please environmental extremists. This policy may have been cheered by the previous Congress, but it won't be tolerated by the new majority, nor by the American people.

There was a time when the principal objective of our federal water policy was to assure an abundance of water to support a growing population and a flourishing economy. But in recent years, a radical and retrograde ideology has taken root in our public policy, abandoning abandoned abundance as the objective of our water policy and replacing it with the government rationing of government-created shortages.

I cannot imagine a more disturbing example of this ideology at work than the announcement yesterday by the Department of Interior. Even faced with a super-abundance of water, they are determined to create and then to ration water shortages.

The American people expect better and they deserve better. They deserve a government dedicated to restoring jobs, prosperity and abundance - all of which is well within our reach - if we will simply reverse the folly that was on full display with yesterday's announcement.

Ironically, this announcement came on the same day that the President ordered his agencies to identify regulatory policies that are harming the economy. Mr. Speaker, it appears the Department of Interior missed that memo.


Some Australian criticism of the windmill craze at last

One of Australia's most successful company receivers is taking on the proponents of a $400 million wind farm development that plans to place turbines taller than the Sydney Harbour Bridge overlooking his rural getaway on the NSW southern tablelands.

"It started out as a NIMBY (not in my back yard) issue, but it is now much more than that," said Tony Hodgson, who co-founded the insolvency specialist Ferrier Hodgson, which has handled some of Australia's highest-profile corporate collapses, including One.Tel and Laurie Connell's Rothwells Ltd. Ferrier Hodgson also pursued Christopher Skase for his missing millions and more recently was the receiver for the failed logistics group Allco.

Mr Hodgson is no stranger to a protracted fight. He was chairman of the Melbourne Port Authority during the 1998 waterfront dispute between Patrick Ltd and the Maritime Union of Australia. "My position in life is I thought Genghis Khan was a bit of a piker so I am out there," Mr Hodgson said.

Hodgson bought his property in Collector, about 30km west of Goulburn, five years ago and said he learned of plans for a 160-megawatt, 80-tower wind farm in October.

He has launched a furious campaign against wind farm proponent Transfield Services, the state government and his absentee neighbour, a Double Bay cafe owner who has agreed to host some of the proposed wind towers in exchange for lease payments estimated at $1m a year for 20 years.

Since Mr Hodgson started his campaign, Transfield has been forced to disclose, belatedly, about $39,000 in political donations that it failed to report when it lodged its development application.

Mr Hodgson's lawyers have referred Transfield's non-disclosure to the Independent Commission Against Corruption after NSW Planning Minister Tony Kelly declined to do so. Mr Kelly said he was "satisfied" that Transfield's failure to disclose the donations with its project application on September 17 last year did not indicate "corrupt conduct". Transfield has rejected any suggestions of impropriety.

Mr Kelly has announced he will not consider the Transfield application -- as is his right under the special project status given to wind farms -- and will instead refer it to the Planning Assessment Commission for assessment. This has been claimed as a significant victory by those who object to the wind farm proposal.

Meanwhile, lawyers acting for Mr Hodgson have advised his neighbour that the businessman may sue him for loss of amenity and reduced property value if the wind farm goes ahead.

Mr Hodgson has formed a Friends of Collector group to lobby against the development. He has organised a community meeting this weekend at which Sarah Laurie, from the Waubra Foundation, will talk about her research into the health impacts of wind farms on nearby residents.

Opponents of the wind farm are planning to erect a giant billboard alongside the Federal Highway at Collector tomorrow that says "Transfield. Go stick your 80 turbines somewhere else. Try Sydney".

Mr Hodgson said he did not want the Collector wind farm to go ahead but, if it did, Transfield should be forced to make payments to the local community on a dollar-for-dollar basis on what it was paying landholders who had sold the right to host the turbines. He said the company should also be forced to lodge a bond of $200m to cover the cost of decommissioning the wind turbines at the end of their life.

Opponents want the state government to scrap the Part 3a provisions that give wind farms special project status, and exempt them from normal planning rules and land and environment court oversight.

They also want an inquiry into the environmental and economic value of wind farms and an inquiry into the health impacts of living near them. Transfield's preliminary environmental assessment says there would be a minimum 1km buffer between the wind towers and non-involved residences. The company said it was anticipated that only five non-involved residences would be within 2km of the nearest turbine.

Mr Hodgson said the size of the towers and blades -- at 150m, taller than the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge from the water level -- meant the visual impact was far-reaching. "My view is there should also be a register of easement that shows up on all the adjoining land," Mr Hodgson said. "My position would be if I knew there was going to be a wind farm here I would not have bought it five years ago. I could have gone anywhere."

The Collector protests reflect widespread concern in rural communities where wind farms are being proposed.

The wind industry has dismissed concerns it is being self-interested and has research that shows 80 per cent of residents in areas where wind farms have been proposed support the developments. However, a survey of Collector residents who claim they will be immediately affected by the wind towers has produced the opposite result.

Community opposition to wind farms is a global issue. At a future energy conference in Abu Dhabi this week, Morten Albaek, senior vice-president of Denmark-based wind turbine maker Vestas, said the industry had underestimated the NIMBY syndrome. "The not-in-my-backyard syndrome is strong and driving the political decision-making," Mr Albaek said.

He said he believed the wind industry must provide more information to communities. "There are too many rumours and conspiracy theories about wind power plants and we as an industry are doing too little to fight them," he said.



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


23 January, 2011

Warmists seeing what they want to see

There is a post at the Warmist "Real Climate" site in which they compare predicted warming with actual temperatures so far. There is some match between the two so the post and the comments on it ooze self-satisfaction.

A comment by Doug Proctor rather pricks that balloon, however. He points out that the absolute degree of warming shown in the 30 years of data that they use is quite small and just what you would expect of the long term warming that was going on long before the period usually pointed to by Warmists. So there has been some warming in recent years but no sign of an anthropogenic signal.

Proctor's comment is reproduced below. Gavin Schmidt added a reply to it but did not address the low magnitude of the warming. "CAGW" means "Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming"

Comment 51

"In your graph of temperature measurements vs model projections, you discuss Scenario B, while it appears that Scenario C is almost identical to HadCrut3 and GisTemp. All three are about 0.185K/decade. Is this not the general trend from 1900, and considered a reflection of natural warming coming out of the LIA?

The CAGW worry I have is based on 3K/century. I expected that we would be in the acccelerating >2.0K/century by now, 22 years after the 1988 initiation of the concerns. At any rate, while global warming is certainly still occurring, doesn’t your graph here suggest that there is only a “background” type of warming going on, the non-feedback type that we thought would be such a problem?

I’m also confused by the comparison between the temperature graphs and the ocean warming graphs, certainly by the Lyman portion of the ocean heating graph. If the oceans take up and hold the heat so much more than the atmosphere, and then warm the atmosphere because the oceans are warmer, why do the two trends of ocean heat and atmospheric temperature not follow each other? Up to 2002 the Lyman measurements match, as if the ocean and atmosphere were in equilibrium. Then they diverge, and do so from the other data compliers’. Did Lyman’s methodology change in 2002?

Rather than support the CAGW, this post seems to support global warming of a moderate level, but not of a disastrous level. The Lyman divergence is very odd. It is possible that Lyman is measuring a transfer of oceanic heat from warm waters to cool waters through circulation changes than increased retention of solar energies?"

Astrophysicist Piers Corbyn on the claim that 2010 was unusually warm

"The Claim 2010 is '2nd warmest year on record' - is delusional, irrelevant & disingenuous – the last gasp of the failed global warming cult”

"The latest claims about World average temperatures by Government Weather organizations around the World such as UK MetOffice, apart from being contrary to the actual experience of the majority of the world population – notably USA, Europe, IndoChina and South America, raise four points.

1. "The originators of this data are the same people and organizations who were caught fiddling data in the ‘ClimateGate’ affair,” said Piers. "The various whitewash enquiries arranged to cover-up their vandalisation of the scientific method cannot dodge the question:

WHY is there a statistically highly significant systematic inverse relationship between the number of stations they selected for ‘official’ use and the average temperatures resulting? What average temperature would result from the 62% of stations they removed since around the 1960s - which had the coldest temperature averages and the highest number of stations - up to the present decade - which is officially the warmest and has the least number of stations?

Anyone with a brain can see that this systematic connection means that either temperature is magically determined by the number of stations or there has been systematic selecting of data which is best described as data fraud”, said Piers.

"This question requires an international inquiry which is independent of any of the organizations involved in this data creation. (See See slide 9 in presentation here and here)

2. "The experience of EXTREME cold for prolonged periods this year in a number of parts of the world – such as Britain, West Europe, most of the USA and much of South America (to name just a few) and the inane ‘cold is warm’ incantations, show the world average supposed extra warmth (which only exceeds the coldest year of the decade under their figures by 0.12 degree C - less than one quarter of a degree F) - is of no consequence or forecasting value whatsoever to man or beast.

A one quarter of a degree F increase in world average temperatures whether real or fraudulent has no bearing on whether or not a blizzard will hit Connecticut; any more than a world population rise CAUSES more babies to be born in Birmingham” said Piers.

3. "The innuendo that this supposed ‘warmest year’ is somehow the driver of extreme events is baseless anti-science. It is no accident that the Met Office, BBC and New York Times / Guardian / Independent etc put forward various descriptions of circulation patterns such as La Nina as a cause of the things these phenomena describe and then pop-in that 2010 was the warmest year as if there were a connection.

Why not tell us there is a Royal wedding this year, that would be more interesting. The only connection is their desperation to save their failed cult ideology.

ALL the global warmist predictions since 2000 have failed and the OPPOSITE types of extremes (floods, supercold and blizzards) to their predictions (droughts, warm winters and the end-of-snow) have occurred, so their warmist (or warm is cold) explanations for extreme events are as useless as saying "Wet days cause rain”.

If weather were just entertainment this would not matter but their refusal to accept their total failure forces up energy and food prices through low carbon cult measures and holds back real science which directly prevents governments and authorities from applying useful forecasts which can reduce suffering and save lives.

People have died on UK and Europe’s roads through lack of winter salting due to Met Office failed warmist winter forecasts and Australian floods are worse because the Govt cut dam projects under Green ‘expect droughts’ advice. The Global warming cult ideology is reducing living standards and causing needless suffering and death, and must be stopped.”

4. The real causes of extreme weather were known and their results predicted: The very extreme weather events around the world last year and this year are caused by solar-lunar DRIVEN ‘sticking’ of the normal motions of the jet streams in the North and South hemisphere and of the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).

(i) Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction warned in June 2010 that such sticking and consequent SEVERE EXTREMES would be consequent to PREDICTABLE solar-lunar effects in periods to follow which we now expect will be years and he specifically correctly predicted:

(ii) The West Russian heatwave and when it would end to the day (along with the ending of the associated superfloods in Pakistan) driven by events on the sun – See link of the double sunspot solar explosion (video) and subsequent thunderstorms in St Petersburg Aug 15th 2010 - Will the warmists tell us that solar flares are caused by CO2 on Earth?!

(iii) That Britain (Central England) would have the coldest December for 100 years. NB The UK Met Office had said on their web in October that winter would be mild and then when it was cold claimed they had actually said it would be cold while their website still carried the chart published in October which stated it would be mild Yet THESE same people expect us to believe their world temperature data is worth a dime!


Yes, Virginia, A Climate Cover-Up

Democrats in Virginia are trying to stop their attorney general from probing climate fraud carried out by university researchers at taxpayer expense. Are they afraid of finding the inconvenient truth?

It's not the crime, it's the cover-up, as the saying goes. In the case of former University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann and his supporters, it may be both. Not only did Mann participate in perhaps the greatest scam of modern times, but he may have also have fraudulently used taxpayer funds to do so.

At least Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli thinks so, and has been diligently trying to obtain from U.Va. documents and e-mails related to Mann's work there. Mann reportedly received around $500,000 from taxpayer-funded grants from the university for research there from 1999 to 2005.

Cuccinelli is alleging a possible violation of a 2002 statute, the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act. The AG has said that he wants the documents, including grant applications and e-mails exchanged between Mann and 39 other scientists and university staffers, to help determine whether Mann committed fraud by knowingly manipulating data as he sought the taxpayer-funded grants for his research.

Mann was at the heart of the ClimateGate scandal when e-mails were unearthed from Britain's Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. In one e-mail sent to Mann and others by CRU director Philip Jones, Jones speaks of the "trick" of filling in gaps of data in order to hide evidence of temperature decline:

"I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." It was that attempt to "hide the decline" through the manipulation of data that brought down the global warming house of cards.

Mann was the architect behind the famous "hockey stick" graph that was produced in 1999 but which really should be called the "hokey stick." Developed by Mann using manipulated tree-ring data, it supposedly proved that air temperatures had been stable for 900 years, then soared off the charts in the 20th century.

Mann et al. had to make the Medieval Warm Period (about A.D. 800 to 1400) and the Little Ice Age (A.D. 1600 to 1850) statistically disappear.

The graph relied on data from trees on the Yamal Peninsula in Siberia. Here, too, the results were carefully selected. Just 12 trees from the 252 cores in the CRU's Yamal data set were used. A larger data set of 34 tree cores from the vicinity showed no dramatic recent warming, and warmer temperatures in the middle ages. They were not included.

Attempting to block Cuccinelli and rising to Mann's defense are Virginia state senators Chap Petersen and Donald McEachin. They are backing legislation that would strip the attorney general's office of its power to issue "civil investigative demands," otherwise known as subpoenas, under the 2002 statute.

They claim they are defending academic freedom, but they are trying to hide what many consider academic fraud, work that found its way into the reports of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It led to Kyoto and Copenhagen, and formed the basis for the EPA's endangerment finding that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that needs to be regulated.

After Mann left U.Va., he went to Penn State, which the Obama administration awarded with $541,184 in economic stimulus funds to save, according to, 1.62 jobs so that Professor Mann could continue his tree-ring circus fraudulently advancing the myth of man-made global warming that through equally bogus remedies like cap-and-trade and EPA regulations would bring the U.S. economy to its knees.

In a glaringly arrogant e-mail, Mann said he was grateful to the legislators for pressing the issue and hoped the action would give Cuccinelli "some second thoughts about continuing to waste their time and resources attacking well-established science." Hide the decline, then hide the truth.

We hope the legislation fails, the truth will come out and Mann et al. will be held accountable for engineering a scientific and economic fraud that would have made Bernie Madoff blush.


The evils of fireplaces: The latest Greenie nuttiness

The fact that the human race has been sitting around fires for a million years does not faze Greenie fanatics

Hard as it may be to believe, the fireplace — long considered a trophy, particularly in a city like New York — is acquiring a social stigma. Among those who aspire to be environmentally responsible, it is joining the ranks of bottled water and big houses.

“The smoke from a fire smells very nice,” said Diane Bailey, a senior scientist with the Natural Resources Defense Council in San Francisco. “But it can cause a lot of harm.” The tiny particles, she said, “can cause inflammation and illness, and can cross into the bloodstream, triggering heart attacks” as well as worsening other conditions.

Or as Starre Vartan, a 33-year-old blogger who goes by the name Eco-Chick, put it: “Any time you are burning wood or cow dung, you’ll be creating pollution. It’s like junk food: if you do it once a month, then who cares? But if it’s something you do every day, it’s important that you mitigate it somehow. It’s a hazard.”

Not surprisingly, the green community has been sounding the alarm for some time. For the last several years,, an online magazine, has advocated replacing all wood-burning fireplaces with electric ones; an article published in September by Shireen Qudosi, entitled “Breathe Easier With a Cleaner Fireplace,” argued that there is no such thing as an environmentally responsible fire: “Switching out one type of wood for another is still use of a natural resource that otherwise could have been spared,” Ms. Qudosi wrote. And last fall, an article on the Web site, “Cozy Winter Fires — Carbon Impact,” called wood-burning fires “a direct pollutant to you, your family and your community.”

Organizations like the American Lung Association are issuing warnings as well: the group recommends that consumers avoid wood fires altogether, citing research that names wood stoves and fireplaces as major contributors to particulate-matter air pollution in much of the United States.

Wood smoke contains some of the same particulates as cigarette smoke, said Dr. Norman H. Edelman, the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association, as well as known carcinogens like aldehydes; it has also been linked to respiratory problems in young children.

“We now know from lots of studies that wood smoke is very, very irritating,” Dr. Edelman said. “It contains a lot of irritating gases and it also contains damaging particulate matter. It’s probably not good for anybody, and it’s especially bad for anybody who has a chronic respiratory problem.” So the association strongly advises people not to use the traditional fireplace, he said.

Certainly, there are many who consider this eco-overkill. In Greek mythology, fire is a gift from the divine, stolen from Zeus by Prometheus and handed over to shivering humanity. What could be more natural than sitting around a crackling fire on a winter night, at a campsite in the Berkshires or in a Brooklyn brownstone?

But growing concerns about the air pollution and health problems caused by smoke from wood fires are prompting a number of areas across the country to pass laws regulating them.

“A lot of municipalities are taking action,” said Ms. Bailey, adding that the weather-based measures called burn bans are perhaps the most widespread restriction. When the weather is cold and the air is still, or pollution is high, the Bay Area in California, Puget Sound, Wash., Denver and Albuquerque are among the places with restrictions on residential wood-burning. These measures can be mandatory or voluntary, and can become more restrictive as air quality declines. So far, most of the wood-burning regulations tend to be out West. A few examples: Idaho offers tax incentives to people who replace uncertified wood stoves with “greener” ones; San Joaquin County in California forbids selling a home unless its wood stove is replaced with an E.P.A.-certified one; and Palo Alto and other municipalities in California prohibit wood-burning fireplaces or stoves in new construction.

In any case, most fireplaces are used far too infrequently to cause any real damage to the environment, said Stephen Sears, the vice president of marketing and member services for the Brick Industry Association, voicing an opinion shared by some. In the East, he wrote in an e-mail, air pollution is at its worst in the summer, and in the West the regulations are an overreaction: “Because it is not realistic to test each unique masonry fireplace in a laboratory” to evaluate its emissions, he noted, “it is easier for some municipalities to arbitrarily limit” the use of all wood-burning fireplaces.

Karen Soucy, an associate publisher at a nonprofit environmental magazine, isn’t swayed by that argument. She refuses to enter a home where wood has been burned, even infrequently.

Ms. Soucy, 46, blames fumes from a wood fire for sending her to the emergency room 25 years ago with a severe asthma attack. She had been staying at a friend’s house in Stowe, Vt., for about a day, she said, when her lungs seized up. She was taken to a hospital in an ambulance, and got two shots of adrenalin; the doctors blamed her friend’s cat.

“It was only later, working with a team of allergy doctors and pulmonologists, did we determine the culprit to be the wood-burning fumes from the various fireplaces,” Ms. Soucy said.

Now her husband scouts out any place they go in advance, to be sure it’s free of fireplaces, and she passes up countless dinners and parties. “I’m the one who feels guilty for always being the one to decline invitations or for making people go out of their way to clean their home,” she said. Even then, she added, “the smell lingers on everything.”

Wickham Boyle, 60, a writer and consultant for nonprofit arts organizations, installed a soapstone stove in her Hudson Valley house after a saleswoman explained that it had a catalytic combustor that converts smoke into water and carbon dioxide. Guests sometimes ask her if she feels guilty about burning wood, she said, but she recites a laundry list of the stove’s high-efficiency features, explaining to them that the environmental impact is negligible due to the combustor, and that she mainly uses fallen wood cleared from her land or other properties nearby.

Not everyone can afford such a stove, which can cost upward of $2,000, including installation (Ms. Boyle paid $3,000 for hers).

Converting a wood-burning fireplace to gas can be just as expensive, and while electric fireboxes are cheaper — just a few hundred dollars — most consider them a poor substitute for a real fire, since there is no flame. So some people are simply using their fireplaces less often, or not at all.

Even the greenest of the green, though, sometimes throw caution to the winds when it comes to wood fires. Sue Duncan, a 52-year-old landscaper in Austin, Tex., uses native drought-tolerant plants in her landscaping work and hasn’t thrown away an aluminum can since 1974, she said. She has installed a programmable thermostat and fluorescent lighting in her 1,600-square-foot house and has a rainwater collection system out back.

But somehow, she still hasn’t gotten around to retrofitting her fireplace. Every time she builds a fire, it causes “inner conflict,” she said. “It’s a guilty pleasure.”


Has someone not got the message that polar bears are "endangered"?

Why are more of them being allowed to be killed, if they are so endangered?

Polar bear hunting season has started on Baffin Island almost a month earlier than usual. This year, the Inuit will harvest up to 32 males and nine females up from the usual limit of 16 males and seven females. The Davis Strait population of polar bears is one of the few that all parties (NGOs, science and Inuit) agree is increasing.

The increase in the Davis Strait population is both on account of changing ice patterns/good ice seasons in the eastern Arctic but also from an explosion of seal populations. I have heard that since the seal harvest was reduced in Newfoundland/Labrador that Harp Seal populations have not only increased dramatically in that area but have spread north. Polar bears being who they are, of course, have capitalized on this new bounty.

Of course, politically speaking no one is actually saying this is an increased quota – just using up credits that have accumulated over the past years. Hard to say what the real story is (it always is muddled in the north) but this really seems like the Inuit sending a bit of a message to NGOs, science and the south.


The fantasy world of Noam Chomsky again

From an interview with the great man. See the highlight in red below. What on earth is he referring to? He is confusing his fantasies with reality

Mickey Z.: I recently watched a video on climate change in which you were one of the featured interviewees. You talked quite somberly about the recent elections being a "death knell" for humanity and us "kissing our species goodbye." I've read your work for decades but can't seem to recall you using such language in this context. In your view, have we humans waited too long to take action? Do you believe we can/should downsize our industrial culture before it downsizes itself?

Noam Chomsky: If I said the elections are a death knell, I went too far. But I think it's fair to say that they do threaten that outcome. Even the business press is concerned. Bloomberg Business Week reported that the elections brought into office dozens of climate change deniers, swelling support for Senator James Inhofe, who has declared global warming to be the "greatest hoax ever perpetuated on the American people" and feels "vindicated" by the election. He probably is also celebrating the ascendance of representative John Shimkus who assures us that God would prevent dire effects of climate change; analogues would be hard to find in other societies.

And probably is also celebrating the fact that according to recent polls, barely a third of Americans now believe that human activities are a factor in climate change -" very likely the result of a major corporate propaganda offensive, openly announced, to achieve this result. It's important to bear in mind that those who orchestrate the campaigns know as well as the rest of us that the "hoax" is real and ominous, but they are pursuing their institutional role: maximizing short-term profit and putting aside "externalities," in this case the fate of the species.


Australia: Fad food policy bad for the environment

"Organic" and "natural" foods are a concern of environmentalists, so it seems that we once again are seeing contradictory goals among them

Coles [supermarket chain] has defended its "no added hormones" beef campaign, which critics say could damage Australia's $7.6 billion beef industry and add to the environmental damage caused by meat production.

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), which represents 47,000 cattle, sheep and goat producers, accused Coles of shocking consumers into thinking beef from cattle raised on growth-promoting hormones was unsafe, despite years of scientific testing showing the meat posed no risk to humans.

The group said it was too early to tell if the Coles policy, introduced on January 1, had convinced shoppers to abandon other retailers. "It is crucial that consumers maintain their trust in the product - that the safety of Australian beef is not brought into doubt unnecessarily," MLA said.

Human growth promotants are used widely in beef production but were banned in Europe in 1988 over concerns about links to diseases including cancer. The World Health Organisation and the federal Department of Health, however, found no scientific evidence to support the ban.

Woolworths said the Coles campaign, which features celebrity chef Curtis Stone, was a "gimmick that will be bad for the environment and bad for Australian farmers". Woolworths stocks hormone-free meat in its organic range but has no plans to extend the policy.

"Removing technology means you need more cattle, eating more food, on more land, producing more methane over more time to produce the same beef," spokesman Simon Berger said. "Someone will pay for that - either farmers or customers, as well as the environment."

Coles spokesman Jim Cooper said that Coles was not saying beef raised with hormones was unsafe, but that hormone-free beef was of a higher quality. The initiative would cost the company millions because Coles would have to pay its suppliers more to farm a greater number of animals to produce the same amount of meat.

MLA said increasing the cattle herd would raise water and feed costs, placing greater strain on farmers.



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


22 January, 2011

2010 was Britain's coldest year since 1986 says Met Office

While the "rest of the world" warmed?? The "rest of the world" below seems to be oddly defined. Not only was Britain unusually cold in late 2010 but so was East Asia and much of North America. And here in Australia, we had the coolest December I can remember. In the cicumstances one must suspect "fiddled" statistics. They manage to find a few places where it was warmer (overstated -- not all of Canada and Siberia was warmer) but they could only have cancelled out the coolness in other areas not overwhelmed the results from cooler areas

A recent picture of a soldier in China on parade. The temperature was minus 32 degrees Celsius at the time

Last year was the coldest in Britain since 1986, according to the Met Office, although the rest of the world experienced one of the hottest years on record.

The new statistics show that the mean temperature in 2010 was 7.96C (46.4F), the twelfth coldest on record. The coldest year in the 100 year record is 1919 and 1963, when temperatures plunged to 7.45 (45.4F) and the next coldest is 1986 when it was 7.69C (45.8F).

However the rest of the world was warmer than ever. The Met Office said that as a whole the world was 0.50 (0.9F) hotter than the long term average of 14C (57.2F), making it the second hottest on record after 1998. The US National Weather Service NOAA and Nasa, that collect their data in slightly different ways, both think 2010 is one of the hottest years on record.

Barry Grommett, of the Met Office, said a freezing start to the year in January and February and then the coldest December ever recorded brought down the temperature in the UK.

Both weather patterns were caused by a blocking pattern of high pressure in the mid atlantic that cut off mild westerly wind and made the UK and most of the rest of western Europe colder than usual.

However at the same time the rest of the world was having heatwaves. In particular it was a warm winter in Canada and Siberia and eastern mediterraean.

Greenland lost more ice than any other year while the capital of Greenland, Nuuk, had the warmest spring and summer since records began in 1873.

Mr Grommett said despite the cold year in the UK the world is warming. “It is a natural perception to look out window and see snow and think the world cannot be possibly be warming but the UK is a small dot on the world surface and the important picture is global and in that 2010 has been a very warm year.”


What Evidence for “Unprecedented Warming”?

This is a new paper which takes a look at the statistical uncertainty of the long term warming trends by Pat Frank. He looks at the uncertainty of the data including that created by non-stationary errors and comes to the reasonable conclusion that global trends for the length of the temp record are statistically indistinguishable from zero. This has particular implications for model verification and especially to the real need for vetting errors in station measurements. Pat asked me to post on it here, and he has written a blog style explanation of his results below.

I want to copy the abstract and a bit of the conclusion here before his post just to help frame the discussion.

Sensor measurement uncertainty has never been fully considered in prior appraisals of global average surface air temperature. The estimated average ±0.2 C station error has been incorrectly assessed as random, and the systematic error from uncontrolled variables has been invariably neglected. The systematic errors in measurements from three ideally sited and maintained temperature sensors are calculated herein. Combined with the ±0.2 C average station error, a representative lower-limit uncertainty of ±0.46 C was found for any global annual surface air temperature anomaly.

This ±0.46 C reveals that the global surface air temperature anomaly trend from 1880 through 2000 is statistically indistinguishable from 0 C, and represents a lower limit of calibration uncertainty for climate models and for any prospective physically justifiable proxy reconstruction of paleo-temperature.

The rate and magnitude of 20th century warming are thus unknowable, and suggestions of an unprecedented trend in 20th century global air temperature are unsustainable.

Steve McIntyre’s ClimateAudit (CA) blog has been a terrific stimulus to zillions of its readers, including me. Back in May 2008, Steve posted on Nature’s “discovery” of the bucket-adjustment discontinuity in the Sea Surface Temperature record, three years after it had been discussed in detail at CA.

Brohan, 2006 [1] (B06) came up in the discussion of Steve’s post. Brohan, 2006 was the most recent compilation of the global average surface air temperature, HadCRUT3. HadCRUT3 was a production of the UK Met Office, which had taken responsibility from the Climate Research Unit at University of East Anglia. Warwick Hughes, a real hero in the fight to bring transparency to the global temperature record, discussed this transition, here and here.

The discussion at CA led me to read Brohan, 2006, where I noticed that they had described measurement noise as strictly random and didn’t mention systematic error at all. That seemed doubly peculiar, and that led to the analysis I’m presenting here.

Reading the air temperature literature, it became clear that this double peculiarity typified the approach to error right back through the 1980’s and before.

What I found was that Folland et al, had made a guesstimate back in 2001 [2] that the average measurement error was (+/-)0.2 C. This (+/-)0.2 C was applied by B06 and treated as random and uncorrelated among surface stations. So, following the statistics of random errors, B06 decremented the (+/-)0.2 C as 1/(sqrtN), where N = the number of temperature measurements, and as N got large the error rapidly went to zero. And that was the whole B06 ball of wax for measurement error.

To make the long story short, assessment of error methodology showed that guessing an average error is an explicit admission that you have no real physical knowledge of it. Random error is “stationary,” meaning it is defined as having a constant average magnitude and a mean (average) of zero. When one has to make a guesstimate, one doesn’t really know the magnitude, and doesn’t really know whether the error is stationary.

In short, if one doesn’t know the error is random, then applying the statistics of random error is a mistake.

But it’s worse than that. Kenneth Hubbard and Xiaomao Lin at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, showed that there is a large amount of systematic error in surface station temperature measurements [3-5]. This systematic error mostly comes from solar loading on the radiation shield and from wind speed effects. These effects cause very significant deviations in measured temperatures.

Under very ideal conditions of siting and maintenance, Hubbard and Lin found that a standard Minimum-Maximum Temperature System (MMTS) sensor produced an average daytime bias of 0.43 C away from the correct temperature, with a standard deviation (the uncertainty width) of (+/-)0.25 C.

Cotton Regional Shelters (CRS) – the usual shelter for the older mercury thermometers – produced twice as much systematic error in high precision resistance thermometers, with an uncertainty width of (+/-)0.53 C. The older mercury thermometers inside CRS shields are likely to be even less accurate and less precise. But mercury thermometers inside CRS shields provide the bulk of the 20th century temperature record.

So, at the end, I estimated a lower limit of uncertainty in the 20th century global surface air temperature anomaly record by combining the guesstimated measurement error and the ideal MMTS systematic error. To do this, one has to also propagate these uncertainties into the temperature normal used to calculate the anomalies. This all produced a lower limit of uncertainty of 1-sigma = (+/-)0.46 C.

The message is clear: including the lower limit of instrumental uncertainty, the trend from 1900 through 2000 is indistinguishable from 0 C, at the 1-sigma level.

“Unprecedented” 20th century temperatures? Hardly. It appears no one really knows the rate and magnitude of warming. Once again, climate alarm appears to be rooted in neglect of uncertainty. As with GCM projections. As with proxy paleotemperature reconstructions (which in any case aren’t even science).


Grey Literature: IPCC Insiders Speak Candidly

In February 2008 Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), addressed a committee of the North Carolina legislature. He declared to these assembled law-makers (as he has in many other contexts before and since), that:

"…we carry out an assessment of climate change based on peer-reviewed literature, so everything that we look at and take into account in our assessments has to carry [the] credibility of peer-reviewed publications, we don’t settle for anything less than that."

Someone needs to tell the committee it was seriously misled. Last April a citizen audit coordinated by yours truly found that nearly one-third of the references in the IPCC’s 2007 report cite non-peer-reviewed sources (often referred to as “grey literature”).

More recently, I’ve been examining the answers IPCC insiders provided to a questionnaire distributed by an InterAcademy Council committee that investigated the IPCC last year. These answers make it abundantly clear numerous individuals knew that Pachauri’s public statements were at odds with the facts.

The quotes below are drawn from this three-megabyte 678-page PDF. The names of those who provided these remarks were removed prior to the document being made public.

Non-peer-reviewed literature should obviously be minimized but cannot be totally avoided. (page 2)

…the length of the [IPCC report] was constrained, so the number of citations was constrained. Hence, reviews (including those in the “grey” literature) were strongly favored if those reviews cited the primary literature. (p. 7)

In some fields non-peer reviewed is the way the science is done. It just has to be carefully used and identified clearly. (p. 22)

There cannot be any assessment of impacts and possible response strategies to climate change on peer-reviewed literature only. (p. 48)

My WG III chapter depended heavily on non-peer reviewed literature and I have yet to hear a complaint about its quality. (p. 52)

Governments want the chapter to cover questions of current relevance for which there [is] often “grey literature” but little peer reviewed literature. (p. 68)

…to address some of the policy topics it is necessary to use non-peer-reviewed literature. (p. 69)

Working Groups 2 and 3 make more reference to non-peer reviewed literature…The IPCC assessments are very inclusive and include a comprehensive analysis of all existing literature… (p. 74)

Some of the most policy relevant information does not appear in peer reviewed literature. Without it the IPCC could become irrelevant. (p. 119) .....

In the words of those quoted above, the use of grey literature is essential, necessary, and unavoidable in the preparation of IPCC reports. According to these people, the IPCC has relied on grey literature extensively for some time.

This means that the chairman of the IPCC has systematically misrepresented the process by which his organization produces reports. His declaration that the IPCC does not settle for anything less than peer-reviewed sources is a steaming pile of manure.

Equally troubling is that hundreds – perhaps thousands – of people involved in the IPCC process have clearly been aware that Pachauri’s claims are false. Yet the average journalist – and the average member of the public – remains in the dark.

There have been many open letters, many organized public declarations by climate scientists over the years. Why has no effort been made – not even a dozen people signing a letter-to-the-editor of Nature or Science - to set the record straight?

We’re often told we should believe in dangerous human-caused global warming because science academies from around the world endorse the idea. So why have those same academies remained silent with regard to this matter?

Does no one care that the IPCC’s leadership has been dead wrong about something this simple and straightforward? I mean, IPCC reports are only among the world’s most important documents.


IPCC Nobel Laureates Lack Scientific Credibility

IPCC insiders say many of those who shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize have weak scientific credentials. They were chosen because they are of the right gender or come from the right country.

Earlier this week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suffered another self-inflicted wound. An Argentina-based activist group called the Universal Ecological Fund released a report predicting improbably rapid climate change. The media, taking the accompanying press release at face value, told us the report had the blessing of “Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist Osvaldo Canziani.”

An Argentinian meteorologist, Canziani was one of two co-chairs for the Working Group 2 section of the 2007 IPCC report. When the IPCC was awarded the 2007 Peace Prize (along with Al Gore) for helping raise awareness about global warming Canziani was one of the many scientists who shared in the Nobel glory.

Even though the Peace Prize is not a science award, there’s nothing stopping an activist group from employing a little sleight-of-hand, from implying that anyone connected to the IPCC is ipso facto a “Nobel laureate.” In this case, the gullible media fell for it.

Since everyone involved with the IPCC (except the expert reviewers) is now technically a “Nobel laureate” – and may well get described as such by journalists – just how awkward could this matter become? Actually, rather awkward indeed.

Last year, when a committee of the InterAcademy Council investigated the IPCC, 232 people filled out a questionnaire. Their remarks were later anonymized and released in a massive 678-page PDF. The quotes below are drawn only from the IPCC insiders who answered the questionnaire:

IPCC works hard for geographic diversity. This is one valuable criterion, but it is not sufficient to choose a lead author. The result is that some of the lead authors (generally although not always from developing countries) are clearly not qualified to be lead authors and are unable to contribute in a meaningful way to the writing of the chapter. (page 16)

…two [lead authors] on our chapter (one from a developing country and one European) never wrote a word or contributed much to discussions – nevertheless they remained credited. I felt this was unfair on those that actually wrote the text. (p. 35)

…it is clearly noticeable that the [author nomination] process occasionally brings authors with poor knowledge or poor motivation into [lead author] positions. p. 46)

The need for geographic and gender balance in selecting the bureau and [working group] Chairs is a problem. The [working group] Chairs from developing nations do not carry half the load – most are incapable of doing so. (p. 50)

The problems caused by requiring geographic and gender balance are equally important at the lead author level. The developing nation participants on my Chapter team had limited understanding of developments outside their region and limited resources to obtain better understanding. (p. 50)

The calibre of the participants has been declining. For the Second Assessment Report, the WG III policy chapter had a Nobel Laureate in economics (Kenneth Arrow) and a future Laureate (Joseph Stiglitz). For the Third Assessment Report, the WG III policy chapter had full professors of environmental economics and law from three prestigious universities – Peter Bohm, Stockholm; Thomas Heller, Stanford and Robert Stavins, Harvard. For the Fourth Assessment Report this had fallen to one full professor of environmental economics – Charles Kolstad, UC Santa Barbara. (p. 71)

Since I have been selected for several IPCC reports, I have no personal prejudice (or grouse) on the process. However, regarding the selection of Lead Authors, I am more worried since the distortions, opaqueness and arbitrariness that is lately creeping into the process seems alarming. It seems that knowledge and scientific contributions are increasingly at discount in selection of authors compared to the personal connections, affiliations and political accommodations. (p. 78)

In the present process, there are four meetings where the IPCC Authors primarily meet. Many authors are absent and also some hardly contribute. The report therefore is finally prepared by a few… (p. 79)

In WGI AR4, my judgment is that about 20% of the authors did very little, but the 80% who actually wrote the report were excellent. The 20% included some lazy people who just wanted the honor of being [a lead author] without the chore of actually doing the work. (p. 83)

The selection of lead authors is based on a mix of competence and politics. The result unfortunately is usually a chapter team that has 3-5 people who do most of the work… (p. 117)

There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful. This is reasonable if it is regarded as a learning experience, but in my chapter in AR4 we had half of the [lead authors] who were not competent. (p. 138) .....

To sum up, therefore, a significant number of IPPC insiders believe many of their colleagues possess inferior scientific credentials. They believe these people’s participation in the IPCC is a result of concerns that have nothing to do with science.

Instead, they were chosen because they are of the right gender or the right nationality. They were chosen because they are pals with the person who makes such decisions in a particular country. They were chosen because they are considered politically “safe” by their own governments.

All of these people – no matter how little they actually contributed to the IPCC process – are now Nobel laureates.


T.J. Rodgers: Just Say No to Subsidies and Global Warming

He warns investors, “Run like hell when you hear ‘green jobs, green economy, double bottom line or carbon tax.’ “

T.J. Rodgers is the Founder and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, a force in Silicon Valley, an early equity investor in SunPower and a vintner. He spoke on Thursday morning at the CleanEdge/IBF cleantech investor forum and was introduced as "an unabashed free-market capitalist."

Rodgers is a wry, in-your-face speaker. He walked into the lions' den of green investors and environmentalists at this event to debunk the "religion of climate change" and warn the crowd to not get too reliant on government subsidy programs.

He does not accept human-induced global warming as reality nor the data of global warming adherents.

"Run like hell when you hear 'carbon tax'"

Rodgers acknowledges that he has a conflict of interests in discouraging dependence on subsidies -- solar subsidies have allowed SunPower to provide a 22.4 to-1 ROI for Cypress' investors. More subsidies mean more money for SunPower and its investors. That said, he provided the audience with some advice:

* Do not rely (for long) on government funding or subsidies.

* Be a global warming skeptic (Rodgers most certainly is).

* "Run like hell" when you hear the terms "green jobs, green economy, double bottom line or carbon tax."

* Believe in the free market and freedom of the individual.

* Believe in the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment and the Tenth Amendment.

Hanging over Rodger's office desk is a letter from Milton Friedman who also advised Rodgers, "Get everything they [shareholders] are legally entitled to and still argue for an end to government subsidies."

As for the concept of green jobs, Rodgers insisted that "green jobs are almost all offshore -- you ain't gonna make them in Fremont, just ask Solyndra."

He questioned the sense of Germany installing solar panels, considering their solar resource, but was happy to have Germany as a SunPower customer.

Rodgers cited surveys that indicate that the average consumer does not care about global warming. He railed against environmentalists converging on the climate talks in private jets and limousines, calling environmentalism "a secular religion, a non-god-based religion." He also chastised the press, saying, "The press is uncritically on their side."

Rodgers said, "Attacks on free markets are not new." He quoted from Paul Ehrlich's book The Population Bomb, with its doomsday scenarios that could only be remedied by a "coercive utopia" with "socialism replacing free markets," and "altruism replacing individuality even in family matters." Ehrlich's predictions concerning global starvation, over-population and escalating commodity prices have turned out to have been patently wrong and cannot survive critical inspection.

Rodgers spent a considerable portion of his presentation examining and in some cases debunking the data from Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and the data from the IPCC, The International Panel on Climate Change. Here are some of his points. [I will try to post his presentation shortly.]

"Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth was politics, not science"; Rodgers challenged the facts and interpretations of the movie at length.

He noted the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere but challenged the causality of temperature rise and increase in CO2. He suggested that the rise in CO2, in some cases, lagged temperature rise.

Rodgers suggests, "It is not clear that 380 ppm of CO2 is bad," adding, "Why would you pick 280 ppm as the correct number?" He also asked audience members to ponder whether the world in a high ppm environment might actually fare better.

He pointed out that IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) data was less than rigorously vetted and, in some cases, crucial trends such as the medieval warming period were either glossed over or ignored.

* Hurricanes and extreme weather are not increasing.

* Antarctic ice is getting thicker, not thinner.

* There is a growing body of scientists questioning the evidence of global warming.

Mr. Rodgers' incendiary talk was ill-received by many in the large, green-leaning crowd -- there was some less-than-complimentary post-speech chatter. I'm reasonably sure that Rodgers doesn't care about the critique from these "higher life forms" as he referred to people with elitist world views. Rodgers also quoted H.L. Mencken, the Sage of Baltimore, which warms my heart.


Both sides of the climate controversy recently heard on Australia's public broadcaster

And was the Warmist a picture of illogic! All he could point to was the undisputed rise in CO2, as if that proved his case. Since the rise in CO2 was, by his own admission, accompanied by FLAT temperatures (1998, 2005 and 2010 all the same), it does the exact opposite. He assumed what he had to prove (that CO2 causes warming) and then failed to see that the evidence contradicted his assumption!

And the guy is a big cheese among Warmists too. Being a "secretary-general" sure sounds like hot sh*t

TONY EASTLEY: The United Nations weather organisation has confirmed that 2010 was one of the three hottest years on record.

The World Meteorological Organization says that last year was as hot as 2005 and 1998 and that Arctic Sea ice cover was the lowest in recorded history.

The Organisation says last year was also marked by extreme weather events in Europe, Russia, Asia and South America.

Meredith Griffiths reports.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: After a wet and cool few months in parts of Australia and those paralysing snowstorms in the northern hemisphere, this news may come as a surprise to some.

MICHEL JARRAUD: We can indeed report that 2010 is now going to rank as the warmest year on record, at the same level as 2005 and 1998.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Michel Jarraud is the secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization.

It says those three years recorded the highest temperatures since 1850, about half a degree warmer than average.

MICHEL JARRAUD: The latest decade is the warmest on record. So year after year this trend is confirmed, actually it's being strengthened year after year.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Last year also saw Arctic Sea ice recede to its lowest level.

Mr Jarraud says these new statistics should silence those who don't believe that greenhouse gases are changing the world's climate.

MICHEL JARRAUD: The sceptical position, it's untenable. You cannot escape the fact the concentration of greenhouse gases have reached record levels and this is not hypothesis these are facts, they can be measured with great accuracy.

The laws of physics are also very solid, greenhouse gases cannot contribute to cool the atmosphere, more greenhouse gases can only do one thing: warm.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: He also noted that last year was characterised by a number of extreme weather events like the heatwave in Russia and the floods in Pakistan.

MICHEL JARRAUD: With the global warming, some of these events will become more frequent, or more intense. So let me take for example, the Russian heat wave. You cannot say uniquely it's due to global warming, but what you can say is that what is right now totally exceptional will happen more frequently in the future.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Geologist Bob Carter from James Cook University says Mr Jerraud has no evidence for that.

BOB CARTER: Lots of scientists have been looking for that evidence but to date there is nothing in the scientific literature which says we have more climatic emergency events at the moment than in the past or that these are more frequent or more dangerous. There is no scientific evidence for that.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Professor Carter says it's not surprising that last year was one of the warmest, but says that doesn't mean greenhouse gases are the blame.

BOB CARTER: The question is not whether it causes warming, the question is how much warming? Since 1998 we've had three warm years - 1998, 2005 and 2010 - and each of those years is associated with an El Nino event which causes or is related to the warming. Okay, but there's no trend, 2010 is not significantly warmer in any way than 1998.

So we have a warm period over a period of 12 years. Over those same 12 years we have a five per cent increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide is supposed to cause more warming. Well this data that we've just discussed tells you that human carbon dioxide emissions are not causing dangerous global warming, indeed they're not causing any warming at all at the moment.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Professor Carter says the last 150 years have been among the coolest in the past 10,000 years of the Earth's history.

TONY EASTLEY: Meredith Griffiths reporting.

Two leading US agencies, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, recently reported too that 2010 was also the wettest year on record.



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


21 January, 2011

Warmists undermined by their own graph

Romm is featuring this graph from “Evangelical Christian” John Cook.

Note that temperatures rose as fast from 1910 to 1940 as they did from 1970 to 2000.

This is solid evidence that the warming is not due to CO2, which only rose 10 ppm from 1910 to 1940. If you use the latest climate science 30 year lag rule, their problem gets even worse – because the 1910-1940 rise was due to the tiny rise in CO2 from before the automobile was invented.


Note also the chartmanship involved above. What looks like a dizzying rise in temperature is no such thing. The graph is scaled in tenths of one degree so the rise in both periods is in fact trivial

Nazism was a Green dream

A small excerpt below from an unexpurgated history of environmentalism in Germany. The author starts with a note about how mainstream historians try to downplay the organic connection between Nazism and environmentalism -- an attempt that repeatedly founders on the facts:
"The German countryside must be preserved under all circumstances, for it is and has forever been the source of the strength and greatness of the German people."

"Man should never fall into the misconception that he has really risen to be lord and master of Nature. rather he must understand the fundamental necessity of the rule of Nature and comprehend how even his own existence is subordinated to these laws of eternal struggle." -- Adolph Hitler

Dominick allocates about 10% of his text to this period. The sole chapter allocated to this era concludes: "The argument developed here has tried to reduce the damage done to the reputation of the conservation campaign by its highly visible ties to Nazism."

The precise overlap between the Nazi Party and the conservation movement is unknown because: "The memberships of the major conservation groups from the 1930s seem to have been lost or destroyed."

Not to worry because: "I (Dominick) have compiled a sample of 18 leaders of the Nature protection movement" from which he infers the extent of the overlap. Dominick does not show how he drew this list. He does not show the list. Nevertheless, he gloats "the surviving records indicate that only one joined the Nazi Party before 1933."

Nine from his list joined the Nazi Party after 1933. One tried to join but was rejected.

(Dominick forgets there were many German fascist organizations before 1933. This oversight has been used to make ultra-green Walter Darre appear as a Johnny-cum-lately to the movement when in fact he joined the fascist militia, Steel Helmet, in 1919.)

Dominick's main defence of German conservationism is that the movement was an amalgam of political currents of which "volkisch" [racist] conservationists were but one. He concedes: "The volkisch [racist] variety of Nature protection was centrally and durably aligned with Nazism."

He also concedes: "This volkisch kind of Nature protection predominated in Germany by the 1930s."

Moreover, he readily admits that during the 1920s most German conservationists promoted national regeneration, pan-Germanism, reactionary aesthetics, and racism. They were anti-communist, anti-materialist, anti-modernist and anti-technology. They had a romantic vision of the peasantry and they spewed "blood-and-soil" rhetoric. Dominick again: "In the Weimar and Nazi periods, the belief that unspoiled Nature kept the nation pure infected the majority of Germany's conservationists."

In the 1920s Nature-protectionists demanded that ethnic Germans in the territories lost after WWI, as well as Germans from Switzerland, Austria and faraway Estonia, be united in a single nation.The founders of Westphalia's Homeland Preservation League insisted their focus should not be architecture or landscape but Race. A Nature Park Society publication paralleled the impact of pollution on German forests and waters to the influx of an "unwashed brood of Croats and Pollacks."

(Dominick's case is weaker than it seems. His other main current of conservationism, the ecology/pantheism current, is said to lack intrinsic ties to Nazism. This is untrue. Top Nazis were raving ecologists and ecology's founder, Haeckel, exhibited clear proto-Nazi tendencies.)

The Nazis venerated Wilhelm Riehl, whose "blood-and-soil" Natural History of the German People enjoyed four editions during the Third Reich, including a special 1944 edition for the Wehrmacht. Among those favouring blood-and-soil were Darre, master of Nazi agitation in the agricultural sector, and Alfred Rosenberg, the Party's chief theoretician and director of the Fighting League for German Culture. Rosenberg's list of Party-endorsed books included the works of Riehl, Schoenichen's The Magic of the Wilderness in German Lands and a dozen other books praising peasants and excoriating cities.

The Nazi Party newspaper featured environmental stories in 35% of its issues, sometimes on the front page. Every time an environmental issue was discussed, the editors took the side of the preservationists. The April 5, 1930 issue expressed outrage that French occupation troops in the Saar intended to log "one of the largest unbroken forest areas of Germany. a true nature park." The paper's deep anti-capitalism also permeated the writings of Nature-protectionists; appearing prominently in the inaugural issue Nature and Homeland which sermonized: ".the unthinking drive for speculative riches without conscience or feeling must not be allowed to combine with the newly acquired technical powers to make the Earth uninhabitable."

In 1920 the leading bird lovers' magazine squawked: "The individual must again understand that he is inseparably linked to the prosperity of the whole: the vermin who will not understand that must be so far repressed that they no longer can poison the entire organism."

This anti-capitalism had nothing to do with communism. In 1907 Rudorff preached that protecting natural environments counteracted the "ideals of the red international." His disciples in the 1920s contended preservationism inoculated the Volk against Bolshevism.

Nazis reiterated Rudorff's denunciations of aesthetic degeneration whether in the form of jazz music or the sleek glass and steel of Bauhaus architecture. The Party joined conservationist clubs in opposing a memorial to Hermann Lons in the Luneburg Heath because of its Bauhaus style.

The Nazis were enmeshed in the animal protection movement. Their Fuhrer, a vegetarian, declared himself a resolute enemy of cruelty to animals.

The early writings of Walter Schoenichen, Conwentz's successor at the Prussian Government Centre, "exhibited the volkisch rhetoric about race and nation that merged so easily with National Socialism." In Methods and Techniques of Natural History Education (1926) he wrote: "There is no doubt that a racial-hygienic collapse threatens our volk." The book encouraged racially valuable women to reproduce and discouraged breeding by degenerates.

In 1928, when he became editor of Nature Protection, he changed its subtitle to Friends of the German Homeland. His application for Nazi Party membership was approved in February 1933 (hence was submitted before January 30, 1933). Nature Protection's post-January 1933 cover sported a photo of children marching with a swastika flag. Inside, Schoenichen's "The German People must be Cleansed - and the German Countryside" explored the unbridgeable gulf between Aryan and non-Aryan relationships to Nature. He contended Nature-protection was about politics not birds; moreover he claimed elite conservationists had been saying this for years.

His Nature Protection in the Third Reich (1934) praises the deep Aryan bond to Nature. He prayed someday Germany would lead a European Nature-protection movement. He led conservation clubs into the Nazi's Reich League for Volk Character and Homeland. By early 1934, the League for Homeland-protection, Bavarian Conservation League, and League for Bird Protection had joined; their pre-1933 leaders remained in place. (The Bavarian Conservation League later welcomed Nazi Gaulitier Adolf Wagner as their overseer.)

Dr. Werner Lindner, Schultze-Naumburg's successor atop the League for Homeland-protection, preached anti-modernism long before 1933. He delayed joining the Nazi Party until 1938 but openly celebrated Nazism in 1933. At the founding meeting of the Reich League for Volk Character and Homeland he expressed hope the new regime would repudiate the Weimar Republic's materialistic approach to Nature and he denounced capitalism for violating "the laws of the household of Nature."

Alwin Seifert designed the autobahn - a marriage of technology and Nature. During construction he insisted ten trees be planted for each one cut down. Topsoil removed during landscaping was painstakingly saved. Autobahns avoided straight lines to adhere to the land's natural curves. After joining the Nazi Party he recruited a legion of "landscape advocates."

