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

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

The blogspot version of this blog is HERE. The Blogroll. My Home Page. Email John Ray here. Other mirror sites: Dissecting Leftism. For a list of backups viewable at times when the main blog is "down", see here. (Click "Refresh" on your browser if background colour is missing) See here or here for the archives of this site

January 30, 2013

More connection problems

Two days ago I lost electrical power for about 12 hours, which meant that I could not get some of my blogs up.

Today, however, I have lost my cable connection while they are doing work to repair storm damage in my area

For some reason, however, Google addresses (such as this one) and Facebook are still accessible. So I can still post but am cut off from most news sources and my Hotmail.

If anybody has sent me a recent email via Hotmail, I would therefore be grateful if they would resend it to my Gmail address: jonjayray@gmail,com

As a tentacle of Google, Gmail is unaffected for some reason

January 29, 2013

Blue skies, golden sunshine and still air again in Brisbane

My home State of Queensland has had a phenomenal amount of rain and wind over the last week. And it caught up with me yesterday in the form of a nearly 12 hour electricity outage. But, as you will see, paradise is regained today.

Warmists constantly claim that every drought indicates global warming so now that places as different as Australia and England are getting flooding, global cooling must be at work. That's their logic, anyway, if logic you can call it. Dogmatism would be a better word for it.

I am an atheist but I think there is better evidence for the divinity of Christ than for the link between recent weather and global warming. Deprived of one religion, many people invent another.


By Gregg Thompson, Astrophysicist, Australia

Now that none of the predictions made by Global Warmers have not eventuated and that the opposite has occurred, it's time for government to admit that Climate Change it is an extremely expensive scam on taxpayers.

The number of predictions GWers have got right is ZERO. The media should be publishing the following.


Temperatures would continue to go up.

WRONG. They haven't since 1997 and since 2007 they have gone down. Climate centres and NASA are finally admitting this.

Snow would never be seen again by many children. They would not know what it is.

WRONG. Since 2006/7 winter there have been the heaviest snow falls in the northern hemisphere for 20 -80 years and in some places as far back as records go.

The Arctic would be half the size by now and it will be completely gone within this decade.

WRONG. It has gone back to its typical cold cycle size and it will not be gone due to the Sun being so dormant. It has never disappeared even when the Sun is at maximum for long periods because it is only summer there for 6 weeks and the rest of the time it is -25C to -50C.

Glaciers would continue to recede and many would no longer exist.

WRONG. Almost all glaciers are surging due to years of very heavy snow falls.

Drought would continue and this would have caused water wars by now.

WRONG. Since 2006, we have had huge floods, many the biggest on record across all developed continents . Many places like Lake Eyre have filled four times in 3 years! There has never been any water wars.

Sea level would have risen by 2000 to start flooding low lying areas in cities at sea level. Flooded subways, basements and underground carparks would have make cities unliveable by now.

WRONG. Sea level have not risen and there is no sign that it will. No islands at sea level have been evacuated as Al Gore so fraudulently claimed. And Bangladesh is still above sea level, contrary to his predictions.

CO2 causes heating of the climate.

WRONG. Changes in Solar Activity accounts for 99.99% of climate changes on Earth. The trivial amount of manmade CO2 at one ten millionth of the atmosphere has zero effect.

Received via email. The author has requested that his email address not be published -- but all his facts are readily checkable

'Waste' heat generated by buildings in large cities 'can affect climate thousands of miles away'

This raises the possibility that ALL the measured temperature rise of the 20th century was caused by population and urbanization increase. That possibility is normally discounted by reference to stations outside the city. But on this data cities would have an effect on even some isolated stations

Heat emanating from buildings, factories and vehicles in large cities can affect the climate thousands of miles away. The 'waste heat' disrupts atmospheric systems that alter the weather over great distances, raising or lowering seasonal temperatures by up to 1C, research suggests.

The effect may explain why winter temperatures are warmer than predicted in some parts of the northern hemisphere.

Some of the world's most populated and energy-intensive cities lie beneath major circulation channels in the atmosphere.

They include the northern polar jet stream, a meandering river of wind that blows around the Earth at more than 100mph.

Heat energy carried from cities by these circulation systems accounts for winter warming across large areas of northern North America and northern Asia, say scientists.

In some remote areas, temperatures are pushed up by as much as 1C.

Meanwhile the air over parts of Europe is made cooler, the research shows. Here, changes to atmospheric circulation caused by the waste heat can lead to 1C reductions in temperature, mostly in the autumn.

The findings, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggest that heat generated by cities can widen the jet stream.

Heat energy carried from cities by circulation systems accounts for winter warming across large areas of norther North America and northern Asia

`What we found is that energy use from multiple urban areas collectively can warm the atmosphere remotely, thousands of miles way from the energy consumption regions,' said lead scientist Dr Guang Zhang, from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California.

`This is accomplished through atmospheric circulation change.'
Spread out across the world, the net average temperature increase produced by city waste heat is a negligible 0.01C. But at a regional level, the impact is significant, say the researchers.

Co-author Dr Aixue Hu, from the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, said: `The burning of fossil fuel not only emits greenhouse gases but also directly affects temperatures because of heat that escapes from sources like buildings and cars.

`Although much of this waste heat is concentrated in large cities, it can change atmospheric patterns in a way that raises or lowers temperatures across considerable distances.'

The scientists analysed the energy consumption that generates waste heat. They calculated that in 2006, the world's total energy consumption was 16 terawatts, or 16 trillion watts - the equivalent of leaving 10 billion 100-watt lightbulbs on for a year.

Of this, an average 6.7 terawatts was consumed in 86 metropolitan areas in the Northern Hemisphere.


Draft UN climate report shows 20 years of overestimated global warming, skeptics point out

A preliminary draft of a report by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was leaked to the public this month, and climate skeptics say it contains fresh evidence of 20 years of overstated global warming.

The report -- which is not scheduled for publication until 2014 -- was leaked by someone involved in the IPCC’s review process, and is available for download online. Bloggers combing through the report discovered a chart comparing the four temperature models the group has published since 1990. Each has overstated the rise in temperature that Earth actually experienced.

“Temperatures have not risen nearly as much as almost all of the climate models predicted,” Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, told “Their predictions have largely failed, four times in a row... what that means is that it's time for them to re-evaluate,” Spencer said.

The IPCC graph shows that the midpoints of the various models predicted that the world would warm by between about 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit and 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit between 1990 and 2012. Actual warming was much less than that: 0.28 F, according the data the IPCC cites.

But that doesn’t mean the IPCC models are wrong, others argue.

“It’s important to keep in mind that there are natural short-term variations in global temperature that happen right alongside human-induced warming,” Aaron Huertas, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, told [A big admission for a Warmist. Once we let that in the door, how do we know or not that ALL the important factors are natural]

“For instance, it would have been impossible for the IPCC to predict if a volcanic eruption might temporarily cool the Earth, as the Mount Pinatubo eruption did in 1991.”

The IPCC’s climate report draft also notes that “the model projections ... do not fully account for natural variability.”

Other types of natural anomalies include solar variability and weather patterns such as the El Niño southern oscillation.

Scientists include a “margin of error” in their models to account for unpredictable variations like volcanoes and weather patterns. Yet one of the IPCC’s models missed the actual warming trend entirely -- in other words, the actual temperatures were outside its “margin of error.” In the other three models, the actual warming trend fell within the very lower bounds of what they predicted would happen.

At least that’s what the IPCC’s chart shows. One scientist who recently published a study that found that the IPCC predictions were very accurate argues that it is likely wrong.

“The IPCC graph you refer to is just a draft version which still has a number of problems that will be ironed out,” Potsdam University physics professor Stefan Rahmstorf [Germany's equivalent of Jim Hansen] told

Skeptics such as Spencer also say that the chart does not mean that global warming is a hoax.

“The IPCC's claim is that they are 90 percent sure that humans have 'contributed to' the observed warming. Hell, even I would agree with that innocuous statement.”

But he says it does indicate that greenhouse gases are having less of an affect on climate than the IPCC thought.

“It is evidence that CO2 is not nearly as strong a climate driver as the IPCC has been assuming. This is the possibility they do not allow to be considered, because it would end all of their policy-changing goals,” he said.


The slow retreat of Warmism

Last week the Research Council of Norway announced the results of a new assessment of the climate system’s “sensitivity” taking into account the leveling off of global temperatures during the decade from 2000 to 2010. The study projects that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations over pre-industrial levels will increase global temperatures by between 1.2°C and 2.9°C, with 1.9°C being the most likely outcome. That is considerably cooler than the UN IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) estimate of 2°C to 4.5°C, with 3°C as the most probable outcome.

Climate sensitivity is an estimate of how much warming results from a given increase in CO2 concentrations. Estimates typically project the amount of warming from a doubling of CO2 concentrations over the pre-industrial (year 1750) level of 280 parts per million (ppm). At the current rate of increase (about 2 ppm/yr), a doubling to 560 ppm is expected by mid-century.

Climate alarm depends on several gloomy assumptions — about how fast emissions will increase, how fast atmospheric concentrations will rise, how much global temperatures will rise, how warming will affect ice sheet dynamics and sea-level rise, how warming will affect weather patterns, how the latter will affect agriculture and other economic activities, and how all climate change impacts will affect public health and welfare. But the chief assumption is the range of projected warming from a doubling of CO2 concentrations — the sensitivity estimate.

When the reseachers at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO) applied their computer “model and statistics to analyse temperature readings from the air and ocean for the period ending in 2000, they found that climate sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration will most likely be 3.7°C, which is somewhat higher than the IPCC prognosis.” However, ”when they entered temperatures and other data from the decade 2000-2010 into the model, climate sensitivity was greatly reduced to a ‘mere’ 1.9°C.”

Referring to the IPCC AR4 warming forecasts, project manager Terje Berntsen, a geoscience professor at the University of Oslo, commented: “The Earth’s mean temperature rose sharply during the 1990s. This may have caused us to overestimate climate sensitivity.”

No single study can make a dent on the self-anointed “scientific consensus.” But the Norwegian study is one among several recent studies that call into question the IPCC sensitivity assumptions. Cato Institute climatologist Patrick Michaels recently summarized a partial list of such studies in Forbes magazine:

"Richard Lindzen gives a range of 0.6 to 1.0 C (Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 2011); Andreas Schmittner, 1.4 to 2.8 C (Science, 2011); James Annan, using two techniques, 1.2 to 3.6 C and 1.3 to 4.2 C (Climatic Change, 2011); J.H. van Hateren, 1.5 to 2.5 C (Climate Dynamics, 2012); Michael Ring, 1.5 to 2.0 C (Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, 2012); and Julia Hargreaves, including cooling from dust, 0.2 to 4.0 C and 0.8 to 3.6 C (Geophysical Research Letters, 2012). Each of these has lower and higher limits below those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change."

In Addendum: Climate Change Impacts in the United States (pp. 26-28), Michaels and his colleague Chip Knappenberger discuss those studies in greater detail and also illustrate with two graphs how the IPCC AR4 warming projections should be adjusted in light of more recent climate sensitivity research. Note that the ‘long, fat tail’ of high-end warming projections in AR4 is absent from projections based on more recent science.

TOP: A collection of probability estimates of the climate sensitivity as presented in the IPCC AR4. The horizontal bars represent the 5 to 95 percent ranges, and the dots are the median estimate. BOTTOM: A collection of post-IPCC AR4 probability estimates of the climate sensitivity showing a lower mean and more constrained estimates of the uncertainty. The arrows below the graphic indicate the 5 to 95 percent con?dence bounds for each estimate along with the mean (vertical line) where available.

Michaels comments: “People are beginning, cautiously, to dial back 21st century warming because there has been none. Because dreaded sea-level rise is also proportional, those estimates are going to have to come down, too.”


New Book By Hans von Storch: Climate Scientists Took On Role Of Prophets…”Completely In Over Their Heads”

At their blogsite here climatologist Professor Hans von Storch and cultural scientist Werner Krauss have announced they’ve authored a new book on the topic of climate change, society and policy: “The Climate Trap – The dangerous proximity of politics and climate science”

The book will be released later this month by Munich publisher Hanser Verlag. A longer excerpt for reading is available here in German.

This is neither a skeptic nor an alarmist book. In it von Storch and Krauss have plenty of harsh criticism for both sides of the debate, and then some. Both sides, they claim, are responsible for having driven the climate issue into the ground. The book, they say, explains how climate science got there in the first place, and what possibilities are left to get climate sciences back on track so that it can produce productive action.

Here are some excerpts of the publisher’s excerpt. On the state of climate change today, von Storch and Krauss write:

"After the unprecedented success story of climate change becoming an object of public attention and concern, climate policy and the accompanying climate debate have wound up in a dead end. Despite the Kyoto Protocol and other agreements, commitments to transform the energy supply, and all the climate summits, there’s been no noteworthy success. To the contrary: The curve depicting global emissions of greenhouse gases has been surging upwards. In the summer of 2012, at the summit Rio +20, katzenjammer was everywhere.”

On the climate debate:

"Together with climate politics, the climate sciences have ended up in a credibility crisis. The often-made commitment of limiting the temperature increase to 2°C is scientifically controversial and practically impossible politically. The debate is also being paralyzed by a raging public dispute between alarmists and skeptics. [...]

The climate debate is stuck in the mud, the credibility of climate scientists has been cast into doubt, and the policymakers’ ability to act on the issue of climate is minimal. We are sitting in the climate trap.”

Why are we in this trap? Von Storch and Krauss write:

"It’s not only incompetent politics, the exaggerations by the media and climate protectors, or the destructive forces of the skeptics that are responsible for the interim failure of climate policy. More responsible is the fact that we failed to understand the problem in its full dimension.”

The authors reveal how they feel about alarmist scientists. Since the early 2000s they felt “something was amiss”.

"Was the climate apocalypse really at our doorstep as we could read in the media? Or were they exaggerating in their depiction of the results coming from climate science? [...]

The climate scientist [von Storch] had the suspicion that climate science was dragging around a ‘cultural rucksack’ that was influencing the interpretation of the data. The cultural scientist [Krauss], with regards to the appearances by some climate scientists in the media and the roles they were readily assigned, was reminded of weather-wizards and shamans of foreign cultures.”

In the book, the authors even describe climate science as a ‘tribe of scientists’ and how some began behaving like prophets:

"Some climate scientists were regular interview-partners and talkshow guests – and thus self-confidence became bigger, to the point that they knew the truth about climate change and thus became convinced that policy-making and society should follow the deeper insight of science.

Without really being aware of it, climate scientists had taken over the role of prophets: They predicted the imminent end-of-the-world if society did not fundamentally change soon, reduced its emissions, and behaved more sustainably with the environment. The problem was not only the message, but also that they were were often completely way in over their heads with the role as mediator between nature and society.”

These “prophets” put out a story that was too much to handle. Von Storch and Krauss write:

"Science delivered the raw material for a big climate narrative, one that still continues to shape our perception and media depiction of climate change today. It unleashed the horror scenarios of the Cold War and the fear of the atom, conveying them into the 21st century. A narrative seeded in the world by climate scientists, and one that keeps going out of their control again and again.”

The authors tell us that the way out of the “climate trap” is to begin by “viewing climate change as an issue that does not hang over us like ominous writing on the wall, but as one that has an appropriate place in our societies.” Krauss and von Storch are telling us: “Cool it!” They propose a third, alternative way.

If the rest of the book is like the beginning, then it will have the potential to change the direction of the climate discussion in Germany for the better. It’ll be near the top of my birthday wishlist.


Renewables Fail the Cost Test, Again

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has just released their Energy Infrastructure Update report, which shows how much new electric generating capacity was installed for 2012. According to the report, renewable energy sources (biomass, geothermal, solar, hydro, and wind) accounted for 49.10% of all new domestic electrical generating capacity installed in 2012 for a total of 12,956 MW. More than a quarter of that new capacity (25.29%, or 3,276 MW) reportedly came on-line in the month of December 2012 alone and wind led the way in 2012 with 164 new "units" totaling 10,689 MW.

Advocates of renewable energy are likely cheering these new numbers-even though, according to the FERC report, renewables still only account for 15.40% of total installed U.S. operating generating capacity, with wind coming in at 4.97%. (Note: wind megawatts are not comparable to other megawatts, as they're not always available.)

Without directly saying so, the FERC report highlights renewable energy's dependence on government subsidies. Why in a twelve-month year, did more than a quarter of the new capacity come online in just one month-the month of December?

Despite intensive lobbying efforts on behalf of the American Wind Energy Association, the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy-that was set to expire at the end of 2012-wasn't extended until the Fiscal Cliff Deal became law on January 2, 2013. Those seeking to benefit from the government largesse had the financial motivation to get as many wind projects as possible up and running. As long as the project was completed in 2012, it would receive the PTC for the next ten years. The Fiscal Cliff Deal gave wind energy developers one more year to take advantage of the PTC-but the PTC extension wasn't a sure thing until after it had already expired. (Note: the new PTC deal changed the requirements from being completed by the end of the one year extension to qualify, to merely starting construction by December 31, 2013.)

Wind energy advocates claim that the PTC is needed to help make wind energy cost competitive with traditional energy sources, such as coal and natural gas. However a new report from the American Traditions Institute that looks at the "Hidden Costs of Wind Electricity" reveals that the true costs for wind-generated electricity are actually one-and-a-half to two times more than what the Energy Information Agency (EIA) forecasts.

According to the EIA, the levelized cost of electricity generated from an advanced natural gas-fueled, combined-cycle power plant is 6.3 cents per kilowatt hour and 11.1 cents from advanced coal or nuclear. The EIA models forecast wind-generated electricity at 9.6 cents per kilowatt hour-which sounds very promising-but fails to take into account the "hidden costs."

The hidden costs of wind-generated electricity include:

* Because, with rare exceptions, wind can only operate as an appendage to traditional generation, not as a replacement, the cost of primary fossil-fueled plants must be included. The traditional plants are kept available to balance wind's large variations in output. Adding wind to the system reduces the amount of generation for which the plants are paid and therefore increases their operating costs.

* The reduced fuel efficiency wind imposes on those plants.

* Due to the remote siting of most wind facilities, real costs include long-distance transmission and the losses that come with it.

According to the report, these hidden costs are not included in the EIA figures because the regulatory authorities have not required wind operators to pay for them, rather the costs have, once again, been borne by consumers. The authors state: "In an honest, transparent, and accountable political system, that should not be an excuse for policy makers to ignore their impact on consumers, jobs, and the economy."

With the hidden costs factored in, the report concludes that wind's true cost is about 15.1 cents per kilowatt hour for natural-gas fired back-up and 19.2 cents for coal-fired back up-or one-and-a-half to two times the cost of new-construction coal- or gas-fueled electricity. (The higher costs do not include the 12 billion in taxpayer dollars going to the wind industry due to the PTC extension.)

The authors believe these costs will go up, not down. First, wind energy is a mature industry-worldwide market is more than $50 billion per year. Therefore, costs are unlikely to be reduced by either technological advances or further economies of scale. Additionally, most current wind facilities have been built in locations that could piggyback on existing transmission infrastructure-as these easier opportunities are used up, new installations will have higher transmissions costs.

But the dollar figures are only part of the hidden costs.

Renewable energy proponents tout "clean" and "green" as one of its key selling points. Many utility companies offer customers an option to feel good about saving the planet by using the more expensive renewable energy.

But recent news from Germany-which is reputed to have more renewable energy than most of the developed world, and Greece-where the economy is known to be one of the worst in the developed world, show that, in practice, expensive energy is neither clean nor green, and carries negative unintended consequences.

Both countries are reporting that trees are disappearing from forests and parks as "impoverished residents, too broke to pay for electricity or fuel, turn to fireplaces and wood stoves for heat."

In Germany, Der Spiegel blames high energy costs for a rise in tree thefts and wood-burning stove purchases: "Germans bought 400,000 such stoves in 2011, the German magazine FOCUS reported this week. It marks the continuation of a trend: The number of Germans buying heating devices that burn wood and coal has grown steadily since 2005."

Similarly, the Wall Street Journal reports that in Greece: "As winter temperatures bite, that trend is dealing a serious blow to the environment, as hillsides are denuded of timber and smog from fires clouds the air in Athens and other cities, posing risks to public health." In addition to the environmental devastation, the illegal logging has caused and the visible pollution from burning wood, the high cost of electricity has caused schools in Greece to close because they can't afford heat and lives have been lost as the wood-burning fires have broken out of wood stoves, burned down houses, and killed residents-including children trapped in their burning home.

As most of America is in the midst of a deep freeze, and the Obama Administration is moving forward with its renewable energy programs, the hidden costs of expensive electricity to human life and the environment need to be counted as well as the economic impacts. As the stories from Europe clearly point out, expensive electricity hits the poor the hardest.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 28, 2013


There is a power outage at my place due to big storms so I am not sure whether I will be able to post much here today -- JR

27 January, 2013

Sophisticated Norwegian study scales back the scare

After taking the 21st century into account -- and effectively admitting that past model projections were radically wrong. But if they were all wrong, how can we have any confidence in any such predictions?

Policymakers are attempting to contain global warming at less than 2°C. New estimates from a Norwegian project on climate calculations indicate this target may be more attainable than many experts have feared.

Internationally renowned climate researcher Caroline Leck of Stockholm University has evaluated the Norwegian project and is enthusiastic.

“These results are truly sensational,” says Dr Leck. “If confirmed by other studies, this could have far-reaching impacts on efforts to achieve the political targets for climate.”

Temperature rise is levelling off

After Earth’s mean surface temperature climbed sharply through the 1990s, the increase has levelled off nearly completely at its 2000 level. Ocean warming also appears to have stabilised somewhat, despite the fact that CO2 emissions and other anthropogenic factors thought to contribute to global warming are still on the rise.

It is the focus on this post-2000 trend that sets the Norwegian researchers’ calculations on global warming apart.

Sensitive to greenhouse gases

Climate sensitivity is a measure of how much the global mean temperature is expected to rise if we continue increasing our emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

CO2 is the primary greenhouse gas emitted by human activity. A simple way to measure climate sensitivity is to calculate how much the mean air temperature will rise if we were to double the level of overall CO2 emissions compared to the world’s pre-industrialised level around the year 1750.

If we continue to emit greenhouse gases at our current rate, we risk doubling that atmospheric CO2 level in roughly 2050.

Mutual influences

A number of factors affect the formation of climate development. The complexity of the climate system is further compounded by a phenomenon known as feedback mechanisms, i.e. how factors such as clouds, evaporation, snow and ice mutually affect one another.

Uncertainties about the overall results of feedback mechanisms make it very difficult to predict just how much of the rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature is due to manmade emissions. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the climate sensitivity to doubled atmospheric CO2 levels is probably between 2°C and 4.5°C, with the most probable being 3°C of warming.

In the Norwegian project, however, researchers have arrived at an estimate of 1.9°C as the most likely level of warming.

Manmade climate forcing

“In our project we have worked on finding out the overall effect of all known feedback mechanisms,” says project manager Terje Berntsen, who is a professor at the University of Oslo’s Department of Geosciences and a senior research fellow at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO). The project has received funding from the Research Council of Norway’s Large-scale Programme on Climate Change and its Impacts in Norway (NORKLIMA).

“We used a method that enables us to view the entire earth as one giant ‘laboratory’ where humankind has been conducting a collective experiment through our emissions of greenhouse gases and particulates, deforestation, and other activities that affect climate.”

For their analysis, Professor Berntsen and his colleagues entered all the factors contributing to human-induced climate forcings since 1750 into their model. In addition, they entered fluctuations in climate caused by natural factors such as volcanic eruptions and solar activity. They also entered measurements of temperatures taken in the air, on ground, and in the oceans.

The researchers used a single climate model that repeated calculations millions of times in order to form a basis for statistical analysis. Highly advanced calculations based on Bayesian statistics were carried out by statisticians at the Norwegian Computing Center.

2000 figures make the difference

When the researchers at CICERO and the Norwegian Computing Center applied their model and statistics to analyse temperature readings from the air and ocean for the period ending in 2000, they found that climate sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration will most likely be 3.7°C, which is somewhat higher than the IPCC prognosis.

But the researchers were surprised when they entered temperatures and other data from the decade 2000-2010 into the model; climate sensitivity was greatly reduced to a “mere” 1.9°C.

Professor Berntsen says this temperature increase will first be upon us only after we reach the doubled level of CO2 concentration (compared to 1750) and maintain that level for an extended time, because the oceans delay the effect by several decades.


Lovelock realizes that Greenies are ENEMIES of the environment

James Lovelock has written a letter of objection regarding a windfarm development in Devon (see link below for the whole thing). This bit strikes me as important.

"I am an environmentalist and founder member ofthe Greens but I bow my head in shame at the thought that our original good intentions should have been so misunderstood and misapplied. We never intended a fundamentalist Green movement that rejected all energy sources other than renewable, nor did we expect the Greens to cast aside our priceless ecological heritage because of their failure to understand that the needs of the Earth are not separable from human needs. We need take care that the spinning windmills do not become like the statues on Easter Island, monuments of a failed civilisation."

As Phillip Bratby puts it, there are strong shades of Patrick Moore's regrets over the monster he created in Greenpeace. One might add that another parallel would be Mark Lynas's regrets over his anti-GMO activism.

I've said it before, but the damage done by environmentalists to the environment is beyond estimation.


Greece Shows Us How Poverty Degrades the Environment

By Iain Murray

Environmentalists' hearts surely rose when they read recently Greek air pollution levels had decreased by 40 percent from 2008 levels thanks to the ongoing recession there. Fewer people were using their cars or trucks, and, as a result, levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in the air had plummeted.

But those gains have been reduced and then some. In fact, Greece recently has seen a massive increase in smog, which reminds us it is poverty that truly drives environmental damage.

Smog has been a particular problem this year in major cities such as Athens and Thessaloniki. But high smog levels have been reported all over Greece -- including the Peloponnese and Attica. Yet this isn't the sort of smog we worry about in American cities. It's an older, cruder, almost forgotten form here, reminiscent of the days of London's pea-soupers. The Greek smog is a result of the increased burning of wood as household fuel, and it has massively increased levels of pollutants. The average level of particulate matter in London fell from around 160 micrograms per cubic meter to less than 20 between 1961 and 1998, so successful was the industrialized west at cleaning up its act. The current levels in Greece are reaching 300 micrograms per cubic meter.

There will be substantial health effects from this increase in pollution back to dangerous levels. A London "black fog" in 1952 killed 4,000 people. Current Greek smog levels are fast approaching that level of danger. Moreover, the effects of such a lasting smog would be borne more by the poorest. As Greek commentator Nikos Konstandaras describes the smog:

"This new plague appears to be democratic, spreading out all over Athens's coastal basin, over the center and suburbs, over rich and poor, over young and old, natives and immigrants... But the veneer of universality is thin -- again it is the poor who suffer most: They live on lower floors, where the toxins congregate, they are forced to burn whatever they find, huddling around open fires and buckets of embers. They will not be able to send vulnerable family members to the countryside."

Not only is the smog destructive of the atmosphere, it is destructive of forests. Greeks have been forced by the high prices of home heating oil -- of which a large proportion is government-imposed taxes -- to use wood for fuel, and much of that wood is gathered illegally. The Greek environment ministry estimates more than 13,000 tons of wood was harvested illegally in 2012.

What we are seeing is Greece retreating back up the slope of what is known as the Environmental Kuznets curve. This model theorizes that, as a civilization starts to use natural resources, it increases its impact on the environment until it reaches a stage where it becomes more efficient to reduce its impact, This is why the richest societies generally also are the cleanest. Wealthier is healthier for the environment. That's exactly what we saw in the decreases in smog levels in the west over the last century.

Greece is regressing. As it becomes poorer, its environment suffers more. The Greek financial crisis has been a disaster in many more ways than first thought. Two particular factors have combined here. The massive overspending by the Greek state could not be corrected by devaluation as Greece is part of the Eurozone. This has led to a massive wealth contraction within Greece, which has meant people do not have as much to spend on fuel. Secondly, the Greek government, as part of its austerity program, has relied heavily on raising taxes on energy -- home heating fuel and electricity especially. The result has been the increased reliance on wood and the looming environmental disaster.

If you ever needed an illustration of why affordable energy is important for the environment, Greece provides it. Poverty, on the other hand, is one of the worst enemies the environment can have.


Subsidizing Stupid

I don't want to buy any windmills and I don't want to buy any solar panels. Most especially though - I don't want to pay for other people to buy them either. But my government is taking my money and giving it to them. I don't like that. I don't like it one bit. If hippie greenies are foolhardy enough to pay more for their heat and electricity because it's "green," they're free to do that. It would be none of my business as long as I didn't have to pay for their silliness.

I don't want to buy an electric car either - and I don't want to pay for other people to buy them. But again, my government is taking my money and giving it to people who manufacture those cars - and more of my money to still other people who buy them. I don't like that. It annoys me greatly.

There are lots of reasons why windmills don't cut it as a power source, but the biggest is this: calm days. Sometimes the wind doesn't blow. Sometimes it doesn't blow for several days running. Ergo, no electricity. Whatever activities require it are not possible until the wind blows again whenever that may be. Sailboats have the same trouble; that's why they're only used for recreation now.

Here's why solar panels don't cut it: the sun doesn't shine at night and days are often cloudy. What do we do on calm, cloudy days? We have to use the good old coal, oil, or natural gas generators. We have to keep that whole infrastructure in place and maintained on calm, cloudy days. Hippie greenies haven't solved those problems and probably never will, but that doesn't stop them from voting for "green" politicians who siphon money from my pocket to pay for their ridiculous notions.

There's yet another major problem with windmills: When the wind blows hard for a day or two, the power generated - which the electricity utility is forced by government to buy at above-market rates no less - could burn up the whole grid causing extensive, long-term blackouts! Because of this, Maine utility companies have to spend $1.4 billion to beef up transmissions lines against those windmill surges driving up their transmission rates by 19.6% as of July 1, 2012. Transmission costs are about half my total monthly electric bill here in western Maine. In spite of enormous, long-term government subsidies - money from me and you, that is - windmills remain the most expensive way to generate electricity by far, and there's nothing on the horizon to indicate that will ever change.

I have a generator to use when the grid shuts down, but I don't want to generate my own power because it's cheaper and more reliable to buy it from Central Maine Power (CMP). However, even when I send checks to CMP each month, much of that money goes to greenies and their windmills. That's because CMP is forced by government to buy excess power from their windmills whether it's needed or not and at inflated price as well! That means self-righteous hippie greenies can buy power at market rates when the wind doesn't blow - and sell it at above-market rates when it does. This infuriates me.

I don't want ethanol in my gasoline either, but I cannot buy gasoline that doesn't contain it. Hippie greenies have forced that on me too. Worse, government is making me pay for ethanol even though it costs more than gasoline - and I get less energy from it. I have to pay for its subsidies in my taxes and I have to pay for it again when I pump it into my gas tank. I know government does dumb things, but I especially hate it when it forces me to cooperate in its stupidity. We've known since at least 2005 that it takes at least 29% more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than you get from it when you burn it. Worse still, it damages small engines like my chainsaws, lawnmowers, four-wheelers, generators, and every other small gasoline engine most of us have. Can we please, please stop this ethanol craziness? Please?

Maine's Governor LePage is negotiating with Quebec Hydro to buy cheaper, more reliable electricity, but his biggest opponents are the hippie greenies who want to keep their windmill gravy train rolling here. Since the November election, they're back in control of Maine's legislature and likely to thwart LePage's efforts. Greenies love President Obama because he wasted somewhere between $80 billion and $90 billion of taxpayer money on "Green Energy" development, while doing his best to shut down cheaper, more reliable, more dependable sources of energy from fossil fuels.

Looks like I'll be forced to subsidize all this greenie government foolishness for the next several years at least. Sometimes I wish I were as stupid as they are, because then it wouldn't all piss me off so much.


Desperately Trying to Derail Canadian Oil Sands

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman has approved his state’s portion of the Keystone XL pipeline, explaining that its revised route avoids areas that critics had earlier claimed were environmentally sensitive.

The Alberta-to-Texas pipeline would create more than 5,500 Nebraska jobs during its construction period and support 1,000 permanent jobs through 2030. During the project’s lifetime, KXL would generate $950 million in labor income, $130 million in property, sales and other state and local taxes, and $679 million for the state’s gross domestic product, by bringing Canadian oil sands petroleum to Texas refineries.

President Obama’s second term agenda, continued viability of Medicare and Social Security programs, and America’s economy and environment need the pipeline and oil even more than Nebraska does.

The pipeline and Alberta petroleum could mean $45 billion per year by 2035 in increased goods and services, up to 465,000 more jobs in the 2,000 American companies that already support oil sands operations or utilize the hydrocarbons in motor fuel and petrochemical manufacturing – and billions in annual state and federal tax revenues. While all fifty states would realize employment and economic gains, California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Texas, Ohio, New York, Montana and Michigan would benefit most (in that order) from this job and economic activity, the Canadian Energy Research Institute calculates.

Canada has an estimated 169 billion barrels of oil sands fuel that can be recovered economically with today’s technology – 20% by mining and 80% via in situ drilling and steam injection. Much of this oil is destined for the United States via the KXL pipeline, to replace similar heavy crude that we now import from Mexico and Venezuela, and oil from other nations that have much lower environmental standards and far worse human rights records than Canada, including Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Russia, Iraq and Algeria.

During a recent tour of the mining and in situ operations, I smelled no hydrocarbons, learned that fresh water use is declining and water recycling has risen to 80-95 percent, and hiked through former mine sites that have been restored to beautiful lakes, creeks, forests … and grasslands where wild buffalo roam. Most oil sands will not be mined, however – but produced by drilling wells hundreds of feet deep, injecting steam to melt the bitumen, and collecting it in other pipes several feet below the steam pipes. Multiple wells are drilled from each widely separated site, and each is also reclaimed when the oil is recovered.

Oil sands production contributes only 0.14% of global greenhouse gases, Environment Canada notes, and would add only 0.00001 degrees C per year to global warming. Production-to-automotive-use CO2/GHG emissions for oil sands crude are on par with crude from Nigeria, America’s third biggest supplier.

All this has prompted oil sands and pipeline opponents to generate press releases and new “scientific reports,” in a desperate attempt to derail KXL permits, by raising scary sounding ecological issues.

* Assorted “experts” persist in trying to blame global warming and climate change for forest fires, droughts, floods, heat waves and even Hurricane Sandy – and say oil sands will somehow worsen these problems. But our planet hasn’t warmed in 16 years, US hurricanes are at one of their lowest cyclical ebb since the Civil War, humanity has confronted forest fires and severe weather events repeatedly throughout our history, and Sandy’s hardly unprecedented pounding of New York City was compounded by numerous ill-considered decisions by its political leaders.

* The anti-hydrocarbon group Oil Change International claims petroleum coke produced in the oil sands process is not fully accounted for in GHG analyses and will hasten global warming. However, “pet coke” burned as fuel in the Alberta oil sands operations is already included in GHG emission analyses. It is a byproduct of all heavy oil refining, so the Canadian variety simply displaces Mexican and Venezuelan pet coke. And most oil sands output is “upgraded” to medium weight oil for pipelining, by removing carbon and adding hydrogen – with the carbon stored onsite for later sale to manufacturers and other users.

* Scientists from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, say aromatic hydrocarbon levels have increased in the sediments of several Alberta lakes since oil sands development began in the 1960s. Various media stories claimed the study is another “blow to the Keystone pipeline.” The media spin is a bit far-fetched.

First, these hydrocarbon levels are rather typical of remote Alberta lakes, and are well below what is found in lakes near Canada’s urban areas. Second, the measured changes are 25 to 50 nanograms – parts per billion – the equivalent of 25-50 seconds in 32 years, or up to 50 billionths of a fifth of a teaspoon of water. Survey instruments could not even measure these amounts several decades ago, and even the scientists offered no evidence to suggest that such levels constitute an actual problem.

Second, while the hydrocarbons could have come from airborne pollution from oil sands production, they could also have come from conifer forest fires, or increasing boat and seaplane traffic on the lakes. The reported increases could even have resulted from contaminated samples, collecting gear or lab instruments, due to fuel sheens on the lake surface, oils on upper sediment levels, reused lab equipment, or even sunscreen or lotion on technicians’ hands. “Parts per billion” is tiny, and contamination a constant issue.

Finally, the researchers also noted that algae, photosynthesis and nutrient levels in the lakes have increased since the late 1970s, partly as a result of “climate warming” that began when Earth emerged from its 1942-1976 cooling period. This also increased algae-eating zooplankton populations. The lakes are healthy!

In short, the benefits of the oil sands and Keystone pipeline are clear. The downsides are minimal, exaggerated or imaginary. And the alternatives to oil sands are far worse for people and planet.

As analyst and author Indur Goklany demonstrates in his book, The Improving State of the World, we are living longer, healthier, more comfortable and productive lives – on a cleaner planet – than even kings and queens dreamed of 150 years ago. As he explains in his latest paper, “Humanity Unbound,” a major reason is fossil fuels, which have “saved humanity from nature, and nature from humanity.”

Oil sands are a crucial component of the energy revolution that could generate millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars in economic benefits and tax revenues, resurrect US steel and manufacturing industries, make North American largely energy independent, and enhance our national security.

We cannot afford to turn our backs on this – especially with 23 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, 47 million on food stamps, 128 million dependent on various government programs, and the nation $16 trillion in debt. This is unsustainable, and driving the USA toward Greece and Europe.

Equally unsustainable are policies advanced in name of preventing climate change. As Austrian film maker and environmentalist Ulrich Eichelmann explains in his new documentary, these Climate Crimes are “killing nature.” Dams are flooding vast ecological preserves to generate hydroelectric power; corn and other monoculture crops are destroying vital habitats; and German, Greek and other European families that can no longer afford heating oil and electricity are chopping down forests for firewood.

Here in the United States, thousands of monstrous wind turbines are butchering 13,000,000 to 39,000,000 birds and bats every year – including eagles, hawks, whooping cranes and other essential and endangered species. And yet the US Fish and Wildlife Service refuses to investigate or prosecute industrial wind operators for this horrific slaughter, and even assists in the flagrant deception and cover-up.

But the programs continue, thanks to billions of taxpayer dollars poured annually into Solyndra and other “green” schemes and bankruptcies, and despite scandals like miraculous Euro solar panels that generate electricity even at 2:00 am, US programs that turn janitors, bus drivers and paper cup makers into “green job” recipients and, not surprisingly, mafia involvement in Italy’s wind and solar escapades.

President Obama has a perfect opportunity to restore ethics and common sense to America’s energy and environmental policies. Our planet and children hope he makes the right choice and says Yes to Keystone.


Warmist assumptions infect instrumentation

Professor Claes Johnson, a skeptic of man-made global warming claims, says he has found a fatal flaw in key instrumentation that supposedly measures, and thus proves, the radiation emitted because of of the “greenhouse gas effect” (GHE) which is calibrated in Watts.These instruments are used for scientific measurements of outdoor downward atmospheric long-wave radiation- the supposed source of the GHE’s added heating mechanism. Johnson performed detailed research into the thermometers of one leading manufacturers of IRT’s Kipp&Zonen pyrgeometers, with their model CGR 4. Kipp & Zonen describe their CGR4 thermometers as having “extremely high reliability and accuracy.” But as Johnson discovered, this is a bogus and perhaps intentionally fraudulent claim.

The stunned professor laments, “There is no reason to believe that the fabricated "radiance product" has anything to do with reality. There is good reason to believe that we the people are deceived by government scientists. But if science can be used to deceive, science can also be used to reveal deception.”

Sweden’s most cited math professor says, “We read that the pyrgeometer measures a voltage proportional to net absorbed radiation, from which "by calculation" a quantity named "downward long-wave radiation DLR" is derived.” But is it?

Johnson tells us that the basic idea for a GHE measurement is from "atmospheric re-emission" by in particular carbon dioxide (CO2), which is claimed to be a "greenhouse gas.” By using the CGR4 thermometer it is possible to see a warming effect from DLR of about 4 W/srm2 per micrometer at a wavelength of 15 micrometer where the trace gas CO2 is emitting/absorbing.

However, after carefully crunching the numbers Johnson has spotted a monumental error. The pyrometer has been calibrated using a bungled calculation of the Stefan-Boltzmann (S-B) Law. The Swedish math professor from RTH claims, “The consequences for climate alarmism, and Kipp&Zonen are far-reaching.”

Digging deeper Johnson found that the S-B numbers Kipp&Zonen (and other manufacturers) used were taken from Guide to Meteorological Instruments and Methods of Observation issued by the World Meteorological Organization (section 7.4.3 formula (7.17). However, the Swedish math genius uncovered that “No scientific reference to (7.17) is given by WMO. So Kipp&Zonen uses a formula issued by WMO without scientific support.”

But it gets worse! The WMO admit this whole area of science is not actually known. In section 7.4.3 of their aforementioned document the WMO claimed that: “Over the last decade, significant advances have been made in the measurement of terrestrial radiation by pyrgeometers, which block out solar radiation. Nevertheless, the measurement of terrestrial radiation is still more difficult and less understood than the measurement of solar irradiance.”

The big question Johnson now poses is who is responsible for this deception? “ I think this is an interesting case concerning the responsibility of scientists and scientific institutions, and commercial actors relying on the science. It is clear that in medicine or building technology there are those who are held responsible. It must be so also in atmospherics science. I will ask WMO for the scientific source and report the answer,” said the professor.

If the WMO now decline to give Johnson a straight answer and admit to these serious flaws then once again we shall see how the man-made global warming fraud is sustained by a coterie of self-serving participants. Johnson asks the question: “Can the WMO be sued for distributing science which is admittedly not understood but which they say is valid simply by referring to measurements made by a pyrgeometer using the WMO formula?” if the WMO are allowed to get away with this con trick of circular reasoning then any formula can be validated this way.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


25 January, 2013

A man who can't see what his own graph shows

After crowing about the high average temperature recorded for the USA in 2012, Warmist Zeke Hausfather grudgingly admits that the USA is not the globe. He says:

"While the U.S. temperature topped the charts in 2012, the world as a whole was not quite so hot. Nonetheless, it still ranks as either the 9th, 10th, or 11th hottest year on record depending on which record is used. Figure 5 shows surface temperatures from NASA, NOAA, and the United Kingdom’s Hadley Centre from 1880-2012 and satellite temperature records from the University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) from 1979-2012. While the satellite records run slightly lower than the surface temperature records, the trends are comparable in magnitude."

Figure 5: Annual temperature anomalies from major global (land/ocean) records.


The graph shows clearly what even some Warmists are now admitting -- that the GLOBE has shown no warming trend in recent years. Depending on where you start, you could even see a cooling trend.

Just the numbers please

Anthony Watts hits on a fatal weak point in what the official climatologists say: If NCDC can’t accurately tell us what the past temperatures were, they are faced with a agency mission failure. Watts is commenting on the effusions of Zeke Hausfather:

Zeke is upset that I made this statement in a story at Fox news:

"Is history malleable? Can temperature data of the past be molded to fit a purpose? It certainly seems to be the case here, where the temperature for July 1936 reported … changes with the moment. In the business and trading world, people go to jail for such manipulations of data."

He says:

"In the spirit of civility, I would ask Anthony to retract his remarks. He may well disagree with NCDC’s approach and results, but accusing them of fraud is one step too far."

I’d point out that Zeke has his interpretation but nowhere did I say “fraud”. He’s mad, and people don’t often think clearly when they are mad. That’s OK. Without getting into semantics, I’d like to ask Zeke these simple questions:

* What is the CONUS average temperature for July 1936 today?

* What was it a year ago?

* What was it ten years ago? Twenty years ago?

* What was it in late 1936, when all the data had been first compiled?

We already know the answers to questions 1 and 2 from my posting here, and they are 76.43°F and 77.4°F respectively, so Zeke really only needs to answer questions 3 and 4.

The answers to these questions will be telling, and I welcome them. We don’t need broad analyses or justifications for processes, just the simple numbers in Fahrenheit will do.


Experts can be hilariously wrong

Let's look at experts. Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was a mathematician and scientist. Newton has to be the greatest and most influential scientist who has ever lived. He laid the foundation for classical mechanics, and his genius transformed our understanding of science, particularly in the areas of physics, mathematics and astronomy. What's not widely known is that Newton spent most of his waking hours on alchemy; his experiments included trying to turn lead into gold. Though he wrote volumes on alchemy, after his death Britain's Royal Society deemed that they were "not fit to be printed."

Lord William Thomson Kelvin (1824-1907) was a Belfast-born British mathematical physicist and engineer. Kelvin's major contribution was in thermodynamics, and he is widely recognized for determining the correct value of absolute zero, approximately minus 273 degrees Celsius. In his honor, absolute temperatures are expressed in Kelvin units. Being an expert in one field doesn't spare one from being an arrogant amateur in others. Based on his knowledge of heat dissipation, Kelvin criticized geologists of his day and claimed that Earth was between 20 million and 100 million years old. Kelvin also said that "X-rays will prove to be a hoax," but he changed his mind after he experienced an X-ray of his own hand. Kelvin also predicted, "I can state flatly that heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible."

Linus Pauling (1901-94) was one of the most influential chemists in history. He was one of the founders of the field of quantum chemistry and is often called the father of molecular biology. Pauling won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962, making him the only person awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes. Later, he was awarded the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples by the Soviet Union. Many of Pauling's colleagues who admired his scholarly work saw him as a naive spokesman for Soviet communism.

Despite his genius in science, Pauling peddled fringe ideas. In the 1970 edition of his book "Vitamin C and the Common Cold," he said that taking 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily will reduce the incidence of colds by 45 percent. In the book's 1976 revision, retitled "Vitamin C, the Common Cold and the Flu," he recommended higher vitamin C dosages. In his third revision, "Vitamin C and Cancer" (1979), Pauling claimed that high doses of vitamin C may also be effective against cancer. In another book, "How to Live Longer and Feel Better" (1986), Pauling argued that megadoses of vitamins, such as the 12,000 to 40,000 milligrams he took daily, "can increase your enjoyment of life and can help in controlling heart disease, cancer, and other diseases and in slowing down the process of aging." There's absolutely no research that backs up any of Pauling's vitamin C claims.

The take-home lesson is that experts are notoriously fallible outside of their fields of endeavor -- and especially so when making predictions. There tends to be an inverse relationship between a predictor's level of confidence and the accuracy of his prediction. Irving Fisher, a distinguished Yale University economics professor in 1929, predicted, "Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." Three days later, the stock market crashed. In 1954, Dr. W.C. Heuper of the National Cancer Institute said, "If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one."

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, in 1943 allegedly said, "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." "(Research on the atomic bomb) is the biggest fool thing we have ever done. The bomb will never go off, and I speak as an expert in explosives." That was Adm. William Leahy's prediction in 1945.

The bottom line is that the fact that a person has academic degrees, honors and status is no reason for us to abandon our tools of critical thinking.


Prophecies about Exhaustion of Resources go back a long way

"Indeed it is certain, it is clear to see, that the earth itself is currently more cultivated and developed than in earlier times. Now all places are accessible, all are documented, all are full of business. The most charming farms obliterate empty places, ploughed fields vanquish forests, herds drive out wild beasts, sandy places are planted with crops, stones are fixed, swamps drained, and there are such great cities where formerly hardly a hut... everywhere there is a dwelling, everywhere a multitude, everywhere a government, everywhere there is life. The greatest evidence of the large number of people: we are burdensome to the world, the resources are scarcely adequate to us; and our needs straiten us and complaints are everywhere while already nature does not sustain us." -- The words of Tertullian (Quintus Septimus Florens Tertullianus), written about A.D. 200

In 1865, Stanley Jevons (one of the most recognized 19th century economists) predicted that England would run out of coal by 1900, and that England’s factories would grind to a standstill.

In 1885, the US Geological Survey announced that there was “little or no chance” of oil being discovered in California.

In 1891, it said the same thing about Kansas and Texas. (See Osterfeld, David. Prosperity Versus Planning : How Government Stifles Economic Growth. New York : Oxford University Press, 1992.)

In 1939 the US Department of the Interior said that American oil supplies would last only another 13 years.

1944 federal government review predicted that by now the US would have exhausted its reserves of 21 of 41 commodities it examined. Among them were tin, nickel, zinc, lead and manganese.

In 1949 the Secretary of the Interior announced that the end of US oil was in sight.

Claim: In 1952 the US President’s Materials Policy Commission concluded that by the mid-1970s copper production in the US could not exceed 800,000 tons and that lead production would be at most 300,000 tons per year.

Data: But copper production in 1973 was 1.6 million tons, and by 1974 lead production had reached 614,000 tons – 100% higher than predicted.

Claims: In 1968, Paul R. Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb and declared that the battle to feed humanity had been lost and that there would be a major food shortage in the US. "In the 1970s ... hundreds of millions are going to starve to death," and by the 1980s most of the world's important resources would be depleted.

He forecast that 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980-1989 and that by 1999, the US population would decline to 22.6 million. The problems in the US would be relatively minor compared to those in the rest of the world. (Ehrlich, Paul R. The Population Bomb. New York, Ballantine Books, 1968.) New Scientist magazine underscored his speech in an editorial titled "In Praise of Prophets."

Claim: "By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people ... If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000." Paul Ehrlich, Speech at British Institute For Biology, September 1971.

Claim: Ehrlich wrote in 1968, "I have yet to meet anyone familiar with the situation who thinks India will be self-sufficient in food by 1971, if ever."

Data: Yet in a only few years India was exporting food and significantly changed its food production capacity. Ehrlich must have noted this because in the 1971 version of his book this commented is deleted (Julian Simon, The Ultimate Resource, Princeton: Princeton Univesity Press, 1981, p. 64).

The Limits to Growth (1972) – projected the world would run out of gold by 1981, mercury and silver by 1985, tin by 1987, zinc by 1990, petroleum by 1992, and copper, lead and natural gas by 1993. It also stated that the world had only 33-49 years of aluminum resources left, which means we should run out sometime between 2005-2021. (See Donella Meadows et al., The Limits to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome's Project on the Predicament of Mankind. New York: New American Library, 1972.

Claim: In 1974, the US Geological Survey announced “at 1974 technology and 1974 price” the US had only a 10-year supply of natural gas.

Data: The American Gas Association said that gas supplies were sufficient for the next 1,000-2,500 years. (Julian Simon, Population Matters. New Jersey: Transaction Publications, 1990): p. 90.

Much more HERE. See also here

Science facts versus Obama

Should Obama nuke China? It's where Warmism leads

President Barack Obama in his second inauguration address called for new action to “respond to the threat of climate change.” Taking advantage of the bully pulpit and a huge national audience, Obama mustered his best possible arguments in a brief case for why addressing global warming is supposedly necessary. Unfortunately for global warming alarmists, Obama’s case was exceptionally flimsy. Then again, Obama did not have much to work with, as the overall case for global warming alarmism is exceptionally flimsy.

Obama presented his argument as follows: “Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.”

Given a fresh canvas on which to work, Obama sought the most compelling examples of an asserted global warming crisis. He chose wildfires, drought and powerful storms. At the same time, he urged us to defer to the “overwhelming judgment of science” on these matters.

President Obama, I agree we should strongly consider the overwhelming judgment of science. Let’s apply the overwhelming judgment of science to your three cherry-picked examples and see what the science reveals.

Leading off the Obama “Big Three” is wildfires. What does the overwhelming judgment of science reveal?

The National Interagency Fire Center reports the number of annual wildfires in the United States has been declining for more than 30 years. In fact, the “overwhelming judgment of science” reveals the number of wildfires rose from the 1950s through the 1970s, as global temperatures declined, and has been declining ever since, as global temperatures have modestly warmed.

The really interesting part about wildfires in the United States is a recent increase in the number of acres burned per wildfire after the federal government reversed a decades-long policy of putting out as many wildfires as quickly as possible. In the 1990s, environmentalists and federal forest officials reported forests had become overgrown as a result of firefighters putting out too many natural fires too quickly. Since then, firefighters are responding to fewer forest fires and letting more acres burn.

As a result, even though wildfires occur less frequently as our planet warms and as soil moisture improves (more on that coming right up), our global warming Alarmist in Chief presents the misleading assertion that global warming rather than a change in federal wildfire policy is causing a recent increase in acres burned due to wildfires.

Next in Obama’s “Big Three” of asserted global warming crises is drought. What does the “overwhelming judgment of science” reveal?

U.S. and global soil moisture improved throughout the 20th century as our planet warmed in its recovery from the Little Ice Age. According to the Global Soil Moisture Data Bank, global soil moisture increased throughout the 20th century at almost all sites. Moreover, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that 20th century droughts were quite mild when compared to droughts in previous centuries. This “overwhelming scientific judgment of science” was confirmed in November when a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature found “there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years.”

Finally, the President asserts that global warming is causing more powerful storms. This assertion is particularly fictitious. NOAA reports a long-term decline in strong tornadoes striking the United States. The National Hurricane Center reports that the past 40 years have seen the fewest major hurricane strikes since at least the mid-1800s. Even Hurricane Sandy reminds us that the U.S. Northeast has experienced only one major hurricane strike since 1960, but experienced six major hurricane strikes during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, when global temperatures were cooler.

Clearly, the “overwhelming judgment of science” contradicts President Obama and global warming alarmists. This is a good thing.

Now let’s play a game of “pretend.”

Let’s pretend that none of the overwhelming scientific evidence presented above actually existed. Let’s pretend that science supported rather than contradicted President Obama’s assertions. The question is, what would Obama have us do to solve the problem?

Obama’s solution is to impose still more economy-killing carbon dioxide restrictions on the U.S. economy. This makes about as much sense as losing your car keys in Boston but insisting on searching for them in Los Angeles. True, global carbon dioxide emissions have risen more than 33 percent since the year 2000. However, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have declined during that time and will continue to decline for the foreseeable future. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that during 2012 alone, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions declined by 8 percent compared to 2011.

China by far emits more carbon dioxide than any other nation and Chinese emissions are growing rapidly. China alone accounts for 75 percent of the global increase in carbon dioxide emissions since 2000. If the United States completely eliminated all of its carbon dioxide emissions today (something that is impossible to do), the only thing we would accomplish would be to delay by about five years an equal increase in Chinese emissions. And China has repeatedly and emphatically insisted it will not agree to any restrictions on its carbon dioxide emissions.

Thankfully, President Obama, the “overwhelming judgment of science” shows the asserted global warming crisis exists solely in the minds of global warming alarmists.


Greens complain about BPA-free products they helped spur

Anti-chemical environmental activists rarely consider the consequences of their policies. They demonize chemicals that have been used safely for decades and advance chemical bans based on weak science without considering whether the replacement products will be any safer.

This is why it is particularly ironic that they are now complaining about the replacement chemical for bisphenol A (BPA), which greens have pressed government to ban. BPA is used to make hard, clear plastics and resins that line food cans among other things. Suddenly, greens are up in arms because new clear plastics are made with an alternative product to BPA called bisphenol S (BPS). “[S]wapping out BPA for BPS may have meant ‘jumping from the frying pan to the fire,’” reads an article on But the greens only have themselves to blame.

Last year, some activists pointed out that BPS may be a more potent “endocrine disrupter” and that the human body does not metabolize BPS as easily as it does for BPA. Now a research paper on the topic has appeared in Environmental Health Perspectives.

But there are many reasons to doubt that trace exposures to BPS — or any synthetic chemical for that matter — could have significant hormonal effects. Synthetic chemicals simply are not potent enough. Consider the fact that natural substances in our diets that we consume every day — such as soy, almonds and a variety of legumes — contain “endocrine mimicking” substances that are tens of thousands of times more potent than that of synthetic chemicals. And we all know, soy and nuts aren’t only safe — they are pretty good for you.

Other options are potentially more dangerous. For example, greens suggest glass because somehow they think that melting sand into a hard clear substance is more “natural” than making lighter weight, more energy efficient plastics. But who could seriously deem it safer? We all know the risks associated with broken glass. Indeed, children face far higher risks from cuts and subsequent infections than they do from a trace chemical that has been used for decades without any documented adverse health impacts.

Bans on BPA resins that line cans may pose more serious risks. Specifically, BPA resins line food containers — from soup to soda cans — to prevent the spread of deadly pathogens like E. coli. Accordingly, bans that force us to buy inferior alternatives may mean increased food-borne illnesses. Now that’s something to complain about.


Top British doctor disses global warming

A dire warning of the coming dangers of a world without functioning antibiotics has been levelled by professor Dame Sally Davies, the chief medical officer of England.

Routine operations may in the near future become life-threatening ordeals without the protection of antibiotics to ward off increasingly powerful hospital borne bacteria, Davies told a committee of British MPs.

“It is clear that we might not ever see global warming,” she said. “The apocalyptic scenario is that when I need a new hip in 20 years I’ll die from a routine infection because we’ve run out of antibiotics.”

The last oral antibiotic used to treat gonorrhea failed to cure the infection in about 7% of tested cases in a study in Toronto, a figure the authors of the work called “relatively high.”

The report, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is believed to be the first from North America of treatment failure with the antibiotic, cefixime. And it is the latest reminder that in the battle with this sexually transmitted infection, the bug is winning — and fast.

It raises concerns that convenient approaches for treating gonorrhea may soon be out of reach — a development that could lead to fewer people undergoing successful treatment for the infection.
Some strains of bacteria, notably MRSA, are becoming feared in hospital wards around the world, and there are also reports of antibiotic resistance in strains of E. coli and tuberculosis.

Painting a future where normally treatable illnesses can once again kill without resistance, Davies pointed out that gonorrhoea, for instance, is no longer treatable except with one antibiotic that has dwindling effectiveness.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


24 January, 2013

Greenland ice didn't melt away during the last warming

There have been previous findings that Greenland ice did not melt away in prehistoric warm periods so this is not surprising. The actual figures are interesting though. The temperature during the last warming was 8 degrees higher than now (far higher than anything the Warmists project) but less than 25% of the Greenland icecap melted. The implication is that the warmist projections are hugely out of line with the facts

As a general methodological note, making generalizations from a sample of one is nonsense -- so drawing conclusions about the whole of Greenland from this one drillsite is rather extraordinary. It suggests that glaciology is at a very primitive state of development -- far too primitive to make any "consensus" reasonable. And the Arctic is in fact known for considerable local variations in temperature so sampling considerations are more than theoretical

Scientists say an ice core taken from almost three kilometres down in the Greenland ice sheet has given them an extraordinary vision of what the planet could look like as it heats up.

The ice core dates from the last warming period around 120,000 years ago, and it identifies temperatures which are about four degrees Celsius higher than now.

Surprisingly, it revealed that the Greenland ice sheet was more resilient than previously thought.

By understanding this natural warming event, scientists say they can get a better idea of where the planet is heading in the face of increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

Fourteen countries are taking part in the ice core expedition.

The CSIRO's Dr Mauro Rubino, a member of the team, says the first challenge was to find a suitable site to extract ice.

"The idea was to have an ice core that could go back 130,000 years - enough to cover [the Eemian] period, which was the last interglacial warm period before the current one."

By analysing the ice, the team, led by the University of Copenhagen, hoped to get an insight into how hot it was during the Eemian period, and how the planet coped.

Drilling through almost 3,000 metres of ice layers, they measured temperatures, greenhouse gas concentrations using air samples trapped in the ice, and took a closer look at how sea levels rose when the planet was warming.

Dr Rubino says the team found that the last interglacial period "was eight degrees warmer than today."

"Eight degrees warmer is a big difference and it's actually bigger than it was previously thought to be," he said.

He says the sea level at the time was four to eight metres higher than it is today, and the sample gives an insight into "a number of environmental climatic conditions that could possibly be reproduced in the future."

Until now efforts to extract a Greenland ice core with a complete record of the last warming period have proven too difficult.

Scientists say the new findings mean they can use the past as the best analogue to model for the future to see how the planet will cope as it warms due to increasing greenhouse gases.

David Etheridge, who is also from the CSIRO and part of the ice core expedition, says there was some good news.

He says the research team found that Greenland was not as sensitive as previously thought to temperature increases.

"The Greenland ice sheet was perhaps a little bit more robust to warming than some of the ice sheet models were predicting - which is actually a good news story," he said.

"It means that for the future we can expect Greenland to not reduce as much and as quickly as some of the models were saying."

But the flipside of that is that the sea level increase that occurred at the time has to be found from somewhere, and that is most likely now to be the Antarctic ice sheet.

Eemian interglacial reconstructed from a Greenland folded ice core


Efforts to extract a Greenland ice core with a complete record of the Eemian interglacial (130,000 to 115,000 years ago) have until now been unsuccessful. The response of the Greenland ice sheet to the warmer-than-present climate of the Eemian has thus remained unclear. Here we present the new North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling (‘NEEM’) ice core and show only a modest ice-sheet response to the strong warming in the early Eemian. We reconstructed the Eemian record from folded ice using globally homogeneous parameters known from dated Greenland and Antarctic ice-core records. On the basis of water stable isotopes, NEEM surface temperatures after the onset of the Eemian (126,000 years ago) peaked at 8 ± 4 degrees Celsius above the mean of the past millennium, followed by a gradual cooling that was probably driven by the decreasing summer insolation. Between 128,000 and 122,000 years ago, the thickness of the northwest Greenland ice sheet decreased by 400 ± 250 metres, reaching surface elevations 122,000 years ago of 130 ± 300 metres lower than the present. Extensive surface melt occurred at the NEEM site during the Eemian, a phenomenon witnessed when melt layers formed again at NEEM during the exceptional heat of July 2012. With additional warming, surface melt might become more common in the future.

Nature 493, 489–494 (24 January 2013)

New paper predicts CO2 fertilization will greatly improve plant productivity -- by 40-60%

A paper published today in Biogeosciences finds that the increase in CO2 levels since 1850 has greatly enhanced plant fertilization and that a doubling of CO2 levels would be predicted to increase plant productivity by 40 - 60%. The study derives "a probabilistic prediction for the globally averaged strength of CO2 fertilization in nature, for the period 1850 to 2000 AD, implicitly net of other limiting factors such as nutrient availability" and predicts, "the increase in gross primary productivity (GPP) in response to a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial values is very likely (90% confidence) to exceed 20%, with a most likely value of 40–60%."

Related: Greenhouse operators increase CO2 levels by 3-4 times to enhance plant productivity by up to 50%
A model-based constraint on CO2 fertilisation

P. B. Holden et al.


We derive a constraint on the strength of CO2 fertilisation of the terrestrial biosphere through a "top-down" approach, calibrating Earth system model parameters constrained by the post-industrial increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration. We derive a probabilistic prediction for the globally averaged strength of CO2 fertilisation in nature, for the period 1850 to 2000 AD, implicitly net of other limiting factors such as nutrient availability. The approach yields an estimate that is independent of CO2 enrichment experiments. To achieve this, an essential requirement was the incorporation of a land use change (LUC) scheme into the GENIE Earth system model. Using output from a 671-member ensemble of transient GENIE simulations, we build an emulator of the change in atmospheric CO2 concentration change since the preindustrial period. We use this emulator to sample the 28-dimensional input parameter space. A Bayesian calibration of the emulator output suggests that the increase in gross primary productivity (GPP) in response to a doubling of CO2 from preindustrial values is very likely (90% confidence) to exceed 20%, with a most likely value of 40–60%. It is important to note that we do not represent all of the possible contributing mechanisms to the terrestrial sink. The missing processes are subsumed into our calibration of CO2 fertilisation, which therefore represents the combined effect of CO2 fertilisation and additional missing processes. If the missing processes are a net sink then our estimate represents an upper bound. We derive calibrated estimates of carbon fluxes that are consistent with existing estimates. The present-day land–atmosphere flux (1990–2000) is estimated at −0.7 GTC yr−1 (likely, 66% confidence, in the range 0.4 to −1.7 GTC yr−1). The present-day ocean–atmosphere flux (1990–2000) is estimated to be −2.3 GTC yr−1 (likely in the range −1.8 to −2.7 GTC yr−1). We estimate cumulative net land emissions over the post-industrial period (land use change emissions net of the CO2 fertilisation and climate sinks) to be 66 GTC, likely to lie in the range 0 to 128 GTC.


What happens when you lift pressure to go along with the dominant paradigm

A group of Apollo Era NASA Retirees have published new report which says that the science is not settled!! Below is their summary

1. The science that predicts the extent of Anthropogenic Global Warming is not settled science.

2. There is no convincing physical evidence of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. Most of the alarm regarding AGW results from output of unvalidated computer models. We understand scientific arguments regarding how doubling CO2 in the atmosphere over a hundred years or more (if possible) can have a small direct warming effect, but we question the accuracy of feedback simulations in current models computing climate system responses that amplify CO2 effects. Efforts to estimate climate sensitivity to CO2 based solely on physical data have large uncertainties because many factors affect global temperatures, and CO2 levels rise in the atmosphere after the earth warms due to other factors. While paleoclimate data clearly show CO2 levels rise and fall in the atmosphere hundreds of years after temperature rises and falls due to other causes, the evidence is very weak to support claims of a catastrophic rise in global temperatures caused by CO2 emissions related to human activity.

3. Computer models need to be validated before being used in critical decision-making. Our manned aerospace backgrounds in dealing with models of complex phenomena have convinced us that this rule must be followed to avoid decisions with serious unintended consequences.

4. Because there is no immediate threat of global warming requiring swift corrective action, we have time to study global climate changes and improve our prediction accuracy. While there are many benefits due to some global warming, the major threats appear to be associated with a net loss of Greenland and Antarctica ice sheet mass that would contribute to a gradual sea-level rise. The history, current trends, and specific causes of ice sheet melting and ice accumulation by precipitation must be better understood before determining how best to respond to threats of accelerated sea-level rise.

5. Our US government is over-reacting to concerns about Anthropogenic Global Warming. More CO2 in the atmosphere would be beneficial for forest and crop growth to support the earth's growing population, so control of CO2 emissions is not an obvious best solution to hyped-up concerns regarding AGW. Eventually the earth will run out of fossil fuels and alternative energy sources will be required. Market forces will (and should) play a big role in this transition to alternative energy sources. Government funding of promising research and development objectives for alternative fuels appears to be a better option at this time than expenditures of enormous resources to limit CO2 emissions.

6. A wider range of solution options should be studied for global warming or cooling threats from any credible cause. CO2 effectiveness in controlling global average temperatures or sea levels has not been established. More reliable and greater control authority may be available from engineering solutions that would accommodate the beneficial aspects of more CO2 in the atmosphere.


“Climate Crimes”: Green Policies That Are Killing Nature

These days, much is spoken and written about the destruction of our planet as a result of climate change. In his evocative film “Climate Crimes”, the Austrian filmmaker Ulrich Eichelmann who was an active member of WWF for 17 years and worked in conservation for decades, now documents that it is rather the reverse: he shows how many ecosystems, species, habitats and the cultural heritage too are threatened – but, as he sums up, “not by climate change, but by climate protection and the things done in its name.” It is predominantly hydropower and bioenergy projects that threaten to destroy precious areas of our planet’s nature.

That current climate policies harm conservation in many ways is nothing new, even if many do not want to admit it. However, no one so far has compiled the evidence as strongly and on a global scale as Eichelmann. His one-hour film, which is shown in several cinemas in Germany these days and also on Austrian television, is the result of two years of work that led his team to Brazil, Turkey, Iraq and to Indonesia, but also to the model country of climate protection, Germany, where crimes against nature are especially evident.

Eichelmann feels particularly affected by what he has found out in the course of his research; that’s because, as he says, he has been deeply involved in the fight against climate change – until he discovered some time ago “that something went wrong here “.

The individual stages of the film:

Brazil: The huge dams of the South American country, each of which put dozens of square miles of rainforest under water for the generation of electricity, have always been a problem for the Amazon basin. But now, as the momentum of climate policy is added, all laborious progress in terms of environmental sustainability, which has been be built up in recent decades, and even all moratoria, have gone overnight. 60 mega dams of several kilometres in length and several hundreds of medium size are planned in the Amazon basin in coming years. One of them alone, the Belo Monte Dam on the Xingu River, will flood a forested area larger than the Lake of Constance; it threatens 200 fish species and will force 20,000 people to relocate. One of the very few large nesting sites of Amazon turtles will fall victim to the dam. The Catholic Bishop Erwin Kräutler, who works there, calls Brazil’s current energy policies of Brazil the “death knell” for the Amazon rainforest.

Turkey: One of the oldest cities in Anatolia, Hasankeyf, renowned for its extensive cave dwellings and other buildings dating from the fourth century, built on the border between the Eastern Roman and the Sassanid Empire, will simply disappear from the map. The reason: the Ilisu dam, which is built there to produce “clean energy”, will ensure that the Tigris will swallow the city. With luck, the upper tips of the ancient minarets could still poke out of the reservoir.
By the way: Do you remember the worldwide outrage over the Taliban, when they destroyed the giant statue of Buddha of Bamiyan? These barbarians, it was said at that time! The loss of Hasankeyf would be vastly greater, yet outrage outside Turkey did not happen – in the name of climate protection people keep quite.

Iraq: There was also great indignation worldwide when the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the mid 1990s dried up the vast Mesopotamian marshes near Basra, out of revenge for what he deemed as the missing fighting spirit of its inhabitants during the first Gulf War. The wetlands, where many species live and people have their agricultural livelihoods, have since been partially restored laboriously. Now, they will finally disappear because dams further upstream will deny them enough water.

Germany: It is hardly possible to describe in words the damage done to German nature, as Eichelmann describes it in his film. The country side is made desolate by monoculture of corn fields stretching to the horizon, and biosphere reserves are not spared. Everything is done just to ensure enough biofuels are produced to meet Germany’s climate targets – all in the name of a supposedly clean energy. Many bird species have already disappeared completely, others will follow. Hares and other soil dwellers will not be seen again. The largest biogas plant in the country needs 1,000 tons of corn per day. 7,000 plants have already been built, about 1,000 on average will be added each year. Due to generous subsidies, the corn farmers can pay any rent, so the rents have more than doubled and farms are going bankrupt. By the way: in 2011 Germany could not cover its cereal needs for the first time.

Indonesia: Even greater is the sprawl of monocultures in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo, where palm oil plantations – not least for the production of biodiesel – have destroyed the rainforest almost completely. The last orang-utans are losing their habitat.

Eichelmann presents calculations in his film which show that almost every single project he presents, e.g. each “Climate Crime”, is responsible for emitting more carbon dioxide or methane instead of reducing emissions. Although he has changed from being a climate change campaigner into a fighter against this kind of climate protection, Eichelmann still assumes that greenhouse gases pose a risk to the global climate. He thinks the only chance to counter the risk is to question the idea of global economic growth. Only in this way, he argues, the world could prevent the “Climate Crimes”, which his film documents.

You do not have to share – like this writer – the growth denial strategy in order to be impressed by the movie which is extremely well and comprehensively researched. The development of the global climate, the warming pause in the last decade and a half, and the climate forecasts for the next few years could indicate that it might be useful to transform our energy supply in the long run; but there is no reason today to throw out “the baby with the bathwater”, as economist Niko Paech says in the film – or to accept that “climate protection is used as a cover for environmental crimes.”

My fear is, however, that a growth denial strategy would be nothing else than throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The fact is: only growth-oriented economies can afford to protect the environment. To crack this historic challenge is not impossible theoretically, but it could lead to similar questionable experiments as documented in “Climate Crimes”.

We must take the time to plan sensibly and not to rush into “head-over-heels” measures. Let us beware of exaggerated doomsday prophecies and instead protect nature. Either way, growth or denial, greenhouse hysteria or cool head: “Climate Crimes” is one of the most interesting and daring films on the subject.

By email from The Global Warming Policy Foundation

Paper finds solar activity at end of 20th century was at highest levels of past 9,000 years

The slight warming of the late 20th century explained

A 2012 paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reconstructs solar activity from isotopes in ice cores and tree rings, and finds solar activity at the end of the 20th century was at the highest levels of the past 9,000 years. The paper confirms other peer-reviewed publications indicating that the Sun was particularly active during the 20th century in comparison to the past several millenia In addition, the authors find good agreement between solar activity and the Asian climate as determined from stalagmites in the Dongge cave, China.
9,400 years of cosmic radiation and solar activity from ice cores and tree rings

Friedhelm Steinhilbera et al.


Understanding the temporal variation of cosmic radiation and solar activity during the Holocene is essential for studies of the solar-terrestrial relationship. Cosmic-ray produced radionuclides, such as 10Be and 14C which are stored in polar ice cores and tree rings, offer the unique opportunity to reconstruct the history of cosmic radiation and solar activity over many millennia. Although records from different archives basically agree, they also show some deviations during certain periods. So far most reconstructions were based on only one single radionuclide record, which makes detection and correction of these deviations impossible. Here we combine different 10Be ice core records from Greenland and Antarctica with the global 14C tree ring record using principal component analysis. This approach is only possible due to a new high-resolution 10Be record from Dronning Maud Land obtained within the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica in Antarctica. The new cosmic radiation record enables us to derive total solar irradiance, which is then used as a proxy of solar activity to identify the solar imprint in an Asian climate record. Though generally the agreement between solar forcing and Asian climate is good, there are also periods without any coherence, pointing to other forcings like volcanoes and greenhouse gases and their corresponding feedbacks. The newly derived records have the potential to improve our understanding of the solar dynamics and to quantify the solar influence on climate.

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

Greenpeace warns against expanding coal exports

The facts have never mattered to Greenpeace

A new report has warned Australia to stop expanding coal exports or risk inflicting "catastrophic" effects of climate change on the world.

The Greenpeace-commissioned study identifies the expansion of Australian coal exports as one of 14 proposed coal, oil and gas projects around the world that will raise greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020.

The study predicts Australia will increase coal exports to 408 million tonnes a year, producing an estimated 1,200 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Greenpeace's Georgina Woods says if the projects go ahead, they will warm the globe more than two degrees Celsius.

That is considered the temperature limit to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

"Our coal exports are already our biggest single contribution to climate change, and part of a global fossil fuel expansion enterprise that will push us beyond the point of no return in climate change," she said.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


23 January, 2013

Now conclusively proven: James Hansen is a false prophet who has no idea what he is talking about

The inauguration of Obama's second term seals it

Obama Brings God Into the Climate-Change Fight

More evidence that Warmism is a religion

Climate change and environmental policy have always been on President Obama's agenda. But rarely have they been so central as they were in his inaugural address on Monday, when the environment was the first issue Obama brought up after his full-throated defense of economic fairness.

As usual, and in keeping with the high-minded tone of his speech, there were few policy specifics. (The Washington Post's Brad Plumer has a good rundown of what might be feasible in the president's second term.) What was interesting was how he framed the issue: not just as one of responsibility to future generations, but as one of responsibility to God. Here's what he said:

"We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries — we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure — our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That's what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared."

If Obama were just paying lip service to climate change to please his backers on the left—as he has sometimes been accused of doing—the reference to "science" would have been quite sufficient. By bringing in God, he's attempting to reframe the issue as one that transcends not only partisanship but the divide between those who believe in science and those who doubt science but believe in God. Left or right, atheist or creationist—either way, Obama is saying, we've got to do something.


Obama inadvertently got it right

His penchant for vague assertions betrays him. Read this excerpt from his speech again: "Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.'

That is literally true. None of us can avoid the impact of extreme weather events. CO2 control won't help. Nothing will. The idea of human control over climate is a delusion.

Those with ears of faith will however hear a different message. They will hear an assertion that "raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms" have become more common in recent times. Steve Goddard has the documentation to show that such things were in fact worse in the 19th century.

Aging naturalist doesn't like people

Humans are a plague on the Earth that need to be controlled by limiting population growth, according to Sir David Attenborough.

The television presenter said that humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the world’s resources.

He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.

“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,” he told the Radio Times.

Sir David, who is a patron of the Optimum Population Trust, has spoken out before about the “frightening explosion in human numbers” and the need for investment in sex education and other voluntary means of limiting population in developing countries.

“We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves — and it’s not an inhuman thing to say. It’s the case. Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a coordinated view about the planet it’s going to get worse and worse.”

Sir David, whose landmark series are repeated from Monday on BBC2, starting with Life on Earth, has also spoken out about the change in wildlife documentaries during his lifetime.

The 86-year-old said commentary from presenters like himself are becoming less necessary as camera work is able to tell a story.

“I’m not sure there’s any need for a new Attenborough,” he said. “The more you go on, the less you need people standing between you and the animal and the camera waving their arms about.

“It’s much cheaper to get someone in front of a camera describing animal behaviour than actually showing you [the behaviour]. That takes a much longer time. But the kind of carefully tailored programmes in which you really work at the commentary, you really match pictures to words, is a bit out of fashion now … regarded as old hat.”


The tendency is to believe

And lying Leftists take advantage of that

The National Weather Service called for a moderate snowstorm in the Washingon, D.C. area on Jan. 17.

In the evening leading up to it, I expressed some skepticism as the temperatures were hovering around 45 degrees, and typically for there to be real accumulation on the roadways, there needs to be some subfreezing weather in advance of the snowfall.

However, I was assured by friends that it was going to snow, and the drive home would be miserable, because the government said so.

Thursday morning I awoke and noted that at 7 am, it was still 43 degrees, and expressed my skepticism that we were going to have a major snow event. Once again, I was assured that the temperature was going to drop precipitously throughout the day, and we were in for it, because the Weather Service had said so.

As I was reflecting on the conversation that occurred with someone who is very conservative politically, I was hit between the eyes with a fundamental challenge facing those who fight for limited government.

Even the most skeptical of big government, believe what the government puts out as data.

If the government says it is going to snow, it is going to snow, no matter what our objective observation might tell us otherwise.

Likewise, if the government tells us that unemployment is getting better, it must be getting better, even if the drop in the unemployment rate is wholly due to people dropping out of the workforce.

And if the government tells us that we had the warmest year in history in 2012, then it must be true, even when we have reason to question it.

Anecdotally, the weather in Washington, D.C. was warm last year, so for people who reside in the puzzle palace that governs our nation, the claim rings true.

But is it? Maybe not.

Some meteorologists like Brian Sussman, point to changes in how and where data is collected that skew the numbers.

In his book Climategate, Sussman chronicles how concrete jungles that are our nation’s modern cities retain more heat and as a result the temperatures are warmer in those locations than before.

If your temperature data collection points become more urbanized, of course, they should read warmer. Furthermore, if you disproportionately place your ground temperature sensing stations in more urbanized areas, you can unintentionally create a warming trend.

But climate change by nature is not as simple as a ground temperature reading, and fortunately, we also have satellites which measure temperatures free from the surface vagaries. If both the satellite data and the ground data match, then you have a headline.

As far as the claim that 2012 was the warmest on history in the continental U.S., the satellite data contradicts the ground data.

In fact, the satellite data shows that the earth’s atmospheric temperatures have been stable over the past decade. Something even Dr. James Hansen — who served as an adviser to Al Gore on his controversial documentary The Inconvenient Truth — has had to come out and admit: “The five-year mean global temperature has been flat for the last decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slow down in the growth rate of net climate forcing.”

Based upon this discrepancy, the question that a thinking person should ask is which data measurement tool is the most subject to outside variables that impact readings rather than giving true data.

Clearly, the ground temperature variables ranging from data collection locations and the surrounding communities increased urbanization as well as the increase in the number of collection locations and the choices for placement of them, provide significant variables making 2012 on ground weather measurements an apples to oranges comparison between the decades of data.

Even Hansen had to include this gem in his recent analysis: “An update through 2012 of our global analysis reveals 2012 as having practically the same temperature as 2011, significantly lower than the maximum reached in 2010.”

While most Americans will just accept the headlines created by the federal government’s declaration of a 2012 heat wave, and the agenda driven global warming pronouncements that followed, sometimes it is good to look behind the data. Because as Paul Harvey used to say, when you look behind the headlines you learn, “the rest of the story.”


The freezing out of a skeptic

The BBC froze me out because I don't believe in global warming: Outspoken as ever, David Bellamy reveals why you don't see him on TV any more

David Bellamy still has the most wonderful face. He is pink-cheeked and beaming, his nose is impossibly broken and squashed, his eyes are kind, his hair and beard are now white but still lustrous and his vast fleshy ears are bobbing with hearing aids.

‘Come in! Come in! Sit wherever you like, that’s a comfy seat there,’ he booms, waving his hands and pointing with enormous sausage fingers. ‘Rosemary! Can we have some tea, please?

ROOOOSEMARY!’ he roars in the general direction of the kitchen and his wife of 56 years.

‘She’s the love of my life, you know. I adoooore her. We met in Love Lane in Cheam when she was just 17 and I just knew. We used to canoodle on the train together. Ooh, I’m the luckiest man in the world. I married a wonderful woman, I’ve toured the world, I’ve stood on the top of the world, I’ve made more than 400 television programmes and I’ve had one of the most woooonderful lives.....’

Everything about him exudes joy and enthusiasm. He hops from subject to subject like a vast hairy bunny.

So in our first 40 minutes chatting in his cluttered home in the middle of nowhere in County Durham, we cover everything from God (‘It’s important to have something to hang things on’), to his five children, four of whom are adopted (‘Goodness knows how old they all are — you’ll have to ask Rosemary, but we’ve got nine grandchildren and they’re all different colours’).

We take in the Royal Family (‘I worship them — particularly Prince Philip’), his lifelong love of ballet (‘Do you know, I actually wrote a ballet that’s been performed six times?’), his beard (‘I’ve never shaved in my life, never ever’) and his passion for very brief Speedo swimming trunks (‘My children hate them, but I can’t bear anything flapping around my legs’).

He rambles on in that brilliantly distinctive voice, great paws waving, eyes rolling. He turned 80 last week but he is just as he always was — a joy and a treat.

Until, that is, we touch on climate change and the vicious backlash he suffered when, in 2004, and in the face of scientific convention and public opinion, he dismissed man-made global warming as ‘poppycock!’

‘From that moment, I really wasn’t welcome at the BBC. They froze me out, because I don’t believe in global warming. My career dried up. I was thrown out of my own conservation groups and I got spat at in London.

‘And the worst thing that ever happened — I got a letter that said, “David Bellamy is the worst .....”

Oh, what was it? Damn, I’m always forgetting things. Rosemary?!’

‘Are you on about the paedophile thing?’ she says, emerging with tea. ‘Yes! It said: “David Bellamy is a paedophile because he doesn’t believe in global warming and is killing our children.”

‘And it’s just nonsense. For the last 16 years, temperatures have been going down and the carbon dioxide has been going up and the crops have got greener and grow quicker. We’ve done plenty to smash up the planet, but there’s been no global warming caused by man.’

During his heyday as a conservationist and TV personality in the Eighties and Nineties, David was everywhere — peering through palm trees, wading through marshlands and delivering wonderful rambling monologues illustrated with madly windmilling hands. ‘I never used a script. I didn’t have people sitting in branches for six months to get a shot. I just talked and talked. It was wonderful.’

He made all those TV programmes, wrote more than 45 books, inspired comedian Lenny Henry’s ‘grapple me grapenuts’ catchphrase and starred in a Ribena commercial.

He also had a Top 40 hit with Brontosaurus, Will You Wait For Me? and appeared on Jim’ll Fix It. ‘I didn’t like Savile. He was always telling me I should become a DJ because I’d make a lot more money. And why did he pick his nose like that? He was for ever fiddling with it. Not nice.’

Bellamy also set up endless charities and campaigning groups (he was patron of more than 400 at one time — ‘I helped to start conservation’) and was never afraid to get stuck in (‘I used to play rugby and I’ve always liked a punch-up’), speak his mind or live with the consequences.

He spent his 50th birthday in prison in Tasmania after blockading the Franklin River in protest against a proposed dam — ‘I had so many letters from all around the world, it was amaaazing!’

And in 1996 he let rip against wind farms (‘because they don’t work’) during one of his regular appearances on Blue Peter: ‘That was the beginning really. From that moment, I was not welcome at the BBC.’

But it was his global warming comments in 2004 that really cut him adrift. The killer blow came when he was dropped by The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts, of which he was president. ‘I worked with the Wildlife Trusts for 52 years. And when they dropped me, they didn’t even tell me.

They didn’t have the guts. I read about it in the newspapers. Can you believe it? Now they don’t want to be anywhere near me. But what are they doing? The WWF might have saved a few pandas, but what about the forests? What have Greenpeace done?’

‘There are some very strange people out there,’ says Rosemary quietly.

It must have been terribly upsetting, I suggest. ‘Yes. It did upset us terribly,’ she says. ‘But we pretended not to be upset, didn’t we David? The best thing to do was not to talk about it. So we didn’t. It’s been very difficult, because he does feel strongly about things.’

‘I still say it’s poppycock!’ he snorts. ‘If you believe it, fine. But I don’t and there’s thousands like me. David Attenborough used to be one of us on wind farms, but then he changed his mind.’

For years, he and 86-year-old Sir David were peers. Isn’t he just a bit envious that the other David will probably still be churning out award-winning wildlife programmes when he’s 100 while he spends most of his time pottering in his garden, watching Upstairs Downstairs and Dad’s Army box sets and ‘just keeping up with what’s going on’.

‘No, no! You can’t knock him — he’s done a fantastic job of opening people’s eyes, and he has all the gadgets and stuff. But we’re different. He’s a natural history man and I’m a campaigner.

‘And I can’t complain. When I was at the BBC, I could do whatever I wanted. In those days, you could say what you liked. You can’t now. 'The world’s gone bonkers. What about this latest bloody thing — that poor lady who went to court because she wanted to wear a cross? It’s madness.’

It all started at Durham University, where David first studied and later taught botany: ‘Some of my lectures used to go on for hours. In my second year there I thought I should take my students to see a tropical rain forest — I’d never seen one. When I got there the only thing I could name was a cheese plant. So we got a nine-year-old local boy called Boko to tell us all the names and one day he didn’t turn up. He’d died of malnutrition — there was no food. I couldn’t believe it.’

That was the beginning of his environmental campaigning. After the Torrey Canyon oil disaster off the British coast in 1967, Bellamy, who was working on a project in Cornwall, gave a single TV interview on the subject and was spotted as television gold.

Decades of relentless programme-making during every university holiday followed. ‘I only ever filmed in the holidays, so my family could all come with me, which nearly bankrupted me.’

It was quite a family. ‘We were always going to have two children of our own and adopt two, but we lost our first five children before our son Rufus was born — two lived for a day, the others didn’t make it that far and Rufus was in an oxygen tent for six weeks. So we adopted the next four, from all round the world, and they’re wonderful.’

There were also 32 different species of pet, including a crocodile. ‘I bought it back from Australia — you couldn’t do that now.’

Today, David is the first to admit he’s getting old. Physically, he’s in brilliant shape — at 6ft, he’s still an impressive specimen and instantly recognisable. ‘I can’t get on to a train or aeroplane without people coming up and saying: “David Bellamy! We haven’t seen you on telly — we thought you were dead!”’

But he’s forgetful, is for ever grasping for missing words (which Rosemary patiently supplies), and after years of deafness has recently succumbed to hearing aids. 'Bloody things. But it’s nicer for Rosemary that I’m not yelling all the time.’

Rosemary has always been his ‘pillar’, he says. ‘She deals with everything. For years I didn’t know who my bank manager was. She dealt with all that. And taught full time and brought up five children and bought my clothes. I once had to buy a shirt and tie to get into a club in London and I had no idea how to go about it.’

Does he ever regret his outspokenness and how it might have affected his image and popularity?

‘Absolutely not! Who cares if they’ve put me on the back burner? I can still talk to my flowers, which are all fine and growing amazingly and say, “Thank you very much, David!”’

And with that, we say our farewells. He gives me a warm hairy hug and big wet kiss.

‘I’m the world’s luckiest man — I’ve stood on top of the world and I married a wonderful woman and I’d still die for my country. And the BBC still makes damn good programmes, doesn’t it?’


The usual Greenie exploitation of Australia's Barrier Reef

The GBR has been "threatened" as far back as I remember and I am in my 70th year. No evidence is needed: Just a shriek

THE Great Barrier Reef could be stripped of its world heritage status within months if action isn't taken to better protect the natural icon from coal and gas developments, environment groups say.

A coalition of green groups today launched the Fight for the Reef campaign in Canberra, warning state and federal politicians were putting the reef's international reputation at risk.

Last year UNESCO was "sufficiently concerned" enough by proposed developments along the Queensland coast it sent a mission to Australia to investigate, the campaign's director Felicity Wishart said.

It made a number of recommendations to the commonwealth and Queensland governments about how to proceed in the best interests of the reef.

The global heritage body could place the reef - the world's longest coral reef system - on the "world heritage in danger" list if it doesn't receive an adequate response by February.

Ms Wishart said such action would be an international embarrassment that threatened both the reef ecosystem and the $6 billion tourism industry it supports.

"The reef has an international reputation, it is loved globally," she said.

"That's a really alarming international black mark that we could be tracking towards if we don't lift our game."

She said the campaign, formed by the Australian Marine Conservation Society and the World Wildlife Fund, had written to all the major parties in a bid to get the reef on the 2013 election agenda.

At the centre of their concerns are 45 major industrial developments proposed for the coast, including large-scale coal and gas projects that would boost shipping over the reef.

Currently, around 4000 ships make "port calls" through the reef every year, but that number could skyrocket to 7000 if the proposals go ahead unchallenged, the campaign group warns.

The main concern is that the government, which has a "proud track record" of defending the reef, wasn't now taking this issue seriously, Ms Wishart said.

"We're calling on all sides of politics to step up and commit to greater protection for what is the most significant natural icon that Australia has," she said.

"This is something that has to be beyond politics."

The Great Barrier Reef was granted world heritage status in 1981, but has since faced numerous threats from coral bleaching to cyclones, runoff, Crown-of-thorns starfish and commercial activity.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


22 January, 2013

How Mature Is Climate Science?

Finding new data and incorporating it in support of or opposition to theory is the way science works–and it works very well. We live in an amazing and wonderful world because of it.

The term ‘climate science’ is actually an umbrella phrase that covers a number of disciplines that contribute to our overall understanding of the many forces acting and interacting on our climate. Some of these disciplines are mature–like physics. Others are not.

Many of the participants in the political debate about what to do regarding future climate change do not understand this. Many others are conversant with one of the sub-topics and think that allows them to speak with authority on other topics. The result is dismal–and what you see around you.

I will just point out that a science that just discovered that black soot turns out to be the second-greatest man-made forcing of temperatures, almost as great as CO2, should not be considered mature.


Inaugural Lies and the Big Chill

By Alan Caruba

In his second inaugural speech, Barack Obama said, “We must respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations”?

To what “climate change” is Obama referring? Is it the now thoroughly debunked “global warming” hoax? Is it the climate change of the 11,500 years since the last ice age? Or is it “the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms” to which Obama referred?

If it is the latter, does anyone actually believe that these natural events can be mitigated by anything Americans or the entire population of the world can do? Did any among the thousands in attendance at the inauguration, shivering in the frigid weather, wonder what the President was talking about or why?

After more than three decades of being told that the Earth was dangerously heating up by people like Al Gore and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, there are more voices warning that the current cold cycle that will last, at a minimum, several decades.

The public continues to be misled to the mainstream media and, more importantly, by the federal government whose increased environmental regulations are based on the global warming lies, so who can you believe?

Publications such as Science magazine have been so politicized at this point as to be virtually useless. Roger Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies, recently released a study that updates his study of the magazine, noted that “In a 2009 paper I documented that Science magazine published 40 editorials critical of the Bush Administration during its two terms, and only 1 such critique of the Clinton Administration’s previous 2 terms. I have just updated this analysis through the first term of the Obama Administration, and found no editorials critical of the Obama Administration.”

It should be noted that Obama routinely refers to “climate change”, the new name for “global warming”, and has already wasted billions on “renewable” energy, wind and solar, including algae, otherwise known as pond scum. The Obama EPA is releasing an avalanche of new regulations based in part on the “global warming” myths and dubious “science” regarding levels of pollution that are worthless.

Recently I received a book by John L. Casey, “Cold Sun: A Dangerous ‘Hibernation’ of the Sun Has Begun” ($14.50, Trafford Publishing, softcover), the president of the Space and Science Research Corporation (SPSC). It is essentially a one-man operation and Casey’s book is an effort to warn the public about the fact that the sun has entered a cycle of very low sunspot activity. More sunspots mean warming weather and fewer mean cold weather. SPSC has the support of a number of scientists who concur that the planet has entered a cooling cycle, something well known to meteorologists, climatologists, and solar scientists, even if it remains generally unknown to the public.

Casey has been issuing press releases since 2007 warning of a decades-long period of cooling that will likely have some extremely serious effects on the planet that include droughts, increased volcanic activity, earthquakes, and the death of millions as the history of such events in the past demonstrates. He is candid about his credentials and the lack of response he has gotten from the media and those in the government he has tried to inform.

Of one release, he says that “In fact, it was seen with even less credulity since it was proposed by someone essentially unknown in the professional climate science community, a person without any past record of university research and not one published paper in any scientific journal.” It would be easy to dismiss Casey, but he has been a consultant to NASA, “performing space shuttle and space station analysis” and done studies for the Department of Defense “performing rocket launch studies.” He has a BS degree in physics and mathematics and a MA in management. So it can be said he has extensive experience in areas that require a sound body of knowledge.

Others are also forecasting a serious cold cycle. In January 2012, Habilbullo Abdusamatov, a scientist from the Pulkovo Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences predicted a sharp drop in temperature starting in 2014 and a new “little” ice age that will last at least two centuries with a peak in 2055. It would be the fifth such event over the past nine centuries, the last of which lasted from 1300 to 1850 when the last warming cycle began.

In January 2012, Wall Street Journal science columnist Matt Ridley, noted that the cycle of warm weather between ice ages that the Earth has been enjoying “is already 11,600 years old, and it must surely in the normal course of things, come to an end.”

One of the leading authorities on ice ages, Robert W. Felix, author of “Not By Fire, But By Ice”, like Casey, became fascinated with ice age cycles and spent eight years studying them before publishing his book in 2005. He maintains a website, that is well worth visiting as he documents the weather events of our current cold cycle and the advent of a new ice age.

Casey’s book reflects his mission to educate the public to the dangers of a sun whose low number of sunspots (magnetic storms) is well known among solar scientists and generally under-reported. “This particular solar cycle (#24) peak is one of the lowest since cycle #14 in 1906 which had approximately 64 sunspots,” Casey told me. “We measure each solar maximum every eleven years to determine the average of solar activity by sunspot count. We have had solar maximums in the past there were over 200 sunspots and some as low as 50. The relevance of information about the number of sunspots is that when the count goes below 50 we enter a much colder climate era.”

Some will dismiss Casey for not having the credentials of climatologists and meteorologists. Many with these credentials jumped on the global warming hoax by way of securing grants and other funding. A courageous few debunked global warming until it became obvious that it was a lie. There will be those who will dismiss his warning as hyperbole. In “Cold Sun” he says “A historic reduction in the energy output of the Sun has begun. The most likely outcome from this ‘solar hibernation’ will be widespread global loss of life and social, economic, and political disruption.”

As the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) said, “All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” It is very likely that as the current cooling cycle—now over 16 years old—wlll increase, Robert W. Felix’s, Casey’s, and others with traditional credentials in meteorology, climatology, geology and physics will eventually be heeded and the Big Chill will have become self-evident.


Even Germans being forced back to the past by energy costs

With snow blanketing the ground, it's the perfect time of year to snuggle up in front of a fireplace. That, though, makes German foresters nervous. When the mercury falls, the theft of wood in the country's woodlands goes up as people turn to cheaper ways to heat their homes.

"The forest is open for everyone to enter and people just think they can help themselves, but they can't!" says Enno Rosenthal, head of the forest farmers association in the northeastern German state of Brandenburg. "Naturally, those log piles belong to someone and there is a lot of money and work that goes into them."

The problem has been compounded this winter by rising energy costs. The Germany's Renters Association estimates the heating costs will go up 22 percent this winter alone. A side effect is an increasing number of people turning to wood-burning stoves for warmth. Germans bought 400,000 such stoves in 2011, the German magazine FOCUS reported this week. It marks the continuation of a trend: The number of Germans buying heating devices that burn wood and coal has grown steadily since 2005, according to consumer research company GfK Group.

That increase in demand has now also boosted prices for wood, leading many to fuel their fires with theft.

Rosenthal said just last weekend someone stole an entire bundle of oak wood worth about €150 ($199) from a private forest in the town of Neuruppin outside of Berlin. "Many foresters come back to their wood piles and find them a little smaller or even gone," he says.

About 10 percent of the firewood that comes out of Brandenburg's forest every year is stolen, resulting in losses of about €500,000, Rosenthal estimates. In the southern German state of Bavaria some 5 percent is absconded with annually says Hans Bauer, head of the state's forest owners association.

"A gray zone has developed," says Rosenthal. "Normally if you sell sausages, you create a business and pay taxes, but with wood some people are laxer." He says many people steal wood and then resell it via ads in the newspaper. Such sales, needless to say, tend to be of the under-the-table variety.

Other thieves are more spontaneous, says Bauer. Often people will just drive by a pile of wood and see it as invitation to steal, he says. "Drivers just stop, open up their trunks and put the wood in and drive off," he says. "It's that easy."

Bauer says that a couple of years ago, a driver loaded up €2,000 worth of wood into a truck and drove off. He was eventually caught and paid a fine to the forest owner. But Bauer says such retribution is rare.

Bauer now advises foresters to keep wood deep in the forests away from busy thoroughfares and to make logs too large to fit in regular cars, keeping temptation for casual thieves at bay.
Often, however, even those measures aren't enough. Rosenthal said that just a few years ago foresters would leave log piles in the forest for up to a year to dry. Now, though, he says they aren't kept for more than a month before moving to more secure locales. "Keeping the wood under your own surveillance is the best protection," says Rosenthal.

In the western German city of Hessisch Lichtenau other foresters are taking a more extreme approach, according to local daily the Hessische/Niedersächsische Allegemeine. In recent years, two major tree heists have taken place in town and the state experiences losses of millions of euros as a result. The paper reports that now some foresters are outfitting log piles with GPS devices to track thieves.


Green Germany: 800,000 German Households Can No Longer Pay Their Energy Bills

Germany’s consumers are facing record price rises for green energy. Social campaigners and consumer groups complain that up to 800 000 households in Germany can no longer pay their energy bills.

Over the last few days, it has become obvious that the Green Energy Levy will rise to record levels next year. The first thing Peter Altmaier, Germany’s federal environment minister, would say is this: consumers should save electricity. After a meeting with local authorities, the energy industry, consumer advocates and charities he announced that to achieve this he wants to send free energy consultants to all households in Germany.

His proposal, however, was met by massive criticism: the chief executive of the Joint Welfare Association, Ulrich Schneider, said: “It would be naive to think that growing poverty caused by rising energy costs can be solved by free energy-saving advice.” The environment minister of Lower Saxony pointed out that energy advice was already available. What was needed now was an immediate response to the rising cost of electricity.

A few days later, Altmeier finally said that he wanted to shake up the Renewable Energy Act and thus get any further expansion of the renewable energy under control.

Electricity and heating costs overwhelm German households

The fact remains that as of next year electricity will be more expensive for Germans than ever before. This is all the more frustrating as they have to pay increasingly more for other things too. Yet energy costs are turning into a so-called ‘second rent’, making life for Germans ever more expensive.

Some years ago the tariffs for water, sewage, refuse collection and street cleaning were regarded as a nuisance, but looming price increases for energy are focusing Germans’ attention, says the Association of German Tenants in Berlin. “The disproportionate rise in electricity and heating costs makes living costs a growing problem for many households,” said DMB director Lukas Siebenkotten.

On average 34 percent of net household income are spent on rent and energy. That is more than ever. And it is only partly because housing rents are rising: The Association of House and Apartment Owners has found that energy prices have increased far more than rents in the past 15 years. According to the Association of Energy Consumers, heating and hot water costs now comprise 41 percent of bills on average - and rising.

Hundreds of thousands cannot pay their bills

Especially for small household budgets – with real incomes more or less stagnant for many years – energy costs are becoming increasingly intolerable. In 2009, Germans spent about 100 billion Euros for energy – an average of 2,500 Euros per household. Social campaigners and consumer groups complain that up to 800 000 households in Germany can no longer pay their electric bills. If the rise in energy prices continues, this “second rent” could soon exceed the main rent in some parts of Germany.


Global cooling coming

NASA reports this week that we may be on the verge of another Maunder Minimum (a period with an unusually low number of sunspots, leading to colder temperatures):
Much has been made of the probable connection between the Maunder Minimum, a 70-year deficit of sunspots in the late 17th-early 18th century, and the coldest part of the Little Ice Age, during which Europe and North America were subjected to bitterly cold winters. The mechanism for that regional cooling could have been a drop in the sun’s EUV output; this is, however, speculative.

The yearly averaged sunspot number for a period of 400 years (1610-2010). SOURCE: Courtesy of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

The sun could be on the threshold of a mini-Maunder event right now. Ongoing Solar Cycle 24 is the weakest in more than 50 years. Moreover, there is (controversial) evidence of a long-term weakening trend in the magnetic field strength of sunspots. Matt Penn and William Livingston of the National Solar Observatory predict that by the time Solar Cycle 25 arrives, magnetic fields on the sun will be so weak that few if any sunspots will be formed. Independent lines of research involving helioseismology and surface polar fields tend to support their conclusion.

NASA explains that interactions between the sun, sources of cosmic radiation and the Earth are very complicated, and it takes an interdisciplinary team of heliophysicists, chemists and others to quantify what is really going on. And the Earth’s climate is also affected by cosmic radiation.

So – even if NASA’s prediction of a period of an unusually low amount of sun spots is proven correct – it is hard to know whether that will lead to a large or small reduction in temperature trends.


Boris Johnson on Global Cooling

As Mayor of London he has to step cautiously

"The Sun is god!” cried JMW Turner as he died, and plenty of other people have thought there was much in his analysis. The Aztecs agreed, and so did the pharaohs of Egypt. We are an arrogant lot these days, and we tend to underestimate the importance of our governor and creator.

We forget that we were once just a clod of cooled-down solar dust; we forget that without the Sun there would have been no photosynthesis, no hydrocarbons — and that it was the great celestial orb that effectively called life into being on Earth. In so far as we are able to heat our homes or turn on our computers or drive to work it is thanks to the unlocking of energy from the Sun.

As a species, we human beings have become so blind with conceit and self-love that we genuinely believe that the fate of the planet is in our hands — when the reality is that everything, or almost everything, depends on the behaviour and caprice of the gigantic thermonuclear fireball around which we revolve.

I say all this because I am sitting here staring through the window at the flowerpot and the bashed-up barbecue, and I am starting to think this series of winters is not a coincidence. The snow on the flowerpot, since I have been staring, has got about an inch thicker. The barbecue is all but invisible. By my calculations, this is now the fifth year in a row that we have had an unusual amount of snow; and by unusual I mean snow of a kind that I don’t remember from my childhood: snow that comes one day, and then sticks around for a couple of days, followed by more.

I remember snow that used to come and settle for just long enough for a single decent snowball fight before turning to slush; I don’t remember winters like this. Two days ago I was cycling through Trafalgar Square and saw icicles on the traffic lights; and though I am sure plenty of readers will say I am just unobservant, I don’t think I have seen that before. I am all for theories about climate change, and would not for a moment dispute the wisdom or good intentions of the vast majority of scientists.

But I am also an empiricist; and I observe that something appears to be up with our winter weather, and to call it “warming” is obviously to strain the language. I see from the BBC website that there are scientists who say that “global warming” is indeed the cause of the cold and snowy winters we seem to be having. A team of Americans and Chinese experts have postulated that the melting of the Arctic ice means that the whole North Atlantic is being chilled as the floes start to break off — like a Martini refrigerated by ice cubes.

I do not have the expertise to comment on the Martini theory; I merely observe that there are at least some other reputable scientists who say that it is complete tosh, or at least that there is no evidence to support it. We are expecting the snow and cold to go on for several days, and though London transport has coped very well so far, with few delays or cancellations, I can’t help brooding on my own amateur meteorological observations. I wish I knew more about what is going on, and why. It is time to consult once again the learned astrophysicist, Piers Corbyn.

Now Piers has a very good record of forecasting the weather. He has been bang on about these cold winters. Like JMW Turner and the Aztecs he thinks we should be paying more attention to the Sun. According to Piers, global temperature depends not on concentrations of CO2 but on the mood of our celestial orb. Sometime too bright the eye of heaven shines, said Shakespeare, and often is his gold complexion dimmed. That is more or less right. There are times in astronomical history when the Sun has been churning out more stuff — protons and electrons and what have you — than at other times. When the Sun has plenty of sunspots, he bathes the Earth in abundant rays.

When the solar acne diminishes, it seems that the Earth gets colder. No one contests that when the planet palpably cooled from 1645 to 1715 — the Maunder minimum, which saw the freezing of the Thames — there was a diminution of solar activity. The same point is made about the so-called Dalton minimum, from 1790 to 1830. And it is the view of Piers Corbyn that we are now seeing exactly the same phenomenon today.

Lower solar activity means – broadly speaking – that there is less agitation of the warm currents of air from the tropical to the temperate zones, so that a place like Britain can expect to be colder and damper in summer, and colder and snowier in winter. “There is every indication that we are at the beginning of a mini ice age,” he says. “The general decline in solar activity is lower than Nasa’s lowest prediction of five years ago. That could be very bad news for our climate. We are in for a prolonged cold period. Indeed, we could have 30 years of general cooling.”

Now I am not for a second saying that I am convinced Piers is right; and to all those scientists and environmentalists who will go wild with indignation on the publication of this article, I say, relax. I certainly support reducing CO2 by retrofitting homes and offices – not least since that reduces fuel bills. I want cleaner vehicles.

I am speaking only as a layman who observes that there is plenty of snow in our winters these days, and who wonders whether it might be time for government to start taking seriously the possibility — however remote — that Corbyn is right. If he is, that will have big implications for agriculture, tourism, transport, aviation policy and the economy as a whole. Of course it still seems a bit nuts to talk of the encroachment of a mini ice age.

But it doesn’t seem as nuts as it did five years ago. I look at the snowy waste outside, and I have an open mind.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


21 January, 2013

Another "scientist" who thinks that truth is detemined by majority vote

Amusing that he admits global warming to be the ruling paradigm. He should read Thomas Kuhn on paradigm shifts. Given the recent admissions by the British Met office and others, we may right now be at the beginning of a paradigm shift.

But to address his article in more detail: I found the same in my research career in psychology. There was an almost universal view that conservatives were maladjusted. When I presented evidence undermining that view, a very high standard of proof -- far higher than normal -- was required of me for my articles to get published. Fortunately, as a born academic, I could do that and 200+ of my papers were eventually published in the academic journals.

But I might as well have not bothered. My papers were ignored. Despite meeting higher quality standards, they had no impact on opinion in the discipline. So the huge bias towards Green/Left beliefs that we see in the climate literature was previously very well-known to me from my research career in psychology. It is the ruling paradigm that determines what gets published and what gets noticed. It takes a huge "hit on the head" to budge that and for many no budge is possible. They just have to die out

As the geochemist James Lawrence Powell notes, opinion polls in the US show a large number of people believe that scientists “substantially disagree about human-caused global warming”. So Powell, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan to the US National Board for Science and Technology, set out to examine the evidence.

“If there is disagreement among scientists, based not on opinion but on hard evidence, it will be found in the peer-reviewed literature,” he writes, because this is the “gold standard” of scientific research. So he trawled through the Web of Science searching for scientific articles with the keywords “global warming” or “global climate change”.

Going way back to January 1st, 1991, and right up to date, Powell’s search turned up a total of 13,950 articles. Of these, just 24 – 0.17 per cent or one in 581 – clearly rejected global warming or endorsed a cause other than carbon dioxide emissions for the observed warming of 0.8 degrees since the beginning of the industrial era.

“To be classified as rejecting, an article had to clearly and explicitly state that the theory of global warming is false or, as happened in a few cases, that some other process better explains the observed warming,” Powell says, adding that he did not classify as “rejecting” articles that merely claimed to have found small discrepancies.

“Of one thing we can be certain: had any of these articles presented the magic bullet that falsifies human-caused global warming, that article would be on its way to becoming one of the most-cited in the history of science,” he wrote. Indeed it would be absolutely sensational, however unlikely it is to happen.

“Global warming deniers often claim that bias prevents them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals. But 24 articles in 18 different journals . . . expose that claim as false. Articles rejecting global warming can be published, but those that have been have earned little support or notice, even from other deniers,” according to Powell.

The 24 “denial” articles have been cited by others a total of 113 times over the nearly 21-year period, for an average of close to five citations each – compared to an average of about 19 citations for articles answering to “global warming”. Four of the “rejecting” articles have never been cited while another four have 10 or more.

He notes that the 13,950 articles he found had a total of 33,690 individual authors, with the top 10 (in descending order) coming from the US, Britain, China, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia, France, Spain and the Netherlands. A similarly broad range would also be reflected in the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“Only one conclusion is possible: within science, global warming denial has virtually no influence. Its influence is instead on a misguided media, politicians all-too-willing to deny science for their own gain, and a gullible public”, writes Powell, the author of The Inquisition of Climate Science, an illuminating book published in 2011.

“Scientists do not disagree about human-caused global warming. It is the ruling paradigm of climate science, in the same way that plate tectonics is the ruling paradigm of geology. We know that continents move. We know that the earth is warming and that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the primary cause.”


"There is no such thing as right and wrong" -- except when it comes to climate change?

I long ago documented the strange phenomenon where Leftists deny any objective morality and then immediately hop into very moralistic discourse against things they disapprove of. And so it still goes today, as we see documented below. Conservatives however DO believe in morality so can reasonably condemn the gross immorality of Warmists

People have been saying for years that climate change is a moral issue, that fighting global warming is an ethical imperative. In both the first and last paragraph of this essay/book excerpt posted on the National Public Radio (US) website in 2006, Al Gore declares:

"…global warming is not just about science and…it is not just a political issue. It is really a moral issue. …this crisis is not really about politics at all. It is a moral and spiritual challenge."

Four years later here he is telling students at Duke University:

"Make no mistake, this is not just a political issue, not just a market issue, not just a national security issue, not just a jobs issue. It is a moral issue."

Writer Willis Eschenbach also sees the climate campaign as a moral issue. But his sense of morality resonates with me because it takes into account poor people – whom environmentalists like to pretend don’t really exist.

The greens have been very clear. Climate change is due to too much CO2. Therefore energy use, which produces CO2, must be slashed. Therefore prices should rise sharply to discourage people from using energy.

No other serious analysis has been advanced by the big green machine. That’s the basic climate change argument. The problem is that this amounts to a war against the poor.

As Eschenbach points out, the consequences of this sort of thinking are disastrous for a large percentage of the world’s population. Over-privileged academics and bureaucrats might not notice if their home heating bill doubles – or if it costs twice as much to fill up their car. Many of these people might well consider the extra cost worth it.

Yes, there’d be less spending money in their pockets, they say, but surely the sacrifice would be worth it to save the planet. While being interviewed by a unionized employee of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last this summer, I was told pretty much that. But here’s how Eschenbach explains matters:

"The difference between rich and poor, between developed and developing, is the availability of inexpensive energy. …The poorer you are, the larger a percentage of your budget goes to energy-intensive things like transportation and heat and electricity. If you double the price of energy, everyone is poorer, but the poor take it the hardest. Causing an increase in energy prices for any reason is the most regressive tax imaginable.

…I find it both reprehensible and incomprehensible when those of us who are in the 1% of the global 1%, like President Obama and Secretary [Stephen] Chu, blithely talk of doubling the price of gasoline and sending the cost of electricity skyrocketing as though there were no negative results from that, as though it wouldn’t cause widespread suffering, as though cheap energy weren’t the best friend of the poor. What Chu and Obama propose are crazy plans, they are ivory-tower schemes of people who are totally out of touch with the realities faced by the poor of the world, whether inside the US or out."

This is what I call placing the anti-climate change crusade in a moral context. Eschenbach’s conclusion is one that makes eminent sense to me:

"…I’m sorry, but I am totally unwilling to trade inexpensive energy today, which is the real actual salvation of the poor today, for some imagined possible slight reduction in the temperature fifty years from now. That is one of the worst trades that I can imagine, exchanging current suffering for a promise of a slight reduction in temperatures in the year 2050."

More HERE (See the original for links)

An empirical examination of human agency in climate change

If most of the temperature changes prior to 1945 were largely natural, then there is great difficulty in determining how much of the temperature change post-1945 is natural and how much might be driven by increasing carbon dioxide. This raises the question of what the natural variation in temperature might be.

To answer this question, we turn to the Vostok ice core record over the past 9000 years[12]. The core was sampled every metre of depth, which represented ~20 years of accumulation in the upper layers and ~50 years in the lower levels. The temperature was estimated from differences in the oxygen isotope ratios. While a point measurement such as this cannot give a good measure of the average global temperature, it is a reasonable measure of changes in global temperature, and it is primarily temperature changes that are of interest.

The data are shown in Figure 4. There has been a slight cooling over the past 9 millennia, as shown by the least-squares line. The data were therefore detrended before further analysis – the mean temperature at any one date was added to the reported relative temperature. The detrended temperatures were what is known as “normally distributed”, i.e. there was nothing abnormal or skewed about them. Then the rate of change between each detrended temperature and the temperature approximately 100±20 years earlier was calculated and expressed as a rate per century. The results were also normally distributed, with a standard deviation of 0.94oC per century.

Figure 4. Relative temperatures over the past 9000 years.

Thus there is about a 2:1 chance that the temperature may vary by up to 1oC per century from natural causes, but only about a 1 in 10 chance that it will vary by more than 1.9oC naturally. Between 1900 and 2000 it varied by about 0.9oC, which is, therefore, within the range of natural variation. And that, in simple terms, is why there is scepticism about the thesis that carbon dioxide is causing global warming – there is no clear signal of any such warming effect.

Much more HERE

Government Scientist Gets Fired for Telling the Truth

Something’s amiss at the Department of Interior. Eight government scientists were recently fired or reassigned after voicing concerns to their superiors about faulty environmental science used for policy decisions. Which begs the question, “Are some government agencies manipulating science to advance political agendas?”

Fictional book authors operate in a convenient world, unconstrained by facts and experiences of the real world. The antithesis of works of fiction are scientific findings solely based on provable facts and experience. For agenda-driven environmental science, facts can sometime prove inconvenient. It’s far easier to advance an agenda with agreeable science, even if that means creating science fiction or fictional science. Fictional science thus becomes the pseudo-reality of environmentalist’s absolutism and any science that disagrees with their predetermined conclusions of man-made harm to the environment is ignored or distorted. Now we learn that in some government agencies, scientists who question the veracity and validity of scientific evidence used to formulate environmental regulations and policies are shunned, kept quiet, and purged.

The purpose of fictional environmental science is to sway public opinion through what amounts to propaganda. Intransigent purveyors of “green” propaganda know their greatest enemy is truth. One of the most famous propaganda experts was Germany’s Joseph Goebbels, who taught that if a lie is repeated often enough it will eventually be accepted as truth. Goebbels also knew that truth has to be suppressed if it contradicts the objectives of the propaganda. Goebbels wrote, “It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Over the past three decades, government has unleashed an unprecedented wave of environmental rules and regulations that affect nearly every aspect of American life, and for the most part the public has tolerated it. Public embrace of environmental propaganda and fear mongering about the apocalyptic consequences of mankind’s abuse of the planet have elevated environmentalism to a status above national security. The public is now more likely to give up rights and freedoms for the cause of saving the planet than for security reasons.

Rural America has long been a target of environmentalists. Government agencies such as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the DOI (Department of Interior) have been hijacked by extreme elements of environmentalism and rural America is feeling the heat. When environmental protocol is pitted against the welfare of a rural community, these agencies almost exclusively side with the environmental cause, and adverse consequences to the human element are considered last, if at all.

The Department of Interior refers to itself as the nation's landlord. It controls almost 30% of the nation's 2.27 billion acres of land and its natural resources, and as a regulatory agency, it creates policies to govern how public land and these resources are used. Under the leadership of Secretary Ken Salazar the agency has engaged in an aggressive crusade to obstruct and undermine the use of natural resources, restrict human access to public lands, and increase its influence over private property. Decisions made by the agency are presumed to be based on sound scientific analysis, but often times policy is driving the science, rather than science driving environmental policy. This has led to harmful decisions and a violation of the public trust.