His water obsession compelled him to memo Deputy Fuhrer Hess criticizing the Labour Front for ignoring ecological laws in its projects affecting waterways. Not satisfied with the response, he went public with his warnings of desiccation at the 1936 Nature Protection Conference in a speech entitled "The Conversion of Germany into a Steppe." Exploiting images of dust clouds over the American prairie, he claimed similar devastation awaited Germany. His theories, always couched in Nazi terminology, generated hysteria.

The zealously pro-Nazi League for Bird Protection's 1933 Annual Report crowed: "A miracle has occurred. Germany has pulled itself together. Joyously we stand behind the Fuhrer, vowing to use our entire strength for his high goal."

Subsequent Annual Reports celebrated the rearmament, reacquisition of the Saar, and the Anschluss. They parroted Nazi propaganda and exploited their official endorsement to gobble up rival clubs.

Immediately after January, 1933 the Bavarian Conservation League proclaimed: "No time has been so favourable for our work as the present one under the swastika banner of the national government.converting the love of Nature into the great love of nation and Fatherland.Nature determines race and all expressions of the race. Therefore above all Nature must be preserved in its individuality.. The German man is not German without the German countryside."

This enthusiasm was justified. More was done to advance conservationism in the 18 months following January 1933 than was done in the entire Weimar era. In February 1933 Hitler's cabinet quashed a proposed railway in the Bode Valley for being a "profanation of a holy relic of our forefathers." Days later Prussia issued detailed animal and plant protection ordinances.

In November 1933 the Nazis passed radical cruelty to animal prohibitions. In 1934 the powerful Labour Front and the League for Bird Protection co-sponsored a week-long conference to instil Nature-protectionism into Labour Front personnel. The Reich's 1934 hunting law was "the most progressive in the world at the time." In 1934 billboards in the countryside were banned.The municipal park system doubled in size by mid-1934. (The Nazis later established an unprecedented number of nature preserves.)

Goering, the Reich-Master of the Hunt and the Forest, used the 100,000 acre nature reserve around his estate to foster endangered flora and fauna. A conservation journal quoted him saying: "Deep and understanding feeling for Nature is the foundation of every culture."

The Imperial Conservation Law (1935) gave Goering oversight over all conservation agencies. The law fulfilled conservationist's dreams. Not only did it protect plants, animals, nature-monuments, and preserves, it extended protection to any: ".landscape in free Nature whose preservation on account of rarity, beauty, distinctiveness or an account of scientific, ethnic, forest, or hunting significance lies in the general interest."

The law required governments at all levels to consult Nature-protectionists before undertaking any measure that might alter the countryside on public or private property.


Skepticism from India: Paper questions another IPCC claim

India has once again challenged the UN's climate science body - the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) --- through a new scientific paper. The Environment ministry sponsored paper says that human induced global warming is much less than what the R K Pachauri headed IPCC had said.

The cause is reduced impact of Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCRs) on formulation of low clouds over earth in the last 150 years, says a paper by U R Rao, former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, released by Environment minister Jairam Ramesh.
The GCRs are the ones that enter solar system from outside, mostly from exploding of stars, and help in forming low-level clouds over the earth. The theory is that the solar magnetic field deflects GCRs, thereby impacting low-level cloud formation.

Analyzing the data between 1960 and 2005, Rao found that lesser GCRs were reaching the earth due to increase in solar magnetic field and thereby leading to increase in global warming.

"Consequently the contribution of increased CO2 emission to be observed global warming of 0.75 degree Celsius would only be 0.42 degree Celsius, considerably less than what predicted by IPCC," the paper said to be published in Indian Journal Current Science had said. This is about 44 % less than what IPCC had said.

Ramesh in 2009 had released a similar scientific paper saying that the IPCC's claim that most Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035 was wrong. A few months later, after a review the IPCC regretted the error. If Ramesh latest bid gets globally recognition, it can alter the rules of UN run climate negotiations of 200 nations.

Impact of GCRs on global warming had been highly controversial since 1998, when Henrik Svensmark of Danish National Space Center said it was causing global warming. A decade later a joint European study debunked the claim, saying there was no coorelation.

V Ramanathan of US based Scripps Institute of Oceanography at University of California said the Rao's paper strengthens the case for greenhouse a primary driver for global warming. "The observed rapid warming trends during the last 40 years cannot be accounted for the trends in GCRs," he said, in his comments on Rao's paper.

"I just want to expand scientific debate on impact of non-Green House Gases on climate change," Ramesh said, when asked whether he was again challenging the IPCC. "Science is all about raising questions."

International climate science is mainly western driven and collaborates the view of the rich world that gases such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2) are the main contributor for global warming. Any scientific work challenging the view has been debunked as work of a sceptic.

"Climate science is much more complex than attributing everything to CO2," said Subodh Verma, climate change advisor in the Environment ministry.

And, its first impact has come from IPCC chairperson R K Pachauri, who has told the government, that impact of GCRs on global warming will be studied in depth in the fifth assessment report to be published in 2013-14. In its earlier four assessment reports, IPCC had not studied the impact of GCRs in detail.


Pathetic Warmist still fretting about a warm 2003, while ignoring the spate of recent deaths from cold

From the time global warming emerged on the public agenda in the late 1980s, it was regarded as a grave but distant future threat and, crucially, one that could be neutralized if humanity acted quickly enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

I shared these assumptions until my October 2005 interview with David King shattered them. The science adviser told me that in fact global warming had already triggered outright climate change, and had done so a hundred years sooner than even the most concerned scientists had expected. One early manifestation, according to three British scientists writing in Nature, was the record heat wave that brutalized Europe in the summer of 2003. King cited government statistics indicating that the heat had killed 31,000 people, making it "the deadliest disaster in modern European history."

Yet this turned out to be an underestimate. An epidemiological study conducted in 2008 for the European Union—reported here for the first time—concluded that the 2003 heat wave had caused at least 71,449 excess deaths, a toll considerably higher than the United States suffered during the Vietnam War.

As a new father, most alarming to me was King's next point: this newly triggered climate change is bound to intensify for the rest of my daughter's life. The inertia of the climate system—that is, the laws of physics and chemistry—guarantee that average global temperatures will keep rising for decades to come, no matter how fervently humanity might embrace solar energy, electric vehicles and other options for reducing emissions. And as temperatures rise, this global warming will unleash still more climate change: deeper droughts, stronger storms, wilder wildfires and so on, as well as faster sea level rise.

"No, no, it's not too late," King hurried to reply when I asked if this paradigm shift means all is lost. But the early arrival of climate change does transform the nature of the problem, as paradigm shifts tend to do. To wit, humanity now faces a double imperative. The traditional goal of climate policy—to reduce global warming—has now become more urgent than ever, for if global temperature rise isn't halted soon, it could gain too much momentum ever to reverse. Yet at the same time, humanity has no choice but "to adapt to the impacts that are in the pipeline" over the coming decades, said King. In short, we have to live through global warming even as we try to reverse it.


If you read the whole article, it is full of anger and the certainty of the fanatic. Like the Green/Left generally, he NEEDS his anger. He needs to think that he can help save the world and that evil men are blocking him

An age of energy abundance is upon us

Supplies of natural gas could last more than 250 years if Asian and European economies follow the U.S. unconventional reserves, the IEA said.

The abundance of shale gas and other forms of so-called unconventional gas discovered in the United States prompted a global rush to explore for the new resource.

The International Energy Agency said Australia is taking the lead in the push toward unconventional gas, though China, India and Indonesia are close behind. European companies are taking preliminary steps to unlock unconventional gas as are other regions.

"Production of 'unconventional' gas in the U.S. has rocketed in the past few years, going beyond even the most optimistic forecasts," said Anne-Sophie Corbeau, a gas analyst at the IEA. "It is no wonder that its success has sparked such international interest."

Shale gas production in the United States is booming and the IEA estimates that unconventional gas makes up around 12 percent of the global supply.

Global supplies of natural gas could last for another 130 years at current consumption rates. That time frame could double with unconventional gas, the IEA said.

"(D)espite the many uncertainties associated with production, countries are still prepared to take risks and invest time and money in exploration and production, because of the potential long-term benefits," Corbeau said.


China is swimming in the stuff

Chinese geologists have detected "super-thick" oil and gas-bearing stratums in the northern part of the South China Sea and identified 38 offshore oil and gas-bearing basins, a senior official said on Saturday.

The outskirts of Songliao Basin in Northeast China, Yin'e Basin in North China and Qiangtang Basin on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau have also been found to have rich oil and gas resources, Wang Min, vice-minister of land and resources, said at a national conference in Beijing.

In addition, 192.7 billion tons of coal resources have been found in Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, and four 10,000-ton sandstone-type uranium mines have been located in Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, he said. Wang said these latest discoveries, particularly those at sea, have given direction for China's future resource exploration. Conducting more geological inspections at the above regions has been set as one of the ministry's major working tasks this year.

Comprehensive geological and environmental inspections will be conducted at key offshore areas such as the southern region of Yellow Sea, the northern part of the South China Sea, East China's Liaodong Bay and regions near South China's Hainan Island, according to the ministry.

Wang said the country has also made a breakthrough in locating new energy resources. Natural gas hydrate has been found for the first time in the northern region of the South China Sea and frozen-soil areas at Qilian Mountain.

And a 2.46-million-ton lithium carbonate mine has been located in Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, which will reduce the cost of lithium production and help with the country's new energy industry.

Due to China's rapid economic growth in the past 10 years, the country's energy consumption has been growing rapidly and become more dependent on imports. Right now, China has become the biggest consumer of coal, steel, alumina, copper and cement. More than half of the country's petroleum and iron consumption, about 70 percent of its copper consumption and 64 percent of sylvite consumption now rely on imports, according to figures released by the Ministry of Land and Recourses on Saturday.

Wang said thanks to the efforts of the geologists, new resources detected in the past 10 years accounted for about half of all resources found in the past half century, and the amount of new resources found each year has surpassed their annual consumption. For instance, by the end of last year, the available reserves of iron and aluminum increased by 41 percent and 39 percent compared with the levels in 1999.

However, China will still experience resource bottlenecks in the future, Wang said. "As a big developing country, we must make more efforts in exploring domestic supplies to ensure our energy security," Wang said.

China in the next five years will also have closer international cooperation on geological work and set up a global mining resource information database to help Chinese enterprises better survey and explore overseas resources, the ministry said, without giving more details.



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


20 January, 2011

Land fizzing like soda pop: farmer says CO2 injected underground is leaking

Another stupid Greenie idea becoming unglued

A Saskatchewan farm couple whose land lies over the world's largest carbon capture and storage project says greenhouse gases seeping from the soil are killing animals and sending groundwater foaming to the surface like shaken soda pop. The gases were supposed to have been injected permanently underground.

Cameron and Jane Kerr own nine quarter-sections of land above the Weyburn oilfield in eastern Saskatchewan. They released a consultant's report Tuesday that links high concentrations of carbon dioxide in their soil to 6,000 tonnes of the gas injected underground every day by energy giant Cenovus (TSX:CVE) in an attempt to enhance oil recovery and fight climate change.

"We knew, obviously, there was something wrong," said Jane Kerr.

A Cenovus spokeswoman said the company doubts those findings. She pointed out they contradict years of research from other scientists. "It's not what we believe," said Rhona Delfrari.

Since 2000, Cenovus has injected about 16 million tonnes of carbon dioxide underground to force more oil from an aging field and safely store greenhouse gases that would otherwise contribute to climate change.

But in 2005, the Kerrs began noticing algae blooms, clots of foam and multicoloured scum in two ponds at the bottom of a gravel quarry on their land. Sometimes, the ponds bubbled. Small animals — cats, rabbits and goats — were regularly found dead a few metres away.

Then there were the explosions. "At night we could hear this sort of bang like a cannon going off," said Jane Kerr, 58. "We'd go out and check the gravel pit and, in the walls, it (had) blown a hole in the side and there would be all this foaming coming out of this hole." "Just like you shook up a bottle of Coke and had your finger over it and let it spray," added her husband.

The water, said Jane Kerr, came out of the ground carbonated. "It would fizz and foam."

Alarmed, the couple left their farm and moved to Regina. "It was getting too dangerous to live there," Cameron Kerr said.

He said provincial inspectors did a one-time check of air quality. Eventually, the Kerrs paid a consultant for a study. Paul Lafleur of Petro-Find Geochem found carbon dioxide concentrations in the soil last summer that averaged about 23,000 parts per million — several times those typically found in field soils. Concentrations peaked at 110,607 parts per million.

Lafleur also used the mix of carbon isotopes he found in the gas to trace its source. "The ... source of the high concentrations of CO2 in the soils of the Kerr property is clearly the anthropogenic CO2 injected into the Weyburn reservoir," he wrote.

"The survey also demonstrates that the overlying thick cap rock of anhydrite over the Weyburn reservoir is not an impermeable barrier to the upward movement of light hydrocarbons and CO2 as is generally thought."

Delfrari said Cenovus has hired three independent consultants to evaluate Lafleur's work. She pointed to a 2004 report on the project by Saskatchewan's Petroleum Training and Research Centre, an agency bringing together government, academics and industry. That report found that after four years of injection, there was no indication carbon dioxide was making its way up through 1,400 metres of rock. "There is no evidence so far for escape of injected CO2 from depth," the report said. It also found the area "highly suitable" for long-term carbon dioxide storage.

Centre director Malcolm Wilson said Lafleur's report wasn't enough on its own to conclude carbon dioxide is leaking. "I will never say that it couldn't happen, but at the moment I think it's very premature to make that linkage," he said. "There are a lot of other potential sources of the CO2." He added, however, that Lafleur has raised some significant questions. "We do have to take into account some of the carbon isotope analysis."

Delfrari said the nearest injection well is about two kilometres from the Kerr property and no other farmers in the area have complained. "We're confident that none of (the carbon dioxide) is making its way back to the Kerr property." She said the Kerrs have suggested that Cenovus buy them out.

Lafleur said there's no way the heavy concentrations of the gas he found could have been naturally generated. "Biogeneic gas is simply not the source of this tremendous amount of CO2, both from a volume point of view and from the isotope point of view. "All reservoirs leak. Every one of them."

Lafleur emphasized that most of the carbon dioxide stays underground. But so much is injected that even small leaks can have health impacts. He said environmental monitoring of the Weyburn project virtually ceased in 2005.

Carbon dioxide is not poisonous, but it does have health effects and can cause asphyxiation in heavy concentrations.

Saskatchewan Energy and Resource Minister Bill Boyd said his government is prepared to take another look at the situation, but said he wouldn't order the project to stop or slow down. "We're prepared to take a very serious look at this situation," he said. "In the meantime, we feel that things are handled appropriately."

The suggestion that the Weyburn capture and storage project might be leaking could have implications far beyond one rural neighbourhood. The Alberta government has committed $2 billion to similar pilot projects. The United States has committed $3.4 billion for carbon capture and storage.

Norway has been injecting carbon dioxide into the sea floor since 1996. There are carbon capture and storage tests planned in Australia, Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom, China and Japan.


The Global Warming Battle: Conservatives vs. 'Academics'?

Wednesday's Washington Post features a story from Richmond by reporter Rosalind Helderman on how the state's Democrats are going to introducing a bill trying to curb the powers of conservative Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to subpoena public universities for information. Taxpayer-funded universities should be spared any public accountability?

The topic here is controversial Climategate scientist Michael Mann, and his tendency to "hide the decline" in temperature records when it's politically convenient. But the Post suggests the conflict is between conservative and "academics," between politicians and "honest" researchers:

Cuccinelli's demand has pleased conservatives, who say that global warming is a hoax, but has outraged many academics, who say he is smearing an honest researcher because he does not approve of his findings.

Why can't liberals ever just be liberals? The Post lets left-wing radicals like the Union of Concerned Scientists pose merely as "academics." Let's recall what Brent Bozell noted was revealed in the Climategate e-mails: these global-warming scientist/activists are politicians just as much as Cuccinelli is:

"It's also important to note that these folks play a rough game of hardball. This isn't about science. It's politics — the brass-knuckles sort. In another e-mail from [Phil] Jones to Mann, reported in The Washington Post, there's talk of cutting skeptical scientists out of the official United Nations report: "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report," Jones writes. "Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"

In another, Jones and Mann discuss how they can pressure an academic journal to reject the work of climate skeptics, perhaps with a boycott: "Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal," Mann writes. "I will be emailing the journal to tell them I'm having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor," Jones replies.

The Post has editorialized very harshly against Cuccinelli investigating Mann's work while he was at the University of Virginia. They're not offended when scientists act like liberal politicians -- they certainly don't believe "objective journalists" should refrain from acting like politicians. Helderman noted these Democrat bills will go nowhere -- except to undermine Cuccinelli's appeal to "moderate voters" at the polls:

If the bills pass the Democratic-led Senate, they are unlikely to be approved by the House of Delegates, where the GOP holds a strong majority.

Still, they afford Democrats a forum for hammering the controversial attorney general over the U-Va. subpoena, which they consider an area of vulnerability with moderate voters.

Mann is an "honest researcher," and Cuccinelli is a "controversial attorney general." Before they assess the politics of environmentalism, perhaps the Post should go ask the working-class miners in southern Virginia which side of the global-warming debate is "moderate" and which is "controversial." But the Post finds it plausible for the Democrats claim Cuccinelli (and not power-hungry "climate change" bureaucrats) would offend Thomas Jefferson:

"Jefferson would be turning in his grave to see what was coming from Richmond because of Attorney General Cuccinelli's efforts to capture private correspondence within faculty and staff at the University of Virginia," said Del. David J. Toscano (D-Charlottesville), who is co-sponsoring the bill and whose district includes the university, which was founded by Thomas Jefferson. "If people are concerned about government intrusion into your private life, you ought to be very concerned about what the attorney general is attempting to do in this case."


Labor Department awards millions of dollars in college grants for 'green jobs' that don't exist

The Department of Labor has issued several million dollars in grants to community colleges and specialized universities around the country to train students for “green jobs” in renewable energy fields. While the grants are supposed to fund the future “rank and file” workers of the renewable energy industry, there’s a glaring problem the DOL seemingly overlooked — those jobs are either non-existent or scarce.

A former college official who has applied for these grants and has in-depth experience working with the Department of Labor and the Department of Education told The Daily Caller that colleges will often fudge expected job placement numbers just to get extra government cash.

“On ground level – it’s a real struggle – my grant writers came to me and honestly said, ‘I don’t have any job projections, what do I tell them?’ You do your best to make up job numbers,” said the former college official, who wished to remain anonymous to prevent jeopardizing future job opportunities. “But it’s not like lying – it’s just guessing what we might be able to do in a best case scenario, but you don’t say it’s not likely for many jobs.”

The former college official told TheDC that, though his college received five different “green jobs” grants from the Department of Labor to train students, no program has been set up yet.

“I can tell you, one, at least at my college, we’ve been very slow to get these grants underway,” he said. “In terms of those programs going, what’s the rate of success on these programs? I don’t think the DOL could produce very strong job numbers on these programs.”

Bill Wilson of not-for-profit group Americans for Limited Government told TheDC these programs and grants are nothing more than a collection of buzzwords, as they don’t serve any practical purpose.

“Congress needs to cut these vanity ‘green job’ promotion projects out of the budget, it is a waste of money and an insult to the American taxpayer to fund these thinly veiled environmental political rallies,” Wilson said in an e-mail.

It’s not like these grants are being given to research and development programs at big name schools focusing on developing new renewable energy technology, either. They’re being given to universities and community colleges to train students in technical or associate degree programs to work in yet-to-be-developed fields. Many of the grants are promised to colleges that pledged to push “green jobs” or “new energy technology,” but don’t go into much more detail about how they plan to go about doing that.

For instance, Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Ala., received more than $3.4 million to help train 175 people, both those who are unemployed and high school students, in “energy-efficiency technology.” That translates into more than $20,000 per person, and many of the trainees likely won’t be able to secure jobs simply because there aren’t very many companies in the U.S. hiring for what they are being trained to do.

Then, there’s Kern Community College District in Bakersfield, Calif., which was granted about $2.7 million for similar training programs for 650 people. There’s also the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc., in Harrisonburg, Va., which got about $5 million to help 1,010 “unemployed and dislocated workers” learn “current and future employer needs” in green technology manufacturing, solar and wind energy support and efficiency assessment and retrofitting for existing energy consumers.

The former college official told TheDC that, though solar and wind are emerging energy sources and though some people around the country are interested in making their homes or businesses “greener,” he thinks there isn’t enough business to support the people being trained to go into these industries. Colleges, he said, are simply incapable of turning down free government money.


Hundreds hospitalised in Vietnam cold snap

Hundreds of children and old people have been hospitalised and thousands of animals killed in a cold snap in north Vietnam, media and officials said Thursday, as temperatures fell to 36-year lows.

People from various provinces needed medical treatment for respiratory and other ailments in recent days, reports said, while the agriculture ministry said more than 4,000 buffalo and cows have died in the cold.

In the capital Hanoi, crowds gathered outside clothing shops as chilly customers rushed to buy thick jackets.

DTiNews website showed pictures of plants encased in ice on O Quy Ho, a mountain pass in Lao Cai province that is popular with tourists.

On Wednesday, Mau Son mountain in Lang Son province bordering China dropped to minus 3.6 C (25.5 F), the lowest temperature since a 1975 record of minus 3.2 C (26 F), the province's weather bureau said.

Hanoi saw a January low of 7 C (44.6 F) on Tuesday night. A woman and her grandson died that evening in a blast on their boat on the city's Red River after they lit a fire to warm themselves, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported. "It is cold but the cold spell in 2008 was worse because it lasted 38 days," said a forecaster at the national weather bureau.

The forecaster, who declined to be named, said Vietnam is influenced by weather systems from the northern hemisphere, Europe and China but the exact cause of the current cold snap was unclear.


Ritter’s “new energy economy” based on old fallacies

If you think corporate welfare “creates jobs,” you might be an outgoing Colorado governor.

As governor, Bill Ritter signed “an unprecedented 57 clean-energy bills into law,” a January 5 release from Colorado State University reviews. Now Ritter will join the university’s Center for the New Energy Economy, drawing a privately funded $300,000 annual salary.

Whether wind and solar energy actually can significantly reduce carbon emissions remains debatable. The online news source Face the State recently reported that an $11 million “new energy” project in Fort Collins actually relies partly on dirty diesel. The irregularity and wide dispersion of wind and solar energy make them difficult to harness.

But advocates of the “new energy economy” do not merely claim that alternative energy reduces carbon emissions. They claim it benefits the economy as well. Such claims about the alleged economic benefits of “new energy” rest on basic economic fallacies.

In a free market, consumers turn to new energy sources when they offer lower costs and better quality than the competition. For example, in the late 1800s consumers turned from whale oil to the “new energy” of petroleum. Advances in nuclear power or some other energy source may in turn largely replace coal and oil without political interference.

Political interference in the market is precisely what Ritter advocates, and that is why his policies harm the economy rather than help it. Ritter’s “new energy economy” relies on a combination of political controls and corporate welfare that raise your energy bills and your taxes.

Last year Ritter signed a bill “requiring that 30 percent of electricity be generated from renewable sources by 2020,” a release from the governor’s office notes. The fallacy is that the bill “will create thousands of new jobs.”

Ritter’s claims about jobs rest on what 19th Century French economist Frederic Bastiat called the “childish illusion” that such measures do anything other than reallocate wealth and wages. Bastiat urges us to consider the unseen as well as the politically obvious. Ritter’s controls will destroy jobs in the oil and coal industries, and they will destroy jobs that consumers would otherwise finance, if they weren’t paying higher energy costs.

Another document from the governor’s office claims, “Ritter’s vision and strategies are helping to create and save jobs, support small businesses, increase manufacturing and spur innovation.” The document lists various businesses subsidized by the state, including Vestas Blades, IBM, and Abound Solar. Ritter conveniently neglects to mention the costs.

Corporate welfare does not just fall from the sky. It comes from taxpayers. That money is no longer available to those who earned it to create jobs and support businesses in other sectors. While Ritter creates jobs with one hand, he destroys them with the other. The difference is that the jobs Ritter creates serve political interests rather than the interests of consumers.

Consider, as Bastiat might do, the logical absurdities of Ritter’s position. If mandating “new” energy creates jobs, then why stop at 30 percent? Why not 100 percent? Why not expand subsidies 1,000 fold? Why not outlaw all coal, oil, and natural gas in Colorado, and force every property owner to install solar panels and windmills? Think of all the new jobs that would require!

Of course, Ritter could argue that, insofar as he has attracted federal funding for “new energy,” he has helped forcibly transfer wealth and jobs from citizens in other states to citizens in Colorado.

But that would seem to be a losing game. Last year the Denver Business Journal noted that “Colorado ranked 33rd among the 50 states in the amount of per-capita federal spending.” If Ritter can “create jobs” in Colorado by bilking the citizens of other states, then politicians elsewhere can do the same to us. The net result is not more jobs, but more political favoritism and more economic waste.

Ritter’s “new energy economy” is built on old economic fallacies about the alleged benefits of central planning and corporate welfare. For productive employment, we should instead turn to a subsidy-free New Liberty Economy that favors free-markets and rewards companies that seek to please customers instead of politicians.


Australia's chief Greenie a racist

But Greenies don't like anyone much so a bit of xenophobia should be no surprise. Note: I use "racist" and "xenophobia" above in the customary Leftist way

With the fires still underway and the death toll rising, Senator Bob Brown commented at the time that the extent and ferocity of the fires was a pointer to the reality of global warming. Maybe so - not being a scientist I couldn't say - but the more pressing issue was one of time and place. On both counts, Bob Brown failed the taste test, and quite spectacularly.

With the flood crisis now turning to Victoria, and the death toll expected to increase in Queensland as the recovery continues, Senator Brown has now decided to use this latest national tragedy to launch an attack on the coal industry. Unlike the bushfires, it's difficult to identify any precise link between burning coal and the re-occurrence of a flood pattern which has been with Australia since well before white settlement, but the Greens Leader clearly didn't want to let the opportunity pass him by. As Queensland Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce pointed out in a moment of lucidity, in 1893 the Brisbane River flood gauge reached 8.35m. "Was the coal industry responsible for that as well?" Joyce asked.

Brown's overstatements are such that they test the patience of those of us who believe in climate change. Global warming aside, there was one aspect to his comments about the coal industry which exposed the strange jingoism which underpins his world view and that of many on his flank of politics. It's the kind of sentiment which has been heard most commonly from supporters of Pauline Hanson's old One Nation Party, and it exposes how on both the far left and far right of politics there's this quaint "Stop the world I want to get off" nonsense which sees globalisation as the root cause of all known social evil.

When such views are expressed by Hansonites they'll face accusations of racism, which is something which you would think Bob Brown abhors, but this is what he had to say anyway:

"Burning coal is a major cause of global warming. This industry, which is 75 per cent owned outside Australia, should help pay the cost of the predicted more severe and more frequent floods, droughts and bushfires in the coming decades. It is unfair that the cost is put on all taxpayers, not the culprits."

Setting aside the fact that this flood is less severe than others which have occurred in the past in terms of its size, Brown's comments could so easily have emanated from the mouth of someone such as Hanson. The fact that we are now living in a global economy is presented not as the basis of our increased national prosperity, but the source of our apparent ruination.

This is a recurring theme in public life in Australia. Groups and individuals often cloak their arguments in this absurdly retro dinki-di rhetoric to capitalise on a misplaced sense of national sentiment.

Dick Smith built a company out of it, the big retailers tried it on last month when they attacked our right to shop online, ignoring the fact that it's their own pricing policies, and their support for protectionist racketeering such as parallel import restrictions which artificially inflates the cost of products such as books. Those factors play as big a part as the fluctuation of the dollar in encouraging consumers to buy offshore, but it doesn't sit with the Buy Aussie sentiment they're using to bolster their self-interested arguments.

One of the best expos‚s of this protectionist nonsense came on the floor of the NSW Labor State Conference in 2007 when the rambunctious former treasurer Michael Costa took on the labour movement and the parliamentary left over electricity privatisation.

The unions and their backers in Caucus had done a very passable impersonation of Hanson by peddling the line that if NSW sold its power industry it could end up being bought by the Chinese. No evidence for that, but invoking the prospect of those inscrutable Orientals buying Energy Australia was too good a PR opportunity to ignore. In a passionate and ranting speech at the conference, which was so abusive that it probably helped ensure the failure of the power sale, Costa pointed out that the bright yellow protest T-shirts being worn by the anti-privatisation delegates had themselves been made in China.

Surely if the delegates were consistent and pure they would have paid five times as much to get them from a local manufacturer.

The simple economic reality is that for everything we now import there are plenty of locally grown or locally made products and services which are now able to enter markets overseas which have also reduced protections as world trade becomes freer.

The irony with Brown's attack on the coal industry is exposed by the estimated damages bill from the floods themselves. Canberra is putting the cost at between $5 billion and $8 billion but the Reserve Bank believes it could top $15 billion. Much of the cost would come from the fact that large sections of the coal industry have been shut down by the floods, or the roads which are used to transport coal are now inoperable. Which means fewer exports to China. Which means less money to Treasury.

Which means less money for public schools, bike lanes and community arts grants, all the things which people such as Bob Brown apparently adore.



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


19 January, 2011

Most Significant Global Warming Tipping Point Theory Bites the Dust

A scientific study on the results of the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill has yielded some surprising results that appear to disprove fears of methane release as a global warming “tipping point” to catastrophic warming.

The theory as currently incorporated by most climate models requires “tipping points” to go from mild anthropogenic warming to catastrophic global warming. The most plausible and significant of these potential tipping points has always been the release of methane triggered by warmer temperatures:

A piece in the latest issue of Science shows that there’s a considerable amount of methane (CH4) coming from the East Siberian Arctic Shelf, where it had been trapped under the permafrost. There’s as much coming out from one small section of the Arctic ocean as from all the rest of the oceans combined. This is officially Not Good.

Here’s why: methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, significantly more powerful than carbon dioxide. There are billions of tons of methane trapped under the permafrost, and if that methane starts leaking quickly, it would have a strong feedback effect—warming the atmosphere and oceans, causing more methane to leak, and on and on. The melting of methane ice (aka “methane hydrates” and “methane clathrates”) is probably the most significant global warming tipping point event out there.

Scary stuff. However, the recent BP oil spill has given scientists the chance of an “impossible experiment” where just such a release of methane has occurred. And the results are now in:

Calling the results “extremely surprising,” researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Texas A&M University report that methane gas concentrations in the Gulf of Mexico have returned to near normal levels only months after a massive release occurred following the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion.

Kessler added: “Based on our measurements from earlier in the summer and previous other measurements of methane respiration rates around the world, it appeared that (Deepwater Horizon) methane would be present in the Gulf for years to come. Instead, the methane respiration rates increased to levels higher than have ever been recorded, ultimately consuming it and prohibiting its release to the atmosphere.“

Who would have thought it? Not all the myriad teams of climate scientists, obviously, with their billions in research grants, their supercomputers and climate models. But then, a research paper that ends something along the lines of “we conclude that there is no danger, and therefore no need for further study” is not likely to lead to a grant renewal is it?

So what are the implications for this most dangerous of tipping points? The researchers say that their empirical findings (note empirical – as opposed to models on a computer) prove that similar methane releases are not a cause for concern so far as global warming is concerned:

Kessler noted: “We were glad to have the opportunity to lend our expertise to study this oil spill. But also we tried to make a little good come from this disaster and use it to learn something about how the planet functions naturally. The seafloor stores large quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, which has been suspected to be released naturally, modulating global climate. What the Deepwater Horizon incident has taught us is that releases of methane with similar characteristics will not have the capacity to influence climate.”

And so another terrifying tipping point bites the dust. Expect to read all about this in the newspapers and to hear about it on TV. Or not. Maybe just here at Hauntingthelibrary.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Warmists: 'We can't win the game, so let's change the rules'

Willis Eschenbach’s recent guest post at Watts Up With That? on the current state of ‘Climate science’ should be made compulsory reading in every classroom, every university science department, every eco-charity, every environmental NGO and in every branch of government. They won’t like it up ‘em, that’s for sure.

What Eschenbach says is so pure and simple and obvious you’d need to be as dumb as Chris Huhne not to get it:

The theory linking man-made CO2 with dangerous global warming is dead. It has been falsified. It has run smack bang into a “null hypothesis.” It has met its Waterloo. It has bought the farm. It has gone for a Burton. It has cashed in its chips, fallen off its perch, gone south, gone west, shuffled off this mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the Choir Invisible. Man-made Global Warming has ceased to exist.

Eschenbach wrote his post in response to a bizarre speech prepared by Dr Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), which he intended to deliver to the American Meteorological Society. Trenberth is the arch-warmist perhaps best known for writing the Climategate email which went:

"The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t".

When Trenberth’s speech was pre-published on the internet it caused something of a stir, both for the way large chunks of it had been taken almost verbatim from another scientist and for its use six times of the word “denier”.

(Thanks to some kindly advice proferred by Steve McIntyre, Trenberth has now significantly altered his speech. But not – as I incorrectly reported earlier – by changing his six uses of the word “deniers” to “sceptics”. That loaded word deniers he has kept, which gives you an idea of the man’s zealotry. And also his foolishness: a good many in his audience at the AMS, being meteorologists rather than “climate scientists” tend very much to fall into the sceptic camp).

What Eschenbach focuses on, though, is Trenberth’s absurd demand that the “null hypothesis” on AGW theory be reversed. That is, instead of having to prove AGW exists, what people should now be required to prove that it doesn’t exist. (!)

Here’s an excerpt from Eschenbach’s hilarious demolition of this nonsense:

"Gotta love the style, though, simply proclaiming by imperial fiat that his side is the winner in one of the longest-running modern scientific debates. And his only proffered “evidence” for this claim? It is the unequivocal fact that Phil Jones and Michael Mann and Caspar Amman and Gene Wahl and the other good old boys of the IPCC all agree with him. That is to say, Dr. T’s justification for reversing the null hypothesis is that the IPCC report that Dr. T helped write agrees with Dr. T. That’s recursive enough to make Ouroboros [the mythical snake that eats its tail] weep in envy".

Do read Eschenbach’s post in full. Eschenbach goes on to offer a long list of things climate ’scientists’ should do if they’re ever to be taken seriously again:

* Stop avoiding public discussion and debate of your work.

* Stop secretly moving the pea under the walnut shells.

* Enough with the scary scenarios, already.

* Speak out against scientific malfeasance whenever and wherever you see it.

* Stop re-asserting the innocence of you and your friends.


Will any of this happen? It’s about as likely, I’d say, as my winning gold in the 100 metres at the 2012 London Olympics. The reason for this is that “Climate Change” has long since abandoned any connection it had now with actual science. It is an ideology. A religion. A psychopathology.

That’s why the people on this planet now inhabit two parallel universes. On the one hand are the true believers, such as NASA’s Dr James Hansen, who believes his compatriots are “barbarians”, that US democracy is “dysfunctional” and that the best way to sort out the world’s carbon problems would be to invite some kind of global, Chinese-led eco dictatorship.

These true believers also include this eco-loon at Treehugger who appears to admire China’s no-nonsense way of meeting its five-year energy-efficiency targets: by “cutting power to industry and imposing rolling blackouts.”

According to the Treehugger this is brutal, statist, anti-human example is something we could learn from:

"It’s worth noting the difference in political culture: What do you think would have happened if the US had such an energy-reduction target to hit, but a sagging economy got in the way?
I can tell you with some certainty: We would have missed that mark".

Then, on the other side of the planet, living in a parallel universe, are the rest of us. We look at James Hansen’s quotes and think: “Hang on a second. This is the guy in charge of one of the world’s four main climate data sets. He’s paid for by the US taxpayer, supposedly to represent US interests. And he’s a scientist who’s supposed to be politically neutral. Is it just me – or has one half of the world gone totally mad?”

Or as Dr Kevin Trenberth might say if only he weren’t so committed to the wrong cause, “This AGW sham. It’s a travesty!”


I’ve been urged – and rightly so – to draw your attention to the equally brilliant refutation of AGW at WUWT (commissioned by the GWPF) by the mighty Dr Richard Lindzen. (H/T D Simmons)

When an issue like global warming is around for over twenty years, numerous agendas are developed to exploit the issue. The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power, influence, and donations are reasonably clear. So too are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of CO2 is a dream-come-true.

After all, CO2 is a product of breathing itself. Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted because it is necessary for ‘saving’ the earth. Nations have seen how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages.

But, by now, things have gone much further. The case of ENRON (a now bankrupt Texas energy firm) is illustrative in this respect. Before disintegrating in a pyrotechnic display of unscrupulous manipulation, ENRON had been one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon emission rights.

This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to over a trillion dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions. Hedge funds are actively examining the possibilities; so was the late Lehman Brothers. Goldman Sachs has lobbied extensively for the ‘cap and trade’ bill, and is well positioned to make billions. It is probably no accident that Gore, himself, is associated with such activities.

The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one’s carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. The possibilities for corruption are immense.

Archer Daniels Midland (America’s largest agribusiness) has successfully lobbied for ethanol requirements for gasoline, and the resulting demand for ethanol may already be contributing to large increases in corn prices and associated hardship in the developing world (not to mention poorer car performance).

And finally, there are the numerous well-meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue For them, their psychic welfare is at stake.


Greens Lie, Africans Die

Fina’s little body shook for hours with teeth-chattering chills. The next day her torment worsened, as nausea and vomiting continued even after there was nothing left in her stomach. Finally, her vomiting ebbed and chills turned to fever, drenching her body in sweat. Then more chills, fevers, nausea, convulsions, and constant, unbearable pain in every muscle, bone and joint.

She cried out, and tears mixed with sweat. But no one could help her. She had no money for doctors, medicines or a hospital room. She didn’t even have a mother or father to comfort her. All the orphanage school staff could do was caress her, pray and hope she’d get better – and wait for her to die.

And in agony that never stopped from the time the malaria first struck her down, Fina Nantume did die. So did 49 of her classmates, out of 500 students in the APEA Primary School for orphans in Kampala, Uganda, in 2005. Most of the survivors were also afflicted with malaria at least once that year. Some became permanently brain damaged. Others died in subsequent years.

Fina didn’t have to die. None of these spirited, beautiful young students had to die. None of them had to get malaria. The disease is preventable, treatable and curable.

Then why did they? Why does half the world’s population remain at risk of getting malaria? Why are some 250 million people infected annually – with 90% of the agonizing chills, fevers, nausea, brain damage and death occurring in sub-Saharan Africa?

It’s said malaria is a disease of poverty, and poor countries don’t have enough funds, doctors or medicines to treat the disease – or prevent it in the first place. True enough. But malaria is also, and much more so, a disease of callous, intransigent environmental extremism and wanton disregard for human life. A disease whose prevention is hampered, and actively thwarted, by pervasive opposition to mosquito-killing insecticides, and mosquito-repelling DDT.

Anti-pesticide activists say they support other interventions: education, “capacity building,” modern drugs and bednets. Indeed, international funding for malaria prevention and treatment has risen from perhaps $40 million in 1998 to almost $2 billion in 2010. Millions of women and children now sleep under insecticide-treated nets. Millions now get diagnosed quickly and receive decent care and medicines.

These anti-malaria programs “saved nearly 750,000 lives over the past ten years.” the World Health Organization enthusiastically asserts. “That represents an 18% reduction in child mortality, compared with 2000.” That’s wonderful news. But it’s not good enough.

We would never tolerate 18% as “good enough,” if American or European kids’ lives were at stake, or if a 70-90% reduction in disease, misery and death rates were possible. And it would be possible, if we could end the lies and obstructionism that restrict access to mosquito killers and repellants that can dramatically reduce infection rates and the need to treat a quarter-billion cases of malaria every year.

But the lies and obstruction are prevalent, and effective. Here are just a few of the most egregious. “Nets are just as good as insecticides.” Prevention should always be the first line of defense. That’s why we chlorinate drinking water and vaccinate people against measles, mumps, polio and flu. Insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs) certainly help and should be used. But they are a supplement to, not a substitute for, larvacides, insecticides and DDT that kill mosquitoes and keep them away from people.

Bednets help if they’re used regularly and properly. They don’t help if they’re torn, people are working, there are only enough nets for a family’s small children and pregnant women, or it’s too hot to sleep under one. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) eliminates behavior as a consideration; it protects everyone in the house, 24 hours a day.

“Bednets are more cost-effective than indoor spraying.” This assertion is backed by several studies, appartently financed by anti-pesticide groups and ITN manufacturers. However, the studies compare bednets with IRS using pyrethroids like ICON, instead of DDT. Pyrethroids are far more expensive and must be applied more often than DDT, which raises IRS costs significantly. The studies also fail to include all the costs associated with manufacturing and distributing the nets. Independent analyses found that nets are actually four times more expensive than spraying the inside walls of homes with DDT.

Much more important, spraying DDT once or twice a year keeps 80% of mosquitoes from entering the home, irritates those that do enter, so they leave without biting, and kills any that land. No other chemical, at any price, has these repellency and irritation features. DDT helps doctors treat more patients with often scarce ACT drugs and dramatically slash disease and death rates – often by 90% or more.

“Mosquitoes will become resistant to DDT.” This is highly unlikely. DDT use today is restricted to disease prevention, whereas pyrethroids are used extensively in agriculture and ITNs, greatly increasing the risk of resistance to these DDT “alternatives.” Once that happens both non-DDT indoor spraying and bednets will become far less effective, and malaria rates could skyrocket. In addition, there is no evidence that mosquitoes have ever become resistant to DDT’s repellency and irritation effects.

Moreover, reliance on nets and pyrethroid sprays significantly reduces prevention and increases the need for treatment. This can stretch scarce hospital, medical staff and drug resources to the breaking point. It increases the likelihood that malaria parasites will become resistant to Artemisia-based drugs, especially monotherapies. And it magnifies the pervasive and growing problem of substandard and counterfeit drugs replacing scarce supplies of reputable ACT combination therapies.

“DDT has dangerous side effects.” Greenpeace, Pesticide Action Network, Environmental Defense, International POPs Elimination Network and affiliated radical groups love to say “some researchers think” DDT and its break-down byproduct DDE “could” inhibit lactation, “may” weaken immune systems and are “associated with” low birth weights in babies. Not only is this rank speculation, but malaria definitely has all these side effects; it also causes severe brain damage, an inability to work for weeks on end, and agonizing death. Opposing DDT use on the basis of bogus side effects is infinitely worse than opposing cancer-curing chemotherapy because of the nasty and very real side effects of vincristine, asperaginase, methotrexate and other chemo drugs.

“DDT will poison the global biosphere.” Anti-pesticide zealots claim even indoor spraying with DDT will “contaminate” soils and waters for decades and “damage entire regional environmental systems.” Baloney. IRS involves small amounts of DDT on walls. The chemical and its derivatives break down. Detection does not equal destruction. Our ability to detect chemicals at the equivalent of one second in 32 years does not equate with damage to any organism, and certainly not to entire ecosystems.

There is no magic bullet. We need every weapon in our arsenal to control and eradicate this vicious disease. DDT and insecticides aren’t necessary or appropriate in every case – but when needed health officials must be able to employ them, without recrimination or retribution.

The “net” effect of these bald-faced lies is that anti-pesticide zealots are perpetuating poverty, misery, disease and death in malaria-endemic regions all over the world. Safe in offices made malaria-free by the very chemicals, technologies and prosperity they deny to others, these baby killers and their financial benefactors are violating the most basic human rights of people in poor nations: the right of access to technologies that enhance and safeguard life.

Their reign of terror must end, before they usher in a disaster of truly epidemic proportions.


Going broke by going green

Obama Administration energy policies are impairing our jobs, revenues, economy and health

President Obama’s healthcare program came under intense scrutiny in 2010. As we enter 2011, we need to open our eyes to what is really going on behind his green energy propaganda, as well. To some, it may not seem as desperate an issue as healthcare, but it will grow to become just as devastating to those citizens among us who are poor, because access to affordable energy affects everything we do.

The administration’s green policies are being thrust into a precarious American economy. Every “green scenario” shows raised energy costs across the board. Not only will the average person pay more for energy; many will lose their jobs as the forced transition to alternative power sources rocks the stability of current energy-producing and energy-using companies.

Skyrocketing energy prices and lost jobs also mean millions of otherwise healthy Americans are subjected to new health threats: higher air conditioning, heating, transportation and other energy bills. For those who cannot afford the increased costs, this can mean death from heat stroke and hypothermia; reduced budgets for healthy food, proper healthcare, home and car repairs, college, retirement, and charitable giving; and psychological depression that accompanies economic depression.

Land withdrawals and leasing and permitting delays don’t just lock up vast energy storehouses. They kill jobs, eliminate billions in government bonus, rent, royalty and tax revenues – and force us to spend other billions to import more oil that we could produce right here at home.

The White House agenda represents a double power grab. It usurps state, local and private sector control over energy prices and generation, and gives it to unelected Washington bureaucrats. It also seizes our reliable, affordable energy, and replaces it with expensive, intermittent power.

While many Americans are duped into thinking renewable energy sources are the ticket to a clean world, they have not looked at the downside to these energy sources. Replacing fossil fuel power with coerced renewable energy means millions of acres will be covered with turbines and solar panels, and built with billions of tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earth metals. It means millions of acres of forest and crop land will be converted to farming for inefficient biofuels that also require vast inputs of water, pesticides, fertilizers and hydrocarbon fuels.

Moreover, wind and solar facilities work only 10-30 percent of the time, compared to 90-95 percent for coal, gas and nuclear power plants. Even worse, prolonged cold is almost invariably associated with high atmospheric pressure, and thus very little wind. On December 21, 2010 – one of the coldest days on record for Yorkshire, England (undoubtedly due to global warming) – the region’s coal, gas and nuclear power plants generated 53,000 megawatts of electricity; its wind turbines provided a measly 20 MW, or 0.04% of the total. The same high pressure, no wind scenario happens on the hottest summer days.

“Renewable” and “clean” energy projects received $30 billion in subsidies under the gargantuan stimulus bill. They got another $3 billion in the “lame duck” tax deal. Federal wind power subsidies are $6.44 per million BTUs – dozens of times what coal and natural gas receive, to generate 1/50 of the electricity that coal does. At current and foreseeable coal and gas prices, wind (and solar) simply cannot compete.

As to “green” jobs, Competitive Enterprise Institute energy analyst Chris Horner calculates that the stimulus bill’s subsidies for wind and solar mean taxpayers are billed $475,000 for each job created. Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reports that property tax breaks for wind projects in her state cost nearly $1.6 million per job. “Green energy” is simply unsustainable, environmentally and economically.

President Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson may be convinced that we face a manmade climate change crisis, and unacceptable health risks from power plant and refinery emissions. However, their “climate science” is little more than a self-proving theory: no matter what happens – hotter or colder, wetter or drier, more storms or fewer – it’s “proof” of global warming.

Thousands of scientists say there is yet no real evidence that we face such a crisis, and most coal-fired power plants and refineries have already reduced their harmful emissions to the point that only the most sensitive or health-impaired would be harmed.

The problem is not runaway global warming. It is a runaway and unaccountable federal bureaucracy.

Putting the green power grab into even sharper focus are these eye-opening comments from two “socially responsible” CEOs, who have lobbied the Congress, EPA and White House intensely for cap-tax-and-trade, far tougher emission policies and still more subsidies. We thank the Wall Street Journal for bringing them to our attention.

EPA’s regulations “increase operating costs for coal-fired generators and ultimately increase the price of energy” for families and companies that need electricity, observed Exelon CEO John Rowe. “The upside for Exelon is unmistakable. Exelon’s clean [mostly nuclear] generation will continue to grow in value in a relatively short time. We are of course positioning our portfolio to capture that value.”

“Even without legislation in Congress, EPA is marching forward in terms of regulating carbon dioxide,” noted Lewis Hay, CEO of NextEra Energy, America’s largest producer of wind and solar power. “That puts us in a very good position.”

The Journal summarized the situation succinctly in a recent editorial: “The EPA is abusing environmental law to achieve policy goals that the democratic process rejected, while also engineering a transfer of wealth from the 25 states in the Midwest and South that get more than 50 percent of their electricity from coal. The industry beneficiaries [of these destructive regulations] then pretend that this agenda is nothing more than a stroll around Walden Pond, when it’s really about lining their own pockets.”

It is time to face reality. Misnamed “green energy” policies severely undermine any opportunity America may have to rebuild her economy. Perpetuating current jobless rates would be just the tip of the iceberg if we follow the path that EPA and the White House have laid in front of us.

Let your legislators know that you do not support the White House’s current green programs. We cannot afford to go broke trying to go green.


Is 'Cuddly Green' a Trojan Horse for 'Nasty Fascist' in our schools?


Many good and decent people are very concerned, rightly or wrongly, with 'the environment' in general and with 'climate change' in particular. I suppose those who read this blog are mostly sceptical about climate alarmism, but I also suppose they, like me, find that most people they know are both 'good and decent' and 'alarmed about climate change attributed to humans'.

The more I study the science and the politics of climate, the less impressed I am with the leaders, and the most active and outspoken, in the scientific and in the political wings of the 'movement to alarm people about their impact on climate'. There is a lot to be dismayed about.

One immediate impact of these people is to damage industrial economies by forcing expensive and unreliable energy burdens on to them through wind, wave, and biofuels, and neglecting or discouraging the development and improvement of more economic methods such as nuclear fission, or the burning of coal and gas.

A more alarming, and longer-term, impact is surely to be expected from the deliberate frightening of children in schools with talk of doom and gloom, and of how humans and their industrial technologies are such a problem.

But there is also something there which can, or ought to, frighten adults - especially any who are familiar with the wars and revolutions in or near Europe in the 20th century. Leftwing movements in the Soviet Union and in Germany in particular led to totalitarian regimes which engaged in destructiveness on a massive and heart-rending scale. The National Socialists in Germany were particularly emphatic about going back to Nature.

(An extended essay is referenced here in anticipation of any reader puzzled by my conflation of fascism with socialism)

Part One: two essays from Germany

The following passage, with a little editing, could easily be from the pen of a modern green-activist:

'We recognise that separating humanity from nature, from the whole of life, leads to humankind’s own destruction and to the death of nations. Only through a re-integration of humanity into the whole of nature can our people be made stronger. That is the fundamental point of the biological tasks of our age. Humankind alone is no longer the focus of thought, but rather life as a whole . . . This striving toward connectedness with the totality of life, with nature itself, a nature into which we are born, this is the deepest meaning and the true essence of National Socialist thought.'

These are the words of a Nazi ideologue (1), and are quoted in the study by Peter Staudenmaier entitled: 'Fascist Ecology: The "Green Wing" of the Nazi Party and its Historical Antecedents'. He ends with this warning:

'For all of these reasons, the slogan advanced by many contemporary Greens, "We are neither right nor left but up front," is historically naive and politically fatal. The necessary project of creating an emancipatory ecological politics demands an acute awareness and understanding of the legacy of classical ecofascism and its conceptual continuities with present-day environmental discourse.

An 'ecological' orientation alone, outside of a critical social framework, is dangerously unstable. The record of fascist ecology shows that under the right conditions such an orientation can quickly lead to barbarism.'

(1) Ernst Lehmann, Biologischer Wille. Wege und Ziele biologischer Arbeit im neuen Reich, München, 1934, pp. 10-11. Lehmann was a professor of botany who characterised National Socialism as "politically applied biology."

Part Two: tips for eco-fascists

There are many links to be found that might help you (Googling 'eco-fascism' alone provides more than 300,000), but here are some aspects captured by a new blog, called 'HauntingTheLibrary', which digs out examples of what has been said or done or otherwise written about in the past, and presents it a modern context. I frame two of its posts in the context of writing a manual for the modern eco-fascist hellbent on taking control of our lives:

* First , persuade your people there is a massive threat facing them, a great danger:

'...In 1982 Mustafa Tolba of the United Nations Environment Program excoriated the world’s governments for failing to institute “ecologically sound management” and warned them, in an “official forecast” that if they didn’t mend their ways, “…by the turn of the century, an ecological catastrophe which will witness devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust…”. Mustafa Tolba went on to become Executive Director for UNEP.'