A case in point is the story of DOI science adviser and scientific integrity officer, Dr. Paul Houser, who found out that by simply doing his job can be hazardous to one’s career. Dr. Houser is an expert in hydrology who was hired by DOI’s Bureau of Reclamation to evaluate scientific data used in the department’s decision making process. He was assigned several Western State projects including a scheme to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River in Northern California—the largest dam removal project in U.S. history. When a summary of science posted on the web to support DOI’s claim for removal of the dams omitted several crucial factors from expert panel reports, Dr. Houser brought his concerns to his superiors. He was repeatedly told to refrain from sharing his concerns through electronic communication, which could be subject to Freedom of Information Act discovery.

Dr. Houser learned firsthand that policy was driving the science, rather than the other way around, when he was told by his superiors at DOI, “Secretary Salazar wants to remove those dams. So your actions here aren’t helpful.”

According to the DOI the premise for Klamath River dams removal is to restore Coho salmon spawning habitat above the dams. However, official DOI documents reveal scientific concerns that dam removal may, in fact, result in species decline based on millions of tons of toxic sediment build up behind the dams that will make its way to the ocean. Water temperature increases without the dams could also negatively impact the salmon. These studies were ignored. Concerns about the human toll and impact to local Klamath Basin communities were also brushed aside. Those most interested in the well-being of the environment they live and work in, were given a backseat to special interests thousands of miles away.

The Klamath hydroelectric dams provide clean inexpensive energy to thousands of local residents who will be forced to pay much higher premiums if the dams are removed because California has strict new laws for use of renewable energy. The town of Happy Camp sits on the banks of the Klamath River and could be wiped out with seasonal flooding without the dams. Once Coho salmon are introduced into the upper Klamath, farmers and ranchers will be faced with water use restrictions and invasive government regulation of private land. The economic impact will be devastating, property values will depreciate and the agriculture community, often operating on slim profit margins, will be subjected to the fate of the once vibrant logging industry which fell victim to the spotted owl crusades.

Last year, Dr. Houser raised these concerns and was subsequently fired by the DOI. “I put my concerns forward and immediately thereafter I was pushed out of the organization,” he stated. The agency sent a clear message to the rest of their employees and scientists - Salazar’s dam busting agenda cannot be subject to any internal scientific scrutiny. Goebbels would be proud. Truth must be repressed when it contradicts the objective.

Dr. Houser did the right thing. He did his job. His integrity as a scientist was more important than a paycheck. But he remains concerned about his colleagues in DOI, “There are a lot of good scientists that work for the government but they are scared, they are scared that what happened to me might happen to them. This is an issue (about) the honesty and transparency of government and an issue for other scientists in government who want to speak out.” A few weeks ago Dr. Houser settled a wrongful discharge case with the DOI. Terms of his settlement are not public.

Now, seven more DOI scientists working on the Klamath Project have filed a complaint with PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) claiming they have been reassigned or terminated for disagreement with the integrity of the science used to support dam removal. They have charged DOI’s Bureau of Reclamation’s management with “coercive manipulation, sublimating science to political priorities, censorship, and scientific misconduct.”

The government’s use of fictional science in the Klamath dam removal project should concern every American. Our public servants at DOI are brazenly advancing their own agendas at the expense of the truth and regardless of adverse impacts on the environment, humans, and on rural communities. Environment and human interests are not incompatible. We have to find solutions that work to the benefit of both. That requires agendas be put aside and allow complete science to determine policy.

DOI Secretary Ken Salazar is stepping down in March. His replacement needs to be someone who can be trusted to end the culture of fictional science as a means to advance environmental agendas.


Britain faces global cooling

Britain faces more travel chaos tomorrow after forecasters predicted a fresh blanket of heavy snow over much of the country – and said the big freeze could last for two weeks.

But as some of these pictures show, the bad weather didn’t necessarily mean bad news for everyone, with families across Britain determined to make the most of the snow.

Following Friday’s deluge, much of today’s snow was limited to flurries in the North East of England and the east of Scotland. But the weather heaped misery on more than 10,000 households in South Wales, where residents found themselves with no power this morning.

The M48 Severn Bridge was closed in both directions because of hazardous conditions and the Highways Agency warned drivers to take extra care on all roads across the UK.

Many rail passengers were hit. South West Trains cancelled services between Salisbury and Bristol and Virginia Water and Weybridge, Surrey. Routes from London to Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset and Devon were also affected.

With more snow set to fall tomorrow and overnight into Monday, hundreds of schools could be forced to close.

Forecasters said heavy snowfall of up to 3in (8cm) will hit coastal regions of south-eastern England and London tomorrow, with amber weather warnings issued in Kent and Hertfordshire.

Temperatures will not rise above freezing next week, with Met Office forecaster Robin Thwaytes warning: ‘It looks like it will be a slow thaw, probably taking place this week or the week after.’

Heathrow has already been badly hit by the bad weather and the announcement that 20 per cent of Sunday's flights have been axed will bring further misery to hundreds of passengers who have remained trapped at the airport after spending the night sleeping on the floor.

More than 100 have been cancelled today and some travellers complained that they had spent seven hours sitting on a plane on the tarmac only to be told to return to the terminal. One commentator referred to the vast complex as a 'refugee camp'.

It comes as fears grow that the Arctic conditions may not recede for up to two weeks, leaving the country shivering under a layer of ice and snow in a 'once a decade' big freeze.

Met office forecaster Robin Thwaytes said: 'It looks like it will be a slow thaw, probably next week or the week after.'


Al Gore Warming

In October one of the main culprits in the global warming hoax published new data that undermines their own theory of global warming. The UK’s MET Office, more formally called the UK's National Weather Service, updated global temperatures for 2012 and the new dataset shows that an “unlikely” event has occurred, according to their own models: Global warming has been halted for 15 years and counting.

While the MET Office accused critics of cherry-picking a starting point and nitpicked about language-for example the Daily Mail reported that the “Met Office report [was] quietly released,” while the Met office whined they just updated the data and there was no “report” at all- they don’t dispute that from 1997 until the halfway mark in 2012 there has been no statistically significant rise in global temperatures.

Data such as this and a better coordinated scientific effort at debunking the “science” behind global warming is poking some serious holes that establishment technocrats would rather normal people like us not know about.

Fortunately however, some honest technocrats have been recruited for seven years in a row in a gathering that seems to be growing some legs in an effort to confront, debunk and demystify global warming.

In May of 2012, the Heartland Institute hosted its biggest ever- and seventh ever-International Conference on Climate Change, known affectionately as ICCC7, which might be a mocking reference to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change known as IPCC. For my money ICCC7 would look a LOT cooler on a t-shirt, pun intended.

A record number of think tanks, concerned policy makers, scientists and citizens got together in Chicago to look at the science behind global warming theories and explain why the science is wrong. ICCC7 also invited 50 UN scientists “who support the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s perspective, but none agreed to attend,” according to the Heartland Institute.

One of the most compelling presentations at ICCC7 was by Stanley Goldberg, a research scientist with the Hurricane Research division with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

He says the link that we have all heard through mainstream media about more violent storms caused by a rise in global temperatures are mostly manipulated by our ability to better “observe” weather globally. In one compelling case he shows how it used to be that between 100 and 75 percent of the observed storms in pre-satellite days made landfall, once satellite technology was available, the percentage of observed storms that made landfall fell to 59 percent. The implication is that since the decrease in storms making landfall accompanies advances in technology and does not represent an increase in the number of storms that make landfall, the only explanation is that through technology our ability to observe storms is better than its has been in the past.

The same can be said about temperature data as well. With temperatures showing a total increase of .75 degrees Celsius to make it “THE WARMEST PLANET EVER IN RECORDED HISTORY!” can we really be sure that it’s not our ability to measure and manipulate data that is not responsible for some of the increase?

Because here’s the reality that none of the scientists tell you: There is no such thing as an average global temperature. It’s a mathematically impossible concept.

“Absolute estimates of global average surface temperature are difficult to compile for several reasons,” says the National Climatic Data Center. “Some regions have few temperature measurement stations (e.g., the Sahara Desert) and interpolation must be made over large, data-sparse regions. In mountainous areas, most observations come from the inhabited valleys, so the effect of elevation on a region’s average temperature must be considered as well. For example, a summer month over an area may be cooler than average, both at a mountain top and in a nearby valley, but the absolute temperatures will be quite different at the two locations.”

In other words, the ability to measure global temperatures is hindered by our ability to observe temperatures. Is it just coincidental that our increased ability to observe temperatures coincides with our observations of a global warming trend?

There is a tendency, says Goldberg, by some of the media, government “and certain scientific circles to attribute almost ANY increase in natural disasters to AGW,” which he jokingly calls “Al Gore Warming.”

“If it’s bad,” he concludes, “it must be AGW!”

But here’s the real rub: None of the so-called solutions put forward by Kyoto, the Cap and Trade crowd and others with the ability to implement solutions attempts, under their own scientific theories of global warming, to reverse the warming trend. For example, if you assume that today renewable energy contributes about zero to energy production and assume that by 2040 renewable energy will contribute an optimistic 20 percent of all energy production, you still get fossil fuel use of about 112 percent of today’s figure, when you include energy demand growth forecasts.

Under global warming theory this does nothing to halt or reverse any warming. All it does is ask American consumers to subsidize the development and use of cheaper fuels in developing nations, while putting the American economy at a disadvantage relative to India, China, Russia and other developing nations.

So here’s to the climate warriors on the right side of science. They don’t have to win. They just have to help us hold out a little longer, and let the climate do the rest.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


20 January, 2013

Major German newsmagazine concedes Global Warming Has Ended …Models Were Wrong

Spiegel has finally gotten around to conceding that global warming has ended, at least for the time being. Yesterday Spiegel science journalist Axel Bojanowski published a piece called: Klimawandel: Forscher rätseln über Stillstand bei Erderwärmung (Climate change: scientists baffled by the standstill in global warming).

We’ve been waiting for this admission a long time, and watching the media reaction is interesting to say the least. Bojanowski writes that “The word has been out for quite some time now that the climate is developing differently than predicted earlier”. He poses the question: “How many more years of stagnation are needed before scientists rethink their predictions of future warming?”

Bojanowski adds: "15 years without warming are now behind us. The stagnation of global near-surface average temperatures shows that the uncertainties in the climate prognoses are surprisingly large. The public is now waiting with suspense to see if the next UN IPCC report, due in September, is going to discuss the warming stop.”

The big question now circulating through the stunned European media, governments and activist organisations is how could the warming stop have happened? Moreover, how do we now explain it to the public? To find an answer, Bojanowski contacted a number of sources. The result, in summary: scientists are now left only to speculate over an entire range of possible causes. Uncertainty in climate science indeed has never been greater. It’s back to square one.

One explanation Spiegel presents is that the oceans have somehow absorbed the heat and are now hiding it somewhere. Yet, Bojanowski writes that there is very little available data to base this on: “There is a lot of uncertainty concerning the development of the water temperature. It has long appeared that also the oceans have not warmed further since 2003.” Spiegel then quotes Kevin Trenberth concerning NASA’s claim that they’ve detected a warming of the oceans: “The uncertainties with the data are too great. We need to improve our measurements“.

Spiegel also writes that the missing heat may be lurking somewhere deep in the oceans. But here Bojanowski [Spiegel] quotes Doug Smith of the Met Office: “This is very difficult to confirm“.

Jochem Marotzke of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI) suspects that energy has been conveyed to the ocean’s interior, but there’s a dire lack of data to confirm this. Bojanowski writes over the current state of ocean data measurement: “Without intensifying the data measurement network, we are going to have to wait a long time for any proof“.

Scientists also suspect that the stratosphere may have something to do with the recent global temperature stall. Susan Solomon says the stratosphere has gotten considerably drier, and so warming at the surface may have been reduced by a quarter. But Bojanowski reminds us that under the bottom line, the scientists are pretty much without a clue; he writes:

"However, climate models do not illustrate stratospheric water vapour very well," says Marotzke. "The prognoses thus remain vague.”

Well then, maybe it’s due to aerosols from China and India blocking out the sun, some scientists are speculating, and ”thus weakening warming by one third“. Spiegel writes that “If the air were cleaner, then climate warming would accelerate.” But aerosols have always been used a convenient joker in climate models to explain unexpected cooling, such as from 1945 to 1980.

In fact, all the explanations presented by Bojanowski above have already been thoroughly looked at in a book- one year ago – by a pair of scientists: Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt and Dr. Sebastian Lüning. Last year much of the media massively ostracised them for floating “crude theories”. A year later it’s indeed strange to see that their “crude theories” are now completely in vogue.

How does Bojanowski sum it up? “The numerous possible explanations do show just how imprecisely climate is understood.”

Yet, as Bojanowski points out, some scientists refuse to give up on the AGW theory. He writes:

Under the bottom line, there are a number of various ominous signs of warming: rising sea levels, Arctic sea ice reduced by a half in the summertime, melting glaciers. At some locations there are signs that extreme weather events are increasing. ‘There are many signs of global warming,’ emphasizes Kevin Trenberth, “near surface air temperatures is only one of them.’”

Sorry, but isolated singular events do not constitute trends, let alone science. Prof. Trenberth really ought to know that. This is pathetic. The observed data and measured trends have stopped showing global warming. So are scientists now claiming that singular events are robust signs? This would be only one step away from astrology!

Bojanowski reminds us again that the science is poorly understood and that a number of factors are at play. He writes:

"Indeed new surprising data keep popping up. Recently a new study appeared showing that soot particles from unfiltered diesel engine exhaust and open fires have had an impact on warming that is twice as high as what was first thought.”

Bojanowski also tells his readers that “Computer simulations have shown that warming has made tropical storms rarer.”

He also mentions other factors that are poorly understood, such as: solar radiation’s impact on clouds, water vapour cycles, and natural and man-made aerosols.

Spiegel at the end of the article seems to be duped into thinking that short-term prognoses are uncertain, but longterm ones are rather sure. Spiegel quotes warmist Jochem Marotzke of the MPI:

"Climate prognoses over time periods of a few years still remain especially uncertain. ‘Our forecasting system in this regard still lets us down,’ says MPI director Marotzke. “But we’re still working on it.”

This to me appears to be an attempt to have readers believe that although they’ve botched the short-term projections completely, they are likely still right about the longterm projections of warming. Now take five minutes to get your laughing under control. … If the models failed for the first 15 years, then they are no good! Period! They’re crap, and you cannot rely on them for projecting the long-term. They belong in one place only: the dustbin! How long must we wait before climate scientists return to science?

Don’t get me wrong, at least this article, admitting something is terribly amiss, is a very encouraging step in the right direction. But it’s difficult to remain hopeful when climate scientists continue demonstrating that they do not even know what proper scientific methodology is.

Lastly, I like they way Bojanowski ends his piece:

"Current prognoses warn of a 5°C warming if CO2 emissions continue as before. But it is not now well-known just how much natural climate impacts are able to change the temperature development – the new NASA data have revealed this as well.”

Spiegel science writers would be well-advised to read Fritz Vahrenholt’s and Sebastian Lüning’s “Die kalte Sonne“. Practically every question brought up by Bojanowski has been answered there – one year ago. Moreover, Lüning”s and Vahrenholt’s temperature model for the next 100 years so far has been dead on.


The carbon trading money tree

The COP-18 environmental conference held in Doha has come and gone. In the wake of high expectations for a successor treaty, the Kyoto Protocol was extended, but only after bitter debate — and several countries have withdrawn from the process or signaled their intent to do so.

Moreover, many observers believe the decision to extend the Protocol was primarily the result of countries not having the courage to stop or scuttle it outright, and not actually knowing what to do next. So the easy way out was to just extend Kyoto and also promise the developing world lots and lots of dollars for “climate mitigation,” which is a sort of apology from the first world for having allegedly messed up the planet in the first place with their fossil fuels and economic development.

Whether the billions of promised aid dollars will really materialize is another matter. But a lot of people have already gotten rich – including Al Gore, hundreds of climate scientists, and thousands of environmental activists and government bureaucrats – and others are trying to cash in.

I recently read an article in a South African magazine concerning carbon trading. Headlined “The Big C is a Money Tree,” the article included a picture of a tree with hundreds of dollar bills hanging on the branches. Its essence was that people can easily make loads of money in the carbon trading business. Unfortunately, much of the sentiment was correct. So alarm bells should be ringing.

When it appears easy to make a lot of money from something simple, then in all probability something is wrong. The economic rules which govern the world usually dictate that it is not easy to make a lot of money with not much effort.

Consider the hamburger market. If it is easy to sell a large number of hamburgers and make a lot of money, then what happens is a competitor joins the market, then another, and another. The result is that the quality of the hamburgers goes up and the price comes down. This is all because the natural competition forces the sellers to offer the best quality at the lowest price.

If one of the hamburger sellers can’t make the grade, he goes out of business. None of the hamburger sellers really wants to be kind and sympathetic to the consumers, but they have no option but to be attentive to their customers or the customers just go to a competitor. Hamburger suppliers have to offer a good product at a good price to stay in business. So the basis of the hamburger business is good cooking, good service and efficient meal production.

So one can ask the question: What is the basis of the carbon trading business? It is buying or renting air with less carbon dioxide (CO2) — based on assertions that the gas causes global warming, climate change, and more frequent and intense storms, droughts and floods. Sounds dicey, doesn’t it?

What happens is that if some company, say in Germany, wants to extend its factory, and they are going to have to produce CO2 in the operation of the plant, they may find that they will exceed their emission quota.

If a company in Germany wants to expand its factory, and operating this larger facility will produce carbon dioxide, the new operation may exceed the company’s CO2 emission quota. One way out of this predicament is to come to a country like South Africa and find some land where workers can grow plants that take CO2 out of the air. Another is to find a factory that emits CO2 and help it buy and install technology that removes some tons of CO2 from the factory’s emission.

(There is a type of South African cactus called Spekboom, which translates as “bacon tree.” The connection between cactus and bacon is not clear. It’s easy to plant. You just break off a soft branch, push it into the ground, and it grows – normally to about a meter tall, but sometimes to 3m over many years. Spekboom grows in arid areas like weeds and is generally useless. But it apparently absorbs much more CO2 than normal plants. So Europeans pay South Africans tidy sums to plant fields of the stuff. The Europeans then claim “carbon credits” and feel righteous, while South Africans get rich watching weeds grow.)

Each time one of these operations removes 10 tons of CO2 from South African airspace, the German company can put the same amount of CO2 into Germany’s air and (presto!) all is great again, because on balance the total CO2 emitted into whole world’s atmosphere is equalized.

Then the German company pays the South African company a lot of dollars per month to keep South Africa’s air “clean,” so that the German company can put the “saved” CO2 back into Germany’s air.

So the basis of the carbon trading business is to rent “clean” air from somebody else.

Therefore if you launch a major project to develop a new factory, and a significant part of the budget is carbon trading income, then don’t forget that renting clean air is part of the asset of the business.

If the Kyoto Protocol collapses and the clean air requirement falls away — then your investment blows away in a breeze … of “clean” air. That would be disastrous for you. And that is a primary reason why so many people are determined to perpetuate Kyoto in some form or another.

Many people would never build their new factory on a foundation of sand. But they are happy to build it on a foundation of air. I say: “Be careful.”

If it turns out that man-made industrial CO2 is not leading to climate change then the whole carbon market could disappear faster than a puff of wind.

Remember that the measured increase in the earth’s atmospheric CO2 concentration over the last century does not match global temperature increase very well; in fact, a good correlation is distinctly absent. Furthermore, a competing theory argues that the sun’s magnetic influence on incoming cosmic radiation seems to match the observed temperature profile of the planet a lot better; this theory relates to varying cloud cover, influenced by the varying amount of incoming cosmic radiation.

The carbon trading business seems too good to be true. Money trees are not common. Warning bells should be ringing.


Debate Verdict: Al Gore Presenter Trounced by Heartland’s James Taylor

Global warming alarmists and skeptics alike report that Heartland Institute senior fellow James Taylor scored a decisive victory over Ray Bellamy, an official presenter for Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, in a global warming debate in Tallahassee, Florida.

Rare Public Debate

Gore’s Climate Reality Project surprised observers by agreeing to the January 8 public debate. Gore’s presenters very rarely agree to participate in debates or public events in which skeptics are allowed an opportunity to present the case against a global warming crisis.

Contrasting Styles, Substance

A coin flip determined that Bellamy would speak first, and the Al Gore surrogate proceeded to give a very Gore-like presentation with pictures of Arctic ice sheets, attacks on skeptics’ funding, and anecdotal reports of extreme weather events such as droughts.

Taylor opened his rebuttal by pointing out that global warming alarmists need to prove all four of the following to show that humans are creating a global warming crisis: (1) that temperatures are unusually warm by historical standards, (2) that humans are the primary cause of recent warming, (3) that a warmer climate is substantially worse than a colder climate, and (4) that global warming activists offer solutions that would achieve meaningful real-world results. Taylor then presented dozens of slides with objective data and peer-reviewed studies showing alarmists can prove none of the four necessary components of an asserted global warming crisis. While presenting his data and studies, Taylor repeatedly pointed out that Bellamy relied merely on anecdotal assertions rather than objective long-term data or peer-reviewed studies.

Bellamy Mishaps

During the question-and-answer segment, Bellamy embarrassingly had to pass on a question about historical carbon dioxide levels. Taylor then answered the question with ease.

During closing remarks, Bellamy was embarrassed again when Taylor caught him misrepresenting a statement made by Heartland Institute president Joe Bast. As an audience member called out to Bellamy, “He caught you, didn’t he?” Taylor scolded Bellamy for misrepresenting Bast and for earlier launching ad hominem attacks on climate scientists who disagree with Bellamy’s point of view.

Alarmists Admit Defeat

Prior to the debate, environmental activist groups throughout northern Florida rallied supporters to show up at the debate and support Bellamy. Global warming activists appeared to form a clear majority of the more than 260 people attending the debate, but even Bellamy’s supporters admitted afterward that Taylor scored a decisive victory.

“A number of attenders had their viewpoint about climate change not being a crisis confirmed,” global warming alarmist Pam McVety lamented in an article published in the Tallahassee Democrat. “The audience experienced the climate denial machine at its best.”

Despite the one-sided debate, McVety refused to change her mind on the topic. “Being a good debater does not mean your facts or conclusions are correct,” McVety protested.

“Judging it as a pure debate, Bellamy came in second,” admitted Tallahassee Democrat columnist Mark Hohmeister, who then attempted to reargue Bellamy’s presentation for him.

On a Facebook page titled, “Crash a Tea Party!!” more than two dozen people eagerly let it be known they would attend the debate to “have Dr. Ray Bellamy’s back.” After the debate, however, few people posted and fewer still were in good spirits.

“What did you expect?” one activist moaned after the debate. “But it was fun getting the excellent look at the Face of the Beast,” the activist posted in answer to his own question.

More HERE (See the original for links)

Government issues warnings, but are rising temperatures a health risk?

Last Friday, the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC) issued a draft report titled “Climate Change and the American People.” The report was produced by the 60-person NCADAC and supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of our federal government. The report concludes that “Climate change is already affecting the American people” and that US communities will face “economic or health-related challenges.” Sadly, common sense is hard to find in the 1146-page document.

The report is driven by the misguided ideology of Climatism, the belief that man-made greenhouse gases are destroying Earth’s climate. According to Climatism, Earth’s climate has been unchanging for thousands of years, but carbon dioxide emissions from human society are now causing dangerous global warming. Further, any change in Earth’s climate must be bad for US citizens.

The document uses the word “extreme” more than 600 times to create an alarming picture of the future. It predicts “extreme heat events…extreme weather…extreme snowstorms…extreme winds…extreme drought…extreme floods…extreme rainfall” and many other “extremes,” all claimed to be due mankind’s relatively small emissions of CO2, a trace gas in our atmosphere. The report’s conclusions are based on computer model projections.

Yet, there is no empirical evidence to show that US climate events are becoming more severe. When Hurricane Sandy devastated New York City last year, it was only a Category 1 storm in terms of wind speed. No strong hurricane (Category 3 winds or stronger) has made landfall in the US during the last seven years, the longest such period on record. The count of strong to violent US tornadoes has been flat to declining over the last 30 years. Even a chart on page 59 of the NCADAC report shows that US droughts were most severe during the 1930s and 1950s.

It would take a PhD thesis to refute all the unsupported assertions in the report, so let’s focus on just one—the claim that warm temperatures are a health risk for US citizens. In Chapter 9, the document states, “Extreme heat events have long threatened public health in U.S. metropolitan areas…climate projections indicate that extreme heat events will be more frequent and intense in coming decades.” The chapter goes on to conclude that climate change will cause an “increase in heat-related deaths.”

The computer models cited in the NCADAC report estimate, on average, that global temperature will increase by 3oC (5.4oF) by the year 2100. According to the report, this will be a health hazard for U.S. citizens due to extreme heat waves. The average temperature in Chicago is 49oF and the average temperature in St. Louis is 56oF, a difference of 3.9oC. Are more people dying in St. Louis due to this “extreme” temperature difference?

Earlier this month, I flew to Houston with a planeload of coughing and sneezing passengers. The news media reports that we’re in the midst of an influenza epidemic. The Center for Disease Control defines the US flu season to be from October to March. According to the World Health Organization of the United Nations, the flu season for the Southern Hemisphere is from April to October, during their winter months. Could it be that cold climate has a greater negative impact on human health than warmer climate?

In fact, scientific studies show that more people get sick in cold weather and more people die as a result. The late Dr. William Keating of Queen Mary and Westfield College led a team that studied temperature-related deaths for people aged 65 to 74 in six European nations. Keating’s team found that deaths related to cold temperatures were more than nine times greater than those related to hot temperatures in Europe. Heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory illness were responsible for most of the cold-weather deaths.

Dr. Matthew Falagas of the Alfa Institute of Medical Sciences in Athens, Greece, analyzed seasonal mortality for eleven nations, including the United States. The research showed that the average number of deaths per month was lower in summer and fall months and peaked in the coldest months of the year for all nations.

Most of us have an Aunt Susan or an Uncle Henry who has retired or plans to retire to another climate. The favored locations are Alaska, Canada, and North Dakota, right? Nonsense! Senior citizens wish to retire to the warm climates of Florida, Texas, and Arizona. But don’t they know our government warns about premature death in warm climates? In fact, Aunt Susan and Uncle Henry have more common sense than the US government.


Global Warming: A Geological Perspective

A paper titled "Global Warming: A Geological Perspective," published in Environmental Geosciences, and summarized below in Arizona Geology, should be required reading for all climate scientists.

The paper notes that if "the temperature increase during the past 130 years reflects recovery from the Little Ice Age, it is not unreasonable to expect the temperature to rise another 2 to 2.5 degrees Celsius to a level comparable to that of the Medieval Warm Period about 800 years ago"

and that

"Climatic changes measured during the last 100 years are not unique or even unusual when compared with the frequency, rate, and magnitude of changes that have taken place since the beginning of the Holocene Epoch. Recent fluctuations in temperature, both upward and downward, are well within the limits observed in nature prior to human influence."

Sadly, most climate scientists fail to study or understand the geologic history of climate, which has led to countless false claims that today's climate is unnatural, extreme, unusual, or unprecedented.

From the summary paper:

A review of research on past temperatures and variations led us to the following conclusions:

1. Climate is in continual flux: the average annual temperature is usually either rising or falling and the temperature is never static for a long period of time.

2. Observed climatic changes occurred over widespread areas, probably on the global scale.

3. Climate changes must be judged against the natural climatic variability that occurs on a comparable time scale. The Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, and similar events are part of this natural variability. These events correspond to global changes of 1 - 2 C.

4. Global temperatures appear to be rising, irrespective of any human influence, as Earth continues to emerge from the Little Ice Age. If the temperature increase during the past 130 years reflects recovery from the Little Ice Age, it is not unreasonable to expect the temperature to rise another 2 to 2.5 degrees Celsius to a level comparable to that of the Medieval Warm Period about 800 years ago. The Holocene Epoch, as a whole, has been a remarkably stable period with few extremes of either rising or falling temperatures, as were common during Pleistocene glacial and interglacial periods. Nevertheless, the Holocene has been, and still is, a time of fluctuating climate.

5. Climatic changes measured during the last 100 years are not unique or even unusual when compared with the frequency, rate, and magnitude of changes that have taken place since the beginning of the Holocene Epoch. Recent fluctuations in temperature, both upward and downward, are well within the limits observed in nature prior to human influence.


Paper finds increase in US sunshine has had 4.4 times more effect than greenhouse gases since 1996

A paper published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres finds that due to a decrease in cloud cover, solar radiation has significantly increased over the US from 1996 to 2011.

The authors note the change in longwave (infrared) surface radiation "dwarfs the [alleged contribution] from the increase of CO2 during the analysis period." According to the paper, the natural variability due to changes in sunshine has had 4.4 times greater effect on surface radiation than increased greenhouse gases since 1996 [6.6/1.5 = 4.4]. According to the authors:

"The network average total surface net radiation increases by +8.2 Wm−2 per decade from 1996 to 2011. A significant upward trend in downwelling shortwave [solar radiation](SW-down) of +6.6 Wm−2 per decade dominates the total surface net radiation signal. This [brightening of solar radiation] is attributed to a decrease in cloud coverage, and aerosols have only a minor effect. Increasing downwelling longwave [radiation from greenhouse gases](LW-down) of +1.5 Wm−2 per decade and decreasing upwelling LW [infrared radiation from the Earth surface] (LW-up) of −0.9 Wm−2 per decade produce a +2.3 Wm−2 per decade increase in surface net-LW, which dwarfs the expected contribution to LW-down from the 30 ppm increase of CO2 during the analysis period. The dramatic surface net radiation excess should have stimulated surface energy fluxes, but, oddly, the temperature trend is flat."

The paper adds to many other peer reviewed papers documenting a global decrease in cloud cover or 'global brightening' over various periods and locations beginning the the 1980's. This decrease in cloud cover alone could account for all global warming observed since the ice age scare of the 1970's.
Variability of the surface radiation budget over the United States from 1996 through 2011 from high-quality measurements

John A. Augustine, Ellsworth G. Dutton


Sixteen years of high-quality surface radiation budget (SRB) measurements over seven U.S. stations are summarized. The network average total surface net radiation increases by +8.2 Wm−2 per decade from 1996 to 2011. A significant upward trend in downwelling shortwave (SW-down) of +6.6 Wm−2 per decade dominates the total surface net radiation signal. This SW brightening is attributed to a decrease in cloud coverage, and aerosols have only a minor effect. Increasing downwelling longwave (LW-down) of +1.5 Wm−2 per decade and decreasing upwelling LW (LW-up) of −0.9 Wm−2 per decade produce a +2.3 Wm−2 per decade increase in surface net-LW, which dwarfs the expected contribution to LW-down from the 30 ppm increase of CO2 during the analysis period. The dramatic surface net radiation excess should have stimulated surface energy fluxes, but, oddly, the temperature trend is flat, and specific humidity decreases. The enigmatic nature of LW-down, temperature, and moisture may be a chaotic result of their large interannual variations. Interannual variation of the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) ONI index is shown to be moderately correlated with temperature, moisture, and LW-down. Thus, circulations associated with ENSO events may be responsible for manipulating (e.g., by advection or convection) the excess surface energy available from the SRB increase. It is clear that continued monitoring is necessary to separate the SRB's response to long-term climate processes from natural variability and that collocated surface energy flux measurements at the SRB stations would be beneficial.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 19, 2013


January 18, 2013

Arctic Sea Ice Area Back To Normal! Dramatic Record Refreeze Wipes Out "Dramatic" Melt Of August!

That return to normal only means one thing. The "dramatic melt" of August 2012 had to have been reversed completely by an equally dramatic refreeze this winter. Unfortunately we're not going to find any news stories about that in the media, are we? Ice and many other climate developments are only one-way dramatic for the warmists, i.e. only when it melts, and not when it refreezes.

"Oh! But hold on!" some of you out there may say. "It's thickness (i.e. volume) that's really important, and not area."

Yes, that's correct. But how come we never here the media talk about ice volume in August? In August, suddenly only area counts. Funny how they bring up volume only when ice refreezes and things are back to normal.

If you do look at volume (Antarctica and the Arctic), then there really is nothing to worry about. Global ice volume varies by only a few thousandths of a percent globally each year - even over decades. I discussed this once already not long ago HERE.

If you charted global ice volume (Arctic + Antarctica) over time, the thickness of the line would more than cover the decadal variations. But don't hold your breath waiting for a warmist to show such a chart. You'll never ever see it from them.



The GWPF has been right all along. In a new report Hansen, Sato and Ruedy (2013) acknowledge the existence of a standstill in global temperature lasting a decade.

This is a welcome contribution to the study of global temperature. When others reached the same conclusion they have been ridiculed; so this admission should provide some pause for reflection by those who have attacked the very idea of a recent temperature standstill, often without understanding the data, focusing on who was making the argument and their alleged non-scientific motives.

According to Hansen et al. the Nasa Giss database has 2012 as the ninth warmest year on record, although statistically indistinguishable from the last 12 years, at least. Noaa says it's the tenth warmest year. The difference is irrelevant.

Hansen discusses the possible contributions to global temperature in the past decade from stochastic variability and climate forcings. Personally I don't think that the variations are demonstrably stochastic.

Very early in the report Hansen makes the statement; "Global temperature thus continues at a high level that is sufficient to cause a substantial increase in the frequency of extreme warm anomalies." To say that such an assertion is debatable is an understatement.

La Nina Years

Hansen has an explanation as to why the year was only the ninth warmest. He says that much of 2012 was affected by a strong La Nina that kept temperatures down. In fact less than half of the year was so affected. In addition, the warming El Ninos and the cooling La Ninas of the past decade or so are not responsible for the standstill in global temperatures. Rather they provide quasi-oscillations around a constant mean. Such is the lack of a trend in global temperatures that a moderate El Nino is enough to push an individual year's mean temperature to be a record, though still statistically indistinguishable from previous years.

Hansen says; "Comparing the global temperature at the time of the most recent three La Ninas (1999-2000, 2008, and 2011-2012), it is apparent that global temperature has continued to rise between recent years of comparable tropical temperature, indeed, at a rate of warming similar to that of the previous three decades. We conclude that background global warming is continuing, consistent with the known planetary energy imbalance, even though it is likely that the slowdown in climate forcing growth rate contributed to the recent apparent standstill in global temperature."

I don't think this is a safe conclusion. Looking at the last three La Nina's (1999-2000, 2008 and 2011-2012) I think it unwise to use the first one for any comparison. It occurred immediately after the very unusual El Nino of 1998 (said by some to be a once in a century event) and clearly the two subsequent La Nina years must be seen as part of that unusual event. It would be safer not to include 1999-2000 in any La Nina year comparisons. Which leaves us with two, 2008 with a temperature anomaly of 0.49 and 2010-11 which has 0.66 and 0.54. That's not a great difference, and besides one shouldn't look for trends with just two datapoints. You cannot conclude anything about background warming from this data.

In addition there is no similar effect in El Nino years; 2002-04 is 0.60 - 0.59, 2006-07 is 0.59 - 0.62 and 2009 is 0.59.

Hansen says that the continual warming since the mid-70s has been associated with greenhouse gasses. His attribution of the global temperature standstill between about 1940 - 1980 as being due to a balance between aerosol cooling and greenhouse gas warming is not as well established as he portrays it; he also contradicts himself when he adds that there is no satisfactory quantitative interpretation of this period because we just don't know enough. It is also not the explanation that the IPCC attributes to this period which says it can be explained by solar and volcanic effects.

The bottom line is that the recent global temperature standstill is a real event. It is explained in a hand-waving way as due to natural climatic variations masking the long-term trend, even if we do not understand those natural variations. Some believe the standstill might be pointing the way to a deeper revision of our understanding of climate. One thing is clear the stuff you heard until very recently about mankind's signal of warming being the strongest (and getting stronger) is wrong. The standstill has already taught us that.


Climate watch: 2012 figures confirm global warming still stalled

The two major US temperature databases have released their consolidated results for 2012, and as had been expected, global warming has failed to occur for approximately the fourteenth year running. One of the US agencies downgraded 2012 to tenth-hottest ever: it had been on track to rank as 9th hottest.

The tenth-hottest result comes from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), one of the three main global databases used to assess planetary temperatures and the only one of the three not so far linked to political climate activism*.

The NOAA says that the 2012 average was 14.47ñ0.08øC, which makes it the tenth hottest in its records. Preliminary figures released last November ahead of the Doha carbon talks by the World Meteorological Organisation, which averages all three datasets, suggested that the year would be ninth hottest and NASA agrees. However the difference is not a big one: the projected WMO figure was 14.45øC.

However one slices it, the world has not warmed up noticeably since 1998 or so, though all three datasets show noticeable warming in the two decades prior to that. The UK's Met Office acknowledged this fact in November, with the Office's Dr Peter Stott saying:

"We are investigating why the temperature rise at the surface has slowed in recent years, including how ocean heat content changes and the effects of aerosols from atmospheric pollution may have influenced global climate."

Since then the Met Office has radically amended its warming forecast for the coming decade, such that if the forecast is right there will have been essentially level temperatures for two decades or more - a fact which has caused much comment in climate-sceptic circles.

Nonetheless a majority of academic climate scientists still contend that global warming will definitely resume in the near future.


A forecast the Met Office hoped you wouldn't see

By Christopher Booker

It is the graph the Met Office didn't want you to see, in an episode which, according to one newspaper, represents "a crime against science and the public".

Inevitably last week it didn't take long for the bush fires set off by Australia's "hottest summer ever" to be blamed on runaway global warming. Rather less attention was given to the heavy snow in Jerusalem (worst for 20 years) or the abnormal cold bringing death and destruction to China (worst for 30 years), northern India (coldest for 77 years) and Alaska, with average temperatures down in the past decade by more than a degree. But another story, which did attract coverage across the world, was the latest in a seemingly endless series of embarrassments for the UK Met Office.

Some of this story may be familiar - how on Christmas Eve the Met Office sneaked on to its website a revised version of the graph it had posted a year earlier showing its prediction of global temperatures for the next five years. Not until January 5 did sharp-eyed climate bloggers notice how different this was from the graph it replaced. When the two graphs were posted together on Tallbloke's Talkshop, this was soon picked up by the Global Warming Policy Foundation which whizzed it around the media.

The Met Office's allies, such as the BBC's old warmist warhorses Roger Harrabin and David Shukman, were soon trying to downplay the story, claiming that the forecast had only been revised by "a fifth", and that even if the temperature rise had temporarily stalled, due to "natural factors", the underlying warming trend would soon reappear. But they were only able to get away with this by omitting to show the contrast between the two graphs.

In 2011, the Met Office's computer model prediction had shown temperatures over the next five years soaring to a level 0.8 degrees higher than their average between 1971 and 2000, far higher than the previous record year, 1998. Whereas the new graph shows the lack of any significant warming for the past 15 years as likely to continue. Apart from how this was obscured by the BBC, there are several reasons why this is of wider significance for the rest of us.

For a start, it is not generally realised what a central role the Met Office has played in promoting the worldwide scare over global warming. The predictions of its computer models, through its alliance with the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (centre of the Climategate emails scandal), have been accorded unique prestige by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, ever since the global-warming-obsessed John Houghton, then head of the Met Office, played a key part in setting up the IPCC in 1988.

A major reason why the Met Office's forecasts have come such croppers in recent years is that its computer models since 1990 have assumed that by far the most important influence on global temperatures is the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Yet as early as 2008, when temperatures temporarily plummeted by 0.7 degrees, equivalent to their entire net rise in the 20th century, it was already clear that something was fundamentally wrong with this assumption. The models were not taking proper account of all the natural factors governing the climate, such as solar radiation and shifts in the major ocean currents. Even the warmists admitted that it was a freak El Ni¤o event in the Pacific which had made 1998 the hottest year in modern times.

But the Met Office was not going to abandon easily its core belief that the main force shaping climate was that rise in CO2. As its chief scientist, Julia Slingo, admitted to MPs in 2010, its short-term forecasts are based on the same "numerical models" as "we use for our climate prediction work", and these have been predicting "hotter, drier summers" and "warmer winters" for decades ahead. Hence all those fiascos which have made the Met Office a laughing stock, from the "barbecue summer" that never was in 2008, to the "warmer than average winter" of 2010 which brought us our coldest-ever December, to its prediction last spring that April, May and June 2012 would probably be "drier than average", just before we enjoyed the wettest April and summer on record.

Such a catastrophic blunder is scarcely mitigated by the Met Office's sneaky attempt to hide that absurd 2011 graph. One day it will be recognised how the Met Office's betrayal of proper science played a key part in creating the most expensive scare story the world has ever known, the colossal bill for which we will all be paying for decades to come.

Meanwhile, it is not just here that this latest fiasco, reported in many countries, has been raising eyebrows. Our ministers love to boast that British science commands respect throughout the world, They should note that the sorry record of our Met Office is beginning to do that reputation no good at all.


Global warming apocalypse canceled

21st century has seen no rise in temperature, after all

By Patrick J. Michaels

My greener friends are increasingly troubled by the lack of a rise in recent global surface temperatures. Using monthly data measured as the departure from long-term averages, there's been no significant warming trend since the fall of 1996. In other words, we are now in our 17th year of flat temperatures.

Since 1900, the world has seen one other period of similar temperature stagnation (actually a slight cooling) that lasted for 30 years and ended around 1976. The current one is happening with much more putative warming "pressure," because the atmosphere's carbon-dioxide content is much higher than it was in mid-century.

From the Industrial Revolution to 1950, atmospheric carbon-dioxide concentrations rose by about 15 percent. Today, the increase is up to 41 percent, making long periods without warming either 1) increasingly unlikely, or 2) the natural result of simply overestimating how "sensitive" surface temperature is to carbon dioxide. My money is on the latter.

Now, just for fun, let's assume that on Jan. 1, another warming trend began, at the same rate that was observed in the last such period, from 1977 through 1998, or 0.17 C per decade.

Running a large experimental sample reveals that, on average, the rate of warming will have to continue through 2020 before a statistically significant trend emerges in the post-1996 data. (Remember that a "trend" that does not meet the normal grounds for significance is one that cannot scientifically be distinguished from "no trend.")

In other words, it's a pretty good bet that we are going to go nearly a quarter of a century without warming.

In response, the climate establishment is becoming increasingly polarized, with a growing number of researchers calculating less warming this century, while the apocalyptics, such as NASA's James Hansen, simply edge out further on increasingly thin limbs.

This is quite a change. In 2002, I published a paper, "Revised 21st Century Temperature Projections," which used a variety of independent sources and generally predicted a range of 21st century warming of 1.0 to 3.0 C. In response, the 2009 "Climategate" emails revealed a number of surreptitious attempts and schemes to either get the paper removed, get the esteemed geographer who was the relevant editor of the journal Climate Research fired from his University of Auckland professorship, or, if all else failed, destroy the journal itself.

Formally, the "climate sensitivity" is the total amount of warming projected for a doubling in atmospheric carbon dioxide. In their last climate compendium, published in 2007, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gave a "likely" range for the sensitivity of "2 C to 4.5 C with a best estimate of about 3.0 C." Since then, it appears that a new "consensus" is lowering the forecast. The reason I'm betting that the sensitivity of temperature to dreaded carbon dioxide has been overestimated is the number of recent publications saying just that. Here's a partial list:

Richard Lindzen gives a range of 0.6 to 1.0 C (Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences, 2011); Andreas Schmittner, 1.4 to 2.8 C (Science, 2011); James Annan, using two techniques, 1.2 to 3.6 C and 1.3 to 4.2 C (Climatic Change, 2011); J.H. van Hateren, 1.5 to 2.5 C (Climate Dynamics, 2012); Michael Ring, 1.5 to 2.0 C (Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, 2012); and Julia Hargreaves, including cooling from dust, 0.2 to 4.0 C and 0.8 to 3.6 C (Geophysical Research Letters, 2012). Each of these has lower and higher limits below those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

What commonly occurs when weather forecasts begin to go bad? As every child knows, if the forecast starts out calling for a foot of snow, and then is cut to six inches, that usually results in about three.

Similarly, as projections for warming are lowered, don't be surprised if planetary temperature finally settles in the bottom half of the newly predicted ranges.

Science historians have repeatedly documented that we are particularly reluctant to abandon widely held views, or scientific paradigms. When professional advancement (i.e., research money) is particularly dependent upon a certain view (we wouldn't spend billions on climate research unless it was important, right?), it's even harder to let go, but that is what we may be seeing.

People are beginning, cautiously, to dial back 21st century warming because there has been none. Because dreaded sea-level rise is also proportional, those estimates are going to have to come down, too.

One of these years, the upcoming end of the world from global warming is going to be officially canceled, to be replaced by a new apocalypse, which I predict will be called "acid oceans," or something like that.


The Authoritarian Science Myth

The image above shows President Dwight Eisenhower swearing in James Killian as the first science advisor to the US president. Eisenhower rushed through the ceremony because he wanted to leave on a golf trip to Augusta, Georgia. Little appreciated is that James Killian, widely celebrated at the best and most powerful science advisor was not a scientist at all.

Writing in yesterday's New York Times, physicist Laurence Krauss repeats a common call for scientists to occupy a position more central to political power:
Scientists’ voices are crucial in the debates over the global challenges of climate change, nuclear proliferation and the potential creation of new and deadly pathogens. But unlike in the past, their voices aren’t being heard.

He wistfully invokes a mythological golden age of scientific authoritarianism:
The men who built the bomb had enormous prestige as the greatest physics minds of the time. They included Nobel laureates, past and future, like Hans A. Bethe, Richard P. Feynman, Enrico Fermi, Ernest O. Lawrence and Isidor Isaac Rabi.

In June 1946, for instance, J. Robert Oppenheimer, who had helped lead the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, N.M., argued that atomic energy should be placed under civilian rather than military control. Within two months President Harry S. Truman signed a law doing so, effective January 1947.
There are two problems with Krauss's diagnosis and prescription. First, science and scientists have never been more central to policy making than they are today. Second, the golden age of scientific authority that he invokes is a fable that scientists tell themselves to justify their current demand for more authority in politics.

These themes are discussed in our 2009 paper playfully titled, "The Rise and Fall of the Science Advisor to the President of the United States," published in Minerva and here in PDF. The science advisor is arguably the most prominent scientist in the US government and the focus of decades of discussion about authority and power of science in government. Here is what we concluded:
Over the second half of the 20th century and into the 21st governance can be characterized by an ever increasing reliance on specialized expertise. There are several reasons for this trend, which include the challenges of dealing with risks to human well being and security—from terrorism to the safety of food supplies, from natural disasters to human influences on the environment, from economic shocks, globalization, and many more. Some of these risks are the result of purposive technological innovation, such as the invention and proliferation of nuclear technologies beginning with the Manhattan Project during World War II. Because innovation can create new risks, a new proactive politics has emerged seeking to limit technological innovation and diffusion. Examples of this dynamic can be seen in efforts to limit the presence of genetically modified crops in Europe, to contain research on stem cells in the United States, and to militate against the consequences of economic globalization around the world

In this context, the need for expert advice in government has increased exponentially. But one of the effects of the triumph of expertise has been the diminishment of the president’s science advisor as the ‘‘go-to’’ individual on issues with a scientific or technical component. In many respects, the science advisor is just another person with a Ph.D. staffing the Executive Offices of the President. President Obama received high marks from the scientific community for appointing a number of prominent scientists to administrative positions, including a Nobel Prize-winning physicist to Secretary of Energy, illustrating that the science advisor s but one of many highly qualified people in an administration. The science advisor does have a very unique role in helping to oversee and coordinate the budgets of agencies that support science, but even here the science advisor’s role is subject tothe idiosyncrasies of each administration.

In the future it seems improbable that the science advisor’s role would return to the exalted position that it held for a brief time during the Eisenhower Administration. In any case, that exalted position may be more mythical than real, which has set the stage today for some unrealistic expectations about the position.
Do read Krauss' piece and then read ours. Feel free to come back and comment.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 17, 2013

Unsettled science: Warmists Get The Stratosphere Wrong

British Met Office analyses not reproducible

Time and again the proponents of catastrophic climate change use the mantra of “settled science” to shout down their critics. This is nothing less than blind faith that science actually knows what is going on in the complex environment that regulates this planet's climate. Imagine a part of that system that is literally only 10km from anywhere on Earth, a component of our environment that science thought it understood quite well. Now imagine the embarrassment when a major review in a noted journal finds that previous datasets associated with this component are wrong and have been wrong for more than a quarter of a century. Yet that is precisely what has happened. The area in question is Earth's stratosphere and the impact of this report is devastating for climate scientists and atmospheric modelers everywhere.

Scientists have been launching instrument packages into the upper portions of Earth's atmosphere for a long time. Instruments used for such research were standardized decades ago and programs to collect such data on a world wide basis put into place. If any part of atmospheric science was considered well in hand, if not actually “settled” (a phrase seldom used by real scientists) it would be the long term monitoring of global stratospheric temperatures. However, a report in the 29 November 2012 issue of Nature, “The mystery of recent stratospheric temperature trends,” says that things are not so.

The perspective article by David Thompson, et al., reports that what we thought we knew well we hardly knew at all. A new data set of middle- and upper-stratospheric temperatures indicates that our view of stratospheric climate change during the period 1979–2005 is strikingly wrong. Furthermore, “[t]he new data call into question our understanding of observed stratospheric temperature trends and our ability to test simulations of the stratospheric response to emissions of greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting substances.”

What is particularly troublesome about this report is the scope of the damage done. The problem involves two different sets of historical data from two respected agencies: the UK Met Office and America's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). How significant the error and the puzzlement over what to do about it is shown in the article's title, where it is referred to as a mystery. The background of the problem is stated by the authors this way:
The surface temperature record extends for over a century and is derived from multiple data sources. In contrast, the stratospheric temperature record spans only a few decades and is derived from a handful of data sources. Radiosonde (weather balloon) measurements are available in the lower stratosphere but do not extend to the middle and upper stratosphere. Lidar (light detection and ranging) measurements extend to the middle and upper stratosphere but have very limited spatial and temporal sampling. By far the most abundant observations of long-term stratospheric temperatures are derived from satellite measurements of long-wave radiation emitted by Earth’s atmosphere.

The longest-running records of remotely sensed stratospheric temperatures are provided by the Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU), the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU), and the Stratospheric Sounding Unit (SSU). The SSU and MSU instruments were flown onboard a consecutive series of seven NOAA polar-orbiting satellites that partially overlap in time from late 1978 to 2006; the AMSU instruments have been flown onboard NOAA satellites from mid-1998 to the present day.
The widely accepted, continuous record of temperatures in the middle and upper stratosphere going back to 1979 was based exclusively on SSU data. The SSU data were originally processed for climate analysis by scientists at the UK Met Office in the 1980s and further revised as newer satellite data became available in 2008. Here is were things begin to get a bit dodgy.

There are rules that scientists must follow in order for their work to be judged valid. The work must be done openly, transparently—there can be no secret steps or hidden incantations. This is because the work must be reproducible, not just by those who originated it but by outsiders as well. Things began going off the rails when NOAA recently reprocessed the SSU temperatures and published the full processing methodology and the resulting data in the peer-reviewed literature. This is as it should be, NOAA followed the rules. But it soon became obvious that there were grave discrepancies between the new NOAA data and the older Met Office data.

Time series of monthly mean, global-mean stratospheric temperature anomalies.

The global-mean cooling in the middle stratosphere, around 25–45 km in altitude, is nearly twice as large in the NOAA data set as it is in the Met Office data set (see the figure) The differences between the NOAA and Met Office global-mean time series do not occur in a single discrete period of time, but begin around 1985 to increase until the end of the record. According to the Nature article: “The differences between the NOAA and Met Office global-mean time series shown in Fig. 1 are so large they call into question our fundamental understanding of observed temperature trends in the middle and upper stratosphere.”

How did the Met Office get their data so wrong? Well there's the rub. You see, the methodology used to develop the Met Office SSU product was never published in the peer-reviewed literature, and certain aspects of the original processing “remain unknown.” Evidently the boffins at the Met didn't bother to write down exactly how they were massaging the raw data to get the results they reported. Indeed, those who did the data manipulation seem to have mostly retired.

“The methodology used to generate the original Met Office SSU data remains undocumented and so the climate community are unable to explain the large discrepancies between the original Met Office and NOAA SSU products highlighted here,” Thompson et al. summarize. And the damage doesn't stop there.

The data from the erroneous dataset has been used widely to help drive and define computer climate models, the same models used to prop-up alarmist claims of impending catastrophic climate change. According to the report: “Two classes of climate models commonly used in simulations of past climate are coupled chemistry–climate models (CCMs) and coupled atmosphere–ocean global climate models (AOGCMs). By definition, the CCMs explicitly simulate stratospheric chemical processes, whereas the AOGCMs explicitly simulate coupled atmosphere–ocean interactions... A key distinction between the model classes that is pertinent to this discussion is that in general the CCMs resolve the stratosphere more fully than do the AOGCMs.”

One of the predictions made by climate models is that as surface temperatures rise temperatures in the stratosphere should drop. Precisely why this should be so is complex and not important to the point being made here. Suffice it to say, the Met Office version of the SSU data suggests that the models overestimate the observed stratospheric cooling, whereas the NOAA SSU data suggest that the models underestimate it. As the authors put it:
If the new NOAA SSU data are correct, they suggest that the stratospheric mass circulation is accelerating at a rate considerably higher than that predicted by the CCMs, at least in the middle and upper stratosphere (that is, at the altitudes sampled by the SSU instrument). Again, it is possible that the models are correct and that the SSU data are in error. But the fact that the discrepancies between the magnitudes of the simulated and observed cooling in the tropical stratosphere extend to MSU channel 4, which samples the lower stratosphere and exhibits trends that are fairly reproducible from one data set to the next suggest that model uncertainties should not be discounted.

The bottom line here is that models based on this almost universally accepted data are wrong. “If the NOAA SSU data are correct, then both the CCMVal2 and CMIP5 models are presumably missing key changes in stratospheric composition,” the report plainly states. The article goes on to suggest corrective actions to prevent such a travesty being repeated in the future. Alas, the damage has already been done.

What is documented here is simply astounding. That which was thought to be understood is found to be misunderstood. Readings thought to be accurate are shown to be inaccurate. How the data were derived is found to be a secret now lost. The impact of the bogus data ripples through past results and, in particular, climate models, rendering old assumptions invalid. What was that line again about “settled science?”

This is an egregious example of sloppy science, slipshod science, bad science. How other climate scientists blindly accepted the Met Office's manufactured data, even when their models could not be reconciled with nature, leads one to question the scientific integrity of many of those in the field. This is not acceptable behavior in any realm of scientific endeavor, and when the results of research are used to inflame the public and drive questionable socioeconomic programs the malfeasance could be considered criminal. This is what happens when the race for fame, government funding and political advantage collide with science—the validity of the science is destroyed.


More scientific than thou

Economist Don Boudreaux replies to a Warmist letter

Dear Mr. Aaron:

You write that I “flout objective science” when I question the “need for government to attend to” the issue of global warming “with taxes or regulation.” You continue: “Your [Boudreaux's] unwillingness to accept objective guidance of established welfare economics demonstrates your dangerous ideology and your obliviousness and disdain of science.”

I’ll not comment on your suggestion that I improve my “commitment to science” by reading more attentively Paul Krugman. But I will say that a strong case can be made that persons such as yourself who leap immediately from your observation of a plausibly real negative externality (such as carbon emissions) to the conclusion that government must be given more power to “attend to” the problem are the ones who behave unscientifically.

What science is it that assures you that government officials will, in such situations, act impartially and for the public good rather than politically and for special-interest groups? What objective and established proof, or even plausible hypothesis, have you that the very same knowledge, free-rider, and transaction-cost problems that promote the negative externality to begin with do not also operate – or operate with even greater force – to distort decision-making by government officials? I believe that history and science reveal that the answer to both questions in typical situations is “none.”

I leave you with this scientific observation from my colleague Richard Wagner:

“Expositions of welfare economics typically assume that the analyst possesses knowledge that is in no one’s capacity to possess. A well-intentioned administrator of a corrective state would face a vexing problem because the knowledge he would need to act responsibly and effectively does not exist in any one place, but rather is divided and dispersed among market participants. Such an administrator would seek to achieve patterns of resource utilization that would reflect trades that people would have made had they been able to do so, but by assumption were prevented from making because transaction costs were too high in various ways. A corrective state that would be guided by the principles and formulations of welfare economics would be a state whose duties would exceed its cognitive capacities.”* And, I add, exceed also its ethical capacities.


Reuters is now hedging its bets

For a long time they were fanatical Green/Leftists. Their heading to the article below is "Climate change doesn’t have to be all bad"

This week the National Climate Data Center confirmed what most had long believed: 2012 was the warmest year on record for the United States. Ever. And not just a bit warmer: a full Fahrenheit degree warmer than in 1998, the previous high. In the land of climatology statistics, that is immense. In the understatement of one climate scientist, these findings are “a big deal.”

Almost every news story reporting on this juxtaposed the record with a series of disruptive climate events, ranging from the drought that covered much of the United States farmland and punctuated by Hurricane Sandy in its tens of billions of dollars of devastation. Many also pointed out that eight of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 1990 (though it should be noted that official records only extend to 1895). Not surprisingly, these observations were almost always followed by warnings of more warming and substantially worse consequences to come.

But what if climate change isn’t the disaster we fear but instead one more obstacle that humans can meet, one that may spur innovation and creativity as well as demand ever more resilience? What if it ultimately improves life as we know it?

That the planet is getting warmer there should be no doubt. Nor should there be much question about the role of human development, industrialization and carbon emissions as a causal factor. Of course, many do still question these changes, or at least to what degree they have been triggered by human activity, and yes, there have been wide climate swings throughout the millennia. Still, the preponderance of current scientific knowledge maintains that warming is accelerating and that fossil fuels and various effluvia of modern industry are a cause.

It does not, however, follow that the future arc of these changes is disastrous. Unwanted, unwelcome and uneasy? For sure. Potentially lethal? Yes. But so much of the debate over the past 30 years has been over what is causing climate change, and how to prevent more change from happening, that comparatively less energy has been spent on adapting to it. In part, those most focused on these issues, from Green parties in Europe to environmentalists in the United States, have often believed that any discussion of mitigating the effects of climate change is tantamount to giving up on preventing it. That has led to a jeremiad mentality, epitomized by Al Gore and the scathing warnings of what lies ahead in his hugely influential 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth.

The advantage of that approach was that it alerted many to the dangers of climate change; the disadvantage was that it scared people into passivity and closed fruitful avenues to policies focused on mitigating the effects rather than halting the trend. And while halting the trend might have been feasible (just) 20 years ago, the most we can achieve now is to reduce the rate and intensity of climate change until the world’s population levels off sometime in the middle of the 21st century. Activists can and should still focus on reducing global emissions, but not at the expense of answering how we will live with the change.

Perhaps in recognition of the need of a new paradigm, “resilience” has quietly become a buzzword. The ever provocative Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his recent book Antifragile argues that only organizations capable of meeting crises can survive crises. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, counties and cities in the Northeast have been contemplating how best to prepare for future weather shocks. That has led to renewed appreciation for cities, such as Rotterdam, that have long undertaken environmental planning organized around the notion that floods will happen no matter what humans do. The challenge isn’t to find a way to prevent floods; it’s to find a way to live with them.

The two approaches could not be more distinct: One warns of catastrophe and attempts to steer away from it. One pragmatically accepts that some undesirable things will happen no matter what. Rotterdam has thus focused both on preventing as much flooding as possible (floodgates) and on urban infrastructure that is as flood-resistant as possible: power grids that have dispersed nodes, waterproof insulation, even floating parts of the city in case of truly severe inundation.

Far from signaling a resignation to climate change, resilience, adaption and mitigation all shift energy away from holding back the tide and toward innovation and creativity in meeting it. In fact, those are precisely what have fueled whatever positive development there has been in human history (and admittedly, some negative as well). The theoretical physicist David Deutsch points out that pessimism about future trends is actually more “blindly optimistic” than genuine optimism because it assumes that we can know the future.

But as has been all too evident recently, we cannot. Instead, the only source of progress has been the ability of humans to learn and adapt. While climate change could spell death and harm to low-lying areas around the world as the seas rise, life 30,000 years ago was hardly hospitable. Yet people managed to create viable living conditions anyway. Necessity demanded it, and our ability to create and innovate made it possible.

That approach is imperative not just for climate change but for multiple areas that generate such anxiety about the future. The imbalance of the financial system? Those are only made worse by the false belief that a system could be created where such risks don’t exist; better to find ways to mitigate the risks of a global interconnected financial system than seek, Don Quixote-like, ways to eliminate risk. The dysfunction of Washington? Better to find ways to meet collective needs that don’t depend on the federal government (or any large central bureaucracy) than pile all those needs onto one large, unwieldy and cumbersome institution and hope for the best. Our response to climate change is only one way that we have chosen the path of pessimism instead of a path of innovation. How we meet this challenge will say much about how we meet all of our challenges.


Why all the green pork in a deal meant to avoid the fiscal cliff?

When President Obama’s autopen turned the fiscal cliff deal into law, Americans might have thought that the federal government had begun to walk down the road to a balanced budget.

But the 157-page American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is business-as-usual. The backroom deal, chiefly engineered by Vice President Biden, fed the special-interest well while leaving the federal budget in crisis. The final bill includes some $68 billion in favors over the next ten years.

The fiscal irresponsibility continues unabated. A look at the energy provisions alone shows why.

For starters, the cliff deal renewed the twenty-years-and-counting “temporary” tax credit for new wind startups. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates this extension alone will cost taxpayers $12 billion in the coming decade.

And what, perchance, can we expect in return for all that money?

Not much. The perpetually infant wind industry is in decline. Shockingly, consumers do not want to buy expensive and unreliable energy. Even grassroots environmentalists are saying “not in my backyard” to both the noisy, unsightly turbines — and the power lines needed to transmit wind power from the windy wilds all the way to population centers.

Senators John Thune and Chuck Grassley were the chief advocates of the extension. Just perhaps their high-sounding arguments had something to do with South Dakota and Iowa both being home to huge wind energy facilities.

But wind cronyism is now being questioned all across the political spectrum. The Washington Post editorial page, for example, recently lambasted wind credits for placing “hidden costs on taxpayers” and embodying the liberal caricature of “spending freely on nice-sounding programs.”

The Wall Street Journal identified the renewable sector as the biggest winner in this “Crony Capitalist Blowout.” Biomass, geothermal, and hydropower facilities were also extended large production credits. And the cliff deal reinstated the tax credit for renewable diesels at one dollar per gallon — and made it retroactive to 2012. Total cost to taxpayers: $2.2 billion.

The definition of qualifying “cellulosic” biofuels has been expanded to include algae-based fuels — the most quixotic of green-tech fetishes. That little definitional wrinkle is expected to cost the American public another $59 million.

The Obama Administration has ignored the Left’s distaste for biofuels. The stridently pro-Democrat Think Progress recently relayed a report connecting American ethanol subsidies to severe food shortages in Guatemala.

The fiscal cliff package also installs a new tax credit for the purchase of electric motorcycles, worth 10 percent of the sticker price up to $2,500. That’s $7 million more in deficit spending.

The deal retains another $650 million in tax credits for the manufacturers of energy-efficient appliances. It extends $154 million in credits for green home construction. And it reinstates the investment credit for alternative fueling stations, worth as much as $30,000 per facility.

The question must be asked: Why throw good money after bad, considering the Administration’s track record with so-called “green” energy?

It’s not just Solyndra. A Heritage Foundation study shows that a grand total of 34 green tech companies benefiting from federal favoritism have either gone bankrupt or are teetering toward insolvency. Every time one of these chosen few goes belly up, taxpayers get stuck with the tab.

Take the electric car battery manufacturer A123. After gobbling up about a quarter of a billion dollars in federal stimulus money — and $238 million in subsidies from the state of Michigan — the company filed for bankruptcy in October. Back in 2010, President Obama had boasted that A123 would create 3,000 new jobs by the end of 2012.

Federal lawmakers would like you to believe that they’ve turned over a new leaf in 2013. But this fiscal cliff deal is the same old corrupt, insider dealing that so disgusted the public last year. About a fifth of the deal’s pork spending is special favors for flailing green energy initiatives.

Can there be hope for a new beginning, without pork barrel politics? Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, hints that next time will be different. “There’s no question more needs to be done to weed out wasteful tax cuts,” reads a recent statement from his office. “The Finance Committee will take a hard look at each and every expiring provision as part of comprehensive tax reform.”

Americans can only hope Baucus is serious about trimming the hedges. And he should start with special subsidies for green-eating green energy.


First, the Bad News

John Stossel

We in the media rarely lie to you. But that leaves plenty of room to take things wildly out of context.

That's where most big scare stories come from, like recent headlines about GM foods. GM means "genetically modified," which means scientists add genes, altering the plant's DNA, in this case to make the crop resistant to pests.

Last week, Poland joined seven other European countries in banning cultivation of GM foods.

The politicians acted because headlines screamed about how GM foods caused huge tumors in rats. The pictures of the rats are scary. Some have tumors the size of tennis balls.

What the headlines don't tell you, though, is that the female Sprague-Dawley rats used in the test usually develop tumors -- 87 to 96 percent of the time.

It's a similar story with chemicals that the media constantly tell us to fear.

More often than not, rats get tumors if given high enough doses of manmade chemicals. I shouldn't say "manmade." Nature's chemicals cause tumors at the same rate.

Reporters and environmental activists have incentives to leave out details that might make the story boring. It's useful if you think you're in danger.

"It's a great way to get attention," says Bjorn Lomborg, statistician and author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," "but it focuses you on the wrong solutions." Instead of doing something that really fights cancer, like quitting smoking, people devote their energy to banning things like GM foods.

GM foods require less water, need fewer pesticides and grow where other crops will not survive.

By forcing farmers to stick to the old-fashioned corn, activists and regulators force customers to pay higher prices for food.

Reporters sleep with clear consciences because we (usually) don't say anything completely false. We tell ourselves that we may save lives and draw attention to important issues -- and so what if people err on the side of safety?

But the answer to "so what?" is that people waste time, money and emotional energy, and we are less safe, because we worry about the wrong things.

Years ago, the Natural Resources Defense Council claimed the chemical Alar, which helps keep apples from rotting, killed kids. When "60 Minutes" ran the story, I believed it. So did lots of people.

Schools across America banned apples. Moms poured out apple juice. Apple growers lost billions.

But the scare was bunk. Apples, even apples with Alar, are good for you. Since banning Alar meant apples decay more quickly, apples become slightly more expensive, and that meant some kids ate less healthy food.

Today, we have new scares, like the one over plastic water bottles. Some contain a chemical called BPA, which activists say causes cancer, hyperactivity, all sorts of problems.

Chemicals called phthalates, which keep school supplies like backpacks soft, are accused of damaging kids' livers and kidneys and causing asthma.

If these stories were true, who could blame parents for being frightened? Who can blame reporters for telling the story?

Julie Gunlock, from the Independent Women's Forum, blames them. She points out that the activists scare mothers needlessly, because "over 1,000 studies, independent studies, have said that BPA is perfectly safe."

She knows how the scare stories work: "BPA is easily vilified. I mean, it's invisible. And people tend to say: 'Chemicals, it's scary. I'll just trust what some activist organization or consumer rights organization says and avoid it.'"

There's no reason to get excited about chemicals -- unless you're an environmental activist eager to acquire money and power.

"A lot of them make money on newsletters," says Gunlock. "Bad news sells." NRDC has raised $185 million by scaring people.

To keep scares in perspective, remember all the good news that gets less attention. Coverage of horrors like the shooting in Newtown, Conn., makes us think our kids are in more danger today, but school violence is actually down.

And despite all the chemicals -- actually, because of them -- we live longer than ever.

There is plenty of bad news that's real -- like the national debt, and most of what politicians do. But in most ways, most of the time, the world slowly but surely gets better. To most of us, that's good news.


Obama Giveth but mostly taketh away

For the last four years, President Obama and his EPA have waged a war on coal. Though they deny it, their regulations have cost thousands of miners their jobs, and hundreds of coal-fueled power plants are scheduled to be closed within the next few years. On January 7, Georgia Power announced that it will “shut down 15 coal and oil-fired units, cutting nearly one-sixth of its power grid capacity to comply with federal rules aimed at reducing air pollution.” This, the latest in a string of plant-closure announcements, will take away nearly 500 jobs. Over the next five years, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation forecasts closures of plants that currently produce 20 percent of the nation’s coal-fueled generation.

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution report cites the closures come “after the utility and parent Southern Co. spent years unsuccessfully fighting the regulations.” The regulatory hit to the coal industry is tough to deny: “Currently, the amount of coal that Georgia Power uses to produce electricity stands at 47 percent, down from 70 percent five years ago.”

The government has taken away.

Despite the assault on coal that has decimated the economy of entire regions, lawmakers voted to subsidize coal through Section 406 of the American Taxpayer Relief Act—known as the “Fiscal Cliff Deal.” The 400 Section of the 157-page bill is for “Energy Tax Extenders” and includes “provisions of the Bill that are relevant to ongoing and future projects in the renewable energy space.” Within the package, various tax credits are extended—including the Production Tax Credit for wind energy that I’ve fought to end. Other extensions include those for “closed and open-loop biomass facilities, geothermal facilities, landfill gas facilities, trash facilities, qualified hydropower facilities, and qualified marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities.” And then, there are a few lines in Section 406, buried in a group of renewable energy provisions, which extend a tax credit for coal produced on American Indian land.

American coal is bad, but apparently coal from Indian lands is good?

Section 406 “extends,” by one year, an accommodation in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that allows a credit for “Indian coal”—which the bill defines as coal produced from reserves which were owned by an Indian tribe on June 14 2005.

Compared to the amount for renewables, the actual dollar amount going to Indian coal is miniscule in the grand scheme of the Fiscal Cliff Deal—estimated to be about $1 million, The Missoula Independent states that Section 406 currently applies to only three mines in the country, but it is the hypocrisy; the incongruity of it that is so troubling.

One mine that benefits from the tax credit is the Absaloka mine, a 10,427-acre, single-pit surface mine on the Crow Indian reservation in southeastern Montana, operated by Westmoreland Coal Company. The mine employs about 100 tribal members and provides royalties for the Crow Indians. According to the Independent, “The section 406 tax credit pays Westmoreland an estimated $2.26 per ton of coal extracted at Absaloka. In 2007, the mine produced 7,704,556 tons of coal. In 2010, it produced 5,467,670 tons.” So, in 2010, the US taxpayers gave Westmoreland nearly $12.5 million to mine coal on the Crow Indian Reservation.

The government gives.

Native Americans have long been given some special accommodations—though it does seem that their coal contributes to CO2 as well. While the tax code gives, the EPA has taken away.

The Navajo Nation occupies land in what is known as the Four Corners region—where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado meet. Coal is important to the everyday life of the Navajo. A report on coal’s uncertain future, says the following about coal’s place in the life of the Navajo: “It warms their homes, and provides them with jobs. Recent events threaten both winter warmth and job security for the future.”

Navajo lands include coal mines and coal-fueled power plants that are facing decommissioning and closure due to the EPA’s expensive emission controls. The coal mines support the power plants—if the power plants shut down, quick closure of the mines is expected. All three coal-fueled power plants in the area are facing closure of some or all of their units.

The Navajo Mine has one customer: the Four Corners Power Plant—which has five coal-fueled units—and provides electricity to 300,000 households in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The three older units are scheduled to be shut down by the end of the year, and the plant’s partial shutdown will reduce demand for the mine’s coal by about 30 percent. On January 8, jobs cuts at the mine were announced: “BHP Billiton plans to cut about 100 jobs at Navajo Mine.”

The government has taken away.

Sources tell me, BHP Billiton, the Australian company that operates the mine, has been trying to sell it for several years. Tightening environmental regulations decrease the mine’s potential profitability. With the mine’s sole customer’s partial shutdown, it hasn’t attracted any buyers.

Enter Section 406.

Back in December, BHP Billiton reached an agreement with the Navajo Nation that provided for a 100 percent stock sale of the mine’s assets to a tribally chartered corporation by mid-2013. The regional newspaper reported: “A tribal corporation would have certain tax advantages.” The sale of the Navajo Mine to the Navajo Nation could preserve 800 high-paying jobs at the plant and mine. BHP will continue to run the mine through 2016.

The government gives.

Encouraging resource development and the economic prosperity that comes with it is good for the Navajo Nation, the Crow Tribe, and all Native Americans—but that can happen through an inviting, rather than hostile, regulatory environment. And, if coal is OK for them, it should be OK for the American Nation. Coal warms our homes and provides good paying jobs for all Americans —whether in the coal mines, coal-fueled power plants, manufacturing that depends on cost-effective energy, energy-intensive high-tech industries, or other fields. Instead of taking away our resources, we should all benefit from the bounty—which includes “winter warmth and job security for the future.”

The government shouldn’t be in the business of giving and taking.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 16, 2013

Nutty headline in the Unscientific American

The headline for the article below reads: "Fortified by Global Warming, Deadly Fungus Poisons Corn Crops, Causes Cancer". But they got their first premise wrong: Even such temples of Warmism as the British Met Office now concede that there has been no warming in recent years. So how can something non-existent cause fungus or anything else? False scientific beliefs are not at all unknown (check phlogiston) so you would think that SciAm would be just a little skeptical. No sign of it, though. They are thoroughly committed to their Fascist ambitions

Last year’s drought increased the spread of a carcinogenic mold called aspergillus (Aspergillus flavus), a fungal pathogen that poisons cattle, kills pets and has infected the 2012 corn crop, rendering significant portions of the harvest unfit for consumption.

Whereas the deadly organism mainly affects countries like China and developing African nations, many U.S. states have experienced an increase in corn contamination since 2011. Farmers are likely to see more of the carcinogen as temperatures continue to rise and droughts become more frequent.

“It's really a climate variable issue,” says Barbara Stinson, founding and senior partner of Meridian Institute, a public policy organization. “We're probably looking at an increase in aflatoxin as a result of that.”

A. flavus releases toxic spores that can be fatal when ingested, prompting symptoms that include jaundice, liver cancer and internal bleeding. The poison is so deadly that in 1995 Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein confessed to weaponizing the mold spores for use in biological warfare. The high toxicity of the mold means crops with more than 20 parts per billion—the equivalent of about 100 kernels in a truckload of corn—can’t cross state lines, says Ronnie Heiniger, professor of cropping systems at North Carolina State University.


"Crikey" are rather hilarious climate crooks

Below is an excerpt from Australian Leftist e-zine "Crikey". They refer to a railway engineer, Pachauri, as "the world’s most influential climate scientist". LOL.

And they misrepresent an article in "The Australian" and the journal article it is based on, both of which are reproduced below. The last sentence of the journal abstract could hardly be clearer. It says that the relationship between climate change and sea level rise is: "weak or absent during the 20th century." So who is representing the findings accurately? "The Australian" or "Crikey". You be the judge.

One of the 18 contributors to the paper (though not the corresponding author) is, however, a Warmist (John Church -- as a CSIRO employee he just about HAS to be a Warmist) and Crikey readily got some Warmist quotes from him. One wonders why they did not get quotes from the corresponding (main) author. "Corresponding" means that he is the one you should talk to about the paper. That John Church disowns the plain words of the paper suggests that his involvement with it was peripheral -- probably contributing a few statistics

As The Australian claims sea level rise is not linked to global warming, the world’s most influential climate scientist has called on “sane and rational voices” to speak out and correct the record.

More than 250 scientists have gathered in Hobart today for a summit of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN’s climate science body. The Oz marked the summit’s opening with a front-page “exclusive” story which claimed there was “no link” between sea level rises and global warming.

In a telephone interview, Crikey asked the long-term chair of the IPCC Dr Rajendra Pachauri, in Tasmania for the summit, about the story.

“What is particularly important is that sane and rational voices must respond to these questions and this scepticism, and I think that should get adequate currency,” said Pachauri, who in 2007 accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC. “Then people can make up their minds on their own.”

He called on the media to take responsibility for the stories they run. “Unfortunately in several parts of the world, the media gives disproportionate coverage to those who take a contrarian view, even if they represent a very very small percentage of either the scientific consensus or public opinion. They get almost equal billing, and to my mind that seems a little unfair,” he said.

Pachauri said climate change was particularly serious for Australia: ”From the looks of it, Australia is very very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, you have droughts, you have heat waves. Sea level rise could be a serious problem in some parts of the country. So Australia undoubtedly is very vulnerable, perhaps more so than several other places in the world.”

The Australian has long run a sceptical line on climate change, particularly in its opinion pages. Today’s story, written by environment editor Graham Lloyd, relied on a paper co-authored by Australian scientist Dr John Church. The paper apparently “said it could not link climate change and the rate of sea level rises in the 20th century”.

But Church, a sea level expert with the CSIRO, told a media conference today that was not an accurate description of the paper.

“So sea level clearly is linked to climate change, it is clearly linked to increases in greenhouse gases, and that’s actually in the paper which was quoted by The Australian. So the quote is, I’m sorry, inaccurate,” said Church, a co-ordinating lead author with the IPCC.

While The Australian claimed the paper had found no increase in the rate of sea level rise, Church said the paper showed the rate of sea level rise had increased between the 18th and 19th centuries, and research showed a further acceleration of the rate during the 20th century.


Sea rise 'not linked to warming', says report

THE latest science on sea level rises has found no link to global warming and no increase in the rate of glacier melt over the past 100 years.

A paper published last month in Journal of Climate highlights one of the great uncertainties in climate change research - will ocean levels rise by more than the current 3mm a year?

The peer-reviewed article, "20th-century global-mean sea-level rise: is the whole greater than the sum of the parts?" by JM Gregory, sought to explain the factors involved in sea-level rises during the last century. It found that sea-level rises had not accelerated "despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing" or human influence.

Australia's pre-eminent sea-level scientist, John Church, contributed to the paper, which said it could not link climate change and the rate of sea-level rises in the 20th century.

Australia is at the forefront of global research on sea-level rises, but must double its funding to $10 million a year to match other countries in the search for an answer.

There is no dispute that sea levels are rising and significant concerns about what the recent increased rate of melt of Arctic ice might mean. But the key question is whether the rate of sea-level rise will accelerate and, if so, when and by how much?

Australian optical space tracking technology developed to help manage remotely operated weapons systems is playing a key role in a global satellite monitoring program.

Ben Greene, a doctor of theoretical physics, said Australia was already a world leader in measuring sea levels.

"We have the precisions with what we are doing to measure sea level rises averaged over a decade," he said. "What we need to know is what the acceleration is."

Dr Greene's company owns the technology that is used worldwide to help measure sea level rise. He has offered the company's facilities profit-free to encourage Australia to increase its research effort in line with other nations.

"We need to move from fear-based to fact-based evidence," Dr Greene said. "We can trust the current models for the next 10 years, but there are problems after 15 years; sea level rises could be better or they could be worse."

The University of Reading paper says contributions to sea level rises include expansion of the water itself as it warms, melting glaciers and ice sheets, groundwater extraction and water trapped in reservoirs.

"We show that it is possible to reconstruct the time series of global mean sea level rise (GMSLR) from the quantified contributions," the paper said.

"Semi-empirical methods for projecting global mean sea level rise depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR, but the implication of our closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the 20th century," the paper said.

Dr Greene said overseas opinion was there would be a bit more sea level rise in the short term.

"The interesting thing comes in about 10 years' time if methane and CO2 traps in the ocean start to get released," he said.

"There would then be at least a short term acceleration some time in the 2020s. But the rise may accelerate and then reverse."

Twentieth-century global-mean sea-level rise: is the whole greater than the sum of the parts?

By J. M. Gregory et al.


Confidence in projections of global-mean sea-level rise (GMSLR) depends on an ability to account for GMSLR during the 20th century. There are contributions from ocean thermal expansion, mass loss from glaciers and ice sheets, groundwater extraction and reservoir impoundment. We have made progress towards solving the “enigma” of 20th-century GMSLR—that is, the observed GMSLR has been found to exceed the sum of estimated contributions, especially for the earlier decades. We propose that: thermal expansion simulated by climate models may previously have been underestimated owing to their not including volcanic forcing in their control state; the rate of glacier mass loss was larger than previously estimated, and was not smaller in the first than in the second half of the century; the Greenland ice-sheet could have made a positive contribution throughout the century; groundwater depletion and reservoir impoundment, which are of opposite sign, may have been approximately equal in magnitude. We show that it is possible to reconstruct the timeseries of GMSLR from the quantified contributions, apart from a constant residual term which is small enough to be explained as a long-term contribution from the Antarctic ice-sheet. The reconstructions account for the approximate constancy of the rate of GMSLR during the 20th century, which shows small or no acceleration, despite the increasing anthropogenic forcing. Semi-empirical methods for projecting GMSLR depend on the existence of a relationship between global climate change and the rate of GMSLR, but the implication of our closure of the budget is that such a relationship is weak or absent during the 20th century.

Journal of Climate, 2012

Victory for reason as Anti-Nuclear 'Linear No Threshold' theory dropped

by Neil Craig

FOR SIXTY YEARS the Linear No Threshold theory (LNT), the basis for saying that low level radiation is harmful, has been the foundation of the anti-nuclear movement. It has never had any scientific justification whatsoever and, in a new report released last month, this fact has now been publicly acknowledged by the the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR).

This is important because the theory that low-level radiation is harmful was the foundation of almost all anti-nuclear scare stories. Indeed it is so important that, with the sole exception of Forbes magazine, it has gone entirely unreported by the world's press and broadcasters.

Indeed I believe that, by providing justification for hysteria against nuclear power and thus ending the fast growth in the nuclear industry of the 1960s, this scare has done more to retard human progress than even the catastrophic warming fraud. And not merely because it has lasted longer.

For some time now I have been collating news from around the world on the evidence against the Linear No Threshold theory here. I did originally intend to also list evidence for it but, despite diligent searching, neither I, nor any anti-nuclear campaigner, could find any.

From now on anybody who says low level radiation is harmful can be publicly called a liar – and anybody who doesn't can't put a decent anti-nuclear case.

The fears engendered by this scare story have been directly responsible for the standstill in nuclear energy generation and thus in most energy generation overall in the world since 1970. Without that scare the world would be producing at least twice as much electricity and would thus be roughly twice as well off.

Such paradigm shattering news is of massive worldwide significance and has thus been ignored by virtually all the world's conventional media


Some commendable doubt

Instead of blaming wildfires on "climate change", the article below concedes all sorts of influences. It even concedes at the end that wildfires might have a cooling effect!

Every year, large areas of the Earth's surface burn, and the number of fires is increasing. Is climate change fanning the flames? Or are the fires making climate change worse?

The climate is complex. It is so complex that it's difficult for researchers to give accurate climate forecasts because it is so heavily influenced by external factors – solar radiation, greenhouse gasses and oceans. Another factor, which has been largely ignored until now, is fire. Only recently have experts realized that large forest and bush fires are noticeably changing the climate while being affected by it.

"Every year, more than 400 million acres (160 million hectares) are burnt. That's an area bigger than the size of India," says Silvia Kloster from the Max Plank Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg.

Lightning often ignites wood, destroying entire forests. People play a role too by extinguishing the fires and controlling or preventing fires on land. In addition, some also burn forests to gain agricultural land.

Fire maybe an occupational hazard for most, but it is Kloster's specialization. She wants to find out the impact that fire has on the climate and vice versa. Since the mid 19th Century, as more land was cleared for farming and cities were built, fewer fires have raged across the continents. But things changed.

"Our simulations show that 1960 was the tipping point," she explains. "Since then the area that burns up on the Earth has been expanding."

Does climate change increase the risk of fire?

Climate scientists are blaming the increase of fires on global warming, which has caused many places to become warmer and drier. Dry wood burns better than moist timber. In addition, the rising carbon dioxide levels in the air allow plants to grow better. As a result, the Earth has more biomass – more fuel for fires to burn. To find out whether this trend is set to continue and if climate change will lead to more fires on the planet in 25 years, Kloster and her fellow researchers are simulating scenarios on a computer.

"Globally, we see an increase," Kloster says. "In some of the simulations, the number of fires increased by 20 percent for 2040."

But there are significant differences. "In some areas we see an increase, while in other regions however, a decrease is predicted," she explains.

The number of fires could increase in tropical forests. But Mediterranean regions will probably have less fires because of increasing drought, which will result in less vegetation.

Interaction remains unclear

It's not just the climate that affects fires, massive fires also affect the climate. The larger and more intense a fire is, the more carbon dioxide is released into the air – this usually temporal. Eventually, plants and trees, which bind the carbon dioxide, grow on the burnt land again.

"But there are many other factors," says Kloster. "Fires don't only release carbon dioxide, they also release many other gases."

Considerable amounts of methane, a more pollutant greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is just one example. Add to that, the large amounts of ash that are released into the air. These jet-black particles absorb sunlight and through that are highly efficient in heating the planet's atmosphere.

But, it's tricky. Some particles that are released into the atmosphere by the fire, absorb the heat by acting as a cloud. These clouds cool the atmosphere by reflecting sunlight back into space. For Kloster, the question whether more fires will occur in future and whether they will hasten climate change or slow it down persists.

"This is the question our research is trying to answer," she says.


Australian government "science" advisors are gung-ho Warmists

Queensland Senator Ron Boswell has slammed the involvement of Gillard Government climate advisors in a Greenpeace campaign to hamstring the Australian coal industry.

Senator Boswell said it was “outrageous” for members of the Science Advisory Panel of the Climate Commission and the Climate Change Authority to sign an open letter calling for expansion of Australian coal exports to be stopped.

Senator Boswell was commenting on a Greenpeace-funded full-page advertisement published in a national newspaper yesterday talking about “out of control global warming” and arguing that Australia’s coal exports must “peak and decline” by 2015.

“Everyone is entitled to express an opinion but it is not appropriate for advisors to the Climate Commission and a member of the Climate Change Authority to take part in an advertising campaign calculated to damage the Australian coal industry” Senator Boswell said.

“The Climate Commission describes itself as ‘an independent body set up to provide reliable and authoritative source of information on climate change’ and the Climate Change Authority ‘provides independent advice on the operation of the carbon price, emissions reduction targets, caps and trajectories, and other Australian Government climate change initiatives’.

“These are people who are hand-picked by the Gillard Government to provide advice on climate policy. What signal does it send out about how Labor views coal mining to have its own advisors signing up to a campaign against the industry?”

Senator Boswell said the full-page advertisement took the form of an open letter and signatories included Prof. David Karoly and Prof. Matthew England. They are both members of the Science Advisory Panel of the Climate Commission and Prof. Karoly is also a member of the Climate Change Authority.

“If they want to campaign against the coal industry, they should resign their positions on these Government bodies,” Senator Boswell said. “If they do not resign, they should be removed by the Government. Then they will be free to express their views on the coal industry openly and freely.

“For the Labor Government to take no action will be to send a very clear message about how it views the coal industry, putting at risk another $50 billion in investment needed to boost the Australian economy and provide much-needed employment.”

Senator Boswell said coal is Australia’s second-most valuable export commodity, with exports valued at $49 billion in 2011-12, and the industry provided 55,000 direct jobs.

“This is a very important industry for the Queensland economy and Queensland jobs, not just on the coalfields but in coastal regions as well. Royalties paid by the coal industry in Queensland last year totalled more than $2.3 billion,” he said.

“Around $14 billion has already been committed for new coal mining projects, with a further $40 billion of investment under consideration. The coal industry, and coal exports, will play a vital role in the future of the Australian economy.”

Press release from Sen. Boswell's office []



Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 15, 2013

NYT deserting the ship too

By Alan Caruba

“What’s in worse shape””, asked the Heartland Institute’s Director of Communications, Jim Lakely, in a January 11th blog post. “The state of the Earth’s climate? Or the state of the New York Times? Global temperatures are not rising all that quickly, so the Earth is doing fine. Meanwhile, the Old Gray Lady is shutting down its Environmental Desk.”

TheHeartland Institute has cause to celebrate because it has led the effort to debunk the global warming hoax, sponsoring international conferences that brought together the world’s leading scientists and others to demonstrate how specious the alleged “science” of global warming was and is. It did so in the face of a United Nations agenda to advance the hoax and a compliant and cooperative media that did nothing to dispute it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have been an unpaid policy advisor to The Heartland Institute for many years, only once receiving a small grant many years ago to help fund research involving the global warming hoax. These days donations to my blog help sustain the effort.

As the planet enters its seventeenth year in which temperatures have been steadily falling in response to a natural cooling cycle, the result of reduced solar radiation, the global warming hoax is finally being revealed as an instrument of the United Nations and individual governments, including our own, to impose “carbon taxes” that would raise billions of dollars for everyone involved.

The New York Times with its vaunted reputation has been suffering the same fate as many daily newspapers in the U.S., as well as news magazines such as Newsweek and Time. The rise of the Internet has bled off advertising revenue, but I maintain that as alternative sources of information became available, the Times and the mainstream media has suffered a loss of credibility across the spectrum of news topics.

In the case of the Times, however, their journalistic sins were much worse than others because it led the global warming hoax from its beginning, never failing to fill its pages about rising sea levels (they’re not rising precipitously), declining polar bear populations (they’ve increased), and using every weather event from hurricanes to tornadoes to droughts (all cyclical and natural) to shout about a “global warming” caused by carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gas emissions” that had nothing whatever to do with a non-existent threat to the nation and the planet.

Bluntly stated, the Times lied about global warming—now called “climate change”—on a daily basis.

The Times Environmental Desk had a team of editors and reporters that never lost an opportunity to further the greatest hoax of the modern era and one can only hope that reporters like Andrew Revkin will be reassigned to cover high school football and soccer games in the tri-state area. On his Facebook page, Revkin said he was never a fan of the desk even though he worked for it and lamented the elimination of an environmental editor. It is doubtful, however, that the Times will eliminate its editors and teams that cover the White House, Congress, and other activities of interest to readers, including sports.

Maybe it was just serendipitous—the Times has been cutting back on staff for quite some time now—but I believe the news that the poster boy of global warming, Al Gore, had sold his television channel, Current, to al Jazeera, a notably anti-American channel that gained fame broadcasting Osama bin Laden’s rants, was the “final straw” that led to the decision to shut down its Environmental Desk.

In a January 11th Wall Street Journal commentary, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., wrote that “Mr. Gore and his allies wore out their welcome with their exaggerations, their self-righteousness, and their perfectly foolish insistence that a plurality of voters could be morally bullied into giving up their self-interest if chastised long and loudly enough by Mr. Gore.” His commentary took to task the lies of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that extrapolated from 1.58% of the Earth surface—the lower 49 U.S. states—to suggest a global warming phenomenon.

The public did not rush to purchase electric cars, nor did they install expensive solar panels on the roofs of their homes. Instead they worried about the price of gasoline and the rising cost of electricity and other expenses whose costs have been increased by extraordinary bad “environmental” laws and regulations such as the requirement that ethanol be added to each gallon, increasing is cost while decreasing mileage, and destroying the engines under the hoods of millions of automobiles. As forty percent of the nation’s corn crop was siphoned off to make ethanol the cost of most food items at the supermarket increased as well.

The good news is that there will not be an environmental editor or deputy environmental editor at the Times, nor seven reporters whose sole job was to report lies intended to advance and bolster the agenda of the Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA, and the agendas of heavily funded environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and the World Wildlife Federation.

The “newspaper of record” has debased itself and the profession of journalism for too long as a leading participant in the progressive movement’s effort to impose socialism on the greatest example of the power of capitalism and the free market—the United States—the world has ever known.


Wind farm contracts to increase energy bills for British families

Millions of families face higher energy bills because of a "shocking" catalogue of errors made by the Government when it awarded contracts for expensive offshore wind farms, MPs will disclose today.

Consumers could see bills rise in the coming years after "generous" deals worth £17 billion were agreed with energy firms delivering wind-generated power to homes, a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has warned.

Under a scheme agreed by Labour leader Ed Miliband during the last Labour government, but implemented by Coalition ministers, the contracts guarantee that the power firms will be paid even if they fail to deliver energy to households.

Labour MP Margaret Hodge, who chairs the PAC, described the contracts as a "licence for the private sector to print money at the expense of hard-pressed consumers".

The warning on energy price hikes comes as temperatures across the UK are set to plummet in the coming days.

The Met Office has issued warnings of ice and severe cold weather, with snowfall predicted across central, northern and south-east England as well as parts of Wales and Scotland.

Heathrow Airport could face severe disruption, with forecasters warning there could be up to 5cm of snow in some parts of the country.

Energy bills have more than doubled since 2004 to more than £1,300 a year per household, largely due to rising gas prices.

Bills are set to go up by hundreds of pounds a year under all the Government's green and fuel poverty policies.

Following the MPs damning report into the wind farm contracts, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has now said it will "re-examine some of the terms" of the lucrative deals.

The sharp criticism of the Government came in a report on the "elaborate" new system that licences companies to operate assets bringing wind-generated power onshore.

Energy ministers want controversial offshore wind farms to provide up to 15 per cent of the country's electricity needs by 2020.

That will require around £8 billion of investment in infrastructure such as platforms, cables and substations.

The committee said that long-term licences awarded to energy companies so far "appear heavily skewed towards attracting investors rather than securing a good deal for consumers".

Under the terms of the contracts the companies are guaranteed an RPI inflation linked income for 20 years regardless of how much the infrastructure is used.

The estimated returns of 10-11 per cent on the initial licences "look extremely generous given the limited risks", the MPs said.

Ministers stand accused of failing to learn lessons from failed Private Finance Initiatives, with the committee warning that costs from the wind farm schemes will now be passed on to taxpayers.

Mrs Hodge, the MP for Barking, described the way the contracts had been awarded as "shocking". "[The energy companies] are guaranteed income even if we don't use the electricity and if the transmission cables fail they can only get fined up to 10 per cent of the total income coming in," she said. "It's like another PFI. If you create such generous terms people would be mad not to get involved in the market."

The contracts were awarded to the energy firms in March 2011 but the policy was decided by the last Labour Government, the committee confirmed.

"Not only is it unlikely that this new licensing system for bringing electricity from offshore wind farms onto the national grid will deliver any savings for consumers, it could well lead to higher prices," Mrs Hodge added. "Indeed the terms of the transmission licences appear to have been designed almost entirely to attract investors at the expense of securing a good deal for consumers.

"Licensees and their investors are provided with a guaranteed income, increasing annually in line with RPI, for 20 years regardless of the extent to which the assets are used. "Future payments to licensees are estimated at around £17 billion, and this will ultimately be funded by customers who could well end up paying higher electricity prices."

The Labour MP said DECC and the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority had wanted to create a "competitive market" for offshore transmission, but the first six licences were awarded to just two firms - Transmission Capital Partners and Macquarie.

"In setting up this new market the Department and Authority ignored vital lessons from previous government experience of PFI, such as the need to share refinancing gains, and it is shocking that the Treasury allowed it to proceed," the Labour MP said.

Christopher Heaton-Harris, the Conservative MP for Daventry, warned that consumers could be left paying for "redundant" wind farm technology because of the deals.

"This is going to be a sizable chunk of money in the future on top of our bills," Mr Heaton-Harris said.

"There is every chance that in 15 years you could be seeing huge numbers of redundant offshore wind farms that we will still be paying for."

A DECC spokesman insisted that the contracts had been designed to "drive value for money" for consumers. "The offshore electricity transmission regime harnesses competitive forces to drive value for money for consumers," the spokesman said. "Potential licence holders bid against each other on price in the context of the licence terms.

"With six licences now granted, now is the right time to re-examine some of the terms. We therefore welcome Ofgem's current consultation on them."

The disclosure that consumers' energy bills could increase came as a poll showed that the majority of MPs do not trust energy companies to offer genuine competition and provide customers with choices so they can choose between suppliers.

The survey of 92 MPs by pollsters Ipsos MORI found that 86 per cent distrust the companies to "provide clear information so customers can choose between suppliers".

Of the surveyed MPs, just 10 per cent said they believe energy companies will try to offer "genuine competition" in energy supply.


Trampling on People, Environment and Ethics

Paul Driessen

Policy integrity. Ethical culture. Environmental protection. Environmental defense. Friends of earth. Defenders of wildlife. Not just their names, but their charter, culture and policies – their very being – represent a commitment to these profound values. Or so we are supposed to believe.

The activist groups and government agencies certainly talk a good game. They’ve certainly got the “mainstream” media and a lot of legislators and regulators on their side, while many who question their claims and agendas lack the greens’ money, influence, connections and firepower.

All that notwithstanding, these supposed “white hats” are often all hat and no cattle – or worse.

In truth, the very foundation for many of their policies is built on sand, worthless computer models or outright deception. A movement begun to curtail serious environmental abuses won most of those battles, but then evolved (regressed?) into organizations fixated on eradicating hydrocarbon and nuclear power, acquiring more money and power, and using environmental rules to control people’s lives, restrict or roll back modern technology and living standards, and perpetuate poverty, misery and disease in poor countries – in the name of precaution, biodiversity, sustainable development and climate stabilization.

Organizations and agencies ill-funded and on the periphery 40 years ago now share tens of billions of dollars annually – courtesy of taxpayer payments and tax code largesse – and dictate decision-making. Companies are created, establish divisions and hire $50,000-a-month lobbyists to turn environmental policies and programs into billion-dollar cash cows that have more lives than Freddy Krueger.

Climategate, doctored data, new theories about solar forces – and the stubborn refusal of climate reality to cooperate with computer models, carbon dioxide theorizing and climate cataclysm headlines – have turned the Kyoto Protocol into a toothless laughingstock that stands for little more than wealth redistribution. By unlocking another century of oil and gas, 3-D seismic and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) have eviscerated Club of Rome and Sierra Club assertions that we are rapidly running out of petroleum.

One would think these paradigm shifts would alter environmentalist thinking and government programs designed to replace “disappearing” oil and gas with wind, solar and biofuel energy. But hell hath no fury like an environmentalist scorned. Any attempt to revise laws, regulations or subsidies is met with derision, outrage, expanded rules and funding, and new allegations, grievances and justifications.

Petroleum depletion and dangerous manmade climate change continue to drive public policy. This is so even when outdated programs that supposedly advance health and ecological goals are found to do just the opposite. A few energy sector examples illustrate the harsh reality that common citizens face.

* Congress enacted automobile mileage standards as an energy conservation mandate. The Environmental Protection Agency unilaterally raised the requirement to 54.5 mpg, based mainly on global warming concerns. The result has been more cars that are smaller, lighter and less crashworthy – and thus thousands of additional fatalities, and tens of thousands of serious extra injuries, every year.

EPA routinely justifies onerous, job-killing regulations by claiming they will save thousands of lives, which the agency values at $8.9 million each. But it obstinately ignores the injuries, deaths and billions of dollars in healthcare and mortality costs that its mileage standards are exacting on America every year.

* In their determination to make more oil and gas prospects off limits, promote renewable energy, and slash emissions of carbon dioxide and air pollution, EPA and the Interior Department promote highly exaggerated health and welfare benefits, and statistical lives theoretically saved. They routinely ignore the adverse health and welfare impacts caused by regulations and other actions that increase heating, food and transportation costs, cause numerous layoffs, and hurt poor and minority families most of all. EPA even employs illegal human experiments to advance its anti-hydrocarbon agenda.

Study after study has shown that unemployment results in reduced nutrition, increased stress, and higher rates of heart attacks and strokes, spousal and child abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, suicide and premature death. This is especially true for older Americans who have been laid off, are scraping by on welfare and unemployment, have limited prospects for finding new full-time work, or may be forced to hold several jobs below their skill level and at sharply reduced wages. But the agencies refuse to consider these facts.

* Corn ethanol and myriad other heavily subsidized biofuel programs are supposedly clean, green, better for planetary climate and biodiversity, and vital for replacing oil imports and rapidly depleting petroleum reserves. In reality, US and global oil and gas reserves are increasing, thanks to modern technology and despite the Obama Administration’s best efforts to further shackle leasing and drilling.

Millions of acres of farmland and algae ponds are needed to produce the same Btu output that could come from oil and gas fields that impact far less land temporarily with drilling rigs and minimally with wellheads and pipelines. With 40% of US corn production dedicated to meeting ethanol mandates, an area larger than subsidy-hungry Iowa must be planted in corn just to meet those quotas.

Especially in drought years, this takes a lot of water – several hundred to over a thousand gallons of water to grow corn and process it into one gallon of ethanol, depending on where the corn is grown and who does the calculations – plus fertilizer, insecticides and fuel for tractors, distilling and truck transport. This water cannot be the brackish variety that is often used in fracking, which increasingly recycles its water.

Demand for ethanol has driven corn prices from $2.80 a bushel in 2005 to $8.50 per bushel this year. That’s great for corn growers, but devastating for poultry, egg, beef, pork and catfish producers, whose feed costs have gone through the roof. Skyrocketing corn prices have raised family food prices, made it harder for aid agencies to buy enough corn to feed starving people, increased malnutrition, misery, disease and premature death for millions of children, and contributed to agricultural land shortages.

Now the United States is actually importing corn from Brazil, to produce a fuel that gets 35% fewer miles per gallon than gasoline, and achieves virtually no overall reduction in CO2 emissions.

* To generate expensive, subsidized, unreliable electricity from “eco-friendly” wind, we must build and operate both wind turbines and fossil-fuel-powered “backup” power plants that actually generate over 75% of the electricity generally attributed to wind power. That means we must more than double raw materials requirements for power generation and transmission, fossil energy input (to mine, manufacture, transport, build and operate wind and fossil power plants), and impacts on habitats and wildlife.

Essential rare earth metals and turbine components come mostly from China which, along with India and other developing countries, is emitting far more CO2 than all 39,000 US wind turbines combined can possibly remove from the United States’ emission streams.

Worst of all, those turbines are killing an estimated 13,000,000 to 39,000,000 ecologically vital birds and bats every year – including thousands of bald and golden eagles, falcons, hawks and whooping cranes. The EPA, Defenders of Wildlife and US Fish and Wildlife Service go ballistic over any bird deaths caused by oil and gas operations. But they are AWOL when it comes to wind turbines’ destructive power, and complicit in helping Big Wind bury the gruesome statistics, both literally and figuratively.

As energy analyst and author Indur Goklany has noted, fossil fuels have saved and enhanced lives for countless millions. They have saved humanity from nature’s recurring wrath – and nature from humanity’s need to turn forests and grasslands into fuel.

Real policy integrity, ethical culture and environmental protection acknowledge these realities – and change opinions and policies to reflect reality. That today’s environmentalist industry refuses to do so underscores how abysmal its ethics actually are.


So Fake It’s Real: Global Warming is Reality TV for the Media Elite

Here’s my challenge to all the global warming apologists: Explain to me why the “settled science” of global warming has to manipulate headlines to make information appear scarier and more threatening than the actual data shows.

If global warming is so settled, why do you and your friends take the opportunity to exaggerate, obfuscate and slant every piece of news that comes out to make it seem relevant to today?

You can see an example of this in the headlines below:

“Climate Change Main Contributor to Corn Volatility, Study Says” writes Bloomberg-BusinessWeek.

“Climate Change Has Outsize Effect On Corn Price Volatility,” trumpets Climate Central.

“Warming set to make corn prices pop,” says Agence France Presse.

“Climate Change to Affect Corn Prices, Study Says,” echoes the New York Times.

Nature Climate Change, a journal for the care and feeding of the climate change industry that masquerades as a peer-reviewed science rag, has published a new study that warns that “US corn price volatility to increase sharply in response to global warming projected to occur over the next three decades.”

Projected to occur over the next three decades.

The study does not say that global warming is affecting the corn prices that are making today’s news, but rather corn prices that will be news in ten years or so.

But in another attempt to scare people into believing that a crisis has burst upon us, the media is using a self-serving expert study- a study that is expert mostly at arguing propositions that are self-evident- to ratchet up the fear that global warming is out of control and to blame for high corn prices today.

You don’t have to be a grammarian to catch the tense and other tricks that the MSM is using to hype the results of the study.

The study says that if the climate change model predicted by global warming alarmists comes to pass, that the warming will have a bigger effect on corn prices than say, federal ethanol policies.

So in other words, the same dynamic- namely, crop yield derived from weather conditions- will continue to drive the price of corn in the same way crop prices have been affected for thousands of years.

Yet if you were to read the headlines, you’d think the current trend of high corn prices are the result of global warming, not the real culprit: mismanagement of monetary policy by Obama and the central banks which has had an inflationary affect on many commodities including corn, oil, gold and silver.

Certainly if temperatures in the corn-belt go up by an average of ten degrees by the end of the century, as predicated in the study, I can confidently say that, yes, corn prices will be affected more by warming than any other factor.

But the summary of the Nature report come with a lot of ifs, and, buts that add up to a great deal of uncertainty: “Closer integration of agriculture and energy markets moderates the effects of climate change, unless the biofuels mandate becomes binding, in which case corn price volatility is instead exacerbated.”

Got it? Integrate agriculture and energy, whatever that means, and you moderate volatility. Use agriculture as energy and you get more volatility.

It’s this kind of reporting by the MSM that has climate change skeptics like me increasingly convinced that much of the data is being intentionally manipulated by a media elite that can not tolerate debate, especially when they are really, really, really wrong.

We saw the same type of reporting lead to widespread predictions that killer hurricanes were becoming more commonplace, as a result of global warming. We had farfetched predictions every year of a dozen or so tropical cyclones bearing down on humans who refused to stop messing with Mother Nature. This continued until the results failed to materialize and the adults in hurricane science finally put and end to the farce with a report showing that no, global warming has had no affect on hurricanes.

We saw this same type of reporting lead to the hypothesis that polar bear cannibalism was on the rise as a result of global warming by the same discredited fools who predicted that polar bear populations were declining, when in fact, the polar bear populations are growing.

Lately every weather event from a drought in Texas, to cold weather in Europe, to hurricane flooding has been blamed on global warming. This despite, um, little or no scientific evidence: “"This is not the new normal in terms of drought. Texas knows drought. Texas has been toughened on the anvil of droughts that have come and gone. This is not a climate change drought. What we do anticipate from climate change is a situation where temperatures progressively increase," said Dr. Robert Hoerling, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research meteorologist, who was a lead author of the U.S. Climate Change Science Plan Synthesis and Assessment Report and definitely a supporter of warming models.

We are at the point that we could have a record cold snap around the world for several years in a row and global warming acolytes would work furiously on models to blame it on…global warming.

That ain’t science folks. That’s reality TV.

And while the clown college that makes up the dwindling media elite in this country continues to exaggerate, obfuscate and slant every piece of news that comes out to make it seem relevant to today, expect the folks at home to one day give them the Donald Trump treatment.


Welcome To Green Europe: Greeks Raid Forests In Search Of Wood To Heat Homes

Economic bungling has an environmental price

Illegal logging has surged in Greece as households suffering through three years of recession hoard wood to burn during cold winter days.

While patrolling on a recent cold night, environmentalist Grigoris Gourdomichalis caught a young man illegally chopping down a tree on public land in the mountains above Athens.

When confronted, the man broke down in tears, saying he was unemployed and needed the wood to warm the home he shares with his wife and four small children, because he could no longer afford heating oil.

“It was a tough choice, but I decided just to let him go” with the wood, said Mr. Gourdomichalis, head of the locally financed Environmental Association of Municipalities of Athens, which works to protect forests around Egaleo, a western suburb of the capital.

Tens of thousands of trees have disappeared from parks and woodlands this winter across Greece, authorities said, in a worsening problem that has had tragic consequences as the crisis-hit country’s impoverished residents, too broke to pay for electricity or fuel, turn to fireplaces and wood stoves for heat.

As winter temperatures bite, that trend is dealing a serious blow to the environment, as hillsides are denuded of timber and smog from fires clouds the air in Athens and other cities, posing risks to public health.

The number of illegal logging cases jumped in 2012, said forestry groups, while the environment ministry has lodged more than 3,000 lawsuits and seized more than 13,000 tons of illegally cut trees.

Such woodcutting was last common in Greece during Germany’s brutal occupation in the 1940s, underscoring how five years of recession and waves of austerity measures have spawned drastic measures.

Smog, on some days visible to the naked eye and carrying the distinct smell of burning wood, has prompted local officials in Athens to discuss mitigation strategies, including proposals to restore heating-oil subsidies.

On Christmas Day, Greece’s environment ministry said, particulate in the air over one of Athens’s biggest suburbs, Maroussi, was so bad that it was more than two times the European Union’s acceptable air-pollution standards.

“The average Greek will throw anything into the fireplace that can be burned, ranging from old furniture with lacquer, to old books with ink, in order to get warm,” said Stefanos Sapatakis, an environmental-health officer at the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

He said the smog could affect vulnerable groups, including the elderly, children and people with asthma. He likened the air conditions in Athens to an instance in postwar London where smog from wood fires blanketed the city for five days in December 1953, contributing to the deaths of more than 4,000 people and leading British authorities to ban the use of fireplaces in the city.In northern Greece, where climatic conditions in winter are closer to those in continental Europe than the Mediterranean, the struggle to stay warm amid government cutbacks is forcing tough choices on local municipalities. In late December, one of Greece’s teachers’ associations warned that many schools, particularly in the north, could soon be forced to suspend lessons because there was no money to heat classrooms.


Australia: Stop telling forest-fire victims to shut up

Greenies have blood on their hands

WHENEVER a major bushfire catastrophe occurs in Australia, the victims are essentially told to shut up.

It happened after Victoria’s Black Saturday fires in 2009. It happened after the Canberra bushfires, 10 years ago on Friday. And it’s happening now in Tasmania.

“Now is not the time for that conversation,” says the Tasmanian Minister for Emergency Management, David O’Byrne, avoiding questions about why adequate hazard reduction burns were not done in cooler months to remove fuel from the path of inevitable summer fires.

It’s just too early, claims Premier Lara Giddings, presiding over Tasmania’s ALP-Greens coalition.

But the residents of Dunalley, whose town was overrun, and the farmers whose properties and livestock have been wiped out, want that conversation right now.

Now is the time for farmers to complain that they could never get a permit to burn off excessive ground fuel on their properties.

Now, while public attention is focused, and before the truth can be buried for years.

Now is the time to point out, perhaps, that a fire which begins in a national park carrying negligently heavy loads of ground fuel can become an unstoppable inferno which will eventually burst out into the Canberra suburbs and kill four people and consume 500 homes.

Now is the time for people who understand the bush to tell the rest of Australia what fools we are.

“Fuel reduction burns make it possible to fight and control a fire; what happened here was uncontrollable,” Dunalley farmer Leigh Arnold told The Australian.

Greenies who oppose such burnoffs, “care more about birds and wildlife than they do about people and farms,” he said.

“But what’s the point of that now when the hills and trees they told me I couldn’t burn off, because there were protected eagles and swift parrots there, are now all burned and the fire it created was so hot we had dead swans dropping out of the sky?”

No, the only permissible comment on a bushfire catastrophe is to say it was caused by “climate change” - that convenient get-out-of-jail free card for greenies, governments and the obstructive bureaucracies they jointly create.

But we’ve heard it all before, and we’re not buying it.

“It’s really simple,” says Brian Williams, captain of the Kurrajong Heights bushfire brigade, a veteran of 44 years of firefighting, in one of the most extreme fire risk areas of Australia, on a ridge surrounded by 0.75 million hectares of overgrown national park between the Blue Mountains and Wollemi.

“Fires run on fuel. Limited fuel means limited fire.”

Green tape and heavy-handed bureaucracy has made his job harder today than in 28 years as captain. Rather than needing six people to perform a controlled burn in the cooler months, now 40 are involved, to oversee biodiversity and so on.

Williams managed to conduct just two of the five hazard reduction burns he planned before this fire season.

But don’t blame greenies. All week they have been claiming they support hazard reduction. Really?

No matter what legalistic and linguistic ploys are now used to rewrite history, green hostility to proper bushfire management is on the record, from the light-green NIMBYs who object to smoke, to green lobbyists who infiltrate government decision-making, taxpayer-funded green activists who embed themselves in government agencies, the bureaucratic green tape which makes the job of volunteer firefighters so difficult, the green NGOs who strongarm politicians, right up to the political arm of green ideology, The Greens.

It is true The Greens have developed a new set of “aims” including a caveat-studded “effective and sustainable strategy for fuel-reduction management”.

In practice, on the ground, it amounts to covert opposition. Williams scoffs at the Orwellian sophistry: “They publicly say they support it. The reality of how it pans out is nothing like that. Greens have two faces and underneath they are undermining everything.”

While there have been improvements under a new state government, Williams says hazard reduction is still inadequate across NSW, reaching just 1 per cent rather than the 5 per cent minimum recommended by the Victorian bushfire inquiry.

At least in the hard-won patch of Volunteer Fire Fighter Association president Peter Cannon, around Dubbo, Parkes and Forbes, hazard reduction is complete this year and he is confident any fires will be controllable.

He says it is a credit to hard-working firefighters that Tasmania-scale destruction has not occurred in NSW despite extreme fire conditions.

Another bright spot is the latest Rural Fire Service annual report which says more than 80 per cent of planned hazard reduction was achieved, and the area treated should increase by 45 per cent over three years.

It’s not enough but it’s a welcome change from the dark days of 2003, eight months before the Canberra inferno, when former RFS Commissioner Phil Koperberg told a NSW parliamentary inquiry that widespread hazard reduction was “an exercise in futility”.

Fast forward to last month and blame for that fire has finally been laid where it belongs, at the feet of Koperberg’s RFS and the green-influenced National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Brinadabella farmer Wayne West, whose property was wiped out in the fires, sued the two agencies. Last month in the ACT Supreme Court, Chief Justice Terrence Higgins found them negligent.

The episode demonstrated how green pressure on decision-makers filters down into a cascade of subtle bureaucratic obstructions which disempower firefighters on the ground and disregard their expertise.

The result in 2003 was that a small fire at McIntyre’s Hut in the Brindabella ranges was allowed to rage out of control through the national park to emerge 10 days later, and burn lethally through Canberra’s suburbs.

Unfortunately for West and his insurance company, the government agencies are protected by statute and don’t have to pay compensation.

But West won a moral victory. We all are in his debt because he fought for the truth and refused to shut up.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 14, 2013

Australian heatwave: global issue?

Some selective reporting below. Following is a more realistic comparision

Phew, what a scorcher! as the tabloids used to say about exceptionally warm summer days in Britain. Although what most Australians have been experiencing in their summer is not just the odd hot day, but a heatwave of historic proportions since the end of December.

With temperatures predicted to peak this weekend at 52 degrees [in the central desert area where temperatures are normally high] – more than half the boiling point of water – it is not surprising there have been forest fires, burning homes, melting asphalt and petrol vaporising at filling stations.

This heatwave is unprecedented, said David Jones of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. “Clearly, the climate system is responding to the background warming trend. Everything that happens now . . . is taking place on a planet which is a degree hotter than it used to be.”

The bureau had to add dark purple and magenta to its colour-coded weather forecasting map to represent temperatures of 51 to 54 degrees. Previously, the maximum shown on the map was 50, represented by a black colour.

Bob Ward of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change in London said it was “a measure of just how extreme this heatwave is” that the meteorological bureau had to recalibrate its monitoring by adding an extra four degrees to the scale: “It is a sign of things to come.”

If the latest Australian heatwave – following so soon after a 2009 scorcher that killed 173 people [in bushfires. Australia has bushfires every summer] – can be taken as hard evidence of global warming, what would happen if average values continued to rise by up to 6 degrees in a worst-case scenario?


It was REALLY hot in Sydney recently -- about the same as 1790 (i.e. over 200 years ago)

The following was written by Watkin Tench, a British military officer, just two years after white settlement in Australia. Temperatures reached at least 108 F (42 degrees Celsius), similar to some records of maximum temperatures in Sydney in recent days.

The current average daily maxima for Sydney are 25.1 degrees for December and 25.8 for January. So 1790 was a year of extreme warming desite no power stations, SUVs or factories. There were not even many people

To convey an idea of the climate in summer, I shall transcribe from my meteorological journal, accounts of two particular days which were the hottest we ever suffered under at Sydney.

December 27th 1790. Wind NNW; it felt like the blast of a heated oven, and in proportion as it increased the heat was found to be more intense, the sky hazy, the sun gleaming through at intervals.

At 9 a.m. 85 degrees At noon; 104 Half past twelve; 107 1/2 From one p.m. until 20 minutes past two; 108 1/2 At 20 minutes past two 109 At Sunset 89 At 11 p.m. 78 1/2

[By a large Thermometer made by Ramsden, and graduated on Fahrenheit’s scale.]