* Second, persuade them that strong government is the only answer:

' The NASA scientist at the heart of the global warming fiasco seems set to stir more controversy after declaring in an op ed piece for The South China Morning Post and a personally published follow-up that American democracy is not competent to deal with global warming, and communist China now represents the world’s “best hope”. '

There are, no doubt, many more steps required to make the manual complete, but these two seem quite enough to be getting on with. Teachers should be aware that there is no such thing as a free lunch when it comes to eco-studies, nor to any pushing of the utterly unsubstantiated alarm about human influence on climate. And be aware that there are extremely sinister forces lurking in the wings, and perhaps also in the human psyche, that need to be watched very closely.


China-loving Greenies

November's election made it quite clear that the people of the United States do not want to radically change our society in the name of global warming. Pretty much every close House race went to the Republicans, while the Democrats won all the Senate squeakers. The difference? The House on June 26, 2009, passed a bill limiting carbon-dioxide emissions and getting into just about every aspect of our lives. The Senate did nothing of the sort.

The nation's most prominent publicly funded climatologist is officially angry about this, blaming democracy and citing the Chinese government as the "best hope" to save the world from global warming. He also wants an economic boycott of the U.S. sufficient to bend us to China's will.

NASA laboratory head James Hansen's anti-democracy rants were published while he was on a November junket in China, but they didn't get much attention until recently. On Jan. 12, the hyperprolific blogger Marc Morano put them on his Climate Depot site, and within hours, the post went viral. In a former life, Mr. Morano was chief global-warming researcher for Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican.

According to Mr. Hansen, compared to China, we are "the barbarians" with a "fossil-money- 'democracy' that now rules the roost," making it impossible to legislate effectively on climate change. Unlike us, the Chinese are enlightened, unfettered by pesky elections. Here's what he blogged on Nov. 24:

"I have the impression that Chinese leadership takes a long view, perhaps because of the long history of their culture, in contrast to the West with its short election cycles. At the same time, China has the capacity to implement policy decisions rapidly. The leaders seem to seek the best technical information and do not brand as a hoax that which is inconvenient."

Has this guy ever heard of the Gang of Four? Or the Cultural Revolution, which killed those who were inconvenient? Or the Great Leap Forward, which used the best technical information to determine that a steel mill in every backyard was a good idea?

Mr. Hansen has another idea to circumvent our democracy. Because Congress is not likely to pass any legislation making carbon-based energy prohibitively expensive, he proposed, in the South China Morning Post, that China lead a boycott of our economy:

"After agreement with other nations, e.g., the European Union, China and these nations could impose rising internal carbon fees. Existing rules of the World Trade Organization would allow collection of a rising border duty on products from all nations that do not have an equivalent internal carbon fee or tax.

"The United States then would be forced to make a choice. It could either address its fossil-fuel addiction ... or ... accept continual descent into second-rate and third-rate economic well-being."

The WTO, in fact, has not "ruled" that it can impose environmental tariffs of any kind, much less those of such magnitude that they would destroy the world's largest economy.

Mr. Hansen is just dreaming here. But that's not surprising. He has been very creative over the years.

In 1988, he reportedly told Bob Reiss, author of yet another apocalyptic screed, "The Coming Storm," that in the next 20 years, "The West Side Highway [in Manhattan] will be under water" and, "There will be more police cars" in New York because "well, you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up."

Well, there are more cops and less crime, and the West Side is high and dry. One out of three isn't bad for baseball, but it is horrendous for science.

In 1988, he testified in front of Congress, showing the temperature forecast for coming decades. He had three emission scenarios: One was labeled "A," which he called "business as usual." It actually underestimated the growth in greenhouse-gas emissions since then. Even with that error, which should have enhanced global warming more than he predicted, observed temperatures fell far short. He predicted 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.3 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming. This was an overestimate of more than 40 of what was observed between then and now.

How about his scenario "B," which assumes "decreasing trace gas growth rates?" That one overestimates warming by a bit less than 40 percent (37 percent, to be artificially exact). Scenario "C" is irrelevant, as it assumed massive cuts in emissions beginning in 1988.

His forecasts of climatic change for nearly the last quarter-century are fantasy, as is his notion that dictators are better than democracy and that our country should be bullied into submission.



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


18 January, 2011

2010 Sea Level: Largest drop ever recorded?

Based on the most current data it appears that 2010 is going to show the largest drop in global sea level ever recorded in the modern era. Since many followers of global warming believe that the rate of sea level rise is increasing, a significant drop in the global sea level highlights serious flaws in the IPCC projections. The oceans are truly the best indicator of climate. The oceans drive the world’s weather patterns. A drop in the ocean levels in a year that is being cited as proof that the global warming has arrived shows that there is still much to learned. If the ocean levels dropped in 2010, then there is something very wrong with the IPCC projections.

The best source of sea level data is The University of Colorado. Only government bureaucracy could put the sea level data in one of the places farthest from the ocean, but that is where it is. I use both data sets that includes the seasonal signal. So with and without the inverted barometer applied. This is the source of the data that is used to show that the oceans are rising. Of course the rate of rise is greatly exaggerated and if the rate from 1993-2010 is used there will be a 1m rise in the year 2361.

Of course the rate is not constant. The rate of rise over the past 5 years has been half the overall rate. At the rate of the past 5 years it will be the year 2774 before the oceans rise a single meter. Of course a decrease in the rate is technically an negative acceleration in the rate of rise, so technically the rate of rise is accelerating, but in a negative direction. That statement is misleading though as most people consider acceleration to be a positive effect.

Even more interesting is the fact that from 1992-2005 there was an increase each year. 2006 was the first year to show a drop in the global sea level. 2010 will be the 2nd year to show a decrease in sea level. That is correct, 2 of the past 5 years are going to show a decrease in sea level. 2010 could likely show a significant drop global sea level. By significant I mean it is possible that it will likely drop between 2-3 mm from 2009. Since the data has not been updated since August it is difficult to guess more precisely, but the data ends at the time of year that the seasonal drop begins to show up. If the drop does show up as expected it is possible that 2010 will show the largest drop in sea level ever recorded.

Of course what will happen won’t be known until the data for the past 5 months is made available. I have been patiently waiting for the data to be updated for several months now, but I got tired of waiting and decided to put the information I have out there.

One fact is certain. A drop in sea level for 2 of the past 5 years is a strong indicator that a changing sea level is not a great concern. In order for the IPCC prediction to be correct of a 1m increase in sea level by 2100, the rate must be almost 11 mm/yr every year for the next 89 years. Since the rate is dropping, it makes the prediction increasingly unlikely. Not even once in the past 20 years has that rate ever been achieved. The average rate of 2.7 mm/yr is only 25% of the rate needed for the IPCC prediction to be correct.

This is yet another serious blow the accuracy of the official IPCC predictions for the coming century. The fact that CO2 levels have been higher in the last 5 years that have the lowest rate of rise than the years with lower CO2 levels is a strong indicator that the claims of CO2 are grossly exaggerated.


The latest lucubration from former green jobs czar Van Jones

Mr. Jones has a serious case of schizophrenia, by the sound of it

"You can't drill holes and pull out death from the ground -- burn death in your engines, burn death in your power plants -- and then be shocked when you get death from the skies in the form of global warming and death from the oceans in the form of oil spills," [Van Jones] said.


Carbon Dioxide Accused of Harming Life Under the Sea

This claim has really got hammered home in Australia, because of Australia's huge coral reef. But Hoagy, the chief proponent of the claim, has gone strangely quiet in the last year or so. Maybe this is why

The environmentalists have been having a heyday with carbon dioxide lately.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled it a pollutant, thus leading it to change the way the Clean Air Act applied to CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Carbon Dioxide was blamed for global warming, now, climate change. And now this basic element of life is being blamed for disrupting life under the sea.

The term is “ocean acidification” and National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) environmentalists say the increased levels of carbon dioxide will start to kill off coral reef and fish, thus destroying the underwater ecosystem.

These environmentalists blame the increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, released from vehicle emissions, power plants and other fossil fuels, for causing changes in the acidity levels in the ocean. Groups like NRDC claim that changes in pH levels in the ocean mean grave consequences for coral reefs, fish and other sea life.

More specifically, a Washington Post article states, “Scientists expect ocean pH levels to drop by another 0.3 units by 2100, which could seriously damage marine creatures that need calcium carbonate to build their shells and skeletons. Once absorbed in seawater, carbon dioxide forms carbonic acid and lowers ocean pH, making it harder for corals, plankton and tiny marine snails (called pteropods) to form their body parts.”

But not everyone is buying into this research. David Middleton, a geoscientist, explains in his article, “Ocean Acidification: Chicken Little of the Sea Strikes Again,” that he has found no correlation between pH and reef calcification rates. In fact, he found solid evidence that elevated atmospheric CO2 levels have actually caused carbonate deposition to increase over the last 220 years. Meaning that sea life, including coral reef, are able to adapt to changes in CO2 levels without succumbing to any dire consequences.

Despite the controversies within ocean acidification and questions as to whether it is detrimental to sea life or not, isn’t stopping some from calling for stricter regulations of C02 emissions.

An article in the Washington Examiner states, “According to a 2009 statement by Britain’s Royal Society, co-signed by Dr. James Hansen, of NASA’s Goddard Center, and Dr. Mark Spalding of The Nature Conservancy: ‘Proposals to limit CO2 levels to 450ppm will not prevent the catastrophic loss of coral reefs from the combined effects of global warming and ocean acidification. To ensure the long‐term viability of coral reefs the atmospheric CO2 level must be reduced significantly below 350ppm.’ ”

The EPA has already agreed to explore tightening regulations dealing with ocean acidification under the Clean Water Act. But any meaningful regulations may still be a ways off.

A lack of baseline information on the pH of coastal waters is one stumbling block, according to the Christian Science Monitor. The article goes on to state, “that only three sites currently have data on ocean pH that span a sufficient amount of time to be useful to regulators and at a minimum, regulators would need at least a decade’s worth of data at each of dozens of sites along a coastline to be able to confidently detect trends.”

This is good news for Middleton, who says in his article regarding the claims of ocean acidification killing off marine life that, “Once again, we have an environmental catastrophe that is entirely supported by predictive computer models and totally unsupported by correlative and empirical scientific data.”

Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG), thinks this is just another path where the EPA can gain a foothold into further regulating America’s basic energy creators, like the coal industry and other fossil fuels.

“Environmentalists are looking for any way they can to stifle America’s energy base in an effort to drive their own agenda,” he says. “There is clearly not enough evidence to support their claims that too much CO2 damages marine life. This is just another scare tactic they’ve found useful, much like the debunked global warming threat.”

As environmentalists fight on to limit carbon dioxide emissions, now in an effort to save coral reef, Americans have a right to be skeptical of their science. After all, most noticed the quick name change from global warming to climate change after ideas of global warming went awry.

It makes you wonder what or who carbon dioxide will strike next. But with a FY 2011 budget request of $437 million for climate research by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it is likely they’ll find the next victim.


A Responsible Adult ,and Hugely Distinguished Atmospheric Scientist, Speaks On Climate

The irresponsible hysteria (what other word would do?) of a handful of climate scientists and computer modellers, amplified ten-thousand fold by the slick PR of the IPCC, has been a degrading spectacle over the past 30 years or so. Their panic, whether it be real or pretended, has even penetrated into our schools, despite the duty of responsible adults to protect the young from such ugly, ignorant, and destructive scaremongering.

Yet there are many real scientists, real men, real women - people accustomed to thinking for themselves and seeking truth, not public acclaim, nor the safety and the luxury of the mass-bandwagon, who have been speaking out against the case for panic. One of the most distinguished of these is Professor Lindzen of MIT. He has just published a short piece on the GWPF website which deserves to be printed and displayed for discussion in every classroom, and in every staffroom, in the land. Here is an extract:
'The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. The fact that the developed world went into hysterics over changes in global mean temperature anomaly of a few tenths of a degree will astound future generations.

Such hysteria simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth, and the exploitation of these weaknesses by politicians, environmental promoters, and, after 20 years of media drum beating, many others as well.

Climate is always changing. We have had ice ages and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen. Ice ages have occurred in a hundred thousand year cycle for the last 700 thousand years, and there have been previous periods that appear to have been warmer than the present despite CO2 levels being lower than they are now.

More recently, we have had the medieval warm period and the little ice age. During the latter, alpine glaciers advanced to the chagrin of overrun villages. Since the beginning of the 19th Century these glaciers have been retreating. Frankly, we don’t fully understand either the advance or the retreat.

For small changes in climate associated with tenths of a degree, there is no need for any external cause. The earth is never exactly in equilibrium. The motions of the massive oceans where heat is moved between deep layers and the surface provides variability on time scales from years to centuries. Recent work (Tsonis et al, 2007), suggests that this variability is enough to account for all climate change since the 19th Century.'


Greenies oppose Green Jobs

There's no such thing as a happy Greenie

A costly proposed solar power plant in Ivanpah, California, touted by President Obama as a "green jobs" initiative, is being sued by environmentalists. Nichola Groom of Reuters reports:
According to court papers, the non-profit Western Watersheds Project alleged U.S. regulators approved Brightsource Energy's 370-megawatt Ivanpah solar energy plant without conducting adequate environmental reviews, and asked the court to order the defendants to withdraw their approvals.

The complaint names the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Bureau of Land Management and the Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the agencies' heads and other staffers, as defendants. None was immediately available for comment.

"In an ill-conceived rush to accommodate massive renewable energy projects ... the federal defendants precipitously approved unnecessarily destructive energy development of the California Desert Conservation Area without first conducting adequate environmental reviews."

The complaint said the project's approval process failed to analyze and mitigate the Ivanpah plant's impact on migratory birds, the desert tortoise, which is a threatened species under federal law, desert bighorn sheep, groundwater resources and rare plants.

As Peter Wilson reported to AT readers last October, President Obama claimed that Ivanpah "is going to put about a thousand people to work," a very misleading figure. There will be an average of 650 people working to construct the plant, but once it is completed, there will be only 86 permanent workers, mostly performing maintenance. The cost to taxpayers: a $1.37 billion loan guarantee for Ivanpah. There have been a series of bankruptcies and closures of green power schemes lavishly subsidized with public funds. Wilson wrote then:
Brightsource investors include (a member of Van Jones's Apollo Alliance) and the California State Teachers Retirement System. Billions in federal financing, billions every year for the next thirty years in taxpayer subsidies for above-market priced electricity, with profits going to Obama insiders like the Apollo Alliance and a teachers' union? Should we really call this "clean" energy?

If the Western Watersheds Project derails this poorly conceived, rushed-through scheme, for whatever reason, they will save American taxpayers and California electricity consumers a pile of money.


Gresham's law of green energy: high-cost subsidized renewable resources destroy jobs and hurt consumers

While the U. S. economy continues to struggle, politicians, green energy advocates, and energy regulators have adopted a "green jobs" mantra. They espouse the view that policies mandating renewable resources will provide not only environmental benefits, but economic salvation as well.

The most recent example of this phenomenon is in California where, last September, the California Air Resources Board adopted a requirement that the state obtain one-third of its electricity supplies from renewable energy resources by the year 2020. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger noted approvingly in a press release, "There is a multi-trillion dollar global market for clean energy, and I look forward to seeing even more investment and job creation happen throughout our state with today's commitment."

Schwarzenegger is the latest politician to fall under the spell of "green" jobs. Even New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who promised to reverse decades of growth in the burden that state's government has heaped upon its citizens, signed the Offshore Wind Development Act in August 2010. He praised the act, which calls for at least 1,100 megawatts of wind generation to be developed off the New Jersey coast, saying it will "provide New Jersey with an opportunity to leverage our vast resources and innovative technologies to allow businesses to engage in new and emerging sectors of the energy industry."

Economists point out that there is no such thing as a free lunch, green or otherwise. Politicians, perhaps because their lunch tabs are always paid by someone else, blithely ignore economists and continue to promote a mythical "green" economy that will soon emerge. They carry on much like the Spanish conquistadors who searched for the Seven Cities of Cibola, convinced the buildings really were made of gold.

While ignoring economists may be considered a civic virtue, doing so does not invalidate basic economic principles. Forcing consumers to buy high-cost electricity from subsidized renewable energy producers will not and cannot improve overall economic well-being.

Renewable energy might reduce air pollution (although no actual evidence of this exists). It will certainly create a few construction jobs. And you can bet that government mandates and subsidies for renewable energy will benefit renewable energy developers. But when the entire economic ledger is tallied, the net impact of renewable energy subsidies will be reduced economic growth and fewer jobs overall. In effect, "green" energy mandates like those of California and New Jersey are a new version of "Gresham's Law," in which subsidized renewable resources will drive out competitive generators, lead to higher electricity prices, and reduce economic growth.

One of the most egregious examples of the green energy fallacy is the proposed Cape Wind project, which is to be built off the coast of Nantucket Island. Cape Wind, which is ardently supported by Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and state attorney general Martha Coakley, is expensive--more expensive, in fact, than onshore wind resources, which themselves require government subsidies. Even Cape Wind's proponents admit to this. So, to sidestep the high-cost problem, Cape Wind's advocates have cobbled together all manner of arguments to justify its development, most notably how it will spur a new offshore wind industry in Massachusetts.

Several economic fallacies underlie green energy and green jobs policies. For example, some renewable energy proponents and green jobs advocates fundamentally misrepresent wealth transfers as wealth benefits. Stealing money from Peter and giving it to Paul may benefit Paul, but it hardly creates wealth. Moreover, a number of "green jobs" studies have touted renewables development as a source of unbridled economic growth. These studies all contain one striking omission: they ignore the adverse economic effects of the resulting higher electricity prices that high-cost renewable generation brings. They are cost-benefit analyses that ignore the "cost" part. No wonder the results are so encouraging.

In this article, I begin by explaining the welfare economics of subsidized green energy. For most economists, this is a standard, no-such-thing-as-a-free-lunch analysis. However, it also highlights the problems caused by one of the supposed benefits that renewable energy proponents flog: that renewable energy will help "suppress" electricity prices, thereby creating huge benefits for consumers. I then examine the Cape Wind project, which I consider to be the current poster child for green energy's excesses, and I discuss why the billions of additional dollars that Massachusetts ratepayers will be forced to pay for the electricity it generates will not provide economic salvation but will simply hasten the exodus of business, industry, and jobs from the state.

Much more HERE (See the original for graphics)

The Queensland floods are not related to anthropogenic global warming

By Cliff Ollier (Emeritus Professor Cliff Ollier is a geologist and geomorphologist)

The Queensland floods are a disaster that demands our sympathy and earnest attempts to prevent similar damage in future. But to do this properly we need to see the floods in the perspective of time, and see the history of flooding. This is best done by concentrating on the Brisbane region simply because it has the longest historical record.

This record has been admirably collated by the Bureau of Meteorology, and the details can be seen at this site, which gives a blow-by-blow summary of the floods.

Below are shown the records for Brisbane and the Bremer River at Ipswich. The variation between the two is itself of interest, showing how different records can be at relatively close locations. This history is a necessary background to the following discussion.

One of the sidelines of disasters like the Queensland floods is that the leaders of the Anthropogenic Global Warming Campaign will try to relate the disaster to Global Warming, caused by increasing man-made carbon dioxide. This has been done for the Queensland floods by, for example, David Karoly who for some reason gets a lot of coverage in the press and Television in Australia (though he has no expertise in this area), and Michael Steketee, the resident AGW specialist in The Australian.

There are at least three arguments against relating the Queensland floods to Anthropogenic Global Warming.

1. Even other people in the Global Warming game realize there is no relationship between broad disasters and carbon dioxide. The leading AGW institution is the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

Christopher Monckton wrote of an article in The Australian in January 2011:

“Mr. Steketee’s short article makes two dozen questionable assertions, [I refer only to point 18] which either require heavy qualification or are downright false. His assertions will be printed in bold face: the truth will appear in Roman face.


Cautious scientists say no such thing. Even the excitable and exaggeration-prone IPCC has repeatedly stated that individual extreme-weather events cannot be attributed to manmade “global warming; it would be particularly incautious of any scientist to blame the blocking highs that caused nearly all of the weather-related damage in 2010 on us when these are long-established, naturally-occurring phenomena.”

2. The second problem is that this is not an isolated event. There was another flood of about the same dimensions in 1974. There was no peak of CO2 at that time. It was not an especially warm year, so Global Warming cannot be invoked (1998 was a hotter year, but no flood).

But there were even greater floods in 1841 and 1893. This is well before any possible Anthropogenic Global Warming, which began, according to its adherents, in 1945.

And there were many other floods of lower magnitude, long before the supposed advent of Anthropogenic Global Warming as shown in the BoM graphs.

3. A third problem is that just a few years ago, global warming was blamed for causing droughts. This opinion was extolled during the last drought especially by Tim Flannery, another non-expert.

In 2003 Professor Karoly published, under the auspices of the World Wildlife Fund, a report that claimed that elevated air temperatures, due to CO2, exacerbated the drought.

“...the higher temperatures caused a marked increase in evaporation rates, which sped up the loss of soil moisture and the drying of vegetation and watercourses. This is the first drought in Australia where the impact of human-induced global warming can be clearly observed...”


“This drought has had a more severe impact than any other drought since at least 1950.... This is the first drought in Australia where the impact of human-induced global warming can be clearly observed.”

So Anthropogenic Global Warming can apparently be used to explain any current disaster. Any hypothesis (like AGW) that uses the same mechanism to explain opposite effects is untestable, and therefore not science. Its models are totally useless for prediction.

In brief, there is no reason whatever to associate the Queensland floods with global warming (if it is occurring at all). It is even more ridiculous to blame it on a trivial increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Unfortunately the floods will come again. You might like to look at the data on the BoM website and try to determine the return interval for yourself. It is really a bit of a guess.

But the citizens of Queensland would be well advised to implement adaptation policies that have a more realistic impact than trying to reduce CO2 production in the vain hope that it will, like repeating some magic spell, make the nasty problem go away.



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


17 January, 2011

Al Gore makes a fool of himself again

Does he understand ANYTHING about the environment?

Continuing his unbroken record of having his pronouncements on global warming royally mocked by events, Al Gore’s up-coming speech linking the explosion in the tree-munching pine beetle to global warming has been upset by reports of the pine beetle population “crashing”.

As Real Aspen announced only a few days ago, Al Gore was all set to give a landmark speech in Aspen in February in which he was to link global warming to the plague of pine beetles said to be devastating North America’s forests:

"Former Vice President Al Gore will be in Aspen in February to attend what’s believed to be one of the first major public symposiums linking global climate change to the deteriorating health of forestland in the American West due to ongoing insect infestations and the growing threat of wildfire.... Some scientists predict up to half the forests in the American West will be lost to disease and fire during this century."

Unfortunately, the gods of global warming got wind of the planned visit by the Goracle, and struck down the pine beetle population, in readiness for his speech. News reports now state that the population of pine beetles is in freefall:

"After more than a decade of eating through B.C. forests, the mountain pine beetle population has begun to crash in the central Interior, Chief Forester Jim Snetsinger said Friday . . . the beetle population is on the steep downward side of a bell curve.

At the height of the epidemic three to five years ago, billions of beetles had attacked 14.5 million hectares of trees. By March, 2010, beetles had killed the equivalent of 675 million cubic metres of timber, making it one of North America’s worst-ever environmental disasters.

“Now it’s crashing,” Snetsinger said. “The mountain pine beetle population is decreasing.”

Gore will probably carry on regardless and deliver his lecture on how global warming is causing pine beetle population to skyrocket, but even he will be aware that outside in the real world the threat has already vanished.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Temperature changes do NOT track CO2 levels (which have been rising steadily) but they DO track oscillations in ocean currents

ENSO stands for the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, a huge current in the vast Pacific ocean. And that El Niño sure is powerful. I live in a city where it has just caused billions of dollars worth of flood damage -- JR

The graph above plots the five year running mean of ENSO (red/blue) vs. HadCRUT in green.

Temperatures rise when ENSO is positive, and they don’t rise when ENSO is negative. Sea ice increases when ENSO is negative, and it falls when ENSO is positive.

But there is a $2.5 billion industry built up around CO2 – so we can expect the stupidity to go on at least until January 20, 2013.



by Joseph D’Aleo

“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present - and is gravely to be regarded.” —Dwight Eisenhower, 1961

NOAA and NASA announced this week that 2010 was tied for the warmest year. NOAA’s Dr. Lubchenko, when she was president of AAAS in 1999, urged “Urgent and unprecedented environmental and social changes challenge scientists to define a new social contract … a commitment on the part of all scientists to devote their energies and talents to the most pressing problems of the day, in proportion to their importance, in exchange for public funding.”

NOAA and NASA are receiving big dollars $437M (NOAA) and $438M (NASA) in climate research funding and are expected to provide the information needed to support environmental, social and political agendas. NOAA and NASA also benefited from funding for climate change research from the Recovery Act of 2009 with up to $600 million. You can see how quickly the political operatives and the media enablers respond to those press releases (Hill story here)

The pressure has been mounting. The public doubt about global warming has been increasing in recent years given Climategate, and how promises of warm snowless winters failed. After cold and snowy winters in 2007/08 and 2008/09, the winter of 2009/10 was the coldest ever in parts of the southeast, and in parts of Siberia and the coldest since 1977/78 or 1962/63 in many parts of the United States, Europe and Asia. This past December was the second coldest in the entire Central England Temperature record extending back to 1659. It was the coldest ever December in diverse locations like Ireland, Sweden, and Florida.

Reluctantly, alarmists changed their tune and the promise of warm and snowless winters as recent as 4 years ago morphed into global warming means cold and snowy winters. In Australia they promised major drought and blocked dams and flood mitigation projects, but when devastating floods occurred, they blamed that on global warming and again enviros and government agencies escaped the blame.

In fact environmentalists now attribute all weather to global warming – cold, warm, drought and flood. They call it ‘climate disruption’. But the climate has not been cooperating in a way that is convincing the public they have to sacrifice even more to stop a problem they don’t sense is real.

Just imagine if they knew how much they really would cost and how little these deep sacrifices would change the climate. In recent years, temperatures stopped warming (even Phil Jones of the UK Climate Research Unit after Climategate admitted there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995 (15 years) and between 2002 and 2009, the global temperatures had declined 0.12C (0.22F).

NOAA is on record declaring that: “The [computer model] simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends [in global temperatures] for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”

To try and stop the bleeding, NOAA and NASA took steps to reduce or eliminate the cooling. This aggravated what already was an already a bad situation. Remember CRU programmer’s Ian ‘Harry’ Harris’s frustrated rants in his log as revealed in Climategate:

“[The] hopeless state of their (CRU) data base. No uniform data integrity, it’s just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they’re found...I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seem to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was. There are hundreds if not thousands of pairs of dummy stations…and duplicates… Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight. This whole project is SUCH A MESS. No wonder I needed therapy!!”

In an email, CRU’s Director at the time Phil Jones acknowledges that CRU mirrors the NOAA data. “Almost all the data we have in the CRU archive is exactly the same as in the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) archive used by the NOAA National Climatic Data Center. “And NASA uses NOAA data applying their own adjustments as they note in their documentation here.

“The current analysis uses surface air temperatures measurements from the following data sets: the unadjusted data of the Global Historical Climatology Network (NOAA NCDC GHCN), United States Historical Climatology Network (NOAA NCDC USHCN) data, and SCAR (Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research) data from Antarctic stations.”

See the detailed working paper I coauthored with Anthony Watts and others in which we concluded: “There has clearly been evidence of some cyclical warming in recent decades, most notably 1979 to 1998. However, the global surface-station data is seriously compromised. The data suffers significant contamination by urbanization and other local factors such as land-use/land-cover changes.

There was a major station dropout, which occurred suddenly around 1990 and a significant increase in missing monthly data in the stations that remained. (Note: This increases uncertainty – greatest in regions where they claim the warming is the greatest).

There are uncertainties in ocean temperatures; no small issue, as oceans cover 71% of the earth's surface. These factors lead to significant uncertainty and a tendency for over-estimation of century-scale temperature trends.

A conclusion from all findings suggests that global data bases are seriously flawed and can no longer be trusted to assess climate trends or rankings or validate model forecasts. And, consequently, such surface data should be ignored for decision making”. Numerous peer-reviewed papers have estimated that these local issues with the observing networks may account for 30%, 50% or more of the warming shown since 1880.

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

Carbon from the Deeps poorly understood

Three new research papers find things on the ocean floor are not as previously believed when it comes to the carbon cycle. What's more, the scientists admit that their research only covers the smallest fraction of the ocean deeps

Scientists believe that carbon released from the ocean floor played a key role in past episodes of climate change. Around 55 million years ago, the break-up of the northeast Atlantic continents was associated with the injection of large amounts of molten magma into seafloor sediments. Formation of the North Atlantic basalts heated the carbon-rich sediments, triggering the release of large quantities of methane and carbon dioxide into the ocean and atmosphere.

It has been suggested that this release of previously sequestered carbon was responsible for a 100,000 year period of rapid temperature rise known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum or PETM. Three letters published in Nature Geoscience suggest that carbon trapped beneath the seabed continues to influence carbon dynamics, at least in the deep ocean.

In an accompanying Nature Geoscience editorial, three types of sea floor carbon release are identified: seafloor spreading centers, where two or more oceanic plates pull apart, releasing molten magma from below that heats organic sediments; hydrothermal fluids circulate through the ocean crust converting ancient inorganic carbon into dissolved organic matter, which is subsequently vented to the overlying ocean; and gas hydrates—ice-like mixtures of methane and water that form under low temperature and high pressure on the seafloor—also serve as a source of dissolved organic carbon.

“Despite the potential importance of seafloor carbon sources in shaping past climate, little is known about their involvement in the present day carbon cycle,” the editorial states....

At this time we do not know whether processes similar to the ones described above operate in other hydrothermal and gas hydrate systems, or how much carbon is being emitted. And in the case of the dissolved organic carbon released from ocean ridges and hydrates, oceanographers are unsure of how reactive the released carbon is. One thing is certain, the seeping, circulating and other forms of seafloor carbon release have been going on long before oceanographers recently discovered them. Scientists suspect that one or more of these processes have been responsible for sudden climatic and environmental changes in the past.

The impact of all these scientific discoveries on everyday people is minimal, so far. Only a dramatic event like the PETM would upset our daily lives. The PETM is only the most recent example of rapid global warming thought to have been caused by a rapid release of carbon. Other, older events involving the motion of Earth's tectonic plates have had more dramatic impact on the planet's biota.

Natural events of various kinds in the real world tend to follow an inverse-power law relationship between frequency F and magnitude M so that F = 1/MD, where D is positive. Thus, small-magnitude events (e.g., earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, impacts) tend to happen much more frequently than potentially catastrophic large-magnitude events. The reasons are variable, but in general, a probabilistic relationship exists between the magnitude and frequency of events.

Of course, improbable events do happen. Mankind does not need to tempt fate by prodding sea floor deposits of methane clathrates or trying to pump massive quantities of CO2 into the ocean depths. The Nature Geoscience editorial commented specifically on efforts to mitigate anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions using the deep ocean:

To mitigate such effects, the sea floor—where natural sources of carbon are just being discovered—has been proposed as a potential site for carbon sequestration (Nature Geosci. 2, 815–818; 2009; Nature Geosci. 2, 820–822; 2009). As long as the natural carbon cycle in the deep ocean continues to surprise us, it would probably be unwise to go ahead and disturb it with the deposition of carbon captured from the use of fossil fuels.

Once again, science is giving the public mixed messages. Researchers in one area propose “solutions” to global warming that ignore the dangers uncovered by other scientists. As Richard Feynman noted: “In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another.”

Nonetheless, governments are urged to charge ahead with “clean coal” and other carbon sequestration schemes.

Climate scientists and eco-activists, out to rein in human activity and make their personal reputations, form a collection of carbon cycle Don Quixotes. Tilting at global warming windmills, each of them, as Cervantes might have put it, is “spurred on by the conviction that the world needs his immediate presence.” None are more dangerous than the energetically ignorant.

Despite efforts to the contrary, more settled science has been unsettled, more consensus opinion overturned and our ignorance of the world around us revealed for all to see. Some scientists accept the truth—little is know about carbon from the deeps and its involvement in the present day carbon cycle. Being innocent of real understanding, we should look before we leap, rather than risk a major ecological or economic catastrophe in hopes of avoiding the unproven and ill-defined effects of anthropogenic global warming.

More HERE (See the original for links)

The Great 'Climate Change' 2011 Taxpayer Rip-Off

By Alan Caruba

Unless I am seriously mistaken or misinformed, the rate of unemployment in the U.S. remains high and the foreclosure rate on homes is approaching the level of the Depression years. Two major bond rating companies, Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s just warned that, if the federal government doesn’t stop spending and borrowing, America’s Triple-A highest ranking will be down-graded.

Along with all the other things in the federal budget wish list for 2011 are millions to be spent on climate change.

It helps to understand how obscene this is if you pause to consider (1) there is not one damn thing anyone can do about climate change, (2) climate change has been researched and studied since the late 1980s, enough to fill an entire wing of the Congressional Library to hold all the reports, and (3) the only climate change Americans really need to know about is what the weather will be tomorrow.

With a tip of the hat to and the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS) report on “research development, fiscal year 2011”, let me share just a few of the ways the Obama administration intends to squander your money.

The magic number is $2,481,000 and it represents specific amounts devoted to "climate change" research or other programs requested for the 2011 budgets by an alphabet soup of federal agencies that include the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA, Department of Energy (DOE), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of the Interior (DOI), and the Department of Agriculture (DOA).

The figures cited all come from chapter 15 of the AAAS report and you can access it via

NOAA’s total budget request is for $5.6 billion, an increase of 17%. It intends to devote $437 million for climate research funding, an increase of $77 million over last year.

Over at the National Science Foundation (NSF), its budget of $7.4 billion (that’s a lot of science!) includes a request for $480 million for Atmospheric and Earth Sciences, $765.5 million for NSF’s Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability program and $19 million for a joint program with DOE “to promote education in clean energy research. An additional $10 million would fund “Climate Change Education” in the nation’s schools. It’s not education, it’s indoctrination.

The Department of Energy which currently is projecting that permits for deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico won’t be forthcoming until, maybe, June. DOE seems oblivious to the fact that the price of oil is set to hit $100 a barrel and higher costs will hit everyone driving anything using gasoline or diesel fuel. Fuel oil prices will rise and any business that uses oil or anything made with oil will be forced to raise its prices. In short, everything.

DOE, however, is in no hurry and, of course, the Obama administration is dead set against ANWR or off-shore exploration and extraction of the BILLIONS of barrels of crude oil projected to exist.

However, DOE is set to receive $28.4 billion in 2011 and that includes $4.6 billion for research and development in its Office of Science and $2.4 billion for energy research and development. Its Office of Biological and Environmental Research is devoted to atmospheric science, including “climate modeling”, which would be allocated $627 million. Last time I checked, oil, coal, and natural gas were not found in the “atmosphere”, but rather were extracted from deep within the Earth.

The entire global warming hoax was and is based on “climate modeling”, all of which consistently found that the Earth was warming at an alarming rate. Except that the Earth is NOT warming. It has been cooling since 1998. And DOE intends to waste $627 million on more modeling. It is worth noting that the most sophisticated models of the National Weather Bureau still cannot predict with any confidence what the weather—not the climate—will be next week.

The Environmental Protection Agency, gearing up to regulate all utilities that produce carbon dioxide and all other industries that do the same, has zero authorization to do so under the Clean Air Act. It is CO2 that is designated by the warmists as the chief culprit for the global warming that is NOT happening.

Despite this, EPA has requested $169 million “to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, with $43.5 million in new funding for “regulatory efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions” through the Clean Air Act. And it wants $22 million for its Global Change Research Program. It is time to shut down this rogue agency before it totally destroys the economy.

Even the Department of Agriculture wants $159 million for “climate change research”, an increase of 42% and $179 million for renewable energy, to “help farmers.” Farmers are heavy users of fossil fuels to operate the machinery needed to till, plant, and harvest crops. They need reliable energy, not "renewable" energy.

The Recovery Act of 2009 has managed to blow more than $600 million on climate change research and billions on greenhouse gas mitigation.

This is just the tip of the ‘climate change’ rip-off in terms of billions wasted or soon to be wasted on “research” that can only be deemed an obscene diversion of taxpayer money that will not benefit a single taxpayer, generate any new jobs except for those in government agencies, and further bankrupt a bankrupted nation about to have its credit rating reduced.

The “scientists”, “regulators”, and “administrators” feasting off this federal largess should be handed a shovel to earn a living on one of those “shovel ready” projects we were told about.

Beyond that, if Congress was really intent on cutting back on spending, they could begin by defunding or shutting down the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and all the other federal grifters with their snouts rooting around in the climate change trough.


Coal miners to blame for Queensland floods, says Australian Greens leader Bob Brown

Far-fetched as it is, what Brown says is consistent with his Warmist assumptions. It is the assumptions that are far-fetched. As Senator Joyce said, it was absurd for Senator Brown to blame the coal industry for floods, which had been a reality in Queensland throughout its history. “In 1893, the flood gauge on the Brisbane River reached 8.35m, so was the coal industry responsible for that as well?” he asked.

GREENS leader Bob Brown says the coal mining industry should foot the bill for the Queensland floods because it helped cause them.

The floods are Queensland's worst for nearly 40 years, with more than 26,000 homes affected and at least 16 people killed.

Senator Brown said the Federal Government should impose the original version of the Resources Super Profits Tax, and use the funds to pay for the clean-up.

"It's the single biggest cause - burning coal - for climate change and it must take its major share of responsibility for the weather events we are seeing unfolding now," he said in Hobart today.

"We know that the oceans around Australia are at record high temperatures, and that's causing the moisture in the air which is leading to these catastrophic floods.

"It is costing billions of dollars, besides the pain, the anguish, the loss of life, the destruction and it should not be left to ordinary taxpayers to bear the full brunt of that."



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


16 January, 2011

Assuming what you have to prove

The latest example of unscientific thinking from Warmists below. That high levels of CO2 did at one time accompany high temperatures does not prove that the CO2 CAUSED the high temperatures. There are plenty of other occasions (like the last 10 or 15 years) where the two did not move together at all -- which is good DISPROOF of a causative relationship. As philosophers from Hume onward have concluded, constant conjunction is a NECESSARY condition for causation

The magnitude of climate change during Earth’s deep past suggests that future temperatures may eventually rise far more than projected if society continues its pace of emitting greenhouse gases, a new analysis concludes. The study, by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Jeffrey Kiehl, will appear as a “Perspectives” piece in this week’s issue of the journal Science.

Building on recent research, the study examines the relationship between global temperatures and high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere tens of millions of years ago. It warns that, if carbon dioxide emissions continue at their current rate through the end of this century, atmospheric concentrations of the greenhouse gas will reach levels that last existed about 30 million to 100 million years ago, when global temperatures averaged about 29 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels.

Kiehl said that global temperatures may gradually rise over the next several centuries or millennia in response to the carbon dioxide. Elevated levels of the greenhouse gas may remain in the atmosphere for tens of thousands of years, according to recent computer model studies of geochemical processes that the study cites.

The study also indicates that the planet’s climate system, over long periods of times, may be at least twice as sensitive to carbon dioxide than currently projected by computer models, which have generally focused on shorter-term warming trends. This is largely because even sophisticated computer models have not yet been able to incorporate critical processes, such as the loss of ice sheets, that take place over centuries or millennia and amplify the initial warming effects of carbon dioxide.

Jeffrey Kiehl: “If we don’t start seriously working toward a reduction of carbon emissions, we are putting our planet on a trajectory that the human species has never experienced,” says Kiehl, a climate scientist who specializes in studying global climate in Earth’s geologic past. “We will have committed human civilization to living in a different world for multiple generations.”


We may one day wish we really had anthropogenic global warming

I confess that I have a simple idea about science. I think that any scientific claim is meaningful only if it is falsifiable. If hypothesis X or theory Y is viable, each has to state what data will confirm it and, what is the same thing, what data will refute it. The Daily Caller asks the obvious question concerning Anthropogenic Global Warming:

"Increased warm temperatures indicate global warming. Severe winter storms also help prove global warming, according to a recent op-ed in the New York Times. So is there any weather pattern that would disprove or call into question the existence of global warming?"

I thought it obvious that one day, or one year, or even a decade of temperature records can't confirm or refute the proposition that we are in a period of long term warming. Only long term records can speak to that. Apparently I was wrong.

"And now, what about all this [cold, snowy] weather?" ["World News Tonight," anchor Diane] Sawyer said. "The experts on climate change say the evidence is in: 2010 is tied for the hottest year ever on record. And last year, it was the wettest one in recorded history. And those scientists say that's why we're reeling from the deadly weather extremes."

So hot weather, cold weather and wet weather all confirm "climate change." One wonders about dry weather. At least now we understand why "climate change" has replaced "global warming" as the term of choice.

The AGW ideology has always rested on the answer to several specific questions. First, are we in a period of long term warming? The answer to that is very probably yes, at least until recently. It has tapered off a bit, but there was surely a spike in the last half of the last century. Second, is human activity influencing that spike? I think that question is very hard to answer, but let's assume it is yes. Third, can national policies and international agreements modify human activity in a way that might have a significant influence on climate change?

That is the easiest question to answer and the answer is definitely no. Neither the developed nations nor India and China are going to voluntarily restrict carbon emissions (economic growth), let alone reduce emissions/growth to 19th century levels. Here, all the data and common sense converge and there is no reasonable doubt that the proposition is refuted.

Almost all the public conversation has been confined to the first three questions, but there is a fourth. Is further global warming a bad thing for us? AGW ideology simple assumes that the answer is yes. The ideology recognizes that question only in order to answer it with nightmare scenarios.

Powerline directs our attention to a recent article in Reuters manages to raise the question while trying to bury it:

"Climate change seems a factor in the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, according to a study of ancient tree growth that urges greater awareness of the risks of global warming in the 21st century."

Well, that seems relevant. If global warming doomed the Romans (here we thought it was Christianity and the Germans) then surely it can doom us. Of course it seems unlikely that the industrial output of the Roman Empire really had a large carbon footprint, but let that aside.

The problem is that it warming wasn't the problem for the Romans or for anyone else so far:

"Good growth by oak and pine trees in central Europe in the past 2,500 years signaled warm and wet summers and coincided with periods of wealth among farming societies, for instance around the height of the Roman empire or in medieval times.

Periods of climate instability overlapped with political turmoil, such as during the decline of the Roman Empire, and might even have made Europeans vulnerable to the Black Death or help explain migration to America during the chill 17th century."

Warm and wet climates have been good for the Romans and for Medieval Europe and for human beings in general. So what has been bad? Reuters's villain is "climate instability," which almost avoids saying "cold." That bit about the "chill 17th century," however, gives the game away.

The terrible truth may be that civilization arose in and only because of an unusual warming period. If that is the truth, God help us, we are probably doomed in pretty short order (historically speaking). Meanwhile, warming has always been good for us and there is no reason to think that that will be different in the future. Individual persons and societies in general suffer much more from cold than from heat. If or when the global climate cycles back and the glaciers return, let us hope that human activity really can heat up the world.


That "hottest year" claim again

Those all-important tenths of one degree! On any rational scale the temperatures promulgated by the Warmists have been flat in recent years

The global warming establishment and the media are crowing about 2010 being in a tie for the “hottest year" ever. Everyone from Senator John Kerry to Joe Romm are screaming that this is “proof” the planet is burning up in a Co2 induced hell -- and it's your fault!

It is time for Climate Depot to do a point-by-point rebuttal to the latest round of temperature data nonsense. Let's begin:
Below are excerpts from the January 13, 2011 UK Telegraph's coverage of the warmists' claim of the “hottest year" ever.

UK Telegraph Headline Claim: “Flood warnings: hottest year confirms global warming say experts -- Last year was the joint warmest on record, according to new figures from NASA, that experts say confirm the case for man-made climate change.”

Climate Depot Response: This is pure politics, not science. The "hottest year" claims confirm the case for political science overtaking climate science. The “hottest year” claim depends on minute fractions of a degree difference between years. Even NASA's James Hansen, the leading proponent of man-made global warming in the U.S., conceded the "hottest year" rankings are essentially meaningless. Hansen explained that 2010 differed from 2005 by less than 2 hundredths of a degree F (that's 0.018F). "It's not particularly important whether 2010, 2005, or 1998 was the hottest year on record," Hansen admitted on January 13.

According to NASA, none of agencies tasked with keeping the global temperature data agree with each other. "Rankings of individual years often differ in the most closely watched temperature analyses — from GISS, NCDC, and the UK Met Office — a situation that can generate confusion."

Meteorologist Dr. Ryan Maue of Florida State University ridiculed the "hottest year" rankings and Hansen's admission that it "was not particularly important" which year was declared the "hottest." "Well, then stop issuing press releases which tout the rankings, which are subject to change ex post facto," Maue demanded in a January 14 commentary at

The “warmest year” claim falls apart even further when you look at even slightly longer time scales. Climatologist Patrick Michaels explained to USA Today on January 12: “If you draw a trend line from the data, it's pretty flat from the 1990s. We don't see much of a warming trend over the past 12 years.”

Also note that the planet has warmed since about 1850, the end of the Little Ice Age.

The declaration that we are experiencing a tie for the "hottest" year is purely a political statement because these claims are based on year-to-year temperature data that differs by only a few hundredths of a degree. NASA asserts that the trend over the last decade is the most important factor, but this claim does not hold up to scrutiny either. See: German Climate Professor Werner Kirstein Slams 'Climate Religion': Refutes claims of 'hottest decade' as 'a joke' -- 'Determining a global avg. is a tricky business and in the end is only a theoretical value'

MIT's Richard Lindzen: Earth is never in equilibrium: 'Global warming enthusiasts are arguing that the past decade has been the warmest on record. We are still speaking of tenths of a degree, and the records themselves have come into question'

MIT's Richard Lindzen: 'For small changes in climate associated with tenths of a degree, there is no need for any external cause'

MIT's Richard Lindzen: 'Lull in warming was unsurprising, given an earlier 'obsessing about tenths of a degree in the 1980s and early 1990s': 'Global temperature just fluctuates. I think the best explanation is the ocean. The timescale for ocean circulations can be decades.'

Meteorologist Art Horn: 'To say the 2010 was tied with the warmest year on record is essentially meaningless when viewed in a true historical context': 'The reason they do not give this record its true historical context is because their statement is really political'

Science Corrupted: It's 'the hottest year on record', as long as you don't take its temperature -- Activist James Hansen's claims based on 'pure conjecture' -- Hansen's Climate Con: 'The parts of the world which GISS shows to be heating up the most are so short of weather stations that only 25 per cent of the figures are based on actual temperature readings'

2007: Team of Scientists Question Validity of a 'Global Temperature' - Excerpt: "Discussions on global warming often refer to 'global temperature.' Yet the concept is thermodynamically as well as mathematically an impossibility, says Physicist Dr. Bjarne Andresen, a professor at The Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen. "It is impossible to talk about a single temperature for something as complicated as the climate of Earth." "A temperature can be defined only for a homogeneous system.

He explains that while it is possible to treat temperature statistics locally, it is meaningless to talk about a global temperature for Earth. "The globe consists of a huge number of components which one cannot just add up and average. That would correspond to calculating the average phone number in the phone book. That is meaningless. Or talking about economics, it does make sense to compare the currency exchange rate of two countries, whereas there is no point in talking about an average 'global exchange rate.'"

Are Modern Temperature Changes 'Unprecedented?' The Data Clearly Reveals Modern Temp Changes To Be Normal -- 'Unfortunately for all alarmists, the real data reveals the bogosity of their claims'

Warmists at Grist Mag. Upset at failed PR Stunt of 'Hottest' Year: 'The timing couldn't be worse: with snow in every state but Florida (yes, even Hawaii)... And scientists wonder why they continue to see [low] poll numbers'

Analysis: NOAA & NCDC Pursue Goal of 'Warmest Year Ever' For 2010 - Release Newly 'Fabricated' Global Temperatures

Analysis: '150 years of 'records' is not long. It was warmer 1000 years ago, 2000 years ago, 5000 years ago and 130,000 years ago'

Much more HERE (See the original for links)

Taxpayer’s funding NSF program to teach meteorologists about climate change

The National Science Foundation (NSF) launched a program in 2010 called Climate Change Education Partnership (CCEP). In this program they funded different opportunities to educate about climate change by giving funds (awards) to colleges who drafted proposals on how they would spend the money. One such proposal caught my eye. The program is entitled "Making the Global Local - Unusual Weather Events as Climate Change Educational Opportunities" and it is taking place at George Mason University (GMU). Here is the program description:

This project will focus on establishing a national network of on-air broadcast meteorologists, climate scientists, university research programs, and key climate and weather science organizations, to engage, train, and empower local broadcast meteorologists to educate and inform the American public about climate.

Training meteorologists to educate the American public about climate change? That sounds strange, but I was prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they simply want meteorologists to give the facts without any pre-conceived position on the subject. However, I dug a little further and found a job description for this program. I've taken a screen capture, take note of the highlighted area (click if needed):

Did they really just say that? Let's look again:

"The project will integrate informal learning, mass communication, and experiential learning theories to develop and test new pedagogical approaches to informal science education through frequent mass media exposure, linked to realworld experience (i.e., the local weather). It will also adapt and test conflict resolution theory and practice to engage meteorologists who reject the scientific consensus and climate scientists in constructive dialogue."

Adapt and test conflict resolution theory? Practice to engage meteorologists who reject the scientific consensus?

This is taxpayer's money funding this stuff. Taxpayers are funding a program to "practice to engage meteorologists who reject the scientific consensus". I contacted Anthony Watts and he wrote this post about it. I also contacted Joe Bastardi for his opinion. To paraphrase, he stated that the he believes that the data will prove the research correct and worrying about funding is only a distraction from forecasting. John Coleman has not yet responded.


The Queensland Floods prove once again the unfalsifiability of Warmism -- making it a religion, not a science

Yet another demonstration that they have no predictive skill -- but "post hoc" explanations for everything

In what is sure to be yet further embarrassment for advocates of the theory of man-made global warming it has emerged that climate scientists pinning the blame for the Queensland floods on global warming have been contradicting a report published by other climate scientists just weeks earlier.

Let’s start with the story from climate scientists just before the floods. On October 11th 2010 the Science Daily website reported on the publication of perhaps the most authoritative study yet on the effects of global warming on drought in the southern hemisphere.

The study “Recent decline in the global land evapotranspiration trend due to limited moisture supply” was published in the prestigious Nature magazine and, as Science Daily reported, included many of the leading climate science research institutes across the world:

"This study was authored by a large group of international scientists, including from OSU; lead author Martin Jung from the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Germany; and researchers from the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Switzerland, Princeton University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, Harvard University, and other groups and agencies."

The study was an milestone for the climate science community and was an international effort. It found that soils were drying up in many parts of the southern hemisphere, including Australia and that this was leading to less moisture in the atmosphere:

"Most climate models have suggested that evapotranspiration, which is the movement of water from the land to the atmosphere, would increase with global warming. The new research, published online this week in the journal Nature, found that’s exactly what was happening from 1982 to the late 1990s.

But in 1998, this significant increase in evapotranspiration — which had been seven millimeters per year — slowed dramatically or stopped. In large portions of the world, soils are now becoming drier than they used to be, releasing less water and offsetting some moisture increases elsewhere."

The study reported that Australia was one of the worst affected areas, but the loss of moisture in the atmosphere was widespread over the entire southern hemisphere:

"A recent decrease in atmospheric relative humidity detected over Australia could be caused by declining ET on the Australian continent.

Jung et. al. Recent Decline in the Global Land Evapotranspirsation Trend Due to Limited Moisture Supply. Nature. 951–954(21 October 2010)"

That seemed to settle matters. As Tim Flannery put it, coal fired power stations “emit much of the CO2 that is the ultimate cause of the drying”. Even more ominous, “Australia is likely to lose its northern rainfall” (New Scientist. Editorial: Australia, Not Such a Lucky Country. June 2007).

- That was before the floods -

Following the devastating Queensland floods, many activist scientists rushed to link them to global warming, and what’s more, they had a good reason why the floods were so severe – increased moisture in the atmosphere:

“I think people will end up concluding that at least some of the intensity of the monsoon in Queensland can be attributed to climate change,” said Matthew England of the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

“The waters off Australia are the warmest ever measured and those waters provide moisture to the atmosphere for the Queensland and northern Australia monsoon,” he told Reuters."

Whoops. Surely he’d read the study in Nature, only weeks previously? Maybe not.

The Climate Progress could hardly contain their glee at all the scientists stepping forward to pin the blame for the floods on increased moisture in the air thanks to global warming. In a particularly tasteless story headlined Terrific ABC News Story: "Raging Waters in Australia and Brazil Product of Global Warming" (nice, ey?) they quoted climate scientist Richard Somerville and others on what caused the floods. Moisture in the air again, they said. Same thing that’s causing all the snow:

“Because the whole water cycle speeds up in a warming world, there’s more water in the atmosphere today than there was a few years ago on average, and you’re seeing a lot of that in the heavy rains and floods for example in Australia,” Sommervile said

Derek Arndt, chief of NOAA’s Climate Monitoring Branch in the National Climate Data Center, said 2010 was “an exclamation point on several decades of warming.

He said NOAA is tracking disasters like the floods in Brazil and Australia. “We are measuring certain types of extreme events that we would expect to see more often in a warming world, and these are indeed increasing,” Arndt said.

The added moisture in the atmosphere also explains the phenomenon we’ve seen this week at home — where snow blanketed the ground in 49 of 50 states."

So which is it, guys? Does global warming mean more moisture over Australia and therefore floods, or less moisture over Australia and therefore drought? Does it mean warmer winters and therefore less snow, or colder winters and therefore more snow? Can you at least get your stories straight?

SOURCE (See the original for links)

A letter to the Warmists from flood-hit Queensland

There should be a weir across every flood-prone river in Qld. It could happen if the government stoped spending money on Greenie fads and spent it on useful things instead

For those who are unaware of it, a weir is a low-cost but very efficient water regulation system. It's just a big lump of concrete across a river with a fixed outlet pipe at the bottom of the weir which is wide enough to let normal flows through only. So when floods hit, water levels rise and when a drought hits, water levels fall. The result is a steady flow in the river which is good for both the creatures in the river and the people who use it for water. It naturally preserves "environmental flows". Post below by a pseudonymous blogger -- JR

I am sitting here in my home in South East Queensland, watching the news come in about the flooding everywhere. Entire suburbs around Brisbane and several smaller towns are either isolated by flood-waters or have been evacuated. Highways are cut everywhere.

People have been dying. So far about 20 people have died in the past week – nine just this morning when a deluge went through the Lockyer Valley. Most of them children. Another 70 are missing. One could put it all down to “just” weather.

Except EXACTLY the same floods occurred in EXACTLY the same places back in 1974, with much the same tragic loss of life and destruction of property.

Back then we weren’t nearly as clever and learned as you think yourselves to be today. Back then we had this silly notion that climate was cyclical, and if we didn’t prepare for it, we would have a repeat of the same tragedies to deal with in “about thirty years”. That was the thinking of the scientists back then – that climate went in roughly thirty year cycles.

Flood mitigation programs were planned. A series of levee banks and diversionary dams would be built. Brisbane and SE QLD would NEVER suffer such devastation again. After all, we had thirty years to plan and build and improve.

And that’s what we did – or at least started. Wivenhoe Dam got built as the first step, but by the time it was finished clever people like you lot who “knew” that such things were never going to happen again had taken over. CO2 AGW madness had already taken hold.

Instead we had “post modern” minds like Tim Flannery “advising” the government that because of Anthropogenic Global Warming, SE QLD would be perpetually in drought from then on. “Forget dams and flood mitigation programs”, intoned the wise Dr Tim – “build desalination plants instead”.

So that’s what our government did. And that is why thirty five years later, we are once again suffering exactly the SAME tragic loss of life and destruction of property, pretty-much exactly where, and when, and how, those stupid scientists who foolishly believed climate was cyclical had predicted.

Meanwhile our billion dollar desalination plant is quietly being mothballed, and emergency crews are frantically trying to work out how they might be able to save nineteen thousand homes from destruction in the next couple of days, as the Lockyer deluge hits Brisbane. Wise Dr Tim Flannery has been made ‘Australian of the Year” for his contributions.

I google on the internet for climate extremes and climate-related disasters in the 1972 – 1979 period – the period of the last transition in the natural weather cycle, and I find that it wasn’t a good period in many places around the world. Record and near record high – and low temperatures, record and near-record precipitation, and so on. Floods and droughts pretty-much mimicking what is happening now, and in pretty-much the same places.

I also noted that the indicators of the “silly” theory of the cyclical nature , ocean and atmospheric, are pretty much exactly as they are now.

I have to admit it could all get a bit depressing. But then I remember that the world is in the capable hands of much cleverer people than those silly scientists back in the Seventies who believed climate was cyclical. Now the decisions are being made by clever people like Dr Tim Flannery

– and you.

That is when I weep for my fellow Man.



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


15 January, 2011

New tree ring study buries the "hockeystick"

This newest tree ring study completely refutes Mann’s bogus hockey stick. That question is now forever resolved.

Der Spiegel reports on a new study put out by Science where scientists gathered data from a large set of tree rings from the Alps and used them to reconstruct 2500 years of climate in fine detail. The scientists were able to reconstruct past climate with unprecedented precision and found some significant results.

The press here is acting like these results are new. But to skeptics, it only confirms what they’ve been saying all along.

It turns out that Hannibal indeed most likely did cross the Alps with elephants way back in the year 218 BC, at a time when Europe was in a warm optimum. The study shows that weather and climate events triggered human and cultural shifts and events like wars, famine, disease – or prosperity and growth, depending on whether it was warm or cold.

Der Spiegel writes: "From 9000 pieces of wood from old post and beam homes and trees, scientists Ulf Büntgen of the Swiss WSL Environmental Research Institute and Jan Esper of the University of Mainz read off the climate story – a unique global historical archive was created.”

Der Spiegel presents the most important results, which I myself think are not a surprise. The bulk of the Der Spiegel piece focuses on the hunger and misery precipitated by the climatic cold periods throughout the 2500-year period. One really gets a sense of how temperatures in Europe by no means followed the hockey stick shape proposed by Mann, and went from cold to warm, and vice versa. Numerous other proxies show the same applies globally.

2500 years ago Europe was gripped by a cold period and temperatures were 2°C below today’s levels. Wars raged and societies collapsed. In the 4th century AD, after the Roman Warm Period, the climate again went downhill. It got cold and dry in central and southern Europe. The Huns invaded, and the Roman Empire collapsed. The temperature continued to drop through the 6th, 7th and 8thcenturies - and with catastrophic consequences.

Der Spiegel writes: "In the famine year of 784, one third of Europe’s population died. ’It was a cool summer’, says Büntgen’s sober diagnosis, looking at the data. ‘With the worsening climate, not only did harvests in Europe go bad, but livestock also shriveled away’, reports historian Berninger.”

These cool times continued into the 10th century. Crops continued to fail, famine, unrest, war, disease and misery spread – all because of the cold climate.

Finally, by the 11th century, the climate turned the corner and warm times started up again (all naturally, without man-made CO2). Europe prospered again, cathedrals were built and society advanced until the 14th century.

In the early 14th century, climate-related hunger and famine began to spread again. From 1346 to 1352, half of Europe’s population was killed off by the Black Plague. As the temperature dropped, starvation and misery continued, all blamed on witches, who were burned. Sound familiar?

Europe had plunged into madness. The 30-year war raged across Germany from 1618 to 1648. At this point Europe was in the middle of the Little Ice Age. Der Spiegel writes: "In 1709 the weather in Europe rendered one of the worst natural catastrophes in Europe: In the grisly cold of 1709, rivers in Portugal froze, palm trees were buried in snow. All over Europe rivers had frozen fish, livestock froze in the stables.”

Heydays of the Roman Empire and the German Empire coincided with warm times. For example, by 300 BC, the climate again got warmer, and with rains. It got so warm in fact, that the Alps became passable. The Roman Empire emerged – all helped along by the climate. Harvests were bountiful, and England had vineyards and made wine. The MWP was similarly warm, read above. There’s ample evidence showing that the Roman Period and the MWP were warmer than today.

Weather extremes were greater in the past than today

Büntgen and Esper’s ring studies also show that rainfall amounts in Central Europe fluctuated much more year-to-year in ancient times and in the Dark Ages than in recent times, and also weather extremes were greater. In the year 1135, very little rain fell and the Danube River almost dried up. Regensburg used the opportunity to build its landmrk Steinernen bridge. The historical records also show a number of great floods, storms and periods of drought during Europe’s history.

That was climate and it was all natural. It was not caused by witches and bad behaviour. This study clearly shows that warm times are good, cold times are bad, and that the past had more extremes than today. Not only is it more nails for the hockey stick’s coffin, but also nails for the AGW theory.


Meteorologist Joe Bastardi gives the Warmists a different prediction

He predicted the present cooling and says were are going to get more of it

Here is my soundbite quote, as everyone wants nowadays.

You wanna say 2010 was the warmest year ever... well, get ready for 2011 being the biggest drop ever.

There, hows that? Two can play this game, except 2010 may not have been what it's been claimed to be. However, I have the chance to be right, and the data will prove it!

The year to beat is the 98 collapse.. game on!!!

So let's see how close I am a year from now.

You folks who are screaming and yelling global warming is causing all this mayhem had better look at what has been going on for the PAST SIX MONTHS when all this has been breaking loose. The global temperature is dropping like a rock, the running 30-day mean is down to normal, the January temperature so far is now down to -.1 C, which if it continues at this pace means we have dropped off .7 C since the summer.

Now what do you think is going to happen when there is COOLING like that?

Now, you may have this argument, and I will give it to you. That the PREEXISTING warmth set up the kind of environment for such a rapid drop-off to cause such things. But the dirty little secret about climate, and something you don't seem to get, is that the Earth tends to cool much more suddenly than warm!

If you go back and look at climate... you see warm periods have a gradual run-up (hence the absurdity of the tipping point, and calls into question the hockey stick, simply from common sense and history, but perhaps it was designed that way), but the cold periods, when there is no hiding (okay, how about smoothing out, rounding off, etc.?), tend to happen much more quickly... sharply.

But I, and my colleagues agreeing on the idea the Earth may start to cool in a longer-term manner, are not going to let you have every answer as being your own. The facts are clear, it's CLASHES in the atmosphere that produce extreme events. The facts are clear from three years ago that this forecaster warned of the events with the triple crown of cooling that we are starting to see now.

The facts are clear that a rapid global temperature drop was forecast from this forecaster from back before summer, for 2011. How is it that all those things are said beforehand, and the hysteria now is blamed on THE EXACT OPPOSITE CAUSE, a cause that was being touted a few years ago as leading to, for instance, less snow and less cold?


Three strikes and you are out

Note the change to skepticism in the third article below





When the Green river runs dry

Jobs created become jobs destroyed.

Two recent articles highlight the struggle that renewable energy companies run into when taxpayer subsidies are tightened.

The first, a solar panel company in Massachusetts, having received over $50 million in subsidies, is cutting 800 jobs as it struggles to compete with Chinese solar panel production.

Evergreen Solar Inc. will eliminate 800 jobs in Massachusetts and shut its new factory at the former military base in Devens, just two years after it opened the massive facility to great fanfare and with about $58 million in taxpayer subsidies.

The company announced yesterday that it will close the plant by the end of March, calling itself a victim of weak demand and competition from cheaper suppliers in China, where the government provides solar companies with generous subsidies.

Fortunately, in the private sector, taxpayers don’t suffer when their investments don’t come to fruition. China has a distinct advantage in producing solar powers because the cost of labor in China is much lower, and their government has less opposition to producing energy that isn’t cost competitive. The company, a victim of Chinese subsidies, received generous subsidies as well — perhaps not to the extent of Chinese subsidies, but that uncertainty is something that must be taken into account when business decisions are made.

The second story, comes from Georgia, where a cellulosic ethanol plant is closing down after its first batch of production. Range Fuels is said to have received $320 million in federal, state, and private money — the article doesn’t clarify the extent of each source. There also is no information on the amount of cellulosic ethanol produced, though it appears to be more of a test run rather than actual production, so likely a very small amount.

Given the federal “mandate” on cellulosic ethanol and continued support for it from the Obama administration, its quite possible that Range Fuels will find private funding to continue future production.


WV: EPA vetoes “mountaintop removal” mining operation

In a decision that could have a major impact on both the mining industry and the Obama Administration's relationship with conservatives, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it was vetoing the largest single mountaintop mining removal permit in West Virginia history.

In using its authority under the Clean Water Act to block approval of the proposed 2,300-acre Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County, West Virginia, the EPA will earn praise from greens—including some from the Appalachians—who have long fought mountaintop mining as a destructive practice that ruins the environment and the health of those who live near the mines.

But the agency will undoubtedly face a backlash from the mining industry and the West Virginia politicians—both Republican and Democrat—who defend it, at a time when the EPA is already on a collision course with business and conservatives over proposed greenhouse gas regulations.

From the EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Peter S. Silva:

The proposed Spruce No. 1 Mine would use destructive and unsustainable mining practices that jeopardize the health of Appalachian communities and clean water on which they depend. Coal and coal mining are part of our nation's energy future and EPA has worked with companies to design mining operations that adequately protect our nation's waters. We have a responsibility under the law to protect water quality and safeguard the people who rely on clean water.

To understand why the EPA made this decision—only the 12th time the agency has ever used its Clean Water Act authority in this fashion—it's important to understand what happens in mountaintop removal mining (MTR).

To get at seams of coal buried beneath the surface of hills, mining companies essentially cut off the top of mountains to get at the coal underneath. That leaves a lot of rock waste—known as "mining overburden"—to be filled into nearby valleys. Those "valley fills" are what particularly worry the EPA because of the way they can spread pollution to the surrounding mountain areas and waterways. According to the EPA the Spruce Mine would:

* Deposit 110 million cubic years of coal mine waste into streams

* Fully bury more than six miles of high-quality streams in Logan County in millions of tons of mining waste resulting from the dynamiting of more than 2,200 acres of mountains and forests

* Eliminate all fish, salamanders and other wildlife that live in those streams

* Pollute waters downstream from those buried streams, leading to unhealthy levels of salinity and toxic levels of selenium, turning fresh water into salt water.

* Cause downstream watershed degradation that will kill wildlife and increase susceptibility to toxic algal blooms.

You can read the EPA's full decision here. The veto, which came after a major public hearing in West Virginia and a review of nearly 50,000 public comments, caps a decade-plus battle over the Spruce Mine, which was first proposed in the 1990s and which has been tied up in courts ever since.

The Army Corps of Engineers actually approved the design for the mine in 2007, under the Bush Administration, but the Obama EPA has put up a much stronger fight against MTR.

That hasn't been missed by the mining industry, which has clashed repeatedly with the EPA. Kim Link—a spokesman for Arch Coal, the company that owns the proposed mine—told the New York Times:
We remain shocked and dismayed at E.P.A.'s continued onslaught with respect to this validly issued permit. Absent court intervention, E.P.A.'s final determination to veto the Spruce permit blocks an additional $250 million investment and 250 well-paying American jobs. Furthermore, we believe this decision will have a chilling effect on future U.S. investment because every business possessing or requiring a permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act will fear similar overreaching by the E.P.A. It's a risk many businesses cannot afford to take.

It didn't take long for West Virginia politicians to fire back. New Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin—the guy who shot a bullet through the cap-and-trade bill in an ad for his campaign—harshly criticized the EPA:
It goes without saying, such an irresponsible regulatory step is not only a shocking display of overreach, it will have a chilling effect on investments and our economic recovery. I plan to do everything in my power to fight this decision.

The ramifications could go beyond the mining and coal industry. Last week a diverse coalition of industry groups—ranging from the National Realtors Association to the United Egg Producers—wrote to Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, urging the White House to stop the EPA from blocking the permit for the Spruce Mine:
The implications could be staggering, reaching all areas of the U.S. economy including but not limited to the agriculture, home building, mining, transportation and energy sectors.

The business groups noted that clean water permits like the one at issue at the Spruce Mine support $220 billion worth of economic activity each year. The implications were clear: if the EPA was deciding to crack down on water pollution, business (and its political allies) would fight back.

It's a battle that is just beginning for the EPA and the White House, and it's one that will drag on for at least the next two years. For now, though, environmentalists can savor a major victory, after a year when they were dealt defeat after defeat. As Joe Lovett—a lawyer and the executive director of the Appalachian Center for the Economy and the Environment, who has been fighting the mine for 12 years—said in statement:
It is a relief after all of these years that at least one agency has shown the will to follow the law and the science by stopping the destruction of Pigeonroost Hollow and Oldhouse Branch. Today, the EPA has helped to save these beautiful hollows for future generations.

But as Lovett and his green allies know, the fight isn't over yet.


Australia: Greenie Boycott of Israel is beyond the pale

Anthony Albanese

AS part of Leonard Cohen's successful world comeback tour in 2009 he included a concert at Ramat Gan stadium near Tel Aviv in his itinerary.

For that he was condemned by some activists for promoting a cultural exchange in Israel. Never mind the fact that proceeds from this concert were directed to the Fund for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace. Groups which directly benefited included the Parents Circle, made up of both Palestinian and Israeli parents who have lost children in the Middle East conflict with the aim of promoting peace and reconciliation. Cohen described the concert as "representing a triumph over the inclination of the heart to despair, revenge and hatred".

The decision of the Greens Party-controlled Marrickville Council to "boycott all goods made in Israel and any sporting, academic, government or cultural exchanges", is unfortunate and misguided at best.

The council goes even further and suggests that any organisation or company with links to Israel should be boycotted also. It is not clear how much of ratepayer funds will be expended on this research.

It is doubtful how fair dinkum [genuine] the Greens Party councillors are, given that the resolution carried a month ago included a third point, that they would write to local parliamentary representatives "seeking their support at the state and federal level" and Greens mayor Fiona Byrne has not actually sent the correspondence.

It's not as if there are no policy challenges or local issues facing the mayor of Marrickville. The council is in the process of laying off staff, the mayor votes to close down Marrickville West Public School's childcare centre which provides vital support to disadvantaged families and the Greens have opposed a series of modest affordable housing proposals.

This ill thought-out attempt to challenge the state of Israel through a single local council in the inner west of Sydney is clumsy and counterproductive. I believe that engagement between peoples promotes understanding and tolerance and is worthwhile whether it be between national leaders or student exchanges.

Progressives have long argued for multilateral solutions to foreign policy issues and have therefore emphasised the role of the UN and other institutions. The Marrickville Council resolution contradicts this with its unilateral declaration that sanctions will be imposed and funded by ratepayers.

As Local Government Minister during Labor's first term I saw many examples of how local government has moved beyond rates, roads and rubbish, particularly in service delivery and community engagement.

International engagement through the development of sister cities programs is, in my view, positive as it promotes understanding and tolerance across geographic distances and cultural divides.

As a strong advocate of justice for Palestinians I, along with Joe Hockey, established the parliamentary Friends of Palestine group and was its founding secretary. Any lasting resolution to the Middle East conflict cannot be at the expense of either Palestinians or Israelis. Surely contact and engagement between Palestinians and Israelis is a precondition for a peaceful settlement.

If simplistic slogans were enough to resolve this issue it would have become a historical footnote of the last century.

Australians are making a contribution to global tolerance by the way that we have developed as a multicultural society. The inner west of Sydney is a microcosm of what is desirable in the international community, a place where neighbours live in harmony regardless of religion or race.

As it stands all those who attended the recent concerts of Leonard Cohen are in violation of the decree from the Marrickville mayor made on their behalf; lucky Cohen didn't try to perform at the Enmore Theatre!



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


14 January, 2011

A New Scientific Low

I am really just amazed by these remarks by NCAR’s Dr. Ken Trenberth to be given, apparently planned for the American Meteorological Society gathering this month. The pdf is here and Anthony Watt has reprinted it on his blog.

It is hard to know where to start, but the following excerpt is an outstanding example of climate science process where 1. Conclusions are assumed; 2. Conclusions are deemed unequivocal by reference to authority; 3. Debate rules are proposed wherin it is impossible to refute the conclusion; 4. All weather events that make the news are assumed to be caused or made worse by man-made warming, and thereby, in circular fashion, further prove the theory.

Normally, when I cite the above as the process, I get grief from folks who say I am mis-interpreting things, as usually I am boiling a complex argument down to this summary. The great thing about alarmist Trenberth’s piece is that no interpretation is necessary. He outlines this process right in a single paragraph. I will label the four steps above
Given that global warming is “unequivocal” [1], to quote the 2007 IPCC report [2], the null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there is no human influence [3]. Such a null hypothesis is trickier because one has to hypothesize something specific, such as “precipitation has increased by 5%” and then prove that it hasn’t. Because of large natural variability, the first approach results in an outcome suggesting that it is appropriate to conclude that there is no increase in precipitation by human influences, although the correct interpretation is that there is simply not enough evidence (not a long enough time series). However, the second approach also concludes that one cannot say there is not a 5% increase in precipitation. Given that global warming is happening and is pervasive, the first approach should no longer be used. As a whole the community is making too many type II errors [4].

Are you kidding me — if already every damn event in the tails of the normal distribution is taken by the core climate community as a proof of their hypothesis, how is there even room for type II errors? Next up — “Our beautiful, seasonal weather — proof of global warming?”

Remember that the IPCC’s conclusion of human-caused warming was based mainly on computer modelling. The IPCC defenders will not admit this immediately, but press them hard enough on side arguments and it comes down to the models.

The summary of their argument is this: for the period after 1950, they claim their computer models cannot explain warming patterns without including a large effect from anthropogenic CO2. Since almost all the warming in the latter half of the century really occurred between 1978 and 1998, the IPCC core argument boils down to “we are unable to attribute the global temperature increase in these 20 years to natural factors, so it must have been caused by man-made CO2.” See my video here for a deeper discussion.

This seems to be a fairly thin reed. After all, it may just be that after only a decade or two of serious study, we still do not understand climate variability very well, natural or not. It is a particularly odd conclusion when one discovers that the models ignore a number of factors (like the PDO, ENSO, etc) that affect temperatures on a decadal scale.

We therefore have a hypothesis that is not based on observational data, and where those who hold the hypothesis claim that observational data should no longer be used to test their hypothesis.

He is hilarious when he says that reversing the null hypothesis would make it trickier for his critics. It would make it freaking impossible, as he very well knows. This is an unbelievingly disingenuous suggestion. There are invisible aliens in my closet Dr. Trenberth — prove me wrong. It is always hard to prove a negative, and impossible in the complex climate system. There are simply too many variables in flux to nail down cause and effect in any kind of definitive way, at least at our level of understanding (we have studied economics much longer and we still have wild disagreements about cause and effect in macroeconomics).

He continues:
So we frequently hear that “while this event is consistent with what we expect from climate change, no single event can be attributed to human induced global warming”. Such murky statements should be abolished. On the contrary, the odds have changed to make certain kinds of events more likely. For precipitation, the pervasive increase in water vapor changes precipitation events with no doubt whatsoever. Yes, all events! Even if temperatures or sea surface temperatures are below normal, they are still higher than they would have been, and so too is the atmospheric water vapor amount and thus the moisture available for storms. Granted, the climate deals with averages. However, those averages are made up of specific events of all shapes and sizes now operating in a different environment. It is not a well posed question to ask “Is it caused by global warming?” Or “Is it caused by natural variability?” Because it is always both.

At some level, this is useless. The climate system is horrendously complex. I am sure everything affects everything. So to say that it affects the probability is a true but unhelpful statement. The concern is that warming will affect the rate of these events, or the severity of these events, in a substantial and noticeable way.
It is worth considering whether the odds of the particular event have changed sufficiently that one can make the alternative statement “It is unlikely that this event would have occurred without global warming.” For instance, this probably applies to the extremes that occurred in the summer of 2010: the floods in Pakistan, India, and China and the drought, heat waves and wild fires in Russia.

Now he has gone totally off the scientific reservation into astrology or the occult or something. He is saying that there is a high probability that if CO2 levels were 120ppm lower that, for example, the floods in Pakistan would not have occurred. This is pure conjecture, absolutely without facts, and probably bad conjecture at that. After all, similar events of similar magnitude have occurred through all of recorded history in exactly these locations.

Some Notes

1. For those unfamiliar with the issues, few skeptics deny that man’s CO2 has no effect on warming, but believe the effect is being enormously exaggerated. There is a bait and switch here, where the alarmist claims that “man is causing some warming” is the key conclusion, and once accepted, they can head off and start controlling the world’s economy (and population, as seems to be desired by Trenberth). But the fact that CO2 causes some greenhouse warming is a trivial conclusion. The hard part is, in the complex climate system, how much does it cause. There is a an argument to be made, as I have, that this warming is less than 1C over the next century. This number actually has observational data on its side, as actual warming over the last century, given past CO2 increases, is much more consistent with my lower number than various alarmist forecasts of doom. Again, this is discussed in much more depth here.

2. One interesting fact is that alarmists have to deal with the lack of warming or increase in ocean heat content over the last 12 years or so. They will argue that this is just a temporary aberration, and a much shorter time frame than they are working on. But in effect, the core IPCC conclusions were really based on the warming over the 20 years from 1978-1998. So while 12 years is admittedly short compared to many natural cycles in climate, and might be considered a dangerously short period to draw conclusions from, it is fairly large compared to the 20 year period that drove the IPCC conclusions.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Physicist Tom Sheahen [] comments:

I write to focus on one aspect of the Trenberth presentation: 'Given that global warming is 'unequivocal', to quote the 2007 IPCC report, the null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there is no human influence'

This needs to be fought against vigorously. Proving a negative is impossible. If the elites were successful in selling this hypothesis, then our guys would be dismissed when they couldn't prove a negative. There is enough public dissent from the AGW alarmists' position that nobody is going to "prove" anything for decades or a century; but the attempt to change the rules of science (as Trenberth wishes) is a back-door means of bolstering IPCC's diminishing credibility.

More on Trenberth’s desperate wriggling

Steve McIntyre comments

Anthony draws attention to a bilious diatribe by Trenberth against “deniers”. I have some back-history with Trenberth. In 2005, Trenberth was interviewed by Paul Thacker of ES&T about the MM articles (discussed here) where he stated: "There have been several examples of people who have come into the field of climate change and done incredibly stupid things by applying statistics in ways that are inappropriate for the data, [Trenberth] says".

I wrote back and forth with Trenberth a number of times in respect to his earlier comments about me – the correspondence is online here. After several attempts to get Trenberth to justify his allegations, Trenberth challenged me to respond to the criticism at realclimate. When I did so, Trenberth discontinued the correspondence without justifying his comment.

In his most recent outburst, Trenberth says: "Debating them ["deniers"] about the science is not an approach that is recommended. In a debate it is impossible to counter lies, and caveated statements show up poorly against loudly proclaimed confident statements that often have little or no basis. Scientific facts are not open to debate and opinion because they are evidence and/or physically based. Moreover a debate actually gives alternative views credibility."

Trenberth described his recommended tactic in a Climategate email as follows: "So my feeble suggestion is to indeed cast aspersions on their motives and throw in some counter rhetoric. Labeling them as lazy with nothing better to do seems like a good thing to do."

Trenberth now complains that the supposedly “false claims” of critics have not been “scrutinized or criticized” enough: "But their critics are another matter entirely, and their false claims have not been scrutinized or criticized anything like enough!"

However, Trenberth himself advocated the strategy of casting aspersions on critics instead of scrutinizing their arguments and, as one of the architects of this strategy, is hardly in a position to complain.

The way to counter lies is obvious – show evidence that statements are lies. For example, when Mann said that I had asked for an Excel spreadsheet and that they had inadvertently introduced errors in the process of tailoring the data for this special request, the way to counter it is to produce the original email showing that we had not asked for an Excel spreadsheet but an FTP location and that the dataset that we were directed to at Mann’s FTP site was dated long prior to my inquiry. (The data set was deleted by Mann shortly after this incident, thereby removing this evidence.)

Or when Mann told the NAS panel that he hadn’t calculated a verification r2 statistic as this would be a “foolish and incorrect” thing to do, the way to counter this was to examine his original article which showed the verification r2 statistic for the AD1820 step and, when code became available for this step, to show that the code calculated the verification r2 statistic in the same step as the RE statistic that was reported.

Trenberth also purports to justify Jones’ successful effort to keep McKitrick Michaels 2004 out of the two AR4 drafts sent to reviewers on the basis (this incident has been discussed at length on other occasions) that: "AR4 was the first time Jones was on the writing team of an IPCC Assessment."

while noting that Trenberth himself, as a “veteran”, was aware of the obligations: "As a veteran of 3 previous IPCC assessments I was well aware that we do not keep any papers out, and none were kept out."

Trenberth goes on to add that:

"[climate scientists] are unlikely to make false claims that other colleagues can readily show to be incorrect."

Unfortunately, we’ve seen too many incidents where climate scientists make false claims that are readily shown to be incorrect. We need think back no further than Jones’ claim that CRU had confidentiality agreements that contained language prohibiting the distribution of data sent to Peter Webster to “non-academics”.

Trenberth’s very claim that AR4 was the first time that Jones had been on a writing team is itself another example of an untrue statement that can be “readily” demonstrated to be untrue (although his “colleagues” have thus far not called him on it.)

Both Jones and Trenberth are listed as contributing authors of AR3. (Indeed, Jones’ correspondence about the Briffa reconstruction in the wake of the 1999 Lead Authors meeting in Arusha, Tanzania was important in the setting of the notorious “hide the decline” memo.) See the list of AR3 chapter 2 authors below, where both Trenberth and Jones are listed as Contributing Authors.

More HERE (See the original for links)

1992: Climate Scientists Tell EU “Billions To Die By 2030″

We're halfway through their prediction period and there is no sign of anything they prophesied coming true. Just another Greenie false prophecy

Time for another visit to the archives, I think. This one concerns a report entitled ”The costs of climate change,” Report to the Commission of the European Communities, Directorate General XII” and is from July 1992 by O. Hohmeyer and M. Gartner.

The following is a verbatim reprint of the Greenpeace press release covering the report:
Two German researchers, in a report for the European Commission, estimate that the total costs of climate change resulting from a doubling of carbon dioxide will exceed $900 trillion ($900 thousand billion).

The researchers, Olav Hohmeyer and Michael Gartner, are from the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research in Karlsruhe. They base their estimates on the following scenarios and cost evaluations. For the value of human life, they use an estimate based on the valuation implicit in the remuneration people expect for risking their lives in dangerous situations. The figure they use, which they call “a very conservative estimate,” is $1 million. For the value of productive land, they use the value of such land in the USA, $30,000 per hectare. As regards the number of deaths, they conclude that by 2030 (the time of doubling of concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, assuming business-as- usual emissions), the following are “likely”:

Starvation: an extra 900 to 1,800 million deaths

Storms: an extra 1.3 million deaths

Heat stress: an extra 1.3 million deaths

Tropical diseases: an extra 540,000 deaths

And costs including the following:

Land lost to sea level rise (18 cm at the time of carbon dioxide doubling), totalling 60 to 220 million square km of productive land: $2.4 trillion. Valued assets affected by sea-level rise (2.4% of the world market valued assets): $530 billion. Storm damage: an extra $20 billion per year, meaning $200 billion over the period.

The authors emphasize that they consider their estimates conservative, and that they have necessarily omitted many incalculable factors, such as the loss of biodiversity and other damage to ecosystems.

Greenpeace Press Release. Billions to Die As A Result of Climate Change In The Next Century?

It’s good to know that this report to the European Commission was “conservative” and they didn’t let panic and hysteria creep into their projections . . .


Hansen contradicts himself

Particularly in his paragraph four below we see an admission that temperatures have been effectively flat throughout the 21st century. Then in the final paragraph reproduced below he says that "Global temperatures have continued to rise steadily". Which is it?

Groups of scientists from several major institutions – NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), the Japanese Meteorological Agency and the Met Office Hadley Centre in the United Kingdom – tally data collected by temperature monitoring stations spread around the world and make an announcement about whether the previous year was a comparatively warm or cool year.

NASA’s announcement this year – that 2010 ties 2005 as the warmest year in the 131-year instrumental record – made headlines. But, how much does the ranking of a single year matter?

Not all that much, emphasizes James Hansen, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City. In the GISS analysis, for example, 2010 differed from 2005 by less than 0.01°C (0.018 °F), a difference so small that the temperatures of these two years are indistinguishable, given the uncertainty of the calculation.

Meanwhile, the third warmest year -- 2009 -- is so close to 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2007, with the maximum difference between the years being a mere 0.03°C, that all six years are virtually tied.

Even for a near record-breaking year like 2010 the broader context is more important than a single year. “Certainly, it is interesting that 2010 was so warm despite the presence of a La Niña and a remarkably inactive sun, two factors that have a cooling influence on the planet, but far more important than any particular year’s ranking are the decadal trends,” Hansen said.

One of the problems with focusing on annual rankings, rather than the longer trend, is that the rankings of individual years often differ in the most closely watched temperature analyses – from GISS, NCDC, and the Met Office – a situation that can generate confusion.

For example, while GISS previously ranked 2005 warmest, the Met Office listed 1998 warmest. The discrepancy helped fuel the misperception that findings from the three groups vary sharply or contain large amounts of uncertainty. It also fueled the misperception that global warming stopped in 1998.

“In reality, nothing could be further from the truth,” said Hansen. Global temperatures have continued to rise steadily. “


Climate Scaremongering Antidote: expose the media manipulation by pressure groups

Donna Laframboise has found a website masquerading as a source of science news when in fact it is merely a conduit for WWF press releases. She writes:

'I recently stumbled across a website called It’s slick and professional-looking. If I were a high school student writing an essay I could be forgiven for thinking I had arrived at an authoritative and trustworthy source of information. claims to provide: Breaking news about the latest scientific discoveries in the fields of physics, chemistry, geology and palaeontology, biology, environment, astronomy, health, and technology'

She discovered:

'The “article” that first rang my alarm bells is dated July 2007. It begins with: The world’s top experts have just confirmed that Arctic warming is continuing its ravages of polar bear populations.

In the very next sentence, however, it becomes clear that these supposed top experts are actually affiliated with an activist group, the International Union of the Conservation of Nature – which was founded in 1948 “as the world’s first global environmental organization.”

Even worse, the third, fourth, and fifth sentence in the ScienceCentric “article” are all quotes from a World Wildlife Fund spokesperson. At the very bottom of the article, this line appears: Source: WWF

Clicking that link reveals that has been representing World Wildlife Fund blog postings and press releases as bona fide science news stories since June 2007.'

The website she discovered is apparently based in Bulgaria, and I presume it was deliberately set up as part of campaigning efforts to push the WWF line. UK newspapers such as The Scotsman are known for essentially re-printing WWF press releases, or quoting WWF 'soundbites' without challenge (try Googling 'WWF The Scotsman' to find, amidst the clutter, many examples), and there are no doubt many other victims of WWF PR success in the media all over the world.

The WWF was taken over long ago and diverted from caring about world wildlife into campaigning against the interests of humanity, an action which of course will also harm wildlife in due course since it is the industrialised nations who have done most to preserve and protect it. The UK Met Office is now led by the man who helped transform the WWF, a Robert Napier, and he is apparently hellbent on replicating that performance in his new post.

The Met Office is now something of a popular laughing-stock in the UK, but its ongoing contributions to fueling climate alarmism are no laughing matter. It incidently caused a great deal of loss in the UK and elsewhere by leaning on its computers for forecasts of volcanic dust movements which grounded commerciial aviation for days at a time. Subsequent observations taken by aircraft - real data, in other words - showed dramatically less cause for alarm, and in due course flights were resumed everywhere. This little cameo of computer-based alarmism leading to societal loss is a micro-version of what the same mentality is achieving on a much larger scale with announcements on climate.

Let me finish by repeating an earlier quote from the post which inspired this one:

'If I were a high school student writing an essay I could be forgiven for thinking I had arrived at an authoritative and trustworthy source of information.'

It thus becomes imperative that teachers urge their pupils to clearly identify their sources of information, and to encourage them to dig a little deeper in case they find powerful vested interests, such as those of wealthy multinational corporations like the WWF. They may still have to mouth their conclusions in order to pass exams, but they will at least not be fooled into actually believing them.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Claim 2010 tied with warmest year ever lacks historical perspective

By Art Horn, Icecap Meteorologist

You would think that NOAA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration would be an objective and sober reviewer of temperature data. Apparently they are not. NOAA has proclaimed that 2010 was tied with 2005 as the “warmest year on record.” At first this sounds impressive. But as with all political proclamations there is always more to the story. The statement “warmest on record” means the period of time since 1880 that temperature has been measured with thermometers. To say the 2010 was tied with the warmest year on record is essentially meaningless when viewed in a true historical context.

If NOAA was truly objective in their analysis of this 130 year period of temperature they would acknowledge that 130 years of record in the long history of climate is insignificant to the extreme. The reason they do not give this record its true historical context is because their statement is really political. Their true message is that global warming is causing the warm weather and that we need to abandon fossil fuels and somehow change to “renewable” energy sources.

If one takes a serious, adult look at the variability of weather and climate over time you find amazing events. In the winter of 1249 it was so warm in England that people did not need winter clothes. They walked about in summer dress. It was so warm people thought the seasons had changed. There was no frost in England the entire winter. Can you imagine what NOAA would say if that happened next year? But it did happen, 762 years ago and burning fossil fuels had nothing to do with it.

In the winter of 1717 there was so much snow in Massachusetts in late February and early March, single story houses were buried. A series of 4 storms produced so much snow that by the time the storms ended there was 10 to 15 feet of snow on the ground. People had to tunnel from one home to another to check on each other. Search parties were organized in Medford Massachusetts to find the poor and the elderly. One widow was known to have several children. They found her house from the smoke coming up through the snow. After digging down into the snow the rescuers entered through a window and found her and her children alive. They were burning the furniture to heat the house. If this happened today we would be told it was because of “climate disruption” the new offspring our government has given birth to as a replacement for “climate change.”

Isotopes of oxygen analyzed from deep ice cores drilled in Greenland’s massive two mile thick ice sheets show that today’s “record warmth” is not even close to how warm it’s been in the recent past. These oxygen isotopes can act as a proxy or substitute for temperature. What they reveal is that the earth was much warmer than today for most of the last 10,000 years by 1 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The entire warming of the last 160 years is just 1 degree Fahrenheit, half of which took place between 1910 and 1945 when humans could not have had any effect. In fact these ice cores reveal that earth’s temperature has been rising for 200 years, rebounding from a 500 year cold period known as the “Little Ice Age.” Further examination of the ice core temperatures show that earth’s temperature peaked some 3,300 years ago in the Minoan Warm Period and has been falling ever since.

Today’s “record warmth” may be fleeting. Statements by agenda driven government agencies can’t be trusted. Real scientific data, not shadowy half truths show that earth’s temperature is falling and has fallen nearly 4 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 3,000 years. Remember, when someone only reveals part of the truth it means they have something to hide.

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


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


13 January, 2011

Long-time Green/Leftist Mike Roddy dehumanizes leading skeptic and compares him to Hitler

I guess that it is really pointless to argue with exploding rage but I will nonetheless do Roddy the courtesy of looking at his "argument" as if it were rational:

First note: His article on Morano that he refers back to is headed "Marc Morano, Professional Douchebag" and Roddy retains that level of profundity in what follows thereafter.

Second: A third of Americans don't matter? That is a fair summary of far-Leftist thinking as embodied in Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and all that merry gang.

Third: Comparing Morano to Hitler is to compare a conservative journalist to a successful socialist political campaigner and powerful politician. It's hard to see any relevance in such a comparison.

Fourth: The second sentence of the second paragraph below has now been deleted from the site. Even Warmists can suffer shame, it appears

It still amazes me that people can quote Mark Morano with a straight face, and that he shows up as a guest on TV shows. One would think that even Fox would draw the line at stone cold lunatics. I wrote something about him and others a year ago for Buffalo Beast that ended up being pretty popular.

The scary thing is the size of his audience, even if it only reflects the views of about a third of Americans. Unfortunately, that popularity rating turned out to be enough for Hitler. After all, these kinds of people have lots of guns.

Relentless and funny ridicule of people like Morano and Watts may be the best weapon. They are, after all, more like badly wired toys than actual humans. It worked when McCarthy was exposed as an idiot on TV in 1954. And if Charlie Chaplin’s Hitler parody had been shown throughout Germany in the 1930’s, he would have been laughed out of office.

Peter Sinclair does a great job with the deniers in his Climate Crock videos. If they were expanded and shown nationally, Morano, Monckton, and the rest of them would be laughed out of the country, ending up, like McCarthy, as hopeless and forgotten alcoholics.


Another Nazi comparison

The writer clearly knows that the comparison is faulty but cannot resist using it anyway

To use an admittedly extreme example, when you're doing a story about the Holocaust, you don't need to balance it by quoting a neo-Nazi. Nor is it "showing balance" to quote a climate-change denier in every story about global warming --not when scientists who study these issues have concluded with rare, near-universal fervor that climate change is not only real but presents an existential threat to civilization as we know it, if not to our species.


Amusingly, the writer above started out his article with this: "In the new landscape, we can't be passive anymore. We must be skeptical but open-minded, questioning everything". Again, he knows what he should do but just can't do it. It's just amazing how corrosive to the mind Warmism can be. The wish to see yourself as a Messiah overwhelms everything else in some people.

2010 tied for Earth's warmest year on record?

See below. It is an excellent example of the old saying that there are lies, damned lies and statistics. A conclusion from statistics that varies greatly from most people's experience suggests error and is likely to persuade only those who want to be persuaded

Last year tied with 2005 as the world's warmest on record, according to data released Wednesday by the National Climatic Data Center. Records began in 1880.

It was also the wettest year on record globally as measured by average precipitation, according to the center. Heavy rain in Asia due to the monsoon (which led to disastrous floods in Pakistan) and tropical storms in Central America contributed to the extreme precipitation amounts.

The Earth's average temperature in 2010, as in 2005, was 58.12 degrees, which is 1.12 degrees above the 20th-century average of 57 degrees.

It was the 34th consecutive year that the global temperature was above average, according to the data center. The last below-average year was 1976.

"This warmth reinforces the notion that we're seeing climate change," says David Easterling, chief of scientific services at the data center in Asheville, N.C.

Not so fast, says Pat Michaels, a climatologist with the Cato Institute in Washington. "If you draw a trend line from the data, it's pretty flat from the 1990s. We don't see much of a warming trend over the past 12 years."

He says the gloom-and-doom projections on global warming are likely to be too hot. "The projections will have to come down," Michaels says.

The climate center reports that the global land surface temperatures for 2010 were the warmest on record, at 1.80 degrees above the 20th-century average. The global ocean surface temperature for 2010 tied with 2005 as the third-warmest on record, at 0.88 degrees above the 20th-century average.

Several exceptional heat waves occurred during 2010, the center reported, bringing record high temperatures and affecting tens of millions of people. Russia endured an unprecedented two-month heat wave last summer: On July 29, the Moscow Observatory recorded its highest-ever temperature of 100.8 degrees.

In a separate global temperature report released last week, 2010 finished in a tie with 1998 for the warmest year in the 32-year satellite temperature record, according to John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH).

Unlike the climate center's surface-based temperatures, UAH's data are based on instruments aboard satellites from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that measure the temperature of the atmosphere from the surface up to an altitude of about 5 miles above sea level.

The satellite data show that the globe continues to warm unevenly. Warming increases as you go north: The Arctic Ocean has warmed an average of almost 3 degrees in the past 32 years. [So there's lots more CO2 clustering over the poles?? Very strange in the light of what we know about gaseous diffusion]

Another global surface temperature report released Wednesday — from NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York — said 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest year.


Marc Morano Comments:

It is amazing people believe this tripe. These are political statements! The margin of error easily surpasses the difference in years. We are talking fractions of a degree between years, not to mention heat urban island effects, etc.

What's funny is Romm and others said 2010 would be hottest ever, what happened, it only tied?!

The other point is, if 2010 was a 'record' hot year, the Arctic, Antarctic, sea level, N. and S. hemispheres did not seem to notice. How important is it really to have fraction of degree declarations? It is only important for political purposes.

See here for great analysis:

German Climate Professor Slams 'Climate Religion': Refutes claims of 'hottest decade' as 'a joke' -- 'Determining a global avg. is a tricky business and in the end is only a theoretical value'

Of course, warming does not equal man-made warming anyway.

Scientists Challenged to Become Better Global Warming Propagandists

Can scientists become "Deadly Ninjas of Science Communication"? That was proposed by Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War Against Science," and a member of the board of directors of the American Geophysical Union. Mooney advocated this idea in a presentation at the Union's December 13-17 fall meeting in San Francisco.

Mooney is concerned that global warming skeptics are getting the upper hand in the ongoing debate. Mooney has an unquestioning belief that disaster will overtake the world if we don't mend our CO2-emitting ways. Many other speakers at the meeting, like Mooney, suggested that if scientists improved their communications skills, the skeptics could be defeated.

At the same fall meeting four years ago, Al Gore spoke to ten thousand assembled scientists. The scientists treated him like a rock star. Why would the scientists love Al Gore? His movie, An Inconvenient Truth, was full of scientific errors. But this is about not biting the hand that feeds you. When Al Gore spreads global warming hysteria, financial and political support for climate science increases. Scientists become guests on TV shows instead of lab drones.

But a dark cloud is gathering over climate science. Public fear of global warming is declining. Most of the activist scientists gathered in San Francisco were blind to the possibility that there is any defect in their scary product. It must be that forces of darkness (perhaps Republicans or coal companies) are financing skeptics. Apparently the skeptics, cleverly disguised as grassroots activists, have an uncanny knack for propaganda.

A few years ago, Exxon, a world-class provider of CO2 emissions, would have been top dog among the forces of darkness. But now Exxon is the sole "titanium" sponsor of the meeting, ranked above the platinum, gold, silver, and bronze sponsors. Apparently Exxon gave the Union so much money that they had to create a new category, and the logic of the nobility of the metals in the periodic table be damned. Exxon purchased an indulgence from the church of global warming, probably at a price that is Exxon chump change.

Susan Hassol, a professional climate change communicator, gave the scientists in San Francisco a long list of words that scientists should never use when communicating with the public. For example, to climate scientists, a positive feedback to global warming is bad, because a positive feedback would increase global warming. But to the man in the street, a positive feedback is good, as when your boss gives you positive feedback.

One of the most famous propagandists of global warming, professor Michael Mann, gave a bitter presentation. Mann is famous for creating the hockey stick curve, a graph that purported to show that the climate was stable for a thousand years until CO2 emissions in the 20th century made the temperature shoot up like the blade of a hockey stick. The hockey stick graph went viral and was published everywhere as absolutely positive scientific proof of man-caused global warming.

A retired expert on mining, Steve McIntyre, working out of his modest Toronto house, thought the graph was suspicious and decided to investigate. Amateur scientist McIntyre demolished the hockey stick, along with Mann's reputation. Mann's presentation in San Francisco depicted him as a victim of dark forces. Some of his slides included a picture of Sarah Palin in the upper-left corner, probably to galvanize the left-leaning audience.

Steve Easterbrook, a professor and software expert, reported on his investigation of computer climate models. The entire edifice of global warming alarmism rests on a foundation of computer climate models used to make predictions about the future climate. Easterbrook visited four different laboratories where models are created. He basically said that these huge computer programs that have a million lines of computer code are kludges that would have to be completely rewritten to be up to modern software standards. It would take fifty programmers working for twenty years at a cost of $350 million to rewrite one of these software dinosaurs.

However, there is little reason to suppose that if the models were rewritten, they would be much better. As the brilliant and perhaps overly candid government scientist Kevin Trenberth said, "none of the climate states in the models correspond even remotely to the current observed climate. In particular, the state of the oceans, sea ice, and soil moisture has no relationship to the observed state at any recent time[.]" It is an embarrassing fact that the major models disagree with each other by more than two-to-one about the magnitude of future global warming.

It was apparent that scientists have little experience with propaganda. Rather than trying to do it themselves, they need to take a lesson from Al Gore and bring in the big guns from Hollywood and Madison Avenue. Or maybe they should stick to science and stop trying to convince us that doom is around the corner unless we reconfigure the world economy to their specifications.


It's the scientists who are killing the penguins, not global warming

Some scientists studying penguins may be inadvertently harming them with the metal bands they use to keep track of the tuxedo-clad seabirds, a new study says.

The survival rate of King penguins with metal bands on their flippers was 44 percent lower than those without bands and banded birds produced far fewer chicks, according to new research published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

The theory is that the metal bands -- either aluminum or stainless steel -- increase drag on the penguins when they swim, making them work harder, the study's authors said.

Author Yvon Le Maho of the University of Strasbourg in France, said the banded penguins looked haggard, appearing older than their actual age.

Consequently, studies that use banded penguins -- including ones about the effects of global warming on the seabirds -- may be inaccurate, mixing up other changes in penguin life with the effects from banding, said Le Maho and colleague Claire Saraux.


Recovery Act spent over 600 million dollars on climate change research; billions on GHG mitigation

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), better known as the stimulus act or stimulus package, was passed with the stated goal of helping our economy. It was meant to create jobs and boost consumer spending. Opponents of the nearly $1 trillion act pointed out that many of the provisions had nothing to do with helping the economy.

Looking back at a few different documents, I've found that the stimulus act spent over $600 million dollars on climate change research among three Federal agencies. In addition, there was $25 billion spent on researching different greenhouse gas emissions mitigation options.

In March 2009 the Pew Center on Global Climate Change issued a document summarizing the key provisions in the ARRA. It is available here. On the bottom of the first page, they show the spending on climate change research.

NOAA gets $170 million, and NASA gets $400 million for a total of $570 million. However, this total is incorrect. Another agency got money for climate research from the ARRA. The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility, which is a part of the Department of Energy (DOE) received $60 million. This press release from Dec. 2009 makes mention of the funding:

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science provided $60 million in ARRA funding for climate research to the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility, a DOE national user facility that has been operating climate observing sites around the world for nearly two decades.

This is also corroborated by a 2010 slide show given by the ARM facility.

More HERE (See the original for links and graphics)


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


12 January, 2011

A good spoof

Sadly, it's very close to reality

Greenie misanthropy still going strong

The precursor of the OPT was the ZPG movement, which had as its slogan: "People are pollution". They hide their hatreds a little more now but the thinking is the same

In this post I look at two reports which that show a worrying new trend towards the dehumanization of people by referring to children as simply “carbon emitters” and quite openly arguing that fewer “emitters” would mean lower emissions at less cost.

The first report comes from the London School of Economics, and was sponsored by the neo-Malthusian organization, the Optimum Population Trust (OPT, patron: Sir David Attenborough).

The report, entitled “Fewer Emitters, Lower Emissions, Less Cost,” is a cost/benefit analysis which claims that reducing the future population is the cheapest way to reduce carbon emissions. Although the report stresses that “non-coercive” means should be pursued to reduce births, its terms of reference are somewhat Orwellian in tone:

A Cost/ Benefit Analysis of Reducing the Number of Additional Carbon Emitters as well as Average Per Capita Carbon Emission

OPT Report: Fewer Emitters, Lower Emissions, Less Cost. Appendix A: Terms of Reference.

I don’t know about you, but when organizations with the sort of backing that the OPT has start referring to things like “reducing the number of additional carbon emitters” I find it quite sinister.

The report comes with a statement by the OPT which recommends that climate change negotiators recognize that “population restraint” is a vital part of tackling global warming and says, in part:

All environmental problems, and notably those arising from climate change, would be easier to solve with a smaller future population. Population restraint in rich countries and communities would reduce the future number of major carbon emitters (who will also be victims). Restraint in poor countries and communities would reduce the number of minor emitters and likely major victims

OPT Report: Fewer Emitters, Lower Emissions, Less Cost.

The statement proposes that the “contraction and convergence” targets for Co2 emissions that all countries have accepted in principle (though not formally agreed on) should be on a ‘per capita’ basis to “encourage the adoption of population restraint policies”. What this means in non-jargon terms is that when setting a nation’s Co2 emissions targets in any future treaty, these emissions should be the ‘ceiling’ or maximum allowable amount – if more people are subsequently born, the total emissions allowed for that nation cannot then increase. So, effectively, each individual’s allowed emissions will therefore have to decrease to stay within the emissions target that the nation had previously agreed to.


The other report is ’Reproduction and the Carbon Legacies of Individuals‘ by Paul A. Murtaugha and Michael G. Schlax, published in the journal, Global Environmental Change.