December 28th.

At 8 a.m. 86 10 a.m.; 93 11 a.m.; 101 At noon; 103 1/2 Half an hour past noon; 104 1/2 At one p.m. 102 At 5 p.m. 73 At sunset 69 1/2

[At a quarter past one, it stood at only 89 degrees, having, from a sudden shift of wind, fallen 13 degrees in 15 minutes.]

My observations on this extreme heat, succeeded by so rapid a change, were that of all animals, man seemed to bear it best. Our dogs, pigs and fowls, lay panting in the shade, or were rushing into the water. I remarked that a hen belonging to me, which had sat for a fortnight, frequently quitted her eggs, and shewed great uneasiness, but never remained from them many minutes at one absence; taught by instinct that the wonderful power in the animal body of generating cold in air heated beyond a certain degree, was best calculated for the production of her young. The gardens suffered considerably. All the plants which had not taken deep root were withered by the power of the sun. No lasting ill effects, however, arose to the human constitution. A temporary sickness at the stomach, accompanied with lassitude and headache, attacked many, but they were removed generally in twenty-four hours by an emetic, followed by an anodyne. During the time it lasted, we invariably found that the house was cooler than the open air, and that in proportion as the wind was excluded, was comfort augmented.

But even this heat was judged to be far exceeded in the latter end of the following February, when the north-west wind again set in, and blew with great violence for three days. At Sydney, it fell short by one degree of what I have just recorded: but at Rose Hill, it was allowed, by every person, to surpass all that they had before felt, either there or in any other part of the world. Unluckily they had no thermometer to ascertain its precise height. It must, however, have been intense, from the effects it produced. An immense flight of bats driven before the wind, covered all the trees around the settlement, whence they every moment dropped dead or in a dying state, unable longer to endure the burning state of the atmosphere. Nor did the ‘perroquettes’, though tropical birds, bear it better. The ground was strewn with them in the same condition as the bats.

Were I asked the cause of this intolerable heat, I should not hesitate to pronounce that it was occasioned by the wind blowing over immense deserts, which, I doubt not, exist in a north-west direction from Port Jackson, and not from fires kindled by the natives. This remark I feel necessary, as there were methods used by some persons in the colony, both for estimating the degree of heat and for ascertaining the cause of its production, which I deem equally unfair and unphilosophical. The thermometer, whence my observations were constantly made, was hung in the open air in a southern aspect, never reached by the rays of the sun, at the distance of several feet above the ground.


Global warming lobby discredited by exaggerations & self-righteousness

When the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says 2012 was the hottest year on record in the "contiguous United States," trust the media to transcribe the statement accurately. A disaster for public understanding begins only when the media stop transcribing and start using their own brains.

Said the New York Times climate blog, in an assertion that was echoed throughout the media: "The temperature differences between years are usually measured in fractions of a degree, but 2012 blew away the previous record, set in 1998, by a full degree Fahrenheit."

But what about ....

Really? If that were true, then hair-on-fire news should have been the fact that 2012 was 2.13 degrees hotter than 2011. That's a far more dramatic change, and in a single year.

Nor was it mentioned that 2008, in the contiguous U.S., was two degrees cooler than 2006. Or that 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 were all cooler than 1998 by a larger margin than 2012 was hotter than 1998.

Are you getting the picture? None of this was mentioned because it makes a mockery of using trends in the Lower 48 as a proxy for global warming, the misguided intent that permeated media coverage of the NOAA revelation.

The contiguous United States isn't the globe. It isn't even the United States, omitting Alaska and Hawaii. The Lower 48 represent just 1.58% of the total surface area of the Earth. The law of large numbers is at work here: The smaller the sample, the more volatile its patterns compared to a larger sample. And the fact remains, in all the authoritative studies, the warmest year on record globally is still 1998 and no trend has been apparent globally since then.

Until this week, the media's previous favorite way to evade this reality was to report, as a joint CBS/New York Times broadcast did on a recent Sunday morning, that the past decade was the "hottest decade ever recorded."

Uh huh. Because year-to-year changes in global (as opposed to contiguous U.S.) temperature are indeed teensy, it would be astonishing if the decade following the warmest year on record were not the warmest decade on record. But the appeal of this formulation is that it allows the media to talk about global warming in our time without mentioning that, ahem, global warming has ceased in our time.

Is climate warming getting ready to resume? Possibly. Is man's contribution to climate change significant and worth worrying about? Possibly.

But climate change and gun control have one thing in common. Their advocates are more interested in asserting their moral superiority and denouncing their "enemies" than in making progress, which explains why there has been no progress.

Al Gore is a perfect case in point. He unburdened himself of a remarkable self-delusion in a talk last month to the New York League of Conservation Voters, claiming a nefarious cabal of "carbon polluters" and "ideologues" in Congress were blocking change.

In fact, the oil industry and most industry long ago threw in the towel, seeing no point in contending against the overwhelming media, political and elite consensus in favor of man-made warming, especially as it became clear that voter self-interest would nevertheless remain an insurmountable barrier to costly energy policies aimed at influencing climate change.

Mr. Gore must continue to flog the image of himself as a lonely voice battling a sinister conspiracy to account, frankly, for his own policy failure. Yet had he and his fellow activists been less sanctimonious, less prone to self-discrediting hysteria and false assertions about global warming, their cause might be seizing the high ground right now.

Tax reform is on the nation's agenda. An intelligent contingent of the environmental community once had a bright idea to overcome the biggest barrier to climate action (a barrier that many greens resolutely ignore), namely the problem of costs and benefits.

Their idea, known as the "double dividend," proposed a carbon tax to change energy-use patterns while the proceeds would be used to reduce taxes on labor and capital and encourage economic growth.

The appeal of this proposal was its realism—to recognize that nagging uncertainties exist concerning climate change and man's role, yet here was a policy that politicians and voters could support out of self-interest rather than sackcloth and ashes. And, for once, environmentalists would not be seen as wanting everyone to be poorer.

This idea might seem especially ripe now that we want tax reform simultaneously to grow the economy and help pay for the welfare state. Yet advocates of a carbon tax are all but invisible in the debate. Mr. Gore and his allies wore out their welcome with their exaggerations, their self-righteousness, and their perfectly foolish insistence (like the gun controllers) that a plurality of voters could be morally bullied into giving up their self-interest if chastised long and loudly enough by Mr. Gore.

Politically, this worked as well as you might expect: Tax reform is on the agenda for the first time in a generation and the greens have mouthed themselves out of contention.


It's the Green Stalinists who are the deniers

By David Rose

Last year The Mail on Sunday reported a stunning fact: that global warming had ‘paused’ for 16 years. The Met Office’s own monthly figures showed there had been no statistically significant increase in the world’s temperature since 1997.

We were vilified. One Green website in the US said our report was ‘utter bilge’ that had to be ‘exposed and attacked’.

The Met Office issued a press release claiming it was misleading, before quietly admitting a few days later that it was true that the world had not got significantly warmer since 1997 after all. A Guardian columnist wondered how we could be ‘punished’.

But then last week, the rest of the media caught up with our report. On Tuesday, news finally broke of a revised Met Office ‘decadal forecast’, which not only acknowledges the pause, but predicts it will continue at least until 2017. It says world temperatures are likely to stay around 0.43 degrees above the long-term average – as by then they will have done for 20 years.

This is hugely significant. It amounts to an admission that earlier forecasts – which have dictated years of Government policy and will cost tens of billions of pounds – were wrong. They did not, the Met Office now accepts, take sufficient account of ‘natural variability’ – the effects of phenomena such as ocean temperature cycles – which at least for now are counteracting greenhouse gas warming.

Surely the Met Office would trumpet this important news, as it has done when publishing warnings of imminent temperature rises. But there was no fanfare. Instead, it issued the revised forecast on the ‘research’ section of its website – on Christmas Eve. It only came to light when it was noticed by an eagle-eyed climate blogger, and then by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the think-tank headed by Lord Lawson.

Then, rather than reporting the news objectively, Britain’s Green Establishment went into denial. Neither The Guardian nor The Independent bothered to report it in their paper editions, although The Independent did later run an editorial saying that the new forecast was merely a trivial ‘tweak’. Instead, they luridly reported on the heatwave and raging bushfires in Australia.

One of the curious features of Green journalism is that if it gets unusually cold, this will be dismissed as mere ‘weather’ of no significance, while a heatwave or violent storm will be seized on as a warning that catastrophic climate change is already here.
Instead of focusing on the news that global warming had halted, other newspapers reported on the heatwave and raging bushfires in Australia

Instead of focusing on the news that global warming had halted, other newspapers reported on the heatwave and raging bushfires in Australia

Where the new forecast was mentioned on the BBC and other websites, experts were marshalled to reassure apocalypse-hungry readers that the end of the world was just as nigh as before. A warming hiatus of a mere 20 years, they said, was nothing.

This would all be faintly humorous, if it wasn’t so deadly serious. Back in 2007, when the Labour Government was preparing what became the Climate Change Act, far from being neutral, the Met Office made a blatant attempt to influence political debate.

In a glossy brochure, it revealed it had a ‘new system’ that could predict the future, by combining analysis of natural variability with long-term trends. The system, it warned, showed that by 2014 ‘global average temperature is expected to have risen by around 0.3 degrees compared to 2004, and half of the years after 2009 are predicted to be hotter than the current record hot year, 1998’.

It boasted that this showed how the Met Office used ‘world-class science to underpin policy’. No doubt some of the MPs who voted for the Act, with its hugely expensive targets to replace fossil energy with ‘renewables’ such as wind, were swayed by it. Barely five years later, it is clear this forecast was worthless. But the Met Office is unrepentant. ‘Climate models do predict periods of little or no warming, or even cooling,’ a spokesman told me. Despite the pause, the long-term projection that the world is likely to warm by about three degrees if the proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubles was still on course.

We all get things wrong, and by definition futurology is a risky business. But behind all this lies something much more pernicious than a revised decadal forecast. The problem is not the difficulty of predicting something as chaotic as the Earth’s climate, but the almost Stalinist way the Green Establishment tries to stifle dissent.

There is, for example, the odious term ‘denier’. This is applied to anyone who questions the new orthodoxy about global warming. It doesn’t matter if one states that yes, CO2 does warm the planet, but the critical issues we need to address are how fast and how much: if one doesn’t anticipate catastrophe, one must be vilified, and equated with those who deny the Holocaust.

Yet the real deniers are those who don’t just claim that the pause is insignificant, but that it doesn’t exist at all. Such deniers also still insist that the ‘science is settled’. The truth is that the unexpected pause has triggered a new spate of research, in which many supposed ‘consensus’ conclusions are being questioned.

Some scientists are revisiting some basic assumptions of climate prediction models, such as the effects of clouds and smoke particles in the atmosphere. They now think that the claim that the warming effect of CO2 is ‘amplified’ by things such as cloud cover have been seriously exaggerated. In their view, doubling CO2 may only warm the world by 1.5 degrees or so, giving us many more decades to develop lower carbon energy sources.

How have the Green deniers been so successful in concealing such debates?

Partly it is the web of commercial interests that both fund and are sustained by Green climate orthodoxy. But it is also their dissenter-trashing machine.

A day before the revised Met Office forecast broke, US blog site Planet 3.0 awarded me its Golden Horseshoe award for the ‘most brazenly damaging and malign bad science of 2013’.’

I’ll be clutching it when they burn me at the stake.


Official "Report" is just baseless propaganda

The blatant dishonesty of Warmists never ceases to amaze. Warmer climate will worsen public health? Then how come most hopitalizations are in winter? There will be more drought? Then where is the extra moisture evaporated off warmer oceans going to go? Adverse effects on crops? But crops thrive on more CO2. Greenhouse owners pump CO2 into their greenhouses for that reason. The list of evasions below is solid. There is no truth at all below

Human activities play a primary role in causing climate change, and evidence is mounting that those changes will lead to more frequent extreme weather events, according to a major draft report released Friday.

The draft of the third National Climate Assessment comes as the Northeast continues to recover from devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy and just days after the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said 2012 was the hottest year on record in the contiguous United States.

The report also stresses that climate change harms public health.

“Climate change threatens human health and well-being in many ways, including impacts from increased extreme weather events, wildfire, decreased air quality, diseases transmitted by insects, food and water and threats to mental health,” the report says.

And it warns that the effects of climate change — including sea level rise, storm surges and extreme heat — could have wide-ranging negative effects on the country’s infrastructure, findings that could gain traction in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The report also says climate change will threaten water supplies across large swaths of the United States, including the Southwest, the Great Plains and the Southeast, along with “adverse impacts to crops and livestock over the next 100 years.”


Wind Energy's New Year Celebration will be Short-Lived

The New Year may be ringing hollow for wind energy developers even though they have secured a one-year extension of their coveted tax credits. A full-scale evolution will require a much broader tax strategy, meaning that the one-year extension will only add confusion.

The sector says that a six-year extension would provide certainty. But the wind folks have released public statements saying that Tuesday's congressional move to avoid the "fiscal cliff" has saved 37,000 of the sector's 75,000 jobs. Those jobs, it adds, are tied to 500 manufacturing facilities in every state.

"Now we can continue to provide America with more clean, affordable, homegrown energy, and keep growing a new manufacturing sector that's now making nearly 70 percent of our wind turbines in the U.S.A.," says Rob Gramlich, who is the American Wind Energy Association's interim chief executive.

In 2009, Congress extended the wind production tax credit until 2012. Or, developers could instead have taken cash upfront totaling 30 percent of a project's cost. The production tax credit is 2.2 cents per kilowatt hour generated for 10 years. The wind association says that the incentives have led to record growth in the wind sector, which represented 44 percent of all new electricity capacity last year.

But the industry has also said that the on again-off again nature of the tax breaks is causing boom and bust cycles. Each time the credit has been allowed to expire, economic productivity slows, the sector says.

The tax incentives given to wind, in fact, are used as political chits while bargaining. During the latest round of negotiations, Spanish wind developer Gamesa said that the iffy nature of political talks and the subsequent uncertainty had forced it to lay-off 165 workers in the Pennsylvania. Vestas, meanwhile, had said earlier that an end to the credits would force it to cut 1,600 workers.

The revised credit applies to projects started in 2013 but it will remain in effect for two years so that developers will have time to finish them. "Even though the late timing of the extension will result in a significant reduction in 2013 installations relative to previous years due to the time it takes from when an order is placed to project completion, the U.S. market will nonetheless be stronger as a result of the (credit's) extension," says Vestas.

Revised Thinking

Critics of the wind tax credits will argue that they do nothing more than distort the energy market place. That is, investment capital that would otherwise flow to where it would be most productive is now re-directed it to where it is less efficient. Opponents of the breaks, which total $1 billion annually, say that wind power will never be competitive given that the wind does not blow all the time.

The industry counters such thinking by saying that the tax credits have never been intended to be a permanent crutch but that they have been necessary to improve turbine technologies and to reduce the cost of wind development. To that end, they are succeeding as the price of the blades has fallen dramatically while their quality is rising, resulting in greater electricity output.

Wind energy, though, has become evermore politicized. Conservatives have viewed its tax credits as endemic of government waste and of the "wrongheaded" approach to energy generation in this country. Progressives, conversely, say that such government support is integral to President Obama's New Economy, emphasizing that coal and natural gas have been on the public dole for decades.

Nevertheless, the American Wind Energy Association changed its lobbying tactics toward the end of 2012, sensing that the credit may lapse. So, it sent a letter to members of Congress saying that it would accept a gradual six-year phase-out of its tax incentives. Basically, the amount of the credit would be reduced by 10 percent a year until it would stop altogether in 2018.

The association credits its developers for contributing $15.5 billion a year to the American economy -- money that it says has been essential to job creation and economic growth, and which exceeds the annual cost of its tax benefits. Abruptly stopping those incentives makes no sense while slowly ending them is a more responsible move, it adds.

"With the policy certainty that accompanies a stable extension, the industry believes it can achieve the greater economies of scale and technology improvements that it needs to become cost-competitive without the production tax credit," the association's letter says.

The wind sector got some breathing room New Year's Day. But that reprieve will be short-lived, giving way to additional uncertainty by summer. Developers will thus push for a longer but less generous tax incentive program.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 13, 2013

"Right" words found to inspire environmental care in conservatives

This is an an amusing bit of sleight of hand. They show that if you present ugly pictures of environmental degradation, conservatives will immediately thereafter say they support environmental protection. I would too. It is the definition of what constitutes or causes environmental harm (CO2?) that is at issue and that is not addressed

And their data is on its face situational anyhow -- providing no grounds for generalizations. Findings of consistency over time and place would be needed for that

People who describe themselves as conservatives tend to worry or care less about the environment than their liberal counterpartsbut there's a way to spark their interest, psychologists say. Use words associated with conservative, religious morals, like "purity" and "sanctity."

And show pictures of actual pollution, not just damaged wilderness.

Such lines of persuasion, researchers suggested, change more minds than the treehugger who pounds liberal themes, hectoring you about "sustainability" orGod forbid?"mother Earth."

In new research, the psychologists found that they could stir environmental concern in selfidentified, American conservatives by showing them articles defining environmental threats in terms of the "purity" and "sanctity" of Earth and our bodies. Photos of smoggy cities, garbagestrewn woods and filthy water filled out the readers' experience.

"These findings offer the prospect of proenvironmental persuasion across party lines," said study coauthor Robb Willer of the University of California Berkeley, coauthor of a report on the findings published this week in the journal Psychological Science. "Reaching out to conservatives in a respectful and persuasive way is critical, because large numbers of Americans will need to support significant environment reforms if we are going to deal effectively with climate change, in particular."

Willer and lead author Matthew Feinberg, now at Stanford University in California, analyzed more than 200 opinion pieces from such newspapers as The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. They found the proenvironmental arguments were most often pitched in terms of moral obligations to care about nature and protect it, a theme that resonates with liberals.

Drawing on research on moral foundations, the investigators guessed conservatives might respond more to arguments stressing such principles as purity, patriotism, and reverence for higher authority.

The researchers surveyed 187 adults, recruited via several U.S. Craigslist websites. They were asked to rate their own political ideology from "extremely liberal" to "extremely conservative." Responses indicated liberals were more prone to viewing sustainability as a moral issue.

Next, the scientists analyzed proenvironmental videos on YouTube and more than 200 opinion articles, sorting them under the themes of "harm/care," which they expected to resonate more with liberals, and "purity/sanctity," which they predicted would appeal more to conservatives. They found that most proenvironmental messages leaned strongly toward liberal themes.

Finally, 308 men and women, again recruited via Craigslist, were randomly assigned to read one of three articles. The harm/carethemed article described the environmental destruction wreaked by humans and pitched protection of the environment as a moral obligation. Images accompanying the text were of a forest with tree stumps, a barren coral reef, and droughtcracked land, considered more typical of the visuals promoted by proenvironmental groups.

The purity/sanctitythemed article stressed how pollution has contaminated Earth and people's bodies, and argued for cleaning up and purifying the environment. To enhance those themes and "elicit disgust," researchers said, accompanying images showed a person drinking filthy water, a city under a cloud of pollution, and a forest full of garbage. The neutral article talked about the history of neckties.

Participants were then asked to rate how strongly they felt certain emotions, including disgust, in response to what they'd read. Next, they reported how strongly they agreed or disagreed with such statements as "It is important to protect the environment," "I would support government legislation aimed at protecting the environment," and "I believe humans are causing global warming." Puritythemed message were found to trigger disgust in conservatives, in turn increasing their support for protecting the environment.


Even a cautious Warmist still can't stick to the truth; The truth is just pesky for Warmists

The Warmist below is careful not to make claims of current and recent warming but says that it is still happening in the long term and it is the long term that matters. He cherrypicks a few older periods that suit his thesis but is both vague and dishonest about the REAL long term period he quotes: The last century as a whole. He fails to mention that it warmed to only a trivial degree then -- less than one degree Celsius -- and if that generally unnoticed change is the basis for his concern then we don't have much to worry about

Article below by British writer Geoffrey Lean, who is said to have "pioneered the coverage of green issues long before they became fashionable"

Confused? You have every right to be. On just one day this week, it was reported that the heatwave that has lit wildfires across Australia is so unprecedented that two new colours have had to be added to weather forecasting maps; that 2012 had been by far the hottest year on record in the United States; that the blue-chip World Economic Forum had identified climate change as one of the world's most urgent dangers; and that, nevertheless, the Met Office had concluded that global warming had stalled.

Both sides of the ever more acrimonious climate debate predictably rushed to contrasting conclusions. Environmentalists hailed the US and Australian records as confirmation that dangerous climate change has arrived - with some displaying distasteful schadenfreude that two of the most climate-sceptic countries besides Britain had been hit. And sceptics claimed that the Met Office had "finally conceded" that "there is no evidence that global warming is happening". Both, of course, were exaggerating.

The Met Office's chief scientist, Prof Julia Slingo, insisted that "the warming trend has not gone away", torpedoing any suggestion of such a concession. And indeed the report that caused the fuss suggests that heating of the planet has not stopped, but slowed. Published with typical "barbecue summer" bungling on Christmas Eve - leading to understandable accusations of attempts to bury inconvenient news - the dry "decadal forecast" concluded that on average global temperatures over the next five years were "most likely" to be 0.43C above the average for 1971-2000, slightly lower than a similar forecast last year, which put it at 0.54C.

Interesting, but not exactly dramatic, particularly since it suggests that the world is indeed getting warmer over the long term, if not as fast as had been thought. But sceptics raised the stakes by pointing out that the 0.43 rise was almost identical to a 0.4 increase in 1998. They claimed this showed that temperatures have not risen significantly for 15 years.

But that is statistical sleight of hand, comparing an average temperature expected over five years with one for a single year (and an anomalous one at that). As we all know, weather naturally varies: some years are warmer, some cooler - and 1998, as it happens, is the hottest the Met Office has recorded.

It is therefore often picked by sceptics to suggest that the world is not heating up, since by definition a line drawn from it to any other year on the temperature graph would go downwards. If, instead, you were to pick 1996, a relatively cool year, as the starting point, it would suggest that the thermometer has been rapidly rising - but that would be equally misleading.

The only honest way to make comparisons is on a longer timescale, and on that basis it is clear that every decade since the 1960s has been warmer than the previous one, and that average temperatures have increased markedly over the past century. [False! Two thirds of one degree over an entire century is hardly "markedly"] But it's also true that over the past 15 years or so, the rate of warming has slowed down.

No one knows why. It may be natural variation; there have been other periods - 1973-1980 and 1988-1995 - where global warming seems to have stalled, only for temperatures to resume their rise. Or it may be caused by the cooling effect of massive air pollution in China; but that would disappear once it is cleaned up. It might also be that the heating process may be about to go into retreat, but there is no plausible scientific reason why that should be so, and no evidence for it.

Yet it is also wrong firmly to attribute Australia's heatwave or America's unprecedented year to climate change. Weather's natural variability has ensured that extremes have occurred - and records set - throughout history. Again, the only honest thing to do is to look at long-term trends.

But these suggest that something is indeed afoot. Days above 37.8C are now five times more common than between 1911 and 1930 and extremely hot summers are 10 times more widespread globally than between 1951 and 1980.

There is no doubt that the world has warmed, and that this will continue. Certainly, picking an exceptionally hot year from the past to suggest that the world is not warming is like asserting that summer will not come this year because the mild weather of the past week is about to be replaced by a cold snap.


British Met office now resorting to outright lies

There has been much discussion in recent days about the new decadal forecast of global temperatures, sneaked out by the UK Met Office on Christmas Eve, and which shows flatlining temperatures instead of the the rapidly increasing ones previously forecast.

However, on studying the current forecast (at top), and comparing it with the previous version (below) issued in December 2011, I noticed a bit of jiggery pokery. Have a look and see if you can spot it.

The white curves are previous predictions, as the narrative explains. In the latest version, this line heads downwards from around 2005 to today's levels. In other words, they seem to be giving the impression that previous predictions anticipated the drop in temperatures in the last couple of years.

Yet look at the Dec 2011 version, and you can see that this is absolutely not what they were predicting then. On the contrary, they were forecasting a significant increase in temperatures throughout the period.

It would appear that the Met have deliberately fabricated a new version of their Dec 2011 forecast, in order to avoid making the original version look too ridiculous.

Is this really what "science" has come down to?

SOURCE (See the original for links and graphics)

British Labor's solar swindle: Cost of green subsidies will add £1 billion to family household bills

Ed Miliband's controversial scheme to encourage homeowners to install solar panels and wind turbines is set to cost families an extra £1billion in higher bills, figures reveal.

Subsidies for solar panels rose 14-fold last year as individuals and businesses piled into the scheme, criticised as being a licence to print money.

The payments, funded by a levy on electricity bills, jumped from £9.2million in 2010/11 to £128.3million in 2011/12, according to figures compiled by energy regulator Ofgem.

But over the same time the average efficiency of schemes fell by more than 40 per cent - because of a lack of sunshine.

Subsidies for domestic wind turbines trebled over the same period, rising from £2.3million to almost £7million.

Households are paid for the electricity they return to the National Grid but the payments are far above market rates, requiring heavy subsidies.

In total the budget for so-called `feed-in tariffs' rose from £14.4million to £150.7million - an increase of 944 per cent in only 12 months.

The soaring cost means the scheme is now forecast to go more than £1billion over budget by 2015, bringing more misery for cash-strapped consumers.

The scheme, introduced by Mr Miliband when he was climate change secretary in Gordon Brown's government, was meant to encourage the development of technology which could help provide a source of renewable energy. But critics have warned that it is absurdly generous.

Under 25-year deals, householders were originally paid 41p for every kilowatt hour of electricity generated by their solar panels.

This was later reduced to 21p and then scaled back again to 16p last year because of concern among ministers about the burgeoning cost of the scheme. But an attempt to cut the payment to 10p was thrown out by the High Court following a legal challenge by Friends of the Earth.

Tory MP Dominic Raab said the scheme was another example of Labour profligacy. He added: `Ed Miliband's flagship green subsidies have proved a ludicrously expensive way of backing inefficient technology.

`If he can do that for energy policy, just think what damage he would wreak on the economy. The solar subsidies inherited from Labour have been nothing short of a giant waste of time and money.

`It's crazy for politicians to try to pick scientific and commercial winners. It just ends up hiking energy bills paid by hard-pressed households and business, without making us more energy efficient.'

A source at the Department of Energy and Climate Change last night said a new regime had been put in place to review the solar subsidies every three months to check they were not too high.

The source acknowledged that thousands of people had made windfall profits but blamed it on the legacy from the last Labour government.

They added: `The scheme we inherited meant that when the costs of solar technology plummeted we could not get the tariffs down as quickly as we needed to.

`That has now changed and the scheme is producing valuable renewable energy.' The source insisted that officials were looking to adjust other subsidy schemes to try to minimise the impact on electricity bills.


Al Gore's fall from grace

One staff person at Current TV expressed disdain for former Vice President Al Gore, Jr.'s decision to sell the television property to Al Jazeera saying, "Al was always lecturing us about green. He kept his word about green all right - as in cold, hard cash!"

Another Current staffer is reported to have remarked, "He [Al Gore, Jr.] has no credibility. He's supposed to be the face of clean energy and just sold [the channel] to very big oil, the emir of Qatar! Current never even took big oil advertising - and Al Gore sells to the emir?"

While Al Gore's enviro credibility may have just been sold for the $100 million he reportedly netted from the deal, only the most na‹ve environmentalist should have been shocked.

The latest Matt Damon movie, Promised Land, which demonizes a fifty year technology for extracting oil and natural gas called, hydraulic fracturing or fracking for short, was funded by the United Arab Emirites, a major OPEC member.

Why would UAE care about fracking in the United States?

Perhaps, the dramatic expansion in natural gas and oil development on private land in the U.S. might provide a clue. Developments in drilling technology over the past decade have changed the world's energy landscape, and have made North Dakota the third largest oil producing state in the nation. Now, rather than importing natural gas for the foreseeable future, even President Obama is referring to America as the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.

And in case studious environmentalists missed the obvious agenda behind the funding of Promised Land, it was almost impossible not to notice the scandal when it was revealed that the Sierra Club had taken $23 million from Chesapeake Energy (a natural gas producer) to attack the coal industry and push for regulations to force the conversion of coal-fired electricity power plants to burning natural gas.

Not surprisingly, when the money ran out, and revelations about the funding emerged, Sierra Club executives jumped on the fracking scare band wagon.

Corporate representatives are always treated by the media as having the stain of conflict of interest because they are assumed to be giving the public an argument that reflects their company's financial interest.

Perhaps it is time for environmental groups to withstand the same skepticism. Whether it is the war on coal, the burgeoning fracking fight, or even purchasing a television outlet geared to environmental activist viewers, it is clear that there are foreign interests who are willing to pony up big bucks to keep America at their energy mercy.

It is also clear that the environmental movement leadership is extremely entrepreneurial in accepting funding for projects.

Knowing this, a wise news consumer should ask themselves, who is really paying the freight for the environmentalist movement and their continual argument for higher energy costs.

Who benefits when government decisions are made against extracting or using our nation's abundant coal, oil and natural gas supplies?

In the cases of Al Gore, the Sierra Club and Hollywood, you really only have to follow the money.


Jerusalem hit by worst snowstorm for TWENTY YEARS as eight inches fall across Holy City

Global cooling is hitting lots of places now

The Holy City of Jerusalem has been covered in a brilliant white blanket after the worst snowstorm in 20 years. Schools and highways have been closed as up to eight inches of snow piled up in the city centre by this afternoon.

Israel and much of the surrounding region has been hit by five days of rain, wind and snow as temperatures have dipped below freezing. Although average winter temperatures can be chilly, it is unusual for the city to see such heavy snow in the winter.

The Jeruslaem to Tel Aviv highway was closed this afternoon due to the cold and icy conditions. Many Palestinians in the hilly occupied West Bank were also snowed in and dozens were forced to flee flooded homes.

Snow is not uncommon in Israel, and the country even boasts a ski resort in Mount Heron. But heavy snowfall in Jerusalem is rare, with average temperatures staying at a mild 9 degrees, even in the coldest months of January and February.

A flurry of white flakes may descend every three or four years during cold winters but the city hasn't seen such deep snow since 1992. Back then, as much as 12 inches fell and police had to go on national TV to give drivers advice on how to drive in the snow.

The rest of the year Jerusalem enjoys average temperatures of 18 degrees and 3,400 hours of sunshine.

Elisha Peleg, an official in charge of emergencies with the Jerusalem Municipality, urged the city's residents to remain at home and stay off the streets, telling Army Radio the area had overnight seen its greatest snowfall since 1992.

He said 10 to 15 cm of snow had piled up in the city centre and more than that in outlying areas. 'The downtown area is bathed in white,' Peleg said. 'The elders of Jerusalem don't remember such a snowstorm in years.'

Public transport has ground to a halt, and many vehicles that ventured onto roads were stuck, he added, urging citizens to remain at home.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 11, 2013

Hottest year ever? Skeptics question revisions to climate data

Fox News weighs in below

2012 was a scorcher, but was it the warmest year ever?

A report released this week by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) called it "the warmest year ever for the nation." Experts agree that 2012 was a hot year for the planet. But it’s that report -- and the agency itself -- that’s drawing the most heat today.

"2012 [wasn't] necessarily warmer than it was back in the 1930s ... NOAA has made so many adjustments to the data it's ridiculous," Roy Spencer, a climatologist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, told

A brutal combination of a widespread drought and a mostly absent winter pushed the average annual U.S. temperatures up last year, to 55.32 degrees Fahrenheit according to the government. That's a full degree warmer than the old record set in 1998 -- and breaking such records by a full degree is unprecedented, scientists say.

But NOAA has adjusted the historical climate data many times, skeptics point out, most recently last October. The result, says popular climate blogger Steve Goddard: The U.S. now appears to have warmed slightly more than it did before the adjustment.

"The adjusted data is meaningless garbage. It bears no resemblance to the thermometer data it starts out as," Goddard told He's not the only one to question NOAA's efforts.

"Every time NOAA makes adjustments, they make recent years [relatively] warmer. I am very suspicious, especially for how warm they have made 2012," Spencer said.

The newly adjusted data set is known as "version 2.5," while the less adjusted data is called "version 2.0."

NOAA defended its adjustments to

Government climate scientist Peter Thorne, speaking in his personal capacity, said that there was consensus for the adjustments.

"These have been shown through at least three papers that have appeared in the past 12 months to be an improvement,” he said.

NOAA spokesman Scott Smullen agreed.

"These kinds of improvements get us even closer to the true climate signal, and help our nation even more accurately understand its climate history," he said.

One problem in weather monitoring occurs when there is a "break point" -- an instance where a thermometer is moved, or something producing heat is built near the thermometer, making temperature readings before and after the move no longer comparable.

"Version 2.5 improved the efficiency of the algorithm.... more of the previously undetected break points are now accounted for," Smullen explained.

He added that the report also recalculated "the baseline temperatures [that] were first computed nearly 20 years ago in an era with less available data and less computer power."

Spencer says that the data do need to be adjusted -- but not the way NOAA did it. For instance, Spencer says that urban weather stations have reported higher temperatures partly because, as a city grows, it becomes a bit hotter. But instead of adjusting directly for that, he says that to make the urban and rural weather readings match, NOAA “warmed the rural stations’ [temperature readings] to match the urban stations” -- which would make it seem as if all areas were getting a bit warmer.

Climate change skeptics such as blogger and meteorologist Anthony Watts are unconvinced.

"Is history malleable? Can temperature data of the past be molded to fit a purpose? It certainly seems to be the case here, where the temperature for July 1936 reported ... changes with the moment," Watts told

"In the business and trading world, people go to jail for such manipulations of data."


More stats and history from Steve Goddard

The NOAA fraud is not even a clever fraud. Every time they make one of their "adjustments", more recent times get warmer and earlier times get cooler. Honest adjustments would be expected to go either way --JR

As of 1999, NASA showed that 1934 was more than one degree (Fahrenheit) warmer than 1998, and that 1921, 1931 and 1953 were all warmer than 1998.

They now show that 1934 is about 0.2C or 0.4F cooler than 1934. In other words, the total downwards adjustment of 1934 is almost 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit relative to 1998.

The current NOAA claim is that 2012 is 1.0 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 1998, but 1934 used to be 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than 1998. This means that prior to adjustment, 1934 was hotter than 2012.

The blink comparator below shows the huge changes which have been made to the US temperature record since 1999. The past has been massively cooled, and the present has been massively warmed. A cooling trend has been turned into a warming trend, by adjusting the data.

NOAA makes bold press releases based on hugely altered data, and makes no mention that the data is altered. Then when called out, they claim that the adjustments are small, when in fact the adjustments are larger than the trend. The 1930s used to be by far the hottest decade, before the data was adjusted.

In engineering, this would be known as a signal to noise ratio of less than 1.0, which would be considered by any legitimate scientist to be almost useless data.

James Hansen of NASA wrote this in 1999.
Empirical evidence does not lend much support to the notion that climate is headed precipitately toward more extreme heat and drought. The drought of 1999 covered a smaller area than the 1988 drought, when the Mississippi almost dried up. And 1988 was a temporary inconvenience as compared with repeated droughts during the 1930s “Dust Bowl” that caused an exodus from the prairies, as chronicled in Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.

in the U.S. there has been little temperature change in the past 50 years, the time of rapidly increasing greenhouse gases — in fact, there was a slight cooling throughout much of the country

The EPA has also published data showing that the 1930s was by far the hottest decade.

Why are NOAA and NASA trying to change the story now? Why don’t they tell us that they are altering the data? Why don’t they tell us that prior to altering the data, thermometers show that 1934 was just as warm as 2012?

Even if they believe that their adjustments are legitimate, it is extremely unethical for them to publish press releases which don’t acknowledge that the thermometer data shows no warming in the US.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Hansen : Obama Has One Week Left To Save The Planet

History is always pesky to the Left. It regularly reveals the falsity of their assertions

On January 17, 2009 – NASA’s James Hansen told us that Obama had only four years to save the planet. The clock is ticking, as Obama only has seven days remaining to rescue the Earth.

Obama lost some time playing golf this week, but I am betting that he will rescue the planet sometime on Friday.


Virginia: Energy Capitol of the East coast?

With a flood of new federal regulations hitting everything from healthcare, energy, food safety, and bird protection, it is encouraging to know that some states can still think for themselves. In Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell, while campaigning, declared that he was going to make Virginia the Energy Capitol of the East Coast—after all Virginia is blessed with abundant energy resources such as coal, offshore oil and gas, and one of the largest uranium deposits in the world. His plans have been thwarted by the federal government.

The EPA is trying to regulate coal mining out of existence. Federal restrictions have prevented Virginia from being able to access its offshore oil and gas resources—despite bipartisan support within the state for drilling. However, on Monday, January 7, McDonnell was handed an opportunity to differentiate himself from President Obama—something all upwardly mobile Republicans are going to have to do following the disappointing fiscal cliff deal.

With just one year left in his term, the rising-star Republican governor can still make good on his campaign promise. Under his control is uranium mining in Virginia.

Virginia has maintained a moratorium on uranium mining for more than 30 years. It has never happened in the state—as a result, there are no guidelines or regulations for how to do it. The environmental lobby, that opposes extraction of anything, has been able to keep the moratorium in place by maximizing the fear of the unknown.

While McDonnell didn’t initially come out in favor of uranium mining—instead dodging a decision by having studies done and commissions appointed, he has come to realize that the environmentalists just don’t want any extraction. During at 2012 radio interview he sounded frustrated when he said: “These people don't want us to even study it. They've made their decision. They've made up their mind that they don't want us to look at it. They don't want us to study it. They don't want us to have any mining going on. That's just ridiculous. What I want to do is just get the facts. I don't have a decision made. They do. Our job—at the direction of the General Assembly—is to get the facts and to determine ‘can we mine it safely?’”

Well, the facts are in.

The Coal and Energy Commission’s Uranium Study Subcommittee (made up of legislators and citizens) commissioned two studies—one “quantitative” that reviewed the technical issues which was conducted by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences; and the other “qualitative” that evaluated questions of probable social and economic consequences that was conducted by a private firm: Chmura Associates of Richmond. With the study results in, public hearings held, and field trips to the Coles Hill uranium deposit and to safe and successful mining operations in Canada, the Commission, on January 7, voted 11-2 to lift the 31-year old moratorium—subject to approval by the General Assembly.

Others such as the Heritage Foundation and the Heartland Institute have weighed in in favor of the Coles Hill project. Jay Lehr, who holds a Ph.D. in groundwater hydrology from the University of Arizona and is editor of the Nuclear Energy Encyclopedia, said the following regarding the January 7 decision:
“It is a great day indeed when a government body listens to science in making decisions that impact a state’s economy in a positive way. That is what occurred today when Virginia officials recommended lifting a long-held moratorium on uranium mining within its boundaries.

Virginia is home to what will likely prove to be one of the world’s largest uranium ore finds and certainly among the largest in the United States. Concern for the environment and public health has held up the development of this resource for many years. Reports were written, data was acquired, and the clear conclusion was that this resource can be mined to the benefit of the state and the nation with absolutely no hazard to the state’s environment or the health of either the citizens of the state or the mine and mill workers. Strict regulatory programs will be in place on the part of both the federal and state governments to ensure this very positive outcome.

At a time when our nation’s 104 nuclear power plants have been dependent on foreign sources for nuclear fuel, this is an important and positive development for our nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

The January 7 hearing included speakers for and against uranium mining in Pittsylvania County—an area formerly known for Tobacco farming. Buddy Mayhew, a retired tobacco farmer and teacher who is a life-long resident of the region where the mining would take place was one of the “pro-mining” presenters. He said:
“Those of us who recall more prosperous days in Southside worry about the lack of economic opportunities in the area. As a former school teacher, I know what that means for our schools and our ability to invest in our future.

Our region continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the Commonwealth as both manufacturing and tobacco abandoned Southside. This is a condition that we cannot simply accept; we must continue to look for opportunities to change it. That is why the prospect of uranium mining deserves every consideration.

The Coles Hill project would mean good paying jobs for many in my community and new business opportunities for businesses already in the region. In addition, the project would attract companies that would come to support the mine and hire even more of our residents.”

(Mayhew spoke on behalf of the People for Economic Prosperity, a grassroots group of more than 1200 farmers and small business owners in southern Virginia who support the mining project.)

Uranium mining in Pittsylvania County could create 1,000 jobs, $5 billion in new revenue for Virginia companies, and $110 million in local and state tax revenue. With the global uranium market surging—430 nuclear power plants worldwide and 65 new reactors under construction (with more planned)—more uranium is being consumed than is being mined. Uranium mining in Virginia will not only help the state, it will also help the U.S. trade deficit.

State Senator John Watkins has already drafted legislation based on suggestions in a report from the Governor’s Work Study Group that would lift the moratorium. Passage of the legislation is the next step. Because the Commission has moved to lift the moratorium, and the Commission is made up of the legislators many of whom are the key players, the most knowledgeable on energy issues, the commission's vote is a positive step. Hopefully McDonnell is paying close attention. He said he wanted the commission to speak before he made up his mind. Now that they have spoken, the ball will be in his court.

Watkin’s bill will not allow mining to begin, but it will allow the process of allowing mining to begin. The appropriate agencies would begin to develop regulations that would, ultimately, open the door for companies to apply for mining permits.

At a time when leadership in government is sadly lacking, Governor McDonnell can set himself apart and secure his legacy as a job creator by signing the bill when it comes to his desk. Perhaps Virginia can become the Energy Capitol of the East Coast after all.


The EPA’s Mercury Problem

Ninety-six. That’s the number of 60-watt incandescent light bulbs I purchased last weekend after learning the other kind, the compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) environmentalists are so in love with, are hazardous to my health and to the environment. I would have preferred a higher wattage but discovered the 75-watt version was outlawed January 1st.

It took about three hours to replace every CFL bulb in my house and carefully place them in a huge plastic container used to transport them to the recycling center at a local home improvement store. I said a quick prayer for safety while coasting down the road in my SUV. A HAZMAT decal would have come in handy because had I been in a collision, I had enough mercury on board to make the evening news. And because I am a Conservative, they might have labeled me a home-grown terrorist.

CFLs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Back in 2008, some Yale University scientists isolated CFLs’ benefits down to one: lower energy bills. The scientists questioned whether a little savings was worth the danger attached to mercury exposure and “runoff downstream.”

Besides making the environment sick, researchers recently discovered these “environmentally friendly” light bulbs aren’t friendly to humans either. According to the UK Telegraph, CFLs “should not be left on for extended periods, particularly near someone’s head” because “they emit poisonous materials when switched on.” The report found those “carcinogenic substances” should be “kept as far away as possible from the human environment” because they may cause migraines, skin problems and breast cancer. Great.

It really makes no sense. Somehow it’s okay to have mercury housed in delicate glass bulbs inside every home in America, yet the EPA feels compelled to enact new regulations like the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) limiting mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants promising MATS would raise kids’ IQs, prevent a substantial amount of premature deaths, reduce heart attacks, and lessen childhood asthma. I’d settle for weight control and whiter teeth.

Sounds wonderful. Problem is, the EPA’s logic is about as twisted as a CFL, considering most people don’t live next to a coal-fired plant, but every home in America using CFLs is at risk of mercury exposure.

They say the pricey CFL’s are cost efficient, but fail to mention their measure for efficiency decreases if the bulbs are switched on and off. Nor do they discuss the outrageous price per bulb or the gas usage (carbon footprint) involved in transporting old bulbs. They also fail to factor in human nature; most people will simply discard old bulbs instead of spending their Saturday driving to the recycling center.

Seems to me, enacting the most expensive EPA rule revision in history, MATS, has less to do with people and more to do with coal-fired plants. Back in January 2012, the Washington Times said the rule will cost power plants up to $18 billion a year and “will be passed directly to consumers.” I’ve always believed Progressives love the planet but hate the people who live on it. Think about it. They are quick to condemn environmental violators but conveniently ignore the massive amounts of mercury Mother Nature herself spews out by way of volcanoes, deep-sea vents and geysers. Maybe we should tax the planet, just for good measure.

According to Power Engineering Magazine, by 2016, EPA rules will force the shutdown of “32 mostly coal-fired power plants” in 12 states, and possibly 36 others. The shutdowns will lead to higher power costs, less jobs, and potential rationing. Before long, we’ll be rubbing sticks together to cook food, stay warm, and find our way to the community outhouse.

But, in the meantime…tonight I celebrate. I purged my home of all those hazy mercury-filled bulbs and I’m switching on every last one of my incandescent bulbs to celebrate -- in hopes the Google Earth satellite will drift my way and snap a picture. My house will be one of the brightest spots on the planet, second only to Al Gore’s.


In Georgia, Obama is winning the war on coal

Georgia Power, that state's largest power company, announced this week that it is asking state regulators for permission to shut down 15 electrical generating units -- the closure of four power plants in all. The utility company says new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency -- known as the Utility MACT rule -- will simply make the plants too expensive to run.

The regulations in question are intended to reduce the amount of mercury released into the air. But in fact, they have every appearance of being a back-door attempt to regulate carbon emissions -- precisely the kind of scheme that then-Sen. Barack Obama had in mind when he acknowledged in 2008 that "electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket" under his energy plan.

The 15 units that Georgia Power wants to shutter -- all but two of which are fired by coal or oil -- have a combined capacity of 2,061 megawatts, or enough to provide power for roughly 1.5 million homes. The company plans to close 11 of them on April 16, 2015, the exact day the EPA's new mercury regulations are scheduled to take effect. Georgia Power will seek waivers from the EPA to keep four of the others open for an extra year, and then it will shut those down on April 16, 2016. It is unclear how Georgia's energy sector will make up the 2 gigawatts of capacity it is losing.

The EPA has claimed that its new mercury regulation will produce $140 billion in annual economic benefits. Apparently, those benefits will not be going to the 480 power plant workers in Georgia who now stand to lose their jobs. Then there are the millions of Georgia energy consumers who will soon see higher rates and higher bills. More broadly, the National Association of Manufacturers estimates that this single rule will kill 1.65 million jobs nationwide through 2020 -- in the utility sector as well as in other industries -- especially manufacturing industries -- which will now have to pay more to carry out their energy-intensive tasks.

Even taken at face value, the EPA's claims of economic benefits are highly doubtful. In fact, the reductions to mercury are expected to produce only a tiny sliver of that $140 billion benefit -- just $6 million of it, in fact. But it will cost so much money to comply with these rules and produce this miniscule benefit that many plants will simply be closed instead. According to Dr. Anne Smith, senior vice president of NERA Economic Consulting's Global Environment Group, all of the EPA's estimated benefits from the Utility MACT rule come from "coincidental reductions" of fine particulate matter, which is regulated by a totally separate section of the Clean Air Act. Diehard environmentalists will be pleased that the closures will cause other pollutants to disappear, but the general public will be deprived of the electricity that those plants produce.

Obama also said in 2008 that "if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It's just that it'll bankrupt them." He seems to be making this come true, even without the carbon cap-and-trade system he once envisioned.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 10, 2013

The crazy climate change obsession that's made Britain's Met Office a menace

Below is a "Daily Mail" article, which will be read by millions

Was there ever a government quango quite so useless as the Met Office? From its infamous ‘barbecue summer’ washout of 2009 to the snowbound winter it failed to predict in 2010 and the recent forecast-defying floods, our £200 million-a-year official weather forecaster has become a national joke.

But of all its recent embarrassments, none come close to matching the Met Office’s latest one.

Without fanfare — apparently in the desperate hope no one would notice — it has finally conceded what other scientists have known for ages: there is no evidence that ‘global warming’ is happening.

The Met Office quietly readjusted its temperature projections on its website on Christmas Eve. Until then, it had been confidently predicting temperature rises of at least 0.2 degrees per decade, with a succession of years exceeding even the record-breaking high of 1998.

Its latest chart, however, confirmed in a press release earlier this week, tells a very different story: no more global warming is expected till at least 2017.

According to Dr David Whitehouse of the independent think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the climbdown couldn’t be more dramatic or more devastating for the Met Office’s credibility.

‘They’re panicking. All the predictions they’ve been making about man-made global warming these past 20 years have started to come crashing about their ears.’

For two decades the Met Office has acted as Britain’s foremost cheerleader for climate change alarmism. In 2007, its Hadley Centre for climate change research produced a briefing document for the Government claiming its state-of-the-art computer models left no doubt: man-made global warming was a very real threat which needed to be addressed urgently by policy-makers.

‘The Met Office Hadley Centre has the highest concentration of outstanding people who do outstanding work, spanning the breadth of modelling, attribution, and date analysis, of anywhere in the world,’ claimed an expert from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) in the document.

Many in the Government were impressed for, a year later, the 2008 Climate Change Act was passed by an overwhelming majority.

The act has been described by veteran journalist Christopher Booker as the most expensive legislation in history, committing the government to as much as £734 billion (£18.3 billion a year for the next 40 years) in extra spending to ‘decarbonise’ the economy. It is also one of the reasons why our countryside is being ruined by ugly, noisy wind turbines.

But what if carbon dioxide isn’t the culprit for global temperature changes? What if all the expensive, economy-ravaging, job-killing, environmentally destructive measures we’ve taken have been a spectacular waste of money?

If so, the Met Office will be attacked for being not just risibly incompetent — but an active menace both to the integrity of science and to the nation’s wellbeing.

Hence its defiant attempts to argue that nothing has changed and it’s business as usual.

‘The fact the new model predicts less warming, globally, for the coming five years does not necessarily tell us anything about long-term predictions of climate change for the coming century,’ it claimed yesterday. In other words: ‘Never mind that global warming stopped in 1997. It will come back with a vengeance one day. We’re just not quite so sure when.’

This latest embarrassment comes just days after the Met Office was lambasted for yet another misleading claim, about the recent flooding. It said this is part of a growing national trend towards ‘extreme’ weather — as also heavily promoted by the BBC’s Environmental Analyst Roger Harrabin, and by scaremongering documentaries such as Channel 4’s Is Our Weather Getting Worse?

According to the Met, Britain is apparently experiencing more rain by volume and intensity. ‘We have always seen a great deal of variability in UK extreme rainfall because our weather patterns are constantly changing, but this analysis suggests we are seeing a shift in our rainfall behaviour,’ said the Met Office’s top scientist, Professor Julia Slingo.

‘There’s evidence to say we are getting slightly more rain in total, but more importantly it may be falling in more intense bursts — which can increase the risk of flooding.’

But these claims appeared to be at best a dangerous fudge, at worst a complete nonsense. As is clear from the Met Office’s own data — the England and Wales precipitation records dating back to 1766 — there has been nothing particularly abnormal about the recent rain.

Not only were there two years, 1872 and 1768, wetter than the supposed record-breaking year of 2012; but also, the Met Office appeared to have overlooked two very dry years (2003 and 2011) to prove its narrative that the past ten years have been the ‘wettest decade ever’.

The Global Warming Policy Foundation’s Dr David Whitehouse believes the very notion of ‘extreme’ weather is an unscientific nonsense. ‘If you were to pick any period in history, you would soon find an example of an unusual weather event — maybe a heatwave in Russia or fires in Australia.

‘Somewhere in the world, a weather record is being broken almost every day. This is normal. What’s not normal is when people try to impose on it some kind of invented trend.’

This is what happened just yesterday, when the scorching Australian heatwave that has caused bushfires was linked in both The Guardian and The Independent to global warming.

The Met Office has subscribed to this sort of stance since at least 1990, when it became politicised under its then director John Houghton — the fanatical believer in the great global warming religion, who was also responsible for setting up the IPCC.

Under Houghton’s stewardship, it became an article of faith that not only was man-made global warming real and dangerous, but that it was the primary job of the Met Office to spread the alarmist gospel.

Dr Whitehouse notes that this is a sad betrayal of the Met Office’s traditional role: ‘When it comes to four or five-day weather forecasting, the Met Office is the best in the world,’ he says. ‘The tragedy is that, for the most part, the Met Office thinks weather forecasting is beneath it. Climate change is more glamorous — and brings in more money.’

And the Met Office’s obsession with climate change has wreaked havoc with its medium to long-term forecasting. That infamous ‘barbecue summer’ and its inability to foresee last November’s floods were the result of the same major flaw in its system: its computer models are all programmed on the assumption that as global CO2 levels increase, so will global warming.

This means they’re continually predicting warmer weather, in contradiction of all the real world evidence.

For two decades, the Met Office has abused its position of trust, authority and taxpayer-funded privilege to promote green ideology at the expense of scientific integrity.

Never mind the mere £200 million we pay a year to fund the Met Office’s dodgy, Mystic Meg prognostications: the real bill for its incompetence runs into the billions.


Met Office Says No Warming Before 2017: How Did The Media Do?

The fact that the UK Met Office had changed its near-term global warming forecast quietly on Christmas Eve was noticed by some Met Office watchers, especially the ever-interesting Tallbloke’s Talkshop website which reported it on January 5th. This piece started a flurry of blog comments. We at the GWPF republished the story the same day on our website.

The next day we internally discussed the Met Offices’ revised forecast. The GWPF published my analysis of the considerable implications of the Met Office revision on the 7th January. The analysis was distributed via CCNet at 11:51 am, including hundreds of journalists.

One and a half hours later, at 1.23pm, Roger Harrabin – the BBC’s Environment Analyst - tweeted that the Met Office had confirmed to him that it had cut its warming projection for the period up to 2017 by 20%. It was retweeted 12 times. This was clearly an important story. But the BBC decided not to cover it at all that day. However, the following morning the BBC reported it.

The first mention I heard was on the 5.30 am BBC Radio 4 news which I though dealt with the story in a clear way – that the Met Office had revised its global temperature predictions downwards and that some sceptics were saying that it shows previous estimates were exaggerated. At 6.00 am the story was repeated but with the significant error saying that the Met Office expected temperatures ‘in Britain’ not to rise by 2017.

Then, at 7.00am Roger Harrabin took up the story. In my opinion he did not do too well. The details of the statistics were presented very poorly. Harrabin also said that natural factors such as the Sun and oceans are an explanation. What he didn’t put over was that the Met Office can’t explain the standstill and are working hard to do so, but they believe that the Sun and the oceans could be a factor.

The story, important enough to be in the news bulletins, was not a part of the Today programme. This is possibly because the news bulletins, although broadcast during the Today programme, are not prepared by the Today team but by the Bulletins Desk. Personally I would have liked to hear John Humphrys get stuck into this story.

The late Brian Redhead used to call the Today Programme “a word in the nation’s ear,” and so it proved. A short time later Tom Chivers, science writer at the Telegraph, tweeted, “Did anyone catch what they were saying about the climate on R4 Today this morning? People on desk discussing it, want to catch up.” Andrew Neil then tweeted, “Other than #bbcr4today amazing lack of coverage in UK media re Met Office new temperature predictions.”

Whilst the newspapers planned their coverage the broadcast versions of the story faded for a while. Neither the BBC TV 1’ o’clock News nor the Radio 4 World at One covered the story.

It is good practice to have a report on the BBC News website about a story dealt with on BBC TV and Radio. The news website can go into more detail, give links etc and is especially valuable for those who may have missed part of, or misunderstood, the broadcast. Remarkably nothing appeared on the BBC Website for hours.

David Shukman’s eventual post was called “Climate model forecast is revised.”

In the second paragraph he claimed the Met Office had said the average temperature was likely to rise by 0.43 deg C by 2017 – as opposed to an earlier forecast that suggested a warming of 0.54 deg C. His misunderstanding gave the false impression as if the global temperature was going to rise by half a degree by 2017. Of course the Met Office never made such a claim. In any case, such numbers are meaningless when not placed in the context of recent years and a graph would have been nice/essential. When discussing the predictions of the new Met Office climate model that had given the new predictions, HadGEM2, he mistakes prediction period and baseline period.

Nevertheless, it was good to see that the important and obvious conclusion from the revised prediction was mentioned, “If the forecast is accurate, the result would be that the global average temperature would have remained relatively static for about two decades.” However, the term relatively static is a poor substitute for unchanging.

But then it says, “An apparent standstill in global temperatures is used by critics of efforts to tackle climate change as evidence that the threat has been exaggerated.”

In reality, it is not an ‘apparent standstill’ but a real warming standstill that has now lasted for 16 years and may last for 20 years if the Met Office is correct. In addition, and this is a vital point, the standstill is of interest to those interested in the science of climate change whether they advocate mitigation or adaption strategies.

The report continues: A Met Office spokesman said “this definitely doesn’t mean any cooling – there’s still a long-term trend of warming compared to the 50s, 60s or 70s.”

This should have been questioned as it is the heart of the story. The recent warming, the mankind-dominated climatically period started in 1980 (according to the IPCC) so what happened in the 50s, when climate was under purely natural control, is irrelevant.

The Met Office were also allowed to say; “Our forecast is still for temperatures that will be close to the record levels of the past few years.”

Again the BBC report failed to make clear that this claim, i.e. temperatures will be close to recent years, is simply another way of saying ‘No further warming trend in the coming years’.

Shukman also failed to mention that the forecasts made by the Met Office a few years ago have been proven wrong. All we get is an unnamed Met Office spokesman and nobody else. In the interests of balance and given that the story broke on sceptic websites and via the GWPF, a critic should have been quoted and the BBC should have insisted on a named spokesperson from the Met Office.


NASA U-turn Admits Global Warming Bias on Sun’s Key Role

In one of the biggest body blows to climate alarmism comes an astonishing new u-turn from NASA. In essence, the prestigious American space agency has admitted it has been shackled for decades into toeing a political line over man-made global warming so as to play down key solar factors.

The astonishing NASA announcement comes in the wake of a compelling new study just published titled, “The Effects of Solar Variability on Earth’s Climate.” One of the participants, Greg Kopp of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado, overturned mainstream climate science thinking by declaring even slight changes in solar output have a considerable impact on climate. Kopp conceded, "Even typical short term variations of 0.1% in incident irradiance exceed all other energy sources (such as natural radioactivity in Earth's core) combined."

The full report by Dr. Tony Phillips is available from the National Academies Press. The news story reveals NASA’s upper management was barred from stopping climate activist, James Hansen, head of NASA’s research on climate, from promoting a political agenda. The NASA climate retreat signals that a paradigm shift is now in full swing and the discredited claims of man-made global warming alarmists are being tossed aside at the highest levels of government.