This study looks at now much carbon an individual will generate in their lifetime not only by normal activities, but also the carbon generated by their children and their children’s children. As it takes two people (obviously!) to have children, the authors talk in terms of “genetic units” to indicate responsibility for these future carbon emitters (in other words, your child is 50% your “genetic unit” and 50% your partner’s).

Here is the basic assumption and aim of the study. Consider exactly what their basic premise implies:

"Our basic premise is that a person is responsible for the carbon emissions of his descendants, weighted by their relatedness to him. [p. 14]

Our goal is to quantify the consequences of the child bearing decisions of an individual. The appeal of our weighting scheme is that it provides an accounting of the extent to which a parent’s genetic material propagates through subsequent generations, and it allows the emissions of any individual to be unambiguously traced back and ‘‘assigned’’ to ancestors from any preceding generation. [p. 15]"

The study then proceeds to assign the total carbon emissions of a female alive today under different fertility “constraints”

"Fig. 5 shows trajectories of person years vs. time in the United States, for ancestral females that are constrained to have exactly 0, 1, 2 or 3 children . . . [p. 17]."

They then go on in figure 6 to show how these different projections affect “the average mass of CO2 for which the ancestor is responsible”. The potential for reducing carbon emissions by reducing the number of future “genetic units” was remarkable. Whereas increasing a car’s fuel efficiency from 20mpg to 30mpg saved only 148 metric tons of Co2 emissions over an individual’s lifetime, reducing the number of children by one on a “constant-emission scenario” gave a lifetime saving of Co2 emissions of 9,441 metric tons!

As the study concludes, “Clearly, the potential savings from reduced reproduction are huge compared to the savings that can be achieved by changes in lifestyle” although they caution that reducing the future population on its own is not enough. What is required is that the changes to your lifestyle are then multiplied by you having fewer children who also live a low-carbon lifestyle as well:

"This is not to say that lifestyle changes are unimportant; in fact, they are essential, since immediate reductions in emissions worldwide are needed to limit the damaging effects of climate change that are already being documented (Kerr, 2007; Moriarty and Honnery, 2008). The amplifying effect of an individual’s reproduction documented here implies that such lifestyle changes must propagate through future generations in order to be fully effective, and that enormous future bene?ts can be gained by immediate changes in reproductive behavior [p.18]"

Like the OPT report, this study does not recommend any coercive measures or legislation. It’s looking at the potential for reducing carbon emissions by reducing the number of “emitters”. These are scientific papers: legislation is not their remit. What’s worrying is this new trend towards discussing children in terms of their emissions. It’s the tacit and unspoken way that the equation of humans/gas is taken as somehow acceptable in modern society because of the supposed threat of global warming.

Oh, and whom do we have to thank for funding this study? The postscript tells us it was “supported by NASA through contract 1206715 administered by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory”. What is NASA doing funding a study into the benefits of reducing the population? Who knew?


Professor Nir Shaviv Advises Grad Students To Stay Away From Global Warming

By P Gosselin

Yesterday I wrote here a piece on an article that FOCUS magazine had written – about skepticism and the 3rd Climate Conference, which took place in Berlin last month.

The FOCUS article looked at the scorn that skeptics have to endure just for having a different opinion in climate science, for being less pessimistic about the future, and for not being alarmist.

FOCUS quoted a number of scientists, and it’s clear that the alarmists have been running the show. And unless that changes, this eventually will lead to a disaster. We are not that far from it. FOCUS wrote:

"Whoever challenges the notion of man-made climate change gets mercilessly punished by the Establishment. So it is no surprise that one hardly finds any young researchers who take a critical and skeptical view, and that mainly retired professors dominated the conference.”

Focus then presented Nir Shaviv as an example, writing:

"Also 38-year old academic high-flyer Nir Shaviv advises his own students on the threat of sanctions and reminds them to be very careful in challenging official climate dogma: ‘Whoever starts questioning is taking the risk of shooting himself in the knee.’”

Surprisingly, Professor Shaviv responded to this comment here, saying he didn’t mean it quite that way, claiming that the reporter probably got it out of context, and so he cleared up the point as follows:

"My point is that because climate science is so dogmatic students do risk burning themselves because of the politics, if they don’t follow the party line. Since doing bad (“alarmist”) climate science is not an option either, I advise them to do things which are not directly related to global warming. (In fact, all but one of the graduate students I had, work or worked on pure astrophysical projects). I, on the other hand, have the luxury of tenure, so I can shout the truth as loud as I want without really being hurt.”

I really appreciate this kind of honesty, and I do hope that Prof Shaviv indeed does not get hurt, as the atmosphere in climate science, though it has improved a bit lately, is indeed still quite toxic.

But I got to thinking: What are the ultimate consequences of Professor Shaviv’s advice to young grad students? What kind of system will we be left with if grad students continue following this advice? And what will such a system eventually produce?

Advising the best and brightest to keep away from global warming – is it really the best advice to give grad students?

This of course leads to a system that results in only alarmists reaching the field of climate science, as all other grads opt for the greener pastures of other fields. In whose hands does this leave climate science? Is this what we want?

Of course, Professor Shaviv wants to give his students the best advice, and steer them on a career path that will ultimately be the most fulfilling. But I wonder if in the end society will end up paying a terrible price if only alarmists and “bad science” are allowed to dominate particular scientific fields like climate science.

I’d hate to see how this would play out in another field, like psychiatry for example. Imagine here if the consensus was: “lobotomy is the way to go for treating patients, or to use Drug A only. Everything else is quackery. And don’t question our procedures!”

That of course would be a disaster. (It actually was widely practiced for a time – and, was a disaster). There was eugenics, too.

Where are the closed doors to open thinking in climate science taking us?

Now climate science is dominated by the alarmists, some are extremely radical. And today we are already seeing the results that these closed doors to open thinking in climate science are rendering. Just look at the renegade scientific institutions like GISS, CRU, PIK, AWI, NAS, Nature, etc., just to name a few.

Enormous sums of money are being dubiously spent on ”bad (‘alarmist’)” climate science, which has led to bad policy, a poisoned academic and political atmosphere, political opportunism, massive industrial lobbying, and, since recently, even calls for the suspension of democracy and the introduction of “authoritarianism by experts” in its place.

How much worse must it get before we wake up?

Professor Shaviv only wants the best for his students. But maybe it’s high time for him and others in his position to modify where to steer talent. We desparately need balance in thinking in all fields. Seeking the truth is a scientific responsibility and scientific talent has to take on that responsibility, and not run from it.

Unless that happens, climate science will wind up shooting itself in the knee, and then society will risk getting seriously burned – and it won’t be because of runaway global warming.


A RINO on the House Energy and Commerce Committee?

I am receiving extremely credible information that Friday morning House Republicans may put Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Let me be clear here: this would be an affront to conservatives of all stripes. It is bad enough the House GOP chose to ignore conservatives when it came time to choose chairmen of the Energy & Commerce Committee and of the Appropriations Committee. It is a slap in the face to add Leonard Lance to the Energy & Commerce Committee.

Rep. Lance supports cap and trade. As troubling, Rep. Lance is pro-abortion.

For those of you who are libertarian and could care less about Rep. Lance’s abortion position, consider this: Rep. Lance sided with the Pelosi led Democratic 111th Congress to fund Planned Parenthood. It is one thing to support killing kids. Quite another to go along with government funding for killing kids.

For those of you who may question why abortion has anything to do with the Energy & Commerce Committee, it is very simple. It is the Energy & Commerce Committee that will oversee defunding of Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, etc.

Conservatives already upset with the botched handling of House Republicans on the matter of just how much will be cut are going to be less than happy if House Republicans put Leonard Lance on the Energy & Commerce Committee.


The Serious and the Buffoons

I like to congratulate countries that, unlike ours, take energy policy seriously. Serious energy policy simply means that you seriously try to find and exploit new energy sources, using reality-based rather than delusional thinking.

Our present administration, which cherishes the delusion that noisy, ugly, and inefficient windmill farms and costly, ugly, and inefficient solar panel farms will allow us to dispense with oil, gas, and coal, is the paradigm case of unserious (i.e., joke) policy makers.

For being serious, kudos should go to Israel. As noted by the Wall Street Journal on Dec. 30, it has encouraged extensive exploration for fossil fuels off its shoreline, and the search has paid off prodigiously. The most recent discovery may tip the Mideast balance of power in Israel’s favor. A huge field of natural gas, aptly called Leviathan, apparently contains 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (according to Noble Energy, the American firm developing it). That field alone could supply Israel’s gas needs for a century. It might even make Israel a net energy exporting country.

Leviathan was found in the vicinity of smaller fields discovered earlier in the Levant Basin, an area of Mediterranean seabed off the coasts of Israel and Lebanon. The first two fields, Noa and Mari, discovered in 1999 and 2000 respectively, together contain about 11 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The Tamar and Dalit fields, both discovered in early 2009, together contain about 9 trillion cubic feet.

The US Geological Survey estimates that the Levant Basin holds a total of 122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, not to mention 1.7 billion barrels of oil. To put that in perspective, the Levant Basin’s estimated gas reserves are nearly half of what America’s entire natural gas reserves are thought to be.

These huge fields, together with Israel’s laws favoring energy exploration and development, caused the Israeli energy sector stock index to soar 1,700% in 2010. They also led to Lebanon’s passing laws to develop its share of the Levant Basin.

A second story appeared in the Journal on Dec. 31. It reports that even as our unemployment rate hovers near 10% and the price of gasoline continues to rise, the harlequins in the Obama administration have issued a directive sealing off even more lands from productive exploration. This directive requires the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to search its huge holdings to find “unspoiled” back country that it can then decree to be “wild lands” and lock away from development of any kind.

This may block from use many millions of acres of land in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, and everyplace else where the feds own land. (The BLM supervises 250 million acres of land!) You can just forget about the uranium, oil, natural gas, and other valuable resources of the areas the BLM shuts down.

The BLM used this power freely back in the 1970s and 1980s, but in 2003, after a lawsuit from the government of Utah, it relinquished the power. Now Obama, having lost his legislative power, is trying to build up the executive power necessary to carry out his jihad against carbon energy, and reverse the 2003 decision. He seems to think that shortages of — and high prices for — energy are the keys to economic prosperity.

All this inclines me to say “Mazel tov!” to the Israelis, and “Go to hell!” to the Obamanista environmental extremists, who are trying to choke off this nation’s energy.


The icy grip of the politics of fear

The snow crisis of December 2010: what a striking snapshot of the chasm that separates the warming-obsessed elite from the rest of us.

You couldn’t have asked for a better snapshot of the chasm that divides today’s so-called expert classes from the mass of humanity than the snow crisis of Christmas 2010. They warn us endlessly about the warming of our planet; we struggle through knee-deep snow to visit loved ones. They host million-dollar conferences on how we’ll cope with our Mediterranean future; we sleep for days in airport lounges waiting for runways to be de-iced. They pester the authorities for more funding for global-warming research; we keep an eye on our elderly neighbours who don’t have enough cash to heat their homes.

This isn’t to say that the entire climate-change thesis is wrong. I’m not one of those people who believes snowfall necessarily disproves every claim made by warming-obsessed climatologists. Rather the snow crisis demonstrated, in high definition, the gap between the fear-fuelled thinking of the elite and the struggles of everyday people. It illuminated the million metaphorical miles that now separate the fantasy politics of our so-called betters from the concerns of the rest of us.

Not surprisingly, with snowstorms smothering Western Europe and the East Coast of America, many asked: ‘What happened to global warming?’ On the 20-hour bus-and-boat-and-train-and-car journey I took from London to Galway, surrounded by people forced to make a similar trek because their flights were also cancelled, there was much jocular banter along the lines of: ‘So this is the climate change we’ve been warned about…’ As people made new friends and arranged impromptu carpools for the final legs of their journeys, there was a palpable sense that the world we inhabit is not the same as that inhabited by greens.

That isn’t surprising when you consider that greens have been telling us for the past decade that snow will disappear from our lives. Literally. ‘Snow is starting to disappear from our lives’, reported the Independent in March 2000. It quoted an expert from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (of recent Climategate fame) who said ‘children just aren’t going to know what snow is’. In 2006, the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists said winters had become ‘warmer and less snowy’ thanks to global warming.

Other climate-change campaigners told us to prepare for Saharan weather. A book published as part of Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’ jamboree in 2007 - The Global Warming Survival Handbook - said there would soon be ‘searing temperatures, killer storms, drought, plague and pestilence’. Award-winning green theorists told us to prepare for life on a ‘hotter planet’ in which ‘the traditional British winter [is] probably gone for good’. Newspapers provided us with a ‘hellish vision of life on a hotter planet’ where deserts would ‘reach into the heart of Europe’ and global warming would ‘reduce humanity to a few struggling groups of embattled survivors clinging to life near the poles’.

Dramatic stuff. And unadulterated nonsense. The thing that occupied people’s minds at the end of 2010 was not how to explain to their sweating children in the deserts of Hampshire why snow disappeared from our lives, but rather how to negotiate actual snow. Again, this isn’t to say that the snow proves there is no planetary warming at all: if it is mad to cite every change in the weather as proof that Earth is doomed, then it’s probably also unwise to dance around in the slushy white stuff in the belief that it proves that all environmental scientists are demented liars. But the world of difference between expert predictions (hot hell) and our real experiences (freezing nightmare) is a powerful symbol of the distance that now exists between the apocalypse-fantasising elites and the public.

What it really shows is the extent to which the politics of global warming is driven by an already existing culture of fear. It doesn’t matter what The Science (as greens always refer to it) does or doesn’t reveal: campaigners will still let their imaginations run riot, biblically fantasising about droughts and plagues, because theirs is a fundamentally moralistic outlook rather than a scientific one. It is their disdain for mankind’s planet-altering arrogance that fuels their global-warming fantasies - and they simply seek out The Science that best seems to back up their perverted thoughts. Those predictions of a snowless future, of a parched Earth, are better understood as elite moral porn rather than sedate risk analysis.

Indeed, The Global Warming Survival Handbook gave the game away when it encouraged people to see the future through ‘carefully crafted “what if?” stories’. Admitting that it is virtually impossible to predict our climatic future - ‘We can’t even forecast if it will rain next week’ - it advised us to host ‘scenario parties’ to ‘pool the imaginations and experiences of your friends’. It’s the closest we’ve had to an admission by the green movement that its warnings of future desert-spread are based on its own feverish teenage imaginings rather than on scientific forecasts. The snow crisis demonstrated this in Technicolor (well, in bright white): that the expert elites have taken leave of the realm of reality, preferring to seek meaning and momentum in the fantasy notion that they are fighting a hot apocalypse.

Anyone with a shred of self-respect who had predicted The End Of Snow would surely now admit that he was wrong. But no. Perhaps the most revealing thing about the snow crisis is that it was held up as evidence, not that the experts were mistaken, but that the public is stupid. Apparently it’s those who ask ‘Whatever happened to global warming?’, rather than those who predicted ‘no more traditional British winters’, who need to have their heads checked. Because what they don’t understand - ignoramuses that they are - is that heavy snow is also proof that our planet is getting hotter, and that industrialised society is to blame, just as surely as the absence of snow was proof of the same thing 10 years ago.

‘The snow outside is what global warming looks like’, said one headline, in a newspaper which 10 years ago said that the lack of snow outside is what global warming looks like. A commentator said that anyone who says ‘what happened to global warming?’ is an ‘idiot’ because nobody ever claimed that global warming would ‘make Britain hotter in the long run’. (Er, yes they did.) Apparently the reason people don’t understand the (new) global-warming-causes-snow thesis is because they are ‘simple, earthy creatures, governed by the senses’: ‘What we see and taste and feel overrides analysis. The cold has reason in a deathly grip.’

This reveals the stinging snobbery at the heart of the politics of global warming. Because what we have here is an updated version of the elitist idea that the better classes have access to a profound and complicated truth that the rest of us cannot grasp. Where we have merely sensory reactions (experience), they have reason and analysis (knowledge). Our critical reaction to the snow actually revealed our failure to understand The Truth, as unveiled by The Science, rather than revealing their wrongheadedness in predicting an ‘end to snow’. We are ‘simple’, they are ‘reasoned’. In 2011, we should take everything that is said by this new doom-mongering expert caste with a large pinch of salt – and then spread that salt on the snow which they claimed had disappeared from our lives.



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


11 January, 2011

More models that defy logic

The temperatures of most glaciers are well below freezing and the polar icecaps particularly so. How then is a temperature rise of only 2.8 degrees going to melt them? As the article below admits, it is only the polar icecaps that can have any significant effect and the only part of them that could conceivably melt is at their margins. But their margins are sea ice and, as Archimedes showed long ago, the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level one iota. The models are totally divorced from reality

GLOBAL warming may wipe out three-quarters of Europe's alpine glaciers by 2100, two studies predict. The research places the spotlight on two of the least understood aspects of climate change: how, when and where warming will affect glaciers and the problems faced by generations in the future.

The glacier study, published yesterday, predicts mountain glaciers and ice caps will shrink by 15-27 per cent in volume terms on average by 2100. "Ice loss on such a scale may have substantial impacts on regional hydrology and water availability," it warns.

Some regions will be worse hit than others because of the altitude of their glaciers, the nature of the terrain and their susceptibility to localised warming. New Zealand could lose 72 per cent of its glaciers and Europe's Alps 75 per cent.

At the other end of the scale, glacial loss in Greenland is predicted at around 8 per cent and about 10 per cent in high-mountain Asia. Meltwater would drive up world sea levels by an average of 12cm by 2100, the study reveals.

This figure - which does not include expansion by the oceans as they warm - largely tallies with an estimate in the landmark Fourth Assessment Report by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007.

Geophysicists Valentina Radic and Regine Hock of the University of Alaska based these calculations on a computer model derived from records for more than 300 glaciers between 1961 and 2004. The model factored in the middle-of-the-road "A1B" scenario for greenhouse gas emissions, by which Earth's mean surface temperature would rise by 2.8C during the 21st century.

The tool was then applied to 19 regions containing all the world's glaciers and icecaps.

But, importantly, it does not include the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, where 99 per cent of Earth's fresh water is locked up. If either of these ice sheets were to melt significantly, sea levels could rise by metres, drowning coastal cities.

This scenario emerged in the second study, which focused on the inertial effect of greenhouse gases. Carbon molecules emitted by fossil fuels and deforestation linger for many centuries in the atmosphere before breaking apart.

Even if all these emissions were stopped by 2100, the warming machine would continue to function for centuries to come, according to the investigation. Warming of the middle depths of the Southern Ocean could unleash the "widespread collapse" of the West Antarctic ice sheet by the year 3000, the report finds.

The two studies are published online by the journal Nature Geoscience.


Predicting 1,000 years ahead?

The hubris of the Warmists knows no bounds. They have yet to show any predictive skill for any of their models but airily pretend nonetheless to predict further ahead than just about anyone else ever has. Did Nostradamus or the Mayan Calandar ever attempt to predict 1000 years into the furure?! Did medieval mystics? At least they won't be around to see their predictions falsified, I guess

Carbon dioxide already emitted into the atmosphere will keep contributing to global warming for centuries, eventually causing a huge Antarctic ice sheet to collapse and lift sea levels, Canadian scientists said on Sunday.

Even the complete abandonment of fossil fuels and halt to emissions cannot prevent devastating ocean warming in Antarctica as well as increasing desertification in North Africa, the research finds.

The study, led by Nathan Gillett of the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, is published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Using simulations with a climate model, the scientists estimated the effects on climate patterns for the next 1,000 years by stopping emissions completely in 2010 and in 2100.

As a result, in the next 1,000 years, the average ocean temperature around Antarctica could rise by as much as 5 degrees Celsius, triggering the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet, according to the study.

The elimination of the ice sheet, which covers an area about the size of Texas and is up to 4,000 meters (13,120 feet) thick, could raise sea levels by several meters.


Britain's Met Office fries while the rest of the world freezes

First it was a national joke. Then its professional failings became a national disaster. Now, the dishonesty of its attempts to fight off a barrage of criticism has become a real national scandal. I am talking yet again of that sad organisation the UK Met Office, as it now defends its bizarre record with claims as embarrassingly absurd as any which can ever have been made by highly-paid government officials.

Let us begin with last week’s astonishing claim that, far from failing to predict the coldest November and December since records began, the Met Office had secretly warned the Cabinet Office in October that Britain was facing an early and extremely cold winter.

In what looked like a concerted effort at damage limitation, this was revealed by the BBC’s environmental correspondent, Roger Harrabin, a leading evangelist for man-made climate change. But the Met Office website – as reported by the blog Autonomous Mind – still contains a chart it published in October, predicting that UK temperatures between December and February would be up to 2C warmer than average.

So if the Met Office told the Government in October the opposite of what it told the public, it seems to be admitting that its information was false and misleading. But we have no evidence of what it did tell the Government other than its own latest account. And on the model of the famous Cretan Paradox, how can we now trust that statement?

Then we have the recent claim by the Met Office’s chief scientist, Professor Julia Slingo OBE, in an interview with Nature, that if her organisation’s forecasts have shortcomings, they could be remedied by giving it another £20 million a year for better computers. As she put it, “We keep saying we need four times the computing power.”

Yet it is only two years since the Met Office was boasting of the £33 million supercomputer, the most powerful in Britain, that it had installed in Exeter. This, as Prof Slingo confirmed to the parliamentary inquiry into Climategate, is what provides the Met Office both with its weather forecasting and its projections of what the world’s climate will be like in 100 years (relied on, in turn, by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

Prof Slingo fails to recognise that the fatal flaw of her computer models is that they assume that the main forcing factor determining climate is the rise in CO2 levels. So giving her yet more money would only compound the errors her computers come up with.

In another interview, just before Christmas, when the whole country was grinding to a halt in ice and snow, Prof Slingo claimed that this was merely a local event, “very much confined to the UK and Western Europe”. Do these Met Office experts ever look beyond those computer models which tell them that 2010 was the second hottest year in history? Only a few days after she made this remark, the east coast of the USA suffered one of the worst snowstorms ever recorded. There have been similar freezing disasters in south China, Japan, central Russia and right round the northern hemisphere.

The only evidence the Met Office and its warmist allies can adduce to support their belief in the warmth of 2010 is that in certain parts of the world, such as Greenland, Baffin Island and the southern half of Hudson Bay, it was warmer than average. Yet even there temperatures are currently plummeting: Hudson Bay and Baffin Island are rapidly freezing, at well below zero.

The desperate attempt to establish 2010 as an outstandingly warm year also relies on increasingly questionable official data records, such as that run by Dr James Hansen, partly based on large areas of the world which have no weather stations (more than 60 per cent of these have been lost since 1990). The gaps are filled in by the guesswork of computer models, designed by people who have an interest in showing that the Earth is continuing to warm.

It is this kind of increasingly suspect modelling that the Met Office depends on for its forecasts and the IPCC for its projections of climate a century ahead. And from them our politicians get their obsession with global warming, on which they base their schemes to spend hundreds of billions of pounds on a suicidal energy policy, centred on building tens of thousands of grotesquely expensive and useless windmills.

A vivid little reflection of how our whole official system has gone off the rails was the award in the New Year’s Honours List of a CBE, one rank lower than a knighthood, to Robert Napier, the climate activist and former head of the global warming pressure group WWF-UK, who is now the Met Office’s chairman.

The more the once-respected Met Office gets lost in the greenie bubble into which it has been hijacked, the worse it becomes at doing the job for which we pay it nearly £200 million a year, and the more our Government showers it with cash and honours.

Meanwhile, in the real world, another weather-related disaster is unfolding in the Sea of Okhotsk, off the coast of Russia north of Japan, where the BBC last week reported that a group of Russian “fishing trawlers” had got stuck in “30 centimetres” (a foot) of ice. It didn’t sound anything too serious. But, as my colleague Richard North has been reporting on his EU Referendum blog, the BBC underestimated the scale of what is happening by several orders of magnitude.

Although several smaller ships have now escaped, the two largest are still trapped in up to six feet (two metres) of ice – including one of the world’s biggest factory ships, the 32,000-ton Sodruzhestvo. They still have more than 400 men on board. Three Russian ice-breakers, including two huge 14,000-tonners, are engaged in what looks like a forlorn bid to free them.

A 14,000-ton ice-breaker can scarcely clear the way for a ship well over twice its size. And as the weather worsens, with gales, blizzards and visibility often reduced to zero, the chances of helicoptering the men to safety seem sadly remote.

The mystery is why the Russians should, in the middle of winter, have allowed such a fleet of ships into a stretch of sea known as ''the factory of ice”. This is because all the rivers which empty into it from the Russian coast lower its salinity, making it prone to rapid freezing.

But the Sea of Okhotsk has long been held out by the world’s warmists as an example, like the Arctic, of waters which, thanks to global warming, will soon be ice-free.

As we know from Prof Slingo, however, all this cold weather we are having at the moment is a local event, “very much confined to the UK and Western Europe”. Perhaps the Russian fishing fleet took the word of the Met Office, assuming that ice was a thing of the past.

As the ice-breakers struggle to reach the hundreds of trapped men, and still-thickening ice threatens to start crushing the hulls of their ships, it seems that, short of a miracle like that which saved the Chilean miners, a major tragedy could be unfolding.

Meanwhile, the sad little nonentities in charge of our Met Office prattle on, extending their begging bowls – and our politicians who have put them there remain smugly and inanely oblivious to anything happening out there in the real world.


British exam board accused of 'brainwashing' pupils with inaccurate climate graph

Near enough is good enough in climate science, apparently

Britain’s largest exam board has been accused of “brainwashing” pupils by forcing them to use an inaccurate temperature graph that exaggerates the scale of global warming.

Climate experts have accused AQA of “scientific illiteracy” and “propaganda” after a graph in its most recent Geography GCSE exam paper contained a series of inaccuracies which magnified the rise in global temperatures.

The graph wrongly presented the current warm period as the hottest on record and pinpointed the world’s current average temperature at 59.5 degrees Fahrenheit (15.3C), when it has in fact never risen above 58.1F (14.52C).

The exam board also overlooked the last ice age, which peaked around 20,000 years ago, instead marking the “previous glacial period” at around 180,000 BC.

AQA ignored the universally-accepted temperature records taken from Antarctic ice core samples over the last 15 years and instead opted to use a graph taken from a children’s textbook first published in 1990.

The ice core data has been used to reconstruct global temperatures going back 800,000 years, showing that the previous four interglacial warm periods were hotter than today.

Kato Harris, head of Geography at South Hampstead High School in north London, has written to the exam board to highlight the errors. He said: "It is demoralising and frustrating when we are trying to be accurate, rigorous teachers, imparting to our pupils the latest scientific knowledge, only for the exam board apparently to show ignorance of scientific developments in the last 15 years."

The graph published in the exam paper was titled ‘Timeline of the mean world temperatures over the last million years’, even though no such record exists.

Pupils were asked to mark with an X the “recent rapid rise in global temperatures”, as well as the coldest period.

AQA said the graph was simply meant to show “generalised trends” in global temperature and claimed that it displayed a "similar" pattern to the ice core reconstruction.

But Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation and a social anthropologist at Liverpool John Moores University, said the graph contained “shocking inaccuracies”. “I have no idea where they have got their data from, but it’s completely wrong. The graph exaggerates the case of global warming and it shows scientific illiteracy. “I think this is highly misleading and the fact that it was included in an exam papers just shows how suspicious we should be with a lot of the information presented to students.

“There is a lot of pressure on schools and exam boards from government to educate our children in this way, but if we want to have a well educated population children need to know how science works, and they shouldn’t be brainwashed with misleading information.”

The Global Warming Policy Foundation has recently commissioned a report into the way children are taught about climate change in schools.

Piers Corbyn, owner of the independent forecasting business WeatherAction and a vocal climate sceptic, said the inaccurate graph amount to a “dereliction of duty” by the exam board.
“The fact that an exam board is using this type of graph is monstrous and totally unacceptable,” he said. “On one hand, the government and schools claim they want children to be objective, yet in the real world pseudo science is used to propagate an ideology to justify increased taxation and carbon trading, and this anti-science must be stopped.”

The decision to pass over widely accepted climate data in favour of a “simplified” graph will also be seen by some as further evidence that exams are being “dumbed down”.

A spokesman for AQA said: "We always seek to ensure that we use accurate information that is up-to-date and relevant, but just as importantly we need to ensure that figures are fit for purpose, appropriate for the qualification and, as was the case here, applicable for both foundation and higher tiers.

"The figure is a graph showing generalised trends of global temperature. It was taken from a highly regarded and widely used Geography textbook, Geography: An Integrated Approach. We took if from the 3rd Edition published in 2000 but the graph also appears in the 4th edition published in 2009. We therefore expect that many teachers and candidates will be familiar with this graph.

"The ice core data is very detailed and would have had to have been simplified for the purposes of the question that we wished to ask. Therefore we used a graph readily available in the textbook above that showed similar general trends."


Climate Models Differ on CO2 Warming Effect by a huge 32°F

A paper published today in the journal Climate of the Past illustrates the magnitude of confusion in climate science regarding the 'settled' 'basic physics' of the CO2 'greenhouse effect.' The climate model results of this paper are compared to 2 other recent peer-reviewed papers and show that the 3 climate models differ by over 32 degrees F (18.3°C) in explaining the 'greenhouse warming' effect of CO2 during the period of time when the entire Earth was covered by ice (the "snowball Earth").

This huge difference dwarfs the IPCC-claimed computer-modeled 0.6°C of anthropogenic global warming during the industrial age and the IPCC-claimed 3°C global warming prediction for doubled CO2 concentrations derived from the same family of computer models.

As this study gingerly points out, these are "large differences" between climate models, resulting from differing "assumptions" of the "model physics," in other words, due to whatever fudge factors one chooses to plug in for the 'greenhouse effect' of CO2. All claims of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming rest upon the shaky scientific foundations and gross assumptions of these same climate models.

SOURCE. Journal abstract follows:

Model-dependence of the CO2 threshold for melting the hard Snowball Earth

By Y. Hu1 et al.


One of the critical issues of the Snowball Earth hypothesis is the CO2 threshold for triggering the deglaciation. Using Community Atmospheric Model version 3.0 (CAM3), we study the problem for the CO2 threshold. Our simulations show large differences from previous results (e.g. Pierrehumbert, 2004, 2005; Le Hir et al., 2007). At 0.2 bars of CO2, the January maximum near-surface temperature is about 268 K, about 13 K higher than that in Pierrehumbert (2004, 2005), but lower than the value of 270 K for 0.1 bar of CO2 in Le Hir et al. (2007). It is found that the difference of simulation results is mainly due to model sensitivity of greenhouse effect and longwave cloud forcing to increasing CO2. At 0.2 bars of CO2, CAM3 yields 117 Wm−2 of clear-sky greenhouse effect and 32 Wm−2 of longwave cloud forcing, versus only about 77 Wm−2 and 10.5 Wm−2 in Pierrehumbert (2004, 2005), respectively. CAM3 has comparable clear-sky greenhouse effect to that in Le Hir et al. (2007), but lower longwave cloud forcing. CAM3 also produces much stronger Hadley cells than that in Pierrehumbert (2005).

Effects of pressure broadening and collision-induced absorption are also studied using a radiative-convective model and CAM3. Both effects substantially increase surface temperature and thus lower the CO2 threshold. The radiative-convective model yields a CO2 threshold of about 0.21 bars with surface albedo of 0.663. Without considering the effects of pressure broadening and collision-induced absorption, CAM3 yields an approximate CO2 threshold of about 1.0 bar for surface albedo of about 0.6. However, the threshold is lowered to 0.38 bars as both effects are considered.

Hu, Y., Yang, J., Ding, F., and Peltier, W. R.: Model-dependence of the CO2 threshold for melting the hard Snowball Earth, Clim. Past, 7, 17-25, 2011

The sick priorities of Warmist governments

Money needed to keep people safe and well is being spent on fairytales

The Carbon Sense Coalition today accused Western Governments of massive waste of community savings on frivolous climate "research" and alternative energy toys while neglecting the infrastructure needed to maintain sustainable societies in the face of an unknown climate future.

The Chairman of Carbon Sense, Mr Viv Forbes, said that none of the massive government climate spending has produced anything of long term use to the people paying their bills.

"The US government spends over two thousand million dollars on "climate research" but the recipients were completely unable to forecast the frigid winter they are now suffering. That money would be better spent on snow ploughs and highway improvements.

"Australian governments are spending at least eight hundred million dollars on "climate research", but were unable to forecast the massive floods now affecting much of Australia. That money would have been better spent on water storage and flood-proofing roads, bridges and airports.

"The UK Government plans to spend one thousand million pounds on carbon capture and burial schemes and untold billions on wind power subsidies, but wind provided almost zero power when needed in the recent freeze. In places, the wind towers actually consumed electricity to protect them from frost damage. UK residents would have been better off had all of that money been spent on reliable power sources and snow-proof infrastructure.

"It is time for all western politicians to recognise climate reality. Changing climate and weather extremes are enduring features of earth's history. This reality exists even if not one elected member recognises it.

"Change is what climate does – floods or droughts, stinking hot or snow storms, stilly nights or violent hurricanes.

"The cycles of ice age extinctions and verdant warm eras are well recorded in earth history. Only 17,000 years ago, much of the northern hemisphere was covered in ice and sea levels were 130m lower. Then followed a long warm period with several peaks hotter than today. This time of warm abundance was terminated by a sudden return of the cold.

"But good times returned with the Roman Warming. It was not Roman use of coal which caused the warming and no carbon tax triggered the lethal Dark Ages cooling which followed.

"Then, with no help from man's carbon dioxide, earth recovered into the Medieval Warming Period but soon slipped back into the bitter Little Ice Age that helped defeat Napoleon's Grand Army in Russia.

"Finally, well before man's engines and smelters became numerous, the Modern Warming started.

"Unfortunately, this warming too will end when the earth, moon, sun and stars command. Taxing carbon to subsidise green playthings will not stop the floods, prevent the snow or change future climate.

"Man must do what every one of our ancestors did – adapt to climate change or suffer the consequences."



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


10 January, 2011

There is zero predictive skill in Warmism -- just hysterical assertions

See below


Romm: 0.7C Warming Causing Total Ecosystem Collapse

Yes. Less than one degree Celsius -- a change so small that you wouldn't even notice it yourself without instrumentation

Never mind that corals evolved during the Cambrian with temperatures 10C higher and CO2 levels 20X higher. Romm apparently has not heard of the new concepts - migration and adaptation.


The Warmists were still getting it wrong just one year ago

The report below is from Jan. 2010

Severe winter freezes, like the one gripping parts of Europe over the last few weeks, will become increasingly rare because of the warming effect of climate change, the UK's official forecaster said on Tuesday.

Europe's deep winter freeze, partly due to the El Nino weather phenomenon, has shocked parts of northwest Europe that usually escape the coldest winter temperatures, driving heating gas demand to records in Britain and disrupting supplies of the fuel when it was most needed.

The winter so far has been one of the coldest for nearly 30 years in Britain, but such icy weather was more common in centuries past and should become even rarer going forward.

"Winters like this are likely to become less of a feature as we head through the 21st century," John Hammond, a meteorologist at the UK Met Office said on Tuesday. "Colder winters become less likely because overall the background warming will reduce the severity of them, certainly for our part of the world."

The Met Office expects Britain's already relatively mild and damp, on average, winters to become increasingly warm and wet as a result of climate change, with the effect particularly pronounced in the latter part of the century.


This Map Is Impossible, according to the Warmists

So who are the deniers now?

Blue and purple indicate anomalously cold temperatures

The map above combines the NOAA temperature anomaly map with the UNISYS SST anomaly map. There is a lot of anomalously cold air and water right now. But we know this is impossible for the following reasons:

* Hansen tells us that the oceans have been gaining heat at an unprecedented rate for the last 50 years. This raises the humidity and amplifies the greenhouse effect.

* The Arctic has warmed 4-8 degrees. As a result, incursions of Arctic air are much warmer than they used to be.

* Arctic Sea ice is at the lowest level in a million years. This further amplifies Arctic warming.

* Snow cover has been declining for 40 years. This allows sunlight to warm the ground and further aggravate global warming.

* The Antarctic Peninsula is the fastest warming place on the planet, due to all the hot water in the Southern Oceans.
This leaves only two options.

You are imagining all the cold.

Climate science is defined by a spectacular disinformation campaign, needed to maintain the $2.5 billion in funding.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Court Orders Secretive University to Surrender Global Warming Records

By John O'Sullivan

Skeptics of man-made global warming claim victory after legal battle sees a U.S. university forced to produce disputed "global warming" records.

The University of Virginia (U.Va.) had stalled since last year in handing over its record relating to accusations against a former academic employee implicated in the Climategate controversy of November 2009.

The researcher in the hot seat is global warming doomsayer, Professor Michael Mann who now works at Penn. State University. Mann, a Lead Author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been under increasing scrutiny since the climate fraud scandal hit the headlines over a year ago.

The latest story appears on the SPPI website which reports, “Court records reveal that counsel for the University has indicated instead that the Mann-related records do in fact exist, on a backup server. To avoid University delay or claims for huge search fees, today’s request specifically directs the school to search that server.”

According to Horner U.Va. has offered "a series of twists" on a novel defense of 'academic freedom.' It has spent half a million dollars on legal fees trying to prevent Virginia’s Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli acquiring any access to the records. Cuccinelli filed his petition for access on behalf of the state’s taxpayers last year.

Horner writes, “Virginia's transparency statute FOIA gives the school one week to produce the documents, and offers no exemption for claims U.Va. is using to block Cuccinelli's inquiry.”

Of most interest to Cuccinelli will likely be Mann's emails that may provide the smoking gun to ignite a new storm on a par with that created after the email leaks from the University of East Anglia, England which was the hub of the Climategate scandal. British police recently announced they are stilll pursuing inquiries into alleged crimes that took place their in November 2009.

Mann worked as a researcher in the university's department of environmental sciences. He went on to be credited with creating the iconic ‘hockey stick’ graph that supposedly confirmed unprecedented human influence over Earth’s climate due to the omission of so-called ‘greenhouse gases.’ Both the man-made global warming and greenhouse gas theories are now claimed to have been refuted by independent scientists.

Horner asks his readers to contrast and compare how differently Uv.a treats such FOIA requests despite similar circumstances. He cites the case of environmentalist advocacy group, Greenpeace which in 2009, sought and obtained from Uv.a records of Patrick Michaels, who also formerly worked in the same university department. Uv.a showed no such reticence in promptly complying with the Greenpeace demand.


Warmist admits warming not problem for us now!

T. J. Blasing of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center spoke to the League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge on Tuesday

Scientists have been warning us of this problem for years: The levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere are increasing because of humans, and the planet is heating up due in large part to the increased gas levels.

Still, reports on global warming -- it's frequently referred to as climate change now -- bring out the skeptics. The skepticism often comes from special interest groups, such as the oil industry and electric utilities, or people with strong political opinions, said T.J. Blasing, a climatologist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

"This is a controversial issue," said Blasing, who has been a climate scientist for 40 years.

He said there is scientific consensus that greenhouse gases, which also include methane and nitrous oxide, are the primary cause of the global warming in the past century.

It looks like the warming will continue, with some interruptions due to other influences, such as oceanic influences, Blasing said. "So, we are a little bit concerned about this," he said.

Blasing, who has a doctorate in meteorology and a minor in statistics, said there are separate heating and cooling cycles -- or glacial cycles -- that last hundreds of thousands of years. But the present warming trend is compressed into a much shorter time period.

He said climate change discussions ought to be put into a larger social context that includes food, water, energy, petroleum, and economics. "We should consider all this stuff in the context of issues important to everybody, like food, water, etc.," Blasing said.

Global warming might not be too bad for a few years, but it will likely be a problem for our children and grandchildren, Blasing said. Some parts of the world could benefit, while others will be hurt. Experts predict that so-called grain belts in the United States and Europe will do well through 2050, Blasing said.

"It's probably going to hurt the poor more," he said. "It'll be the rich that come out ahead."


British electricity customers face huge bill for wind farms that don't work in the cold

The failure of Britain’s wind farms to produce electricity in the extreme cold will cost billions of pounds, create an economic crisis and lead to blackouts, leading industrialists have warned.

To cover up the ineffectiveness of wind farms the Government will be forced to build emergency back-up power plants, the cost of which will be paid by industry and consumers.

Jeremy Nicholson, director of the Energy Intensive Users Group, which represents major companies employing hundreds of thousands of workers in the steel, glass, pottery, paper and chemical industries, said the failure of wind power had profound implications. He was speaking after new figures showed that during the latest cold snap wind turbines produced less than two per cent of the nation’s electricity.

Now Mr Nicholson predicts that the Government will encourage power companies to build billions of pounds worth of standby power stations in case of further prolonged wind failures. And the cost of the standby generation will be paid for by industry and households through higher bills – which could double by 2020.

Industry regulator Ofgem has already calculated that the cost of achieving sustainable energy targets – set by Brussels but backed by the British Government – will amount to £200 billion, which will mean that annual household fuel bills will double to about £2,400 on average within the next ten years.

In the last quarter ending December 23, wind turbines produced on average 8.6 per cent of our electricity, but the moment the latest bad weather arrived with snow and freezing temperatures, this figure fell to as low as 1.8 per cent. The slack was immediately taken up by efficient, but dirty, coal-fired power stations and oil-fired plants.

‘What is so worrying is that these sort of figures are not a one off,’ said Mr Nicholson. ‘It was exactly the same last January and February when high pressure brought freezing cold temperatures, snow and no wind.’ In fact last year, the failure of wind power to produce electricity was even more profound. Then, over a few days, the lack of wind meant that only 0.2 per cent of a possible five per cent of the UK’s energy was generated by wind turbines.

So little energy was generated then that the National Grid, which is responsible for balancing supply and demand of energy in the UK, was forced to ask its biggest users – industry – to ration supplies.

What really concerns industrial users is that it is Government policy to put wind power at the centre of its efforts to ensure that 30 per cent of electricity is generated by renewable resources by 2020. This means that the number of turbines now running – 3,140 – will have to be massively increased to well over 6,000 in ten years time.

But this huge surge in wind farm activity will come at the same time as an EU Directive will insist that we close down our coal-fired and oil-fired power stations.

Mr Nicholson said: ‘We can cope at the moment because there is still not that much power generated from wind. But all this will change. What happens when we are dependent on wind turbines for 30 per cent of our power and there is suddenly a period when the wind does not blow and there is high demand? ‘We will be forced to switch off the gas and it could even lead to power cuts.’

The Government is aware of the dangers of relying on intermittent power sources and is working on plans to encourage energy companies through financial inducements to have stand-by generation. Mr Nicholson said: ‘At least the Government is aware of the problem, but it will cost billions to put these measures in place and we will have to pick up the tab.

A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: ‘Wind power provides a home-grown source of electricity that doesn’t produce carbon dioxide. ‘The electricity system always has more generating capacity available than the expected demand. By having a diverse energy mix, we can manage the fact that some technologies are intermittent.’

The National Grid is also aware of the problem and has set up a team to look at solving the problem of erratic energy supplies. One of the solutions being considered is changing demand at times of crisis. For example, setting up systems to stop electricity supplies to millions of fridges for an hour or so. This would be possible by having ‘smart’ meters and would save massive amounts of energy.



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


9 January, 2011

Natural variability, not CO2, accounts for late 20th century warming

Discussing: DelSole, T., Tippett, M.K., Shukla, J. 2010. "A significant component of unforced multidecadal variability in the recent acceleration of global warming". Journal of Climate, 2010.

A critical but difficult question is how much of the warming of the past 100 years is due to human activity. When multiple forcings are varying and poorly characterized, and there is also internal variation, this question becomes even more difficult to answer. In this paper, the authors use a spatial fingerprinting technique in an attempt to accomplish this.

Specifically, a set of climate models run in "control" or unforced mode were used to develop a 300 year dataset of spatial ocean temperature data. It was found that an internal pattern, detectable using a spatial fingerprinting technique, could be identified in the simulated data.

This spatial pattern of ocean temperature anomalies was labeled the Internal Multidecadal Pattern (IMP). It was found that this pattern is highly coherent with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) historical patterns and predicted the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), suggesting that the models were able to match the internal dynamics of the real Earth system.

Next, the authors extracted, also with discriminant fingerprinting, the forced component of the spatial patterns produced in the absence of the IMP as an orthogonal function, which they demonstrated has only a minor effect (less than 1/7 amplitude) on the IMP. They then used historical sea surface temperature data to evaluate the relative importance of the forced vs. IMP components of change from 1850.

In considering the latter portion of the record (1946-2008), results indicated that the internal variability component of climate change (the IMP) operated in a cooling mode between 1946 and 1977, but switched to a warming mode thereafter (between 1977 and 2008), suggesting that the IMP is strong enough to overwhelm any anthropogenic signal.

Of this the authors state: "Specifically, the trend due to only the forced component is statistically the same in the two 32-year periods and in the 63-year period. That is, the forced part is not accelerating. Taken together, these results imply that the observed trend differs between the periods 1946-1977 and 1977-2008 not because the forced response accelerated, but because internal variability lead to relative cooling in the earlier period and relative warming in the later period"

With respect to the entire record, the authors state that the 150 year-long trend of temperature is not explained by the IMP. In their Figure 4, it is seen that the forced component spatial fingerprint began to deviate from no trend sometime after 1920.

But, this type of analysis does not distinguish between types of forcing (e.g., solar vs. anthropogenic). Nevertheless, the results in this paper suggest that simple extrapolations of rates of warming from 1980 onward overestimate the forced component of warming. Using this period without factoring out internal variability will likely lead to unrealistic values of climate sensitivity.


The latest shriek: The Ecologist magazine compares using fossil fuels to owning slaves.

These guys are the original eco-nutters, and have inspired generations of imbeciles like Keith Farnish (whose book calling for the end of industrial civilization Hansen endorsed). They defended the Khmer Rouge and said "they deserve our best wishes . . . we could learn from them". There are also clear and documented connections of the magazine to post-war British Fascism. With articles like these, the global warming movement is moving rapidly to the most extreme fringes

`The Ecologist', widely considered to be the most influential environmental magazine, has published an article which asserts that using machines that require "fossil fuels" (for example, petrol in your car, or gas for your stove) is "morally comparable" with owning slaves.

The article, entitled "Climate Change: We Are Like Slave Owners" bases its case on two separate but linked arguments:

First, slaves and fossil-fuelled machines play(ed) similar economic and social roles: `energy slaves' (machines powered by fossil fuels) now do the work in our homes, fields and factories, which used to be carried out by slaves and servants in the past . . .

Second, in differing ways, suffering resulting (directly) from slavery and (indirectly, through Climate Change) from the excessive burning of fossil fuels are now morally comparable. When we burn oil or gas at a rate that exceeds what the ecosystem can absorb, we contribute to global warming, which in turn contributes to droughts, floods or hurricanes. These climatic events cause suffering to other human beings, today and in the future. They contribute to crop failures and put some people at risk of falling into debt bondage, a condition similar to traditional slavery.

This condemnation of machinery, on what are extremely tenuous grounds is a favourite topic for The Ecologist magazine, which has been arguing for the abolition of labour-saving devices since it was first published.

An article in 1977 by its founding editor, Edward Goldsmith (brother of the noted corporate raider and industrialist, Sir James Goldsmith, who financed the magazine) discussed phasing out machines and how it could be done. Goldsmith argued that "The consumer goods we wish to phase out must simply be removed from the market". The new ecologically-oriented society Goldsmith envisioned would not need such things:

"To suggest that dish-washing machines and other domestic appliances should be phased out would meet with instant opposition. These [machines] are undoubtedly needed in a family of but two or three people and in which both husband and wife must go out to work. They would become quite unnecessary, however, once the family had become re-established and eight to ten people once more inhabited the same house"

Goldsmith fantasized that environmental disasters and general alienation would lead to a general disenchantment with modern society and that would provide the opportunity to put these plans into action:

"At this point panic will set in and people will grope about frantically for an alternative social philosophy with an alternative set of solutions. The most attractive is likely to be the most radical - the one which provides the best vehicle for expressing the reaction to the value of industrialism."

This phasing out of machinery was seen by The Ecologist as part of a "rural revolution" for society, and they were particular excited by the example of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

In an 1975 article Robert Allen (later Head of Publications and a Senior Policy Advisor for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the IUCN) defended the Khmer Rouge against the "distortions" that had been appearing about them in the media, arguing that the Khmer Rouge had to force the sick out of the hospitals and into the fields otherwise there would be too many "exceptions" to their program of agrarian communism. The Ecologist saw in the `Year Zero' program of the Khmer Rouge an exciting possibility that could be copied in the West as well. Of course, people in Western society had been so brainwashed by consumerism that they would have to be `forced to be free':

"If Cambodia succeeds in forging a rural economy, it will force us to appraise the prison of industrialism. Most men and women today are slaves who if offered their freedom would reject it, refusing to spend the time that freedom requires."

The article ended with The Ecologist congratulating the Khmer Rouge and the people of Cambodia on their approach: "They deserve our best wishes, our sympathy, and our attention. We might learn something."

The Ecologist magazine was founded in the late 1960s by Edward Goldsmith and funded by his brother, Sir James Goldsmith the noted corporate raider, industrialist and financier. The editorial staff came from the Soil Association's Mother Earth magazine following the death of its editor in 1963, the well known fascist Jorian Jenks, formerly Oswald Moseley's Secretary of Agriculture for the British Union of Fascists (1).

1) Graham Macklin, Very Deeply Dyed in Black: Sir Oswald Moseley and the Resurrection of British Fascism After 1945 . (I.B. Taurus & Co: London, 2007) P. 65.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Estimated 40 Percent of Scientists Doubt Manmade Global Warming

S. Fred Singer said in an interview with the National Association of Scholars (NAS) that “the number of skeptical qualified scientists has been growing steadily; I would guess it is about 40% now.”

Singer, a leading scientific skeptic of anthropocentric global warming (AGW), is an atmospheric physicist, and founder of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), an organization that began challenging the published findings of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the 1990s. SEPP established the Leipzig Declaration, a statement of dissent from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that has been signed by over one hundred scientists and meteorologists.

Asked what he would like to see happen in regard to public opinion and policy on climate change, Singer replied,

I would like to see the public look upon global warming as just another scientific controversy and oppose any public policies until the major issues are settled, such as the cause. If mostly natural, as NIPCC concludes, then the public policies currently discussed are pointless, hugely expensive, and wasteful of resources that could better be applied to real societal problems.

NIPCC is the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, another group established by Singer. In 2009 NIPCC published Climate Change Reconsidered,an 880-page report on scientific research that contradicts the models of man-made global warming. Singer believes that global warming exists but that human contributions to it are minimal..In the interview Singer said he believed his efforts in the last twenty years had been successful in disproving the notion that “the science is settled.”

Singer continues his work in the sciences, focusing lately on geophysical research and the Earth’s atmosphere. He is professor emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia, and he was the founding Dean of the School of Environmental and Planetary Sciences at the University of Miami (1964-1967) and the Director of the Center for Atmospheric and Space Physics University of Maryland (1953-1962).

The National Association of Scholars does not take a position on global warming but advocates for a full discussion of all sides of the controversy.


How can climate scientists spend so much money?

US Federal government spending on climate change research in 2011

Until a few days ago I knew that the US government spent an excessive amount of taxpayer money on climate change research. It was just a general notion; I had read occasional articles showing the funding of certain agencies like NASA but I didn't know many specifics. Then on New Years Day, I wrote a very quick article where I randomly picked a document from a Google search showing funding for climate change. The numbers astonished me. I decided to take a closer look.

The document is the The American Association for the Advancement of Science's report. The entire report is here, but I am only looking at chapter 15 which is here. The report is basically a snapshot of US Federal spending on research, including budgets for 2011 and how these numbers compare to previous years. The chapter on climate change is short and easy to read. It shows that all US agencies that conduct climate change research are expected to have larger budgets for 2011.

Remember, these numbers are not set in stone, but they will not be drastically different from the actual numbers. I also need to make a caveat. Just because this funding has been labeled 'climate change research' does not mean it is necessarily not linked to another field as well.

For example, some of the costs associated are for satellites, which are important in more than just climate research. This is not entirely frivolous spending. Even so, the numbers are staggering. Let's look at some agencies and their budgets.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
NOAA's total budget request is $5.6 billion, which would be an increase of 17.0 percent. Of this, $437 million would be for climate research funding, which is an increase of $77 million.

$437 million spent on climate change research in one year, in one agency. Here's another:
National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF would receive $7.4 billion in FY 2011, an increase of 8 percent relative to the FY 2010 appropriation. The request includes $370 million under the USGCRP framework, which is an increase of 16.0 percent. The Geosciences Directorate would receive $955 million (a 7.4 percent increase) in FY 2011 with $480 million going to Atmospheric and Earth Sciences. NSF's Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) program would receive $765.5 million. This is intended to promote discoveries and capability needed to inform societal actions in ways that contribute to environmental and economic sustainability. NSF's request also includes $19 million for RE-ENERGYSE, a joint program with the Department of Energy intended to promote education in clean energy research. An additional $10 million would fund Climate Change Education, which seeks to increase understanding of climate among the next generation of Americans.

$480 million here, $765.5 million there, throw in another $10 million for climate education and you've got $1.25 billion dollars spent on climate change research just at the NSF, just in ONE YEAR! Next is NASA:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA's FY 2011 budget request is $19.0 billion. NASA Earth Science is a relatively small fraction of this total, $1.8 billion or 9.5 percent, but would increase substantially relative to the FY 2010 appropriation (up 26.8 percent). NASA Earth Science funds climate change R&D through several programs. Two of particular note are Earth Science Research, which would receive $438.1 million (an increase of 14 percent)...

It seems like the $450 million mark is a common budget for climate research among these agencies. NOAA's funding, the NSF's atmospheric science funding, and NASA's Earth Science research are all around $450 million. It may be an interesting coincidence. Next is the Department of Energy:

Department of Energy (DOE).
The President's budget request for DOE in FY 2011 is $28.4 billion. This includes $4.6 billion for R&D in the Office of Science (an increase of 3.8 percent), and $2.4 billion for energy R&D (an increase of 6.8 percent). Within the Office of Science, the Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER), which supports basic research in atmospheric sciences, terrestrial ecosystems and climate modeling, would receive $627 million (an increase of 3.8 percent). BER's request includes $28.6 million for the Terrestrial Ecosystem Science (TES) program, which examines the impact of climate change on biological systems and land-surface carbon cycle feedbacks to climate change.

$627 million taken from a taxpayer or borrowed from a future taxpayer, spent in one year. Next the Department of the Interior:
Department of the Interior (DOI).
DOI requests $171 million (an increase of 26.0 percent) for its Climate Change Adaptation initiative, which seeks to identify areas and species most vulnerable to climate change and implement coping strategies. Of this, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) would receive $77.9 million for climate science (an increase of 15.5 percent).

How many jobs could be created in 2011 if $171 million were still in the hands of US taxpayers, instead of being spent on climate studies which have been done many times before? Studying areas vulnerable to climate change? That's already been done by every agency, twice. Next is the EPA:
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
EPA requests $169 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (an increase of 1 percent). Of this, $43.5 million is new funding for regulatory efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Air Act. EPA requests $22 million for its Global Change Research Program, which assesses the impacts of global change on air and water quality, ecosystems, human health, and socioeconomic systems in the United States with a primary goal of promoting adaptation efforts.

I don't even understand what this means. How does giving the EPA $169 million reduce emissions? Also, does it really cost $43.5 million a year (more) to regulate greenhouse gases? Lastly, the USDA:
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
USDA requests $159 million for climate change research, an increase of 42.0 percent, and $179 million for renewable energy, an increase of 41.0 percent. USDA's climate change efforts (and those of the U.S. Forest Service which is part of USDA) center on helping farmers and land owners adapt to climate change impacts (e.g., enhanced fire stress, insect outbreaks, droughts, floods, and heat stress) and promoting carbon storage in soils and forests.

A 42% increase in climate change research? $159 million spent in a single year, by the USDA? Crop yields are up! CO2 helps crops! Imagine spending $159 million in 2011 to research things that actually help people.

The amount of money being spent on climate change research this year is astounding. I urge you to read the document yourself. Here is the question to take away: what are we getting for the billions of dollars we've spent? When 2011 is over will we look back at the published research and be satisfied with how our billions have been spent? This type of spending has occurred for some time, and what do we have to show for it? Multiple federal agencies having multi-hundred million dollar budgets in the same (controversial) field is wasteful. Let's make sure 2011 is the last year these budgets increase.


Prof. Hans von Storch replies to some questions

He is a Professor at the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg, Germany. He is critical of politicized science generally

1 – Climate Science and Political Power: birth of a new relationship

Q. The climate issue has become very prominent in the political agenda and climate science results, methods and outcomes have taken a primary role in the political decision process. Why, in your opinion, climate science has become so important for political power?

A. My interpretation is that issues of quality of life, and this is to large extent related to the environment we live in, has become a dominant political goal of large chunks of the populace in the affluent west. Climate has become the most important environmental concern, maybe because concern about a “worsening climate” is an old cultural construct in the west, where the concept had flourished for a long time that a higher power would punish people for sinful behavior. The traditional sins have been replaced by sins against the environment in general and against climate in particular. Climate stands for all these problems, and the climate problem is easy to grasp, has simple answers, which are consistent with traditional knowledge claims.

Climate science is a convenient partner for policymaking – first because it resonates positively with the requests of the electorate, second it allows politicians to avoid accepting responsibility but to place responsibility on science – “science tells us to do this and that”.

Q. When did this close relationship begin? When did the political attention on climate science become so relevant to make climate change issue a part of the global political debate? Could we say that there is a starting point for the relationship between political power and climate science?

A. This relationship began about 15 years after the emergence of the green movement, when the so far dominant conflict – the east-west-conflict – ceased. The climate problem is well suited for a global debate, because it may be framed so that almost all relevant problems, the north-south problem, inequality of development, injustice due to former colonialism, environmental degradation are included. A time-wise specific“starting point” I would find difficult to set.

2 – Politics, Climate Science and money

Q. In the second half of the 20th Century, political institutions in the G8 countries invested heavily into climate research. Do you think that the level of funding is actually matching the demands that come from the society at large and it is adequate to address some of the most pressing questions?

A. In principle, yes. There is some research included which is mostly “climate” by name only. The question is if the generous funding siphons funds from other fields, which would deserve better funding, given the seriousness of the issues (e.g., health issues)

3 – A new, vast and varied audience

Q. This vast attention from the political power and the prominence of climate change issues in the international political agenda brought climate science on a global stage and climate scientists and their science are in the limelight. Results from laboratories and from computer simulations are catching attention not only by your colleagues, but even by decision makers, diplomats, business leaders and the public opinion. It is a very varied audience.
Did this new audience change the relationship between climate scientists and their own job?

A. For many it did mean a change in doing the “job”, because doing climate science was no longer an issue of “satisfying curiosity” – the conventional motivation of scientists – but also an issue of providing support for a policy, which is perceived “good” or needed. A few went that far that they became very vocal activists (e.g., Hansen), while for more it meant a dedication to a “climate protection policy”. A serious problem is, however, that many act a slight self-censorship by checking language, and assertions, for avoiding of being “misused” by “skeptics”.

Q. Do you think they are able to influence a political decision, the public opinion, strategic and economical and financial decisions?

A. Yes.

Q. Does this new influence affect the way in which a scientist looks at his job and his role in the society and among researchers?

A. For the most activist scientists, yes. Some feel that they not only have the right but also a superior insight, to tell policymakers what to do.

Q. Do you feel there is any consequence in the professional relationships among colleagues?

A. Yes, the activist scientists have sometimes better chances in publishing in key journals such as “science” or “PNAS”, but also to hold important scientific positions in advisory government bodies. As a consequence scientists less engaged in the issue of man-made climate change, in particular those who hold fully or partly skeptical positions, find themselves sometimes marginalized.

4- Different languages

Q. Politics and science use different languages, they obey different rules, pursue different aims. How can these different worlds be able to maintain an effective dialogue on climate change? How can they find a common ground?

A. Ethnologically, the two groups indeed represent different “tribes”, with different cultures. They fulfill different functions in society. I think an effective dialogue is possible, but such a dialogue requires a mutual understanding of the other tribe’s culture, needs and language. Individual scientists as well as individual politicians have understood this need very well and have developed adequate approaches, but most scientists have difficulty to understand this challenge. I would guess that politicians are generally better practitioners of such a cross-cultural exchange, because politicians are generalists, but scientists are narrow specialists (Fachidioten is a German term).

5 – Key players

Q. Who are the most important players, both scientists and politicians, in the history of the relationship between climate science and politics? Who did play the most important role in forging this relationship ? Who are the scientists or politicians that you shouldn't forget to cite if you are talking about climate science and politics?

A. You mean individuals? Bert Bolin would be a name, Stephen Schneider another, Jim Hansen, Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber and Hartmut Grassl in Germany – my view is certainly rather parochial. Al Gore in the US.

6 – Global Warming and Environmentalism

Q. In the public debate, Global Warming issues always moves to the forefront of environmentalism. What do you think of this trend in the public opinion?

A. This tendency has its problems –as it downgrades the relevance of other environmental issues. If one big animal is dominating in the arena of public attention, the others appear as less relevant; however, while climate policy is pretty much a failure so far, the chances for having success with other problems may be large.

7 – The Public Debate on Global Warming

Q. The debate on climate issues involves political power, international organizations, energy issues, economics and public opinion. Is this big attention good news for scientific research? Do you think that climate scientists and their science could benefit from such a vast debate which is involving scientists along with politicians, sociologists, economists, and so on?

A. The transdisciplinary character of the climate issue is certainly one of the attractive challenges of climate sciences. Surely, it is not easy, and the enormous public interest, as well as the usage of climate science as a political support for a certain policy, causes the whole field to be become “postnormal” (i.e., associated with large inherent uncertainty, with high stakes of various actors, and with different cultural values intertwined – according to Silvio Funtovicz’ and Jerome Ravetz’ concept.)

In such a situation, policymaking and scientific knowledge generation begin to mix – to the disadvantage of both systems. Science becomes less scientific but more political, and politics becomes less political but more scientific. There is no “cure” to this phenomenon, but a broad discussion involving policymakers and the public may help to make things more transparent, allowing to identify which vested interests are involved how.


The eco war on humanity: Some comments

The UN’s IPCC Assessor David Shearman wants you to pay an eco tax of $18,000 for every child you have. This is to compensate the planet for you being a human. Don’t forget the eco elitists in power think you are a disease, a scourge on the planet, a virus that needs to be eliminated so the logical consequence is they want you to pay even more for being a human – that is to them of course.

They have taken it upon themselves to represent the earth – no one voted them there – they elevated themselves to that position and now they feel they have the right to tell the rest of us how to live. They are taking their Malthusian steps like the Fabians – one step at a time. Putting us in a pot of cold water like lobsters and slowly heating it till it is boiling.

The UN and Barack Obama’s science czar John Holdren has always been an advocate of population control. Some of the measures he supports is compulsory abortion of American women, forcibly sterilising the country by additives to the water supply (in the manner of fluoride). This is the same Holdren who thinks that children up to the age of two are not really human beings and so can be eliminated without any qualms. Again we have an anti-human eco-elitist in power deciding whether you will have descendants or not, if so how many and of those that live how diseased they will be and what their life span will be.

Holden’s co-author Paul Ehrlich predicted the end of the world (these eco elitists love trying to scare humanity to death) but was incredibly wrong (as they usually are). He proposed carbon offsets to stop the poor from breeding - obviously the rich like him are ok to multiply. And yet there is much more in his hatred of humanity that this eco elitist proposes. It is quite appalling.

In recent days Ted Turner Chairman of the United Nations Foundation Board (also founder of CNN) has advocated a one child policy for the western world in order to save the planet. He has donated over $1 billion to the UN to further his ‘special interests‘. He has also rescued the UN previously giving them huge sums of money.

I wonder what the dinner party is like for these UN eco elitists? “Hey Paul I agree we must wipe 100 million out in the next 10 years“. “Yeah Ted the human pests are just doing too much damage to our world – we want to enjoy it without them getting in the way“. “How do you propose we do it John“? “‘Oh don’t worry boys the UN already has it under control – another cigar and port?”

And then there’s the UN’s depopulation agenda. World population down to 500 million. The UN is monitoring the situation and the UN can see that its policies through puppet governments are working. It now has World Population Day for the masses – or elimination of them. Then there’s agenda 21 and it’s social engineering – placing you in prison cities. There is also codex alimentaris – making it illegal for you to use natural remedies for you health.

So as the world freezes while the UN squanders our money on global warming it is worth remembering the biggest killer in the history of the earth and humanity is the cold. Ice ages have almost wiped us out completely. But as dead bodies are being dug out of the ice the UN and it’s eco elitists will still be telling us through the lamestream media even the cold is proof that the world is warming and they will still be demanding even more money from our puppet governments in the form of trillion dollar eco debts and they will still be there putting up the cost of keeping warm.

The UN will handle all the financial transactions from the guilt funds and eco taxes, making trillions in the process and living the life of excess whilst they keep us poor. Whilst the UN is enriching itself they will be (as they are now) driving you into poverty. Can't afford to pay your electricity bills? Can't afford to keep warm in a cooling world? Just think this is only the beginning and it could get a lot worse, as long as we let them and their puppets stay in power.

More HERE (See the original for links)


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


8 January, 2011

‘Ozone hole’ hoax was the preview for ‘Global Warming’

I have been pointing out for years that there is no sign of the "hole" shrinking so I am pleased to see below that reality is having some impact among climate scientists too -- JR

Dr. Wil Happer of Princeton wrote “The Montreal Protocol to ban freons was the warm-up exercise for the IPCC. Many current IPCC players gained fame then by stampeding the US Congress into supporting the Montreal Protocol. They learned to use dramatized, phony scientific claims like “ozone holes over Kennebunkport” (President Bush Sr’s seaside residence in New England). The ozone crusade also had business opportunities for firms like Dupont to market proprietary “ozone-friendly” refrigerants at much better prices than the conventional (and more easily used) freons that had long-since lost patent protection and were not a cheap commodity with little profit potential”.

Even James Lovelock agrees. James Lovelock formulated the Gaia hypothesis, which postulates that the biosphere is a self-regulating entity with the capacity to keep our planet healthy by controlling the chemical and physical environment. He later became concerned that global warming would upset the balance and leave only the arctic as habitable. He began to move off this position in 2007 suggesting that the Earth itself is in “no danger” because it would stabilize in a new state.

James Lovelock’s reaction to first reading about the stolen CRU emails in late 2009 was one of a true scientist:
“I was utterly disgusted. My second thought was that it was inevitable. It was bound to happen. Science, not so very long ago, pre-1960s, was largely vocational. Back when I was young, I didn’t want to do anything else other than be a scientist. They’re not like that nowadays. They don’t give a damn. They go to these massive, mass-produced universities and churn them out. They say: “Science is a good career. You can get a job for life doing government work.” That’s no way to do science.

I have seen this happen before, of course. We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.

Fudging the data in any way whatsoever is quite literally a sin against the holy ghost of science. I’m not religious, but I put it that way because I feel so strongly. It’s the one thing you do not ever do. You’ve got to have standards.”

On a March 2010 Guardian interview, Lovelock opined “The great climate science centres around the world are more than well aware how weak their science is. If you talk to them privately they’re scared stiff of the fact that they don’t really know what the clouds and the aerosols are doing... We do need skepticism about the predictions about what will happen to the climate in 50 years, or whatever. It’s almost naive, scientifically speaking, to think we can give relatively accurate predictions for future climate. There are so many unknowns that it’s wrong to do it.”

Will Happer further elaborated “The Montreal Protocol may not have been necessary to save the ozone, but it had limited economic damage. It has caused much more damage in the way it has corrupted science. It showed how quickly a scientist or activist can gain fame and fortune by purporting to save planet earth. We have the same situation with CO2 now, but CO2 is completely natural, unlike freons. Planet earth is quite happy to have lots more CO2 than current values, as the geological record clearly shows. If the jihad against CO2 succeeds, there will be enormous economic damage, and even worse consequences for human liberty at the hands of the successful jihadists.”


The ozone hole has not closed off after we banned CFCs. See this story in Nature about how the Consensus about the Ozone Hole and Man’s Role (with CFCs) May Be Falling Apart.

The size of the hole has hardly changed since 1990, as you can see from NASA’s site

“As the world marks 20 years since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, Nature has learned of experimental data that threaten to shatter established theories of ozone chemistry. If the data are right, scientists will have to rethink their understanding of how ozone holes are formed and how that relates to climate change. Markus Rex, an atmosphere scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany, did a double-take when he saw new data for the break-down rate of a crucial molecule, dichlorine peroxide (Cl2O2). The rate of photolysis (light-activated splitting) of this molecule reported by chemists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California1, was extremely low in the wavelengths available in the stratosphere - almost an order of magnitude lower than the currently accepted rate.

“This must have far-reaching consequences,” Rex says. “If the measurements are correct we can basically no longer say we understand how ozone holes come into being.” What effect the results have on projections of the speed or extent of ozone depletion remains unclear.

Other groups have yet to confirm the new photolysis rate, but the conundrum is already causing much debate and uncertainty in the ozone research community. “Our understanding of chloride chemistry has really been blown apart,” says John Crowley, an ozone researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany. “Until recently everything looked like it fitted nicely,” agrees Neil Harris, an atmosphere scientist who heads the European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK. “Now suddenly it’s like a plank has been pulled out of a bridge.”

Yet like the cultists whose spacecraft didn’t arrive on the announced date, the government scientists find ways to postpone it and save their reputations (examples “Increasing greenhouse gases could delay, or even postpone indefinitely the recovery of stratospheric ozone in some regions of the Earth, a Johns Hopkins earth scientist suggests” here and “Scientists Find Antarctic Ozone Hole to Recover Later than Expected” here.

“The warmers are getting more and more like those traditional predictors of the end of the world who, when the event fails to happen on the due date, announce an error in their calculations and a new date.” Dr. John Brignell, Emeritus Engineering Professor at the University of Southampton, on Number Watch (May 1) PDF

SOURCE (See the original for links)

James Cameron - Hypocrite

“We cannot continue using our atmosphere as a garbage can”

“We cannot continue using our atmosphere as a garbage can,” said Jos Lelieveld, a German atmospheric chemist"

Apparently Jos is unaware of the fact nature dumps more than thirty times as much CO2 into the atmosphere as humans. He also appears unaware of the fact that humans depend on fossil fuels for their very existence.

CO2 is a fundamental component of life. Global warming alarmism is the garbage.


Al Gore in China: “Efficiency is the Number One Solution” Praises Their “Unusual Success”

"Efficiency" was a great claim of the interwar Fascists too. And the prewar Leftist fascination with eugenics (practiced in the USA and Sweden as well as in Nazi Germany) is a close cousin of the Greenie population limitation push -- JR

Al Gore, the man formerly the next President of the United States (as he likes to joke), is currently in China attending the Global Urban Development Forum on ways to tackle global warming and other ‘related issues,’ reports Bloomberg.

Addressing the forum in Beijing, Gore praised the communist dictatorship for their “unusual success” and stressed that when it comes to tackling global warming “efficiency is the number one solution”.

Gore applauded the way China had taken a “strategic approach” to addressing global warming, and called on the United States and other nations to emulate them, saying that redesigning cities in an ‘eco-friendly’ manner would be the “number one solution”

“We have to change our thinking and adopt a strategic approach and the United States and China could do no better than to focus on cities as the principal venue in which these changes can be made,”

As Alex Jones reported recently, the design of “eco-friendly” cities is one of the new hot topics being discussed as a “number one solution” to global warming. Forum for the Future, a London-based organization that advises governments as well as multi-national corporations has produced a short video to explain it’s vision of this ideal city of the future, complete with calorie-ration cards and carbon allowances.

Am I the only one who gets creeped-out by the way these people always have to talk like this? In terms of “efficiency” and “number one solution”? Maybe. But as John Dewey pointed out years ago, ideas have consequences.

To take just one example. Al Gore’s praise of the Chinese dictatorship’s approach to tackling global warming reminds me of what is still a little-known fact: that China’s “one-child” policy was launched as a direct result of the Club of Rome’s “Limits to Growth” 1972 manifesto for the world.

As Columbia University professor, Susan Greenhalgh has extensively documented, Chinese scientists used the warnings and projections of the “Limits to Growth” manifesto to impose their one-child policy, including forced abortions up to nine months, and forced sterilizations:

"In 1978-89 the Song Group used the COR [Club of Rome] notion of an “optimal population” determined by its environmental “carrying capacity,” as well as control theory, to perform two sets of crucial calculations . . . Their quantitative research showed that the “only solution” was a policy to encourage all couples to have one child beginning immediately, regardless of the cost to individuals and society."

You might think – “Yeah, that was awful, but China’s not as brutal now as it was in the past. I mean, even people like Al Gore are praising their approach to solving global warming these days”.

But news reports from November 2010 show that China’s “efficiency” still extends to tactics such as kidnapping relatives and holding them in detention centres until pregnant mothers come in for abortions and forced sterilizations, as women’s magazine Marie Claire revealed recently in an investigative report:

"Wei, a bird-thin woman with bobbed hair, let lunch burn on the stove as she heard more. “My husband said we had broken the law by having two children. The authorities were imprisoning his brother until we were punished,” she says. “As soon as I learned it was about birth control , I began to cry and shake.”

Family-planning officials in the southern county of Puning, in Guangdong province, were going to shocking new extremes to catch and punish violators of the country’s infamous one-child policy: They were seizing family members of women who had given birth illegally and were holding them hostage. The aim? To coerce the women into submitting to sterilization. Says Wei, “The officials said there was only one way to get my brother-in-law released: I had to undergo forced sterilization.”

As Donna Laframboise has observed, such shocking revelations are made even more chilling when we remember that Ted Turner, Chairman of the UN Foundation, called for the world to follow China’s example at the recent Cancun Summit on global warming:

"Mr. Turner – a long-time advocate of population control – said the environmental stress on the Earth requires radical solutions, suggesting countries should follow China’s lead in instituting a one-child policy to reduce global population over time. He added that fertility rights could be sold so that poor people could profit from their decision not to reproduce."

It’s interesting that the same phrase runs throughout all these comments from those at the forefront of global warming -”Only solution” / “radical solution” / “Number one solution” /”Final Solution” (okay, I added that last one). Perhaps the “solution” they have in mind is a climate tax on children?

Planned cities, optimum populations, carrying capacity, sustainable development. These are all euphemisms with no real scientific content, only ideological content. But then, ultimately, ideological content is “the number one solution”.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

IPCC correct one of their grossly misleading tables

But fail to apologize or even announce the change

In August last year we notified the IPCC (see HERE and HERE) of a series of errors with Table 10.2 of its Assessment Report Four, Working Group 2 report. These errors (listed HERE) included missing and incorrect references, incorrect and misleading claims about warming in the Himalaya and the astounding claim that temperatures in Sri Lanka were warming at a rate of 2 degrees per year!

The complete corrected version of table 10.2 can be found HERE. We have not investigated other claims in the table.

The errors were discussed in a post on WUWT titled Himalayan warming – pulling another thread from IPCC’s fragile tapestry. Comments in this post clearly identified the source of the error in Sri Lankan temperatures, finding reviewers comments were ignored at least two times.

It's great to see the IPCC finally clean up these errors, however as of 8 January 2011 there has been no acknowledgement of the error, no editorial statement explaining the changes the IPCC has made to its table, the changes are not listed in AR4 WGII errata, and no there has been no recognition of the role of ABC NEWS Watch and WUWT in assisting IPCC correct its report.

You may recall discovery of the errors arose when the ABC attempted to back up a claim in a report it sourced from the BBC that suggested temperatures were rising faster at Mount Everest than the rest of South Asia. When ABC were requested to provide details of the “Studies” they cited Table 10.2 from IPCC's AR4 Working Group 2 report.

However, contrary to ABC’s claims this table (see the old version above) showed that the area of fastest rising temperature in South Asia was Sri Lanka, not the Himalaya (and hence not Mt Everest). Both claims have now been shown to be erroneous. Interestingly the original BBC report "Sherpas warn ice melt is making Everest 'dangerous'", has never been corrected.

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

EPA versus the courts

On Dec. 30, a federal appeals court froze new EPA regulations on greenhouse gases. The team representing the State of Texas in this appeal is also the team managing the largest Obamacare lawsuit in America, led by a lawyer from the Reagan administration. This appeal is the latest reminder that America expects good judges to uphold the rule of law and stop President Obama’s ongoing power grab.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its first round of anti-business, job-killing carbon regulations last year. Those rules were to go into effect this year, and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson—President Obama’s handpicked EPA head—has said additional rounds of massive regulations will be forthcoming. These regulations give increasing power to EPA over every CO2 source in America. This includes every car, truck, furnace, chimney and lawnmower, as well as every factory, tractor and assembly line. It’s a massive power grab that will drive up the costs of everything you buy.

The Democrat-controlled Congress couldn’t pass a law claiming such sweeping power, even with huge majorities led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. What infuriates conservatives about EPA’s Big Brother monstrosity is that when even a liberal Democratic Congress refuses to pass such a law, one of President Obama’s agencies just unilaterally claims the power to do it all by itself, bypassing Congress.

(To be fair, it must also be noted that in the worst administrative-law case in history, in 2007 the Supreme Court narrowly held that the EPA might have power under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to control carbon emissions. This narrow 5-4 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA is roundly criticized as a terrible decision that should be overruled.)

The State of Texas stood up against this power grab with a legal challenge. EPA did not allow a public “notice and comment” period as required by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), instead summarily overriding Texas’ longstanding environmental regulations.

So Texas appealed, and on Dec. 30, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an order staying the implementation of EPA’s new regulations. The D.C. Circuit’s temporary stay ordered the parties to submit briefs over the next few days to begin the review process of EPA’s rules.

Interestingly, Texas retained the law firm Baker & Hostetler, and specifically one of its partners, David Rivkin, to represent the Lone Star State before the D.C. Circuit. Rivkin is a veteran of the Reagan administration and a prominent figure in conservative legal circles.

Rivkin is also the lead counsel for the multistate lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare, currently being fought in the federal district court in Florida. That case was argued on Dec. 16, where a decision is expected within the next two months. After that decision, Rivkin will represent Florida and the other states (including Texas, incidentally) on appeal.

With this EPA appeal, now Rivkin’s team at Baker & Hostetler is spearheading the conservative pushback on a second front in the fight against Team Obama. Obamacare is illegal because it violates the Constitution to require people to buy healthcare insurance, to cripple local businesses that don’t offer insurance, and to coerce the states through a sweeping overhaul of the Medicaid system. The EPA’s new regulations are illegal because they didn’t follow the requirements of federal law in opening the rulemaking process to the public for scrutiny and comment. Both cases involve illegal power grabs by President Obama and his lieutenants.

This federal appeal in Texas v. EPA is the latest reminder that over the next two years Americans must look to the courts to uphold the rule of law and restrain the runaway power of this administration. It’s also a reminder that conservatives cannot succeed in beating this administration unless we fight for judges who will faithfully uphold the rule of law in the courts.


Australia: Another millionaire backer for the Greens

There is a lot of this in America. Elitists stick together

A MULTIMILLIONAIRE internet entrepreneur worried about climate change bankrolled the Greens' federal election surge last year by making the largest single political donation in Australian history.

Wotif founder Graeme Wood, whose wealth is estimated at $372 million, gave $1.6 million to fund the Greens' television advertising campaign, helping to significantly increase votes for the party in key states. The Greens will hold the balance of power in the Senate from mid-year.

Mr Wood's benevolence helped the Greens, led by Senator Bob Brown, boost their national profile. They captured their first lower house seat and, with key rural independents, gained increased leverage over government policy.

His donation easily surpasses the previous record for a single private political gift - $1 million handed to the Liberals at the 2004 election by conservative British politician Lord Michael Ashcroft.

Mr Wood's money enabled the Greens to run ads on high rotation on TV for the first time. Independent market research after the August election found the ads contributed to significantly higher swings to the Greens in the states where ads ran most heavily.

The donation will be revealed early next month when the Australian Electoral Commission releases the annual return lodged by the Australian Greens. Most major parties will not reveal big donations for the federal election until February 2012, when they disclose funding for 2010-11. But the Greens will effectively disclose their donations a year earlier under an internal three-month rule.

Mr Wood has emerged as one of Australia's leading philanthropists in recent years, having given $8 million to the University of Queensland, where he graduated, and another $15 million to establish the university's Global Change Institute.

His private Graeme Wood Foundation holds about $20 million in assets and gives away about $1 million a year to a range of arts, youth and environmental causes, including helping to buy 27,000 hectares of Tasmanian native forest from timber company Gunns last year.

Four years ago, Mr Wood stepped back from executive duties at wotif, the online travel company he founded in 1999, but he remains a director and retains a 23 per cent stake, valued at $222 million based on yesterday's share price of $4.63.

Speaking exclusively to The Age, Mr Wood said his donation was motivated by disappointment with Labor and Coalition policies on climate change and the environment. "I didn't think either of those parties were being effective," he said. "They were being driven by people with vested interests."

Helping the Greens to secure the balance of the power in the Senate was a "critical step," he said.

The Greens' vote tended to drop away in the final weeks of an election campaign as the bigger parties outspent them on advertising, and in May Mr Wood approached Senator Brown to propose that he help fund a "proper" Greens advertising campaign. In the end, Mr Wood provided the vast bulk of the campaign funding himself.

Mr Wood denied either he or wotif had anything to gain from his donation. "There's nothing in it for me financially," he said. "I'm not looking for any favours."

Senator Brown told The Age he would be "forever grateful" for Mr Wood's donation, which he said was selfless and hazardous. "There's nothing that Graeme could possibly gain personally out of this," he said, including influence over policy. "Not ever has Graeme said, 'I'd like you to do such and such'."

It was a historic election result for the Greens, transforming them from a minor party to the third party in Australian politics. In both houses of Parliament, the Greens secured the highest vote ever achieved by a third party in postwar political history, including the Democrats' best results, in 1990, and the DLP decades earlier.

The Greens' vote in the Senate rose much more in the states where the ads played in higher rotation - particularly South Australia (6.8 per cent), Queensland (5.5 per cent), Western Australia (4.7 per cent) and Victoria (4.3 per cent) - than in the states where there was less investment, particularly New South Wales, where the swing to the Greens was under 2 per cent because there was not enough money to cover the state.



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


7 January, 2011

Hansen aims at the youth

Below are some excerpts from an absurdly adulatory article about Greenie bigmouth James Hansen. Calling his predictions about warming "prescient" after three exceptionally cold winters in a row shows how divorced from reality the writer is

Let me suggest some words for a song that Hansen could use to inspire the youth:

Onward! Onward!
Clearly sound the fanfares,
Onwards! Onward!
Youth doesn't know any fear.
Is that goal too high, yet
Youth will force it through.
Our banner is the New Time.

You can find the original of the song here

Dr. James Hansen, the visionary academic and NASA scientist whose prescient predictions of global warming in the 1980s were allegedly censored and watered down by both the Bush (I and II) and Clinton administrations, was in Westport on Wednesday, appealing to the young to rise up to defend the planet.

“I want to hear questions from the young, not the old,” Hansen told the standing-room-only crowd of nearly 200 assembled in the Westport Public Library.

Hansen came to Westport to talk about his book, Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our last Chance to Save Humanity, published in 2009 by Bloomsbury USA.

The book, dedicated to his grandchildren Sophie, Connor and Jake, is a provocative call for direct action to address climate change, a course since taken dramatically by the self-described “slow-paced taciturn scientist from the Midwest.”

Frustration with the Obama Administration over its decision to allow mountaintop removal to capture coal was the last straw that turned Hansen into a fearless activist addressing rallies and getting himself arrested with others in acts of civil disobedience.

Alongside former Congressman Ken Hechler, then 94, and actress Darryl Hannah and 26 others, Hansen was arrested on June 23, 2009 by the West Virginia State Police on trespass charges after they entered property of a coal company dedicated to removal of mountaintops in the Coal River Valley.

“The science is clear. Mountaintop removal destroys historic mountain ranges, poisons water supplies and pollutes the air with coal and rock dust,” he told the rally, according to Climate Science Watch, a division of the private Government Accountability Project. “Mountaintop removal, providing only a small fraction of our energy, can and should be abolished.”

“We have to phase out coal,” he said deliberately, illustrating his call to action with slides of graphs showing how carbon dioxide is building up in the atmosphere at every-increasing rates. [It sure is -- but the temperasture is not moving with it]

“We will lose all the ice in the polar ice cap in a couple of decades,” he said, predicting the impact from rising sea levels will devastate coastal communities worldwide. [The average temperature of the Antarctic is minus 40 degrees. The melting point of ice is zero degrees. Yet no IPCC scenario goes anywhere near predicting a temperature rise of 40 degrees. So Hansen is simply being a con-man here]

He maintained that radical expansion of nuclear power holds promise as a panacea, perhaps unaware of Westport's sensitivity to nuclear power. (Westport said "no" to nuclear in the 1970s and took the radical step of purchasing Cockenoe Island from United Illuminating, which had plans to site a nuclear power plant off Westport's shoreline.)


UN group warns of potential “food price shock”

When American motorists are made to drive around with poor people's food in the fuel tank of their motor vehicle, this is to be expected. Corn made into ethanol will feed no-one

The Food and Agricultural Organization said Wednesday that the world faces a "food price shock" after the agency's benchmark index of farm commodities prices shot up last month, exceeding the levels of the 2007-08 food crisis.

The warning from the U.N. body comes as inflation is becoming an increasing economic and political challenge in developing countries, including China and India, and is starting to emerge as a potential problem in developed nations.

Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist at the FAO in Rome, said that the increase was "alarming" but that the situation was not yet a crisis similar to 2007-08, when food riots affected more than 30 poor countries, including Haiti, Bangladesh and Egypt. "The world faces a food price shock," he said, adding that a prolonged spike could lead to a food crisis.

The FAO said that its food price index - a basket tracking the wholesale cost of commodities such as wheat, corn, rice, vegetable oils, dairy products, sugar and meat - jumped to 214.7 points, exceeding the peak of 213.5 set in June 2008.

Abbassian said that agricultural commodities prices would probably rise further. "It will be foolish to assume this is the peak," he said.

But the FAO and food aid agencies noted the relatively stable prices for rice, one of the two most important agricultural commodities for global food security.

But the cost of wheat, the other critical staple, is rising quickly after poor harvests last year in Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere. Corn, meat and poultry prices are also increasing.

Agricultural officials and traders are worried that agricultural commodities prices could rise further as the weather phenomenon la Nina intensifies. The pattern usually brings dryness to key growing areas of the United States, Argentina and Brazil.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said that the current la Nina system would last at least three more months. Neil Plummer, a climatologist for the bureau in Melbourne, said that the latest phenomenon looked set to be the most powerful since the mid-1970s, when droughts ravaged crops and pushed the world into the most extreme food crisis since World War II.


More climate assertions that cannot stand sunlight upon them

Only secret data (i.e. non-science) can support Warmism

Phil Jones and his coauthors in the recent multiproxy study (Neukom et al 2010, (Climate Dynamics) Multiproxy summer and winter surface air temperature field reconstructions for southern South America covering the past centuries) did not archive proxy data in the Supplementary Information. Many proxy series used in the study are not otherwise publicly archived.

I wrote to lead author Raphael Neukom as follows:
Dear Dr Neukom, I notice that your recent multiproxy article uses a number of proxies that aren’t publicly archived. Do you plan to provide an archive of the data as used in your study? If not, could you please send me a copy of the data as used. Thanks for your attention, Regards, Steve McIntyre

I received the following answer refusing the data:
Dear Steve, Thanks for your interest in our work. Most of the non-publicly available records were provided to us for use within the PAGES LOTRED-SA initiative only and I am not authorized to further distribute them. You would need to directly contact the authors. I am sorry for that. If you are interested in a particular record, let me know and I can provide the contact details. Cheers, Raphael

Every inquiry into paleoclimate controversies, no matter how much whitewash was applied, concluded that climate scientists should archive data. If Neukom, Jones and their coauthors publish a multiproxy article, that means the multiproxy data, not just the output. If the contributing authors are not willing to archive their data, then it shouldn’t be used in a study in a climate journal. End of story.

Nor is it sufficient for the author to provide the addresses of the various contributors and force an interested reader to obtain data from each of them individually. There’s no guarantee that they will cooperate. The obligation rests with the publishing authors.

Making matters even worse in the present case is that many of the unarchived series were published by named Neukom coauthors. If they aren’t prepared to have their data see the light of day, don’t sign on as a coauthor and don’t allow Neukom to use your data.

While Phil Jones was not lead author of the study, he was a coauthor. As someone with recent adverse experience in data archiving issues, Jones should have insisted that the Neukom coauthors provide an exemplary data archive and, if they were unwilling to do so, Jones should have withdrawn as a coauthor.

Similarly, the University of East Anglia should have adopted policies that require its authors to ensure that proper data archiving practices are mandatory in publications in which UEA employees are coauthors. Either UEA has failed to adopt such a policy or, if they have, Jones has ignored it.

PAGES, the organization that has sponsored or acquiesced in this latest secrecy, has the following mission: "PAGES is a core project of IGBP [International Geosphere=Biosphere Program] and is funded by the U.S. and Swiss National Science Foundations and NOAA"

Climate scientists, rather than learning anything from Climategate, have, if anything, become more stubborn than ever. That international programs sponsored by funds from the Swiss NSF, US NSF and NOAA should sponsor and/or acquiesce in non-archiving was bad enough before Climategate, but totally unacceptable after Climategate.

The sending of Swiss and/or US federal funds to climate institutions and programs which do not adhere to data archiving policies seems a practical and useful topic for an oversight committee and I hope that one of them takes up the issue. If nothing else will change the archiving practices of climate scientists, maybe the funding agencies can.

And by the way, as I’ve said on many occasions, I don’t believe that new data policies are needed. If policies enunciated in the 1990s were applied to paleoclimate by NSF, I believe that that would deal with 95% of the problem in paleoclimate. However, in my opinion, NSF (paleoclimate) has become a cheerleader for the small paleoclimate industry and abdicated its obligations to ensure compliance with US federal data archiving policies.

I replied to Neukom as follows: "Thank you for your reply, which, unfortunately I do not accept. If you publish a multiproxy article using non-archived proxy data, you should obtain the consent of the contributors for archiving the data when the study is published or otherwise not use this data. It is your responsibility to obtain these consents, not the responsibility of the interested reader to try to obtain the data from potentially uncooperative contributors after the fact. I’ve posted on this incident at Climate Audit and if you wish to present your side of the story, please feel free to do so, Regards, Steve McIntyre


Destroying the Credibility of Science

By Alan Caruba

Back in 1990 when I founded The National Anxiety Center as a clearinghouse for information about “scare campaigns” designed to influence public opinion and policy, I was mainly concerned about the torrent of lies about global warming.

Their beginning is usually dated to an appearance by James E. Hansen before a congressional committee in 1988 in which he claimed that global warming would destroy the earth. To this day Hansen heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and has held that position since 1981. There is no rational reason why he continues to be employed by the U.S. government.

Global warming has been widely discredited thanks to the November 2009 release of thousands of emails between UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “scientists” that revealed their collusion to rig the data that supported the fraud.

GLOBAL WARMING. Climate alarmists are already worrying that the public has grown so tired of their idiotic claims that huge blizzards are caused by “warming” they are beginning to pour money into the education of a new generation of “environmental journalists” to ensure that more such lies make it to the front page of your daily newspaper or via other media.

Meanwhile, billions of taxpayer’s dollars have been flushed down the federal government rat hole to fund “research” guaranteed to support the hoax. It gets worse. Despite the defeat of the Cap-and-Trade bill based on the Big Lie that carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases cause global warming, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is attempting an end-run around Congress to impose limits on the carbon dioxide emissions of utilities and every form of manufacturing and business in America.

The EPA is engaged in a perversion of science, but what else is new? Americans have been ill-served by the alphabet soup of government agencies supposedly in place to protect the food we eat, medicines we take, the air and the water. In the process they are just as often stripping Americans of the protection afforded by pharmaceuticals and beneficial chemicals.

VACCINES v. AUTISM. A case in point is an article in the British Medical Journal that “accused a disgraced British doctor of committing an ‘elaborate fraud’ by faking data in his studies linking vaccines with autism.”

The result of that fraud was to convince thousands, if not millions, of parents that vaccines to protect their children against measles and mumps were a threat to their health. The ancillary question is why Andrew Wakefield’s paper was published in 1998. Science journals are expected to peer review such papers and determine if the data presented is valid. If it cannot be reproduced, it fails that test.

DDT. Starting in 1972, an EPA ban essentially ended its use anywhere in the nation and other nations followed suit. A year later a court upheld the EPA and that is an object lesson in what happens when matters of science are decided by men and women, lawyers, with no training or background in science. The DDT hoax continues to cause malaria deaths, particularly in Africa and mostly affecting women and children.

The U.S. is experiencing an outbreak of the bed bug population, eliminated decades ago, because the EPA has banned or limited the use of virtually every pesticide to exterminate them.

ALAR. Recall, too, the fraud perpetrated by environmental groups against Alar, a chemical that was widely used by apple growers to ensure that the crop would ripen in a fashion that permitted an efficient harvest. The Alar hoax cost American apple growers millions in lost revenue until it became known that Alar posed no health threat whatever.

SACCHARINE. Though cleared of charges dating from the 1980s that saccharin was a cancer-causing substance, it took until the 1990s to get it removed from the 9th edition of the “Report on Carcinogens” and it took until mid-December 2010 for the EPA to finally admit what everyone knew by then. You can thank “consumer” groups for foisting this fraud on everyone and agencies of the U.S. government for maintaining it until they no longer could.

BPA. A similar campaign exists to ban BPA, bisphenol-A, a chemical used to line plastic bottles and containers. It is literally a worldwide effort and it too is without any scientific merit. In the same way the claim that linked vaccines and autism, BPA is under attack, particularly in the U.S. and Europe. I have written about this in the past and intend to follow this to demonstrate how these “scientific” frauds debase all science in the process.

Aside from the fact that these claims always begin with a dubious “scientific” study and then escalate as other “scientists” climb on the funding bandwagon, the other element is always the role that the mainstream media plays in keeping the fraud alive until the sheer weight of evidence makes it impossible to do so.

Ultimately, this destroys the trust we normally accord to legitimate scientists, exhausting our ability and willingness to embrace the science that has prolonged and protected the lives of millions.


A Steady Dose of Atmospheric Detergent

Excerpt from a scientifically illiterate NYT writer below. He wishes for a "detergent" that would wipe out CO2. If that did happen all plant life would die -- starving us and all animals to death as well

To start the new year on a hopeful note, here is a piece of good news about the environment. A new study suggests that the level of a substance that acts as a kind of detergent in the atmosphere is a lot steadier than previously believed.

That may not sound like a big deal, but it is: it means that future pollution levels can be predicted with some confidence from current and projected emissions, and that the study therefore provides a firmer scientific basis for regulations and other efforts aimed at controlling those emissions. The affected pollutants include many of those that come from burning fossil fuels, as well as some gases that contribute to global warming, notably methane.

Scientists have long been uncertain about the variability of the detergent-like substance, known as the hydroxyl radical. It is formed in the atmosphere when ultraviolet light from the sun reacts with gases there, causing an atom of oxygen to link with an atom of hydrogen. The resulting substance is so chemically reactive that it disappears in less than a second by combining with another compound — often a pollutant, initiating the breakdown of that pollutant into simpler, less dangerous chemicals.

Unfortunately, the most important greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, is not one of those broken down by the hydroxyl radical.


Australia's huge floods undermine Greenie panic

It feels like we're getting half the Pacific dumped on us where I am in Australia at the moment -- JR

Warren Truss

AS I sit surrounded by flooding, I wonder what difference the present weather will make to Australia's water policy.

During the years of drought, climate change zealots have been declaring every hot day proof of global warming and a catastrophic future. These extreme statements were always nonsense; just as it would be foolish to claim that recent cooler temperatures and widespread flooding is proof the climate is not changing.

Nature has delivered in a few days what a thousand years of international climate change conferences, carbon pollution reduction schemes, carbon taxes and Murray-Darling water plans will never achieve.

What December's record rainfall through much of inland eastern Australia and now Queensland's widespread flooding shows beyond doubt is that the Murray-Darling Basin food bowl is not going to become an ecological disaster area anytime soon. With imaginative management and wise use of the available water, the Murray-Darling Basin can indefinitely maintain its rich biodiversity while continuing to support productive agriculture and vibrant communities.

There is a better way than spending billions of dollars buying water licences and laying waste to richly productive irrigation farms. There is no need to close the food processing industry and to depopulate basin towns.

There will be more droughts and they will be followed by more flood events, just as has happened though the centuries. The past few weeks prove there is enough water; we just need to use it better.

The recent flood events strengthen the arguments of those who say more water storage can relieve the pressures of the next dry phase. The strategy of harvesting water only in flood times, such as at Cubbie Station, looks increasingly credible. On the other hand, the routine watering of wetlands in drought is seen to be futile.

The science underpinning the Murray-Darling Basin draft plan is left looking despairingly threadbare. The scientific base for the plan resembled the Greens' doomsday view that the basin would never see flooding again on the scale we see today, and that base was peer-reviewed by students of the same school.

Radical conservationists and the Greens will always demand more. The Regional Forest Agreements were supposed to settle for all time the areas of native forests that could be sustainably logged and those that were to be preserved in their present state. But before the ink was dry on the new RFAs, the Greens were demanding more and more. Today most of the native timber industry is gone and Australia is importing from countries where conservation practices are not so demanding.

The same is true of our fishing industry as key fishing areas are progressively closed, often as a result of Labor-Greens preference deals.

The environmental flow requirements of the Murray-Darling Basin are next in line. I was chairman of the Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council when the Living Murray initiative was agreed. The Living Murray initiative showed that with proper management of water for the environment, big environmental benefits could be delivered without the need to buy water from irrigators.

At that time the scientists told us that 1500 gigalitres was required to water the basin's key environmental sites. The draft Murray-Darling Basin plan now says the required figure is at least 3000GL. The Australian Conservation Council and the Greens support an upper end figure of 7600GL, three-quarters of all the water used for irrigation. No wonder farmers say the Greens will never be satisfied while there is one person left producing food in the Murray-Darling Basin.

But the present rains must give everyone of goodwill confidence that a permanent and genuine solution to water sharing in the basin is within grasp. The former Coalition government left Labor a $5.8 billion program to re-plumb and re-engineer the basin, which included new efficient water management, reducing seepage and evaporation. This delivers the ultimate win-win, with farmers retaining water otherwise lost and the rivers prospering with increased flows.



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


6 January, 2011

California’s Green Godfathers

It is an article of faith among environmentalists, conventional wisdom in the media and academia, and a massive delusion afflicting California’s voters, that the climate skeptic community receives massive backing from oil companies and other corporate “polluters.” But when you start to look at who stands to gain from climate “mitigation” policies, and really examine the money trail behind legislative lobbying and political campaigns, the notion that the money is on the side of the deniers doesn’t hold up.

Where the money really is in the global warming debate, as well as reasons why anthropogenic CO2 may not be pollution after all, has been explored at length already here in previous posts including Investigating Climate Alarmism, Credible Climate Skeptics, The Hijacked Public Interest in California, Public Sector Deficits & Global Warming “Mitigation”, California’s Proposition 23, Who Are The Carbon Criminals?, Implementing California’s Global Warming Act, The Climate Money Trail, and The Climate Alarm Industry.

In this post, the intent is to take a closer look at who was behind the annihilation of California’s Prop. 23 last November, a citizens initiative tepidly backed by a handful of oil companies (most oil companies sat on the sidelines), that was outspent by three to one by members of what might be termed a green plutocracy. What killed Prop. 23 was money, in particular, individual donors who wrote checks for $1,000,000 or more. To view all of the major donors to the No on 23 campaign, ref. Ballotpedia. The photos and most of the biographical information is from Wikipedia. Who are these green plutocrats, what are their motives, and why are they well intentioned but misguided?


* The Financier – Thomas Steyer, est. net worth $1.2 billion – is the founder and Co-Senior Managing Partner of Farallon Capital Management, LLC, managing $20 billion in capital for institutions and high net worth individuals. Since 1986, Steyer has been a partner and member of the Executive Committee at Hellman & Friedman, a San Francisco-based $8 billion private equity firm. Steyer is a leading Democratic activist and fundraiser. An early supporter of Hillary Clinton for President, Steyer became one of Barack Obama’s most prolific fundraisers. In 2010, Steyer and his wife, along with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, signed the Giving Pledge to donate half their fortune to charity.

Steyer’s contribution to defeat Prop. 23 – $5,000,000. To put this in perspective, Steyer’s estimated net worth is $1.2 billion. If someone who had paid off their home and managed to save several hundred thousand dollars in a 401K plan, i.e., if they had accumulated a net worth of $1.2 million, a donation of $5,000 would make the same minor dent in their fortune as the $5,000,000 made in Steyer’s. As for Steyer’s decision to donate half his fortune to charity – isn’t Steyer a Democrat? Doesn’t he want to support government spending? Don’t Democrats base much of their economic philosophy on higher taxes for the rich? When people like Tom Steyer, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and other unbelievably wealthy individuals transfer 50% of their assets to private non-profit charities of their choosing, the rest of us pay higher taxes. So what does Steyer hope to gain by spending Prop. 23′s proponents into the ground? First of all, he probably actually believes that CO2 causes catastrophic climate change, a misconception that is possibly forgivable. But Steyer also apparently labors under a less justifiable misconception, given his formal training and extensive experience in finance and economics, which is that somehow making energy cost more – along with water, land, and other basic resources; climate mitigation policies make everything cost more – this will somehow stimulate economic growth. One can only hope Mr. Steyer will reexamine both of these premises before he writes his next big check.

Before moving on, it is important to at least wonder how Steyer’s financial concerns will benefit from CO2 emissions trading schemes. If the capital investments funded through emissions trading schemes actually yielded positive economic and environmental benefits, such as massive nuclear powered desalination plants on the southern California coast, one might be tempted to embrace the noble lies that justify them. But cramming down anthropogenic CO2 emissions will do NOTHING to alleviate pollution. What they will do is fund costly alternative energy technologies that will be obsolete before they’re deployed. And the financial commissions on CO2 emissions trading will transfer billions into Wall Street. For nothing.

* The Venture Capitalist – John Doerr, est. net worth $1.7 billion – is a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in California’s Silicon Valley. Kleiner Perkins has made investing in “green” technology a major focus of their private equity funds, recently adding as partner the global warming crusader Al Gore. It has to be said that nothing is wrong with green technology – the idea of discovering methods to refine liquid fuel from biomass, either from a waste-stream or specialized crops is a terrific opportunity. That we may eventually harness electricity from the sun in a cost-effective manner is also a tantalizing possibility. Fascinating developments in water filtration for wastewater treatment or seawater desalination promise to eventually eliminate water scarcity. Advanced materials sciences promise to deliver building materials and manufactured goods that no longer require scarce resources or materials extracted in a ecologically disruptive manner. Research needs to continue along all of these vital fronts. But John Doerr, well-intentioned though he may be, has forgotten what made Silicon Valley great.

Doerr’s contribution to defeat Prop. 23 – $2,100,000. California’s Global Warming Act, which Prop. 23 would have derailed, would have done nothing to improve California’s environment. What it will do, however, is force consumers to consume products that cost far more than they should cost, in order to deliver billions of dollars of revenues to “green” technology companies whose products are not ready to compete against conventional solutions. There is no doubt that John Doerr actually believes that CO2 causes global warming – just watch his closing remarks at a recent TED Conference, where he has to fight off tears as he describes his commitment to deliver a better world to his children. Despite his sincerity, Mr. Doerr may wish to consider what happens when the entire world, starting with California, is impoverished because immature solar and impractical wind technologies are deployed in a futile and expensive attempt to satisfy global energy demand, instead of using abundant reserves of coal, gas and oil that can be developed and deployed at a fraction of the cost. Clean fossil fuel, emitting nothing but CO2, will create prosperity, which will enable the human population to stablize at 8.0 billion or less, instead of 10.0 billion or more. As the reserves of fossil fuel become somewhat more difficult to extract cost-effectively, the ability of ever-more-competitive alternatives to be voluntarily purchased by consumers is enhanced. There never has to be an energy shortage. Environmentalists, because they think CO2 is pollution, risk condemning the world to an unnecessary future of poverty, war, and overpopulation. Silicon Valley companies, and the venture capitalists who fund them, need to go back to earning money the old fashioned way, by building things that are better, faster, cheaper, and provide genuine solutions to genuine problems.