Popular skeptic climatologist, Dr. Tim Ball was overjoyed at the news, ”Finally, NASA seem to have broken free of the “settled science” that the IPCC imposed. Climate science was effectively frozen for thirty years and NASA are now getting back to where they were in the 1970s. The last valuable contribution they made was Herman and Goldberg’s, “Sun, Weather and Climate”, in 1978.”

Of great satisfaction to Dr. Ball was the opening third paragraph that conceded:

“Understanding the sun-climate connection requires a breadth of expertise in fields such as plasma physics, solar activity, atmospheric chemistry and fluid dynamics, energetic particle physics, and even terrestrial history. No single researcher has the full range of knowledge required to solve the problem. To make progress, the NRC had to assemble dozens of experts from many fields at a single workshop.”

For years Dr. Ball has championed the view that climatology is a generalist discipline that requires specialist feedback from numerous and otherwise disparate fields of science, something a secretive and controversial clique of researchers refused to accept. As chairman of Principia Scientific International (PSI) Ball has been instrumental in helping to build a team of almost 200 experts from relevant fields specifically to address facts that the climate science community was either ill-equipped or unwilling to examine.

Privately, Ball has been kept in the know from influential quarters. He reveals, “The information about higher ups came to me directly from a very reliable and knowledgeable management source when I was at the Heartland Conference in Washington. We had a long discussion after I signed a copy of the 'Slayers' book for the person.“

Now widely accepted as a key player in these 'climate wars' Dr. Ball has defended high-profile libel suits filed by two big hitters from the UN's global warming cadre, Dr. Michael Mann and Dr. Andrew Weaver. Ball recalls, “It was an article about this scientific block by IPCC that triggered the first of my current lawsuits.” (article link).

Ball believes this latest NASA publication marks the breaking of the control Hansen had over climate research at the U.S. space agency. “The comments of Hansen’s boss indicate the degree of political power Hansen had as a bureaucrat,” adds Ball. As he has written before, Ball has shown that the evidence is stacking up proving that Hansen was "out of control" and what he has been doing publicly and politically probably should have been censured, even prosecuted under the Hatch Act.

Ball notes, “I understand that upper management were advised by much higher authority not to touch Hansen. When you look at the manipulations used by Senator Wirth for his appearance before Al Gore’s committee it is not surprising.” This is a reference to Wirth's own admission that theatricality was used to unduly influence a key U.S. committee investigating global warming in the 1980's.

To Ball this article may be a small break through scientifically, but its political implications are profound. “Put this with the revisions at the UK Met Office, and it marks an even greater shift." The question now is: can the mainstream media be far behind? They will all want to be on the winning side, especially if it affects funding and credibility.

Ironically, Ball believes some of the scientists will have more trouble adjusting. This will particularly apply to those scientists who also hold the political view of those who hijacked climate science for a political agenda. PSI’s most senior fellow adds:

“I think NASA and others who let themselves be bullied must be held accountable. I remember in Winnipeg three Environment Canada employees telling me after a presentation that they agreed with me but would lose their jobs if they spoke out. I used to have sympathy for this position – not any more. It is precisely this type of coercion that must be countered at all levels. Why is there need for a whistleblower law in a supposedly open and democratic society.”


2012 Didn’t Crack The Top Ten For Record Maxima

NOAA has inflated the 2012 record maximum number by adding new stations which didn’t exist during the hot years of the 1930s. That is a completely illegitimate approach, suitable only for government workers.

An apples to apples comparison uses only the same stations. When that is done, 2012 doesn’t even crack the ten hottest years.


Record cooling proves warming -- to climate Jesuits

Bangladesh has recorded its lowest temperatures in nearly 60 years, an unexpected result of global warming, scientists said.

In the capital of Dhaka and elsewhere in the country the temperature dropped to 37.7 degrees F Wednesday, the lowest temperature in the last 57 years, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

That surpassed the previous lowest minimum temperature of 39 degrees, recorded in 1955 when the country was a part of Pakistan, the Bangladesh Meteorological Department said.

The severe cold wave sweeping through normally tropical Bangladesh brought normal life and businesses to a near standstill, officials said.

The cold weather may continue for two to three days, meteorologist Shah Alam said.

Experts are blaming the cold temperatures on more intense cold fronts resulting from global warming melting polar ice.


About That Overpopulation Problem

Population projections are a classic example of how brainless straight-line projections of biological changes are. No prophecy is perfect but predicting a cycle of rising and falling and rising and falling (etc.) is generally the best we can do. So the birth dearth in the West will lead to a population decline there followed by a rise again. So the "extinction" prophecy below is also brainless

According to experts’ best estimates, the total population of Earth will stop growing within the lifespan of people alive today.

And then it will fall.

This is a counterintuitive notion in the United States, where we’ve heard often and loudly that world population growth is a perilous and perhaps unavoidable threat to our future as a species. But population decline is a very familiar concept in the rest of the developed world, where fertility has long since fallen far below the 2.1 live births per woman required to maintain population equilibrium. In Germany, the birthrate has sunk to just 1.36, worse even than its low-fertility neighbors Spain (1.48) and Italy (1.4). The way things are going, Western Europe as a whole will most likely shrink from 460 million to just 350 million by the end of the century. That’s not so bad compared with Russia and China, each of whose populations could fall by half. As you may not be surprised to learn, the Germans have coined a polysyllabic word for this quandary: Schrumpf-Gessellschaft, or “shrinking society.”

American media have largely ignored the issue of population decline for the simple reason that it hasn’t happened here yet. Unlike Europe, the United States has long been the beneficiary of robust immigration. This has helped us not only by directly bolstering the number of people calling the United States home but also by propping up the birthrate, since immigrant women tend to produce far more children than the native-born do.

But both those advantages look to diminish in years to come. A report issued last month by the Pew Research Center found that immigrant births fell from 102 per 1,000 women in 2007 to 87.8 per 1,000 in 2012. That helped bring the overall U.S. birthrate to a mere 64 per 1,000 women—not enough to sustain our current population.

Moreover, the poor, highly fertile countries that once churned out immigrants by the boatload are now experiencing birthrate declines of their own. From 1960 to 2009, Mexico’s fertility rate tumbled from 7.3 live births per woman to 2.4, India’s dropped from six to 2.5, and Brazil’s fell from 6.15 to 1.9. Even in sub-Saharan Africa, where the average birthrate remains a relatively blistering 4.66, fertility is projected to fall below replacement level by the 2070s. This change in developing countries will affect not only the U.S. population, of course, but eventually the world’s.

Why is this happening? Scientists who study population dynamics point to a phenomenon called “demographic transition.”

“For hundreds of thousands of years,” explains Warren Sanderson, a professor of economics at Stony Brook University, “in order for humanity to survive things like epidemics and wars and famine, birthrates had to be very high.” Eventually, thanks to technology, death rates started to fall in Europe and in North America, and the population size soared. In time, though, birthrates fell as well, and the population leveled out. The same pattern has repeated in countries around the world. Demographic transition, Sanderson says, “is a shift between two very different long-run states: from high death rates and high birthrates to low death rates and low birthrates.” Not only is the pattern well-documented, it’s well under way: Already, more than half the world’s population is reproducing at below the replacement rate.

If the Germany of today is the rest of the world tomorrow, then the future is going to look a lot different than we thought. Instead of skyrocketing toward uncountable Malthusian multitudes, researchers at Austria’s International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis foresee the global population maxing out at 9 billion some time around 2070. On the bright side, the long-dreaded resource shortage may turn out not to be a problem at all. On the not-so-bright side, the demographic shift toward more retirees and fewer workers could throw the rest of the world into the kind of interminable economic stagnation that Japan is experiencing right now.

And in the long term—on the order of centuries—we could be looking at the literal extinction of humanity.

That might sound like an outrageous claim, but it comes down to simple math. According to a 2008 IIASA report, if the world stabilizes at a total fertility rate of 1.5—where Europe is today—then by 2200 the global population will fall to half of what it is today. By 2300, it’ll barely scratch 1 billion. (The authors of the report tell me that in the years since the initial publication, some details have changed—Europe’s population is falling faster than was previously anticipated, while Africa’s birthrate is declining more slowly—but the overall outlook is the same.) Extend the trend line, and within a few dozen generations you’re talking about a global population small enough to fit in a nursing home.

It’s far from certain that any of this will come to pass. IIASA’s numbers are based on probabilistic projections, meaning that demographers try to identify the key factors affecting population growth and then try to assess the likelihood that each will occur. The several layers of guesswork magnify potential errors. “We simply don’t know for sure what will be the population size at a certain time in the future,” demographer Wolfgang Lutz told IIASA conference-goers earlier this year. “There are huge uncertainties involved.” Still, it’s worth discussing, because focusing too single-mindedly on the problem of overpopulation could have disastrous consequences—see China’s one-child policy.

More here



Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 09, 2013

Warmest year ever in 2% of the earth's surface; global temperature steady

So sad for the Warmists. They at last have a lovely set of warming numbers for part of the USA but the globe is not co-operating. The U.S. figures are just an isolated hotspot. Below is the global record:

Via meteorologist Joe Bastardi

The British figures in the article following also talk of global temperature flatlining

What I have just said represents the latest data accurately but you would never guess it from the article below. It wasn't even warmest in the whole of the USA: Just in the contiguous states (2% of the globe). Alaska was unusually cold.

And the new figures are deliberately preliminary, using only the most accessible data. The final figures using all the data tend to be lower, low enough to make the year unexceptional. The deception never stops

If you found yourself bundling up in scarves, hats, and long underwear less than usual last year, you weren't alone: 2012 was the warmest year on record in the contiguous United States, according to scientists with The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The average temperature for 2012 was 55.3 degrees Fahrenheit, 3.2 degrees above normal and a full degree higher than the previous warmest year recorded -- 1998 -- NOAA said in its report Tuesday. All 48 states in the contiguous U.S. had above-average annual temperatures last year, including 19 that broke annual records, from Connecticut through Utah.

“We’re taking quite a large step,” said Jake Crouch, a climate scientist from the NOAA National Climatic Data Center, which has recorded temperatures in the contiguous U.S. for the past 118 years.

It was also a historic year for "extreme" weather, scientists with the federal agency said. With 11 disasters that surpassed $1 billion in losses, including Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Isaac, and tornadoes across the Great Plains, Texas, and the Southeast and Ohio Valley, NOAA said 2012 was second only to 1998 in the agency's "extreme" weather index.

A long-term warming trend for the U.S., combined with drought and a northerly jet stream, led to the record heat, explained Crouch.

"During the winter season, the jet stream tended to stay further north of the U.S.-Canadian border, so that limited colder outbreaks in the country. It also limited precipitation. So that led to a warm and dry winter season, and that persisted through the spring," he said.

"That warm and dry spring and winter laid the groundwork for the drought we had this summer... . When we have drought, it tends to drive daytime temperatures upward."


Global warming at a standstill, new Met Office figures show

The Met Office has downgraded its forecast for global warming to suggest that by 2017 temperatures will have remained about the same for two decades.

A new scientific model has revised previous figures for the next five years downwards by around a fifth.

The forecast compares how much higher average world temperatures are likely to be than the “long-term average” from 1971-2000.

It had been thought that this would be 0.54C during the period 2012 -2016 but new data puts the figure for the 2013-2017 period at 0.43C.

This figure is little higher than the 0.40C recorded in 1998, the warmest year in the Met Office Hadley Centre’s 160-year record – suggesting global warming will have stalled in the intervening two-decade period.

However, it is thought that factors such as ocean current patterns may be behind the slowdown and scientists say the “variability” in climate change does not alter the long-term trend of rising temperatures.

The new annual forecast, published on December 24, is the first to make use of the Met Office’s latest climate model, HadGEM3, which it said “includes a comprehensive set of improvements based on the latest scientific understanding”.

It suggests that global average temperature will remain between 0.28C and 0.59C above the long-term average “with values most likely to be about 0.43C higher than average”.

The Met Office said: “This is an extremely challenging area of research not least because long-term comprehensive observations of the ocean do not exist to help us understand how the global oceans behave over decadal and longer timescales.

“As with all areas of science, our knowledge is continually increasing and it is therefore not surprising that our models and predictive skill will continue to improve.

“The fact that the new model predicts less warming, globally, for the coming five years does not necessarily tell us anything about long-term predictions of climate change for the coming century.”

Labour MP Graham Stringer accused the Met Office of “burying bad news” by releasing the data on Christmas Eve and said it should give up climate change forecasts as well as long-term predictions.

He said: “They failed completely with their models to predict the flattening out of global warming. I think that they are just trying to bury bad news that their predictions in the medium and long-term have been pretty poor.”

Figures from last November, showing that 2012 would be cooler than average for the past decade, had already indicated that global warming was slowing down.

Dr Peter Stott, Head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution at the Met Office, said at the time that the past decade had been the warmest on record.

But he pointed out that warming has slowed down since 2000, in comparison to the rapid warming of the world since the 1970s.

“Although the first decade of the 21st century was the warmest on record, warming has not been as rapid since 2000 as over the longer period since the 1970s,” he said. “This variability in global temperatures is not unusual, with several periods lasting a decade or more with little or no warming since the instrumental record began.

“We are investigating why the temperature rise at the surface has slowed in recent years, including how ocean heat content changes and the effects of aerosols from atmospheric pollution may have influenced global climate.”

Dr Stott warned that global warming could speed up again at any time, and insisted that the general pattern of warming was not in doubt.


Leading German Daily Announces: “Global Warming Has Stopped”, Questions IPCC Models

It took them 15 years to notice it: CO2 is not driving the climate.

German online daily Hamburger Abendblatt here has a story titled: Global Warming Takes A Break, citing the leaked copy of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, which is due to be released in September, 2013. The Hamburger Abendblatt writes:

"The preliminary text is very clear that the global temperature increase does not follow the continuous rise of CO2 emissions. That’s water on the water-wheel of climate skeptics, who argue that it is more the impacts of the sun that warm the Earth, and greenhouse gases, mainly CO2, less so.”

The Hamburger Abendblatt asks:

"Just how reliable are computer simulations that, although they correctly predicted the CO2 increase of the last 15 years, were completely off with the temperature development?”

Global temperatures have stagnated since the new millennium began. To answer that question, the German daily asks (alarmist) professor Jochem Marotzke, Director of the Max Planck Institute für Meteorology in Hamburg. He told the Abendblatt: “Such plateaus also show up in our models. In such periods heat is absorbed more by the depths of the oceans. We can’t explain why this is so.”

Maybe plateaus do show up in the models here and there. But none of the models showed a plateau for the last 15 years.

Marotzke then insists that the record low Arctic sea ice extent measured last summer shows that things are heating up. Yet, strangely, he develops amnesia when it come to the Antarctic record high sea ice extent recorded last fall.


EPA rejects Arizona haze plan

Arizona consumers can expect higher electricity costs as a result of new EPA restrictions on three Eastern Arizona power plants. Arizona state environmental officials say the EPA restrictions are too costly and will provide no perceptible environmental benefits.

EPA Rejects Arizona Plan

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) in 2011 submitted a new, comprehensive regional haze plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA, however, said the state’s plan did not go far enough to protect air quality.

“As required by the Clean Air Act, ADEQ balanced cost, the energy and non-air quality environmental impacts, existing air pollution controls, the remaining life of the facilities, and the potential visibility improvement of controls,” ADEQ said in a press release. “Based on these factors, ADEQ’s plan called for less stringent air pollution controls than those imposed by EPA’s decision.

“EPA’s action requires the installation of more than $500 million in air pollution controls that will likely result in no perceptible improvements in visibility,” ADEQ added.

Energy analysts say the power plants may have to shut down because of the high costs.

“The Clean Air Act gives each state the responsibility and right to develop a plan to improve visibility within its own borders. It also obligates EPA to determine whether the state’s plan complies with the Act, not to substitute its judgment for the state’s,” said ADEQ Director Henry Darwin in a press statement.

“We are disappointed that EPA would choose to unilaterally decide what’s best for Arizona rather than work with ADEQ as a partner to address its concerns.”

High Compliance Costs

All three power plants face expensive retrofits. The Navajo Generating Facility, at 2,250 megawatts, will likely require over $1 billion in retrofits.

Arizona Electric Power Company estimates its Apache Generating Station, which serves 150,000 customers near Benson, will require $160 million in additional equipment to implement the EPA-mandated nitrogen oxide technology.

The 730 megawatt Coronado facility invested $420 million in sulfur dioxide scrubbers during the 1990s and an additional $45 million in recent years to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions. EPA’s new restrictions will require another $200 million in emissions reduction equipment.

Costly Back-to-Nature Standard

Tomczak said EPA’s goal of achieving “natural conditions” will be exceedingly costly and difficult to achieve.

“The EPA program is designed to mitigate all anthropogenic sources of haze and achieve natural conditions by 2064,” ADEQ spokesperson Lisa Tomczak said. “The regional haze decisions that are being finalized are just the first of many state implementation plans that are to be used to achieve the goal.”

Tomczak said Arizona air quality continues to improve, and the new EPA restrictions are unnecessary.

“We have seen improvements in visibility in most Class I areas in Arizona over the course of the last five years and have some expectation that the trend will continue," said Tomczak.


French socialists doubling down on failed solar power plan

They're already deeply in debt but when did that worry a Leftist?

France has doubled its capacity target for photovoltaic power generation and offered more financial support to small solar power farms that use European-made panels in a bid to rescue the country's ailing solar industry.

Energy Minister Delphine Batho announced the measures, which are expected to spur investments worth more than 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion), during a visit to a solar panel factory in Western France.

The Socialist government is seeking to rescue an industry which has lost about 15,000 jobs in the last two years, after the previous conservative government tried to dampen a speculative bubble in new solar power installations. In 2012 the industry employed 18,000 people, down from 32,500 in 2010.

The production capacity growth target will double to 1,000 megawatts (MW) per year, the equivalent of a small nuclear power reactor, Batho said.

France will also add a bonus of up to 10 percent on the subsidy for feed-in-tariffs paid to generators of solar power through consumers' power bills for small solar farms using panels made in the 30 countries of the European Economic Area (EEA).

These emergency measures, which are due to take effect when a decree is published later this year, are being sought to support the solar industry until a wider energy law is drawn up after the government's so-called "energy transition debate".

The government estimated the annual cost at between 90 and 170 million euros, to be levied on consumers through the existing CSPE tax on power bills.


Hobbit-sized humans, able to exist on less nourishing food, will have the best chance of survival in a warmer world (?)

This is all theory -- and theory that glides over a lot of facts. In the geological past, hot wet climates have supported HUGE animals such as the dinosaurs -- exactly the opposite of what the galoots below claim

Animals, including humans, will shrink in size to survive in a warming world, according to scientists studying the last time the planet’s temperature rose rapidly by 6°C. What scientists call dwarfism was the successful strategy to avoid starvation for a large range of species including horses, many insects and even earthworms. The widespread response was partly to do with the heat but mostly because many plants became less nutritious, forcing mammals and insects to eat far more to survive.

In the next 100 years the combination of more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increased temperature could be “catastrophic” for an overpopulated world, according to one of the scientists involved. With food supply drastically reduced, evolutionary forces suggest hobbit-sized humans who needed to eat less would have the greatest chance of survival. These findings are the work of an international group of 30 scientists looking at the vast fossil deposits in rock strata in Wyoming in the US, charting the period 55 million years ago when the Earth’s temperature rose suddenly – as it is expected to do this century.

On that occasion it took 10,000 years for the temperature to rise by 6°C. There were mass extinctions, but the timescale gave some plants and animals time to adapt and move north and south to survive. Many species evolved quickly – dwarfism being one of the most widespread and successful strategies.

The project, entitled the Bighorn Basin Coring Project, involves scientists from the US, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. It is a United States National Science Foundation-funded project, aimed at understanding what happened the last time the Earth warmed and the consequences for the planet this century. The scientists leading the project are Will Clyde (University of New Hampshire), Philip Gingerich (University of Michigan) and Scott Wing (Smithsonian Institution).

What worries the scientists is that this current warming period will take as little as 200 years, if the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is correct. This gives many long-lived species, for example trees, no time to evolve and migrate. Even mammals will struggle to move to new areas, because man has placed farmland and cities in the way.

Rapid warming leaves few choices

The result will be mass extinction, and for the survivors, humans, animals and insects, there will be a scramble to eat a diminishing and less nutritious food supply. Lower plant nutrition is caused by higher atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, rather than temperature itself. Plant growth experiments have shown that concentrations of both nitrogen and the protein Rubisco, which regulates carbon dioxide fixation, decrease under higher CO2 conditions, making many plant tissues less nutritious.

To get the same calories herbivores would have to eat more plant matter. Humans would be forced to grow more crops to get the same nutrition from food and spend more time eating it. Farm animals would also get smaller in response, making meat more difficult to obtain. Competition from insects eating food crops would be fierce.

Dwarfism is again expected to be a successful strategy for the survivors, enabling humans, animals and insects to mature earlier with less food and so reproduce before they starve. The researchers’ findings show that earlier optimism that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would have a fertilization effect, allowing food plants to grow quicker in a warmer world, is more than countered by a loss in nutrition. For an overcrowded world this could be disastrous.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 08, 2013

Arch Warmers Tacitly Acknowledge Any Human Effect on Climate is Lost in Noise

My thanks to Ned Nikolov, who has alerted me to a new paper by Ben Santer et al entitled "Identifying human influences on atmospheric temperature". The co-author list reads like a who’s who of the senior echelon of the IPCC warmers: Susan Solomon, Tom Wigley, Julie Arblaster and Peter Stott, to name a few among them.

So what do the climate Cluesos have to tell us this time? Have they now successfully identified a human influence on the climate system? The Fun thing about the title is that it is immediately contradicted by the abstract, in which we find this telling passage:

"We use simulation output from 20 climate models participating in phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project. This multimodel archive provides estimates of the signal pattern in response to combined anthropogenic and natural external forcing (the finger- print) and the noise of internally generated variability. Using these estimates, we calculate signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios to quantify the strength of the fingerprint in the observations relative to fingerprint strength in natural climate noise."

Watch the pea, very, very carefully.

First of all, notice the interesting new twist on the use of “finger-print“. Previously, this non-scientific term has been employed to refer to the non-appearing tropical tropospheric ‘hotspot’ as the ‘finger-print of anthropogenic global warming’. But now, apparently, it refers to “combined anthropogenic and natural external forcing”. So this term, ‘finger-print‘ implying as it does a unique and specifically human identity, now refers to a putative human influence and solar/cosmic influence lumped together. What kind of ‘fingerprint’ is that?

The main bone of contention in the climate debate is the question of whether the late 20th century warming was predominantly caused by the more active than average Sun, some longer term modes of internal variability, or by increasing human emission of carbon dioxide. Now the ‘Team’ is trying to conflate the solar influence with human influence and contrast these two entirely different factors with internal natural variability, which they call ‘noise’.

Do they think no-one will notice this less than adroit reframing of the climate question which now leaves the main issue wide open? Following this conflation of natural and human influence, will they really continue to tell us that they are still of the opinion that it is ‘very likely’ that human emission of carbon dioxide is responsible for more than half of the (gentle and beneficial) warming of the Earth’s atmosphere (and oceans) since around 1979? Speaking of the oceans, you’ll notice that they don’t speak of the oceans. The title and abstract refers only to the atmosphere. This is a tacit admission by omission – back radiation can’t heat oceans. But something did. That would be the Sun then. At the end of the abstract we get this:

"On average, the models analyzed underestimate the observed cooling of the lower stratosphere and overestimate the warming of the troposphere. Although the precise causes of such differences are unclear, model biases in lower stratospheric temperature trends are likely to be reduced by more realistic treatment of stratospheric ozone depletion and volcanic aerosol forcing."

Once again, we see that the Sun has been elbowed out of consideration, it’s all about volcanoes and atmospheric ‘greenhouse gases’. On the upside, there is now top-tier acknowledgement that the models have overestimated tropospheric warming.


Empty theory from NOAA

Comes up with equally empty conclusion: "some species will be positively affected by climate change while other species will be negatively affected". And grass is green and sky is blue

NOAA scientists continue to develop and improve the approaches used to understand the effect of climate change on marine fisheries along the U.S. east coast. Their latest study projects that one common coastal species found in the southeast U.S., gray snapper, will shift northwards in response to warming coastal waters.

In a study published online December 20 in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) and the University of North Florida developed projections of gray snapper distribution under several climate change scenarios. Gray snapper (Lutjanus griseus) is an important fishery species along the southeast U.S. coast.

Associated with tropical reefs, mangroves and estuaries, gray snapper is found from Florida through the Gulf of Mexico and along the coast of Brazil. Juvenile gray snapper have been reported as far north as Massachusetts, but adults are rarely found north of Florida, leading researchers to look at estuarine habitats as a key piece of the puzzle.

"Temperature is a major factor shaping the distribution of marine species given its influence on biological processes," said Jon Hare, lead author of the new study and director of the NEFSC’s Narragansett Laboratory in R.I. "Many fish species are expected to shift poleward or northward as a result of climate change, but we don’t fully understand the mechanics of how temperature interacts with a species life history, especially differences between juvenile and adult stages."

Hare and NOAA colleague Mark Wuenschel, a fishery biologist at the Center’s Woods Hole Laboratory, worked with Matt Kimball of the University of North Florida to project the range limits of gray snapper, also known as mangrove snapper, using coupled thermal tolerance-climate change models. Kimball also works at the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve in Florida.

Gray snapper was chosen for this study given previous temperature and physiological studies by all three authors, providing a foundation upon which to build. Hare and colleagues believe their approach applies more broadly to other fishery species that use estuarine areas during their life history. Those include a large number of commercially and recreationally important species such as summer flounder, black sea bass, weakfish and pink shrimp.

Unlike earlier studies on climate change and its impact on species like Atlantic croaker, Hare and colleagues developed a model based on a specific hypothesis that is supported by laboratory experiments and field observations. Their new study is based on laboratory research that determined the lower thermal limit, the temperature at which a fish can no longer survive. This limit is expressed as cumulative degree days below 17°C (about 63°F). The team then equated these limits to estuarine water temperatures. Prior research has shown that estuarine temperatures are closely related to air temperatures, so the team then linked the thermal limits to air temperature. Projections of coastwide air temperature were then extracted from global climate models and used to project changes in the distribution of thermal limits for juvenile gray snapper.

The researchers made climate projections for winter water and temperatures for 12 estuaries from Biscayne Bay in south Florida to northern New Jersey. Data collected in previous studies from the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve nearJacksonville, Florida, along with temperature data from the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserves in New Jersey, provided valuable background information.

The results indicate that gray snapper distribution will spread northward along the coast into the future. The magnitude of this spread is dependent on the magnitude of climate change: more CO2 emissions resulted in greater northward spread.

The uncertainty in the study’s projections was also examined by the researchers, who looked at multiple global climate models and the uncertainty in each model’s estimates of lower thermal limit. Surprisingly, biological uncertainty was the largest factor, supporting calls for more research to understand and characterize the biological effects of climate change on marine fisheries.

This latest study by Hare, Wuenschel, and Kimball joins a growing number of studies that predict climate change is going to affect marine fish distribution and abundance, creating challenges for scientists, managers, and fishers in the future.

"Further, this works supports the conclusion that along the U.S. east coast, some species will be positively affected by climate change while other species will be negatively affected." Hare said. "There will be winners and losers."

"In the past we have assumed that ecosystems were variable but not changing. Now we understand that they are both variable and changing," said Hare. "That complicates the big picture since each species and each ecosystem is different."

"The challenge facing scientists, managers, and fishers alike is identifying the potential effects of climate change and developing a response that will increase the long-term sustainability of resources," Hare said.


Rupert Murdoch goes to war with environmentalists on Twitter as he claims fossil fuels 'are making the world greener'

Rupert Murdoch has taken to Twitter to attack environmentalists claiming that rising levels of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels have been good for the planet.

The media mogul based his statements on an article which reported that 30 years of satellite images have shown that the Earth is actually getting greener.

Murdoch, a frequent and outspoken critic of renewable energy, tweeted today: 'World growing greener with increased carbon.

'Thirty years of satellite evidence. Forests growing faster and thicker.'

He then referenced an article by Matt Ridley in the Wall Street Journal on January 5.

Earlier in the day, the tycoon had posted: 'Why not switch from useless renewable energy investments to real job creating infrastructure projects. Many great possibilities waiting.'

The WSJ article contends that over 30 years, the world has become a greener place going against the arguments of environmentalists that our planet is at risk from deforestation harming our fragile ecosystem.

Ridley writes: 'The inescapable if unfashionable conclusion is that the human use of fossil fuels has been causing the greening of the planet...'

The conclusion is drawn from data collected since the Eighties by NASA scientist Compton Tucker who tracked global vegetation using satellite sensors.

The researcher discovered that forests were getting larger across the world - from the spruces of Canada to the Amazon rainforests.

The reason is given that if people burn fossil fuels then there is more carbon dioxide for plants to consume which in turn, makes them grow faster.


Trapped in an icy prison: 1,000 ships stranded in frozen ocean as China is gripped by extreme cold snap

Three decades is enough to show a trend, according to Warmists

Temperatures in China have plunged to their lowest in almost three decades, cold enough to freeze coastal waters and trap 1,000 ships in ice, official media said at the weekend.

Since late November the country has shivered at an average of minus 3.8 degrees Celsius, 1.3 degrees colder than the previous average, and the chilliest in 28 years, state news agency Xinhua said on Saturday, citing the China Meteorological Administration.

Bitter cold has even frozen the sea in Laizhou Bay on the coast of Shandong province in the east, stranding nearly 1,000 ships, the China Daily newspaper reported.

Zheng Dong, chief meteorologist at the Yantai Marine Environment Monitoring Center under the State Oceanic Administration, told the paper that the area under ice in Laizhou Bay was 291 square km this week.

Transport around the country has been severely disrupted.

Over 140 flights from the state capital airport in central Hunan province were delayed, while heavy snowfall forced the closure of some sections of the Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway, the China Daily said.

Temperatures in the northeast fell even further, reaching a 43-year low of minus 15.3 degrees Celsius, about 3.7 degrees below the previous recorded average.

One truck driver in southeastern Jiangxi province, caught in a 5 km (3.1 miles) queue caused by a pileup that happened after heavy snowfall, told China Daily the snow and extreme cold had caught him unawares.

'I didn't expect such a situation, so I've brought no warm coats or food. All I can do now is wait,' trucker Yao Xuefeng told the paper.


BOOK SUMMARY of Hot Talk, Cold Science by S. Fred Singer

According to proponents of the Global Climate Treaty, a consensus within the scientific community supports the view that human-caused global warming is occurring and that it threatens human health and well-being. Nothing could be further from the truth. Far from viewing the existence of global warming as “settled,” most atmospheric scientists and climate specialists hold that the global warming issue should be considered “unfinished business” requiring much further research.

In HOT TALK, COLD SCIENCE: Global Warming’s Unfinished Debate, astrophysicist S. Fred Singer probes the literature on climate change and lays out the scientific case against the likelihood of an imminent, catastrophic global warming. Theoretical computer models to the contrary, man-made global warming has not been documented. But even if it were to occur, the evidence suggests that it would largely be benign and may even improve human well-being, Singer argues.

Rather than embark on economically destructive policies to solve a problem that to the best of our knowledge does not exist, Singer urges policymakers to adopt a “no regrets” policy of continued research and unimpeded economic growth. We would then have more scientific knowledge, technology, and economic resources with which to confront climate warming, if we ever discover that it is occurring and poses a real threat. But prematurely mandating severe reductions of greenhouse gas emissions would make us—and developing countries, especially—poorer and less able to cope with any future problems.

No Scientific Consensus of Warming

That there is no scientific consensus of a global-warming threat is indicated by surveys of active scientists. A November 1991 Gallup poll of 400 members of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union found that only 19 percent of those polled believed that human-induced global warming has occurred.

That same year, Greenpeace International surveyed 400 scientists who had worked on the 1990 report of the influential U.N. Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or had published related articles. Asked whether current policies might instigate a runaway greenhouse effect, only 13 percent of the 113 respondents said it was “probable” and 32 percent “possible.” But 47 percent said “probably not”—far from a consensus.

In recent years, research on global climate change has led even more scientists to doubt that global warming is upon us or that it would soon bring disaster (Science, May 16, 1997). Yet these doubts are characteristically downplayed in IPCC reports. While the body of the IPCC’s 800-page, 1996 report, The Science of Climate Change, mentioned some doubts (albeit cryptically), the report’s much-publicized, politically approved Summary for Policymakers did not. This gave the false impression that all 2000-plus scientists who contributed to (or had their work cited in) the report alsosupported the view that man-made global warming was occurring or posed a credible threat. The IPCC report even indicated that the scientists who reviewed and commented on earlier drafts endorsed the report—whether their comments on the drafts were positive or negative.

Man-Made Global Warming Not in Evidence

The announced purpose of the Global Climate Treaty is to avoid “dangerous interference with the climate system.” However, this goal is entirely arbitrary because we have no scientific guidance for determining what constitutes a “dangerous interference.” Nor do we have evidence that human activity has had much effect on world climate.

While it is true that global temperatures have risen about 0.5 degree Celsius in the last century, most of this warming occurred before 1940, while most of the human-caused CO2 emissions occurred after 1940. Further, we simply do not know whether climate variability depends on carbon dioxide concentrations. Scientists are only now beginning to study the role of other potential factors in global climate change, such as the interaction between the atmosphere and oceans, variations in solar radiation, and the cooling effects of volcanic emissions and sulfate aerosols.

By and large, General Circulation Models (GCMs) have not yet considered these factors, which may explain why computer models cannot account for observed temperatures. Many models indicate that global warming has arrived and will intensify unless we reduce greenhouse gas emissions like CO2. However, weather satellite and balloon-borne radiosonde data indicate that global temperatures have fallen slightly since 1980. (But neither the weather satellite data nor the discrepancy between them and the GCMs are mentioned in the IPCC Policymakers’ Summary.)

While surface temperatures show slight increases—notably smaller than those predicted by the models—this appears to be due to the urban heat island (UHI) effect, stemming from population increases near weather stations. After correcting for the UHI effect, the years around 1940 emerge as the warmest years of the century in both the U.S. and Europe.

The gap between the satellite observations and existing theory is large enough to cast serious doubt on all computer-model predictions of future warming. Whatever the cause of the gap, we cannot rely on GCM forecasts of future warming. (GCMs are not even consistent with each other; their temperature forecasts vary by some 300 percent.) Until GCMs become validated by actual climate observations, they should not be used as the basis for policy.

Would Global Warming Be a Threat?

Given the incessant talk about the purported catastrophes a global warming might cause—severe storms, coastal flooding, increases in mosquito-carried diseases—it sounds strange to hear about benefits from a global warming. Nevertheless, the scientific literature supports the view that increases in CO2 concentration and global temperatures, were they to materialize, might actually improve human well-being. Some benefits include a CO2-enriched biosphere more conducive to plant growth, longer frost-free growing seasons, greater water efficiency for plants, and more available farmland at higher latitudes.

A reduction in severe storms would be another likely benefit if global warming were to occur. Since a global warming would probably mostly warm the latitudes farther north and south, the temperature gradient between the equator and the poles would fall, thereby reducing the severity of storms. (Contrary to anecdotal reports, theory and observations indicate that severe storms, both tropical and extratropical, have not increased in the past 50 years. In fact, North Atlantic hurricanes have noticeably declined in frequency and in intensity.)

Rising sea levels, another alleged consequence of a global warming, may also be a phantom problem. It seems likely that a global warming would lower, rather than raise sea levels, because more evaporation from the oceans would increase precipitation and thereby thicken the ice caps of Greenland and Antarctica. This possibility is supported by an observed inverse correlation between the rate of rise of the sea level and tropical sea surface temperature.

Ocean Fertilization and Economic Resilience

If increases in carbon dioxide concentrations do become a problem, a policy of ocean fertilization—to stimulate the growth of phytoplankton and speed up the natural absorption of CO2 into the ocean, as recently documented in field testing—seems more prudent (and cheaper) than energy rationing. Ocean fertilization would also likely bring an important side benefit: vast ocean deserts could be turned into thriving fisheries. Developing countries in particular would benefit from this less expensive policy by investing the saved wealth in strengthening the resilience of their economies, safeguarding against naturally occurring harmful climate events, and improving their health care systems.


Warmists have no facts so are reduced to collating opinions

Almost 200 million people could be forced to leave their homes by the end of the century because of sea level rises, researchers have warned. Sea level rises are now feared to be significantly worse than forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just six years ago. Melting of the polar ice sheets could be so severe that seas could rise a meter by 2100, a level that would be considered ‘catastrophic’.

The latest findings were made by a specially-selected team of 26 leading experts who concluded the risks were ‘potentially severe’ after being asked to assess what sea level rises can be expected.

It is most likely, they found, that there will be an increase of 29cm this century but they also concluded there is a one in 20 chance that it could exceed 84cm with a ‘conceivable risk’ it will be greater than a meter.

Projections from each of the experts were combined using the mathematical technique expert elicitation (EE) to provide a pooled estimate.

Flooding and the threat of inundation is likely, concluded the team, to force up to 187 million people to leave their homes.

The forecasts, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, are higher than the projections published by the IPCC in 2007 when it was estimated that sea levels would rise by as little as 18cm and as much as 59cm.

Professor Jonathan Bamber, of the University of Bristol, said: ‘This is the first study of its kind on ice sheet melting to use a formalized mathematical pooling of experts' opinions.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 07, 2013

NOAA feeds the public false statistics

Further to my "Advance notification" yesterday, Anthony Watts has now published his discovery: NOAA (the Federal government climate agency) has one set of figures for normal scientific use and another set of figures that it uses in its press releases to the public. The press releases show continuing warming, while the scientific figures do not. Once again: There's no such thing as an honest Warmist. Excerpt from Watts:

Does NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) keep two separate sets of climate books for the USA?

Glaring inconsistencies found between State of the Climate (SOTC) reports sent to the press and public and the “official” climate database record for the United States.

First, I should point out that I didn’t go looking for this problem, it was a serendipitous discovery that came from me looking up the month-to-month average temperature for the Continental United States (CONUS) for another project which you’ll see a report on in a couple of days. What started as an oddity noted for a single month now seems clearly to be systemic over a two-year period. On the eve of what will likely be a pronouncement from NCDC on 2012 being the “hottest year ever”, and since what I found is systemic and very influential to the press and to the public, I thought I should make my findings widely known now. Everything I’ve found should be replicable independently using the links and examples I provide. I’m writing the article as a timeline of discovery.

At issue is the difference between temperature data claims in the NCDC State of the Climate reports issued monthly and at year-end and the official NCDC climate database made available to the public.

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

Unusually cold winter in China causing disruptions

Global cooling!

Thousands of angry passengers were stranded after heavy fog delayed flights at a Chinese airport early on Saturday, as the country was shivered through its coldest weather in almost three decades.

Ten thousand passengers were stuck in Changshui International Airport in the southern Chinese city of Kunming on Saturday morning after thick fog grounded more than 280 flights, state-run Xinhua news agency said.

Angry passengers stranded at the airport for more than a day struggled with airline staff, damaging computer equipment belonging to an airline, while police broke up scuffles, a photographer present at the scene late on Friday said.

Flights at the airport resumed on Saturday afternoon after the fog lifted, Xinhua said.

China is suffering its coldest winter for 28 years, the news agency on Saturday quoted China's Meteorological Administration as saying.

Temperatures recorded over the country since November have averaged minus 3.8 degrees Celsius, while northeast China saw average temperatures of minus 15.3 degrees Celsius, its coldest winter for 43 years.

Plunging temperatures trapped around 1000 ships in sea ice off eastern China's Shandong province this week, Xinhua reported, while snowfall delayed more than 140 flights in Beijing last month, the China Daily said.

An annual Ice and Snow Festival in the northeastern city of Harbin, famous for its enormous ice-sculptures, opened yesterday as temperatures in the city fall below minus 24 degrees Celsius.

Temperatures in northern China are expected to pick up this week, although parts of south China will continue to experience snow, Xinhua reported.


The EPA: Rogue and Dangerous

The Environmental Protection Agency has been rocked by two major scandals in the past weeks culminating with Administrator Lisa Jackson's resignation this past week.

The agency charged with responsibility for overseeing the nation's environmental laws has become one of the most controversial federal government agencies during Obama's first term through their dramatic expansion of powers over the nation's economy.

But now, revelations that Jackson had a secret, private e-mail account that she used to usurp the laws relating to official communications have been trumped by the most stunning charge of all - that the EPA has been engaged in human testing of toxic levels of environmental pollutants.

The Washington Times reports that a lawsuit brought against the EPA by the American Tradition Institute will be heard on January 3, 2013 in federal court. The EPA's response to the allegations of illegal human testing is not a denial that the testing is occurring but rather a statement that they are not prohibited by law from doing it.

The stunning arrogance of a federal agency in modern times subjecting the elderly, children and the sick to concentrated doses far beyond what is legal of carcinogens and other environmental hazards is reminiscent of Nazi "scientist" Josef Mengele's experimentation on twins.

In recent American history, we remember the horrors of discovering that the U.S. Public Health Service used poor blacks contacted through the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama as guinea pigs in watching the progression of syphilis that went without treatment. All the while, the "subjects" were led to believe that they were receiving treatment. The public revulsion that greeted discovery of the program in 1972 led to its being disbanded and the passage of the Office for Human Research Protections and other federal laws requiring Institutional Review Boards for the protection of human subjects.

It is shocking that today, in 2013, an American court will be hearing a case about an agency that is engaging in systematic human experimentation under the guise of pursuing the "greater good."

Of all the actions undertaken and administered by the EPA, this stunning discovery that U.S. tax dollars have been spent for more than a decade on making some people sick by pumping them full of concentrated pollution in order to further environmental policy ends should unify every American to demand accountability from those in the Administration who oversaw these studies.

While the federal court hears the case, Congress should act immediately to not only defund these EPA "studies" but also to ferret out any instances of similar abuses in other agencies. In addition, a special prosecutor should be immediately appointed by the Attorney General to investigate these obvious human rights violations, and to bring those responsible - including Administrator Jackson - to justice.

The very fact that Obama's EPA can arrogantly argues that no law empowers any judge to stop it from conducting scientific experiments on seniors, children and the sick should sicken all but the most callous among us.

Whether you support the EPA's environmental agenda or you believe that they have engaged in an historic regulatory overreach, each of us should find the Agency's human experimentation abhorrent.

The only question is whether Congress will have the guts to stand up to the EPA hold this rogue agency to account, or will human experimentation just be ignored to the shame of everyone.


A concerted Greenie/Arab attack on American prosperity

1. Al-TV this week Al Gore, anti-carbon fuel drum major, made a cool $100 million selling his 20% share in the failing, unwatched Current TV to Arab Al-Jazeera, owned by major carbon fuel producers. (His partner, Joel Hyatt, son-in-law of former Ohio Democratic senator Howard Metzenbaum, also benefited mightily.)

It's hard to conclude that this $500 million Al-Jazeera purchase is anything other than a payoff for effectively hampering the exploitation of American carbon fuels and advocating openly for giving a cable entrée to this Arab-broadcasting network. Current TV isn't worth anything like the price paid for it.

And the fact that Current turned down American Glenn Beck's purchase on political grounds offer adds to that suspicion. Michelle's Mirror notes:

"The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Glenn Beck's the Blaze inquired about buying Current last year, but was rejected due to ideological differences. Current leadership told the Blaze at the time that "the legacy of who the network goes to is important to us." Beck confirmed the inquiry late Wednesday. Current TV co-founder Joel Hyatt explains:
When considering the several suitors who were interested in acquiring Current, it became clear to us that Al Jazeera was founded with the same goals we had for Current: To give voice to those whose voices are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the important stories that no one else is telling. Al Jazeera, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us.

Blogger Ann Althouse, University of Wisconsin law professor, also thinks that's a bizarre amount of money "just to get into cable TV," adding:
"The idea is-- as the NYT puts it-- "to convince Americans that it is a legitimate news organization, not a parrot of Middle Eastern propaganda or something more sinister."

How hard is it to take over an existing slot in cable TV?

News channels financed by Britain, China and Russia are especially hungry for American cable deals. To date, the BBC has had the most success; its BBC World News channel is now available in about 25 million homes thanks to a deal struck last month with Time Warner Cable.

But the takeover of Current brings Al Jazeera to the front of the line.[Snip]

In recent weeks, Mr. Gore personally lobbied the distributors that carry Current on the importance of Al Jazeera, according to people briefed on the talks who were not authorized to speak publicly.

So... Al Jazeera was buying the former Vice President's advocacy.

Distributors can sometimes wiggle out of their carriage deals when channels change hands.

How long is that carriage deal? $500 million worth [ed:for]long? And it's not even guaranteed? It could turn into nothing?!

Most [distributors] consented to the sale, but Time Warner Cable did not... Time Warner Cable had previously warned that it might drop Current because of its low ratings. It took advantage of a change-in-ownership clause and said in a terse statement Wednesday night, "We are removing the service as quickly as possible."

So Time Warner -- which serves 12 million of those 40 million homes -- is already out. Did Al Jazeera get hoodwinked by the Oscar-and-Nobel-Prize-winning former Veep? He did what he could for them, "personally lobb[ying] the distributors that carry Current on the importance of Al Jazeera." How much more can you buy in this world? You got Al!

2. Is this the only reason why a major carbon fuel producer paid off Gore in order to get a cable channel in the U.S.?

I think it's more than an effort to bring Arab political viewpoints into the U.S. I think it's part of an ongoing effort to keep the U.S. from displacing the Middle East as the major gas producer by propagandizing against hydraulic gas fracturing -- fracking.

American shale gas resources stand both to reduce carbon emissions -- if we need to (see below) -- and displace the Middle East oil producing economic and political advantage. Only stupid constraints our politicians place on the exploitation of these resources can stop that. Buying up politically connected Democratic advocates and celebrities to stand in as Arab proxies to this end is a useful Arab strategy.

The American Interest explains the U.S. boom and its impact:
Saudis Sweating Bullets As Energy Revolution Changes The Rules.

The US shale gas boom, drastically cutting the cost of gas, is shaking the foundations of the Saudi Arabian economic model -- and more is coming. The highly profitable $100bn Gulf petrochemical industry is taking a hit as its biggest customer -- the U.S. -- is importing less and relying instead on domestic production.

US petrochemical companies, propelled by cheaper access to raw materials, are competing effectively against companies like the Saudi Basic Industries Corp (Sabic), the world's largest chemical maker. Sabic also has some home-grown problems. The rapidly growing Saudi population wants to consume (subsidized) petrochemicals at home, air conditioning Saudi houses and running Saudi cars instead of exporting product abroad. Falling production, demand, and prices are beginning to hurt the once stalwart $89bn company. . . .

US gas prices have plummeted due to new techniques, known as fracking and horizontal drilling, developed to extract the vast deposits of shale gas in the North American bedrock. Production has jumped by nearly a quarter since 2000, reducing demand for Saudi gas. If China figures out how to exploit its own shale gas reserves the Saudis will have every reason to be nervous. The two pillars of the Saudi economy -- oil and petrochemical exports -- will both be on shaky ground.

But the changing energy landscape threatens more than economic consequences for the Gulf state. The US could surpass Saudi Arabia as the world's leading oil producer by 2020, and this could mean big changes for US foreign policy and the domestic economy.

Terroristic Islam worldwide is basically a Saudi export, fueled by Saudi money. The less Saudi money, the better.

Buying up the almost worthless Current TV at an exorbitant price and securing the advocacy of Al Gore is only part of the Middle East oil producers' efforts to halt our use of shale gas. Other strategic moves including getting celebrities, style setters and opinion makers onboard.

The first fairly public effort in this direction is the ridiculous anti-fracking film starring Matt Damon financed in part by OPEC member United Arab Emirates.
Now, following a technological revolution yielding to burst of domestic energy production, wealthy oil producers in the Middle East have become a pro-Democratic constituency. Who'd have thunk?

The Promised Land, an upcoming film starting Matt Damon and Frances McDormand, is the story of a morally conflicted energy worker who comes to a small American town to extract the local energy supply via hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"). Damon, the protagonist, confronts an ethical conundrum when he is forced to choose between the greedy and villainous energy producers who employ him and a local environmental activist who stole his heart. Spoiler alert: the environmental activist wins.

According to an investigation by the Heritage Foundation, however, it turns out that a portion of the financing for the film comes from the oil-rich royal family of the United Arab Emirates. The film was produced in association with Image Media Abu Dhabi, a company owned by the UAE government.

The benefits for oil exporters abroad to increase the politically-imposed restrictions on "fracking" technology are self-evident. Employing Hollywood to get that message across is, however, a game-changing and previously unavailable strategy for Middle Eastern oil exporters.

With no one monitoring seriously the contributions of "nonprofit, public interest" operations behind the anti-fracking movement here, who knows how much Arab money is being thrown at this. It is, to my mind, war by other means by opponents who have no chance of defeating us on a field of battle.

Of course, it's not just Arab money outright that's involved. Big companies are engaged in this disinformation campaign as well.LVMH's Tag Heueris running expensive ads featuring Leonardo Dicaprio, bragging of its green building programs and contributions to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a foe of fracking. I have no idea who besides the French magnate Bernard Arnault owns Heuer but I am certain that LMVH's high priced luxury goods sell well in the oil producing states of the Middle East. I think the company -- and it's not alone -- is appealing to its Arab consumers by contributing to efforts to halt fracking and its US consumers by using a Hollywood celebrity as a spokesman.
DiCaprio is widely-known as a serious environmentalist. It seems, among the wide variety of liberal causes, that DiCaprio certainly puts the environment above the rest but acknowledging many other important issues., DiCaprio once said of the media's obsession with social issues like gay marriage:

That's the most infuriating thing -- watching people focus on these things. Meanwhile, there's the onset of global warming and these incredibly scary and menacing things with the future of our economy.Our relationship to the rest of the world. And here we are focusing on this?

DiCaprio has certainly put his money where his mouth is (literally and figuratively) when it comes to the environment. DiCaprio is famous for his environmentally friendly cars, he has installed solar panels on his house, and he works with environmental organizations (and Al Gore) such as Global Green and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Maybe he and Al can discuss in depth the green benefits of Al Jazeera cable while winding their Tag Heuers on Al's private plane. "Serious environmentalist" DiCaprio may be, as are most celebrity greenies, butseriously uninformed is not a compliment and that is what the anti-fracking and global warming spokesmen are.

Despite extreme pressure on the EPA by the anti-fracking coalitions,EPA scientists found it did not contaminate ground water.Nor,according to the NRC, does it cause earthquakes, anotherfalsity.

In addition, everyday further evidence mounts that the Gore promoted notion of anthropogenic global warming is just so much hot air.

Not only is the evidence mounting that the notion of AGW is as foolish as skeptics believed it to be, but that it has been shoved down our throats by a passel of bullies and charlatans. James Delingpole at the Telegraph explains their tactics to those who haven't been giving this adequate attention:
Rig public enquiries, hound blameless people out of their jobs, breach Freedom of Information laws, abuse the scientific method, lie, threaten, bribe, cheat, adopt nakedly political positions in taxpayer-funded academic and advisory posts that ought to be strictly neutral, trample on property rights, destroy rainforests, drive up food prices (causing unrest in the Middle East and starvation in the Third World), raise taxes, remove personal freedoms, artificially raise energy prices, featherbed rent-seekers, blight landscapes, deceive voters, twist evidence, force everyone to use expensive, dim light bulbs, frighten schoolchildren, bully adults, increase unemployment, destroy democratic accountability, take control of global governance and impose a New World Order.

Of course, not all the advocates of AGW are bought. Some are just ill-informed but remain opinion makers, nevertheless, in an era where cloaking opinions as science is the norm: Thus, for example, the NYT food writer Mark Bittman advocates less meat eating to save the globe.(I'm old enough to remember when food writers like James Beard and Craig Claiborne and Julia Childs actually loved all good tasting food and urged us to leave Puritanism aside and enjoy it and scientists worked to improve yields to feed better more people .Those were the days!)

3.Some Democrats behind the drive to twist science are catering to ill-informed but rich donors, including those well-financed "nonprofit, public interest" outfits: The Salmon Fiasco illustrates what I mean.

This week we learned that serial federal law violator HHS secretary Sebelius and Valerie Jarrett illegally sat on an FDA study that establishes that genetically modified salmon was perfectly safe for people and the environment:
The AquAdvantage salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies of Massachusetts-- an Atlantic salmon modified with a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon so it grows to maturity faster -- had been winding its way through the federal approval process for 17 years. Two years ago, the FDA had said it was going to release its environmental assessment, the final document in the approval process, within weeks. It was finally and quietlyposted on the FDA's website only last Friday -- just hours before the long holiday weekend -- and published in the Federal Register on />
The release came, FDA sources say, in response to the publication of an investigation in Slate by the Genetic Literacy Project two days before, on December 19. The GLP, which I head, had reported that the FDA had definitively concluded last spring that the fish would have "no significant impact" on the environment and was "as safe as food from conventional Atlantic salmon." However, the draft assessment, dated April 19, 2012, was not released -- blocked on orders from the White House.

The seven month delay, sources within the government say, came after discussions late last spring between Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius' office and officials linked to Valerie Jarrett at the Executive Office, who were debating the political implications of approving the GM salmon. Genetically modified plants and animals are controversial among the president's political base, which was thought critical to his reelection efforts during a low point in the president's popularity.

Cheaper wholesome food which has no negative impact on the environment -- it's not what the NYT food editor or the administration want, apparently. Al Capp's Lower Slobovia seems to be their vision of Utopia.

4.In this litany of eco-activism certain to impoverish us all, there's one bright spot this week. Barnum & Bailey Circus's owners, Feld Entertainment, brought a RICO suit against "animal rights" scamsters and has already won a $9.3 million settlement from one of the multiple defendants:
This settlement applies only to the ASPCA. Feld Entertainment's legal proceedings, including its claims for litigation abuse and racketeering, will continue against the remaining defendants, Humane Society of the United States, the Fund for Animals, Animal Welfare Institute, Animal Protection Institute United with Born Free USA, Tom Rider and the attorneys involved.

"These defendants attempted to destroy our family-owned business with a hired plaintiff who made statements that the court did not believe. Animal activists have been attacking our family, our company, and our employees for decades because they oppose animals in circuses. This settlement is a vindication not just for the company but also for the dedicated men and women who spend their lives working and caring for all the animals with Ringling Bros. in the face of such targeted, malicious rhetoric," said Kenneth Feld, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Feld Entertainment.

Maybe it's time Congress took a closer look at the nonprofit sector. Who's funding them? What other misconduct are they engaged in? Whose interests are they really advancing? Just maybe, instead of always settling with these nudniks, it would help if more people followed the Feld example and defended their conduct and sued litigants and their lawyers for instituting frivolous actions interfering with commerce by slander and lies.


Government of, by and for activists

University think tank’s lawsuit raises serious questions about the old and new EPA

Ron Arnold

Lisa Jackson’s resignation as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has focused attention on the “unfinished agenda” she leaves for this agenda-driven agency’s next director (probably Clinton era assistant EPA administrator and current California Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols).

One of the most notable leftovers involves an activist think tank that recently informed EPA it intends to file a lawsuit demanding that the agency establish a cap-and-trade system for transportation fuels. The group had petitioned EPA in 2009 to regulate and ration how much motor fuel goes into the U.S. economy from refiners and fuel importers – thereby putting EPA in charge of cars, trucks, boats, trains and planes, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent alleged “dangerous manmade global warming.” Jackson’s EPA did not respond, leaving the lawsuit and potential regulations to the next administrator.

The litigious attack dog is the Institute for Policy Integrity, an adviser-ridden think tank lodged at the New York University Law School and supported by foundation grants. Deeply incestuous connections between IPI, anti-fossil fuel groups and EPA officials raise troubling questions: Did the Jackson-era agency invite the lawsuit (or at least welcome the litigation), to “force” it to impose deeply unpopular regulations once President Obama was safely reelected? And why does “integrity” at NYU always seem to mean “do things in accord with left-leaning, anti-hydrocarbon ideologies and agendas”?

IPI was created in 2008 by two NYU professors, Law School Dean Richard Revesz and adjunct professor Michael Livermore, co-authors of Retaking Rationality: How Cost-Benefit Analysis Can Better Protect the Environment and Our Health. They are creating not the rule of law, but the rule of lawyers – in league with activists in and out of government (through a huge revolving door: out of green groups into government, and vice versa) who employ insider knowledge and constant pressure to impose expensive, job-killing rules that Congress never intended and do little for the environment or human health.

The eco-elite’s presence on the IPI’s 22-member advisory board is impressive: high-ranking officials of the Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, World Wildlife Fund, League of Conservation Voters, Resources for the Future and Union of Concerned Scientists. The combined assets of these BANANA groups (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything) exceed $885 million.

The IPI’s former-bureaucrat firepower is even more staggering. It includes a deputy secretary of state for management and resources, two former head lawyers at the EPA, and one lawyer from the Food and Drug Administration. There are also lawyers from the Department of Justice, Office of Management and Budget, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, along with legal advisers from the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Council of Economic Advisers, Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Obama administration’s special Task Force on the Auto Industry.

Finally, the big guns: Clinton White House Chief of Staff John Podesta left IPI to lead the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, while Jack Lew departed the IPI in January 2012 to serve as President Obama's White House chief of staff.

They all share the same goal: enrich and empower activists, bureaucrats and liberal politicians – while controlling and impoverishing the rest of us – all in the name of protecting the environment.

Lisa Jackson leaves a scary legacy that time-bombs like IPI’s transportation fuel cap-and-trade scheme will greatly expand. EPA is already prepared to unleash its first wave of carbon dioxide regulations – to augment punitive taxes that some members of Congress want to impose on hydrocarbon use and carbon-dioxide emissions, and new treaty obligations that United Nations climate alarmists are devising to regulate energy use at the international level.

Any one of these actions would send new shock waves through America’s still weak economy. If all three are imposed – especially in conjunction with Obamacare, just-passed tax hikes on small business job creators, and reams of other government regulations – the impacts will be devastating. EPA alone inflicts some $353 billion in annual regulatory burdens, notes a report by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Under President Obama and Ms. Jackson, EPA conducted illegal experiments on humans and imposed 2,071 new rules whose benefits exist mostly in computer models and press releases. Indeed, the rules often worsen human health and welfare, by increasing joblessness and thus poverty, stress, poor nutrition, and the risk of strokes and heart attacks, spousal, child and alcohol abuse, suicide and premature death.