* The Movie Mogul – James Cameron, est. net worth $650 million (ref. Celebrity Net Worth) – is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, with mega-hits to his credit including The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), True Lies (1994), Titanic (1997), and Avatar (2009). In total, Cameron’s directorial efforts have grossed approximately $2 billion in North America and $6 billion worldwide.

Cameron’s contribution to defeat Prop. 23 – $1,000,000. Cameron’s most recent blockbuster, Avatar, depicted a planet inhabited by sentient beings who lived in harmony with their environment, threatened by humans who wanted to extract the valuable mineral resources on the planet. This movie, which, like all of Cameron’s movies, is terrific entertainment, belies a contradiction that Mr. Cameron may wish to ponder: The amount of land destructively disrupted by mines and wells is considerably less than the amount of land destructively disrupted by biofuel plantations, solar farms, wind farms, and the many roads and transmission lines necessary to connect them to markets. James Cameron is a complex, creative, inventive man, with not only a fascination, but an aptitude for science and technology. He has been a strong advocate for a robust program of space exploration and development. Cameron may want to read the work of Burt Rutan, an aerospace pioneer, who has published a comprehensive study on what he terms the “Global Warming Science Fraud.” Cameron is also, presumably, someone who cares deeply about human rights. One has wonder if he would still support subsidizing the high tech industry’s enabling of total surveillance of citizens via “smart meters” and GPS-based mileage trackers, etc., and the denial of aspiring nations to develop cheap conventional energy in order to more rapidly lift their citizens out of poverty, if he didn’t truly believe in the alleged science of catastrophic climate change caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

Much more HERE (See the original for links)

CFACT video exposes energy poverty just miles from UN climate conference

"Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow": Not your average environmental organization

CFACT transported delegates beyond the air conditioned comforts of the UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico and let them see the harsh reality of energy poverty (just a few short miles away) for themselves.

In December, CFACT brought climate realism to COP16 and challenged the UN's faux-consensus on global warming. We advocated hard science, took to the streets in demonstration, videoed UN delegates signing petitions to ban water and hobble the U.S. economy, caught the IPCC chair unaware of recent temperature trends, spoke truth to power at our press conferences, and provided comprehensive analysis of the negotiations. We did that and much more.

CFACT reached out to poverty-stricken local villages on the outskirts of Cancun and shocked UN delegates with a tour of a village where people live without electricity.

The community of La Libertad is truly off the grid. It is entrenched in energy poverty. The global warming alarmists at UN climate conferences want to choke off the worlds energy supply. They want to roll back our economy and keep the developing world without access to affordable electricity. At CFACT, we find this “eco-imperialism” appalling. We do more than talk. We take action. CFACT is installing electric light lighting in La Libertad's elementary school for the first time.

CFACT took journalists, climate campaigners and delegates beyond the luxurious Cancun hotel zone to La Libertad and showed them the real human costs of climate policy. Everyone at CFACT and all of our guests were deeply moved. This video provides a glimpse into the lives of the energy poor.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Ecofascist projects her own Fascism onto others

I thought the absolute rock bottom had been reached by the San Fransisco Chronicle’s article that global warming caused the Haiti earthquake, but only one day later, The Guardian newspaper manages to sink to new depths . . .

The Guardian newspaper has a column which argues that emitting Co2 is genocide, and equates capitalist democracy with Nazism (it probably makes some kind of sense in bizzaro-world).

The author of the column, Ms Polly Higgins, is a lawyer and activist who campaigns for laws against what she terms ‘ecocide’ – the destruction or degradation of the environment, which she places on a moral par with genocide. Her website, Trees Have Rights, lists some examples of Ecocide:

the threatened existence of the low lying Maldives due to rising sea levels;

* the shrinking of the Greenland ice sheet;

* the melting of the Himalayan Glaciers;

* the pacific gyre, the ‘island of garbage twice the size of Texas’, slowly spinning in the ocean.

Although a lawyer, Ms Higgins seems to have a problem grasping the difference between an innocent person being executed by a tyrannical regime, and someone being found guiltt of criminal damage by their peers in an open court. Discussing the recent guilty verdict a jury pronounced on several activists who broke into a coal-fired power station with the intention of shutting it down, she writes:

"Sophie Scholl, a Munich University student, was executed for revealing the truth about the activities of the Nazi authorities; today 20 brave Ratcliffe whistleblowers have been sentenced at Nottingham crown court for plotting to draw attention to the truth of the activities of another German entity. This time, replace the tyranny of the Nazis with the tyranny of the energy giant E.ON."

Was Ms Higgins off law college sick on the day they lectured on the idea of proportionality and justice? She doesn’t say. What she does say is that democracy and capitalism are allowing ‘Ecocide’ to take place: "climate campaigners do not have the support of the judiciary in preventing the corporate ecocide that is daily occurring under our very noses. Ecocide is permitted (as genocide was in Nazi Germany) by the government and, by dint of the global reach of modern-day transnational business, every government in the world."

This, according to the Guardian newspaper article, has resulted in the tyranny of democratic capitalism: "Sixty years ago the tyranny was Nazism. Today it is pursuit of profit without moral compass or responsibility."

Say what? Democratic capitalism is a tyranny? Ms Higgins clearly and repeatedly compares capitalist democracy with Nazi Germany. I don’t know about you, but I find this kind of instrumentality deeply repugnant.

At the end of it all, this article is a perfect example of what belief in global warming has done. It has allowed extremists like Ms Higgins to broadcast their fanatical views in what is supposedly a liberal publication. Having tried to label global warming sceptics as ‘deniers’ so as to equate them with holocaust deniers, they now trivialize the wholesale and deliberate, planned slaughter of people in Nazi Germany by equating it with the production of electricity which powers our schools, hospitals and homes.

This is the kind of thinking behind global warming.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The salmon did't need saving after all

Just another of those pesky natural cycles

The miraculous sockeye salmon run in western Canada's Fraser River watershed in the summer and fall of 2010 - indeed the biggest run in 97 years - still has fishers, researchers and fishery managers baffled.

Just a year earlier, only 1 million fish returned to spawn. No one seems to be able to say for sure what caused the massive 2010 run, but most agree that it probably had to do with the very favorable water conditions that were present in 2008, when the sockeyes were juveniles.

"They're very vulnerable at that stage of their life," reports John Reynolds, a salmon conservation expert at Canada's Simon Fraser University.

Roberta Hamme, a researcher with Canada's University of Victoria, suggests in a recent study published in Geophysical Research Letters that the ash fall from the eruption of Alaska's Kasatochi volcano in 2008 may be one reason for the huge 2010 run. Iron in the ash, which was spewed far and wide by the erupting volcano and then dispersed further by turbulent weather, served as a fertilizer throughout the North Pacific. The result was huge algae blooms that dramatically improved the fish's food supply. A similar large Fraser River salmon run in 1958 was likewise preceded by a huge volcanic eruption in Alaska.

What was particularly striking about 2010's mammoth run was the contrast against 2009, when the Fraser River sockeye run was a disaster by all accounts. It capped 20 years of decline and was so much worse than anyone had expected that the Canadian government formed a commission to investigate possible causes, reported Daniel Jack Chasan on the Pacific Northwest news website, Crosscut.

The situation was terrible in 2008, as well, so much so that on the U.S. side of the border, then-Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez declared the Fraser salmon fishery a disaster and allocated $2million to U.S. tribes and commercial fishermen to make up for their loss of income. But strangely enough, just as the Canadian commission began investigating the paltry 2009 run, said Chasan, commercial fishermen "started hauling in more Fraser River sockeye than any of them had ever seen."


A 'Bulge' in Atmospheric Pressure Gives Us a Super-Cold Winter Amid Global Warming

WHAT global warming? It's been unusually cold almost everywhere -- even in the Southern hemisphere. Here in Australia, I have just had the coolest December I can remember. What a lot of hokum the Warmists come up with! Is it some globe other than the earth that they are talking about? -- JR

Icicle-covered oranges in Florida. The United Kingdom swamped with its coldest December in more than a century. Travelers stranded in airports surrounded by snowy fortresses.

These have been some of the dominant images this winter, and now one forecaster says it's going to get colder. Yesterday, an AccuWeather meteorologist predicted that January could be the chilliest for the nation as a whole since the 1980s.

"More waves of Arctic air will invade the country, starting late this week and continuing through the next week and beyond," explained Joe Bastardi of Accuweather in a release. Rare snowfall is headed to Seattle, while the Texas citrus industry may have to prepare for cold-weather damage, according to his forecast.

So how does this fit with global warming models? According to some climate scientists, the cold in places like Florida actually could be a sign of warming, rather than an argument against the phenomenon.

The ongoing disappearance of sea ice in the Arctic from elevated temperatures is a factor to changes in atmospheric pressure that control jet streams of air, explained James Overland, an oceanographer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. That is because ice-less ocean is darker and, thus, absorbs more solar heat, which in turn spews warmer air than average back into the Arctic atmosphere.

That unusually warm air can contribute to a "bulge" effect to the atmospheric pressure controlling how cold air flows, according to Overland, who works at NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. Rather than moving circularly in the Arctic from west to east as typical, the bulge may prompt air to move in a U-shaped pattern down to the southern United States.

How loss of Arctic ice gives you snow in Seattle

Last year was the waviest example of this pressure phenomenon in 145 years, said Overland. What also is happening is that the wavy air flow from north to south is appearing for longer periods of time, rather than just for a week or two, he said.

"You can't go as far as saying the loss of sea ice is causing cold weather in Florida," said Overland. "You can say it is a contributing factor." In October, Overland co-authored part of NOAA's Arctic Report Card, which included a section on how Arctic weather is influencing weather in mid-latitudes.

He emphasized that more research needs to be done on the cause and effect relationship between disappearing Arctic sea ice and cold weather in southern locations. Other research backs up his argument.

In November, climate scientist Vladimir Petoukhov reported in the Journal of Geophysical Research that the overall warming of Earth's northern half could result in cold winters. "These anomalies could triple the probability of cold winter extremes in Europe and northern Asia," he said in a statement.

The area covered by sea ice hovered near its historic low this summer, and is expected to be largely gone by mid-century (ClimateWire, Dec. 17, 2010).

Another study published in Environmental Research Letters last year, though, predicted colder winters in the United Kingdom because of natural variations in solar activity.

Differing from the majority of scientists, meteorologist Bastardi presented his "global cooling" theory in a December AccuWeather video arguing that carbon dioxide is a trace gas that has less effect on weather than forces such as the sun. "There's no need to panic over global warming," he said.

The key thing is to look at the climate over long periods of time and not try to find meaning in one weather event, said David Easterling, chief of the Scientific Services Division at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. "The flip side is it's been unusually warm in Canada this winter," he said.

January aside, the National Weather Service predicts that swaths of the country stretching from the Southwest to the Southeast will be warmer than average this year. Record high temperatures are currently outnumbering record low temperatures by about two to one, and those ratios are projected to be about 20 to 1 by mid-century and 50 to 1 by 2100, said Jerry Meehl, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

How much the existing data registers with politicians and the public is an open question. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who once called global warming a "hoax" and was one of the loudest opponents against climate legislation last year, posted a blog last month mentioning recent cold weather events. "The fanciful claims surrounding global warming have turned out to be a colossal deception, an artful hoax, and an intellectual fraud," it said.


EPA bed bug protection for elderly “not enough”

Outgoing Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland says EPA’s response for help in the state’s battle against bed bugs is simply “not enough.” He petitioned the agency to approve an emergency, indoor use of the pesticide Propoxur. But the agency will only allow a one-time application in the state’s senior-citizen residential centers. In Today’s Columbus Dispatch, Strickland says EPA’s plan would “inadequately treat one small extension of the problem rather than the root.”

The product is acutely toxic to people who use it improperly, but it has no reported carcinogenic effects. According to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the agency won’t allow its use indoor because the possibility of adverse effects on children. She suggests that bedbugs are a serious “problem” and a “nuisance” but that the chemical might amount to “a cure that’s actually worse than the disease.”

She dismisses the likelihood that Propoxur could provide more benefits than risks. “If used wisely and against the right kind of pest, then I think it [Propoxur] will probably offer far more benefit than risk,” bedbug expert Dr. Richard Pollack of the Harvard School of Public Health told The New York Times in 2009.
However, if Jackson really wants to protect kids from toxicity and the “nuisance” of bedbugs, she should approve limited, home-use of the pesticide DDT. It helped eradicate bedbugs in the United States during the 20th century, but they returned a few decades after the EPA banned DDT.

Despite hype to the contrary, DDT is extremely safe for humans. In 1990, the Lancet reported: “The early toxicological information on DDT was reassuring; it seemed that acute risks to health were small. If the huge amounts of DDT used are taken into account, the safety record for human beings is extremely good. In the 1940s many people were deliberately exposed to high concentrations of DDT thorough dusting programmes or impregnation of clothes, without any apparent ill effect.”

But the greens’ campaign against chemicals doesn’t allow for rational approaches. Greens won’t even support DDT use to control malaria’s deadly toll around the world — allowing millions of children to die annually.

The impact such extremism is now being felt in the United States, with bedbugs just one problem. In 1992, a National Academy of Sciences report warned: “A growing problem in controlling vector-borne diseases is the diminishing supply of effective pesticides … Some manufacturers have chosen not to reregister their products because of the expenses of gathering safety data [under EPA regulations]. Partly as a result, many effective pesticides over the past 40 years to control agricultural pests and vectors of human disease are no longer available.” It looks like we may all soon have bedbugs in our homes and possibly many more dangerous pests to control.



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


5 January, 2011

Strong new evidence that the sun is far from stable

John O'Sullivan

NASA reports an entire hemisphere of the sun has erupted. The U.S. space agency now admits the cataclysm puts existing solar theories in doubt.

We are forever being told that the sun is a vast gas ball of hydrogen and helium at the center of our solar system. But new evidence may help prove this isn’t the case after all, according to solar experts who say the sun has an iron core.

A stunned NASA admits, “Astronomers knew they had witnessed something big. It was so big, it may have shattered old ideas about solar activity.”

The vast global solar eruption covers ~10^9 km of the solar photosphere. The US space agency reports, “The whole solar hemisphere erupted simultaneously in an avalanche effect that had been triggered in the tiny solar core and propagated outwards”

Scientists have confirmed that the explosion that occurred on August 1, 2010 is unprecedented in recorded history and caused filaments of magnetism to snap and explode creating enormous shock waves that raced across the stellar surface. This caused billion-ton clouds of hot gas to billow out into space.

This unprecedented event is claimed to give support to an alternative theory long held by Professor Oliver K. Manuel, a Postdoctoral Fellow of the University of California, Berkeley.

Iron core sun theorists believe its possible that our sun may now, in fact, be more like an atom rather than a huge gas ball with the atom, electrons occupy 99% of the volume and have less than 1% of the mass. In the Sun, the atmosphere and planets occupy 99% of the volume and may also have less than 1% of the mass.

Controversy about our understanding of the sun has been fomenting for years. In 1980, solar science researcher, Ralph E. Juergens lamented, “The modern astrophysical concept that ascribes the sun’s energy to thermonuclear reactions deep in the solar interior is contradicted by nearly every observable aspect of the sun.”

The astrophysics establishment has long shunned the idea of the sun having any such iron core. But this momentous event is consistent with the theory that there is a tiny dense neutron core the size of a city powered by neutron repulsion. Professor Manuel believes there is a super-conducting iron-rich shell the size of a moon or small planet surrounding the neutron core.

Backing the theory is astrophysicist Carl A. Rouse, who calculated a tiny iron-rich solar core from helioseismology data, but he has also been ignored up until now.

NASA's discovery of global solar eruptions is set to encourage a fresh look by scientists at Manuel’s ideas that are further detailed in the Journal of Fusion Energy (2002).

This monumental solar eruption may finally jolt NASA out of its complacency about how the key driver of Earth’s climate actually works. He sagely observes, “Although NASA seems to be catching up, after decades of ‘group-think’ it will be very difficult for NASA scientists to comprehend the Sun.”


Driving US Families Into Poverty

The Obama Administration still hasn't gotten the message voters sent Washington on November 2.

The lame duck session and 111th Congress finally ended, without the White House getting key items on its wish list. So now, the Environmental Protection Agency and Interior Department intend to impose costly, job-killing, economy-strangling new rules for power plants and refineries, and implement more land-grabs that will lock up additional millions of acres and more billions of dollars of American energy.

Their goal is to end the hydrocarbon and nuclear era in America – and force us to convert to “renewable” energy. Contrary to clear voter mandates and consumer needs, they are using regulations and executive edicts to slash carbon dioxide emissions, impose “clean energy standards,” halt onshore and offshore drilling, and hobble the vehicles, electrical generating plants and factories that are the backbone of our nation’s economy, jobs and living standards.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson claims these actions are needed to ensure “environmental justice” for poor and minority families threatened by “manmade global warming.” Meanwhile, the United States and entire Northern Hemisphere are enduring yet another nasty winter, marked by early snow storms and record cold temperatures. Some scientists say Earth could be entering another prolonged period of cooler temperatures.

Businesses, workers and families face “fuel poverty,” injustice, bankruptcy and worse at the hands of their government, if this regulatory power grab continues.

The Congressional Research Service says average US households will pay almost $1000 this winter just for heat. That’s average: Alaska to Florida, Hawaii to New York. Northern states residents will pay double or triple that. Businesses, schools and hospitals will also be driven into fuel poverty.

In Cobb County, Georgia, hundreds shivered outside to apply for heating assistance from a welfare agency that may not have enough money for every family that needs help. Along the Canadian border, in St. Lawrence County, New York, over 8,000 households were approved for heating aid by cash-strapped local, county and state governments that wonder where the money will come from – while Albany has blocked drilling for shale gas that could fuel homes and power plants, and generate billions in revenue.

Even worse, all this is before the Feds actually implement more of the job-killing, family-freezing CO2 limits and other plans they are contemplating. To see what’s in store for millions of American businesses and families, one need only look at the planet’s one country that is still actually and obstinately plowing ahead to meet its climate change and renewable energy goals, regardless of the costs.

Across Great Britain, household energy bills could double by 2020, to $3,900 (£2,500) a year, market expert Mark Todd of has warned. Gasoline prices are likewise climbing to unaffordable levels, and the majority of United Kingdom companies will see their natural gas and electricity prices skyrocket by 100% between 2012 and 2016 – on top of a carbon tax bill of “at least” $65,660 (£42,000) annually – according to the analytical firm Carbon Masters.

Moreover, most of Britain’s older coal-fired and nuclear power plants are scheduled to be shut down, with almost nothing to replace them, even as electricity demand rises. That will increase the danger of widespread blackouts, said the Daily Mail, and cause hundreds of thousands UK jobs to be outsourced to countries where energy costs are much lower, and air pollution and carbon dioxide emission standards far less stringent. That will hardly improve England’s economy or global environmental quality.

Far worse, more than 5.5 million households will be plunged into “fuel poverty” by early 2011 – forced to spend more than 10% of their family incomes on energy – National Energy Action and other charities said. That’s over one-fifth of all UK households and a huge increase from 4.5 million families in 2008. Most in these households are over age 60, but working families are also struggling to keep the heat on, as prices soar.

Nearly 28,000 people died in Britain last winter, most of them pensioners who could not afford adequate heat. Charities say this is the highest winter death rate in northern Europe, worse even than much colder nations like Finland and Sweden. And this winter has already seen the coldest December night for Wales in 169 years of record keeping. Britain is on track to having its coldest December in a century.

To stay warm, thousands of elderly are using travel passes to ride buses all day, while others seek refuge in libraries and shopping centers, the Sunday Express noted. Others are “putting their health at risk, in an attempt to keep costs down,” by bundling up and turning the heat down or off entirely, said Age UK Charity Director Michelle Mitchell.

Now, amid the Christmas and New Year holiday, two million homes, schools and hospitals face fuel rationing. Some families could wait weeks before they can get their fuel oil tanks refilled, as more snow falls across Great Britain.

Meanwhile, the British government has cut funding for its Warm Front heating assistance program from $470 million this year to $172 million in 2011, Consumer Focus campaigner Jonathan Stearn angrily noted. And because the winds barely blow during the coldest weather, Britain’s “shiny new green” turbines were able to supply only “one-500th of the exceptionally large demand” for electricity during the frigid weather of early December, Sunday Times columnist Dominic Lawson ruefully observed.

That’s a tiny fraction of the wind turbines’ “rated capacity.” But it is a situation commonly faced with turbines on freezing Minnesota winter nights and sweltering Texas summer afternoons, when they average a measly 10% of the electricity output their subsidy-hungry backers say they are capable of.

Is this what Lisa Jackson would call “environmental justice”? How do her actions, notions of “justice,” and government-driven energy price spikes square with a 2009 poll by Wilson Research Strategies? It found that 56% of blacks think politicians and bureaucrats setting climate change policy in Washington fail to consider economic and quality of life concerns in the black community. Fully 76% are unwilling to pay more than $50 a year more for electricity, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Northern US winters are far worse than even record-setters in Britain. Why would anyone want to impose costly and nightmarish energy and environmental policies on American families, rich or poor?

The outgoing Congress nearly enacted a bill that would have provided a much needed congressional check on EPA actions. The Murkowski bill fell just short in a Senate dominated by partisan Democrats. The incoming Senate should be far more supportive of such legislation, especially in the face of EPA and other attempts to override the will of Congress and the American people.

The Affordable Power Alliance will urge the new Congress to honor its constitutional duties and prevent the Obama administration from imposing excessive regulations inspired by extreme ideologies. The 112th Congress, including Democrats up for reelection in 2012, needs to heed the overwhelming public demand that America’s economy no longer be held hostage by an elitist environmental network – even if that network includes the President of the United States.


What doesn’t prove global warming?

As much as I try to follow the global warming debate I have yet to find one succinct article that outlines precisely what we should expect to see if there were NO global warming.

The last few winters in Europe have been colder than normal and rather snowy. The Telegraph reports: "The average temperature of the season so far has be -0.8C (32F), colder than any year since 1683/84 when the mercury plunged to -1.17C (29.9F)." So, the UK is headed toward the coldest winter in over 300 years!

Met Eireann, the Irish weather office says that temperatures in Ireland are at the lowest they've been for 130 years and "December has officially been the coldest month ever on record." Gerald Fleming, of the Met office says: "At all our stations thus far it has been the coldest December on record. Those records in some cases go back to the the mid-1850s." Ireland also recorded the coldest day ever in its history. You should realize this is the third very cold winter in a row for the UK.

Chattanooga, TN, has had the 4th coldest winter ever on record. In Hong Kong, a sub-tropical city, "temperatures feel to six degrees Celsius" allowing the formation of ice and frost which is "hardly ever seen in the sub-tropical city." Sunny Tampa, Florida, is also facing "the coldest December on record for Tampa." So far this frigid weather has hit North America, Europe and Asia. And it is coming with heavy snowfall.

The left-wing Democracy Now site has any interview by Amy Goodman with Paul Epstein of the Center for Health and the Global Environment. He wants to make it clear that while natural variability is never absent the colder weather IS a result of warming. There has been no shortage of pundits and prophets explaining how warming is increasing the snow levels and decreasing temperatures.

But, if we go back just 10 years, we find that the same gang of pundits and prophets were arguing that the evidence for global warming would be warmer winters and less snow. Consider this article from The Independent, in March of 2000. It was entitled: "Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past."

The article laid out the "consensus" "now accepted as a reality by the international community," that global warming was happening and it was "manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers." So 10 years ago the consensus was that warming would mean "less cold" winters. After three years of colder-than-normal winters the media is now telling us the consensus is that warming will cause colder winters. So warmer winters proves warming and colder winters prove warming. Exactly what doesn't prove warming?

The same article not only said warming would cause warmer winters but would mean that snow would become extinct.... The Independent sadly reported:

"The chance are certainly now stacked against the sort of heavy snowfall in cities that inspired Impressionist painters, such as Sisley, and the 19th century poet laureate Robert Bridges, who wrote in "London Snow" of it, "stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying."

Not any more, it seems. Not any more? Well, unless you count this year, last year, and the year before. Like temperature it appears that any level of snow proves global warming. If snow is absent then global warming is the reason. If snow is overly plentiful then global warming is the reason.

Let me state what I think happens. The warming theorists make predictions and when the predictions turn out wrong they revise them to fit what actually did happen. So that, the current state of warming theory is always "proven" by the past record.

But a theory that can't predict the future is useless. The most blatant example of changing forecasts after the fact came from the British Met Office in 2008. In September they sent out a press release forecasting a "milder than average" winter for the UK. In the middle of December they acknowledged "the UK has had the coldest winter in over 30 years." Instead of admitting they got it wrong they sent out a press release claiming: "The Met Office seasonal forecast predicted the cold start to the winter season with milder conditions expected during January and February."

But January remained cold without the milder conditions they predicted. No worries, a new press release announced: "The Met Office correctly forecast the spell of cold weather and kept the public informed via our various forecasts."

In the past I've reported on how increased rain was caused by global warming but when the same areas experienced dry conditions the media reported that too was the result of the warming. More snow in the UK is proof of warming, but warming will also mean snow disappears in the UK. Winters in Europe will be warmer because of warming except for those years when they will be cooler than normal.

I also note that when weather patterns go contrary to warming theory we are reminded that we shouldn't confuse weather with climate: which is good advice. But when weather patterns appears in line with warming theory they are presented as proof that the theory is correct.

I admit I'm a layman just trying to figure out the facts. But what really makes me skeptical about the whole warming theory is the way that everything proves warming. Global warming causes warmer winters, until the winters get colder and then they too are the result of warming. Global warming causes snowless winters and threatens to make snow entirely extinct, until there is massive amounts of snow which are then attributed to warming as well—and in the same area. Dryer summers in one country are the result of warming, but when the same country has wetter weather that too is the result of warming.

Apparently any outcome is proof that warming is happening and that mankind is responsible. Global warming causes everything and everything proves global warming.


New Low: San Fran Chronicle Suggests Global Warming Caused Haiti Earthquake.

A revolution in geophysics: Earthquakes caused by deforestation, not movement of crustal plates. All the textbooks will have to be revised!

Just when you thought they couldn’t possibly stoop any lower . . .

Sick global warming advocate Cameron Scott of the San Francisco Chronicle’s ‘Thin Green Line’ blog has plumbed new depths of ruthless opportunism by trying to link Haiti’s horrific earthquake to global warming.

Here’s the argument which the article offers:

At the American Geophysical Union meeting late last month, University of Miami geologist Shimon Wdowinski argued that the devastating earthquake a year ago may have been caused by a combination of deforestation and hurricanes. Climate change is spurring more, stronger hurricanes, which are fueled by warm ocean waters.

It works like this: Deforestation leaves hillsides vulnerable to erosion, which hurricanes deliver in spades. Haiti’s hills have waned to a degree, says Wdowinski, that it could affect the stability of the Earth’s crust.

See here

Yes, you read that right – they’re asking you to believe that a magnitude SEVEN earthquake was caused by “a combination of deforestation and hurricanes” brought about by you wicked, wicked people who drive cars and live in houses.

Of course, as the BBC reported shortly after the quake, such a massive event can only be caused by two tectonic plates grinding against each other and settling (See here). Not deforestation. Not ‘hurricanes’. Not even melting ice in the Arctic.

Read the first paragraph quoted again – note how Dr Wdowinski himself doesn’t appear to link the earthquake with global warming – all he suggests is that slippage of land may precipitate a quake that was already waiting to happen anyway. But you’d hardly notice how the author glides smoothly from Dr Wdowinski’s position to something entirely different. This is hardly journalism to be proud of, to say the least.

What’s even worse, is that the article references a blog rather than any scientific paper for the wild assertions it makes. Scott refers to the ‘Treehugger’ blog as his source, which in turns refers to ‘Mongabay’, which – stay with me here – yet again refers to another blog, the ‘Weather Underground’ blog. Whew! Talk about dubious sources.

What is clear, is that there is no tragedy, disaster or catastrophe that these ghouls will not seize on and use to try and persuade decent people that if they don’t follow the party line on global warming they are personally responsible for every death they see on TV. Global warming activism is now the cult of the vulture, circling the planet looking for death, disease and disaster to feast on.


Obama’s War on Energy

Rising gas prices are the elephant in the room that no one is talking about. With 87 octane gasoline now around $3 a gallon throughout the country, we can expect to start seeing increased prices for the delivery of goods and services, as UPS, FedEx, railroads and even airplanes feel the fuel cost pinch.

Unfortunately these skyrocketing prices are only the tip of the iceberg as Obama engages in an unprecedented war on American-produced energy.

For those who don’t believe that Obama is engaged in an undeclared war on domestic energy production, look at his actions in the offshore oil area. While his administration has thrown their bodies in front of the safe development of offshore oil resources in America, Obama is sending U.S. taxpayer money to Brazil to help fund the development of a massive oil field off the Brazilian coastline.

The one-world crowd who insist that the U.S. destroy our economic base on the altar of global warming because our CO2 emissions harm the rest of the world now are funding the offshore drilling of a major oil field in South America where environmental standards are much lower. Makes sense.

The really crazy part of the equation is that at the same time that U.S. taxpayers are anteing up to pay for offshore oil development in Brazil, China is investing heavily in the Brazilian power grid. In essence, U.S. taxpayers are paying to get the oil out of the ground, and Chinese investors will be benefiting by selling the power generated by that raw material.

Back here in the U.S., the entire domestic energy production industry is under assault, as the administration prefers amber waves of windmills across the fruited plain over proven, reliable sources of energy.

Let’s look at the energy development box score. Offshore oil drilling is out, even though the Chinese and Cubans drill for oil in the same oil fields outside of our waters. Texas gas refineries are unlikely to be allowed to reopen by the Environmental Protection Agency, after they shut down in a few weeks to retool for the spring gasoline mixture. It seems they don’t meet the congressionally rejected, but Obama EPA-imposed global warming regulations. If you think $3 a gallon is a lot, just realize $4 a gallon is on its way courtesy of the global warming zealots at the EPA.

The war on coal is even more severe. In spite of 2008 campaign promises to support “clean coal” technology, the administration has aggressively sought to cut coal out of the energy mix. The EPA has sought to end mountaintop mining, expanded global warming-based regulations that make coal a much less cost-efficient alternative for electric power plants and attacked coal production under the guise of the Clean Water Act. All this, in spite of the fact that our nation is the Saudi Arabia of recoverable coal reserves, with more than 40 percent more coal available than any other country.

Nuclear power is a clean energy source, but Obama pulled the rug out from under it by joining with Harry Reid to shut down the Yucca Mountain disposal site, effectively eliminating the expansion of nuclear power as a solution.

At the same time that China is aggressively seeking oil and gas reserves, France gets a majority of its energy from nuclear and Brazil drills one of the largest oil reserves in the world using U.S. taxpayer dollars, our president, Obama, is actively working to destroy our domestic oil, coal and nuclear industries.

Apparently, in Obama’s world, you just turn up the thermostat and heat comes out without any recognition that some energy needed to be converted to make that heat. Let’s hope he is defeated before the whole country goes cold due to his extremist and dangerous energy policies.


Leftist media in full court press backing Warmism

Russell Cook

If a major news story casts doubt on man-caused global warming, does it make a sound? If you are a promoter of the global warming crisis, those stories misdirect public opinion and prevent everyone from solving the crisis, while the rest of us see them as specks of gold in raging torrents of stories affirming Al Gore's settled science.

Consider the ClimateGate story and its recent one-year anniversary. According to the Media Research Center,

Even though many considered it a huge scandal, the three broadcast networks didn't think so. They ignored the story for roughly two weeks, and have only mentioned it in a dozen stories in the past year.

My own favorite mainstream media punching bag, PBS' NewsHour did at least give the story cursory mention ten days after it broke, but then couldn't be troubled to offer in-depth discussion of it until four months later, its solitary effort of lengthy analysis on the topic. This was noteworthy if only because it featured skeptic scientist Pat Michaels, the first such skeptic to appear on the NewsHour offering any opposing viewpoint of significance since George Taylor in 2007. That 2007 program was the NewsHour's first major foray into global warming skeptic opinion since the interview of an industry executive in 1997, and was one of just a few bits that prevented the NewsHour from having a 100% bias against presenting such viewpoints, as I quantified in a prior American Thinker article.

Yet, Joe Romm had this to say about ClimateGate's anniversary in his 11/15 ClimateProgress blog titled "A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice" (hat tip to Michael Wiant),

The media will be doing countless retrospectives, most of which will be wasted ink...focusing on climate scientists at the expense of climate science...the overwhelming majority of the mainstream media...devoted a large fraction of its climate ‘ink' in the last 12 months to what was essentially a non-story...

Meanwhile, we have the infamous recent op-ed in the NY Times in which the ‘science' tells us to expect nasty snowstorms caused by global warming, and the NewsHour telling us about the ‘science' of rapidly melting glaciers, and ‘studies' of how to save polar bears.

Romm's efforts to frame the media as not doing its job properly are nothing new, Ross Gelbspan had this to say in his 2004 Boiling Point book about the media,

For many years, the press accorded the same weight to the "skeptics" as it did to mainstream scientists. This was done in the name of journalistic balance. In fact, it was journalistic laziness.

And for good measure, he said this about snowstorms in his 1997 The Heat is On, when speaking about a series of weather patterns being proof of global warming,

The severe weather has continued into 1996. My own back yard became a snow-buried casualty of New England's 1995-96 winter from hell.

It's a no-win exercise: excess snow is proof of global warming... unless someone in the mainstream breaks ranks and seriously asks if the prior "warming" from a few years ago couldn't be proof for the original 1970s global cooling crisis.

Everyone knows how fickle the mainstream media is, and how they are ultimately driven to out-scoop each other for ratings gains. If they smell blood in the water of an imminent collapse to this entire so-called crisis, they will turn on each other and promoters like Romm and Gelbspan in a heartbeat, no doubt with yells of being hoodwinked or assumptions that other news outlets had initially checked the veracity of the "warming" science everyone else relies on.

2011 could turn out to be quite an entertaining year.



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


4 January, 2011

Hot theories Vs. Cold Facts

Larry Bell

As 2010 draws to a close, do you remember hearing any good news from the mainstream media about climate? Like maybe a headline proclaiming "Record Low 2009 and 2010 Cyclonic Activity Reported: Global Warming Theorists Perplexed"? Or "NASA Studies Report Oceans Entering New Cooling Phase: Alarmists Fear Climate Science Budgets in Peril"? Or even anything bad that isn't blamed on anthropogenic (man-made) global warming--of course other than what is attributed to George W. Bush? (Conveniently, the term "AGW" covers both.)

Remember all the media brouhaha about global warming causing hurricanes that commenced following the devastating U.S. 2004 season? Opportunities to capitalize on those disasters were certainly not lost on some U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change officials. A special press conference called by IPCC spokesman Kevin Trenberth announced "Experts warn global warming likely to continue spurring more outbreaks of intense activity."

But there was a problem. Christopher Landsea, a top U.S. expert on the subject, repeatedly notified the IPCC that no research had been conducted to support that claim--not in the Atlantic basin, or in any other basin. After receiving no replies, he publicly resigned from all IPCC activities. And while the press conference received tumultuous global media coverage, Mother Nature didn't pay much attention. Subsequent hurricane seasons returned to average patterns noted historically over the past 150 years, before exhibiting recent record lows with no 2010 U.S. landfalls.

Much global warming alarm centers upon concerns that melting glaciers will cause a disastrous sea level rise. A globally viewed December 2005 BBC feature alarmingly reported that two massive glaciers in eastern Greenland, Kangderlugssuaq and Helheim, were melting, with water "racing to the sea." Commentators urgently warned that continued recession would be catastrophic.

Helheim's "erratic" behavior reported then was recently recounted again in a dramatic Nov. 13 New York Times article titled "As Glaciers Melt, Science Seeks Data on Rising Seas." Reporters somehow failed to notice that only 18 months later, and despite slightly warmer temperatures, the melting rate of both glaciers not only slowed down and stopped, but actually reversed. Satellite images revealed that by August 2006 Helheim had advanced beyond its 1933 boundary.

According to two separate NASA studies, one conducted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the other by the Langley Research Center, the oceans now appear to be heading into another natural periodic cooling phase within a typical 55- to 70-year dipolar warm/cool pattern. Although Greenland has recently been experiencing a slight warming trend, satellite measurements show that the ice cap has been accumulating snow growth at a rate of about 2.1 inches per year. Temperatures only recently began to exceed those of the 1930s and 1940s when many glaciers were probably smaller than now. (We can't be certain, because satellites didn't exist to measure them.)

A recent study conducted by U.S. and Dutch scientists that appeared in the journal Nature Geoscience concluded that previous estimates of Greenland and West Antarctica ice melt rate losses may have been exaggerated by double. Earlier projections apparently failed to account for rebounding changes in the Earth's crust following the last Ice Age (referred to as "glacial isostatic adjustment").

Nils-Axel Morner, head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University in Sweden, argues that any concerns regarding rising sea levels are unfounded. "So all this talk that sea level rising, this comes from the computer modeling, not from observations. ... The new level, which has been stable, has not changed in the last 35 years. ... But they [IPCC] need a rise, because if there is no rise, there is no death threat ... if you want a grant for a research project in climatology, it is written into the document that there 'must' be a focus on global warming. ... That is really bad, because you start asking for the answer you want to get."

Studies by the International Union for Quaternary Research conclude that some ocean levels have even fallen in recent decades. The Indian Ocean, for example, was higher between 1900 and 1970 than it has been since.

Other world climate alarm bells chimed when it was reported in the media that September 2007 satellite images revealed that the Northwest Passage--a sea route between the U.K. and Asia across the top of the Arctic Circle--had opened up for the first time in recorded history. (This "recorded history" dates back only to 1979 when satellite monitoring first began, and it should also be noted that the sea route froze again just a few months later (winter 2007-2008).

The Northwest Passage has certainly opened up before. Diary entries of a sailor named Roald Amundson confirm clear passage in 1903, as do those of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Arctic patrol crew that made regular trips through there in the early 1940s. And in February 2009 it was discovered that scientists had previously been underestimating the re-growth of Arctic sea ice by an area larger than the state of California (twice as large as New Zealand). The errors were attributed to faulty sensors on the ice.

But these aren't the sorts of observations that most people generally receive from the media. Instead, they present sensational statements and dramatic images that leave lasting impressions of calving glaciers, drowning polar bears and all manner of other man-caused climate calamities.

Many intentionally target impressionable young minds and sensitive big hearts with messages of fear and guilt. Take, for example, a children's book called The North Pole Was Here, authored by New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin. It warns kids that some day it may be "easier to sail than stand on the North Pole in summer." Imagine such images through their visualization: How warm it must be to melt that pole way up north. Poor Santa! And Rudolph! Of course it's mostly their parents' fault because of the nasty CO2 they produce driving them to school in SUVs.

Lots of grown-ups are sensitive people with big hearts too. Don't we all deserve more from the seemingly infinite media echo chamber of alarmism than those windy speculations, snow jobs and projections established on theoretical thin ice?


Britain's windmills have been consuming more electricity than they generate' -- and other Warmist follies

Richard Littlejohn

This is the season for quizzes. So ­fingers on buzzers, here’s your starter for ten. In percentage terms, how much electricity do Britain’s 3,150 wind ­turbines supply to the ­National Grid? Is it: a) five per cent; b) ten per cent; or c) 20 per cent? Come on, I’m going to have to hurry you. No conferring.

Time’s up. The correct answer is: none of the above. Yesterday afternoon, the figure was just 1.6 per cent, according to the official website of the wholesale electricity market.

Over the past three weeks, with demand for power at record levels because of the freezing weather, there have been days when the contribution of our forests of wind turbines has been precisely nothing.

It gets better. As the temperature has plummeted, the turbines have had to be heated to prevent them seizing up. Consequently, they have been consuming more electricity than they generate.

Even on a good day they rarely work above a quarter of their theoretical capacity. And in high winds they have to be switched off altogether to prevent damage. At best, the combined output of these monstrosities is equal only to that of a single, medium-sized, gas-fired power station.

To make matters worse, there is no way of storing the electricity generated on the rare occasions when they are working.

Yet the Government is ploughing ahead with plans to erect 12,500 of these War Of The Worlds windmills in the sea and across our green and pleasant. Some of them will be up to three times the size of the present structures.

Every time I drive up to North Norfolk, another crop of turbines has sprouted from the soil, disfiguring the scenery for miles around.

Swaffham, the picturesque location of Stephen Fry’s TV series Kingdom, is virtually surrounded. None of them ever seems to be turning. They just stand there, ominously, like invaders from outer space laying siege to the town. Billions of pounds are being wasted on these worse-than-useless blots on the landscape. We’d be ­better off spending the money on snow ploughs.

While we’re on the subject of snow, Britain’s most tenacious ‘climate change denier’ Christopher Booker, occasionally of this parish, has just revealed the real reason why this country was so ill-prepared for the Arctic weather.

Airports, rail operators and local authorities all subscribe to the Met Office’s long-term forecasts. And over the past few years, the Met Office has become evangelical about ‘man-made global warming’.

Every weather forecast is now extruded through the prism of so-called climate change, even when all evidence points to the fact that the Earth is actually getting colder.

The Met Office’s predictions are based on a computer model which assumes ever-rising temperatures — so much so that it forecast that this winter would be significantly milder than the past two years.

Even though the winters of 2008 and 2009 were ferociously cold, they were dismissed as ‘random events’. The Met Office put the odds on a third harsh winter no higher than 20-1.

Those responsible for keeping our transport network running were stupid enough to swallow this bogus, optimistic forecast, and consequently failed to make proper provision for the blizzards which duly followed.

This, of course, was the same Met Office which predicted a ‘barbecue summer’ shortly before Britain was hit by gales and widespread flooding.

For this wildly inaccurate and deliberately skewed service, the British taxpayer is charged a staggering £200million a year.

Needless to say, the head of the Met Office is not even a weatherman. He’s a leading ‘climate change activist’ who buys into the propaganda pumped out by the fanatics at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) — exposed for blatantly suppressing evidence which contradicts their messianic belief in ­‘global warming’.

Back in 2000, the CRU’s Dr David Viner told The Independent that winter snowfalls would soon be a thing of the past. ‘Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,’ he predicted confidently.

Even when they are proved wrong, the warmists will never admit it. They simply move the goalposts — which is how global warming morphed into ‘climate change’.

You can’t argue with them. That’s because ‘climate change’ isn’t a ­science, it’s a religion. Sceptics are trashed as heretics. The climate change lobby is a curious mix of cultists and cynical opportunists. As I write, Sky News is spotlighting a project on Humberside aimed at brainwashing ­children into believing that wind is the fuel of the future.

Call Me Dave bangs on about all the jobs which will be created by the ‘green economy’ — ignoring the fact that almost all Britain’s wind turbines are built and installed by foreign firms.

The defining characteristic of all fanatics is that they have no sense of the ridiculous. According to the BBC, Town Halls across the country have been appealing to owners of 4x4s to offer lifts to ‘essential staff’ during the cold snap. These would be the same 4x4s which these very same councils want to ban, because they cause global warming and kill polar bears.

You couldn’t make it up.


Proof The Global Warmists Are Morons

In yet another piece about how massive blizzards are caused by global “warming,” we find this gem:

The theory seems counterintuitive, but as Jeff Masters, a meteorologist who writes the great Wunder Blog at Weather Underground, put it in a recent post, it makes sense:

“This pattern is kind of like leaving the refrigerator door ajar — the refrigerator warms up, but all the cold air spills out into the house.”

As a science geek, I can say with confidence that leaving the refrigerator door open will actually warm your house, not cool it!
It’s basic thermodynamics: Whatever heat the refrigerator is pulling out of the air, it’s creating more heat than that by running its machinery. That’s because the refrigeration mechanism isn’t 100 percent efficient; indeed it’s far less than that. Leave the refrigerator door open, and it’ll basically act like a room heater.

Here’s a more technical version of the explanation.

More proof that global “warming” is more religion than science, and its adherents are scientific illiterates.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Yet more Warmist false prophecy

Finding Warmist false prophets is like shooting fish in a barrel these days

With Russian ships still trapped in the Sea of Okhotsk, in ice of two-metre thickness, Republican American blogger Steve Macoy recalls a 2006 symposium on global warming.

Illustrated were findings that that a large warming area existed in the western part of the Sea of Okhotsk, and a warming trend widely extended toward the western North Pacific. It was thus "widely believed" that the global warming was recently proceeding and the East Siberia region just north of the Sea of Okhotsk was one of the most sensitive areas to the global warming in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Sea of Okhotsk turns out to be quite an important area from the warmist perspective, this paper reporting that it plays a role as the pump of the North Pacific – thus having a significant effect on the climate of the region. It forms a significant ice factory for the whole region and there are said to be "clear indications of global warming" around the sea.

This report in 2006 claimed a dramatic shrinkage of ice (illustrated), and a shortening ice season – with dire economic consequences. And it was this paper which reported on the area of the sea being "a sensitive area to the current global warming", despite cyclical effects being reported elsewhere.

With the region now experiencing thick – and evidently unexpected – ice, this is clearly of more importance than just the trapping of a number of ships. The ice in the whole region is something of a warmist poster child, and another one that has suddenly lost its appeal.

As the reducing ice extent has been used as evidence of global warming, so can we assume that the rapid increase in ice may be an early sign that the warming is over?

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

Warmists as paranoid schizophrenics

Many people have commented that climate change has come to be what philosophers and logicians call a “non-falsifiable hypothesis,” that is, a theory or belief that explains everything and is therefore impossible to be contradicted by observations or contrary evidence. At some point, however, advocates of non-falsifiable hypotheses end up sleeping on park benches muttering about how “the Man,” or the CIA chip in his head, or international bankers, or . . . someone, is keeping the truth under wraps.

(In fact, there a terrific little website, The Warmlist, that tracks all of the effects attributed to global warming. My favorite was teen acne, but the original link has gone dead, so now my favorite is how global warming will cause a rise in prostitution... The Warmlist is up to 839 discrete effects now, ranging from acne to zoonotic diseases.)

Sometimes, such people get institutionalized, or medicated. And some become global warming advocates.

The climate campaign establishment increasingly looks like its own self-contained and self-referential lunatic asylum, unable to exercise any self-restraint in finding positive proof of climate change in every weather surprise. Several years back, climate campaigners in Britain, citing the latest warming models, ostentatiously predicted that snowstorms would soon be a thing of the past in Britain, something schoolchildren would read about in history books or hear tales about from their grandparents. Then this fall just past, the British Met Office predicted a 60 to 80 percent change of a warmer-than-average winter this year.

But now Britain is having its second extremely cold winter in a row, with record snowfalls nearly strangling the nation. Oops.

Not to worry. The climateers have swung into action, and have explained why cooling is really warming. Judah Cohen, a private “seasonal forecaster,” took to the pages of the New York Times to explain how the warming arctic led to more snowfall over the Siberian land mass, which in turn cooled the air circulating over the northern hemisphere, and there you have it, big cold weather storms in the United States and Europe. Or, as Mr. Cohen puts it, “the overall warming of the atmosphere is actually creating cold-weather extremes.” (Bryan Walsh at Time magazine offers a rundown of similar counterintuitive explanations for why warming causes cooling.)

Cohen might well be correct about this. But if he is it raises a number of troubling questions, starting with how the Met Office missed this factor, and failed to include it in the climate model they use to issue seasonal forecasts. Needless to say, if Cohen is right then a lot of other climate scientists are wrong, which means our grasp of climate dynamics is rather incomplete.

We don’t understand the climate past with reasonable precision, as the intense debate about the “hockey stick” graph showed, and the computer models predicting a 2 to 5 degree rise in the future are clearly riddled with large uncertainties, given the range of prospective temperatures they spit out. No matter. “What is always present” today is the cocksure certainty that catastrophic global warming is occurring, and damn the weatherman.


California’s Central Valley: Zimbabwe West?

Until recently, California’s Central Valley was one of the nation’s most productive agricultural regions. Not only did it feed itself, the state of California, and the entire country, it also produced exports to other nations. That kind of enterprise employed a lot of people in Central California, from farm hands to wholesalers, and created a high standard of living.

That continued right up to the moment that the federal government got more concerned over the Delta smelt, a small, inedible fish, than feeding people. A court order cut off water deliveries for seven months out of the year to the Central Valley at the same time a drought hit, and the combination turned a once-fertile breadbasket to the world into a Dust Bowl — or as Investors Business Daily suggests, a government-initiated agricultural disaster on the same order as Zimbabwe today or Ukraine in the 1930s. Monica Showalter reports that the region that once fed the world now faces widespread hunger as a result:
Local newspapers and Fresno County officials are trying to rally Facebook users to vote for Fresno in a corporate contest sponsored by Wal-Mart for $1 million in charity food donations for the hungry. Fresno, a city of 505,000, has taken the national lead because 24.1% of Fresno’s families are going hungry.

Civic spirit is good, but something big is wrong here. Fresno is the agricultural capital of America. More food per acre in more variety can be grown in the fertile Central Valley surrounding this community than on any other land in America — perhaps in the world.

Yet far from being a paradise, Fresno is starting to resemble Zimbabwe or 1930s Ukraine, a victim of a famine machine that is entirely man-made, not by red communists this time, but by greens.

State and federal officials, driven by the agenda of environmental extremists, have made it extremely difficult for the valley’s farms, introducing costly environmental regulations and cutting off critical water supplies to save the Delta smelt, a bait fish. It’s all driving the economy to collapse.

In the southwest part of the Central Valley, water allotments as low as 10% of normal have created a visible dust bowl. The knock-on effect can be seen in cities like Fresno, where November’s unemployment among the packers, cannery workers and professional fields that make agriculture productive stands at 16.9%.

It isn’t just Fresno, although it appears to have taken the worst of the crisis. Besides Fresno, four other Central Valley cities got listed in the bottom ten of MarketWatch’s 2010 survey on the worst places to do business in the US. Fresno came in dead last at 102 on the list.

The collapse has another element to it for Californians as well. The state has a huge budget shortfall, currently estimated around $26 billion, and cannot afford to expand safety-net programs to help the Central Valley. One reason the budget hole is so large is because of the lack of revenue from normally-robust agricultural production in that region. Instead of being a net revenue producer, the Central Valley threatens to become a sinkhole of welfare spending that will hasten the bankruptcy of the nation’s largest state, and an economy that would normally rank among the top 10 in the world if considered as a nation unto itself.

This is entirely the result of federal government intervention in agriculture, which might be understandable if it was intended to help agriculture. Instead, it comes as a hostile act to both the people of the region and Americans as a whole. Thanks to the collapse of the Central Valley, food prices will increase as we have to import more from countries with much less strict environmental controls, which is merely an inconvenience. The starvation that has begun is more than an inconvenience — it is a national embarrassment, and a moral outrage.



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


3 January, 2011

It's the past, not CO2, that enables you to predict the climate

Below is the Introduction and Discussion from a recent paper


Dan Pangburn, P.E. ASME Life Member

1. INTRODUCTION The prominent approach to predicting climate1 is to attempt to mathematically model all weather phenomena for the entire planet in huge computer programs that are run on powerful computers. The programs are initialized with current conditions and future climate projections are obtained by incrementing solutions forward in time. The output of these programs is then summarized as average global temperature (agt) vs. time.

A key assumption in this approach has been that agt increase is predominately caused by atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) increase. The growing separation between the continued increase of CO2 and lack of significant agt increase for several years (graph on page 9 of Ref 3) suggests that this prominent approach and assumption may be flawed. Ref 3 also addresses other issues relevant to the prominent approach.

The approach presented here is to predict future agt based on past measured agt. The agt is hypothesized to be the result of the summation of effects due to sunspots, ocean currents and atmospheric CO2. Weighting coefficients are applied to each of these effects and the results are combined in a rational manner. The summation is optimized by adjusting the coefficients for each effect to obtain the best match between the combined calculated temperature-time profile and the best available measured agt-time profile.

The closeness of match is determined by a single calculated number, the coefficient of determination (R2). Once the best match to measured values from 1895 to the present is obtained, the coefficients are held constant and assumptions of future sunspot numbers and CO2 levels are applied to estimate a future agt trend.


The average global temperature change is assumed to result from the net effect of three contributing factors. The first contributing factor is determined using conservation of energy.

Various papers have been written by others that indicate how sunspots can influence climate on earth. The effect on agt appears to be: More sunspots; increased solar magnetic shielding; decreased galactic cosmic rays penetrating the atmosphere; decreased low-level clouds; higher average cloud altitude; lower average cloud temperature; decreased cloud-to-space radiation; higher agt.

Total Solar Irradiance, TSI, is complementary but a much smaller contributor. A further discussion of this, with links to references, is given on page 16 of Ref 3.

Others have looked at just amplitude or just time factors for sunspot numbers and got poor correlations with agt over long time periods. A good correlation is obtained by combining the two, which is what the time-integral does.

The second main contributor, ESST, results primarily from observation of agt over the 20th century. Although ESST is the net effect of multiple ocean current activity, no cause is identified. Thus the multiple currents may be independent and just happened to align for over a century in a way that produced the observed agt time profile. If they are indeed independent then the alignment will eventually fade, the as-defined ESST influence (amplitude) will decline and the description of ESST will need to be revised.

Given the excellent correlation between calculated and measured agt for over a century, however, the derived amplitude should be a good approximation for decades.

The third contributor, the calculated influence of added CO2, is declining. From 2001 through August, 2010 the atmospheric carbon dioxide level has increased by an amount equal to 21% of the increase from 1800 to 2001 while the agt has not changed significantly. This measured separation between the increasing carbon dioxide level and not-increasing agt is outside of the ‘limits’ of all of the predictions of the IPCC and ‘consensus’ of Climate Scientists. This indication of decline in calculated influence of CO2 is corroborated by the analyses and the second graph on page 4 of Ref 5.

From "Energy & Environment" Vol. 21, No. 8, 2010, 999 - 1004

It's not better computers that the Warmists need

From the British "Autonomous Mind" blog

Following on from the blog post yesterday about the Met Office’s Julia Slingo claiming the recent ‘freak weather’ (aka a cold winter) could have been predicted if only the Met Office had more supercomputing power…

AM emailed respected meterology experts Joe Bastardi and Piers Corbyn to ask them what supercomputing technology they employ that helps them to generate forecasts that are consistently more accurate than those of the Met Office.

Both gentlemen, who enjoy an excellent track record for their forecasting accuracy, have very kindly replied and their answers are published in full below:

Joe Bastardi said:
I look at the models, and I do use them as input to the forecast with many other factors. However they are not Gods, and to make the excuse we need a bigger computer when in reality all they do is arrive at a solution … right or wrong … faster, and have nothing factored in about past weather events, or natural cycles, or some of the other things Piers and I use, seems to me to be blaming the model and then saying you need more of what failed in the first place.

If the Physics is not right, then forget it. Modeling for instance, relying on greenhouse gasses to warm the atmosphere will come out at a warmer solution. The UKMET model now has suddenly flipped to a cool solution across much of the world for the coming months, but well after it was obvious to us that major cooling was going to occur (last March I said 2011 would try to return to near normal, similar to the La Nina of the late 90s and the recent one… That is because I knew before the computer a major La Nina was coming on and said so in February.. and based the high total number of hurricanes for the season on the La Nina and the very warm tropical atlantic at the time ..which has cooled since then, btw).

As someone who has no access to public funds, or grants, well I don’t have the computer they do.

Which is interesting since I think we can agree since I joined this little forecasting battle the past 3 years, I have hit the cold over in Europe. Part of the reason is the model and computer has a warm bias since the PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation) flipped to cool. Now I wonder why that would be?

And what will happen when the Atlantic turns cold? Throw in solar cycles, and increased arctic or tropical volcanic activity… no computer is going to handle that.

Computer models are tools to get an answer, but not the answer. There is the difference. These folks have not had the kind of forecasting experience that Piers and I have, so they put all this faith in models. We use models, but only as the icing on the cake so to speak. While both of us may have our favorite major climate driver, The ability to see all the players on the field is enhanced when one does not rely on the computer. A good forecaster has to have a visual idea of what a pattern should look like BEFORE HE BRINGS IN THE COMPUTER MODELS, and then have the models confirm or question his conclusion.. much like team mates challenge each other in competition.

To simply use the model as the number one input to one's forecast.. well then what is the need for the forecaster? Maybe that is what this is all about, getting rid of any human touch to the weather, and convincing the public it's so. Either that, or saying: I give up, I cant do it, so I will let the model do it. Well I am not cut from the cloth that backs away at challenges in things I was made to do, one of them forecast the weather, so I do not become a puppet of models, but instead will accept the model as a team-mate.. another source of input. But that is all it is.

A forecast for instance, for winter starts way in advance, looking at many years of past weather to understand similarities to where we are now UNDERSTANDING THE MAJOR PHYSICAL NATURAL DRIVERS that are affecting the pattern and also understanding where we are in the climate cycle and not assuming that the earth is headed in one direction.

Such open mindedness and the crucible of capitalism and competition, where if we are not right enough, Piers and I will get fired, makes a bigger difference than just saying I need more money for a bigger computer so I can rely on it.

Funny but true, a video I did back in March showed 11 year cycle forecasts for the summer indicating a warm US summer, while NOAAs computer had it cool for summer Guess what one was right. The 11 year cycle forecast.

Last Spring, the computer had a very warm winter for Alaska this winter, which I hammered. Well guess what is going on.

The UKMET model had a warm winter this winter. Well.

It’s not the computer, it’s the limits of the computer in trying to adjust to what only men can understand and use. I don't think you need more money to arrive at the wrong answer faster. Should put it into fighting hunger, or giving men a chance to be free enough to dream and pursue that dream… much better causes in my opinion.

Piers Corbyn said:
My answer to What supercomputers do I use? is:

W A I T F O R I T…………..


And before someone goes looking for the ‘NONE’ computer company I mean: We do not use ANY Supercomputer we use P H Y S I C S.

In WeatherAction my Solar Lunar Action Technique (SLAT) does involve a number of equations and theoretical concepts (Weather action indicators) and calculations which are all performed on a pretty low level PC. The key thing to understand is that all weather circulation patterns have near enough happened before; the key is to find out when and how this time around they will be not quite the same as before.

I explained at some length HOW & WHY my technique(s) work at our WeatherAction Climate Fools Day conference in October 2009 held at Imperial College London. The Warmists were explicitly invited and given a slot to speak but none came.

A video of one of my invites, made direct to John Ackers of Friends of The Earth live on Sky news in October 2009, is linked below. Looking at it now I find it even more hilarious than at the time (when we had ’50 days left to save the Planet’) and suggest readers have a look and a laugh (no mention of ‘cold is warm’ here!!)

See here

The GWers claim that we haven’t explained what we do. That is untrue. The truth is they don’t want to know and don’t want anyone else to know {Recall Phil Jones CRU E-mails described me as The MAIN enemy on the Europe side of the Atlantic and that he and his mates would do everything in their power to prevent the likes of me ever getting anything into print}. I thank blogs such as this which have enabled me and Bastardi and loads of others to break partly through the Greenwash cult.

I say our technique(s) plural because they are evolving and now on Solar Lunar Action Technique – SLAT5b, which supersedes our SWT (Solar Weather Technique). What I do is very different from Bastardi who is clearly also skilled especially for USA. Nevertheless his approach is more Earth-based, not so far ahead and less skilled and much less detailed [Of course we are not always right but I would just like to mention Xmas Day and the nights before and after in the UK were EXTREMELY COLD as we predicted from during November when I placed some successful bets on the matter of snow, contrary to his 'It will turn mild' prognoses].

A few links here explain key ideas of what I do -

1. VIDEO of why it (SWT/SLAT) works – Imperial college Oct 2009 -

2. Presentation similar to as presented at Climate Fools day 2010 in Parliament

3. “World cooling has ….” -

On supercomputers and the The Met Office I would say that no amount of spending on their approach will ever produce better forecasts in any forecasting more than 3 days ahead. Standard Meteorology has reached the end of its potential. It can go no further. What we do is infinitely more skilled (since they have zero skill) in any long range forecasting. Let’s be clear no amount of investment in wax technology will ever produce a light bulb. For a small fraction of the extra money they want to waste on supercomputers we could reliably forecast extreme events and general weather development details across the WORLD many months ahead.

There is clearly an overwhelming case here for challenging the Met Office robustly about its assertion that it requires additional huge sums of money to purchase more supercomputing technology. The question is, will those who control our tax pounds undertake that challenge and stop our money being spent wastefully? Bastardi and Corbyn’s replies demonstrate that the fundamental difference between the Met Office and those meterologists who forecast with much greater accuracy is a matter of technique and approach rather than technology and processing power. The politicians need to understand this.


A step change in Earth’s Climate outlook

As Britain suffers through its third straight harsh winter, a British watchdog group is calling for an inquiry into the failed recent long-range weather forecasts of the British Meteorological Office. The Met Office has long one of the leading promoters of man-made warming fears and therefore has tended to see warming around every corner.

Dr. Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation says, “The current winter fiasco is no longer a joke, as the economic damage to the British economy as a result of the country’s ill-preparedness . . . could reach $15 billion.”

The Met Office informed the government this summer that there was only a small chance of a severe winter in 2010/11, especially in the midst of a long global warming trend. Now, however, thousands of weary travelers have been stranded in European airports, while highway crews have lacked the sand and salt to keep the roads safe.

“The key question is,” says British Transport Minister Philip Hammond, “if there was a ‘step change’ in the UK weather, what would it look like? The answer is, of course, it would look like what we have seen in recent years. Hence there is no logical case to say there hasn’t been a step change.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu of the University of Alaska has published a paper in Natural Science saying that since 1850 the earth has been recovering from the Little Ice Age—and that this natural recovery is still continuing at about 0.5 degree per century. Ice cores and seabed sediments show this moderate, natural 1,500-year cycle has been occurring for the last million years. The Modern Warming is likely to be about as warm eventually as the Medieval Warming that blessed the earth with sunny growing seasons from 950–1300 AD.

At the same time, however, Dr. Akasofu has identified a 50–60 year sub-cycle driven by Pacific Ocean temperatures, which shifted to cool in 1940, to warm in 1976, and back to cool again as of 2000. He is predicting another 20 years of modest cooling for earth before the longer warming trend reasserts itself.

Back in Britain, the natives are growing restless about the failed “official” long-term weather forecasts.

John Walsh of The Independent wrote recently, “Some climatologists hint that the Office’s problem is political. Its computer habitually feeds in government-backed assumptions about climate change that aren’t borne out by the facts. To the Met Office, the weather’s always warmer than it really is.”

Paul Hudson of BBC Weather asks, “Could the model, seemingly with an inability to predict colder seasons, have developed a warm bias after such a long period of milder than average years?”

Dominic Lawson of the Sunday Times asserted, “A period of humility and even silence would be welcome from the Met Office, which had promised a “barbecue summer” in 2009 [it was wet and cold] and one of the ‘“warmest winters on record’ [for 2010/11 instead of the harsh cold and blizzards which have occurred].”

To cap it all off UK forecaster Piers Corbyn, noted for his skepticism on man-made warming, has become nationally famous for being right while the Met Office was wrong. For example, Corbyn predicted in November that this winter would be Britain’s coldest in 100 years. He even predicted the snowy Christmas. How does he do it: Apparently by looking at solar patterns, the number of cosmic rays hitting the earth, the Moon’s impact on streaming particles, and jet streams. Corbyn’s subscription forecasts are becoming a staple with businesses that “need to know”


It's the EPA that killed the bees

Not global warming. Evidence that the EPA is primarily politics-driven, not science-driven

The world honey bee population has plunged in recent years, worrying beekeepers and farmers who know how critical bee pollination is for many crops. A number of theories have popped up as to why the North American honey bee population has declined--electromagnetic radiation, malnutrition, and climate change have all been pinpointed. Now a leaked EPA document reveals that the agency allowed the widespread use of a bee-toxic pesticide, despite warnings from EPA scientists.

The document, which was leaked to a Colorado beekeeper, shows that the EPA has ignored warnings about the use of clothianidin, a pesticide produced by Bayer that mainly is used to pre-treat corn seeds. The pesticide scooped up $262 million in sales in 2009 by farmers, who also use the substance on canola, soy, sugar beets, sunflowers, and wheat, according to Grist.

The leaked document (PDF) was put out in response to Bayer's request to approve use of the pesticide on cotton and mustard. The document invalidates a prior Bayer study that justified the registration of clothianidin on the basis of its safety to honeybees:
Clothianidin’s major risk concern is to nontarget insects (that is, honey bees). Clothianidin is a neonicotinoid insecticide that is both persistent and systemic. Acute toxicity studies to honey bees show that clothianidin is highly toxic on both a contact and an oral basis. Although EFED does not conduct RQ based risk assessments on non-target insects, information from standard tests and field studies, as well as incident reports involving other neonicotinoids insecticides (e.g., imidacloprid) suggest the potential for long-term toxic risk to honey bees and other beneficial insects.

The entire 101-page memo is damning (and worth a read). But the opinion of EPA scientists apparently isn't enough for the agency, which is allowing clothianidin to keep its registration.

Suspicions about clothianidin aren't new; the EPA's Environmental Fate and Effects Division (EFAD) first expressed concern when the pesticide was introduced, in 2003, about the "possibility of toxic exposure to nontarget pollinators [e.g., honeybees] through the translocation of clothianidin residues that result from seed treatment." Clothianidin was still allowed on the market while Bayer worked on a botched toxicity study [PDF], in which test and control fields were planted as close as 968 feet apart.

Clothianidin has already been banned by Germany, France, Italy, and Slovenia for its toxic effects. So why won't the EPA follow? The answer probably has something to do with the American affinity for corn products. But without honey bees, our entire food supply is in trouble.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

EPA's Texas Power Grab

Any Texas granddaddy will tell you he’s seen it all, when it comes to weather and climate extremes. Tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, blizzards, droughts, flash floods, and storms that bring unique combinations of wind, dust, thunder and hail.

Any Lone Star citizen will point out that Texas is America’s leading producer of crude oil, natural gas and (heavily subsidized) wind-based energy. It has the second largest workforce and gross state product in the USA, produces more electricity than any other state, and refines one-fourth of our petroleum – for a country that is 85% dependent on fossil fuels. Mess with Texas, and the damages will reverberate throughout our nation.

So why is the US Environmental Protection Agency sending federal agents to Texas – to arrest the state’s economy for the “crime” of emitting carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4)? Texas is also challenging EPA over other arbitrary new air pollution standards, but that’s another article.

Cowboys and cowgirls recognize CO2 as the plant-fertilizing “gas of life” and CH4 as natural gas and cow farts. Scientists will tell you carbon dioxide is 0.0387% of Earth’s atmosphere and methane is 0.000179 percent. Anyone with an eighth grade economics education or ounce of common sense knows CO2 is what results when CH4 heats homes, generates electricity, fuels cars and factories, and makes our health, welfare and living standards possible.

But EPA says they are “greenhouse gases” that cause “runaway global warming.” So the ideologues who run this agency are telling Texas to start regulating its power plants and refineries into bankruptcy or oblivion – or EPA goons will take over its air quality programs and economy.

Since few cowboys and cowgirls – or even college grads or most PhDs – are experts on “greenhouse” gases and radiation physics, let’s take a quick look at what’s behind these EPA claims.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says her agency’s actions will “protect human health and welfare” and “ensure environmental justice,” which are “threatened” by rising temperatures and “global climate disruption.” Let EPA regulate these evil greenhouse gases, she promises, and the climate will remain “stable” and average global temperatures will never be more than 2 degrees higher than now. Bunk.

Ms. Jackson willfully ignores the immense harm that driving up energy prices will have on jobs, state revenues, people’s health and welfare, and even human lives. But her views are supported by scientists like Dr. Richard Alley, Michael Mann’s colleague at Pennsylvania State University, all handsomely paid by EPA and other federal agencies for raising alarms about global warming.

Alley was recently extolled in the New York Times (which no real, red-blooded Texans reads) as a “major voice of climate science.” He says that under a true worst-case scenario of doubling the concentration of CO2 and methane, our planet will fry due to 18 to 20 degrees F of global warming.

This much gas of life and cow farts, the great professor insists, would result in “an addition of heat so radical that it would render the planet unrecognizable to its present-day inhabitants.” He bases this horrifying prediction on computer models that assume human CO2 and CH4 control our climate – not the sun and dozens of powerful, complex, interacting natural forces.

The fact is, mankind has been emitting gas of life and cow farts since time immemorial. However, according to MIT’s Dr. Richard Lindzen, we are still only 80% of the way toward doubling the greenhouse gas levels found in our atmosphere at the start of the Industrial Revolution (0.0280%). But taking Dr. Alley’s computer models and doomsday predictions at their word, 80% of the way should mean temperatures in the great state of Texas should have warmed some 14 to 16 degrees between 1860 and 2010.

Hooo-weee … is that HOT, or what?

Something doesn’t seem quite right here. National Climate Data Center studies show Texas’ annual mean temperature fluctuates from year to year – but has generally been 65 to 71 degrees F, from 1895 through 2010. (We don’t have reliable data before 1895.) From the rear view of flatulent Texas longhorns, that’s a change of just 6 degrees, up or down, with no two years of identical weather, for 116 years!

Where in tarnation are those extra 10 to 12 degrees of warming that Professor Alley (in his generous spirit of “worst-case scenarios”) assures us are happening? Did the Grinch steal them? Or are those missing degrees just lurking out there, waiting to surprise us the instant CO2 levels hit 560 ppm (0.0560% of the atmosphere)? Does nature actually work that way: no response, no response – then, bam!?!? Disaster!

He and Professor Mann and Penn State sure did get a lot of millions from us taxpayers, to cook up all these disaster scenarios. So there must be something to them. (One of their buddies got a pile of taxpayer cash for saying dinosaur farts “may have contributed to global warming” 70 million years ago!)

But farmers and ranchers in Texas just cannot find that missing “heat” in their cows or plants or wild grasses. No one can find that “heat” in hurricane, tornado, hail or dust storm records, either. In fact, NOAA tells us, strong tornadoes, among top-three ranks in wind and damage scales, have been occurring less and less since record intensities during 1950s and 1960s.

That’s just the opposite of what the good professor, his sidekick Al Gore and their Climate Doomsday Gang say will happen. But isn’t that good news for Texas?

In fact, using their logic, we could argue that, since CO2 has been rising while tornado intensity is falling, maybe we should increase carbon dioxide even more, to eventually turn tornadoes into dust devils. Or say decreasing CO2 emissions could cause stronger tornadoes and damage to ramp up again.

Somehow, we don’t think carbon dioxide or methane has quite this power. We suspect there are a lot of other, far stronger, natural forces at work – causing all kinds of cyclical climate patterns. Ms. Jackson and Dr. Alley’s computer-created monsters might have a role in Frankenstein, raptor and blood-lusting alien movies. They should play no role in dictating Texas energy use and economic decisions.

So now the alarmists from the Climate Doomsday Gang have a new scare. Global warming from rising CO2 is going to cause more vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue fever and West Nile Virus. Are you a-trembling in your bull-doodoo -covered boots now?

If Texas didn’t have decent history books in its classrooms, you might actually buy this scary story. But as those books show, malaria was eradicated in Texas and the USA during the 1950s, thanks to DDT, window screens and medical advances – not because the state’s climate got too cold or dry for anopheles mosquitoes.

Moreover, from 1980 to 1999 there were 62,514 cases of dengue fever (from mosquito bites) in northeastern Mexico. Meanwhile, just across the border, only 64 cases of dengue were counted in Texas. The disparate disease rates are clearly not due to the climate, but to differences in housing, medical care, wealth and technology.

The alarmists need to get their computer models, scenarios, scare stories and climate cops out of Texas. If they don’t, Governor Perry and his Texas Rangers should arrest them for violating Lone Star rights to energy, jobs, health and the American Dream.


Outlawing incandescent bulbs and unintended consequences

The mens room at the Washington Examiner recently received an energy-saving device: a motion sensor switch for the lights. In Europe, every public accomodation I visited had timed lights or motion-sensor lights in the bathrooms. I bet they pay for themselves in energy savings.

But the Examiner men's room also has fluorescent bulbs -- both the compact fluorescent and the old-fashioned tube ones. The CFLs take a second to turn on, and about 30 seconds to get to full brightness. The tube bulbs take about 15 seconds to stay on, and they flicker for another 30 seconds.

Either technology on its own is acceptable, but together, they make visiting the bathroom very annoying. In other words, the slow warm up for the fluorescents wouldn't matter if it happened once or twice a day, and the room being dark when you walk in wouldn't matter if the lights were bright right away. If a coffee shop or library I visited had similar bathroom action, I wouldn't return.

So as California outlaws the traditional incandescent next week, and the U.S. begins its move down this road a year later, we should ask, will forcing fluorescents on people deter them from getting timed or motion-sensor lights? If so, will the energy savings of this legislation be wiped out?

There are plenty of other unintended consequences related to the lightbulb law that will offset the gains in energy efficiency. Off the top of my head:

Citing this law, GE has closed its incandescent plant in Virginia. For the coming years, while they're still legal, Americans then will be buying their GE incandescents from Mexico. This probably means less efficient manufacturing and more shipping.

GE makes its CFLs in China. The factories are likely dirtier and less efficient, and certainly there will be more shipping costs.
Because of the warmup time for CFLs and the knowledge that they use less energy, people are more likely to leave them on for longer, I imagine.

In northern latitudes, incandescents' inefficiency is not wasted. Think about it, in Alaska, summer nights are very short, and winter nights are very long. That means a vast majority of light-bulb time happens in the winter. The incandescents waste energy in the form of heat, but if it's cold, that added heat slightly reduces your need to use a furnace.

These offsetting factors are all small, and they may not negate the energy savings of the federal and California laws, but they will certainly reduce the savings. All corners of environmental policy have similar offsets -- think ethanol subsidies leading to deforestation, or electric car subsidies driving up coal demand. On top of these predictable effects, there are plenty of negative consequences we can't foresee.

These unintended consequences are why I think that simpler, dumber tariffs and taxes would be better than this hodgepodge of subsidies we have now. If we want Americans to use less energy, create a BTU tax. If we want to use less foreign oil, put a tariff on oil.

But then, what would the lobbyists do if things were simple?



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


2 January, 2011

It's official: Britain's December WAS the chilliest in 120 years

The benchmark Central England Temperature plunged to an average of -0.6c (30.9f) over the month, making it the second harshest December since records began in 1659.

It was beaten only by the -0.8c (30.5f) average for December 1890, weather historian Philip Eden said last night. It was also the chilliest individual calendar month since February 1986.

As snow, ice and frost brought chaos to roads, airports and homes, there were ten nights in December 2010 when the temperature fell below -18c (-0.4f) somewhere in the UK. Altnaharra in Sutherland, Scotland, experienced the coldest conditions, with the mercury plummeting to -21.1c (-6f) early on December 1.

This bitter end to this year was the result of an unusually large area of high pressure squatting over Greenland – combined with low pressure over the UK. Normally, westerly winds from the Atlantic keep the British Isles mild during the winter.


Wind farms becalmed just when needed the most

Wind farms in Britain generated practically no electricity during the recent cold spell, raising fresh concerns about whether they could be relied upon to meet the country’s energy needs.

Despite high demand for electricity as people shivered at home over Christmas, most of the 3,000 wind turbines around Britain stood still due to a lack of wind.

Even yesterday , when conditions were slightly breezier, wind farms generated just 1.8 per cent of the nation’s electricity — less than a third of usual levels.

The failure of wind farms to function at full tilt during December forced energy suppliers to rely on coal-fired power stations to keep the lights on — meaning more greenhouse gases were produced.

Experts feared that as the Government moved towards a target of generating 30 per cent of electricity from wind — while closing gas and coal-fired power stations — cold, still winters could cause a problem in the future.

The wind turbines may even use up electricity during a calm period, as they were rotated in order to keep the mechanical parts working. There are more than 3,000 turbines in Britain and the Department of Energy and Climate Change planned to have up to 6,000 onshore and 4,000 at sea by 2020.

Charles Anglin, of Renewable UK, which represented the wind energy industry, said that over a normal year wind turbines were working about a third of the time. He said future energy plans took into account periods when wind turbines were still, just as current models had backup available for when nuclear or coal plants were down. “There are periods, of course, when it is not windy but year on year we are seeing growth,” he said.

Britain had 2 per cent of electricity from renewables in 2002, but that figure was now almost 10 per cent, with wind providing about half.


Warming tea

The latest attempt to swindle the public into believing the Global Warming/Climate Change myth comes in the form of an article titled “INDIAN TEA TASTES DIFFERENT DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE" appearing on Yahoo news and other internet sites. In a nutshell tea growers in the state of Assam, India are said to blame rising temperatures over the last several years for both the change in taste and reduced annual yield of production.

As usual on the surface it sounds iron clad that warming temperatures are to blame for their problems. However investigation into the mechanics of these claims shows a completely different scenario.

The area in question is next to Bangladesh that has a tropical climate and vigorous monsoon season. There have been variations in temperatures and precipitation in this area since records first became recorded in 1945, but overall the climate of the area hasn't changed at all. What has changed is the population of this area. The state of Assam had a population of around 22 million in the early 1990s, but now stands at over 35 million.

What has affected the tea and other crops in this area is urbanization. Now there is much less land to grow tea than ever before, and much more pollution putting stress on area crops. I refer to real pollution such as carbon monoxide and other chemical pollutants, as well as inadequate ways of disposing sewage and factory waste, not so-called greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide which really isn't a pollutant, but a necessary gas for every plant species on the planet. The farming industry in Assam could use the help from a little CO2 right about now.

Environmentalists are mostly to blame for dwindling yields and quality because of restrictions on what pesticides growers are allowed to use. Thus a large portion of tea is lost each year from uncontrolled pests, and quality is drastically reduced because insect infestations degrade the overall health of the plants themselves. In a tropical area pests are the main contributor the degradation of any crop.

This and other stories that come out on a daily basis are geared for those who read and accept them as gospel truth without question.


Malthusians wrong again -- this time on oil prices

The New York Times' John Tierney explains why those who predict doom and gloom on commodity prices and scarcity are almost always wrong:
Five years ago, Matthew R. Simmons and I bet $5,000. It was a wager about the future of energy supplies — a Malthusian pessimist versus a Cornucopian optimist — and now the day of reckoning is nigh: Jan. 1, 2011.

The bet was occasioned by a cover article in August 2005 in The New York Times Magazine titled “The Breaking Point.” It featured predictions of soaring oil prices from Mr. Simmons, who was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the head of a Houston investment bank specializing in the energy industry, and the author of “Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy.”

I called Mr. Simmons to discuss a bet. To his credit — and unlike some other Malthusians — he was eager to back his predictions with cash. He expected the price of oil, then about $65 a barrel, to more than triple in the next five years, even after adjusting for inflation. He offered to bet $5,000 that the average price of oil over the course of 2010 would be at least $200 a barrel in 2005 dollars.

You can probably guess who won the bet. But Tierney's column is both a delight to read and a good reminder that human innovation is perhaps our most abundant resource. It's amazing how many smart people forget that when they're trying to predict the future.


The Key New Year's Resolution: Stop the EPA

Rolling back Obamacare will be at the top of many to-do lists for 2011, but a far more significant power grab is underway at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and blocking it should be the first priority of incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Fred Upton.

The good news is that Upton agrees and has already begun planning to stop the EPA before it can begin the process of asserting effective control over every business and many millions of households in the United States.

In an op-ed Upton co-authored with Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, in Monday's Wall Street Journal and again on my radio show yesterday, Upton promised vigorous action by his committee to halt the EPA's attempt to accomplish via backdoor regulation what the Congress could not pass in 2009 or 2010 --a global warming-inspired, job-killing array of federal rules and commands on any operation or system that emits carbon dioxide.

This is cap-and-trade or cap-and-tax by another name and via an extraordinary power grab sanctioned by President Obama and his environmental "csar" Carol Browner and being executed by one of the most determined of all of Team Obama's big government disciplines, Lisa Jackson, administrator of EPA. The Obama-Browner-Jackson plan is to talk moderately and act radically using the thinnest of legal rationales --a 5-4 2007 Supreme Court decision that did not even present the question of whether EPA had authority to regulate the carbon dioxide emissions of refineries and power plants, which is phase one of the EPA's enormous regulatory plan.

EPA has declared that carbon dioxide endangers the health of Americans, and the agency is using this "finding" to justify regulating anything that emits carbon dioxide. As Upton and Phillips note in their piece, many businesses have recovered from their shock at such a naked grab for power and are fighting back in the courts, but EPA is rushing forward with regulations to try and put its radical overlay on America's private sector before the courts can even respond to the claims. President Obama gets no questions on this somewhat complicated subject from his cheerleaders in the White Hous e press corps and so the largest grab for regulatory control unsupported by explicit legislation in our nation's history moves forward.

Obamacare is a malignancy, yes, and it was a jam down done in defiance of easily recognized voter opinion.

But at least it did pass both houses of Congress and was signed by the president. It was a rotten exercise in constitutional government, but it was the way the laws are supposed to be passed.

This is not the case with the carbon dioxide regulations which claim the Clean Air Act as their legislative authority though the ideas of global warming as a threat and the regulation of carbon dioxide as a solution did not exist in the public consciousness much less on the floor of Congress when the Clean Air Act was first passed or later amended.

The carbon dioxide rules are thus a threat not just to the economy but also to the whole notion of self-government, and are the prime example of where bureaucratized administrative states move when allowed to assert authority unchecked by popularly-elected representatives.

This is where Chairman Upton comes in, and his committee will almost certainly pass blocking legislation and hopefully the Appropriations Committee will defund the EPA's efforts here and in other areas of the agency's operations as well as punishment for such blatant disregard of the people's representatives.

A Senate dominated by two dozen endangered Democratic incumbents should help bring the out-of-control EPA to heel. An agency this radical needs gutting and overhaul, not tweaking, and Administrator Jackson needs to be in front of House committees for days on end, under oath and answering the toughest questions about her views on the agency's plans and legal authorities. Ms. Browner needs a subpoena as well backed up by legal action to compel testimony if she asserts executive privilege as President Obama has radically expanded the Office of the Presidency in an attempt to avoid the sort of balance and oversight on which separation-of-powers was premised.

If the EPA is not tamed in 2011, its regulatory reach will grow and grow. The agency has shrewdly begun its government-by-decree via diktats issued to power plants and refineries, obviously hoping that most Americans won't recognize that the precedent being set by these rules will apply to every business or operation in the U.S. that emits carbon dioxide. The fight to stop the EPA from crippling the power grid has immediate consequences to consumers but even greater consequences down the road for every citizen.

The president's willingness to indulge and indeed encourage such radical behavior should be a huge issue in the 2012 presidential campaign. President Obama closed out his disastrous 2010 by talking a moderate game, but the leadership of the GOP Congress should act to focus and keep the spotlight on this expression of the president's deepest instincts about centralized and powerful government rule over the lives of its citizens, whether or not the legislature has approved of the moves.

The GOP presidential candidates who help stop the EPA will also greatly improve their standing across the political spectrum, including among the millions of blue collar Democrats who see in the rise of radicals like Jackson the repudiation of the old New Deal agenda of jobs and economic growth in favor of the rule of technocrats behind desks, writing rules and issuing commands through an army of civil servants.


Australia: "Green" police cars are too small

QUEENSLAND Police have been left red-faced over its choice of new "green" patrol cars. The service boasts it is going green, taking delivery of 100 hybrid Toyota Camrys. Shame no one checked the boot size. Frontline officers say the boots of the new patrol cars are too small to carry all their essential equipment, including flak jackets and emergency equipment.

They can't put it on the back seats - that's where the criminals go - leaving them little option but to ditch it, or keep it under their feet in the front.

And the front seats are already a tight squeeze for officers wearing accoutrement belts and cargo pants.

The police union said the decision showed how far removed top brass were from the frontline that they could approve cars that aren't big enough to be useful.

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) boasts about its green car choice in this year's annual report, saying its "smarter vehicle purchases" meant it had "the most operationally suitable vehicles". It goes on to say "green technology continues to be introduced" with "noteworthy development" the Toyota Camry Hybrid being used as a general duties patrol vehicle.

"As part of the Government's policy, the QPS is also required to reduce its production of carbon dioxide by 10 per cent by 2010, 25 per cent by 2012, and 50 per cent by 2017. "Fleet Management Branch is actively pursuing this through smarter vehicle purchases and the QPS has already achieved the 2010 target," the report said.

In June, the police fleet numbered 2316 vehicles, including 97 motorcycles.

The green car debacle comes after a January audit ordered by senior officers and obtained by The Sunday Mail found 294 police vehicles were doing less than 50km a day. Vehicles uncovered in the audit included a Holden Commodore sedan on general duties that had done only 7833km in two years, a Ford Falcon sedan with just 18,663km since 2006, and a Mitsubishi Lancer averaging 17km a day.



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


1 January, 2011

Croatian ice-age expert warns new ice age could start as soon as five years from now

A leading scientist has revealed that Europe could be just five years away from the start of a new Ice Age.

While climate change campaigners say global warming is the planet's biggest danger, renowned physicist Vladimir Paar says most of central Europe will soon be covered in ice. The freeze will be so complete that people will be able to walk from England to Ireland or across the North Sea from Scotland to northern Europe.

Professor Paar, from Croatia's Zagreb University, has spent decades analysing previous ice ages in Europe and what caused them. "Most of Europe will be under ice, including Germany, Poland, France, Austria, Slovakia and a part of Slovenia," said the professor in an interview with the

"Previous ice ages lasted about 70,000 years. That's a fact and the new ice age can't be avoided.

"The big question is what will happen to the people of the Central European countries which will be under ice? "They might migrate to the south, or might stay, but with a huge increase in energy use," he warned. "This could happen in five, 10, 50 or 100 years, or even later. We can't predict it precisely, but it will come," he added.

And the professor said that scientists think global warming is simply a natural part of the planet. "What I mean is that global warming is natural. Some 130,000 years ago the earth's temperature was the same as now, the level of CO2 was almost the same and the level of the sea was four metres higher. "They keep warning people about global warming, but half of America no longer believes it as they keep freezing," he said.

And he added: "The reality is that mankind needs to start preparing for the ice age. We are at the end of the global warming period. The ice age is to follow. The global warming period should have ended a few thousands of years ago, we should have already been in the ice age. Therefore we do not know precisely when it could start – but soon."

The Zagreb based scientist says it will still be possible for man to survive in the ice age, but the spending on energy will be enormous. "Food production also might be a problem. It would need to be produced in greenhouses with a lot of energy spent to heat it", commented the professor, who remains optimistic despite his predictions.

He said: "The nuclear energy we know today will not last longer than 100 years as we simply do not have enough uranium in the world to match the needs in an ice age. But I'm still optimistic. There is the process of nuclear fusion happening on the Sun. The fuel for that process is hydrogen and such a power plant is already worked on in France as a consortium involving firms from Marseille and the European Union, the US, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea. The head of the project is a Japanese expert, and former Japanese ambassador in Croatia", Vladimir Paar revealed.

He said the building of the new technology power plant will take at least another 10 years. "In 40 years we'll know how it functions. That would be a solution that could last for thousands of years. We have a lot of hydrogen and the method is an ecological one", the professor concluded.


The crooked Michael Oppenheimer again

Dr Michael Oppenheimer of the Environmental Defense Fund was interviewed by the New York times in January 2000 as part of an article on the recent run of mild winters. As the article about the ‘absence of snow’ in New York reported:
Dr. Oppenheimer, among other ecologists, points to global warming as perhaps the most significant long-term factor.
Oppenheimer even had a tear-jerking personal angle on the ‘absence of snow’ in modern winters. The New York Times writer mournfully announced that snow-balls fights are now as outdated as hoop-rolling, and quoted Oppenheimer on the pathetic spectacle of the unused sled in his stairwell, symbol of a warming world:
But it does not take a scientist to size up the effects of snowless winters on the children too young to remember the record-setting blizzards of 1996. For them, the pleasures of sledding and snowball fights are as out-of-date as hoop-rolling, and the delight of a snow day off from school is unknown.

‘I bought a sled in ’96 for my daughter,” said Dr. Michael Oppenheimer, a scientist at the nonprofit Environmental Defense Fund. ”It’s been sitting in the stairwell, and hasn’t been used. I used to go sledding all the time. It’s one of my most vivid and pleasant memories as a kid, hauling the sled out to Cunningham Park in Queens.”

If you see Dr Oppenheimer out sledding this winter, lend a hand, and give him a push.


Deceitful claim: 97% of climate scientists think humans contribute to global warming

How do we know there’s a scientific consensus on climate change? Pundits and the press tell us so. And how do the pundits and the press know? Until recently, they typically pointed to the number 2500 – that’s the number of scientists associated with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those 2500, the pundits and the press believed, had endorsed the IPCC position.

To their embarrassment, most of the pundits and press discovered that they were mistaken – those 2500 scientists hadn’t endorsed the IPCC’s conclusions, they had merely reviewed some part or other of the IPCC’s mammoth studies. To add to their embarrassment, many of those reviewers from within the IPCC establishment actually disagreed with the IPCC’s conclusions, sometimes vehemently.

The upshot? The punditry looked for and recently found an alternate number to tout — “97% of the world’s climate scientists” accept the consensus, articles in the Washington Post and elsewhere have begun to claim.

This number will prove a new embarrassment to the pundits and press who use it. The number stems from a 2009 online survey of 10,257 earth scientists, conducted by two researchers at the University of Illinois. The survey results must have deeply disappointed the researchers – in the end, they chose to highlight the views of a subgroup of just 77 scientists, 75 of whom thought humans contributed to climate change. The ratio 75/77 produces the 97% figure that pundits now tout.

The two researchers started by altogether excluding from their survey the thousands of scientists most likely to think that the Sun, or planetary movements, might have something to do with climate on Earth – out were the solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists and astronomers. That left the 10,257 scientists in disciplines like geology, oceanography, paleontology, and geochemistry that were somehow deemed more worthy of being included in the consensus. The two researchers also decided that scientific accomplishment should not be a factor in who could answer – those surveyed were determined by their place of employment (an academic or a governmental institution). Neither was academic qualification a factor – about 1,000 of those surveyed did not have a PhD, some didn’t even have a master’s diploma.

To encourage a high participation among these remaining disciplines, the two researchers decided on a quickie survey that would take less than two minutes to complete, and would be done online, saving the respondents the hassle of mailing a reply. Nevertheless, most didn’t consider the quickie survey worthy of response –just 3146, or 30.7%, answered the two questions on the survey:

1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

The questions were actually non-questions. From my discussions with literally hundreds of skeptical scientists over the past few years, I know of none who claims that the planet hasn’t warmed since the 1700s, and almost none who think that humans haven’t contributed in some way to the recent warming – quite apart from carbon dioxide emissions, few would doubt that the creation of cities and the clearing of forests for agricultural lands have affected the climate. When pressed for a figure, global warming skeptics might say that human are responsible for 10% or 15% of the warming; some skeptics place the upper bound of man’s contribution at 35%. The skeptics only deny that humans played a dominant role in Earth’s warming.

Surprisingly, just 90% of those who responded to the first question believed that temperatures had risen – I would have expected a figure closer to 100%, since Earth was in the Little Ice Age in the centuries immediately preceding 1800. But perhaps some of the responders interpreted the question to include the past 1000 years, when Earth was in the Medieval Warm Period, generally thought to be warmer than today.

As for the second question, 82% of the earth scientists replied that that human activity had significantly contributed to the warming. Here the vagueness of the question comes into play. Since skeptics believe that human activity been a contributing factor, their answer would have turned on whether they consider a 10% or 15% or 35% increase to be a significant contributing factor. Some would, some wouldn’t.

In any case, the two researchers must have feared that an 82% figure would fall short of a convincing consensus – almost one in five wasn’t blaming humans for global warming — so they looked for subsets that would yield a higher percentage. They found it – almost — in those whose recent published peer-reviewed research fell primarily in the climate change field. But the percentage still fell short of the researchers’ ideal. So they made another cut, allowing only the research conducted by those earth scientists who identified themselves as climate scientists.

Once all these cuts were made, 75 out of 77 scientists of unknown qualifications were left endorsing the global warming orthodoxy. The two researchers were then satisfied with their findings. Are you?


EPA Rules Will Trump Your Rights

Ignoring both Congress and the voters, the Environmental Protection Agency starts the new year governing by decree with job-killing regulations. Take a deep breath, but if you exhale you're a polluter.

Cap-and-trade is dead, long live cap-and-trade in the form of regulations promulgated in the coming year by what George Orwell might call the Ministry of Environment. It claims that the Clean Air Act and a Supreme Court ruling in 2007 let the EPA regulate carbon dioxide as a planet-warming pollutant.

We recently commented on the EPA's recent commandeering of the permitting process from Texas, with which it is in a legal tussle over federalism, states' rights and the Constitution's enumeration of powers and who may exercise them.

The federal agency also plans to issue greenhouse gas permits in seven other states — Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Oregon and Wyoming.

The EPA held its fire, hoping a Democratic Congress would get cap-and-trade legislation through both houses. In April, 2009, Time magazine ran a piece titled "EPA'S CO2 Finding: Putting A Gun To Congress' Head." Last year the New York Times said that if Congress fails to ram through cap-and-trade legislation, the EPA should ram it down our throats. And so it did.

With Barack Obama's election, liberal hopes for cap-and-trade rose. But neither businessmen nor homeowners were buying it, especially after the data manipulation and fraud perpetrated by the U.N.'s IPCC, Britain's Climate Research Unit and even our own NASA.

So now just as rationing and death panels return under regulations written "as the secretary shall determine," a phrase rapidly replacing "we the people" under this administration, the EPA plans to propose so-called performance standards for oil- and coal-fired power plants in July 2011 and for refineries in December 2022.

"We are following through on our commitment to proceed in a measured and careful way to reduce (greenhouse gas) pollution that threatens the health and welfare or American and contributes to climate change," says EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. Perhaps she appreciates the irony of the people of Cowlitz, Wash., as columnist George Will points out, approving construction of a coal export terminal to send energy-hungry Beijing coal we won't burn here. The transporters? Ships that themselves burn fossil fuels.

Oh, and remember those high-speed electric trains in China that have people like the New York Times' Tom Friedman cooing over how green China is? James Fallows, writing in the Atlantic, quotes a Chinese official as saying they are being built to move passenger trains out of the way of coal trains.


Massachusetts enthusiastically joins the madness

True to form: Feelgood strutting that will have zero benefits for the Massachusetts public and zero effect on the climate

Governor Deval Patrick’s administration set an ambitious limit yesterday on statewide greenhouse gas emissions to be achieved by 2020, through a suite of new and existing policies that balance energy efficiency and reduced fossil fuel use with cost savings.

Over the next decade, the plan aims to bring greenhouse gas emissions to levels that are 25 percent below those in 1990, the maximum possible limit allowed under the state Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008. That legislation mandates an 80 percent reduction in statewide greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Massachusetts, through existing caps and an initiative that increases utilities’ use of renewable energy sources, is already on track to cut its emissions to 18 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

Under the new plan, the state would cut at least an additional 7 percent through new initiatives and incentives, including a pilot program to make auto insurance cheaper for people who drive fewer miles.

Yesterday’s move was expected, as the administration had sent signals that it might take an aggressive step toward limiting greenhouse gases and was required by law to set the limit by the end of the year.

But the announcement sets Massachusetts apart from other states, according to one leading environmental organization. “I’m not aware of anything else that comes close to this,’’ said Sue Reid, a senior attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation.

According to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, at least nine other states have adopted statewide greenhouse gas emission limits, and Massachusetts appears to have the most aggressive reduction target.

More here

Political agonies over Warmism in Australia

Climate change policy has already played a critical role in the demise of four political leaders.

John Howard's failure to ratify the Kyoto protocol was used to characterise him as yesterday's man. Brendan Nelson's instinct to tighten the rein on climate policy was a pivotal reason the Liberals switched to Malcolm Turnbull. Paradoxically, little more than a year later, the same party room narrowly toppled Turnbull to overturn his climate policy.

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd lost his confidence when Copenhagen failed, and then lost the confidence of the public and finally his party when he abandoned his emissions trading crusade.

It is clear climate change looms large, it's a known unknown, and it's on track to claim a fifth Australian political scalp. But whose?

For Gillard the issue offers an opportunity to salvage her almost stillborn government. On the other hand, it could deliver Tony Abbott the keys to the lodge.

At one level there is more policy common ground here than either side of politics likes to pretend.

Both main parties are committed to the same 10-year target they took to the election, reaffirmed recently at Cancun; a reduction of 5 per cent on 2001 emissions levels by 2020. What differs is how they'll get there, and the rhetoric and emphasis employed along the way.

It suits Labor to argue it is crusading to save the planet and protect the economy while the conservatives are sitting on their hands and jeopardising our children's future.

It suits the Liberals to argue that Labor is rushing headlong with the tide of political fashion, imposing a heavy cost on the economy when the science is, at best, uncertain.

Neither of these rhetorical lines sits very well with the fact that both sides have plausible plans to reduce emissions by the same amount over the next decade.

Business, especially big business, craves certainty and leans towards an emissions trading system, mainly because it considers a market mechanism inevitable. In short it has been saying we might as well get the system in place so investment decisions can be made.

The Liberals' direct-action alternative might be immediately attractive to industry except that it would worry a change of government or a breakthrough in international talks could suddenly see a market mechanism re-emerge.

Yet Labor no longer has any certainty about what it proposes. Its carbon pollution reduction scheme remains on the shelf; a trading scheme endorsed for a week by the Turnbull Coalition and rejected, in the end, by the Greens for not going far enough.

Gillard must be tempted to dust it off and run it by the parliament again, invite a Liberal or two to cross the floor, and dare the Greens to reject progress on a carbon price agenda for a second time. Surely this would call Brown's bluff.

But Gillard has now outsourced her climate policy, at least to some degree, to a multi-sided (Labor, Greens, independents) parliamentary committee, a Productivity Commission inquiry, a new Ross Garnaut review and two non-government round tables.

Imagine if Labor were confronted with research or recommendations that bolster Abbott's argument that a direct-action approach is advisable in the short term before international commitments become clearer.

Nonetheless, Labor is committed to deliver some kind of price on carbon and it must. To retreat again on climate change would be suicide. This won't be easy. Labor's scheme will be shaped in a tug'o'war between the lower house independents and the Greens. Anything could happen, up to a parliamentary stand-off that would be fatal for Gillard.

But from this distance out, let's assume the stakes are so high that Gillard can carry the day and get her carbon price in place.

She could then claim a victory of sorts and, importantly, show Labor has made good on a pledge that has been pivotal to its agenda for at least five years.

But where the climate alarmists from Al Gore to Tim Flannery once had an unchallenged run, there is now a more realistic and multi-faceted debate. Labor's crusade to save the planet is no longer the political sure bet. The situation is much more nuanced.

Polls tell us most Australians are worried about climate change and believe human activity is a contributing factor. But when asked if they are prepared to pay for a solution through a tax or trading scheme, opinion is more divided.

There is a greater awareness of the international developments that put our actions in the shade. For instance, Chinese coal-fired generation will double in the next decade. Increasingly, the public is also aware of other ways to skin the cat, such as the Coalition's abatement purchasing plan.

For all the debates about models, schemes and costs, the public messages are pretty clear. Labor is promising fervent, enthusiastic and passionate action, while the Coalition is promising prudent, reluctant and cautious action. This is a fascinating contrast when they are both committed to the same target.

In fact one of the greatest ironies in all of this has been pointed out by the Liberals' climate spokesman Greg Hunt. He says if the Coalition had won government, it would already be negotiating with large polluters to purchase carbon abatement. Abbott can also attack Labor's carbon price as a step too far, a case of ideological overreach imperilling the economy, especially given the lack of carbon price progress in the US, China and Japan.

He will, however, be presented with a difficult dilemma himself. Will he go to the next election pledging to repeal whatever scheme Labor puts in place?

Clearly Labor will make life difficult for the Coalition if it can establish a scheme and have it operational before the election. If business leaders accept the new regime and argue for it to remain in place in the interests of certainty, Abbott will rankle them by campaigning to repeal it.

But if he has characterised it as a dangerous and unnecessary "great big new tax", he will have no option. Make no mistake. This decision will create some consternation inside the Liberal Party.

All sides of politics have trying times ahead. Gillard is caught between the need to shield voters from higher costs and the extreme demands of the Greens, all fuelled by the high expectations Labor has set itself on climate change action.

Abbott is torn between the election campaign gift of running against a new tax and the challenge of pledging to overturn a scheme agreed to by business to tackle a problem worrying most Australians.

Gillard has the much tougher challenge. Cobbling a carbon price together will go close to tearing her rainbow coalition apart. The country independents will be asked to turn their back on rural abatement schemes that would be lucrative for their constituents and endorse higher power prices at the same time. The Greens will be asked to climb down from their extreme targets and agree to a pragmatic compromise that is perhaps inferior, in their eyes, to the scheme they rejected last year.

If the Gillard can pass through the eye of that needle, she'll have to sell a deliberate cost-of-living increase to all Australians. For Abbott, running a campaign against that shouldn't be too taxing.



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


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.

By John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), writing from Brisbane, Australia.

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


After much reading in the relevant literature, the following conclusions seem warranted to me. You should find evidence for all of them appearing on this blog from time to time:

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "HEAT TRAPPING GAS". A gas can become warmer by contact with something warmer or by infrared radiation shining on it but it cannot trap anything. Air is a gas. Try trapping something with it!

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. Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

My academic background is in the social sciences so 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 both from what you see above and from what you see elsewhere on this blog that belief in global warming is very poorly explained by history, chemistry, physics or statistics. So the explanation for such beliefs has to be primarily a psychological and political one

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

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. Logical? NO. But probable: Maybe. The Green/Left is mad enough. After all, nitrogen is a CHEMICAL -- and we can't have that!

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"


"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

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)

"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

“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

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

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

A "geriatric" revolt: The scientists who reject Warmism tend to be OLD! Your present blogger is one of those. There are tremendous pressures to conformity in academe and the generally Leftist orientation of academe tends to pressure everyone within it to agree to ideas that suit the Left. And Warmism is certainly one of those ideas. So old guys are the only ones who can AFFORD to declare the Warmists to be unclothed. They either have their careers well-established (with tenure) or have reached financial independence (retirement) and so can afford to call it like they see it. In general, seniors in society today are not remotely as helpful to younger people as they once were. But their opposition to the Warmist hysteria will one day show that seniors are not completely irrelevant after all. Experience does count (we have seen many such hysterias in the past and we have a broader base of knowledge to call on) and our independence is certainly an enormous strength. Some of us are already dead. (Reid Bryson and John Daly are particularly mourned) and some of us are very senior indeed (e.g. Bill Gray and Vince Gray) but the revolt we have fostered is ever growing so we have not labored in vain.

Scientists have politics too -- sometimes extreme politics. Read this: "This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism... I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child." -- Albert Einstein

The "precautionary principle" is a favourite Greenie idea -- but isn't that what George Bush was doing when he invaded Iraq? Wasn't that a precaution against Saddam getting or having any WMDs? So Greenies all agree with the Iraq intervention? If not, why not?

A classic example of how the sensationalist media distort science to create climate panic is here.

There is a very readable summary of the "Hockey Stick" fraud here

The Lockwood & Froehlich paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film. It is a rather confused paper -- acknowledging yet failing to account fully for the damping effect of the oceans, for instance -- but it is nonetheless valuable to climate atheists. The concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years (See the first sentence of the paper) really is invaluable. And the basic fact presented in the paper -- that solar output has in general been on the downturn in recent years -- is also amusing to see. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even have been the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards. See my post of 7.14.07 and very detailed critiques here and here and here for more on the Lockwood paper and its weaknesses.

As the Greenies are now learning, even strong statistical correlations may disappear if a longer time series is used. A remarkable example from Sociology: "The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre’s yield of cotton. He calculated the correla­tion coefficient between the two series at –0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic condi­tions and lynchings in Raper’s data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his anal­ysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic condi­tions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added." So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. In the Greenie case, the correlation between CO2 rise and global temperature rise stopped in 1998 -- but that could have been foreseen if measurements taken in the first half of the 20th century had been considered.

Relying on the popular wisdom can even hurt you personally: "The scientific consensus of a quarter-century ago turned into the arthritic nightmare of today."

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)