Predictably, IPI’s lawsuit notice to EPA exploited public susceptibility to misinformation about severe weather events. “The damage caused by Superstorm Sandy was widely linked to some of the potential risks associated with a warming planet.” Climate alarmists have certainly tried to make that link.

However, as many analysts have noted, Earth has not warmed for 16 years, hurricane and tornado frequency and intensity are below normal, the rate of sea level rise has not changed, and storms like Sandy, Isabel, Katrina and the “Long Island Express” have repeatedly battered the United States and Canada over the centuries. Moreover, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are at their lowest level in 20 years, even as 57 million new energy users have been added to America’s economy since 1992. Global atmospheric CO2 levels nonetheless continue to rise, because of emissions from China, India and other nations.

Radical groups like IPI, grant-hungry scientists, and politicians seeking to scapegoat their decisions to allow development in low-lying coastal areas naturally want to link Sandy to hypothetical global warming. But numerous experts – including Martin Hoerling, chairman of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate variability research program – say there is no link.

The new EPA boss will have many other dimwitted and outright fraudulent regulatory disasters to cope with – or perpetrate and perpetuate. Among the most explosive are the agency’s costly new standards for atmospheric ozone (which would send most U.S. counties into noncompliance) and rules slashing allowable soot emissions from smokestacks, diesel trucks and other sources. The science behind both the earlier and proposed soot standards is not just highly questionable; it has also involved unethical testing of human subjects at pollution levels that EPA claims are “deadly,” but which did not kill anyone – or even make them sick. A lawsuit by the American Tradition Institute places the messy human rights, medical ethics, regulatory misconduct issue before the courts for the new EPA administrator to untangle.

But IPI’s lawsuit will remain high on the new EPA’s to-do list. IPI Executive Director Michael Livermore demands that the EPA “make a finding” that transportation emissions might endanger public welfare, “propose a cap-and-trade system” for transportation fuels, find that aircraft fuels “endanger” public health, “propose a joint rulemaking with the Federal Aviation Administration” to include aircraft fuels in the cap-and-trade scheme, and finalize the regulations within 90 days!

Lisa Jackson did not pick up the phone and immediately tell NYU Law School Dean Richard Revesz, “Yes, sir. Right away, sir. Anything else, sir?” In fact, she said nothing at all, which is what provoked the IPI’s lawsuit – but also ensured that these messy issues did not create new problems for President Obama’s reelection campaign.

However, if Jackson or her successor ultimately agrees to these claims, it will look suspiciously like a “sweetheart lawsuit” – one in which the agency welcomed IPI litigation, to justify implementing a long-hidden agenda, now that President Obama is safely ensured of his second term.

If EPA settles such a suit without going to trial, the public (and Congress) would have no voice in a decision that upends the transportation system that moves and supplies America. Of course, the EPA action would further advance President Obama’s stated goal of “fundamentally transforming” the United States.

Received via email



Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 06, 2013

Advance notice

Anthony Watts will be releasing some notable findings on his blog later today. It concerns the National Climatic Data Center, a tentacle of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Watts writes:

I have discovered a major data and credibility issue with NCDC’s “State of the Climate” press releases.

I expect that NCDC will make a similar “State of the Climate” release for “hottest year ever” for the USA and I’ll point out why this claim is not likely to hold up due to my scrutiny of their own data.

Based on what I’ve found, there may be violations of the FDQA (Federal Data Quality Act) going on here. At the very least, they’ll have to explain themselves, at best, we’ll have retractions of some previous NCDC claims in “State of the Climate” reports over the last two years.

My goal is to make them take enough notice of these problems that they may reconsider claims in the upcoming “State of the Climate”. Barring that, a long term fix is needed so that the press is not fed false claims that evaporate later.

Federal judge rules EPA overstepped authority trying to regulate water as pollutant in Virginia

U.S. District Judge Liam O'Grady in Alexandria ruled late Thursday that the EPA exceeded its authority by attempting to regulate stormwater runoff into a Fairfax County creek as a pollutant. O'Grady sided with the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, which challenged EPA's stormwater restrictions. "Stormwater runoff is not a pollutant, so EPA is not authorized to regulate it," O'Grady said.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says the ruling could ultimately save Virginia taxpayers more than $300 million. An EPA spokesman could not be reached for comment after business hours.

The EPA, citing an abundance of stormwater runoff, had proposed a plan that Virginia officials said could cost homeowners and businesses their private property.

The EPA contended that water itself can be regulated as a pollutant if there's too much of it. The agency says heavy runoff is having a negative impact on Accotink Creek and that it has the regulatory authority to remedy the situation.

Cuccinelli, a Republican, argued what the EPA has proposed is "illegal," and he's not alone in the fight. He was joined in the lawsuit against the federal agency by the Democratic-controlled Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

In legal filings, the EPA says that its plan is "in harmony with the broader purposes" of the Clean Water Act, including "reducing the water quality impacts of stormwater."

"There is no possibility of homes being removed in this process," Simon Rosenberg, founder of the New Democrat Network, said. He called the claim by Cuccinelli an "overstatement."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Quarter of British mothers forced to turn their heating off to afford food for their children: Survey warns of increase in 'fuel poverty'

With crazy British Green energy schemes and surcharges responsible for a lot of the bill

Soaring energy bills are forcing one in four mothers to turn off their heating in the depths of winter in order to afford food for their children.

Fuel poverty is resulting in thousands of families resorting to wearing extra clothes and using blankets in their homes.

More than half of families turn off the heating in their houses when the children are out, while 45 per cent of adults keep warm using blankets or duvets during the day, according to a survey.

Fuel bills have already soared by eight per cent this winter, but costs are expected to rise further in coming months.

Experts have warned that the number of households suffering fuel poverty, whereby heating bills account for more than a tenth of a family's income, will double to nine million by 2016.

A shocking 23 per cent of families are already having to choosing between buying food or using heating, according to a survey by the Energy Bill Revolution campaign.

A fifth of respondents said that their children were ill more regularly as a result of colder homes.

The poll questioned 1,000 members of the Netmums website and found that 88 per cent of respondents are more concerned about fuel bills this year compared to last.

Sally Russell, the founder of Netmums, said: 'These are impossible choices for families to make.

'With almost nine in 10 families now rationing energy use due to spiralling prices, this signals a new winter of discontent for British families.'

Ed Matthew, the director of Energy Bill Revolution, said: 'No one should have to make the choice between feeding their family and heating their home.'

The campaign is urging the Government to use money from the carbon tax to insulate housing, which campaigners argue could reduce bills by £300.


Al Gore, friend of the petro-state

Big Al has the principles of a flea

At the pinnacle of Al Gore’s fame and influence, he was a much jet-travelling man, going from continent to continent, earning huge fees, to give his explosive and exaggerated Powerpoint presentation about the threat of apocalyptic global warming.

There was profit in his prophecy. The man who lost to George W. Bush had picked himself up and turned his crusade into a business. He was here. He was there — lobbying for green initiatives, pushing wind and solar, boosting the notion of carbon credits. He was, as we say today, a huge global brand.

He was also a hero to all who think right. He achieved that rarest of two-fers: The Norwegians gave him a Nobel Prize, the Hollywood sybarites gave him an Oscar. He was a man of peace, and rubbed shoulders with James Cameron. How rich can life get?

He had his own energy company, was appointed to all the right boards and there was not a global conference worth getting on a personal jet for, that did not feature Al’s furrowed brow and finger-pointing apocalyptics.

Along the way, in the service of broadening his already impressive propaganda effort, he acquired — from CBC no less — a digital channel, renamed it Current TV, and hired as lead star the belligerent and bellowing Keith Olberman, the latter fresh from being fired from MSNBC. For Canadians not familiar with Olberman, let us just say he is a partisan broadcaster, shallow and perpetually frenzied, compared to whom Bill O’Reilly is a Zen mystic.

Current was to be the great munition in the war to persuade the world of the perils it faced. But despite the best wishes of Matt Damon and half the cast of Charlie’s Angels, the channel never went anywhere. Some claimed it had a viewership of only 40,000. Olberman did what he does best: got fired.

Now comes the latest news that Al has sold Current, for the magnificent sum of $500-million, $100-million of which is his alone. Not bad for a TV station with less reach and inferior programming to most billboards.

Qatar is about oil, oil and more oil. It is a global warmer’s hell

To whom did the Lord of the Upper Atmosphere sell? Why to al Jazeera — which is to say, effectively to the ruler of Qatar, a wealthy country that has nothing else to sustain it but the sale of its huge petroleum resources.

Qatar is about oil, oil and more oil. It is a global warmer’s hell.

Surely there is some pill too tough to swallow in the idea of the world’s greatest alarmist on the subject of global warming, the evils of petroleum economies and the menace of fossil fuels accepting half-a-billion dollars from a state that utterly epitomizes the practices and product he most evangelistically despises.

But consistency or moral fortitude in the face of profit does not seem to be part of Al’s personal Powerpoint.

One other, not-to-be-missed note: Mr. Gore was very quick to make sure the sale took place before the New Year — the better to spare him, who is now one of the world’s superrich, his friend Barack Obama’s tax hike on those dreadful one-percenters.

That move alone was worthy of a Republican.


A convention of frauds

Steve McIntyre visits a convention of the American Geophysical Union and finds it compeletely taken over by the Warmist cult

If I was hoping to think about more salubrious characters than Lewandowsky, Mann and Gleick, the 2012 AGU convention was the wrong place to start my trip. All three were prominent at the convention.

AGU is a huge convention – over 20,000 people and thousands of presentations. Only a few presentations are sufficiently important to be featured on the AGU billboard leading to the conference halls. Almost the first thing that I saw at the convention was a billboard publicizing a session on the Mann case:

Also prominently advertised was the opportunity to meet one-on-one with an attorney (who I presume to have been Mann’s attorney):

Mann himself was honored as a new AGU Fellow for his achievements in orientation-neutral and low-verification paleoclimate reconstructions, with special citation to his innovative use of upside-down sediments and success in popularizing reconstructions with verification r2 of 0.

In addition to his fellowship acceptance, Mann spoke at two other sessions. (My recollection of past AGU conventions was that members were limited to one oral presentation, but this policy seems to have been waived.) One of the session chairs, who was six foot three or so, wryly asked the audience not to confuse with the little man he was introducing.

Mann’s wing-woman in one presentation was the even more diminutive Oreskes, who peeking above the podium, was a fitting consort, both in rhetoric and stature. Oreskes’ opening image was, needless to say, a polar bear on an ice flow.

There were at least three sessions on blogs, one of which was convened by John Cook of SKS. Cook’s invited speakers were Michael Mann, Michael Tobis, Zeke Hausfather, Peter Sinclair. For some reason, Cook’s invitation did not include either Judy Curry or me, both long-time AGU members and proprietors of substantial blogs.

AGU used to be about physical sciences. Its erosion of standards was well exemplified by its inclusion of Stephan Lewandowsky, a social psychologist from western Australia, as co-convenor of two sessions. Lewandowsky’s field of social psychology has recently been severely criticized for lack of replicability. Indeed, Lewandowsky’s own recent work can perhaps be best described as a unique combination of Mannian statistics and Gleickian ethics. Doubtless, this will place Lewandowsky on the short list for next year’s AGU fellows.

But the most surprising, even astonishing, appearance was by Peter Gleick himself. Gleick did not simply return, but was honored by an invitation to speak at a prestigious Union session. I hadn’t even thought to look for Gleick on the program, but noticed him outside a session.

I then checked the AGU program and, to my surprise, learned that Gleick was speaking at a Union session. I went to his session with Neal King of SKS, who I’d been chatting with quite cordially in the early afternoon; I encouraged him to attend. Unfortunately, we missed the start of Gleick’s speech so I can’t comment on whether he was accorded a returning hero’s welcome or not.

Gleick’s welcome back to AGU prominence – without serving even the equivalent of a game’s suspension – was pretty startling, given his admitted identity fraud and distribution (and probable fabrication) of a forged document. Last year, then AGU President Mike McPhadren, a colleague of Eric Steig’s at the University of Washington, had stated on behalf of AGU that Gleick had “compromised AGU’s credibility as a scientific society” and that his “transgression cannot be condoned”. McPhadren stated that AGU‘s “guiding core value” was “excellence and integrity in everything we do” – values that would seem to be inconsistent with identity fraud and distribution and/or fabrication of forged documents, even by the relaxed standards of academic institutions.

Although McPhadren had stated that Gleick’s “transgression” would not be “condoned”, AGU’s warm welcome to Gleick shows that McPhadren’s words meant nothing, because AGU has in fact condoned Gleick’s actions.

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

Bad weather prompting more British farmers to consider GM use

Washout summer and flooded autumn have persuaded an increasing number of farmers to start using the technology

The extreme weather of 2012 has turned British farmers on to genetically modified crops, with calls from farming leaders to start using the technology as a way to help combat the effects of climate change.

England's wettest year on record, and the UK's second wettest, which had begun with one of the worst droughts for decades, has persuaded an increasing number of farmers that the development of crop varieties with engineered resistance to extreme weather conditions is now a priority. Farming groups are in favour of the move, and many individual farmers now want to explore the use of the controversial techniques, according to delegates at the Oxford Farming Conference.

"If the UK is sets itself outside the global market [in which many countries are pursuing GM crops] then we would become fossilised into an old-fashioned way of farming," Peter Kendall, president of the National Farmers' Union, told the Guardian. "The majority of our members are aware of the real risk of becoming globally uncompetitive because of avoiding using GM."

Kendall pointed to the severe problems that potato and tomato growers have had with blight, as the wet weather has encouraged the spread of the disease. "If you could have something that was blight-resistant, that would be a huge improvement," he said. He argued it would be more environmentally friendly to use GM food and thus avoid the problem of losing large quantities of food to spoilage from such diseases.

Many farmers at the conference backed his views. "When you look at the year farmers have just had, with the weather and diseases and pests [that have spread because of the soggy weather] it has increasingly got to be recognised that we need to look at this," said Alastair Brooks, who farms 6,000 acres in Buckinghamshire.

Andrew Brown, with 620 acres of mostly arable land in Rutland, said: "If global warming is going to go the way scientists tell us, this is only going to get more important."

Adrian Ivory, who farms in Perthshire, said colder, wetter summers seemed to be becoming the norm [LOL!], and these would require different varieties to cope with the adverse growing conditions – varieties that could take many years to cultivate by conventional means, but could be brought forward more quickly using GM technology.

But they emphasised that any move towards GM would be slow, involve scientific assessment and would require public support. "This is not something anyone is rushing into. We recognise it would be in stages, by degrees, and we'd need to have scientific input at every stage," said Brown.

Owen Paterson, secretary of state for the environment, gave a clear signal of the government's backing for further use of GM crops in his speech to the conference. He told delegates that the government would make the case in Europe for GM crops, as well as in the UK.

But many environmental groups oppose the use of GM technology.

It is also unclear whether major retailers will support any move to increase the use of GM crops. Some GM products can be found in imported foods, but UK supermarkets have banned the ingredients from their own-brand products. The European commission has a list of approved strains of ingredients such as corn, maize, soy and rice that are used as ingredients in processed foods, often as emulsifiers.


British wind farm protesters backed by planning minister Nick Boles

People opposed to onshore wind farms should not have their views “ridden over roughshod”, the planning minister has told the energy minister in a private letter.

Nick Boles told John Hayes, a fellow Conservative, that “local people have genuine concerns” and “wind farms are not appropriate in all settings”.

The Daily Telegraph has been told that Mr Boles warned Mr Hayes in the letter that people “bitterly resented” having onshore wind farm developments imposed on them by planners after an inquiry.

The intervention will be a major boost for communities which are fighting the construction of turbines near their homes. It is also the first evidence of a Tory ministerial alliance against Liberal Democrat attempts to introduce more onshore wind turbines.

Mr Boles is looking to build an informal alliance against wind turbines with Mr Hayes, a near constituency neighbour, without having to get agreement from Ed Davey, the Lib Dem Climate Change Secretary.

Campaigners are fighting to halt the spread of wind turbines, with communities complaining that they blight properties and harm wildlife, particularly bats and birds.

There are currently 3,350 onshore turbines, generating five gigawatts (Gw) of power, which is enough for 2.4 million homes. Improvements mean that the approximately 2,682 turbines awaiting construction will produce about five Gw, with around a further 3,063 turbines — producing 7GW — in the planning system.

Many in the planning stage are in Scotland. Not all of these projects will be built — in England about half of all onshore wind projects do not receive planning approval.

To meet current targets, the Government is expected to need up to 13Gw of onshore wind by 2020.

Mr Boles, who is in charge of planning policy in England, wrote to Mr Hayes’s department to form part of a consultation into the community benefits of wind farms.

The letter, sent on Dec 20 to Mr Hayes after the consultation had closed, was described to The Daily Telegraph by a Whitehall source. In it, Mr Boles throws his weight behind communities fighting new onshore turbines. “We should be working with communities rather than seemingly riding roughshod over their concerns,” he wrote.

“Proposals allowed on appeal by planning inspectors can be bitterly resented,” he added. “We have been very clear that the Government’s policies on renewable energy are no excuse for building wind farms in the wrong places.

“We need a package of measures that can command broad public support which is consistent with our emphasis on local and neighbourhood planning which puts local communities in the driving seat. We should be quite clear that local communities and their accountable councils can produce their own distinctive plans to help shape where developments should and should not take place.”

Last night, a source close to Ed Davey said: “We don’t want to impose wind farms on communities but onshore wind remains an important part of our overall energy package.”

In November, Mr Hayes said there was no need for more onshore wind farms that were not already in the planning system, adding it was “job done” in terms of the number required for renewable energy targets.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: “The whole point of the planning system is to ensure that developments happen in the right places and take into account local concerns.”

The department wanted communities “to feel greater benefit from hosting onshore wind farms. There are some terrific examples of best practice out there, where people feel positively about their local wind farms and we want to learn lessons from these.”

Jennifer Webber, the director of external affairs at RenewableUK, the body representing the industry, said that a record amount of onshore wind capacity had been approved at local level in 2012, suggesting growing community support. She said analysis showed that for every megawatt of wind energy installed “the local community benefits to the tune of £100,000” over the wind farm’s lifespan.

Mr Boles has emerged as a covert champion of opponents of wind power since he was appointed planning minister in the September reshuffle. Last month, he suggested wind farms should not be less than 1.4 miles from homes.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 04, 2013

Reinsurer Munich Re Natural Catastrophe Statistics Report 2012: Far Less Global Damage From Weather In 2012!

Surprising though that must be for those to whom NYC is the world

The real story of 2012 is one of unextreme weather and natural events. Deaths globally in 2012 from natural disasters were 90% below the longterm average.

The online, eco-leftist TAZ from Berlin has an article about reinsurer Munich Re’s Natural Catastrophe Statistics 2012 report on weather and natural disasters, released yesterday. 2012 was a year of few deaths and relatively little damage from natural disasters worldwide.

Recall that Munich Re is in the reinsurance business, and they stand to profit handsomely from the belief that climate related catastrophes are on the increase. They’ve been aggressive promoters of the manmade climate change story.

So it comes to us as a big surprise to hear them report that 2012 “saw far less damage than a year earlier“.

According to TAZ, 2012′s “total damages of $160 billion was below the long-term average. And foremost ‘only’ 9500 people died in 2012 from storms, floods and earthquakes - far less than the 106,000 in an average year.” That’s a huge drop of 90%! So all the dramatic stories about deadly weather extremes we’ve been hearing for months was mostly hype.

The Munich Re report said it was a “low-damage year”, with most of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and drought in the USA. Good news came from developing countries, where, according to the TAZ, “there were few catastrophes”.

Boy, if that isn’t a stark contrast from what we’ve heard from the media.

Yet, always itching to jack up their premiums, Munich Re insists that climate change is a major crisis for humanity, and although Hurricane Sandy cannot be attributed to man, it is “a sign of what the future holds”.

I bet all that good news was just really tough for the Munich Re to handle.


Warren seems to be buying popularity -- What's a fortune good for, anyway?

Or maybe he just wants in on all that subsidy gravy. Why work to provide good services when you can just raid the pocket of the taxpayer?

Billionaire US investor Warren Buffett is taking a $2.5bn (£1.5bn) bet on solar energy, acquiring what is set to become the largest photovoltaic development in the world.

MidAmerican Energy Holdings, a subsidiary of Mr Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway investment company, has struck a deal with SunPower to acquire and build two projects in California’s Antelope Valley.

The deal, which will see MidAmerican pay between $2bn to $2.5bn, marks the third time in little over a year that Mr Buffett has ploughed cash into solar energy.

He last year created a unit within Mid American to support an increasing number of solar and wind investments.
Work on the projects will begin within the next few months and construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
SunPower, which is 66pc-owned by France’s Total, will remain involved in the construction and operation of the projects.

“Customers, investors and banks see this as a stamp of approval on SunPower,” SunPower’s president and chief executive, Tom Werner, said. “It’s a huge deal for us, roughly the size of our company.”
SunPower, based in San Jose, California, has a market value of $732 million.

The two projects acquired by MidAmerican will have a combined capacity of 579 megawatts (MW), creating the largest solar photovoltaic power development in the world.

The scheme is expected to create about 650 construction jobs, SunPower said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

In December 2011 MidAmerican acquired another 550 MW solar plant in California from First Solar in a deal valued at an estimated $2bn.

Shortly before the First Solar deal, the investment group also swooped on a 49pc stake in a $1.8bn project in Arizona.

In total, the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary has more than 1,830 MW of assets, also including wind power, geothermal, and hydro projects.

California is the biggest solar market in the US.


US: Lights go out on 75-watt light bulbs

All the old tungsten bulbs have now vanished from Australian shops but I have some fittings that will not take the new bulbs so I stocked up long ago -- JR

As 2012 becomes an afterthought, Americans can also add one other item to the past - the 75-watt incandescent light bulb. As of Jan. 1, federal law dictates that 75-watt light bulbs can no longer be produced or imported in the United States. Retailers that still have them in stock can sell them until they run out.

By 2014, traditional 60- and 40-watt bulbs will also be phased out.

The reason for the Thomas Edison invention's demise is energy based. "90 percent of the energy the bulb uses is wasted," said Celia Kuperzmid-Lehrman of Consumer Reports. "What they replaced them with are much more energy-efficient bulbs."

Kuperzmid-Lehrman stated that the replacements for the incandescent bulb are also as bright and will save consumers more money over time.

Most screw-in bulbs must use at least 27 percent less energy by 2014. The remaining options for consumers are Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs) and Light-Emitting Diode bulbs (LEDs).

While a reason for consumer resistance to LED bulbs is cost, prices for them are dropping.

When replacing a bulb, experts at Consumer Reports suggest choosing bulbs the same size or smaller to be sure it fits the fixture. Specialized fixtures, such as dimmers, have specific bulbs for those needs, so check bulb packaging for specific details.


Wind farms vs wildlife

"Renewables pose a far greater threat to wildlife than climate change"

Wind turbines only last for ‘half as long as previously thought’, according to a new study. But even in their short lifespans, those turbines can do a lot of damage. Wind farms are devastating populations of rare birds and bats across the world, driving some to the point of extinction. Most environmentalists just don’t want to know. Because they’re so desperate to believe in renewable energy, they’re in a state of denial. But the evidence suggests that, this century at least, renewables pose a far greater threat to wildlife than climate change.

I’m a lecturer in biological and human sciences at Oxford university. I trained as a zoologist, I’ve worked as an environmental consultant — conducting impact assessments on projects like the Folkestone-to-London rail link — and I now teach ecology and conservation. Though I started out neutral on renewable energy, I’ve since seen the havoc wreaked on wildlife by wind power, hydro power, biofuels and tidal barrages. The environmentalists who support such projects do so for ideological reasons. What few of them have in their heads, though, is the consolation of science.

My speciality is species extinction. When I was a child, my father used to tell me about all the animals he’d seen growing up in Kent — the grass snakes, the lime hawk moths — and what shocked me when we went looking for them was how few there were left. Species extinction is a serious issue: around the world we’re losing up to 40 a day. Yet environmentalists are urging us to adopt technologies that are hastening this process. Among the most destructive of these is wind power.

Every year in Spain alone — according to research by the conservation group SEO/Birdlife — between 6 and 18 million birds and bats are killed by wind farms. They kill roughly twice as many bats as birds. This breaks down as approximately 110–330 birds per turbine per year and 200–670 bats per year. And these figures may be conservative if you compare them to statistics published in December 2002 by the California Energy Commission: ‘In a summary of avian impacts at wind turbines by Benner et al (1993) bird deaths per turbine per year were as high as 309 in Germany and 895 in Sweden.’

Because wind farms tend to be built on uplands, where there are good thermals, they kill a disproportionate number of raptors. In Australia, the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle is threatened with global extinction by wind farms. In north America, wind farms are killing tens of thousands of raptors including golden eagles and America’s national bird, the bald eagle. In Spain, the Egyptian vulture is threatened, as too is the Griffon vulture — 400 of which were killed in one year at Navarra alone. Norwegian wind farms kill over ten white-tailed eagles per year and the population of Smøla has been severely impacted by turbines built against the opposition of ornithologists.

Nor are many other avian species safe. In North America, for example, proposed wind farms on the Great Lakes would kill large numbers of migratory songbirds. In the Atlantic, seabirds such as the Manx Shearwater are threatened. Offshore wind farms are just as bad as onshore ones, posing a growing threat to seabirds and migratory birds, and reducing habitat availability for marine birds (such as common scoter and eider ducks).

I’ve heard it suggested that birds will soon adapt to avoid turbine blades. But your ability to learn something when you’ve been whacked on the head by an object travelling at 200 mph is limited. And besides, this comes from a complete misconception of how long it takes species to evolve. Birds have been flying, unimpeded, through the skies for millions of years. They’re hardly going to alter their habits in a few months. You hear similar nonsense from environmentalists about so-called habitat ‘mitigation’. There has been talk, for example, during proposals to build a Severn barrage, that all the waders displaced by the destruction of the mud flats can have their inter-tidal habitat replaced elsewhere. It may be what developers and governments want to hear, but recreating such habitats would take centuries not years — even if space were available. The birds wouldn’t move on somewhere else. They’d just starve to death.

Loss of habitat is the single biggest cause of species extinction. Wind farms not only reduce habitat size but create ‘population sinks’ — zones which attract animals and then kill them. My colleague Mark Duchamp suggests birds are lured in because they see the turbines as perching sites and also because wind towers (because of the grass variations underneath) seem to attract more prey. The turbines also attract bats, whose wholesale destruction poses an ever more serious conservation concern.

Bats are what is known as K-selected species: they reproduce very slowly, live a long time and are easy to wipe out. Having evolved with few predators — flying at night helps — bats did very well with this strategy until the modern world. This is why they are so heavily protected by so many conventions and regulations: the biggest threats to their survival are made by us.

And the worst threat of all right now is wind turbines. A recent study in Germany by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research showed that bats killed by German turbines may have come from places 1,000 or more miles away. This would suggest that German turbines — which an earlier study claims kill more than 200,000 bats a year — may be depressing populations across the entire northeastern portion of Europe. Some studies in the US have put the death toll as high as 70 bats per installed megawatt per year: with 40,000 MW of turbines currently installed in the US and Canada. This would give an annual death toll of up to three -million.

Why is the public not more aware of this carnage? First, because the wind industry (with the shameful complicity of some ornithological organisations) has gone to great trouble to cover it up — to the extent of burying the corpses of victims. Second, because the ongoing obsession with climate change means that many environmentalists are turning a blind eye to the ecological costs of renewable energy. What they clearly don’t appreciate — for they know next to nothing about biology — is that most of the species they claim are threatened by ‘climate change’ have already survived 10 to 20 ice ages, and sea-level rises far more dramatic than any we have experienced in recent millennia or expect in the next few centuries. Climate change won’t drive those species to extinction; well-meaning environmentalists might.


British ministers launch PR drive to shake off 'Frankenstein food' image of GM crops

A PR campaign to change the image of genetically modified food is to be launched by the government.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson wants farmers, scientists and ministers to increase the appeal of so-called Frankenstein Foods among the public.

In a speech today to the Oxford Farming Conference, Mr Paterson insists there are ‘great opportunities’ in pushing GM technology , but admitted the public need reassurance that it is safe.

Since last summer’s reshuffle, Mr Paterson has repeatedly backed GM’s role in keeping food supplies secure.

He has dismissed complaints as ‘humbug’ and claimed ‘there isn’t a single piece of meat being served [in a typical London restaurant] where a bullock hasn’t eaten some GM feed’.

GM crops were grown on 395 million acres in 29 countries in 2011, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

In today’s speech Mr Paterson said: ‘I fully appreciate the strong feelings on both sides of the debate. GM needs to be considered in its proper overall context with a balanced understanding of the risks and benefits.

‘We should not, however, be afraid of making the case to the public about the potential benefits of GM beyond the food chain, for example, significantly reducing the use of pesticides and inputs such as diesel.

‘As well as making the case at home, we also need to go through the rigorous processes that the EU has in place to ensure the safety of GM crops.

‘I believe that GM offers great opportunities but I also recognise that we owe a duty to the public to reassure them that it is a safe and beneficial innovation.’

He said the industry ‘has long been at the forefront of innovation’ and this must continue, including backing GM.

But opponents of an expansion in GM technology claimed just a quarter of people thought it could be 'encouraged'.

Peter Melchett, policy director of the Soil Association, said: 'Owen Patterson is wrong to claim that GM crops are good for the environment. The UK Government’s own farm scale experiment showed that overall the GM crops were worse for British wildlife.

'Owen Patterson says that people are eating meat from animals fed of GM feed without realising it. 'That is because the British Government has consistently opposed moves to label to give consumers accurate information, and he should put that right by immediately introducing compulsory labelling of meat and milk from animals fed on GM feed.'

In his speech in Oxford, Mr Paterson admitted that farming had suffered a ‘tough year’ of floods, high feed costs and diseases such as bovine TB and Schmallenberg.

But he said the industry in the UK produces food for 63.5 million people and supports industries that add nearly £90 billion to the UK economy.

And he pledged that the government must ‘get out of people’s hair and let them get on with what they are good at’.

‘I want our farmers to be farming not form-filling,’ he said, pledging to further reduce the burden of paperwork.

While demanding major reform of the EU's Commons Agriculture Policy, he defended giving public money to farmers.

'I do believe that there is a role for taxpayer’s money in compensating farmers for the work they do in enhancing the environment and providing public goods for which there is no market mechanism.

'Farming makes a real contribution to our habitats and wildlife. We must be able to continue to develop our agri-environment schemes.'


A one-time anti-GM warrior realizes he did not know it all -- and is big enough to admit it

Mark Lynas

I want to start with some apologies. For the record, here and upfront, I apologise for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment.

As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely.

So I guess you’ll be wondering – what happened between 1995 and now that made me not only change my mind but come here and admit it? Well, the answer is fairly simple: I discovered science, and in the process I hope I became a better environmentalist.

When I first heard about Monsanto’s GM soya I knew exactly what I thought. Here was a big American corporation with a nasty track record, putting something new and experimental into our food without telling us. Mixing genes between species seemed to be about as unnatural as you can get – here was humankind acquiring too much technological power; something was bound to go horribly wrong. These genes would spread like some kind of living pollution. It was the stuff of nightmares.

These fears spread like wildfire, and within a few years GM was essentially banned in Europe, and our worries were exported by NGOs like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth to Africa, India and the rest of Asia, where GM is still banned today. This was the most successful campaign I have ever been involved with.

This was also explicitly an anti-science movement. We employed a lot of imagery about scientists in their labs cackling demonically as they tinkered with the very building blocks of life. Hence the Frankenstein food tag – this absolutely was about deep-seated fears of scientific powers being used secretly for unnatural ends. What we didn’t realise at the time was that the real Frankenstein’s monster was not GM technology, but our reaction against it.

For me this anti-science environmentalism became increasingly inconsistent with my pro-science environmentalism with regard to climate change. I published my first book on global warming in 2004, and I was determined to make it scientifically credible rather than just a collection of anecdotes.

So I had to back up the story of my trip to Alaska with satellite data on sea ice, and I had to justify my pictures of disappearing glaciers in the Andes with long-term records of mass balance of mountain glaciers. That meant I had to learn how to read scientific papers, understand basic statistics and become literate in very different fields from oceanography to paleoclimate, none of which my degree in politics and modern history helped me with a great deal.

I found myself arguing constantly with people who I considered to be incorrigibly anti-science, because they wouldn’t listen to the climatologists and denied the scientific reality of climate change. So I lectured them about the value of peer-review, about the importance of scientific consensus and how the only facts that mattered were the ones published in the most distinguished scholarly journals.

My second climate book, Six Degrees, was so sciency that it even won the Royal Society science books prize, and climate scientists I had become friendly with would joke that I knew more about the subject than them. And yet, incredibly, at this time in 2008 I was still penning screeds in the Guardian attacking the science of GM – even though I had done no academic research on the topic, and had a pretty limited personal understanding. I don’t think I’d ever read a peer-reviewed paper on biotechnology or plant science even at this late stage.

Obviously this contradiction was untenable. What really threw me were some of the comments underneath my final anti-GM Guardian article. In particular one critic said to me: so you’re opposed to GM on the basis that it is marketed by big corporations. Are you also opposed to the wheel because because it is marketed by the big auto companies?

So I did some reading. And I discovered that one by one my cherished beliefs about GM turned out to be little more than green urban myths.

I’d assumed that it would increase the use of chemicals. It turned out that pest-resistant cotton and maize needed less insecticide.

I’d assumed that GM benefited only the big companies. It turned out that billions of dollars of benefits were accruing to farmers needing fewer inputs.

I’d assumed that Terminator Technology was robbing farmers of the right to save seed. It turned out that hybrids did that long ago, and that Terminator never happened.

I’d assumed that no-one wanted GM. Actually what happened was that Bt cotton was pirated into India and roundup ready soya into Brazil because farmers were so eager to use them.

I’d assumed that GM was dangerous. It turned out that it was safer and more precise than conventional breeding using mutagenesis for example; GM just moves a couple of genes, whereas conventional breeding mucks about with the entire genome in a trial and error way.

But what about mixing genes between unrelated species? The fish and the tomato? Turns out viruses do that all the time, as do plants and insects and even us – it’s called gene flow.

But this was still only the beginning. So in my third book The God Species I junked all the environmentalist orthodoxy at the outset and tried to look at the bigger picture on a planetary scale.

And this is the challenge that faces us today: we are going to have to feed 9.5 billion hopefully much less poor people by 2050 on about the same land area as we use today, using limited fertiliser, water and pesticides and in the context of a rapidly-changing climate.

Let’s unpack this a bit. I know in a previous year’s lecture in this conference there was the topic of population growth. This area too is beset by myths. People think that high rates of fertility in the developing world are the big issue – in other words, poor people are having too many children, and we therefore need either family planning or even something drastic like mass one-child policies.

The reality is that global average fertility is down to about 2.5 – and if you consider that natural replacement is 2.2, this figure is not much above that. So where is the massive population growth coming from? It is coming because of declining infant mortality – more of today’s youngsters are growing up to have their own children rather than dying of preventable diseases in early childhood.

The rapid decline in infant mortality rates is one of the best news stories of our decade and the heartland of this great success story is sub-Saharan Africa. It’s not that there are legions more children being born – in fact, in the words of Hans Rosling, we are already at ‘peak child’. That is, about 2 billion children are alive today, and there will never be more than that because of declining fertility.

But so many more of these 2 billion children will survive into adulthood today to have their own children. They are the parents of the young adults of 2050. That’s the source of the 9.5 billion population projection for 2050. You don’t have to have lost a child, God forbid, or even be a parent, to know that declining infant mortality is a good thing.

So how much food will all these people need? According to the latest projections, published last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, we are looking at a global demand increase of well over 100% by mid-century. This is almost entirely down to GDP growth, especially in developing countries.

In other words, we need to produce more food not just to keep up with population but because poverty is gradually being eradicated, along with the widespread malnutrition that still today means close to 800 million people go to bed hungry each night. And I would challenge anyone in a rich country to say that this GDP growth in poor countries is a bad thing.

But as a result of this growth we have very serious environmental challenges to tackle. Land conversion is a large source of greenhouse gases, and perhaps the greatest source of biodiversity loss. This is another reason why intensification is essential – we have to grow more on limited land in order to save the rainforests and remaining natural habitats from the plough.

We also have to deal with limited water – not just depleting aquifers but also droughts that are expected to strike with increasing intensity in the agricultural heartlands of continents thanks to climate change. If we take more water from rivers we accelerate biodiversity loss in these fragile habitats.

We also need to better manage nitrogen use: artificial fertiliser is essential to feed humanity, but its inefficient use means dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and many coastal areas around the world, as well as eutrophication in fresh water ecosystems.

It is not enough to sit back and hope that technological innovation will solve our problems. We have to be much more activist and strategic than that. We have to ensure that technological innovation moves much more rapidly, and in the right direction for those who most need it.

In a sense we’ve been here before. When Paul Ehrlich published the Population Bomb in 1968, he wrote: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” The advice was explicit – in basket-case countries like India, people might as well starve sooner rather than later, and therefore food aid to them should be eliminated to reduce population growth.

It was not pre-ordained that Ehrlich would be wrong. In fact, if everyone had heeded his advice hundreds of millions of people might well have died needlessly. But in the event, malnutrition was cut dramatically, and India became food self-sufficient, thanks to Norman Borlaug and his Green Revolution.

It is important to recall that Borlaug was equally as worried about population growth as Ehrlich. He just thought it was worth trying to do something about it. He was a pragmatist because he believed in doing what was possible, but he was also an idealist because he believed that people everywhere deserved to have enough to eat.

So what did Norman Borlaug do? He turned to science and technology. Humans are a tool-making species – from clothes to ploughs, technology is primarily what distinguishes us from other apes. And much of this work was focused on the genome of major domesticated crops – if wheat, for example, could be shorter and put more effort into seed-making rather than stalks, then yields would improve and grain loss due to lodging would be minimised.

Before Borlaug died in 2009 he spent many years campaigning against those who for political and ideological reasons oppose modern innovation in agriculture. To quote: “If the naysayers do manage to stop agricultural biotechnology, they might actually precipitate the famines and the crisis of global biodiversity they have been predicting for nearly 40 years.”

And, thanks to supposedly environmental campaigns spread from affluent countries, we are perilously close to this position now. Biotechnology has not been stopped, but it has been made prohibitively expensive to all but the very biggest corporations.

It now costs tens of millions to get a crop through the regulatory systems in different countries. In fact the latest figures I’ve just seen from CropLife suggest it costs $139 million to move from discovering a new crop trait to full commercialisation, so open-source or public sector biotech really does not stand a chance.

There is a depressing irony here that the anti-biotech campaigners complain about GM crops only being marketed by big corporations when this is a situation they have done more than anyone to help bring about.

In the EU the system is at a standstill, and many GM crops have been waiting a decade or more for approval but are permanently held up by the twisted domestic politics of anti-biotech countries like France and Austria. Around the whole world the regulatory delay has increased to more than 5 and a half years now, from 3.7 years back in 2002. The bureaucratic burden is getting worse.

France, remember, long refused to accept the potato because it was an American import. As one commentator put it recently, Europe is on the verge of becoming a food museum. We well-fed consumers are blinded by romantic nostalgia for the traditional farming of the past. Because we have enough to eat, we can afford to indulge our aesthetic illusions.

But at the same time the growth of yields worldwide has stagnated for many major food crops, as research published only last month by Jonathan Foley and others in the journal Nature Communications showed. If we don’t get yield growth back on track we are indeed going to have trouble keeping up with population growth and resulting demand, and prices will rise as well as more land being converted from nature to agriculture.

To quote Norman Borlaug again: “I now say that the world has the technology — either available or well advanced in the research pipeline — to feed on a sustainable basis a population of 10 billion people. The more pertinent question today is whether farmers and ranchers will be permitted to use this new technology? While the affluent nations can certainly afford to adopt ultra low-risk positions, and pay more for food produced by the so-called ‘organic’ methods, the one billion chronically undernourished people of the low income, food-deficit nations cannot.”

More here



Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 03, 2013

What global warming? Alaska is headed for an ice age as scientists report state's steady temperature decline

New research from the Alaska Climate Research Center shows that since the beginning of the 21st century, temperatures in the snow covered land of Alaska are actually getting colder - bucking the overall global warming trend.

In the Last Frontier, where temperatures can get as cold as 50 degrees below zero, local residents have experienced the increasing chill and scientists now confirm that the Northwest state is indeed seeing a temperature drop.

A new report from the research center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks reveals that the 49th state of the union has cooled by 2.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 2000.

The drop is described as a 'large value for a decade,' in the academic paper 'The First Decade of the New Century: A Cooling Trend for Most of Alaska.'

Scientists based their research on temperature readings from weather stations operated by the National Weather Service.

These stations are scattered across the state and represent the different climatic zones present. Based on the readings, 19 of the 20 stations have measured a consistently cooler climate over time.

The region most impacted by chillier temps is Western Alaska, notably King Salmon on the Alaska Peninsula. That region saw temperatures drop most sharply by 4.5 degrees for the decade.

In the paper, researchers credit an ocean phenomenon, called the Decadal Oscillation, with bringing colder surface water temperatures and thus beginning the overall cooling effect.

This oscillation has brought a weakening of the Aleutian Low, the breeding ground for storms that end up regulating weather systems in the rest of the 48 states. With a less active Aleutian Low, cold winter storms have been sticking around Alaska longer and keeping the temperatures chilly.

This climate shift could shed new light on the long feared impact of dangerous greenhouse gases causing a rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and the thawing of arctic glaciers and sea ice.

Before the 2000s, the warming trend in Alaska has actually been twice the overall warming rate. The sudden temperature increase began in 1977 and has gone up ever since 1998. But now the trend has been reversed, with the mean temperature dropping.

Don Hatten, a National Weather Service forecaster, said local residents have noticed the colder temps but joked that when you're 'already bundled up for 20-below' a few degrees colder doesn't have as much of an impact, he told the Alaska Dispatch.

Mr Hatten also pointed out that for the first time in 2011, due to the colder weather, the Bering Sea ice shelf extended nearly to the edge of the Alaska Peninsula.

Though the chill has hit most areas of the state, there is one exception.

The Northern region of the state, in the town of Barrow, has actually seen temperatures rise since the region is secluded by the Brooks Mountain Range. The mountain range originates on the far northwest end of the state and stretches 700 miles into Canada's Yukon Territory.

In Barrow, temperatures were actually 3.1 degrees higher.


Climate disruption or politics? Follow the money

Writing under the preemptively dismissive title "Climate disruption denial: a natural by-product of libertarian values" Brian Angliss says, "The problem for libertarians is that accepting human responsibility for climate disruption creates a threat to their values."

Thus libertarians use "motivated reasoning," the short explanation of which is that they cherry-pick only information that confirms their existing beliefs while rejecting information to the contrary.

Angliss claims that no person of any ideology is immune to motivated reasoning, yet he doesn't write: "The problem for Greens is that rejecting human responsibility for climate disruption creates a threat to their values."

The real problem for libertarians isn't whether manmade climate disruption is true, the real problem is that it's not only politicized but that the politicization so conveniently fits the "motivated reasoning" of the collectivist left that wants a subservient world order run by itself.

So here's how motivated reasoning works for them.

Climate scientists know that the funding for their work comes primarily from massive amounts of money stolen by governments from citizens through taxation which is then funneled into university budgets and scientific institutions.

Motivated reasoning tells them that the best way to keep the money coming, to keep their projects going, to further their careers and enhance their incomes, reputations and influence with their peers is to supply the results the political money is paying for.

Media moguls know that a headline that screams "Polar bears are dying" will sell more newspapers and attract more viewers than one that says "Polar bears doing okay." Whether they're "in the tank" for the liberal environmentalist agenda or simply looking to make a profit, motivated reasoning tells them to run their cherry-picked stories.

Enviro-activists are believers because "saving the planet" is their secular substitution for "believing in God." Thus, motivated reasoning tells them to cherry-pick only information that confirms their existing beliefs while rejecting information to the contrary.

In the end nobody in the general population discusses climate disruption because nobody is knowledgeable enough to do so. What everybody discusses is the politicized data the bought-and-paid-for scientists spoon feed to them via a manipulative media.

Thus has science been harnessed by political money for the benefit of the powerful.

These three "iron rules" apply:

"Any issue that has been politicized ceases to be about that issue and becomes all about the politics."

"Politics is always about power, wealth and ego."

"Follow the money."


Political Murder and Environmentalism

Ben Pile gets out his philosophical scalpel and slowly chops Richard Parncutt's argument into small dead pieces

Jo Nova reports that Prof Richard Parncutt, who suggested that climate change sceptics could face the death penalty for their crime, has taken down the original text of his argument and has apologised.

Though I would have preferred a more convincing reflection on his mistake, all’s well that ends well. So what follows is not intended to browbeat the professor at the University of Graz — of music, after all, not a discipline that typically reflects on the rights and wrong of killing people. Nonetheless, one doesn’t get to the position of professor (I used to think) without some broad acquaintance with ideas and their histories and some capacity for reflection on one’s own perspective. The mistakes he makes demonstrate the problem with many arguments that put the environment at the centre of their perspective, even those who do not call for the execution of sceptics. I hope to point out those mistakes — which are broader and deeper than just calling for your political opponents to face the death penalty — below.

Parncutt states his objection to the death penalty…

I have always been opposed to the death penalty in all cases, and I have always supported the clear and consistent stand of Amnesty International on this issue. [...] Even mass murderers should not be executed, in my opinion. Consider the politically motivated murder of 77 people in Norway in 2011. Of course the murderer does not deserve to live, and there is not the slightest doubt that he is guilty. But if the Norwegian government killed him, that would just increase the number of dead to 78. It would not bring the dead back to life. In fact, it would not achieve anything positive at all. I respect the families and friends of the victims if they feel differently about that. I am simply presenting what seems to me to be a logical argument.

… But then he finds an exception to his objection…

I don’t think that mass murderers of the usual kind, such Breivik, should face the death penalty. Nor do I think tobacco denialists are guilty enough to warrant the death penalty, in spite of the enormous number of deaths that resulted more or less directly from tobacco denialism. GW is different. With high probability it will cause hundreds of millions of deaths. For this reason I propose that the death penalty is appropriate for influential GW deniers. More generally, I propose that we limit the death penalty to people whose actions will with a high probability cause millions of future deaths.

Parncutt claims that his idea has been produced by thinking ‘logically’ and ‘objectively’ about the problem of what to do about all those pesky climate change deniers. I don’t find that claim at all plausible. The argument I make on this blog is that what appears as self-evident to the environmentalist owes much more to environmentalism than to facts unambiguously presented to the environmentalist by the environment. The environmentalist’s thinking is littered with his own prejudices.

Indulging Parncutt’s incautious rant allows us to bring out environmentalism’s ‘ideology’ — it’s presuppositions, prejudices and logic — more starkly than is typically possible with more guarded environmental waffle.

For instance, Parncutt asks us to think about doing something wrong (executing people who deny climate change) to correct a greater wrong (preventing the deaths of people from climate change). But how does one get to such a position using ‘logic’, per his claim?

It’s certainly true that killing people who disagree with you prevents dissent. Similarly, we could claim that all crime, no matter how petty, should be punishable by death. Suddenly crime rates would plummet. What’s not to like?

It turns out that we prefer justice to be proportionate. And that is a trickier metric to get to grips with than ‘logic’ or ‘objectivity’can help us with. There simply isn’t an objective or logical measure of proportionality — it’s a complex idea, which different cultures and different ideologies form different perspectives on, for historical reasons. And so it is with the Parncutt’s blood lust.

The passages of Parncutt’s text are an example of a knot that moral consequentialists find themselves tied up in fairly often. When trying to weigh up the rights and wrongs of doing wrong to do right, consequentialists find themselves committed to some unpleasant ideas, as the Stanford Online Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains:

A well-worn example of this over-permissiveness of consequentialism is that of a case standardly called, Transplant. A surgeon has five patients dying of organ failure and one healthy patient whose organs can save the five. In the right circumstances, surgeon will be permitted (and indeed required) by consequentialism to kill the healthy patient to obtain his organs, assuming there are no relevant consequences other than the saving of the five and the death of the one.

Even if we grant — for the sake of argument — that Parncutt’s argument proceeds logically, it proceeds from a basis where something like consequentialism has been presupposed. Another view might be that even if the consequences of allowing people to speak freely is an environmental disaster of the magnitude he predicts, it is nonetheless incumbent on environmentalists to make the persuasive argument. So there are now at least two views — with very different consequences — that ‘logic’ and ‘objectivity’ can proceed from. The problem being that logic and objectivity have little to say about the right way to navigate the between allowing free speech on the one hand, and terminating interlocutors on the other. Ending up at such an extreme speaks about something else that’s going on inside the professor’s head. ‘I am simply presenting what seems to me to be a logical argument‘, he says. But we can see as plain as day his self-deception. Rather than admitting that his argument is based on something like consequentialism — or more crudely, the ’24′ defence of torture — Parncutt tries to use the weight of the consequences to make the argument.

Objectivity aside, the argument fails on logic, too, though. Consider this passage:

GW deniers fall into a completely different category from Behring Breivik. They are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people. We could be speaking of billions, but I am making a conservative estimate.

Deniers ‘are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people‘. In Parncutt’s logic, the future is the present. There are two problems with this.

First, the linguistic sleight of hand is something looked at previously on this blog:

It would all be so much easier for everyone concerned if we could just linguistically lump the present in with the conditional future from the word go. Something like ‘Climate change is will being responsible for [insert climatological ravage here]‘ should cover it.

How can an action in the present ‘already’ have caused a consequence in the future?

Parncutt might well be right, and us ‘deniers’ will have campaigned against action to stop climate change, leading to the deaths of millions or billions of people. But it might also be the case that he is wrong. And there are many other possibilities. Climate change may continue at any degree between benign or even beneficial and something worse than even Parncutt has considered. But even then, such changes in the environment may not cause a single death, because — as is argued on this blog — human society is less sensitive to climate than Parncutt estimates, or because we are capable of organising ourselves against such problems as they happen. After all, we have thousands of years to cope with sea level rise. The migration away from, and the loss of the twentieth century’s great cities may cause people in the thirty-first or forty-first centuries no more anguish than the loss of Anglo-Saxon villages causes the average Briton. The human race might well prosper in the future, even without ice caps.


Lobbying blitz to save tax credits for wind energy

An all-star lineup of lobbyists, featuring former congressmen and many of Obama's closest allies, is fighting to save a tax credit for wind energy that expires at midnight Monday.

Congress created the Production Tax Credit in 1992 as a way of supporting the wind power industry until it could be self-sufficient. Twenty years later, the PTC is still subsidizing the likes of General Electric and Siemens and has been expanded to include solar and biomass. Companies get a tax credit of a penny or two for every kilowatt-hour their windmills or solar panels produce in their first 10 years. It's worth $1.4 billion a year to its beneficiaries.

The credit was set to expire at the end of 2012 for wind power and at the end of 2013 for other sources of renewable energy.

A Congressional Budget Office study found that the PTC was the biggest tax expenditure for renewable energy in 2011, after the ethanol tax credit, which has since expired.

The CBO study said tax credits like the PTC "are generally an inefficient way to reduce environmental and other external costs of energy. They often reward businesses for investments and actions they intended to take anyway."

A big reason why businesses would build windmills or solar installations anyway: Many states require utilities to purchase a certain amount of renewable energy. Given this captive audience, it's easy to see why the tax credits are more gravy than incentive.

The lobbying team to renew the tax credit is formidable, packed with Obama's closest corporate confidants as well as former congressmen from both parties.

General Electric in 2002 inherited Enron's wind energy business and is now the top U.S.-based supplier of wind turbines and a leading lobbying force for extending the PTC. The company is famously cozy with the Obama administration. CEO Jeffrey Immelt has served as Obama's jobs czar for two years.

GE spent more on lobbying Washington in Obama's first term -- $120 million from January 2009 through September 2012 -- than any other company. GE's hired guns lobbying on the PTC include the K Street firm McBee Strategic Consulting.

McBee is a premier lobbying force on green energy subsidies. The firm is also pushing the PTC on behalf of Obama-friendly Google, which has invested a billion dollars in wind farms and other green energy. Google was Obama's No. 3 source of funds, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, and CEO Eric Schmidt has been floated as a possible commerce secretary.

China-based Goldwind, the second-largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world, is also paying McBee to lobby on the PTC, federal lobbying filings show.

Germany-based Siemens is lobbying on the PTC, led by its VP for federal lobbying, David McIntosh. McIntosh was a Democratic Senate aide before serving on Obama's transition team, then held various senior roles in Obama's Environmental Protection Agency. He gave the maximum donation to Obama, skirting Obama's prohibition on lobbyist donations because he made the donations on June 23, 2011, and didn't register as a lobbyist until the third quarter, which began nine days later.

Billionaire Obama adviser and fundraiser Warren Buffett is also behind the push to renew the credit. His company Berkshire Hathaway owns MidAmerican Energy, which describes itself as "No. 1 in the nation in ownership of wind-powered capacity among rate-regulated utilities." Lobbying filings show MidAmerican lobbying on the PTC.

NextEra Energy is a leading beneficiary of the PTC. NextEra has retained K Street powerhouses Quinn Gillespie & Associates. The company, which has paid no corporate income tax in three years despite billions in profits, also retains Capitol Counsel, a leading lobbyist on the PTC.

Capitol Counsel's Jim McCrery, the former congressman who was recently the top Republican on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, lobbies on the tax credit for NextEra. He also represents the American Wind Energy Association, the wind industry's D.C.-based lobbying group.

McCrery is not the only former congressman lobbying on the tax credit. Delaware Republican Mike Castle, now at DLA Piper, is lobbying for Cape Wind, while Maryland Democrat Albert Wynn, at Dickstein Shapiro, is lobbying for Covanta, which turns trash into energy.

As Congress drives toward the "fiscal cliff," will the wind and solar companies crash and burn? Or will their lobbying team bail them out?


UPDATE: The parasites got their way

"We call this the place where only ghosts live"

China's planet-healing solar industry not going well

By many measures, this industrial park built to cater to solar businesses in eastern China's Kaihua County appears to be dead.

Roads are unimpeded by traffic. Most buildings stand vacant. Walking past dozens of factories here, no workers pass by. No machinery whirs.

"It is so quiet, ha? We call this the place where only ghosts live," said Yu Zhengying, who runs a restaurant outside the industrial park. Sitting in her empty hall during lunchtime, Yu said she used to greet many workers over the past three years, but now only a few come....

What has also tumbled is the stock value of U.S.-listed Chinese solar companies with shrinkage of more than 85 percent since early 2011. Suntech Power Holdings, the industry leader, in 2012 received a warning of being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange as its share price stayed below $1 for a month. By contrast, that figure was nearly $90 in 2008.


Australia: Climate change wiped out blacks

All those SUVs ...

AUSTRALIA'S original inhabitants may have died-off during a 1500-year-long "mega drought", new research suggests.

Researchers investigating rapid climate change in the Kimberley region found the intense drought coincided with the disappearance of a pre-Aboriginal style of rock paintings about 7000 years ago.

Ancient rock art from the region is divided into two distinctive styles: Gwion and Wandjina.

The Gwion rock-art style lasted some 10,000 years before the final image was painted. Wandjina paintings only began about 4000 years ago.

The study, sponsored by the Kimberley Foundation of Australia, for the first time offers an explanation for this 3000 year gap.

"The likely reason for the demise of the Gwion artists was a mega-drought spanning approximately 1500 years, brought on by changing climate conditions that caused the collapse of the Australian summer monsoon," says associate professor Hamish McGowan of the University of Queensland's School of Geography.

Researchers survey excavation sites of Gwion rock art in the north Kimberley. A sheer rock face is protected by a shallow overhang leaving a perfectly preserved Bradshaw or Gwion painting depicting unusually large figures.

The study found the plant density and land surface had changed at this time, combining with increased dust in the air. The effect was the failure of monsoon rains - peaking about 5500 years ago.

"This confirms that pre-historic aboriginal cultures experienced catastrophic upheaval due to rapid natural climate variability," he said.

"This is contrary to the conventional view that Australian Aboriginals lived a highly sustainable hunter-gatherer existence in which their knowledge of the landscape meant they adapted to climate variability with little impact."

Wandjina painters appear to have only moved into the area after the climate again became more favourable about 4000 years ago.

The report, published in the American Geophysical Union Journal, was compiled by researchers from the University of Queensland, Central Queensland University and Wollongong University.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 02, 2013

Silicon Valley's Green Energy Mistake

Political venture capital turns out to be a loser

Silicon Valley's investment wizards are fleeing the so-called green economy, and not a moment too soon for American prosperity. As painful as the era of enviro-investing has been for taxpayers and shareholders, there's an emerging silver lining. It's likely that in 2013 fewer people will spend their time trying to turn political projects into companies.

A recent survey from our corporate cousins at Dow Jones VentureSource and the National Venture Capital Association finds that "clean technology" is inspiring pessimism among venture capitalists. Fully 61% expect less clean-tech investment in 2013 compared to 2012. On the flip side, a majority expect more investment next year in business information technology, a traditional U.S. economic strength.

Fisker Automotive co-founder Henrik Fisker, left, and CEO Tony Posawatz in Los Angele in November.

The survey reflects a natural and healthy shift in Silicon Valley. Talent and resources are moving back to the technologies that gave the valley its name—and away from trendy eco-projects that failed.

When Silicon Valley was committed to addressing market needs, it enriched the world with Intel, Apple, Google GOOG +1.05% and Cisco. When venture investors tried to profit from political agendas, they saddled taxpayers with stinkers like Abound Solar, Range Fuels and the infamous Solyndra, which went bust last year after receiving more than half a billion dollars in federal loans.

Success has proven elusive even for the smartest guys in the solar-heated room. Five years after Al Gore joined the prestigious venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins to back environmentally correct companies, the collaboration has yielded few successful exits for Mr. Gore and his partners, along with some spectacular disasters.

This week brought further embarrassment for a Kleiner-backed and taxpayer-subsidized project called Fisker Automotive. In an interview with Delaware's News Journal, the head of the state's economic development office, Alan Levin, discussed the $21.5 million that was provided by the state in return for a Fisker promise to build green cars there. "All we want are the jobs or our money back," Mr. Levin told the newspaper.

Fisker, an electric-car maker, is currently not making any cars due to various design and production problems. Last year the Department of Energy stopped lending money to Fisker after the company missed development deadlines, but federal taxpayers were already on the hook for more than $190 million. Fisker's problems have lately been exacerbated by the October bankruptcy of a key supplier, A123 Systems, AONEQ -10.00% which also received federal loans.

Last week another green company backed by Kleiner, Glori Energy, withdrew its plans for an initial public offering (IPO), blaming poor market conditions. Perhaps Glori will be able to go public next year, and IPOs are a great way for venture investors to cash out of an investment, but Kleiner has enjoyed very few of them in its clean-tech portfolio.

And what appeared to be a true success earlier this year is looking, well, less so. On Wednesday the Journal pronounced Enphase Energy, ENPH +1.39% a Kleiner-backed company that went public in March, the worst IPO of the year. Shareholders who bought at the opening lost about half their money in nine months. The shares of Kleiner-backed Amyris Inc., AMRS +27.35% a biomass company, have lost more than 80% of their value since the firm's 2010 IPO.

VentureSource counts more than 60 companies engaged in "clean tech" that have received investments from Kleiner Perkins. Kleiner calls its environmental investments "greentech" and says that among the green firms receiving Kleiner equity investments, three have been acquired or merged into other companies. The assets of another company were sold. But since Mr. Gore joined up in 2007, Enphase and Amyris are the only two Kleiner green companies to go public, and their performance doesn't leave investors begging for more.

Their rough ride might be among the reasons that another green energy firm, SolarCity, SCTY +3.11% offered shares at its recent public debut about 40% below the expected price. Yuliya Chernova of Dow Jones VentureWire reports that "solar investors lost massive amounts of money over the past two years by betting on manufacturers that overbuilt factories and saw prices for their products fall." She quotes a fund manager who notes that "there aren't a lot of people going to investment committees saying, 'This one is different.'"

Back at Kleiner, the biggest headaches probably don't come from the ones that have gone public, but from the green ventures that haven't yet been sold to other investors. Among the biggest in that category is Fisker. Kleiner and other investors have sunk more than $1 billion into the firm, a huge sum by the standards of venture capital, which has traditionally funded small start-ups.

Like many venture firms, Kleiner doesn't disclose much detail about its investments, and the firm says that information on investment returns is confidential. In a recent interview with the Journal, Kleiner partner John Doerr said that the revenues of companies in Kleiner's green portfolio are rising rapidly. But it's not clear where Kleiner will generate green home runs to offset struggling firms like Fisker.

Mr. Doerr made another claim in his Journal interview: "Our green investing doesn't depend on government policies. It's about basic supply and demand."

If even Al Gore's partner John Doerr is now on record questioning the need for government assistance, we'd say it's well past time for Washington to turn off the subsidy spigot. Many of the potential beneficiaries are already moving on to more worthwhile pursuits.


Costa Rica: Climate change affects frequency of volcanic eruptions?

A study that was carried out in the Central American Pacific revealed that the increase in temperatures caused by climate change has an influence on volcanic activity.

The investigation was carried out by the Geomar Helmholtz Center and Harvard University.

Geologists have studied the effects of eruptions on the Earth’s temperatures for years; however, this team decided to study the contrary effect. In order to do so, they analyzed various volcanoes in Central America over the course of 10 years, and in doing so, were able to reconstruct the volcanic history of the past 460,000 years.

The result was that there are significantly longer periods of volcanic activity that coincide with the increase of global temperatures and melting glacial ice.

Marion Jegen, one of the investigators, explained that in times of global heating, the weight of the continents decreases because the glacial ice melts, whilst the weight on the oceans’ tectonic plates increases. This causes the magma to be under increased pressure under the tectonic plates, and is therefore more capable of finding its way through routes that raise it to the surface.

The cooling process after this phenomenon is much slower than the heating, according to the researchers.

According to the researchers, the Earth is approaching the peak of a hot climate cycle, however, the researchers did not say whether the peak of this cycle has been accelerated due to human activity.


Comment from Don Easterbrook []:

This just utter nonsense! Short-term warm cycles are typically only about 30 years (27 in the last 500 years), not even close to the response times needed for crustal adjustments, and the change in stress is less than a flea on an elephant. Longer term warming (e.g. the Holocene, 10,000 years) has no clear increase in volcanism, nor has the Pleistocene shown any decrease in volcanism. Even with isostatic adjustment under the huge ice sheets shows no change in volcanic activity. Even if there was a correlation between climate and volcanic activity (and there isn't!), that doesn't prove that climate affects volcanic activity.

Greens confront own need for diversity

The Republican Party isn’t the only political force that has a diversity problem.

Environmental activists say their own movement needs to step up its game if it wants to play much bigger in Washington.

The green movement dreams of pushing major bills through Congress on the scale of President Barack Obama's health care reform law and the immigration overhaul expected to begin next year.

But those issues enjoy something the green movement does not: wide and deep support across key Democratic groups, including Latinos and African-Americans.

“You should fish where the fish are biting,” said Van Jones, the former green jobs adviser to Obama. “All causes that want longevity need to look to influence the emerging majority, which will be a nonwhite majority.”

The greens say their plight is less dire than the GOP’s, insisting that diversity exists in environmentalism, especially at the local level. It's nationally that environmental organizations — and the face they present to the country — too often drive the perception that green issues are the purview of white liberals

Some activists think the problem is already hurting their causes.

Just look at the issues that have caught traction during Obama’s presidency versus those that haven’t, said Daniel Kessler, spokesman for, the climate activist group that staged mass sit-ins and arrests outside the White House last year to protest the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

“We’ve seen stuff move over the last couple years since Obama’s been elected, where you had a broad rainbow of people come together and you have seen legislation move,” Kessler said. “The health care bill comes to mind. I think immigration reform, in this coming year, will be another example of a diverse set of people getting together, primarily led by the immigrant community in this country — Hispanic Americans. I think we’re going to see progress there too. But the climate bill didn’t have that kind of support behind it, and it crashed and burned.”

People have offered many reasons why the cap-and-trade bill died in 2010. But opponents’ message that the legislation would close plants and wipe out jobs undoubtedly hurt, supporters say.

“The opposition said, ‘This is going to hurt low-income communities of color,’ and it created a case of divide and conquer,” said Vien Truong, director of environmental equity at the Greenlining Institute, a California-based think tank.

Longer term, it's been four decades since Congress passed landmark environmental protection bills like the 1972 Clean Water Act and 22 years since the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments — and addressing problems like climate change will require legislation with the same wide-reaching effects. Many activists say there’s no chance of a climate bill passing Congress unless they get support from more people within communities of color.

“If we’re going to be successful, we need to reflect the population,” said Adrianna Quintero, founder of Voces Verdes, a coalition of Latino environmental leaders.

That means green groups need to change, she said. “They need to diversify their leadership, the membership and their staff at all levels,” Quintero said. “But mostly, the vision needs to look toward a world that looks more diverse, that takes into account cultural nuances and different life experiences.”

Right now, the images people see when environmental causes rise to the top of the national agenda often have one thing in common: They’re white images.

Rising leaders such as Bill McKibben, the founder who was named one of Time’s “People Who Mattered” in 2011 — white. Eco-celebrities such as Mark Ruffalo and Daryl Hannah — white. Leaders of the big environmental organizations, such as Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune — also, for the most part, white. (On the other hand, Sierra Club President Allison Chin, who serves on the group’s board of directors, is the first person of color to hold the top post in the 120-year-old organization.)


A sermon on the morality of climate change

More evidence that we are dealing with a cult

The following video is a compact and emotionally moving overview of the problem and solutions to climate change. It is designed to be a quick and compelling way to get up to speed on the issue and help others do the same.

In 2012 the dangers of human-caused climate disturbance became undeniable, making this the fundamental moral issue of our time. The following features clips from the world's most respected climate scientist, NASA's James Hansen, and two key advocates for systemic change: Bill McKibben and David Roberts.

This 49-minute video teaches the basic science and explains key climate dynamics of lag time and tipping points in ways that all age groups can grasp. Richly illustrated with images of this year's unprecedented retreat of Arctic sea ice and the near-total surface layer melt of the Greenland ice cap, this video also includes footage of the Colorado Springs wildfire, the midwestern drought, the mile-high Arizona dust-storm, Hurricane Sandy, and other climate turning points frighteningly evident in 2012.

The call-to-action excerpts by Hansen and McKibben are overlaid with compelling images of civil resistance (including Hansen's three arrests) and enthusiastic public participation in events: worldwide rallies to voice support for reducing CO2 in the atmosphere back down to 350 ppm and McKibben's autumn 2012 "Do the Math Tour" (which spread the news that there is five times more carbon in fossil fuel reserves already discovered than could be burned without exceeding the 2 degree C threshold of additional warming that is widely regarded as the maximum "safe" limit).

My wife, Connie Barlow, a science writer, and I introduce each of the clips and share our experience of "waking up" in December 2012 to the terrifying prospect of climate catastrophe, which is happening faster than scientists had projected only a few years ago. (I refer to it as my "climate change come-to-Jesus moment".)


Higher CO2 Concentrations Will Feed A Billion More People

So, what should we do about CO2 emissions? The answer is: nothing. The evidence that Co2 is harmful, that it is raising the earth’s temperature dramatically, has been largely fabricated, and at the least, overblown. Surprisingly, when all the facts are in, CO2 is beneficial! It is an essential trace gas, and a fertilizer. The current increase has boosted growth rates of vegetation worldwide by 13 to 15% (see here).

CO2 is used as a supplement in greenhouses. In a closed greenhouse, growth slows or stops if the plants use it up and CO2 drops below 200 ppm as the plants absorb it. CO2 supplement systems are sold to greenhouse farmers to supply supplemental CO2. Levels up to 1000 ppm or more are often used (see here). Extra CO2 also reduces a plant’s need for water by closing the leaf stomata (see here). Leaf stomata are the ports on the lower side of a leaf that lets plants breath.

One of the most important crops in the world is rice. Studies have been done on Co2 enhancing rice production. If CO2 is increased 200 ppm above the current levels, (which have already increased production by the 13 to 15% cited above) production will increase by another 13 to 15% (see here and here).

Here is an illustration of growth over a range of CO2 levels:

Rice and a wild grass that is the antecedent of Foxtail Millet. Source: Susanne von Caemmerer, W. Paul Quick, and Robert T. Furbank (2012). The Development of C4 Rice: Current Progress and Future Challenges. Science 336 (6089): 1671-1672.

C3 and C4 refers to the chemical pathway used by the chlorophyll in plant leaves to produce sugar. C4 plants include many grasses and corn. It has been argued that C4 plants are immune to changes in CO2, but as you can see in the illustration above, this is clearly not true. They just don’t respond as dramatically as C3 plants. They do, however, become more drought tolerant due to the stomata response reducing water vapor loss.

Plants need 3 major inputs to grow: water, CO2, and nitrogen. From these they produce sugar for energy and proteins and cellulose for structure. Some have argued that increased CO2 produces protein-poor plants. This is true only if increased nitrogen is not supplied along with the increased CO2. A plant needs both in balance. Any greenhouse farmer knows this. But still, this increased growth with increasing CO2 assumes no improvement from fertilization, genetic engineering or plant breeding.

The experiments have been done holding all factors except CO2 constant. That increase from CO2 alone is about 100 million metric tons for each 15% increase in yield per year. That feeds about 700 million more people if one assumes 150 kg of rice per person per year. Imagine the gain if additional fertilizer was supplied along with the increase in CO2. Wheat production with double the current levels of CO2 increased by up to 38 percent (see here). Corn responds to elevated CO2 by needing less water (see here). It is clear that CO2 increases will greatly improve our ability to feed a growing world population.

If we try to limit CO2, we will dramatically limit the economic growth of the world with no effect on the climate. This is already happening in Europe. Taxing CO2 in efforts to limit production of it only makes money for the Al Gore’s of the world. It limits our use of the energy we need for economic growth and the CO2 that our crops need to flourish. Limiting CO2, even if we could, would literally mean the starvation of a billion people in the next 50 years.

What is more important? Feeding and lifting most of the world from poverty orr preventing a questionable slight temperature rise which would lengthen the growing season? The Global Warming crowd is trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


A great (if evil) empire flourished during global warming

While we’ve been deluged with the fear-mongering eco-propaganda of global warming doom for several decades, history and recent science tells us that not all climate change is, or has been, bad. In the early 13th century the Mongol Emperor Genghis Khan prospered during a time of global warming according to tree-ring temperature data presented at this month’s San Francisco meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

Yes, the world’s greatest land empire was probably enabled by climate change -- allowing Genghis Khan and his horde to conquer half of Eurasia. The great Khan rose to power in 1206, the year he united Mongolia’s tribes behind him in empire stretching from Japan to Turkey and encompassing much of Russia, India, China, and the Middle East. Researchers Hessl and Pederson have tree-ring data which seem to show that from 1208 to 1231 Mongolia enjoyed a string of wetter-than-usual years which was longer than any other such period in the past millennium. Previous tree-ring studies show the same period was also unusually warm.

The extended warmer climate provided richer grazing than normal. Richer animal fodder means more and fitter horses necessary for medieval Eurasian conquests. Khan’s strategic genius might today be seen as less impressive if the climate and environment had not warmed.

Other researchers want to look at Eurasian lake sediments. By counting spores from ancient fungus they hope to find out whether there really was an animal-population boom at the time of Genghis Khan. And they would like to extend their records and ecosystem modeling back to the first millennium AD. Khan’s was not the only empire to rise from the warming and lush grasses of Mongolia. The researchers want to know how climate influenced the Inner, Central and Eastern Asian Turkic empires of the sixth to ninth centuries.

Historians and archaeologists want to know how climate change plays a role in the rise and fall of nations. These retrospective climate change studies raise fascinating questions about the degree to which history can be enriched when nonpartisan science reveals climate change correlated to history. And more importantly, the studies may give us much-needed clarity about the controversial projections of climate impacts in our 21st century.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here


January 01, 2013

Recent "extreme" weather was in fact extremely good

When Dr. Greg Forbes, the Weather Channel's Severe Weather Expert, said he uncovered a "good" tornado stat, we knew it was worth noting.

Despite the largest Christmas Day tornado outbreak on record in the U.S., with at least 27 tornadoes confirmed, not a single fatality was linked directly to the Christmas Day tornadoes.

According to Dr. Forbes, the streak of days without a U.S. tornado death has now reached 189 consecutive days, through December 30.

The last tornado death in the U.S. happened on June 24, when Tropical Storm Debby spawned a tornado in Highlands County, Florida. One person was killed.

"We haven't broken the overall record, yet," Dr. Forbes notes. The longest-recorded streak was set in 1987, with a stretch of 197 days without a tornado fatality.

According to Greg Carbin, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, there have been only 3 other streaks that have gone at least 190+ days in records since 1950, in addition to the record 1986-1987 streak above: late 1981-early 1982 and late 1959-early 1960.


Europe, wind, warming... we're slowly waking up to reality

2012: the year of promised 'drought' that turned into England's wettest on record

Christopher Booker

There could be few more apt epitaphs for the year now ending than a recollection of the headlines in April that greeted a stark warning from the Environment Agency. Fuelled by the predictions of the climate-change-obsessed Met Office (and the the official policy, since 2007, of the similarly fixated EU) that we will have “hotter, drier summers” for decades to come, the agency foretold that the drought conditions of the early spring were likely to last “until Christmas and perhaps beyond”. The prophecy was swiftly followed by the wettest late spring, the wettest summer, the wettest autumn and the wettest Christmas we have ever known – eight months of near-continuous rain and floods amounting to England’s wettest year since records began.

For many of the major stories which have long been followed by this column, 2012 has been the year when long-dominant belief systems and fondly held illusions have been conspicuously falling apart, portending a time of agonising reappraisal when familiar certainties give way to greater realism and painful rethinking.

On Tuesday, for instance, much coverage will be given to the 40th anniversary of the day in 1973 when Britain finally junked “1,000 years of history” – in the famous words of Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell – and threw in her lot with the attempt to create an all-powerful super-government over the nations of Europe. (Gaitskell had shrewdly predicted, in his speech back in 1962, what the Common Market, as it was then known, was intended eventually to become.)

It is 20 years since this column began regularly reporting on the damage that our membership of the European Union (as it was then about to become, under the Maastricht Treaty) was starting to inflict on our national life. In those days, to question our membership was to be dismissed by all right-thinking people as a crank, a nutter, a xenophobe who could not be taken seriously. When at the start of 1992, I first began reporting horror stories about the tidal wave of new regulations hitting so many British businesses with the approach of the Single Market, along with the destruction of our fishing industry and much of our agriculture, we were still locked into that forerunner of the single currency, the ERM (almost unanimously supported, it is salutary to recall, by every political party and right across the media).

When we were forced out of the ERM on Black Wednesday, September 16, 1992, it ushered in a period of dramatic economic growth which, six years later, would allow Gordon Brown to announce his hubristic decision to double public spending in 10 years. We are paying the price for that now: this year the Government has had to borrow up to £18 billion a month to cover its ever-widening deficit.

Forty years on from our entry into “Europe”, as we see “the project” plunge deeper into the misery and chaos it has brought on itself by its even more hubristic desire to give the EU its own currency, British attitudes to our membership have changed beyond recognition. In their desperate efforts to save the euro, we see the EU’s inner core driving on towards yet another treaty and “full political union”, in a way that will condemn the UK to remain helplessly on the margin, with less influence over Europe’s destiny than ever. On all sides we hear plaintive cries that we must negotiate a “looser relationship” with the form of government to which we subordinated ourselves 40 years ago, as if we could defy its most basic rule: that powers once handed over to the centre in Brussels can never be given back.

Poll after poll shows that the majority of the British people would now like to see us get out altogether. One way or another – although few seem yet to have any realistic idea of how this could be achieved – we seem to be approaching a turning point in our relations with “Europe”, one as fateful as that step Edward Heath led us into so blindly back in 1973.

Just as significant this year have been the signs of glimmerings of reality breaking in on the delusions that go with the long-dominant conviction that the world is in the grip of a changing climate that we somehow have the power to reverse, if only we are prepared to subordinate every aspect of national policy to doing so and to change almost every aspect of our lives. It is 10 years since I first began reporting here on just one of the countless threads in that story – the belief that we could somehow derive most of the electricity on which our computer-dependent economy now relies from “renewable” sources: for instance, by covering vast tracts of our countryside and sea with giant wind turbines.

Again, back in 2002, to point out that wind energy was an incredibly damaging illusion was to be dismissed as a crank, a Nimby, a Luddite. But 10 years later, the penny is finally dropping that, in practical terms, this is an incredibly foolish and costly mistake. Furthermore, it is only part of a disastrous skewing of our energy policy through an obsesssion, shared with the EU since 1990, that we must lead the world in fighting a threat which, in the past few years, has increasingly come to be seen as a colossal scare story.

Six years ago, with global-warming hysteria still at its height, I first began to suggest here that it might be based on scientific evidence that was distorted or fabricated – as in the “hockey stick” graph, or the bizarre adjustments being made to official temperature records. Again, to say this at the time was to be derided as a “climate-change denier”, “anti-science”, a “flat earther”.

It is three years since, growing out of my researches for this column, I published a book called The Real Global Warming Disaster. It ranks alongside books by Al Gore and James Lovelock as one of the three best-sellers on the subject in the past decade, because it was the first detailed attempt to reconstruct the scientific and political story of the global-warming scare – just before it became clear, at the mammoth Copenhagen conference, that efforts to get a new treaty to combat global warming (and present mankind with the biggest bill in history) had collapsed.

As the scientific case for man-made climate change fell apart, in a welter of scandals which showed how ruthlessly the evidence had been fudged and manipulated, the real global warming disaster, as I argued, was the political legacy it was leaving us with. No one had promoted this more zealously than the EU and the British government, whose Climate Change Act, approved almost unanimously by MPs, is by far the most costly law ever put through Parliament.

At last, in 2012, we have begun to see calls for the repeal of this utterly insane legislation, requiring us to cut “carbon emissions” by four fifths in less than 40 years, which could only be achieved by shutting down virtually the entire British economy. At the same time we have heard influential calls, going right up into the heart of Government, for an end to the insanity of covering Britain’s countryside with useless and ludicrously expensive windmills. We have also heard calls, as in a recent report from the think tank Civitas, for the scrapping of the equally mad “carbon tax”. From April, the steadily increasing costs of this will gradually – as this column has long pointed out – make Britain’s economy the least competitive in Europe, destroying tens of thousands of jobs as energy-intensive industries are forced to relocate abroad or close altogether, and driving millions more households into “fuel poverty”.

At the same time, we have the promise of a national debate as to whether Britain should remain part of the maddest political experiment in history as it staggers deeper and deeper into a relentless crisis which threatens eventually to tear it apart, and our joining of which Margaret Thatcher described in her retirement as “a political error of the first magnitude”.

As 2013 dawns, with the US teetering on the edge of its own “fiscal cliff”, in many ways not dissimilar to that left to us by Gordon Brown, we are certainly in for “an interesting time”. But at least as the political skies grow darker and Britain gets wetter, there are real signs that we are beginning to wake up from a whole series of collective dreams which turned out to be nightmares. The breaking in of reality on such make-believe must inevitably be painful and bewildering. But if it is a prelude to our returning to our senses as a nation, then this could be an apt cue to wish you all a happy New Year.


Kyoto climate change treaty sputters to a sorry end

Kyoto Protocol aimed for 5% cut in carbon emissions — instead, we got a 58% increase

The controversial and ineffective Kyoto Protocol's first stage comes to an end today, leaving the world with 58 per cent more greenhouse gases than in 1990, as opposed to the five per cent reduction its signatories sought.

From the beginning, the treaty that was adopted in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, was problematic. Opponents denied the science of climate change and claimed the treaty was a socialist plot. Environmentalists decried the lack of ambition in Kyoto and warned of dire consequences for future generations.

But the goal of the treaty was simple.

"We hoped that we would be able to reduce greenhouse gases substantially, but that it was a first step," explained Christine Stewart, the Liberal environment minister who negotiated in Kyoto on Canada's behalf.

The Kyoto Protocol was an initiative that came out of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It recognized that climate change was a result of greenhouse gases created by human industrial activity. The idea was that rich nations, which had already benefited from industrialization, would reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the first part of the treaty and developing nations would join in later.

Although the protocol was adopted in 1997, it didn't to come into force until 2005. In the intervening eight years, countries set reduction targets for themselves and ratified the agreement.

"At the time we didn't realize how complicated it would be to get the Kyoto Protocol ratified and for it to enter into force internationally," said Steven Guilbeault, co-founder of Equiterre, a Montreal-based environmental charity.

Problems from the beginning

Right off the bat, there were problems. The U.S., the world's biggest emitter at the time, signed up but never ratified.

And Canada ratified the treaty but with targets that were unachievable in the opinion of many.

Bob Mills was a Reform Party MP from Alberta who went to Kyoto with the government. He was in Johannesburg five years later when the country agreed to reduce emissions to six per cent below 1990 levels.

"If we ratify this thing we'll never hit our targets," Mills warned Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chrétien at the time, because he was worried Canada's international reputation would take a hit.

To his disappointment, Mills was right. As 2005 rolled around, Canada was nowhere near to having a plan and our emissions were rising. When he entered government a year later, the Conservatives started to lay the groundwork for much less ambitious greenhouse gas reductions.

"In 2006, it was a pretty tough situation because nothing really had been accomplished. We had these targets in front of us, they were impossible to hit," he said.

Taking a pass on Kyoto targets

And so, Canada's new government decided not to bother. They worried about the harm it would cause Canada's economy and the fact that only developed nations had to cut back while economic up-and-comers like China, India and Brazil could pollute as much as they wanted.

"We would have to pull every truck and car off the street, shut down every train and ground every plane to reach the Kyoto target the Liberals negotiated for Canada," argued Conservative Environment Minister Rona Ambrose in 2006.

Instead, the Conservative government opted to begin a long process of overhauling all of Canada's environmental legislation. That meant scaling back on Kyoto commitments that couldn't be met.

Canada announced to the world that we wouldn't be able to meet our Kyoto targets in 2007. Three years later we set new, easier-to-hit targets — 17 per cent below 2005 levels — that keep us in line with the Americans.

'Kyoto, for Canada, is in the past'

The final nail in the coffin for Canada's involvement in Kyoto went in on Dec. 13, 2011.

"Kyoto, for Canada, is in the past," announced Environment Minister Peter Kent at a news conference in Ottawa soon after he got off the plane from a climate change conference in Durban, South Africa. Kent gave one year's notice and, as of Dec. 15 this year, Canada was no longer a party to the Kyoto Protocol.


100 reasons why climate change is natural and not man-made

HERE are the 100 reasons, released in a dossier issued by the European Foundation, why climate change is natural and not man-made:

1) There is “no real scientific proof” that the current warming is caused by the rise of greenhouse gases from man’s activity.

2) Man-made carbon dioxide emissions throughout human history constitute less than 0.00022 percent of the total naturally emitted from the mantle of the earth during geological history.

3) Warmer periods of the Earth’s history came around 800 years before rises in CO2 levels.

4) After World War II, there was a huge surge in recorded CO2 emissions but global temperatures fell for four decades after 1940.

5) Throughout the Earth’s history, temperatures have often been warmer than now and CO2 levels have often been higher – more than ten times as high.

6) Significant changes in climate have continually occurred throughout geologic time.

7) The 0.7C increase in the average global temperature over the last hundred years is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term, natural climate trends.

8) The IPCC theory is driven by just 60 scientists and favourable reviewers not the 4,000 usually cited.

9) Leaked e-mails from British climate scientists – in a scandal known as “Climate-gate” - suggest that that has been manipulated to exaggerate global warming

10) A large body of scientific research suggests that the sun is responsible for the greater share of climate change during the past hundred years.

11) Politicians and activiists claim rising sea levels are a direct cause of global warming but sea levels rates have been increasing steadily since the last ice age 10,000 ago

12) Philip Stott, Emeritus Professor of Biogeography at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London says climate change is too complicated to be caused by just one factor, whether CO2 or clouds

13) Peter Lilley MP said last month that “fewer people in Britain than in any other country believe in the importance of global warming. That is despite the fact that our Government and our political class—predominantly—are more committed to it than their counterparts in any other country in the world”.

14) In pursuit of the global warming rhetoric, wind farms will do very little to nothing to reduce CO2 emissions

15) Professor Plimer, Professor of Geology and Earth Sciences at the University of Adelaide, stated that the idea of taking a single trace gas in the atmosphere, accusing it and finding it guilty of total responsibility for climate change, is an “absurdity”

16) A Harvard University astrophysicist and geophysicist, Willie Soon, said he is “embarrassed and puzzled” by the shallow science in papers that support the proposition that the earth faces a climate crisis caused by global warming.

17) The science of what determines the earth’s temperature is in fact far from settled or understood.

18) Despite activist concerns over CO2 levels, CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas, unlike water vapour which is tied to climate concerns, and which we can’t even pretend to control

19) A petition by scientists trying to tell the world that the political and media portrayal of global warming is false was put forward in the Heidelberg Appeal in 1992. Today, more than 4,000 signatories, including 72 Nobel Prize winners, from 106 countries have signed it.

20) It is claimed the average global temperature increased at a dangerously fast rate in the 20th century but the recent rate of average global temperature rise has been between 1 and 2 degrees C per century - within natural rates

21) Professor Zbigniew Jaworowski, Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Warsaw, Poland says the earth’s temperature has more to do with cloud cover and water vapor than CO2 concentration in the atmosphere.

22) There is strong evidence from solar studies which suggests that the Earth’s current temperature stasis will be followed by climatic cooling over the next few decades

23) It is myth that receding glaciers are proof of global warming as glaciers have been receding and growing cyclically for many centuries

24) It is a falsehood that the earth’s poles are warming because that is natural variation and while the western Arctic may be getting somewhat warmer we also see that the Eastern Arctic and Greenland are getting colder

25) The IPCC claims climate driven “impacts on biodiversity are significant and of key relevance” but those claims are simply not supported by scientific research

26) The IPCC threat of climate change to the world’s species does not make sense as wild species are at least one million years old, which means they have all been through hundreds of climate cycles

27) Research goes strongly against claims that CO2-induced global warming would cause catastrophic disintegration of the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets.

28) Despite activist concerns over CO2 levels, rising CO2 levels are our best hope of raising crop yields to feed an ever-growing population

29) The biggest climate change ever experienced on earth took place around 700 million years ago

30) The slight increase in temperature which has been observed since 1900 is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term natural climate cycles

31) Despite activist concerns over CO2 levels, rising CO2 levels of some so-called “greenhouse gases” may be contributing to higher oxygen levels and global cooling, not warming

32) Accurate satellite, balloon and mountain top observations made over the last three decades have not shown any significant change in the long term rate of increase in global temperatures

33) Today’s CO2 concentration of around 385 ppm is very low compared to most of the earth’s history – we actually live in a carbon-deficient atmosphere

34) It is a myth that CO2 is the most common greenhouse gas because greenhouse gases form about 3% of the atmosphere by volume, and CO2 constitutes about 0.037% of the atmosphere

35) It is a myth that computer models verify that CO2 increases will cause significant global warming because computer models can be made to “verify” anything

36) There is no scientific or statistical evidence whatsoever that global warming will cause more storms and other weather extremes

37) One statement deleted from a UN report in 1996 stated that “none of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed climate changes to increases in greenhouse gases”

38) The world “warmed” by 0.07 +/- 0.07 degrees C from 1999 to 2008, not the 0.20 degrees C expected by the IPCC

39) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says “it is likely that future tropical cyclones (typhoons and hurricanes) will become more intense” but there has been no increase in the intensity or frequency of tropical cyclones globally

40) Rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere can be shown not only to have a negligible effect on the Earth’s many ecosystems, but in some cases to be a positive help to many organisms

41) Researchers who compare and contrast climate change impact on civilizations found warm periods are beneficial to mankind and cold periods harmful

42) The Met Office asserts we are in the hottest decade since records began but this is precisely what the world should expect if the climate is cyclical

43) Rising CO2 levels increase plant growth and make plants more resistant to drought and pests

44) The historical increase in the air’s CO2 content has improved human nutrition by raising crop yields during the past 150 years

45) The increase of the air’s CO2 content has probably helped lengthen human lifespans since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution

46) The IPCC alleges that “climate change currently contributes to the global burden of disease and premature deaths” but the evidence shows that higher temperatures and rising CO2 levels has helped global populations

47) In May of 2004, the Russian Academy of Sciences published a report concluding that the Kyoto Protocol has no scientific grounding at all.

48) The “Climate-gate” scandal pointed to a expensive public campaign of disinformation and the denigration of scientists who opposed the belief that CO2 emissions were causing climate change

49) The head of Britain’s climate change watchdog has predicted households will need to spend up to £15,000 on a full energy efficiency makeover if the Government is to meet its ambitious targets for cutting carbon emissions.

50) Wind power is unlikely to be the answer to our energy needs. The wind power industry argues that there are “no direct subsidies” but it involves a total subsidy of as much as £60 per MWh which falls directly on electricity consumers. This burden will grow in line with attempts to achieve Wind power targets, according to a recent OFGEM report.

51) Wind farms are not an efficient way to produce energy. The British Wind Energy Association (BWEA) accepts a figure of 75 per cent back-up power is required.

52) Global temperatures are below the low end of IPCC predictions not at “at the top end of IPCC estimates”

53) Climate alarmists have raised the concern over acidification of the oceans but Tom Segalstad from Oslo University in Norway , and others, have noted that the composition of ocean water – including CO2, calcium, and water – can act as a buffering agent in the acidification of the oceans.

54) The UN’s IPCC computer models of human-caused global warming predict the emergence of a “hotspot” in the upper troposphere over the tropics. Former researcher in the Australian Department of Climate Change, David Evans, said there is no evidence of such a hotspot

55) The argument that climate change is a of result of global warming caused by human activity is the argument of flat Earthers.

56) The manner in which US President Barack Obama sidestepped Congress to order emission cuts shows how undemocratic and irrational the entire international decision-making process has become with regards to emission-target setting.

57) William Kininmonth, a former head of the National Climate Centre and a consultant to the World Meteorological Organisation, wrote “the likely extent of global temperature rise from a doubling of CO2 is less than 1C. Such warming is well within the envelope of variation experienced during the past 10,000 years and insignificant in the context of glacial cycles during the past million years, when Earth has been predominantly very cold and covered by extensive ice sheets.”

58) Canada has shown the world targets derived from the existing Kyoto commitments were always unrealistic and did not work for the country.

59) In the lead up to the Copenhagen summit, David Davis MP said of previous climate summits, at Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and Kyoto in 1997 that many had promised greater cuts, but “neither happened”, but we are continuing along the same lines.

60) The UK ’s environmental policy has a long-term price tag of about £55 billion, before taking into account the impact on its economic growth.

61) The UN’s panel on climate change warned that Himalayan glaciers could melt to a fifth of current levels by 2035. J. Graham Cogley a professor at Ontario Trent University, claims this inaccurate stating the UN authors got the date from an earlier report wrong by more than 300 years.

62) Under existing Kyoto obligations the EU has attempted to claim success, while actually increasing emissions by 13 per cent, according to Lord Lawson. In addition the EU has pursued this scheme by purchasing “offsets” from countries such as China paying them billions of dollars to destroy atmospheric pollutants, such as CFC-23, which were manufactured purely in order to be destroyed.

63) It is claimed that the average global temperature was relatively unchanging in pre-industrial times but sky-rocketed since 1900, and will increase by several degrees more over the next 100 years according to Penn State University researcher Michael Mann. There is no convincing empirical evidence that past climate was unchanging, nor that 20th century changes in average global temperature were unusual or unnatural.

64) Michael Mann of Penn State University has actually shown that the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age did in fact exist, which contrasts with his earlier work which produced the “hockey stick graph” which showed a constant temperature over the past thousand years or so followed by a recent dramatic upturn.

65) The globe’s current approach to climate change in which major industrialised countries agree to nonsensical targets for their CO2 emissions by a given date, as it has been under the Kyoto system, is very expensive.

66) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had emailed one another about using a “trick” for the sake of concealing a “decline” in temperatures when looking at the history of the Earth’s temperature.

67) Global temperatures have not risen in any statistically-significant sense for 15 years and have actually been falling for nine years. The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed a scientific team had expressed dismay at the fact global warming was contrary to their predictions and admitted their inability to explain it was “a travesty”.

68) The IPCC predicts that a warmer planet will lead to more extreme weather, including drought, flooding, storms, snow, and wildfires. But over the last century, during which the IPCC claims the world experienced more rapid warming than any time in the past two millennia, the world did not experience significantly greater trends in any of these extreme weather events.

69) In explaining the average temperature standstill we are currently experiencing, the Met Office Hadley Centre ran a series of computer climate predictions and found in many of the computer runs there were decade-long standstills but none for 15 years – so it expects global warming to resume swiftly.

70) Richard Lindzen, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, wrote: “The notion of a static, unchanging climate is foreign to the history of the Earth or any other planet with a fluid envelope. Such hysteria (over global warming) simply represents the scientific illiteracy of much of the public, the susceptibility of the public to the substitution of repetition for truth.”

71) Despite the 1997 Kyoto Protocol’s status as the flagship of the fight against climate change it has been a failure.

72) The first phase of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which ran from 2005 to 2007 was a failure. Huge over-allocation of permits to pollute led to a collapse in the price of carbon from €33 to just €0.20 per tonne meaning the system did not reduce emissions at all.

73) The EU trading scheme, to manage carbon emissions has completely failed and actually allows European businesses to duck out of making their emissions reductions at home by offsetting, which means paying for cuts to be made overseas instead.

74) To date “cap and trade” carbon markets have done almost nothing to reduce emissions.

75) In the United States , the cap-and-trade is an approach designed to control carbon emissions and will impose huge costs upon American citizens via a carbon tax on all goods and services produced in the United States. The average family of four can expect to pay an additional $1700, or £1,043, more each year. It is predicted that the United States will lose more than 2 million jobs as the result of cap-and-trade schemes.

76) Dr Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, has indicated that out of the 21 climate models tracked by the IPCC the differences in warming exhibited by those models is mostly the result of different strengths of positive cloud feedback – and that increasing CO2 is insufficient to explain global-average warming in the last 50 to 100 years.

77) Why should politicians devote our scarce resources in a globally competitive world to a false and ill-defined problem, while ignoring the real problems the entire planet faces, such as: poverty, hunger, disease or terrorism.

78) A proper analysis of ice core records from the past 650,000 years demonstrates that temperature increases have come before, and not resulted from, increases in CO2 by hundreds of years.

79) Since the cause of global warming is mostly natural, then there is in actual fact very little we can do about it. (We are still not able to control the sun).

80) A substantial number of the panel of 2,500 climate scientists on the United Nation’s International Panel on Climate Change, which created a statement on scientific unanimity on climate change and man-made global warming, were found to have serious concerns.

81) The UK’s Met Office has been forced this year to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by revelations about the data.

82) Politicians and activists push for renewable energy sources such as wind turbines under the rhetoric of climate change, but it is essentially about money – under the system of Renewable Obligations. Much of the money is paid for by consumers in electricity bills. It amounts to £1 billion a year.

83) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had tampered with their own data so as to conceal inconsistencies and errors.

84) The “Climate-gate” scandal revealed that a scientific team had campaigned for the removal of a learned journal’s editor, solely because he did not share their willingness to debase science for political purposes.

85) Ice-core data clearly show that temperatures change centuries before concentrations of atmospheric CO2 change. Thus, there appears to be little evidence for insisting that changes in concentrations of CO2 are the cause of past temperature and climate change.

86) There are no experimentally verified processes explaining how CO2 concentrations can fall in a few centuries without falling temperatures – in fact it is changing temperatures which cause changes in CO2 concentrations, which is consistent with experiments that show CO2 is the atmospheric gas most readily absorbed by water.

87) The Government’s Renewable Energy Strategy contains a massive increase in electricity generation by wind power costing around £4 billion a year over the next twenty years. The benefits will be only £4 to £5 billion overall (not per annum). So costs will outnumber benefits by a range of between eleven and seventeen times.

88) Whilst CO2 levels have indeed changed for various reasons, human and otherwise, just as they have throughout history, the CO2 content of the atmosphere has increased since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and the growth rate has now been constant for the past 25 years.

89) It is a myth that CO2 is a pollutant, because nitrogen forms 80% of our atmosphere and human beings could not live in 100% nitrogen either: CO2 is no more a pollutant than nitrogen is and CO2 is essential to life.

90) Politicians and climate activists make claims to rising sea levels but certain members in the IPCC chose an area to measure in Hong Kong that is subsiding. They used the record reading of 2.3 mm per year rise of sea level.

91) The accepted global average temperature statistics used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change show that no ground-based warming has occurred since 1998.

92) If one factors in non-greenhouse influences such as El Nino events and large volcanic eruptions, lower atmosphere satellite-based temperature measurements show little, if any, global warming since 1979, a period over which atmospheric CO2 has increased by 55 ppm (17 per cent).

93) US President Barack Obama pledged to cut emissions by 2050 to equal those of 1910 when there were 92 million Americans. In 2050, there will be 420 million Americans, so Obama’s promise means that emissions per head will be approximately what they were in 1875. It simply will not happen.

94) The European Union has already agreed to cut emissions by 20 percent to 2020, compared with 1990 levels, and is willing to increase the target to 30 percent. However, these are unachievable and the EU has already massively failed with its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), as EU emissions actually rose by 0.8 percent from 2005 to 2006 and are known to be well above the Kyoto goal.

95) Australia has stated it wants to slash greenhouse emissions by up to 25 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, but the pledges were so unpopular that the country’s Senate has voted against the carbon trading Bill, and the Opposition’s Party leader has now been ousted by a climate change sceptic.

96) Canada plans to reduce emissions by 20 percent compared with 2006 levels by 2020, representing approximately a 3 percent cut from 1990 levels but it simultaneously defends its Alberta tar sands emissions and its record as one of the world’s highest per-capita emissions setters.

97) India plans to reduce the ratio of emissions to production by 20-25 percent compared with 2005 levels by 2020, but all Government officials insist that since India has to grow for its development and poverty alleviation, it has to emit, because the economy is driven by carbon.

98) The Leipzig Declaration in 1996, was signed by 110 scientists who said: “We – along with many of our fellow citizens – are apprehensive about the climate treaty conference scheduled for Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997” and “based on all the evidence available to us, we cannot subscribe to the politically inspired world view that envisages climate catastrophes and calls for hasty actions.”

99) A US Oregon Petition Project stated “We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind. There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of CO2, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

100) A report by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change concluded “We find no support for the IPCC’s claim that climate observations during the twentieth century are either unprecedented or provide evidence of an anthropogenic effect on climate.”


Poland And Czech Republic Ban Germany’s Green Energy

In order to boost Germany’s ‘ecological wonder’ and its green energy transition, the Federal Republic has used power grids of neighbouring countries – without asking for permission. For this short-sighted policy, the German government is now being punished.

Germany considers itself the environmental conscience of the world: with its nuclear phase-out and its green energy transition, the federal government wanted to give the world a model to follow. However, blinded by its own halo Germany overlooked that others have to pay for this green image boost and are suffering as a result.

For example, Germany’s ‘eco-miracle’ simply used the power grids of neighboring countries not only without asking for permission but also without paying for it. Now Poland and the Czech Republic have pulled the plug and are building a huge switch-off at their borders to block the uninvited import of green energy from Germany which is destabalising their grids and is thus risking blackouts.

Germany’s neighbours act in self-defense, no one can blame them. The blocking of energy at their borders, however, are fragmenting the single European market for electricity. They also turning Germany into an electrical island within the European energy network, with unknown consequences for the security of supply.

And they cause even more forced shutdowns of wind farms in Germany, which means additional costs of at least one hundred millions Euros.

Germany’s federal government took the nuclear phase-out decision without any consultation with their European partners and irrespective of any implications for neighbouring countries. The green decision was rushed through without regard of transport capacity. For their short-sighted, self-centered and actionistic energy policy the German government is now paying the price.


Green Energy Cost May Accelerate Europe’s Decline

On Dec. 19, Voestalpine, an Austrian maker of high-quality steel for the auto industry, announced that it would build a plant in North America that would employ natural gas to reduce iron ore to a kind of raw iron that would then be used in the company’s European blast furnaces. Asked whether he had considered building the plant in Europe, Voestalpine’s chief executive, Wolfgang Eder, said that that “calculation does not make sense from the very beginning.” Gas in Europe is much more expensive, he said.

High energy costs are emerging as an issue in Europe that is prompting debate, including questioning of the Continent’s clean energy initiatives. Over the past few years, Europe has spent tens of billions of euros in an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The bulk of the spending has gone into low-carbon energy sources like wind and solar power that have needed special tariffs or other subsidies to be commercially viable.

“We embarked on a big transition to a low-carbon economy without taking into account the cost and without factoring in the competitive impact,” says Fabien Roques, head of European power and carbon at the energy consulting firm IHS CERA in Paris. “I think there will be a critical review of some of these policies in the next few years.”

Both consumers and the industry are upset about high energy costs. Energy-intensive industries like chemicals and steel are, if not closing European plants outright, looking toward places like the United States that have lower energy costs as they pursue new investments.

BASF, the German chemical giant, has been outspoken about the consequences of energy costs for competitiveness and is building a new plant in Louisiana.

“We Europeans are currently paying up to four or five times more for natural gas than the Americans,” Harald Schwager, a member of the executive board at BASF, said last month. “Energy efficiency alone will not allow us to compensate for this. Of course, that means increased competition for all the European manufacturing sites.”

The expansion in renewables will probably ensure that Europe will meet its target of reducing greenhouse gases 20 percent from their 1990 levels by 2020. But it has been a disappointment on other levels.

For one thing, emissions continue to rise globally. In a sense, Europe is likely to have exported its emissions to places like China, where polluting economic activity continues to increase while the European economy stagnates.

A striking indicator that the European effort has not achieved all that it intended to is the continued rise in the burning of coal, by far the biggest polluter among fossil fuels.

The International Energy Agency, a Paris-based group formed by consumer nations, recently said that coal was likely to catch up with oil as the world’s largest source of energy in a decade.

Much of the increase in coal use can be blamed on China and India, but not all of it. Europe has increased its coal use this year, and that has led to an increase of about 7 percent in carbon dioxide emissions from power generation, according to IHS. Coal use is increasing in all regions except the United States, the I.E.A. said.

Current European energy policies were mostly shaped when the European economy was booming. In the grim economic climate of today, spending big money on renewables can seem like a luxury. Spain — once a strong supporter of renewables — has sharply cut funding.

The British government, another big backer of clean energy, recently struck a compromise. It promised to soak consumers for billions of pounds of subsidies for renewables like wind power and even new nuclear power plants, but it also gave a cautious green light to shale gas drilling in hopes of finding a cheaper source of natural gas.

A British consumer advocacy group called Which? recently pegged the costs to British consumers of decarbonization and new energy infrastructure at more than £100 billion, or $161 billion, and said that “persistently rising energy prices” were putting “intense financial pressures” on the public. In Germany, renewables subsidies are already adding 10 percent to 15 percent to bills, according to IHS.

Europeans cannot help noticing that the United States has managed, through the shale gas boom, not only to slash natural gas prices but also to cut carbon dioxide emissions to a 20-year low as utilities have shifted from coal to natural gas, which produces much less carbon dioxide.

What can Europe do? If it wants to make a bigger dent in carbon emissions, it needs a serious carbon price — not the current €7, or $9, per metric ton — that has little effect on business decisions. It might also consider a tax on carbon consumption to make sure it is not achieving its goals through deindustrialization. But such measures might make Europe even less competitive unless they are adopted globally.




Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here 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.


"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" -- Karl Popper

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman

"The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it" -- H L Mencken

'Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action' -- Goethe

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” -- Voltaire

Lord Salisbury: "No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe soldiers, nothing is safe."

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

Time was, people warning the world "Repent - the end is nigh!" were snickered at as fruitcakes. Now they own the media and run the schools.

"One of the sources of the Fascist movement is the desire to avoid a too-rational and too-comfortable world" -- George Orwell, 1943 in Can Socialists Be Happy?

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts -- Bertrand Russell

“Affordable energy in ample quantities is the lifeblood of the industrial societies and a prerequisite for the economic development of the others.” -- John P. Holdren, Science Adviser to President Obama. Published in Science 9 February 2001

The closer science looks at the real world processes involved in climate regulation the more absurd the IPCC's computer driven fairy tale appears. Instead of blithely modeling climate based on hunches and suppositions, climate scientists would be better off abandoning their ivory towers and actually measuring what happens in the real world.' -- Doug L Hoffman


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

Since my academic background is in the social sciences, it is reasonable to ask what a social scientist is doing talking about global warming. My view is that my expertise is the most relevant of all. It seems clear to me from what you will see on this blog that belief in global warming is very poorly explained by history, chemistry, physics or statistics.

Warmism is prophecy, not science. Science cannot foretell the future. Science can make very accurate predictions based on known regularities in nature (e.g. predicting the orbits of the inner planets) but Warmism is the exact opposite of that. It predicts a DEPARTURE from the known regularities of nature. If we go by the regularities of nature, we are on the brink of an ice age.

And from a philosophy of science viewpoint, far from being "the science", Warmism is not even an attempt at a factual statement, let alone being science. It is not a meaningful statement about the world. Why? Because it is unfalsifiable -- making it a religious, not a scientific statement. To be a scientific statement, there would have to be some conceivable event that disproved it -- but there appears to be none. ANY event is hailed by Warmists as proving their contentions. Only if Warmists were able to specify some fact or event that would disprove their theory would it have any claim to being a scientific statement. So the explanation for Warmist beliefs has to be primarily a psychological and political one -- which makes it my field

And, after all, Al Gore's academic qualifications are in social science also -- albeit very pissant qualifications.

A "geriatric" revolt: The scientists who reject Warmism tend to be OLD! Your present blogger is one of those. There are tremendous pressures to conformity in academe and the generally Leftist orientation of academe tends to pressure everyone within it to agree to ideas that suit the Left. And Warmism is certainly one of those ideas. So old guys are the only ones who can AFFORD to declare the Warmists to be unclothed. They either have their careers well-established (with tenure) or have reached financial independence (retirement) and so can afford to call it like they see it. In general, seniors in society today are not remotely as helpful to younger people as they once were. But their opposition to the Warmist hysteria will one day show that seniors are not completely irrelevant after all. Experience does count (we have seen many such hysterias in the past and we have a broader base of knowledge to call on) and our independence is certainly an enormous strength. Some of us are already dead. (Reid Bryson and John Daly are particularly mourned) and some of us are very senior indeed (e.g. Bill Gray and Vince Gray) but the revolt we have fostered is ever growing so we have not labored in vain.


Climate is just the sum of weather. So if you cannot forecast the weather a month in advance, you will not be able to forecast the climate 50 years in advance. And official meteorologists such as Britain's Met Office and Australia's BOM, are very poor forecasters of weather. The Met office has in fact given up on making seasonal forecasts because they have so often got such forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Their global-warming-powered "models" just did not deliver

Here's how that "97% consensus" figure was arrived at

A strange Green/Left conceit: They seem to think (e.g. here) that no-one should spend money opposing them and that conservative donors must not support the election campaigns of Congressmen they agree with

To Greenies, Genghis Khan was a good guy, believe it or not. They love that he killed so many people.

Greenie antisemitism

After three exceptionally cold winters in the Northern hemisphere, the Warmists are chanting: "Warming causes cold". Even if we give that a pass for logic, it still inspires the question: "Well, what are we worried about"? Cold is not going to melt the icecaps is it?"

It's a central (but unproven) assumption of the Warmist "models" that clouds cause warming. Odd that it seems to cool the temperature down when clouds appear overhead!

To make out that the essentially trivial warming of the last 150 years poses some sort of threat, Warmists postulate positive feedbacks that might cut in to make the warming accelerate in the near future. Amid their theories about feedbacks, however, they ignore the one feedback that is no theory: The reaction of plants to CO2. Plants gobble up CO2 and the more CO2 there is the more plants will flourish and hence gobble up yet more CO2. And the increasing crop yields of recent years show that plantlife is already flourishing more. The recent rise in CO2 will therefore soon be gobbled up and will no longer be around to bother anyone. Plants provide a huge NEGATIVE feedback in response to increases in atmospheric CO2

Every green plant around us is made out of carbon dioxide that the plant has grabbed out of the atmosphere. That the plant can get its carbon from such a trace gas is one of the miracles of life. It admittedly uses the huge power of the sun to accomplish such a vast filtrative task but the fact that a dumb plant can harness the power of the sun so effectively is also a wonder. We live on a rather improbable planet. If a science fiction writer elsewhere in the universe described a world like ours he might well be ridiculed for making up such an implausible tale.

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 or by adiabatic (pressure) effects 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. Yet at the opening of 2011 we find the following unashamed lying by James Hansen: "We will lose all the ice in the polar ice cap in a couple of decades". Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny. So even after "Climategate", the secrecy goes on.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Jim Hansen and his twin

Getting rich and famous through alarmism: Al Gore is well-known but note also James Hansen. He has for decades been a senior, presumably well-paid, employee at NASA. In 2001 he was the recipient of a $250,000 Heinz Award. In 2007 Time magazine designated him a Hero of the Environment. That same year he pocketed one-third of a $1 million Dan David Prize. In 2008, the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented him with its Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. In 2010 he landed a $100,000 Sophie Prize. He pulled in a total of $1.2 million in 2010. Not bad for a government bureaucrat.

See the original global Warmist in action here: "The icecaps are melting and all world is drowning to wash away the sin"

I am not a global warming skeptic nor am I a global warming denier. I am a global warming atheist. I don't believe one bit of it. That the earth's climate changes is undeniable. Only ignoramuses believe that climate stability is normal. But I see NO evidence to say that mankind has had anything to do with any of the changes observed -- and much evidence against that claim.

Seeing that we are all made of carbon, the time will come when people will look back on the carbon phobia of the early 21st century as too incredible to be believed

Meanwhile, however, let me venture a tentative prophecy. Prophecies are almost always wrong but here goes: Given the common hatred of carbon (Warmists) and salt (Food freaks) and given the fact that we are all made of carbon, salt, water and calcium (with a few additives), I am going to prophecy that at some time in the future a hatred of nitrogen will emerge. Why? Because most of the air that we breathe is nitrogen. We live at the bottom of a nitrogen sea. Logical to hate nitrogen? NO. But probable: Maybe. The Green/Left is mad enough. After all, nitrogen is a CHEMICAL -- and we can't have that!

UPDATE to the above: It seems that I am a true prophet

The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) must have foreseen Global Warmism. He said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?

For many people, global warming seems to have taken the place of "The Jews" -- a convenient but false explanation for any disliked event. Prof. Brignell has some examples.

Global warming skeptics are real party-poopers. It's so wonderful to believe that you have a mission to save the world.

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

The claim that oil is a fossil fuel is another great myth and folly of the age. They are now finding oil at around seven MILES beneath the sea bed -- which is incomparably further down than any known fossil. The abiotic oil theory is not as yet well enough developed to generate useful predictions but that is also true of fossil fuel theory

Help keep the planet Green! Maximize your CO2 and CH4 output!

Global Warming=More Life; Global Cooling=More Death.

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

The great and fraudulent scare about lead

Green/Left denial of the facts explained: "Rejection lies in this, that when the light came into the world men preferred darkness to light; preferred it, because their doings were evil. Anyone who acts shamefully hates the light, will not come into the light, for fear that his doings will be found out. Whereas the man whose life is true comes to the light" John 3:19-21 (Knox)

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

Recent NASA figures tell us that there was NO warming trend in the USA during the 20th century. If global warming is occurring, how come it forgot the USA?

Warmists say that the revised NASA figures do not matter because they cover only the USA -- and the rest of the world is warming nicely. But it is not. There has NEVER been any evidence that the Southern hemisphere is warming. See here. So the warming pattern sure is looking moth-eaten.

The latest scare is the possible effect of extra CO2 on the world’s oceans, because more CO2 lowers the pH of seawater. While it is claimed that this makes the water more acidic, this is misleading. Since seawater has a pH around 8.1, it will take an awful lot of CO2 it to even make the water neutral (pH=7), let alone acidic (pH less than 7).

In fact, ocean acidification is a scientific impossibility. Henry's Law mandates that warming oceans will outgas CO2 to the atmosphere (as the UN's own documents predict it will), making the oceans less acid. Also, more CO2 would increase calcification rates. No comprehensive, reliable measurement of worldwide oceanic acid/base balance has ever been carried out: therefore, there is no observational basis for the computer models' guess that acidification of 0.1 pH units has occurred in recent decades.

The chaos theory people have told us for years that the air movement from a single butterfly's wing in Brazil can cause an unforeseen change in our weather here. Now we are told that climate experts can "model" the input of zillions of such incalculable variables over periods of decades to accurately forecast global warming 50 years hence. Give us all a break!

If you doubt the arrogance [of the global warming crowd, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming -- infinitely more untested, complex and speculative -- is a closed issue

Scientists have politics too -- sometimes extreme politics. Read this: "This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism... I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child." -- Albert Einstein

The "precautionary principle" is a favourite Greenie idea -- but isn't that what George Bush was doing when he invaded Iraq? Wasn't that a precaution against Saddam getting or having any WMDs? So Greenies all agree with the Iraq intervention? If not, why not?

A classic example of how the sensationalist media distort science to create climate panic is here.

There is a very readable summary of the "Hockey Stick" fraud here

The Lockwood & Froehlich paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film. It is a rather confused paper -- acknowledging yet failing to account fully for the damping effect of the oceans, for instance -- but it is nonetheless valuable to climate atheists. The concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years (See the first sentence of the paper) really is invaluable. And the basic fact presented in the paper -- that solar output has in general been on the downturn in recent years -- is also amusing to see. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even have been the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards. See my post of 7.14.07 and very detailed critiques here and here and here for more on the Lockwood paper and its weaknesses.

As the Greenies are now learning, even strong statistical correlations may disappear if a longer time series is used. A remarkable example from Sociology: "The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre’s yield of cotton. He calculated the correla­tion coefficient between the two series at –0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic condi­tions and lynchings in Raper’s data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his anal­ysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic condi­tions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added." So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. In the Greenie case, the correlation between CO2 rise and global temperature rise stopped in 1998 -- but that could have been foreseen if measurements taken in the first half of the 20th century had been considered.

Relying on the popular wisdom can even hurt you personally: "The scientific consensus of a quarter-century ago turned into the arthritic nightmare of today."

Greenie-approved sources of electricity (windmills and solar cells) require heavy government subsidies to be competitive with normal electricity generators so a Dutch word for Greenie power seems graphic to me: "subsidieslurpers" (subsidy gobblers)

Index page for this site


"Tongue Tied"
"Dissecting Leftism" (Backup here)
"Australian Politics"
"Education Watch International"
"Political Correctness Watch"
"Greenie Watch"
"Food & Health Skeptic"
"Eye on Britain"
"Immigration Watch International" blog.


"Marx & Engels in their own words"
"A scripture blog"
"Some memoirs"
To be continued ....
Queensland Police -- A barrel with lots of bad apples
Australian Police News
Of Interest


"Leftists as Elitists"
Socialized Medicine
Western Heart
QANTAS -- A dying octopus
BRIAN LEITER (Ladderman)
Obama Watch
Obama Watch (2)
Dissecting Leftism -- Large font site
Michael Darby
The Kogarah Madhouse (St George Bank)
AGL -- A bumbling monster
Telstra/Bigpond follies
Optus bungling
Vodafrauds (vodafone)
Bank of Queensland blues

There are also two blogspot blogs which record what I think are my main recent articles here and here. Similar content can be more conveniently accessed via my subject-indexed list of short articles here or here (I rarely write long articles these days)

Main academic menu
Menu of recent writings
basic home page
Pictorial Home Page (Backup here).
Selected pictures from blogs (Backup here)
Another picture page (Best with broadband. Rarely updated)

Note: If the link to one of my articles is not working, the article concerned can generally be viewed by prefixing to the filename the following: