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

31 January, 2014

Tropical cyclone frequency falls to centuries-low in Australia

In America big wind events have been unusually rare in recent years. Warmists call them "extreme weather" and pretend that they are MORE frequent and also in some way "proof" of global warming. Skeptics simply point to the statistics. So it is interesting that in far-away Australia we have exactly the same situation -- including a proclamation that the unusual rarity of these rare events "proves" global warming. Hurricanes and cyclones prove global warming and the absence of hurricanes and cyclones also proves global warming. It's pure Leftist logic: Complete illogic that is guided only by the conclusions it wants to come to. But it's no surprise coming from the same sort of people who are proclaiming America's present extreme cold as proof of warming -- JR

The number of tropical cyclones hitting Queensland and Western Australia has fallen to low levels not seen for more than 500 years, new research published in Nature shows.

But while that's seemingly great news for people in cyclone-prone areas, our new research into Australia's past cyclone records also highlights a serious risk.

Low-lying coastal areas such as Cairns, Townsville and Mackay in north Queensland have all been developed on the unproven assumption that the cyclone activity of the past 40 years will continue unchanged into the future.

The concern is that our new results closely matched several recent studies that have projected fewer - but increasingly intense - tropical cyclones for Australian region due to global climate change.

And if those projections prove to be right, we are taking a big gamble with existing homes, roads and offices, as well as threatening proposed developments such as the A$4.2 billion resort casino planned for low-lying coastal land near Cairns.

There is no such thing as a risk-free development, especially when building in cyclone-prone regions. However, being properly informed and cautious about developments in such regions is in all Australians' interests - because if we get it wrong, we all stand to pay through higher insurance premiums and largely taxpayer-funded disaster clean-ups.

Our study shows that current seasonal cyclone activity is at its lowest level in Western Australia since 500 AD and since about 1400 AD in Queensland. That decline began about 40 years ago.

While Australia's official cyclone records only date back to 1906, we can track cyclones further back in time using measurements of isotopes housed within limestone cave stalagmites. Those stalagmites grow upwards from the cave floor as rainwater containing dissolved limestone drips from the cave ceiling.

The isotope chemistry of tropical cyclone rainwater differs from that of monsoonal and thunderstorm rainwater. As a consequence, it is possible to analyse the chemistry of each of the stalagmite layers, which are approximately 1/10th of a millimetre thick, and generate a record of cyclones over the past 1500 to 2000 years.

My colleague Jordahna Haig then matched the isotope records with the Bureau of Meteorology's cyclone record over the past 40 years and generated a Cyclone Activity Index, which plots the seasonal activity of cyclones over the past 1500 years.

In the short term, the recent decline in tropical cyclone activity is good news for all those who live in and visit tropical north Queensland and Western Australia. However, there are some possible dark clouds on the horizon that we would be reckless to ignore.


2014 Antarctic Sea Ice Extent already On Track For Record High Minimum

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is very much on track to have the highest minimum in the modern satellite era.

The highest minimum was in 2008 at 3.69176 million sq km on day 51, The 2nd highest was in 2013 at 3.65040 million sq km on day 50.

The earliest minimum was day 43 in 1994. And the latest minimum was day 65 in 1986.

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent as of Jan 27 2014 was 1 million sq km above the 1981-2010 mean and 160,000 sq km above 2008.

Day 27 was the 10th daily record of the year.


Solar Provides 0.2% of Electric Supply--Up From 0.02% Before Obama

He's spent billions achieving virtually nothing

Solar power, which President Barack Obama promoted in his State of the Union Address, accounted for 0.2 percent of the U.S. electricity supply in the first nine months of 2013, according to data published by the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration.

That is up from the 0.02 percent of the total electricity supply that solar power sources provided in 2008, the last calendar year before Obama took office.

“Now, one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy,” Obama said in the State of the Union. “The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we've been in decades.”

“It's not just oil and natural gas production that's booming; we're becoming a global leader in solar, too,” he said. “Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar; every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can't be outsourced. Let's continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don't need it, so that we can invest more in fuels of the future that do.”

According to the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration, the United States is producing less electricity now than it did when Obama took office. (See Table 7.2.a.)

In 2008, according to EIA, the U.S. generated a net of 4,119,388 million kilowatthours of electricity. In 2012, the last full calendar year for which data has been collected, the U.S. generated a net of 4,047,765 million kilowatthours of electricity.

From 2008 to 2012, U.S. electricity production declined by 1.7 percent.

In the first nine months of 2013, according to the latest data from EIA, U.S. electricity production continued to decline. In those nine months, the U.S. produced 3,078,460 million kilowatthours of electricity compared to 3,095,504 in the first nine months of 2012.

Coal remains the largest source of electricity in the United States, even though coal-produced electricity has been declining in the Obama years.

In 2008, the U.S. generated 1,985,801 million kilowatthours—or 48.2 percent--of its total of 4,119,388 million kilowatthours of electricity from coal. In 2012, the U.S. generated 1,514,043 million kilowatthours---or 37.4 percent--of its total of 4,047,765 million kilowatthours from coal.

Solar-generated electricity did not make up the slack.

In 2008, according to EIA, the U.S. got 864 million kilowatthours—or 0.02 percent--of its 4,119,388 million kilowatthours of electricity from solar thermal and photovoltaic energy. By 2012, the U.S. got 4,327 million kilowatthours—or 0.1 percent--of its 4,047,765 million kilowatthours from solar.

In the first nine months of 2013, the U.S. got 6,407 million kilowatthours—or 0.2 percent--of the total of 3,078,460 million kilowatthours generated up to that point from solar.

Thus, even though solar generation of electricity has been increasing at a tremendous pace in the United States since 2008, it still supplies only 0.2 percent of the country’s electricity.

A larger supply of U.S. electricity, according to EIA, comes from wood. In the first nine months of 2013, 28,400 million kilowatthours of electricity--or 0.9 percent--of the total of 3,078,460 million kilowatthours generated up to that point came from wood.

“Most of the electricity from wood biomass is generated at lumber and paper mills,” says a brief by the EIA. “These mills use their own wood waste to provide much of their own steam and electricity needs.”

Since 2008, natural gas-generated electricity has increased as a share of the overall supply. In 2008, it produced 882,981 million kilowatt hours—or 21.4 percent—of the 4,119,388 million overall supply. In 2012, it generated 1,225,894 million kilowatthours—or about 30.3 percent—of total of 4,047,765 million kilowatthours of supply. In the first nine months of 2013, it generated 853,969 million kilowatthours—or about 27.7 percent—of the 3,078,460 million kilowatthours of total supply.

Nonetheless, electricity has gotten more expensive since 2008—with the electricity price index now at its all-time high.

In December 2009, the month before Obama took office, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ seasonally adjusted electricity index was 193.965. In December 2013, it hit a record 203.186. In December 2008, the average price for a kilowatt hour of electricity in the United States was 12.4 cents. In December 2013, it was 13.1 cents—the most expensive electricity has ever been in December.


Climatologist Gets It Right

At the turn of the century, climatologist Dr. Don Easterbrook issued his own offbeat prediction. “[I]n 1999 … the PDO [Pacific Decadol Oscillation, a natural cycle that fluctuates between warm and cold phases] said we're due for a climate change,” he explained to CNSNews, “and so I said okay. It looks as though we're going to be entering a period of about three decades or so of global cooling.” Indeed, data reveals his prognostication was correct. “We have now had 17 years with no global warming and my original prediction was right so far,” Easterbrook points out. “For the next 20 years, I predict global cooling of about 3/10ths of a degree Fahrenheit.” And that's not necessarily a good thing: “Cold is way worse for humanity than warm is,” he correctly adds. So as alarmists continue with ostentatious rants about nonexistent warming, just remember that what we're actually seeing was foreseen long ago by someone with facts on their side.


Climate Change Nonsense

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Barack Obama warned, “[W]e have to act with more urgency – because a changing climate is already harming Western communities struggling with drought, and coastal cities dealing with floods. That's why I directed my administration to work with states, utilities and others to set new standards on the amount of carbon pollution our power plants are allowed to dump into the air.” Those regulations are greatly harming the coal industry and are thus reflected on your monthly power bill.

Obama then declared, “[T]he debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”

Indeed, much of the nation saw several inches of “climate change” Tuesday, as snow and ice covered several states as far south as the Gulf Coast. In the South, thousands of people were stuck for hours – often overnight – in traffic or wherever they could find shelter, kids were stranded at school, and a region unaccustomed to dealing with such weather was crippled.

One of the main problems in the South was inaccurate forecasting. Chattanooga meteorologist Paul Barys admitted, “This was just not what we were seeing in the forecast models.” Therefore, road crews made almost no preparation until the snow actually began to fall, and schools waited until then to send kids home, compounding a bad situation. The South isn't exactly known for its snowplows anyway.

It's important to note that weather is not the same thing as climate, but we'll make some observations. First, climatologists also use computer forecast models to show that the climate is changing. Computer models can be wrong, especially if the data entered is faulty, and that's true if the prediction is tomorrow's weather or the next century's climate. Indeed, as we noted above, there hasn't been any global warming in 17 years – hence the change in terminology to “climate change.” Second, alarmists like Barack Obama constantly point to weather patterns – drought and floods, for example – as definitive proof that, in order to prevent climate change, we need draconian government regulations and taxes that will hit the economy like, well, a snow storm in Atlanta. And no matter the weather, these alarmists blame climate change. Truth is the only thing getting plowed.


British weather expert accuses Met Office of 'warm bias' in getting annual predictions wrong 13 out of the last 14 years

Their computers are programmed for it

The Met Office has got every annual global forecast so far this century wrong, bar one, a BBC weatherman said.

Paul Hudson, a forecaster for BBC's regional programme Look North, said the Met Office's predictions had been wrong for 13 years out of the last 14, and said the incorrect predictions had all been 'on the warm side' rather than too cold.

He said on his BBC weather blog that they had predicted the global temperature in 2013 would be 0.57C above the 1961-1990 average temperature of 14C, when in fact it was only warmer by 0.49C.

Mr Hudson, a trained meteorologist with 20 years' experience, said the global average temperature for 2013 meant that: 'So far this century, of 14 yearly headline predictions made by the Met Office Hadley centre, 13 have been too warm.'

He added: 'It’s worth stressing that all the incorrect predictions are within the stated margin of error, but having said that, they have all been on the warm side and none have been too cold.'

He said the 2013 annual temperature also meant that another Met Office prediction, that half the years between 2010 and 2015 would be hotter than the hottest year on record (1998) was wrong already.

The forecaster, who previously worked for the Met Office, wrote: 'The Met Office believe one of the reasons for this ‘warm bias’ in their annual global projections is the lack of observational data in the Arctic circle, which has been the fastest warming area on earth.

'They also suggest another reason why the global surface temperature is falling short of their projections is because some of the heat is being absorbed in the ocean beneath the surface.'

A Met Office spokesman said: 'There is evidence that incomplete global coverage of the available temperature observations may have led to an under-representation of regions that were unusually warm.'

Climate change sceptic Professor Richard Lindzen yesterday told MPs that whatever they were doing to counteract 'climate change', the only difference it would make would be to the country's economy.

He said: 'Whatever the UK is deciding to do vis-a-vis climate will have no impact on your climate. It will have a profound impact on your economy.

'So you are making a decision to take a problem which might not be a problem, take actions which you know will create problems and feel you have done the right thing.', the Times reported.




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


30 January, 2014

Why I am a jellyfish when it comes to global warming theory

Most climate skeptics accept the theory that a rise in atmospheric CO2 will cause a rise in terrestrial temperature. Where they differ from Warmists is in estimating the quantum of the temperature rise. Looking at both the theory and the data, skeptics think the effect of more CO2 will be so minute as to be probably undetectable.

There is however another camp of skeptics who think the whole theory is bunk. They think that a rise in CO2 CANNOT affect temperature. Such thinkers coalesce to some degree around the Principia Scientific publication run by John O'Sullivan. Their "Bible" is Slaying the Sky Dragon.

One would think that both types of skeptics would get along with one-another in perfect amiability but that is not always so. The "Slayers" tend to be rather shrill critics of the mainstream critics. In their dogmatism and hunger for consensus they seem rather like Warmists at times.

So I am a jellyfish. I take no side in the dispute. Either side could be right in my view. I think that Warmism has long ago left the realm of science and become a political creed of the Left. So the important thing is that both skeptical groups piss on global warming fears. Just as in politics generally, I think you have to have a big tent for your side to win the contest with the Left. And I would be happy to have a beer with anyone in the tent.

But I was not always a jellyfish. For a while the slayers had convinced me. I thought that global warming theory transgressed the first and second laws of thermodynamics. After a while, however, I concluded that those laws could be applied only to convective processes in the atmosphere, whereas global warming theory is about radiative heat transfer. At that point I had a small correspondence with theoretical physicist Lubos Motl and he assisted me towards a view that the theory could be expressed in a way not contrary to the law of physics.

So what I now make of the theory depends on the old law of the conservation of energy. Energy is not created or destroyed but just changes guise. So when energy (heat) from the sun hits the earth, that energy does not just vanish. It does a number of things and one of those things is that it bounces back in the direction whence it came. And when it hits a water or CO2 molecule it in turn bounces off that. But it will bounce in all dirtections so only a small portion of the bounced radiation will bounce back to hit the earth. And since CO2 molelcules are a tiny proportion of the atmosphere, you have only a small proportion of a tiny proportion of the heat being re-radiated to the surface by CO2 molecules. So the total effect must be very small indeed. So even in theory the Warmists are wrong to proclaim a detectable effect of CO2 levels.

And what the theory says is of course exactly what we observe. Temperatures have remained stable over 17 years during which CO2 levels have risen sharply. So there has been no detectable effect of CO2 levels. Any effect has been too tiny to detect.

But in their typical way, one of the slayers had a go at me recently for my view that, even given their own theory, Warmists are barking up the wrong tree. I reproduce the correspondence:

Spotted this sentence in your lead story today: "On the global warming theory as I see it, CO2 reflection is such a minor source of heating that the effects of variations in it SHOULD be so minuscule as to be undetectable ..." You've got a PhD, so where do you reckon the "warming" comes from then? Think a bit further and you can only come to one conclusion: in the open atmosphere, CO2 can only act as a coolant, never a warming agent. Provide me with just one piece of actual observed proof that there is any warming off atmospheric CO2.

I replied:

I am agnostic about the theory. The form of it that makes some sense draws on the law of conservation of energy. If back radiation from the earth hits something opaque in the atmosphere the energy should bounce and some of that should hit the earth. But since CO2 is a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, its effect should be tiny. That's the theory but reality could be different

The Slayer replied:

The entire basis of the "theory" you mention is incorrect, hence my email to you in the first place. The concept of "heating by back-radiation" is a myth, has never been observed in Nature and can in fact not exist! Imagine if such a heating mechanism did exist, we'd be able to build super-efficient heaters where for an input of 1kW we get 2kW out - or any wattage higher than the input. For sure, any effect off a tiny fraction is tiny, but the only effect that can be scientifically ascribed to adding any gas to the atmosphere is a cooling effect, never a warming effect. With CO2 being a radiatively active gas, it will in fact act as a super-coolant! Only when captured in a bottle will the walls of the bottle warm up more when CO2 is inside, because the re-radiated energy can not get out without first dumping its energy into the material of the bottle. Out in the open, that very same property will cause extra fast cooling of the CO2 molecule, where O2 and N2 can only rely on conductive and convective heatloss. Also remember that in the bigger picture, the sun dumps its heat onto the surface, the air then takes that heat and convects it upwards and sideways with wind - a heatloss situation at all times! Never can more heat be created by recycling the original solar heat - if only! Delayed cooling is not warming; that delay can at best increase the average temperature - a rather meaningless concept as all weather stations are measuring the air at some 5-7ft off the ground!

I replied:

I don't think you have grasped the law of conservation of energy. Where does the energy (heat) go when it hits a CO2 molecule?"

The Slayer replied:

Thanks Ray, there is no point to any further comms.

Does the brevity of the final reply mean that I won the argument? I think so but I also think that the important thing is to have the discussion. Winning and losing are not what science is about. And I am still open to conviction either way. I could be wrong! -- JR

Bill Nye the half-wit guy

How a mechanical engineer got a reputation as a science guy is something of a mystery -- and his deficiencies do show at times. He refers to Mann's hokey "hockeystick" graph as covering 10,000 years when it in fact covered only 1,000 years. And he also said that people's breathing is causing global warming. Even Warmist scientists don't say that. And he repeats the old Malthusian population scare -- one of the most disproven prophecies there is. If he is the best Warmists can trot out, Warmists are in even bigger trouble than I thought

Bill Nye the “Science Guy” joined former Vice President Al Gore in linking global warming to the rapid growth of human populations over the last two centuries.

“In the year 1750, there were about a billion humans in the world,” Nye, who is not actually a scientist, said on Fox Business’ “Stossel.” “Now, there are well over seven — seven billion people in the world. It more than doubled in my lifetime. So all these people trying to live the way we live in the developed world is filling the atmosphere with a great deal more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases than existed a couple of centuries ago.”

“It’s the speed at which it is changing that is going to be troublesome for so many, uh, large populations of humans around the world. Now, you may have heard of the hockey stick graph. This is where, uh, we compare the temperature of the world over the last 10,000 years with the temperature now,” Nye continued, citing the discredited “hockey stick” graph developed by former University of Virginia climate scientist Michael Mann.

Nye made his comments in a debate with global warming skeptic Marc Morano, the editor of the skeptic news site Climate Depot. Morano pushed back by arguing that the “hockey stick” graph has been proven wrong and that peer-reviewed studies have shown that the world was warmer during Roman times and the Middle Ages than it is today.

“It comes down to hundreds of factors are influencing our climate here,” Morano said. “CO2 is not the tail that wagged the dog. Another scientist who has essentially reversed herself is Judith Curry from Georgia Institute of Technology. She now says openly that you cannot control climate by reducing emissions.”

“And that seems to be the entire premise of the United Nations, that somehow, if we tweak emissions through carbon taxes, cap and trade, we can alter weather patterns,” Morano continued. “You opened up with tornadoes and Barbara Boxer. She actually went down to the Senate floor the day of tornadoes and implied a carbon tax would help prevent future tornado outbreaks. This is medieval witchcraft.”

Nye’s comments came after it was reported that failed presidential candidate Al Gore told an audience that “fertility management” was part of the solution to global warming and sustainable development in poor countries.

“Depressing the rate of child mortality, educating girls, empowering women and making fertility management ubiquitously available — so women can choose how many children and the spacing of children — is crucial to the future shape of human civilization,” Gore said at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

The idea that the human populations were too large for the Earth to support became popular in the 1970s when current White House science advisor John Holdren and scientist Paul Ehrlich preached the idea.

Holdren and Ehrlich both testified before the Senate in 1974 that the global economy would stagnate because of overpopulation, which even technological advancement would not be able to mitigate.

“We are going to move to a no-growth [economy],” Ehrlich said. “Now, whether we do it intelligently through the government by planning as rapidly as possible, or whether we move there automatically-by the way, when I look at some of the figures these days, I think we’re moving there much more rapidly than people realize — we’re going to get there, obviously.”

The world population was 3.5 billion in 1968 and food supplies only provided 2,300 calories per person per day in the early 1960s, according to United Nations data. The world’s population has more than doubled since then, but advances in food production technologies have allowed more people to be fed and there are far fewer people in the world suffering from chronic hunger today than in the 1990s. Incomes have also increased and economies have flourished since the 1960s.

Furthermore, global temperatures have been flat for the last 17 years now, despite the fact that the world’s population has grown by about 1 billion people since the late 1990s.


Some Reactions to Obama’s State of the Union Address

“As a society, it is high time for us to recognize and embrace the truth. Contrary to President Obama’s misguided assertion, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Its increasing concentration only minimally affects earth’s climate, while it offers tremendous benefits to the biosphere. Efforts to regulate and reduce CO2 emissions are simply ludicrous. They will hurt far more than they will help.”

“The president said ‘climate change is a fact’ and vowed action via the Environmental Protection Agency in his State of Union Speech, but he did not ask for any new legislation such as the cap-and-trade bill he touted a year ago. As a scientist who knows without a doubt there is no significant man-made global warming, perhaps I should be pleased the president took a softer stance on the issue, But I am far from happy about the state of affairs on the issue.

“It has become purely a rock-solid, lock-step political position of the Democrat Party to believe in global warming, and of the Republican Party to disbelieve. I see no hint that the leadership in either party is truly interested in opening their minds to a scientific debate — to study the evidence and reach a reasoned non-politically motivated position and take actions accordingly.

“Science and politics do not match well. Science is not settled by a vote, and slogans and platform planks are not scientifically significant. It is my deepest regret this has become a political issue. I think we will make little progress in obtaining an open hearing from the public as long as the political leaders line up their followers on one side or the other.”

“President Obama seems to have toned down his climate rhetoric this year given the obvious reality of no rising global temperatures for 17 plus years and the current cold snap gripping the nation. Saying the phrase ‘climate change is a fact’ — is meaningless.

“When our children look us into the eye, we want to tell them that our generation rejected the belief that regulating emissions alters our climate and weather. We want to tell our kids that we rejected the belief that acts of Congress or the UN or the EPA could alter storms or global climate. We want to say ‘Yes we did’ to our kids when they ask us if we stopped bureaucrats at the EPA and in our government from attempting to restrict our energy choices based on the belief politicians can change the weather.”


Podesta: Obama's 'Warmed Up' to Executive Action; Will Use It for 'Climate Change and Energy Transformation Agenda'

President Obama has "warmed up" to using executive authority, and when he believes "he has the authority" to "make progress" without action by Congress, he will do it, White House adviser John Podesta told NPR Tuesday morning.

"But he doesn't like to do this, does he?" the NPR host asked Podesta. "Uh, I think he's warmed up to it," Podesta replied, laughing.

"And I think you'll see that across a wide range of topics, including retirement security, moving forward on his climate change and energy transformation agenda," said Podesta.

"There's a lot that he has the authority to do that's vested in him under the laws of the United States and his constitutional powers, and I think that he's looking forward to a year of action, and I think he's looking forward to tonight (when he gives the State of the Union speech) as a breakthrough year where he can lay out some of these practical, concrete ideas that will get people onboard a stable economic footing and see their wages going up for the first time in a long time," said Podesta.

As an example of what Obama finds acceptable and unacceptable, Podesta pointed to immigration: He said the president would not bypass Congress when it comes to comprehensive immigration reform, but he did stop the deportation of young illegal aliens who were brought to the country as children:

"If he believes, and the Justice department believes, he has the authority to make progress, to strengthen the middle class, give people opportunity in this country, he will take it," Podesta said.

Shortly before Podesta spoke to NPR, the White House announced that President Obama will use his executive authority to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for people working on federal contracts. And he will call on Congress to pass legislation raising the minimum wage for all other Americans.


Climate change: A "serious threat"

By Marita Noon

The current cold covering a large portion of the country has, once again, brought out the climate change alarmists with claims of “serious threat.”

Due to his respected position, as climate scientist at the University of California, San Diego Institution of Oceanography, Richard C.J. Somerville’s recent “Cold comfort” column was published in newspapers throughout the country.

In it, he grouses that the public doesn’t take the “consequences” of climate change seriously — pointing out that they are “here and now.” He cites: “only 54 percent of the public sees it as a global threat to their countries — and only 40 percent of Americans do.”

Somerville suggests: “people either are scientifically illiterate or reject science when it conflicts with their core values or religious convictions.” He posits: “the medical profession and communication experts may have much to teach those climate scientists” because “Priming patients to appreciate the value of medical diagnostic tests has been shown to make them more likely to take these tests and then act on the results.”

What Somerville misses in the analogy is that the data backs up the medical case. For example, getting a mammogram catches breast cancer early and increases survival rates. The data has shown that medical science is correct.

On the contrary, the data doesn’t support the claims made by climate scientists — but they just keep making them. Apparently they believe the “big lie” propaganda technique used so effectively by Adolf Hitler.

In Somerville’s column, he offers several familiar, easily disproven statements:

“Low-lying areas are threatened by sea-level rise” which will result in “millions of environmental refugees” and
“Major threats to agricultural productivity as rainfall patterns change and as heat waves, floods, droughts and other weather extremes worsen.”

Because my expertise is in communications not climate, I reached out to someone who could help me: Robert Endlich — who does in fact have both the education and experience. Endlich, who served as a USAF weather officer for 21 years and holds a BS in geology and an MS in meteorology, offered me pages of data and documentation, which I’ve summarized for my readers.

Environmental Refugees

If the threat of “environmental refugees” sounds familiar, it should. The 2005 UN Environmental Program forecast 50 to 100 million climate refugees. A UN report by Norman Myers: “Environmental Refugees, an Emergent Security Issue,” presented at the 13th Economic Forum, in Prague, May 23-27, 2005 predicted: “The environmental refugees total could well double between 1995 and 2010,” and “When global warming takes hold, there could be as many as 200 million people overtaken by disruptions of monsoon systems and other rainfall regimes, by droughts of unprecedented severity and duration, and by sea-level rise and coastal flooding.” His report was accompanied by a map, indicating areas to be impacted by sea-level rise.

In early 2011, Gavin Atkins asked: “What happened to the climate refugees?” In his Asian Correspondent post, he used census records to show that the populations in the low-lying areas predicted to “flee a range of disasters including sea level rise” had actually grown — including no fewer than the top six of the very fastest growing cities in China.

Based on both in-person observation and historic evidence from Western Europe, Endlich has made a study of sea level rise. Citing geological features such as stream meanders upstream of Pisa on the Arno River and new shorelines on the coast of the Ligurian Sea, and history, he told me: “What may be news to many is that there is widespread evidence in the Mediterranean Basin and the English Channel coast that sea levels in Roman and Medieval periods were significantly higher than at present. The Roman port of Ostia Antica, the port at Ephesus, now in Turkey, and Pisa have histories showing the Mediterranean Seas significantly higher than today’s sea levels.”

Endlich continued: “In 1066, William the Conqueror defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings. Less well-known is when William landed, he first occupied an old Roman fort now known as Pevensey Castle, which at the time was located on a small island in a harbor on England’s south coast. A drawbridge connected castle to mainland. Pevensey is infamous because unfortunate prisoners were thrown out this “Sea Gate,” so that their bodies would be washed away by the tide. Pevensey Castle is now a mile from the coast — further proof of higher sea levels fewer than 1000 years ago.”

The glacial-interglacial temperature data from the past 400,000 years shows each of the previous four interglacials significantly warmer than at present. In fact, a careful analysis of the ice cores from East Antarctica, published as a letter in Nature, shows that maximum temperatures from previous interglacials were at least 6C/10F warmer than present-day temperatures, with CO2 values then about 280 PPM, and today’s values near 400 PPM. Leaving one to ask: “if CO2 is such a strong cause of warming, why is it so cold today?”

Worsening weather extremes

Somerville stated: “The consequences include major threats to agricultural productivity as rainfall patterns change and as heat waves, floods, droughts, and other weather extremes worsen.” Endlich shared the following with me:

Heat Waves: Dr. Judith Curry, Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology offered Senate testimony on January 16, 2014. She showed an analysis of 982 stations from the U.S. Historical Climate Network for the 48 continental states with more than 80 years of record. The data show a strong peak of record maximum daily temperatures occurred in the 1930s, with no increasing trend in the post-WWII years when CO2 started its modern increase.

Of the 50 states, the number of state maximum record temperatures obtained from NOAA’s National Climate Data Center, by decade, shows that in the 1930s, 23 states set their all-time high temperatures, by far the largest number of such record highs. There has not been a single state record maximum set in the 21st Century.

Droughts: The most-often used indicator of drought is the Palmer Drought Severity Index. Curry’s testimony included a PDSI chart, showing the most severe droughts in the 102-year record 1910-2012, were in the 1930s and a lesser maximum in the 1950s. Data show no indication that drought severity has increased as CO2 has increased.

Floods: Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., from the University of Colorado, testified to the Senate EPW Committee on July 18, 2013. With respect to floods, he provided data from the US Geological Survey, which show in the U.S., floods have not increased in frequency or intensity since at least 1950, and that flood losses, as a percentage of GDP have dropped by about 75 percent since 1940, based on data from NOAA’s Hydrologic Information Center.

Somerville says that increasing CO2 will harm plant productivity, but the opposite is true. First, realize that both plants and animals, including humans, are carbon-based life forms. With increasing CO2, there is an incredible array of beneficial effects spelled out in the book, The Many Benefits of Atmospheric CO2 Enrichment, by Craig Idso and Sherman Idso. The benefits include: increasing water-use efficiency; increasing biomass in roots, stems, flowers and nectar; larger seeds; avoiding human starvation and plant and animal extinctions; stimulating early plant growth; and resistance to plant diseases. The carbohydrates we consume when we eat are derived directly from CO2 in the atmosphere; carbohydrates are the source of the energy we need to survive and thrive.

Climate scientists, such as Somerville, do have something to learn from the medical profession: if you want people to heed your warnings, they need to be backed up by the data.

Somerville’s climate refugees cannot be found. In the recent past, interglacial periods were at least 6C/10F warmer than the present with a lot less CO2 in the air; and the Minoan, Roman and Medieval Warm periods were significantly warmer than at present. By historic accounts, sea levels were many feet higher as recently as 1066 and 1300 AD. His claims of heat waves, floods, drought and agricultural disruption are easily disproven by looking at real-world data.

Somerville’s argument points out: “climate change does involve serious threats.” The serious threat is the Obama/Podesta partnership pushing the executive order pen to punish people with new policies that kill jobs and increase energy costs all in the name of supposedly saving the planet.


Powering Down America

Americans may look back in a few decades and see that 2007 was the year that production of electricity peaked in the United States and our nation began powering down.

This may make many on the environmentalist left — including President Barack Obama's top science and technology adviser — very happy.

But it will not make life better for you, your children or your grandchildren.

According to data published by the Energy Information Administration, the United States generated a total of approximately 4,157 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2007. We had never produced that much before. We have never produced that much since.

In 2012, the last full year for which there is data, the United States produced 4,048 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity — down 2.6 percent from 2007.

In the first nine months of 2013, the United States produced 3,078 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity — down from the 3,096 the United States produced in first nine months of 2012.

The shift in the long-term trend in U.S. electricity production becomes more obvious when viewed on a per capita basis.

I took the EIA's numbers for annual total net electricity generation in the United States, which go back to 1949, and divided them by the Census Bureau's estimates for the U.S. population in July of each year.

In 1950, the U.S. produced approximately 334,088 million kilowatt-hours of electricity for a population of 152,271,417. That works out to 0.00219 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per person.

In 1959, the U.S. produced approximately 713,379 million kilowatt-hours of electricity for a population of 177,829,628. That was 0.00401 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per person.

In the ten years from 1950 through 1959, U.S. per capita electricity production increased by 0.00182 — or 83.1 percent.

America in the 1950s was powering up.

From 1960 to 1969, per capita electricity production increased 69.8 percent. America was still powering up — but not as aggressively as in the 1950s.

From 1970 to1979, per capita electricity production grew by 33.6 percent. From 1980 to 1989, it grew by 19.3 percent. And, from 1990 to 1999, it grew by 11.3 percent. But from 2000 to 2009, it declined by 4.4 percent.

Per capita electricity production in this country peaked in 2007, the same year electricity production itself peaked. That year, the United States generated 4,156,745 million kilowatt-hours for a population of 301,231,207 — a per capita production of about 0.01379 million kilowatt hours.

In 2012, the United States produced 4,047,765 million kilowatt-hours of electricity for 313,914,040 people — or 0.01289 million kilowatt-hours per capita.

Per capita electricity production has declined 6.5 percent from its peak of 2007.

In December 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the seasonally adjusted electricity price index hit a record high of 203.186.

In the seventeen years from January 1952 to January 1969, when America was ramping up per capita electricity production, the electricity price index rose from 27.5 to 30.2 — an increase of only 9.8 percent.

In the seventeen years from December 1996 to December 2013, the energy price index rose from 132.2 to 203.186 — an increase of about 53.7 percent.

Americans in 1950 were looking forward to producing more people and more electricity and becoming a much wealthier nation.

What do the environmentalists who occupy our White House in 2013 envision?

John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, joined in 1995 with Paul Ehrlich, the author of "The Population Bomb," and Gretchen Daily of Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology, to co-author a chapter in a book published by the World Bank. The chapter was entitled, "The Meaning of Sustainability: Biogeophysical Aspects."

"We know for certain, for example, that: No form of material growth (including population growth) other than asymptotic growth, is sustainable," Obama's future science adviser pronounced with this co-authors.

"Many of the practices inadequately supporting today's population of 5.5 billion people are unsustainable; and [a]t the sustainability limit, there will be a tradeoff between population and energy-matter throughput per person, hence, ultimately, between economic activity per person and well-being per person," said Holdren and his co-authors.

"This," they concluded, "is enough to say quite a lot about what needs to be faced up to eventually (a world of zero net physical growth), what should be done now (change unsustainable practices, reduce excessive material consumption, slow down population growth), and what the penalty will be for postponing attention to population limitation (lower well-being per person)."

As President Obama moves forward with his plans for America's future energy production and economic well-being, Americans should remember that Obama's science and technology adviser declared 19 years ago that "a world of zero net physical growth" was something that "needs to be faced up to eventually."




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


29 January, 2014

Global cooling hits again

A blast of freezing rain will scatter snow and ice across the Deep South today, prompting officials from New Orleans to Virginia to ready road crews and close schools in what has been called a 'once in a generation' ice storm.

And as the winter storm system brings freezing snow and high winds to the South, the brutal cold temperatures will continue to rattle the Midwest throughout Tuesday.

Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee and other parts of the Midwest will endure a second consecutive day of subzero highs, while much of the Northeast will see temperatures in the single digits and teens, reported.

Popular warm-weather tourist destinations in the South including Charleston in South Carolina, Savannah in Georgia and Pensacola in Florida are expecting ice and even snow - rare occurrences in places that seldom see prolonged sub-freezing temperatures.

Atlanta and Charleston could see temperatures drop to 16F (-9C), while the mercury could plunge to 24F (-4C) in Pensacola. Embarrass, Minnesota will hold the day's coldest temperature of -34F (-36C).

The Weather Channel warned that the heavy accumulation of ice around Savannah and Charleston could spark long power outages and falling trees, blocking off roads and causing travel havoc.

As temperatures continue to drop, more than 3,200 flights have been canceled across the country, according to FlightStats, and Amtrak has reduced some services. Schools, universities and government buildings across the Midwest and South will stay closed today.

Sun is forecast for the Super Bowl kickoff this Sunday - but it will still be the coldest on record.

The Weather Channel predicts a high of 37F (3C) and a low of 24 F (-4C) on Sunday with sun, a low chance of showers and slow winds in East Rutherford, New Jersey, home to the MetLife Stadium.

While this is far kinder than commentators, fans and meteorologists have predicted in the weeks leading up to Sunday's game, it will still take the crown for the coldest ever Super Bowl.

The current record is 39 degrees, which was set in 1972 in New Orleans.

Winter storm alerts have been issued by the National Weather Service stretching from central Texas through the Gulf Coast into Georgia, the Carolinas and far southeast Virginia.

Eastern and central Texas will endure the biggest snow threat in the South, while east North Carolina and southeast Virginia could get more than six inches of snow, The Weather Channel reported.

Weather Channel meteorologist Nick Wiltgen described it as a 'potentially paralyzing winter storm', while winter weather expert, Tom Niziol, said the South could expect weather 'that many parts have not seen in years' - perhaps the biggest ice storm in a generation, NBC reported.

Schools from the Lone Star State to Florida will be closed on Tuesday, while more than 400 flights at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and more than 300 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport have already been canceled for the day, NBC reported.

Already 80 million people are affected by wind chill advisories.

By Friday, however, temperatures will rise above normal for much of the country, according to NBC News' Al Roker.

By Wednesday, the winter storm will head towards the East Coast and reach up to Rhode Island, before heading off shore later that afternoon.

Brutal cold will also continue to blanket the Midwest on Tuesday, as wind chills will reach 50 degrees below zero across the Great Lakes.

Schools will also be shuttered across cities including Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Detroit, Minneapolis and Indianapolis, and government offices in Indianapolis, Galveston and Milwaukee County will also be closed.

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be closed on Tuesday, the first time in 35 years. Tulane University in New Orleans and The Ohio State University in Columbus has also canceled classes.

Amtrak has also canceled a number of train routes in and out of Chicago on Tuesday because of the frigid weather conditions.

The temperatures are also causing ice to accumulate on the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, slowing the movement of grain barges to the U.S. Gulf, according to Drew Lerner, a meteorologist at World Weather Inc.

National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Krein blamed the weather on a surge of arctic high pressure out of Canada that has spread over the upper Midwest and central plains.

Even weather-hardy Midwesterners expressed weariness on Monday with the sub-zero cold snap, the second this month.

'I'm real sick of it,' said Romik Stewart, 20, who was waiting for a bus in Milwaukee to go to his job at a fast food restaurant. 'I've had enough of this already. It's too much.'

'I'm very ready for the spring," said 18-year-old Caroline Burns, a student at Marquette University in Milwaukee, as she walked from her residence hall to class.

In Alaska, the roughly 4,000 residents of Valdez remained cut off to road traffic from the rest of the state Monday after weekend avalanches blocked the road to the coastal town, officials said.


Again! Massive fudging on global-warming temps

An independent data analyst whose work has been published by Principia Scientific, where scientists deliberate and debate, throwing out predetermined political results in favor of the truth in the data, says the global warming activists are at it again.

They’re manipulating the data.

In this case, lowering the historical temperatures for years prior to 2000. Which makes the temperatures after that look like they’ve risen. Which makes it look like global warming.

“A newly uncovered and monumental calculating error in official U.S. government climate data shows beyond doubt that climate scientists unjustifiably added a whopping one degree of phantom warming to the official ‘raw’ temperature record,” the report says.

It comes from the discovery by independent data analyst Steven Goddard, who did a study of the official U.S. temperature records used by NASA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration and others.

He found that for the records, when global temperatures plummeted in 1999, on the official U.S. chart, they didn’t.

Essentially, he said, the charge was revised downward by one degree for readings before 2000. But they “left post-2000 temperatures more or less intact.”

“Does this evidence prove an intentional fraud? Goddard certainly thinks it possible,” the science site analysis explains, “and only a full examination of all the files will show that, one way or the other. … The ramifications are that hundreds of billions of tax dollars have been misallocated to ‘solve’ a non-problem, all due to willful malfeasance and/or incompetence in data handling.”

The analysis continued, “Just last month (December 2013), John Beale, the senior EPA policy adviser, was convicted and jailed for defrauding taxpayers out of $1 million in salaries and expenses. Does a culture of corruption extend through departments associated with climate policy?”

“Climategate” exposes the global warming scam. Get it now at the WND Superstore.

At the CATO Institute, a separate report on 2013 temperatures noted, “Please be advised that this history has been repeatedly ‘revised’ to either make temperatures colder in the earlier years or warmer at the end. Not one ‘adjustment’ has the opposite effect, a clear contravention of logic and probability.”

Columnist Vox Day wrote at Absolute Rights that it’s just another “smoking gun in the fraud-filled field of ‘climate science.’”

“What Goddard has uncovered is that the U.S. temperature records are being massaged and manipulated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in much the same way that the Bureau of Labor Statistics manipulates the unemployment rate,” he writes.

“For example, despite the fact that more Americans are out of work than ever before, the BLS has managed to reduce the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent by simply excluding millions of Americans from the labor force. So, even though the employment-population ratio has fallen from 64.7 percent to 58.6 percent, implying 18.9 million more Americans out of work in a country of 310 million people, the official unemployment rate is down from its 2009 highs,” he said.

“In the same way, NOAA has magically transformed a 90-year cooling tend into a 40-year warming trend by reversing the polarity of its V2 temperature adjustment. … In other words, NOAA artificially lowered temperatures from before the year 2000 by one degree, thereby making all post-2000 temperatures look that much hotter and producing the fictitious ‘warming trend’ that no one who ever goes outside has been able to detect,” he said.

Goddard’s findings, he wrote, included that “discontinuity” at 1998, because even though temperatures plummeted in 1999-2000, “they didn’t in the U.S. graph.”

He said, “NOAA made a big deal about 2012 blowing away all temperature records, but the temperature they reported is the result of a huge error. This affects all NOAA and NASA U.S. temperature graphs …”

He has assembled an animation that takes the U.S. Daily Temperature, U.S. Monthly Temperature and several adjusted versions of the nation’s temperatures to turn a clear cooling trend into a warming trend.

“Bottom line is that the … U.S. temperature record is completely broken, and meaningless. Adjustments that used to go flat after 1990, now go up exponentially. Adjustments which are documented as positive, are implemented as negative,” he found.

CATO’s separate report said, “All can agree that the temperatures in 2013 further extended the ‘pause’ in the global surface temperature record – which now stands at some 17 years. A lot of people are at work trying to explain what’s behind the ‘pause,’ but no matter the cause the longer that it continues, the further from reality climate model projections become.”

Also weighing in was well-known scientist Art Robinson, who spearheaded The Petition Project, which to date has gathered the signatures of 31,487 scientists who agree that there is “no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.”

“This kind of shenanigan has been going on for decades,” he told WND. He said in the past often the lie has been revealed by other scientific tests. For example, the temperature leaves a certain oxygen content level in the skeletons of small animals that end up in the ocean sediment. Those measurements, he said, are a proxy record and reveal that temperatures have not been rising like various graphs and models suggest.

WND reported only weeks ago that Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., author of “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future,” says not only has he seen through the “hoax,” but so have his fellow lawmakers.

In that recent interview with Aaron Klein of “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio” on New York City’s WABC Radio, the host asked Inhofe – in light of Al Gore and other global warming alarmists’ failed predictions – how progressives continue to “get away” with pushing their “green schemes” in the name of climate change.

“They don’t get away with it in the eyes of the American people,” Inhofe answered. “I find fewer and fewer members of the United States Senate that are sympathetic to this whole cause.”

The global-warming scam exposed: Sen. Inhofe’s “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.”

“Those who have read my book, ‘The Greatest Hoax,’ know that this goes way back a long period of time, started by the United Nations,” Inhofe continued. “When they first started talking about the Kyoto Treaty [President Bill] Clinton and Gore, they were all excited about it, and they never submitted it for ratification because they didn’t have the votes. But anyway, that’s when the whole global warming thing started, and frankly, Aaron, I thought there might be something to it – until we found out the cost it would be to the United States of America of $300-$400 billion a year.

“Then we pursued some of these fine scientists who said that the U.N. had rigged the science; then of course in ’09 when ClimateGate came, people realized the United Nations committee, the IPCC, had rigged the science on this thing,” Inhofe said. “Now they’re trying to say this cold thing we’re going through now is just a bump in the climate. That isn’t true at all. It is a hoax.”


New Fear At Davos: Europe Losing The Energy Battle

One of the biggest themes at Davos this year — and one that was not there last year — was "competitiveness." You encountered it whether in the public sessions in the Congress Center, or in the private sessions, and at the various dinners in the hotels strung along the Davos Platz.

This particular rivalry pits the United States head-on against Europe. And, no question — at Davos this year, the United States was judged the clear winner, much to the dispirit of the Europeans trudging back along the icy, snowy streets of this mountain village.

This concern, however, was hardly limited to the annual conclave in the Swiss Alps. It reverberated with simultaneous developments in both Brussels and Berlin that point to the beginning of a major, if difficult, rethink of Europe's energy policies.

Of course, competitiveness among nations gets measured in many different ways. Sometimes, it is in terms of rule of law and sanctity of contracts, regulatory predictability, risks of litigation and class-actions suits — or even the length of time it takes to start a new business.

But this year at Davos, it was calibrated along only one axis — energy. And that measure is creating great angst for European industry. It is also emerging as a challenging issue for policy makers, who, until now, have been quite assured that Europe was on the right course when it came to energy policy.

It all comes down to shale gas and the energy revolution it has triggered in the United States. As a result of the rapid advance of shale technology, the United States now has an abundance of low-cost natural gas — at one-third the price of European gas. European industrial electricity prices are twice as high as those in some countries and are much higher than those in the United States. To a significant degree, this is the result of a pell-mell push toward high-cost renewable electricity (wind and solar), which is imposing heavy costs on consumers and generating large fiscal burdens for governments. In Germany, it was further accentuated by the premature shutdown of its existing nuclear industry after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.

All this puts European industrial production at a heavy cost disadvantage against the United States. The result is a migration of industrial investment from Europe to the United States — what one CEO called an "exodus." It involves, not only energy-intensive industries like chemicals and metals, but also companies in the supply chains that support such industries.

A year ago at Davos, this question was hardly evident. I can recall only one discussion on the topic last year, and it was over a cup of coffee in the cramped lounge halfway up the main staircase. But this year, the issue was at the top of the agenda. In one session I attended, a senior European official declared that Europe needs to wake up to the "strategic reality" that shale gas in the United States is a "total game changer." Without a change in policies at both the European and national levels, he warned, Europe "will lose our energy intensive industries — and we will lose our economy long term."

Yet the competitiveness gap will continue to expand as Europe remains locked in a path of still-higher costs — unless there is a change in policy. And the first signs of a potential change of policy abruptly emerged in both Brussels and Berlin during Davos week. European policy makers, struggling with already high unemployment, have begun to visualize the further job loss that will result from shutting down European plants. They have also started to pay attention to the 2.1 million jobs in in the United States supported by the unconventional oil and gas revolution.

In Brussels, coinciding with the first day of Davos, the European Commission released a new policy paper on energy and climate. It reiterated the commitment to substantial growth in renewable electricity and a "low-carbon economy." But, for the first time, it put heavy emphasis on the price of such policies and called for a "more cost-efficient approach" to renewables. It warned of the mortal risk facing "industries that have high share of energy costs and which are exposed to international competition." It declared that policies have to promote "competitive" as well as "sustainable energy" — a juxtaposition that was not heard before. It even warned that "the rapid development of renewable energy sources now poses new challenges for the energy system."

Notably, the new policy statement went out of its way to observe that "the availability of shale gas in the USA has substantially lowered natural gas prices there as well as electricity generated from natural gas." Despite the fervent opposition to shale gas in some quarters in Europe, it pointedly included shale gas as among the domestic low-carbon energy sources that member countries can pursue.

This was all the more significant in that the commission is acknowledging the reality of the shale revolution and rejecting the view of Europe's anti-shale activists that America's shale gas abundance is only a "bubble," destined to soon disappear.

A similar message resounded at exactly the same time from Berlin. Sigmar Gabriel, the social democratic minister of economy and energy in Germany's coalition government, called for reform in Germany's Energiewende — or "energy turn" policy — which has heavily subsidized the rapid growth in renewable electricity. He warned that the "anarchy" in renewable energy and its costs in Germany had to be reined in: "The whole economic future of our country is riding on this," he said. "We have reached the limits of what we can ask of our economy."


Admit It, Greenies: The Game’s Up For Renewable Energy

David Cameron is a most reliable weather vane. Last week, surrounded by billionaire industrialists in Davos, the prime minister proclaimed that Britain would follow America in a single-minded drive to reduce its energy costs for manufacturers, via the oil and gas extraction process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Last month, however, he told Tim Farron, president of the Liberal Democrats, that he agreed that man-made climate change arising from carbon-based energy production was the cause of the recent “destructive” storms in the UK.

But then again, last November the PM told a group of Tories that he would be focusing on getting rid of all the “green crap”— part of his response to Ed Miliband’s pledge to freeze energy prices. Well, that’s coalition government for you — tell your own party’s backbenchers that you are fed up with excessive subsidies for giant onshore wind turbines and your Lib Dem colleagues that you are still “the greenest government ever”.

Angela Merkel seems to manage the running of coalition governments in Germany without giving such an impression of hastily improvised — and contradictory — policy lurches; and the stolid German chancellor has on more than one occasion been exasperated by Cameron’s student-essay-crisis style of decision-making.

On the other hand, it is better to have no plan at all than a bad plan carried out with iron consistency. For it is Germany’s energy policy that is the real disaster — or, as one former EU commissioner put it at a meeting I attended a fortnight ago: “It is the stupidest policy ever proposed by any post-war German government — unless, that is, the purpose is to destroy Germany’s hard-won competitiveness.”

A few days ago the European Commission belatedly acknowledged the self-impoverishment threatened by its renewable energy policies, and abandoned its previous insistence on maintaining mandatory targets for each of the 28 member states in the union.

Europe’s biggest economy had revealed the full idiocy of the existing policy. By giving massive subsidies to renewables — about £17bn last year alone — Germany had, in the words of a Spiegel editorial, “been forcing other power plants out of the market. Only cheap coal can compete on price … The insane system to promote renewable energy sources ensures that with each new rooftop solar panel and each additional wind turbine, more coal is automatically burnt and more CO2 released into the atmosphere.”

In fact Merkel’s “insane” policies, especially the decision to abandon nuclear, the only significant generator of non-intermittent CO2-free power, were also partly based on the exigencies of domestic party politics. Just as Cameron had declared “vote blue, go green” before the 2010 general election, so Merkel had been determined to neutralise the Green party, a powerful political opponent, ahead of last year’s general election in Germany. It worked; but as Die Welt pointed out last week, “It is the German taxpayer who now has to meet the costs of this political success.”

In fact it is increasingly not the taxpayer who will be charged directly for those vast costs, but German industry. The European Commission is mounting a legal challenge to the more than 4,000 subsidies in Germany for renewable energy, partly on the grounds that such handouts were never meant to be given to “mature” industries: believe it or not, the single biggest source of renewable energy in Europe is wood-burning.

Come to that, wind power’s been in use for more than 2,000 years. It was what we used for energy production before we moved to vastly more productive fossil fuels: the breakthrough (known as the Industrial Revolution) that moved millions from subsistence to prosperity.

In modern Germany, industry carries a much more powerful political stick than the ordinary consumer: if it has to pay the full market price for its energy — now more than double that paid by rivals in America — it will simply move out. The Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal was hardly exaggerating when he said last week: “Unless the EU takes action … [it] could destroy the manufacturing industries that are the backbone of the European economy.”

In fact, what is required is not action by Brussels, but masterful inaction: that is, to abandon its catastrophic “green policies” and let European companies buy their energy at the best possible price.

This crisis in Europe — facing nothing less than complete de-industrialisation — is now fracturing, or rather fracking, the green movement here. Last week Lord Deben, the government’s independent adviser on climate change, while insisting that “nobody could be more enthusiastic about renewables than I”, unequivocally backed the idea that Britain should now begin to exploit its vast and untapped onshore shale gas deposits. He told The Guardian that those opposed to all oil and gas fracking were “nonsensical extremists . . . very close to sort of Trotskyite politics”.

The politician previously known as John Gummer had named no names, but the executive director of Greenpeace UK, John Sauven, identified himself, responding that his group “supports John Gummer on many things, but he does make mistakes. His vigorous advocacy of fracking is looking like a bigger one than his famous feeding of a hamburger to his daughter during the height of the BSE crisis … he’d be better off sticking up for energy efficiency and renewables. That is the only sure way to ensure jobs, green growth and stable energy bills into the future.” Sure: jobs in China and America.


Germany’s Solar Energy Jobs Collapse

The number of jobs in the German solar energy industry has more than halved in two years, figures released by the government on Tuesday revealed.

Unable to keep up with competition with Chinese producers, big solar producers such as Conergy, Solon and Q-Cells have all registered for insolvency over the past few years.

With their demise came job losses. Figures from the Federal Office for Statistics, seen by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), revealed a huge drop.

Since the beginning of 2012, more than half of the then 10,200 solar energy jobs in Germany have been cut.

For the first time in nearly half a decade, the number of Germans working in the solar business stood at under 5,000 in 2014.

The number of working hours available to those still with jobs in the sector is 625,000 – compared with 1.4 million at the beginning of 2012.

In an attempt to control the decline, the EU put a protective tax on on imported panels last summer.

This saw lots of Chinese companies raising their costs, but it does not seem to have had much of an effect on homegrown production.


When you need more power to keep the lights on the answer is most certainly NOT blowing in the wind

TERRY MCCRANN comments from Australia

THANK God - or Gaia - for King Coal. But for our coal-fired power stations, in last week's heat, the lights and air conditioners and everything else would have gone off for Victorians and South Australians.

If we'd been relying on wind farms, we would have had multiple blackouts and hundreds, if not thousands of extra deaths.

No doubt to Green fanatics like Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, that would have been a price worth paying - just like the thousand or more who have drowned because of the disastrous Labor-Green asylum-seeker policies - to enable her consequence-lite moral (actually, totally IM-moral) preening.

As my colleague Andrew Bolt has pointed out, back in 2011, Senator Hanson-Young was asked after another 200 people had been lured to their deaths by the Labor policies they supported, whether the Greens took any responsibility.

Her reply: "Of course not. Tragedies happen, accidents happen."

Presumably she's say the same at the many, many, more deaths that would occur in a heatwave, if we were crazy enough to embrace her dark-Green agenda and close down our coal-fired power stations and replace them - correction, pretend to replace them - with wind and solar.

The evidence is clear, unambiguous and undeniable. Except of course to deniers like Hanson-Young and Tristan Edis of the - embarrassingly, also our - Climate Spectator website.

When you need more power to keep the lights on, to keep industry working, to, at its most basic, keep people alive, the answer is most certainly NOT blowing in the wind.

When we needed more power last week, wind went missing in action. This truth is captured in the graphs.

When power usage was exploding from 6000MW to over 10,000MW and peaking above 12,000MW, the - already marginal - contribution from wind was almost invariably going down.

The graphs show that on only one day of the four-days of plus-40 degree heat across southern Australia, did wind provide anything close to a sustained - but still essentially insignificant - contribution to Victorian and South Australian power supply.

On each of the other three days, wind power essentially went missing for a number of hours right at critical times. On Tuesday, wind output dropped almost to zero for a sustained period right at the peak of the heat in the afternoon.

The data comes from the excellent windfarmperformance website of Andrew Miskelley. He collects the raw data from the official AEMO - Australian Energy Market Operator - feed, and publishes wind farm output at five minute intervals for the full 24 hours of every day.

The data gives the lie to the core claim made for wind farms - that if you scatter them across enough territory, the wind will always "be blowing somewhere."

Well, for three hours on Wednesday, we got barely 140 megawatts (MW) in total out the 28 wind farms "scattered" across NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

That's 140MW when demand was peaking at over 10,000MW. Thank you coal.

The wind farms are - jokingly - supposed to have a total capacity of 2660 MW. So we were getting power equal to just 5 per cent or so of that 'capacity.'

There are two other equally significant - and utterly damming - messages in the graphs.

The first is that it is precisely when you need more power, that wind falls off. When it gets hot.

Through most of the heat of Tuesday, that 2660MW of joke-capacity was producing 600MW falling to 400MW. On Wednesday, apart from the three hours of essentially nothing, for the whole of the rest of the day, we got barely 300-400MW.

Thursday was the only day where we saw a sustained, semi-reasonable contribution. But then it was still mostly only around 900MW.

Friday saw some hours of around 1200MW. Except it spiked down to 400MW, or less than 4 per cent of power demand - smack in the middle of the afternoon, when we needed the power most.

This points to the second damming message. Precisely because the wind can stop blowing - and as we can see, it can stop blowing right across Southern Australia at the same time - you have to keep real power stations ticking over all the time, to be able to pick up the slack.

Even warmist propagandist Edis tacitly - and completely unknowingly - admits this, in his ludicrous attempt to claim reliability for wind.

On his website he wrote that AEMO had an "ace up its sleeve" - being able to accurately forecast the amount of wind power that would be generated 24-hours in advance.

He charted the forecasts against the actual output and showed a remarkable - indeed impressive - co-relation.

Leading him to triumphantly conclude that gave both AEMO and the generators advance notice as to when "wind generation was likely to be low such that they can be prepared to fill the gap."

In doing so he beautifully - and so totally unknowingly - captured the point: that coal-fired power stations have to be kept ready to take over when …. the wind don't blow.

It also didn't help his case that his article carried a correction that the accurate forecasting wasn't 24 hours ahead but just a single hour.

What a way to run a grid - checking whether the wind is blowing and then 'forecasting' it will continue to for the next hour. And, oh by the way, having a nice coal-fired station to call up when it doesn't.

Further and fundamentally, we can handle this when wind is barely 5 per cent or so - 10 per cent on a rare good day or hour - of the grid. That's to say, while wind is still essentially a vanity highly expensive Green-warmist feel-good form of power generation.

It would be impossible - even with what Edis thinks is the luxury of a single hour's notice - in a grid where wind was a much bigger component. That would be especially so, if the coal-fired stations were actually decommissioned.

In the classic dishonest warmist way, Edis tries to suggest that wind is actually more reliable because in the middle of last week, one of Loy Yang A's generators went down, going from generating 450MW to zero in minutes.

"This outage was certainly not forecast in advance," he snarkily added.

No it obviously wasn't. But there's one huge difference in a rare accident to a single generator in a coal-fired plant and the times - the many times - that the entire wind industry goes to zero or near enough to zero.

Perhaps Edid can tell us how many times have all the generators in all the coal-fired stations gone to zero at the same time?

That's the absolutely damning point about the uselessness of wind. You can't just take a 'time-out' when they go to zero. You either have blackouts or you substitute.

You have to keep extra coal-fired - or gas - stations ticking over, literally 24/7, to be able to supply power when …. what's that phrase again? Oh yes …. when the wind don't (so often) blow.




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


28 January, 2014

Fracking could be allowed under British homes without owners’ permission

Fracking will be allowed to take place under homes without the owners’ permission, under plans being considered by the Government.

Ministers have admitted that they are looking at overhauling trespass laws to make it easier for energy companies to explore for shale gas, amid concern that efforts could otherwise be stymied by lengthy and costly court proceedings.

The plans, expected to be published for consultation in coming months, are likely to be the most controversial yet in the Prime Minister’s attempts to encourage fracking.

Shale gas exploration typically involves drilling down vertically and out horizontally, often for more than a mile. Under current law, companies need permission from all the landowners beneath whose land they drill. Case law shows they would otherwise be committing trespass. If a landowner refused permission, the company would have to take them to court, which would decide whether to award drilling rights and how much compensation should be paid.

While compensation is likely to be a nominal amount – probably less than £100 – companies fear the court proceedings could be costly and drawn out by years of appeals, and have been lobbying for the law to be changed.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has now confirmed that it is reviewing whether the existing process is “fit for purpose”.

A Whitehall source said: “All options are on the table. It would be difficult to implement a regime that removed any kind of compensation. You could change the rules so you have a de facto right, but then you have to pay. The compensation could be less than £100.”

One option would be the introduction of a kind of compulsory purchase regime, similar to that used by companies needing to lay pipelines underground. Fracking involves pumping water, sand and chemicals down a well at high pressure to fracture the rocks and extract gas trapped within them, and is fiercely opposed by environmental groups.

Greenpeace has sought to use the existing law to block fracking by encouraging thousands of landowners in shale-rich areas to declare that they do not give consent for drilling. Legal experts said landowners could attempt to take out injunctions, presenting a further barrier for companies.

If trespass law were changed, companies would still need to negotiate access rights for the surface drilling site as well as planning permission from the local council and other permissions from government and environmental regulators.

A spokesman for the DECC said: “Shale gas and oil operations that involve fracking in wells drilled over a mile down are highly unlikely to have any discernible impacts closer to the surface.

“Like any other industrial activity, oil and gas operations require access permission from landowners. But there is an existing legal route by which operators can apply for access where this can’t be negotiated. We’re currently considering whether this existing route is fit for purpose. Similar access issues apply to deep geothermal energy projects.”


Hard Leftist NYC Mayor Supports Moratorium on Fracking in NY – ‘Too Much Danger’

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in on the hydraulic fracturing debate in his state during a press conference Thursday in Washington, D.C.

“The one thing I’m firm about is I don’t see any place for fracking,” de Blasio told reporters at the U.S. Conference of Mayors when asked what his policy would be “as far as developing oil, natural gas and other traditional energy sources in the state.”

“The science simply isn’t reliable enough; the technology isn’t reliable enough, and there’s too much danger to our water supply, to our environment in general,” de Blasio said.

“So, my view is there should be a moratorium on fracking in New York state until the day comes that we can actually prove it’s safe, and I don’t think that day is coming any time soon,” he said.

"Hydraulic fracturing is a well stimulation process used to maximize the extraction of underground resources; including oil, natural gas, geothermal energy, and even water," according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

"The oil and gas industry uses hydraulic fracturing to enhance subsurface fracture systems to allow oil or natural gas to move more freely from the rock pores to production wells that bring the oil or gas to the surface," the EPA noted.

In early 2013, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, also a Democrat, effectively put a halt to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the state until the practice was studied by the state’s environmental and health officials, according to the New York Post. The results of those studies have not been revealed, according to the Post, and the moratorium continues.

Reid Porter, spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute, an oil and natural gas trade association, disagrees with de Blasio’s claim.

“Both government and private research, including Department of Interior’s own research finalized since the original May 2012 proposed rule for hydraulic fracturing on public lands, continues to show that there are no documented cases of hydraulic fracturing contaminating groundwater, from the Marcellus Shale to California,” Porter told

“Fortunately, U.S. advancements in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have unlocked vast energy reserves here in the United States,” Porter said. “And those new supplies have significantly lowered the cost of keeping a majority of American homes and businesses warm.”

Porter said the technology is benefitting the New York City and can improve the state’s economy.

“New York City already benefits from hydraulic fracturing,” Porter said. “In New York City Mayor de Blasio has a program encouraging business and homeowners to convert to cleaner-burning natural gas and save as much as 50 percent in energy costs.

“The Upstate economy, three hours from NYC, is the lowest rated economy in the state and needs the economic growth that hydraulic fracturing will bring,” Porter said. “The unemployed New Yorkers who work with their hands, including farmers, landowners and manufacturers, see plenty of room for lifting the moratorium on safe, responsible natural gas development.”


It is immoral for Al Gore to organize "fertility management" for other nations

Eco-Fascists seem oblivious to historical parallels

Various influential and would-be influential people have gathered at the annual meeting in Davos. Folks like Al Gore and Bill Gates are among them. These two participated in the panel

Al Gore started to talk around 14:55 in the video and advocated "fertility management" in Africa, something that sounds scary. You could think that he has explicitly talked about forced sterilization but he actually hasn't – he has left the issue of the methods ambiguous. At any rate, it is very clear that he is obsessed with the idea of the reduction of the number of Africans and in this sense, he is no different than the German Nazis who wanted to gradually phase out Slavs on their stolen territories.

Al Gore may differ from Adolf Hitler in the extent but he doesn't differ qualitatively, in the principle. And both men were or are rooting for morally indefensible policies. In the Western, enlightened understanding of the world, it is up to every family to decide how many children it has – or to allow the kids to arrive as Nature or God wishes. Even in not-so-enlightened nations where the individual rights are not considered precious, it is up to the broader community – the nation itself – to decide whether and how the number of children is regulated.

China just began to dismantle its one-child policy.

It is impossible not to think that there's some racism and stunning hypocrisy if a jerk who has produced four children is "working" on the reduction of the number of newborn babies in a completely different nation.

And let me tell you something. Africa as a continent isn't and, in a foreseeable future, won't be overpopulated. There is one billion people (it should be still below 1.4 billion in 2025) living in Africa whose area is 30 million squared kilometers. So the average population density is the same 30+ people as you may find in the U.S. – which is "like" one-third of Africa, both when it comes to the population and the territory.

To compare, the population density is 130+ in Czechia, 490+ in the Netherlands, and 7,700+ people per square kilometer in Singapore. (Monaco with 18,000+ and Macau with 20,000+ are too small to be taken seriously but Singapore has over 5 million people.)

The continuing relative poverty of Africa isn't caused by overpopulation. It isn't caused by the continent's inability to provide the people with the resources. It is mostly due to the insufficient sophistication of their economies which is linked to poor education systems and perhaps their lower economic potential. But whatever the GDP or IQ or economic potential is, they are still people and should be sort of free.

Al Gore likes to liken climate skeptics to some unpopular groups – "homophobes", alcoholics, and others. His explanations for these analogies are extremely contrived; they really make no sense. He is just calling other people names. His problem is that his similarities to Adolf Hitler are not contrived at all because he is proposing some almost identical policies that as the Nazi leader did.


Ex-EPA Official Testifies of Agency Plan to 'Modify DNA of the Capitalist System'

Well, if anyone has beef with the new regulations coming out of the Environmental Protection Agency, this latest development won't give you peace of mind. A deposition released by the House Oversight Committee shows an ex-EPA official testifying under oath in December of last year that the agency intended to "modify the DNA of the capitalist system."

Now, it should be noted that the official is John Beale, who pled guilty last September to defrauding the government of nearly $900,000 in pay and bonuses. He also masqueraded as a CIA agent.

The part about changing the capitalistic dynamic in the U.S. is mentioned on page 19 of the deposition. Here, he describes a meeting on April 29, 2010 with then-assistant administrator Gina McCarthy of the Office of Air and Radiation - who now heads the EPA.

Beale recounted a discussion he had with McCarthy regarding a project:

"I'd been working in the environmental business for a long time, and although generally the western world has made good progress, and the United States has been particularly successful about improving the environment in terms of things like water quality and air quality, we're reaching the limits of traditional regulatory process to do that, largely because the fundamental dynamic of the capitalistic system is for businesses and individuals to try to externalize all costs. That's the way the system and individuals can maximize profits and minimize costs.

"In addition to that, pollution is being transported globally around the planet, and we're reaching the limits of what we can do technologically to protect our citizens without having more impact on other countries. In other words, we need to get reductions from some of these other countries. That's the type of project I wanted to work on. That's what we talked about."

When asked if he worked on the project, Beale said, "I certainly did."

When asked if "any work product ever get produced as a result of that work," Beale said:

"It depends on how one defines work project. There were several phases of this project as we had outlined it. There's an enormous body of literature on the subject. Sometimes, it's referred to [as] sustainability literature, sometimes it's referred to green economics. And so, phase 1 of the project was for me to become very familiar and transversant [sic] with that literature. Phase 2 would have been out and interviewing academic experts, business experts, people in other countries that are doing things. And, then, phase 3 would have been coming up with specific proposals that could be - could have been proposed either legislatively or things which could have been done administratively to kind of modify the DNA of the capitalist system, which is not new."

"It's happened tens of times through the history of the capitalist system being there. It's not a God-given system that was created once and never changes. It changes all the time," he said.

Now, that's quite a claim, sir.


A Very Cold Reality

By Alan Caruba

It’s not as if those in the Northeast have not experienced bone-chilling cold or that it is predicted to extend from the Midwest down into our southern States. There may possibly be a snow storm that will require the National Football League to reschedule the Sunday, February 2nd Superbowl at the MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Crews spent 18 hours working to remove the snow from last week’s storm.

A visit to yielded headlines of news stories last week that included “Record Cold—Millions of Americans hit by Propane Shortage”, “Ice and Snow Closed Texas highways This Morning”, “Ice-cover Shuts Down Work on New Hudson River Bridge”, and so you understand this is a global phenomenon, “Kashmir—Heaviest January Snowfall in a Decade”, “Heavy Snowfall Sweeps Eastern Turkey”, “Romania—Heavy Snowfall and Blizzard”. And “Bangkok Suffers Coldest Night in Three Decades—Death Roll Mounts.”

Meteorologist Joe D’Aleo of WeatherBell Analytics and editor of says that, as the President addresses the nation on Tuesday, every State will have freezing temperatures and parts or all of 27 States will be below zero.

All this is occurring as President Barack Obama is anticipated to talk about “climate change”, a warming Earth, during his Tuesday State of the Union speech. He will be speaking to the idiots who still think the Earth is warming because they are too stupid or lazy to ask why it is so cold.

Michael Bastasch, writing for The Daily Caller on Saturday, confirmed D’Aleo’s and other meteorologist’s forecasts. “The bitter cold that has hit the U.S. East Coast is expected throughout February, and on Jan 28—the day of the address—the Mid-Atlantic region is expected to be hit with freezing cold air that could drive temperatures below zero in big cities among the I-95 corridor.”

Washington, D.C. will be one of those cities, but as Bastasch reported, “Environmentalists and liberal groups are urging Obama to use the speech to reaffirm his commitment to fighting global warming. ‘President Obama should rank the battle against climate change as one of his top priorities in his State of the Union speech next week’, said Center for Clean Air Policy president Ned Heime.”

For environmentalists, it does not matter if the real climate is a deep cold. They committed to the lies about global warming in the late 1980s and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel and Climate Change (IPCC) has maintained the hoax ever since. Along the way we learned that the computer models on which it based its assertions and predictions were rigged and bogus, but that has not deterred the IPCC which is now referring to a “pause” in global warming. This is lying on a global scale.

It was the environmental group Greenpeace that put out a television advertisement featuring a Santa Claus telling children that he might have to call off Christmas because the North Pole was melting. How malicious can they get? When a group of global warming scientists and tourists took a ship to the Antarctic to measure the “melting” ice down there, the ship got caught in the ice which also resisted the efforts of two icebreaker ships to rescue them.

We are dealing with environmental groups, the IPCC and government leaders like Obama for whom the telling of huge and blatantly obvious lies about global warming is nothing compared to the billions generated by the hoax for the universities and scientists that line their pockets supporting it and industries that benefit by offering ways to capture carbon dioxide or conserve energy by first banning incandescent light bulbs.

The “pause” has lasted now for seventeen years and, as is the case with all climate on the Earth, the reason is the Sun.

A report published by CBN News noted that “The last time the sun was this quiet, North America and Europe suffered through a weather event from the 1600s to the 1800s known as ‘Little Ice Age’ when the Thames River in London regularly froze solid, and North America saw terrible winters. Crops failed and people starved.”

Jens Pedersen, a senior scientist at Denmark’s Technical University, said that climate scientists know the Earth stopped warming 15 years ago. But the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of which Pedersen is an expert reviewer, suppressed a recent report from its own scientists that the U.N.’s climate model has been proven wrong.

“Global warming is nowhere to be found,” said David Deming, a geophysicist at the University of Colorado, in a January 16 commentary in The Washington Times. “As frigid conditions settled over the nation, global-warming alarmists went into full denial mode”, adding that “weather extremes also seem to bring out the lunatic fringe” and that is why the public is being told that cold weather has been caused by global warming!

Whatever the President has to say about “climate change” should be taken as just one more example of five years of lies to advance policies that have nothing to do with the welfare of Americans needing jobs or the execrable Obamacare attack on the U.S. healthcare system.

The cold reality may well be a Superbowl played on another day and a President for whom the truth is incidental to his shredding of the U.S. Constitution, the increase in the nation’s ever-growing debt, a lagging economy, and his intention to by-pass Congress rather than working with it.

That kind of thing will put a chill up any American’s spine if you think about it.


Australian Federal government to seek independent review of the health impact of wind farms

The federal government will press ahead with "an independent program" to study the supposed impact on health of wind farms as it emerged a report on the issue has been handed to government but withheld from public release.

Activists, some linked to climate change sceptic groups, say people living near wind farms suffer sleep disturbance and other health effects from low-frequency noise and infrasound, with illnesses dubbed ''wind turbine syndrome'', ''vibro-acoustic disease'' and ''visceral vibratory vestibular disturbance''.

Various international and Australian studies have cast doubt on the sicknesses and the National Health and Medical Research Council began its review of evidence about the effects of wind farms for the government in September 2012. Its findings have been sent to the ministers of health, industry and environment and will be released publicly "in coming months", a council spokeswoman said

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this month that research should be refreshed "from time to time" to consider whether there were "new facts that impact on old judgments".

"It is some years since the NHMRC last looked at this issue. Why not do it again?" he said.

A spokesman for Mr Abbott declined to clarify whether the Prime Minister knew of the council's latest study when calling for the council to reopen the issue.

Competing concerns

A "rapid review" of the evidence by the council in 2010 found "renewable energy generation is associated with few adverse health effects compared with the well-documented health burdens of polluting forms of electricity generation". About three-quarters of eastern Australia's power comes from coal.

Simon Chapman, a professor of public health at Sydney University, said Mr Abbott appeared to have been swayed by a tiny group of anti-windfarm campaigners, such as the Waubra Foundation, in calling for another study even before the survey of scientific literature is released.

"We all need to be concerned about whether he’s being influenced by little more than a cult,” Professor Chapman said, adding that research to date has failed to link wind farms under current noise guidelines with ill-health.

Sarah Laurie, chief executive of the Waubra Foundation, supports the extra study. “Research and data if done properly is what enables proper regulation,” Ms Laurie said.

The NHMRC study should not only look at noise impacts from wind farms but also similar effects from coal seam gas and open-cut coal mining operations, she added.

The wind industry is concerned the prospect of a new study is the latest sign governments are turning against renewable energy. Mr Abbott, other coalition figures and his senior business advisor Maurice Newman have lately blamed the Renewable Energy Target for pushing up power prices.

The goal, now set at generating 20 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2020, will be reviewed this year. Industry sources say the environment and industry ministries are resisting efforts to have the Productivity Commission - expected to take a hardline against the RET - conduct the review.




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


27 January, 2014

That "submerged" heat

Warmists are clinging to their "ocean heat" theory like rats clinging to the debris from a shipwreck. That the hiatus in land surface warming accompanied by a big CO2 buildup DISPROVES their theory they cannot contemplate.

On the global warming theory as I see it, CO2 reflection is such a minor source of heating that the effects of variations in it SHOULD be so minuscule as to be undetectable -- and the facts tally with that. So both theory and observations point to CO2 levels as being of no concern.

So the theory that there is "missing" heat that has somehow buried itself in the ocean deeps is just desperate ad hocery. But even Warmists need SOMETHING to back up their theories so what is it? It's not much. Judith Curry has just done an extensive coverage of what little we know of deep ocean temperatures and finds that it is only guesswork that transforms what we know into support for the theory. A few excerpts:

Reanalysis versus observations

So exactly where does the argument come from that the deep ocean is sequestering the ‘missing heat’? It seems to come from the Balmaseda et al paper that is based on ocean reanalysis

Now, the theoretical advantage of ocean data assimilation is that it ‘fills in’ unsampled regions using the model dynamics and thermodynamics. Lets compare the Balmaseda et al. reanalysis with the observational climatologies. Focus first on the 0-700 curves, and compare with the corresponding figures in the AR5 and Lyman & Johnson. Balmaseda et al. shows a large increase from 1983-1992 (between the two volcanoes), whereas most of the observational climatologies show little trend during this period and none show a large trend during this entire period. The strong warming trend shown by the observations during the period 1995-2003 followed by weaker trend since 2003, contrasts with Balmaseda that shows no trend between 1992 and 2000, and then a strong warming trend since 2000.

The most surprising thing about the Balmaseda analysis is that the warming increases with increasing depth (largest warming for the 0-7000 m layer). In comparing Balmaseda with the other figures, pay attention to the different scaling for the OHC. But the bottom line is that there does not seem to be any observational support for this large sequestration of heat in the deep ocean that is shown by the reanalysis.

Warming trends (0-2000 m) are seen in the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic, with slight cooling trends in the Pacific and North Atlantic. Now it seems difficult to me to cook up an explanation for this regional variation in trends that relies on external forcing, although I suspect that someone will think of some rationale for aerosol/black carbon forcing to explain this. This most likely reflects natural internal variability. It doesn’t look like an AGW signal to me.

JC summary

Roger Pielke Sr. has often stated that ocean heat content is a much better metric for climate change than surface temperature. I don’t prefer one over the other as an intrinsic metric (they provide two different pieces of information), but I find the ocean heat content data to be a much less mature data set than the surface temperature data set. The sampling particularly of the mid to deep ocean is very sparse prior to 2000. And the oceanographic community is still debating the calibration of MBT and XBT profiles. There is substantial disagreement among the various OHC climatologies, and there are no OHC climatologies prior to 1950. Global sea level trend data suggests substantial thermal expansion in the earlier part of the 20th century, which is an issue that seems insufficiently explored.

Ocean reanalyses can potentially provide new insights into global OHC variations, but ocean reanalysis is in its infancy.

The main issue of interest is to what extent can ocean heat sequestration explain the hiatus since 1998. The only data set that appears to provide support for ocean sequestration is the ocean reanalysis, with the Palmer and Domingues 0-700 m OHC climatology providing support for continued warming in the upper ocean.

All in all, I don’t see a very convincing case for deep ocean sequestration of heat. And even if the heat from surface heating of the ocean did make it into the deep ocean, presumably the only way for this to happen involves mixing (rather than adiabatic processes), so it is very difficult to imagine how this heat could reappear at the surface in light of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.


Miss global warming yet? Just you wait…

By Larry Bell

Perhaps you noticed a recent chill in the air. So did some numb Green Bay Packer fans who watched their team get frozen out of the NFL playoffs by the San Francisco 49ers in near-zero temperatures, Israeli residents confined to homes by three feet of snow that fell in Jerusalem as the worst winter storm in decades swept through the Middle East, and a group of Australian climate scientists hell-bent upon documenting global warming aboard a Russian ship that got dangerously trapped in Antarctic sea ice.

And sure, while climate really does change, none of such incidents really mean much in the context of longer-term trends. After all, the term “climate” generally refers to patterns extending over periods of at least three decades (depending a whole lot on when you begin measuring). Like for example, there was a period from about 1940 to the early 1970s when records showed a cooling trend. Some scientists at that time even predicted that the Earth was heading for the next in a regular series of Ice Ages.

The popular press, including Time, Newsweek, and the New York Times, featured these claims in a number of alarming headline articles. Within only about half of a 30-year-long climate period later media attention shifted to a new and opposite threat…one that set Al Gore’s pants on fire during his 1988 Senate hearings on the matter.

By that time the United Nations had already determined that global warming was a crisis and that human fossil fuel CO2 emissions were the cause. To avoid any doubt of just how bad conditions were and who was most responsible the UN convened an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which rapidly fixed blame on rich nations.

From there the UN was less than a frenetic hop, skip and jump away from prescribing solutions. In short order they established a cap and trade program (the Kyoto Protocol) to tax carbon emissions, plus demanded additional economic penance from developed countries for all that climate damage their prosperity is causing.

Then everything ran into an unanticipated snag…that “best laid plans of mice and men going awry” conundrum thing. Just when those random noise data IPCC hockey stick chart-producing computer programs predicted carbon dioxide-driven temperatures going orbital and sea levels flooding Capitol Hill, something went terribly wrong.

Yup, in case you noticed, global temperatures went flat, and have stayed that way now since the time most of today’s high school students were born. Incidentally, we’re at that time now Al predicted in his December 10, 2007, “Earth has a Fever” Nobel Prize acceptance speech that Arctic summer sea ice could “completely disappear.”

Instead, the Arctic actually gained 920,000 square miles of ice during 2013 over 2012, the largest year-to-year increase since satellite records began. But if you thought global warming was scary, here’s an alternative to consider. Some really smart scientists predict that Planet Earth is now entering a very deep and prolonged cooling period attributable to 100-year record low numbers of sunspots. Periods of reduced sunspot activity correlate with increased cloud-forming influences of cosmic rays. More clouds tend to make conditions cooler, while fewer often cause warming.

Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov, who heads Russia’s prestigious Pulkovo Observatory in St. Petersburg, predicts that: “after the maximum of solar Cycle-24, from approximately 2014, we can expect the start of the next bicentennial cycle of deep cooling with a Little Ice Age in 2055 plus or minus 11 years” (the 19th to occur in the past 7,500 years).

Dr. Abdussamatov points out that Earth has experienced such occurrences five times over the last 1,000 years, and that: “A global freeze will come about regardless of whether or not industrialized countries put a cap on their greenhouse gas emissions. The common view of Man’s industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect.”

While solar output typically goes through 11-year cycles with high numbers of sunspots seen at their peak, we are currently approaching the peak of “Cycle-24” with numbers running at less than half of those observed during other 20th century peaks.

Are scientists such as Dr. Abdussamatov right? Darned if I know! After all, I’ve never claimed to be a real climate scientist like Al Gore or the people who got paid to make those expensive computer program charts. I’m just a space guy.

But just on the chance that they are, harsh winter temperatures and shorter growing seasons like those that occurred during the “Little Ice Age” between about 1300-1850 are nothing to wish for. Shortened, less reliable growing seasons in Europe brought on the Great Famine of 1315-1317. Norse colonies which had settled in a formerly warmer Greenland starved and vanished by the early fifteenth century as crops failed and livestock froze.

During the mid-seventeenth century encroaching glaciers destroyed farms and villages in the Swiss Alps. Sea ice surrounding Iceland closed harbors to shipping. Boxed in and experiencing cereal crop farming failures, Iceland’s population fell by half. In the late seventeenth century agriculture dropped off so dramatically that Alpine villagers lived on breads made from ground nutshells mixed with barley and oat flour.

Famines claimed about ten percent of the people in France, Norway and Sweden, about one-fifth of those in Estonia, and one-third in Finland during the late 1600s. Near the end of that Little Ice Age Washington’s troops endured brutally cold conditions at Valley Forge during the winter of 1776-77, and Napoleon’s suffered a frigid retreat from Moscow in 1812. New York Harbor froze in 1780, allowing people to walk from Manhattan to Staten Island.

Gregory Willits, an avowed global warming worrier, recently wrote in a December Orlando Sentinel piece that “We are not capable of addressing climate change” (meaning we can’t stop it), so “Let’s accept climate change and deal with it in a big way.”

Since the climate has been warming little-by-little in fits-and-starts since the end of that Little Ice Age (before the Industrial Revolution brought with it those CO2-belching smoke stacks and SUVs), are we to assume that Willits is referring here to natural climate change after 1850? I doubt it.

Still, there have been a couple of climate changes since then. In fact the past century has witnessed two distinct periods of warming and cooling. The first warming period occurred between 1900 and 1945. Since CO2 levels were relatively low then compared with now, and didn’t change much, they couldn’t have been the cause before 1950.

The second, following a slight cool-down, began in 1975 and rose at quite a constant rate until 1998, a strong Pacific Ocean El Niño year…although this later warming is reported only by surface thermometers, not satellites, and is legitimately disputed by some. (There’s some background on this in my June 18 column.)

No, Gregory Willits is apparently referring only to that half-cycle period or so of warming that occurred about a half cycle of flat temperatures ago. But even then, he does offer some constructive ideas. One is to conserve energy. Sure, although his proposal to put windmills atop buildings might fall several knots short of breezy progress in that direction.

The other is to construct sea walls to hold back the rising tides. Although fluctuating sea level rises over the past several centuries have averaged about 7 inches, and continue to rise at that rate with no evidence of acceleration, land subsidence and hurricane risks are ever-present issues that must be taken into account.

Incidentally, the East Antarctic ice sheet which contains about 90 percent of the Earth’s fresh water is not melting… it is expanding, as is Antarctic shelf ice. Only the West Antarctic Peninsula which contains less than 10 percent of Antarctic ice has lost mass. The South Pole has shown no warming since records began in 1957.

But let’s all agree that practical preparation for all reasonable contingencies, including climate change, makes sense. And while we’re at it, let’s include planning for global cooling: times when long winter nights, snow-covered solar panels and intermittently operating iced-over wind turbines can’t recharge those plug-in cars we are being urged to purchase.

After all, where are we going to get all the power we need after EPA shuts down coal-fired plants that provide about 40 percent of our electricity? And where’s that non-fossil heat going to come from to keep the kids and grandma safe from hypothermia? Finally, how about a little gratitude for the climate conditions we presently have?

Although no one really knows how long global temperatures will remain flat as they have now for well more than a decade, maybe we’ll get lucky. Let’s truly hope that those scientists predicting we’re in opening rounds of another chiller-diller are wrong.


EPA’s Car Buying Guide Touts Electric Vehicles -- and Walking or Biking

An Environmental Protection Agency’s website that offers car buying tips lists the best and worst vehicles based on fuel economy. Small electric vehicles top the most efficient list, while luxury vehicles are listed as the least efficient.

Nine of the top 10 cars are electric vehicles. The 2014 Smart Fortwo electric drive convertible and coupe, which have only two seats, tops the list with 107 mpg.

Also on the list are the Fiat 500e, Chevrolet Spark, Ford Focus Electric, Nissan Leaf, Honda Fit and Toyota Prius (the only hybrid).

On the “worst” list are many of the most luxurious cars in the world, including the Bugatti Veyron, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Bentley, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Chevrolet Camaro and Cadillac, in that order.

The Bugatti Veyron – which cost more than $2 million – gets 10 miles per gallon, according to EPA estimates.

Visitors to the website can also read about why driving a small car is beneficial – from reducing climate change to less dependence on foreign sources of oil.

“Oil price shocks and price manipulation by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have cost our economy dearly—about $2 trillion from 2004 to 2008,” the website states.

The website also makes suggestions of how to reduce climate change. In addition to driving fuel-efficient cars, visitors who are shopping for a car are told “walking, biking or taking public transit more often” can help.

As reported earlier, plug-in electric vehicles accounted for less than half of one percent of the 11.7 million light vehicles purchased in the U.S. over the first nine months of 2013.


UK: "Green" Tory MP to get the boot

Tory Tim Yeo’s hopes of avoiding the sack as an MP suffered a setback last night after three fellow grandees piled the pressure on him.

Mr Yeo has been criticised for earning £400,000 from green energy interests since 2009 while chairing the Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee since 2010.

Now three fellow Tory MPs – who also chair Commons select committees – have distanced themselves from Mr Yeo, fighting to overturn a decision by local party chiefs to deselect him as Suffolk South MP.

Mr Yeo’s neighbouring North Essex MP, Bernard Jenkin, has backed moves to force MPs to give up all commercial interests linked to committee work.

And he refuses to add his name to MPs calling on Mr Yeo’s activists to save him in a ballot on his future.

And Tory MP James Arbuthnot said he is stepping down as Commons Defence Select Committee head to pursue outside interests in defence as staying on as chairman would be ‘wrong and a conflict of interests’.

Tory John Whittingdale, who leads the Culture, Media And Sport Committee, has indicated he is unwilling to back Mr Yeo and believes Commons committee chairmen should not have ‘substantial earnings’ linked to their political duties.

Mr Yeo, who will be 70 at the next Election, was deselected over claims he spends too little time in his constituency and abused his position as chairman of his Commons committee.

The result of a ballot of 600 local activists on whether to overturn the decision will be announced on February 3.

South Suffolk Tory executive member Simon Barrett said: ‘Many people will agree wholeheartedly with these three senior Conservatives. Dissatisfaction with Mr Yeo has grown over a long time. People are tired of his arrogant attitude.’

Mr Yeo insists he was ‘totally exonerated’ by the report into claims he abused his job running the Climate Change Committee.

David Cameron yesterday added his name to Tory MPs backing Mr Yeo, who said last night he would abide by any changes in the rules for committee chairman approved by the Commons, though had no plans to give up his ‘green’ interests until then.

He said: ‘In more than 30 years as an MP I have always abided by the rules of the House.’


UK: Somerset Levels: There’s nothing 'natural’ about this man-made flooding

As I stood on the Somerset Levels on Thursday, watching one of the most spectacular sights known to nature – the aerobatic display of half a million starlings preparing to roost in the reeds – there was no clue that a few miles to the west a disaster was taking place: the flooding of 26 square miles of the Levels with water up to 6ft deep, marooning whole villages and likely to block the main A361 road across the county for weeks to come.

What is truly shocking about this “major incident”, as it has now been officially declared – costing, it is estimated, well over £50 million to clear up – is that it is not just largely man-made but it results from a deliberate decision by a Government agency out of control.

Talk to the locals, and to the experts of the Royal Bath & West agricultural society, representing hundreds of farmers – the Levels comprise a fifth of all Somerset’s farmland – and they are in no doubt as to why these floods are the most devastating in memory: it is because, since it took over prime responsibility in 1995 for keeping this vast area drained, the Environment Agency has deliberately abandoned the long-standing policy of dredging its rivers.

Thanks to the agency, the four main rivers have become so clogged with silt that there is no way for floodwaters to escape. The farmers and the local drainage boards that used to keep the pumping stations in working order are only too keen to play their part in clearing the maze of drainage ditches. But the agency’s officials have decreed that, as soon as silt is lifted on to the banks, it cannot be spread on nearby fields without being classified as “controlled waste”, making it so difficult to move that much of it just slides back into the water.

Last Wednesday in Westminster Hall, the four MPs for the area, one Tory and three Lib Dems, were at one in blaming this disaster squarely on the Environment Agency, calling one after another for the resumption of dredging. Leading the debate, Bridgwater’s Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger pointed out that, while the agency says it doesn’t have the £3 million needed to dredge the rivers, it is happy to see £31 million spent on dismantling flood defences on the nearby coast to provide a wildlife habitat.

The Levels farmers pay hefty rates to their drainage boards, only to see £560,000 a year of it going to the Environment Agency – to be spent, as they see it, on little more than providing its officials with shiny new 4x4s to drive around in announcing “flood alerts”, and to provide warnings on local television of yet more inundations that they did nothing to avert.

What the tens of thousands of people who live and work on the Levels want to see is our Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, taking a grip on this disaster, by forcing the Environment Agency to spend a fraction of its £1.2 billion a year income on a job it was set up to do. Mr Paterson cannot afford any repetition of the highly embarrassing recent episode, when one of his junior ministers was ferried to the marooned village of Muchelney, only to convince the residents that he hadn’t the faintest idea what he was talking about.


Coralline algae in a high CO2 world: How do they cope?

Discussing: Ragazzola, F., Foster, L.C., Form, A.U., Buscher, J., Hansteen, T.H. and Fietzke, J. 2013. "Phenotypic plasticity of a coralline algae in a high CO2 world". Ecology and Evolution 3: 3436-3446.

Ragazzola et al. (2013) introduce their study by noting that coralline algae have been shown to be a major contributor to the formation and stabilization of coral reefs and in enhancing coral larvae settlement, citing Chisholm (2000). And due to what they call "their crucial role in shallow water ecosystems and their worldwide distribution," they say that "understanding the impact of ocean acidification on calcifying algae is fundamental," especially since "their high-Mg calcite skeleton is the most soluble polymorph of CaCO3 (50% more soluble than calcite and 20% more soluble than aragonite)," and that coralline algae are therefore "likely to be particularly sensitive to a reduction in ?," which is the calcium carbonate saturation state of seawater, citing Ries (2011), Burdett et al. (2012) and Martin et al. (2013).

Due to the fact that "species with wide geographic ranges, such as coralline algae, are in general very plastic and able to acclimatize to a variety of habitats through morphological and functional responses (Brody, 2004)," Ragazzola et al. cultured Lithothamnion glaciale, one of the main maerl-forming species in the northern latitudes, under different elevated CO2 levels (410, 560, 840, 1120 ppm = 8.02, 7.92, 7.80, 7.72 pH ) for a period of ten months, but with initial analyses of the various parameters they measured being conducted at the three-month point of the study, as reported by Ragazzola et al. (2012).

In doing so, the six scientists report that the growth rates of the plants in the three CO2-enriched treatments after the first three months of their study were not significantly different from either each other or from those of the ambient-treatment plants.

At the end of the ten-month experiment, however, the CO2-enriched plants' growth rates were approximately 60% lower than that of the ambient-treatment plants. On the other hand, they found that the individual cell wall thicknesses of both inter and intra filaments at the three-month point of the study were significantly thinner than those of the control plants, whereas at the end of the ten-month study they were equivalent to those of the control plants.

In discussing these findings, Ragazzola et al. (2013) write that a possible explanation for them is "a shift from what could be termed a 'passive' phase during the first three months to an 'active' phase by the end of ten months," whereby "during the 'passive' phase, the increased energy requirement for calcification due to higher CO2 results in a reduction in the amount of calcite deposited in each cell well," but during the 'active phase,' L. glaciale reduces its growth rate so that the cell wall structure can be better maintained.

Noting that maintaining skeletal integrity is one of the main priorities of marine organisms living in high CO2 environments, the German and UK researchers say "the results of this study indicate that seawater chemistry can drive phenotypic plasticity in coralline algae," and that "the ability to change the energy allocation between cell growth and structural support is a clear adaptive response of the organism," which they say "is likely to increase its ability to survive in a high CO2 world."




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


26 January, 2014

America in lockdown

“Dedicated public servants” lock up lands and resources, lock down job and economic recovery

Paul Driessen

President Obama insists he is determined to create jobs in America. He recently announced the creation of “promise zones” for five communities around the nation and a “manufacturing institute” aimed at fostering more high-paying jobs in energy efficiency. He’s says he has “a pen and a phone” to “sign executive orders and take executive actions that move the ball,” where Congress has failed to implement policies he believes are needed.

Unfortunately, the executive orders and actions Mr. Obama seems to have in mind will do little to create jobs beyond the Washington Beltway – and much to do the opposite. An obvious example is his EPA’s plan to impose additional carbon dioxide emission restrictions, to save the planet from global warming, climate change, climate disruption, extreme weather or whatever term alarmists are using these days.

Another is to issue regulations and spend billions more to mandate and subsidize expensive energy efficiency, wind and solar, biofuel, alternative-fuel vehicles and other technologies, companies and financing schemes. That is what some “green” energy business leaders recommend in a report that they recently presented to the White House, promoting a “clean energy future.”

These actions will ensure employment for more bureaucrats, blue state friends and campaign contributors. But they will also ensure continued unemployment for blue collar workers and “fly-over country.” They depend on government direction and ideological compatibility, taxpayer subsidies, and crony-corporatist arrangements among businessmen, politicians and regulators.

They will make barely a dent in a chronically feeble economy in which 94 million Americans are not working; four million are long-term unemployed; the 63% labor participation rate is the lowest in 35 years; and many of the employment gains due to a magical government formula that turns 300,000 full-time jobs into 400,000 part-time positions. The President’s proposed actions likewise will not reverse the rapid increase in 49ers – companies that won’t hire more than 49 employees, because that would trigger ObamaCare and a host of other taxes and regulations, causing even more unemployment.

Extending unemployment benefits another 3-6 months, and sending our grandkids the bill, will not soften or reverse this damage. Nor will raising the minimum wage, thereby compelling more companies to automate or find other ways to trim work forces and costs, leaving even more people unemployed. But America does offer countless opportunities for President Obama to use his executive powers to unshackle the US economy, create jobs and generate revenues.

First and foremost, he could instruct his overly zealous Executive Branch agencies to delay, pare back and eliminate regulatory and paperwork burdens. Far too many of those rules are justified only by anti-hydrocarbon ideologies, computer models, cherry-picked studies that do not reflect genuine mainstream science or medicine, and even illegal experiments on human test subjects.

The Heritage Foundation calculates that the EPA alone has promulgated more than 1,920 regulations over the past five years, including twenty “major” rules that are costing the United States more than $36 billion annually. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s latest “10,000 Commandments” report says the total federal regulatory burden on America’s businesses and families now exceeds $1.8 trillion per year!

$379 billion of that is for environmental rules that often bring dubious benefits, and frequently impose human health and welfare costs well in excess of any supposed improvements. For example, EPA itself admitted that it was unable to quantify any direct health benefits from its costly utility “air toxics” MACT rule – and a January 2014 analysis demonstrates that the health and societal benefits of using oil, natural gas and coal outweigh any alleged “social costs of carbon” by at least 50 and as much as 500 to one.

President Obama could certainly order the issuance of permits to build the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, and instantly create thousands of jobs. He could also order the EPA, Interior Department, Forest Service and other federal agencies to unlock the lands and resources that are now off-limits.

The President brags that “we produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years.” Indeed, domestic production rose from 5.6 million barrels per day in 2011 to 6.4 million bopd in 2012. However, production from federal onshore and offshore areas has fallen significantly under his watch – and 96% of the production increase was on state and private lands.

That is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. America’s federal lands – onshore and offshore, in Alaska and our eleven westernmost Lower 48 States – contain numerous oil, gas, propane, coal, rare earth and other mineral deposits. Many have already been delineated, while others await discovery and development via modern, ecologically sensitive prospecting and production technologies. However, the vast majority of these resources are off limits: officially locked up in restrictive land use categories (some of which should not be changed) or simply made unavailable by bureaucratic fiat and foot-dragging.

Technically recoverable energy resources on these onshore and offshore lands total 1,194 billion barrels of oil and 2,150 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Institute for Energy Research analyst Daniel Simmons noted in congressional testimony. At $100 per barrel of oil and $4 per thousand cubic feet of gas, those resources are worth $128 trillion! Developing them could generate some $150 billion in bonuses, rents and royalties over the next ten years alone – plus billions more in local, state and federal tax revenues, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Using those CBO numbers, an IER study concluded:

* If the government made more of these areas available for exploration and production, America’s GDP could increase by $127 billion annually for the next seven years, and $450 billion annually in the long term. Those activities would create 552,000 jobs annually over the next seven years, with annual wage increases of up to $32 billion, hugely benefitting workers’ and families’ health and welfare.

*  Over the next 37 years, opening these lands would also increase America’s cumulative economic activity by up to $14.4 trillion … employment by 1.9 million jobs per year … wages by $115 billion annually … and local, state and federal royalty and tax revenues by a cumulative $3.8 trillion!

However, Simmons points out, the Interior Department has leased only a paltry 2% of federal offshore areas and less than 6% of onshore lands for oil and gas development. It has also stalled endlessly on issuing permits to drill on lands it has leased, in areas that are supposed to be available for multiple use and energy development. Its Bureau of Land Management’s proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing on public lands will likely delay, block and lock down the many benefits associated with fracking.

Access to metals and minerals on public lands is likewise subject to “bureaucratic discretion.” America’s “dedicated public servants” are thwarting development of Alaska’s Pebble Mine gold, copper and molybdenum deposit; Montana’s Finley Basin tungsten, copper, gold, silver and molybdenum deposit; and Arizona’s Rosemont Copper project – all of which would generate thousands of jobs and billions in payrolls and government revenues. Meanwhile they are fast-tracking permits for bird and bat butchering wind turbines – and considering 30-year eagle-killing permits for the installations.

In conducting these energy and mineral exploration and development projects, we can and must protect human health and environmental quality – from genuine threats, not speculative, exaggerated or computer scenario risks. We cannot afford to keep our lands, resources, jobs and revenues under lock and key.

If President Obama really does care about creating jobs and opportunities for the middle class, he will think and act outside of his ideological box, and pay less attention to his most rabid environmentalist base. We will know soon whether he is capable of doing that – and what kinds of executive orders and actions he really has in mind to move the ball on job creation. (I'm not holding my breath.)

Via email

Chill Out

John Stossel

The Hill, the newspaper that covers Congress, says this year, there will be a major policy battle over "climate change." Why?

We already waste billions on pointless gestures that make people think we're addressing global warming, but the earth doesn't notice or care.

What exactly is "global warming" anyway? That's really four questions:

1. Is the globe warming? Probably. Global temperatures have risen. Climate changes. Always has. Always will.

2. Is the warming caused by man? Maybe. There's decent evidence that at least some of it is.

3. But is global warming a crisis? Far from it. It's possible that it will become a crisis. Some computer models suggest big problems, but the models aren't very accurate. Some turned out to be utterly wrong. Clueless scaremongers like Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Cal., seize on weather disasters to blame man's carbon output. After Oklahoma's tragic tornadoes last year, Boxer stood on the floor of the Senate and shrieked, "Carbon could cost us the planet!" But there were actually fewer tornadoes last summer.

4. If the globe is warming, can America do anything about it? No. What we do now is pointless. I feel righteous riding my bike to work. That's just shallow. Even if all Americans replaced cars with bicycles, switched to fluorescent light bulbs, got solar water heaters, etc., it would have no discernible effect on the climate. China builds a new coal-fueled power plant almost every week; each one obliterates any carbon reduction from all our windmills and solar panels.

Weirdly, the only thing that's reduced America's carbon output has been our increased use of natural gas (it releases less greenhouse gas than oil and coal). But many environmentalists fight the fracking that produces it.

Someday, we'll probably invent technology that could reduce man's greenhouse gas creation, but we're nowhere close to it now. Rather than punish poor people with higher taxes on carbon and award ludicrous subsidies to Al Gore's "green" investments, we should wait for the science to advance.

If serious warming happens, we can adjust, as we've adjusted to big changes throughout history. It will be easier to adjust if America is not broke after wasting our resources on trendy gimmicks like windmills.

Environmental activists say that if we don't love their regulations, we "don't care about the earth." Bunk. We can love nature and still hate the tyranny of bureaucrats' rules.

We do need some rules. It's good that government built sewage treatment plants. Today, the rivers around Manhattan are so clean that I swim in them. It's good that we forced industry to stop polluting the air. Scrubbers in smokestacks and catalytic converters on cars made our lives better. The air gets cleaner every time someone replaces an old car with a new one.

But those were measures against real pollution -- soot, particulates, sulfur, etc. What global warming hysterics want to fight is merely carbon dioxide. That's what plants breathe. CO2 may prove to be a problem, but we don't know that now.

The world has real problems, though: malaria, malnutrition, desperate poverty. Our own country, while relatively rich, is deep in debt. Obsessing about greenhouse gases makes it harder to address these more serious problems.

Environmentalists assume that as people get richer and use more energy, they pollute more. The opposite is true. As nations industrialize, they pay more attention to pollution. Around the world, it's the most prosperous nations that now have the cleanest air and water.

Industrialization allows people to use fewer resources. Instead of burning trees for power, we make electricity from natural gas. We figure out how to get more food from smaller pieces of land. And one day we'll probably even invent energy sources more efficient than oil and gas. We'll use them because they're cost-effective, not because government forces us to.

So let's chill out about global warming. We don't need more micromanagement from government. We need less.

Then free people -- and rapidly increasing prosperity -- will create a better world.


Bee-pocalypse postponed

Bjørn Lomborg

Everyone's heard that bees are in a "global crisis." Except there has never been more beehives in the world.

Yes, honeybees in the US and parts of Europe are dying in above average numbers with the most likely cause being the Varroa mite and associated viruses.

But the "bee-pocalypse" predicted with alarmist talk about colony collapse disorder (CCD) is not happening, because beekeepers are adapting and actually keeping ever more beehives and producing ever more honey.

What has happened is that production in the US and Western Europe has declined, but Asia has more than increased its production (from 22% to 43% of all beehives). Much of the honey production has moved to cheaper production in India, China, Turkey and Iran. So, when we bemoan our reduced beehive numbers in Western Europe or the US, part of the story is no different from declining industries bemoaning the lack of domestic production of t-shirts.

The little bump in the early 1990s is due to a dramatic reduction in beehives in Eastern Europe and Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Most bees in Europe and the US are domesticated, with few wild and feral honey bee colonies.

See also here


Kansas Renewable Mandates Causing Skyrocketing Electricity Prices

Renewable power mandates are causing a dramatic spike in electricity prices in Kansas, U.S. Energy Information Administration data show. The state’s electricity prices have risen approximately eight times faster than the national average since Kansas enacted renewable power mandates in 2009.

In 2009 the Kansas legislature passed legislation creating the mandates, which require Kansans to purchase 20 percent of their electricity from designated renewable sources by the year 2020.

Sharply Rising Prices
Since 2009, U.S. electricity prices have risen merely 2.4 percent, from 9.89 cents per kilowatt hour to 10.13 cents per kilowatt hour (data through October 2013, the most recent month for which the U.S. Energy Information Administration published data when this paper went to press).

In Kansas, by contrast, electricity prices have risen 19.4 percent since 2009, from 8.07 cents per kilowatt hour to 9.64 cents per kilowatt hour.

The increase in Kansas electricity prices masks an even faster rise in electricity costs in the Sunflower State. Federal taxpayers (including Kansans) provide substantial subsidies to renewable power producers, most notably through the wind power production tax credit. These additional costs are hidden; they are not reflected in the Energy Information Administration retail price data.

Directly Traceable to Renewables
The rise in the state’s electricity prices closely tracks and is directly attributable to the increasing generation of costly renewable power. Wind power makes up nearly all the renewable power generation in Kansas. Since 2009, Kansas has more than tripled the share of its electricity mix generated from wind power. In 2009, 6 percent of electricity generated in Kansas was from renewable sources. In 2013, approximately 20 percent of the state’s electricity was generated from renewable sources.

Power grid operators confirm the higher costs renewable power imposes on consumers. Andrew Ott, senior vice president for markets at PJM Interconnection testified in Ohio legislative hearings last spring that the cost of delivering wind power to electricity consumers is two to three times the cost of delivering conventional power. PJM Interconnection coordinates electricity in 13 states. These cost premiums apply in Kansas, as well.

Households Hit Financially
These rapid electricity price increases are imposing real financial hardship on the state’s residents. Had electricity prices increases in Kansas matched the national average since 2009, the state’s electricity consumers would have saved $557 million in electricity costs. The average Kansas household has already paid an extra $506 in electricity costs (nearly $130 per household per year) above what it would have paid if the state’s electricity price increases had kept to the national average.


Two decades of global dryland vegetation change

Drier lands are greening up with higher levels of CO2

Discussing: Andela, N., Liu, Y.Y., van Dijk, A.I.J.M., de Jeu, R.A.M. and McVicar, T.R. 2013. "Global changes in dryland vegetation dynamics (1988-2008) assessed by satellite remote sensing: comparing a new passive microwave vegetation density record with reflective greenness data". Biogeosciences 10: 6657-6676.

Andela et al. (2013) set the stage for their study by noting that drylands cover nearly 30% of the global land surface, and that over the last few decades many of their native ecosystems "have faced increased pressure from human demands and climate change," citing Asner et al. (2004), Dore (2005) and Liu et al., 2013).

Seeking to learn how dryland ecosystems around the world may have been responding to the concomitant pressures exerted by both man and nature, Andela et al. employed two satellite-observed vegetation products "to study the long-term (1988-2008) vegetation changes of global drylands: the widely used reflective-based Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the recently developed passive-microwave-based Vegetation Optical Depth (VOD)," the first of which products "is sensitive to the chlorophyll concentrations in the canopy and the canopy cover fraction, while the VOD is sensitive to vegetation water content of both leafy and woody components," which when used together, in their words, "helps to better characterize vegetation dynamics, particularly over regions with mixed herbaceous and woody vegetation."

In describing their findings the five researchers report "NDVI was more sensitive to herbaceous vegetation changes and short-term precipitation variations," while VOD "was more sensitive to changes in woody vegetation and longer-term precipitation variations." And, as a result, they remark that "co-trends between NDVI and VOD provide evidence of widespread woody vegetation encroachment at the expense of the herbaceous vegetation component in arid regions, and arid shrublands in particular."

And as their ultimate conclusion about the matter, they concluded that the "spatial distribution of trends suggests that a global driver (e.g., CO2 fertilization) is causing a change in relative performance of woody vegetation compared to herbaceous vegetation," while further noting that evidence for woody thickening and encroachment was also found for some semi-arid drylands.

Thus, in spite of the postulated growing negative impacts of man and climate alike, the greening of the earth continues - and in places where it's toughest of all to be green (arid lands) - with the proposed impetus for the phenomenon being the likely-enabling role of anthropogenic-induced atmospheric CO2 enrichment.


Proof wind turbines take thousands off a British home: Value of houses within 1.2 miles of large wind farms slashed by 11%, study finds

The presence of wind turbines near homes has wiped tens of thousands of pounds off their value, according to the first major study into the impact the eyesore structures have on house prices.

The study by the London School of Economics (LSE) – which looked at more than a million sales of properties close to wind farm sites over a 12-year period – found that values of homes within 1.2??miles of large wind farms were being slashed by about 11 per cent.

This means that if such a wind farm were near an average house in Britain, which now costs almost £250,000, it would lose more than £27,000 in value.

In sought-after rural idylls where property prices are higher, the financial damage is even more substantial. In villages around one of Southern England’s largest onshore developments – Little Cheyne Court Wind Farm in Romney Marsh, Kent, where homes can cost close to £1?million – house values could drop by more than £100,000.

The study further discovered that even a small wind farm that blighted views would hit house values. Homes within half a mile of such visible turbines could be reduced in value by about seven per cent. Even those in a two-and-a-half-mile radius experienced price reductions of around three per cent.

The report’s author, Professor Steve Gibbons, said his research was the first strong evidence that wind farms are harmful to house prices.

Prof Gibbons, director of the LSE’s Spatial Economics Research Centre, said: ‘Property prices are going up in places where they’re not visible and down in the places where they are.’

The study, which is still in draft form but is due to be published next month, focused on 150 wind-farm sites across England and Wales. It compared house-price changes in areas that had wind farms, were about to see one built or had seen one rejected by the local authority.

Last night Chris-Heaton Harris, MP for Daventry, said: ‘There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence – especially in my constituency – of house-price reductions near wind turbines. The question is, will anybody be liable for these losses in future?’

And Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the LSE, said: ‘These results are not really surprising as it is already known that people place a value on countryside views.’

A Department for Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: ‘Developments will only get permission where impacts are acceptable.’

A spokesman for Renewables UK, which represents the wind industry, said: ‘We will be analysing the conclusions closely when the final report is issued.’




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


24 January, 2014

And the cooling continues

The Recent 12 Months for the year of 2013 U.S. Temperature trend/decade: - 0.8 F COOLER in 100 years

So to sum it all up, here is the recent 12 months (year to date, January- December) US temperature from a “historic” perspective. To see how the decade trends have evolved during the last 113 years.

Especially to see how the decade trends have evolved during the last 43 years. The period that according to the Global Warming Hysterics and computer models they worship should show a steady and accelerated increase in temperature.

I don’t know about you, but I consider a 12 month, a year by year consecutive trend 113 years long to be a “quite good” indicator.

And as I always point out:

Remember, these are the official figures. With the poor placement of stations (91 % of the stations are CRN 3 to 5 = bad to very poor); where they have purposely taken away the urban heat island effect, use huge smoothing radius, the historical “adjustment and tweaking” to cool the past etc.

Not to mention the great slaughter of GHCN stations 1990-1993 – roughly 63 % of all stations were “dropped”. Oddly enough many of them in cold places – Hmmm? Now the number of GHCN stations is back at the same numbers as in 1890.

Also remember that the US stations are now nearly a third of the all GHCN world stations.

So here are the trends:

US temperature recent 12 months (Jan- Dec) 1900-2013. The trend for 1900 to 2013 is 0.12 F / Decade

Slight warming over the last 113 years -- but only in 20th century periods

US temperature recent 12 months (Jan- Dec) 1970-2013

The trend for 1970 to 2013 is 0.48 F / Decade

US temperature recent 12 months (Jan- Dec) 1980-2013

The trend for 1980 to 2013 is 0.42 F / Decade

US temperature recent 12 months (Jan- Dec) 1990-2013

The trend for 1990 to 2013 is 0.33 F / Decade

US temperature recent 12 months (Jan- Dec) 2000-2013

The trend for 2000 to 2013 is - 0.08 F / Decade


And as I said in the beginning – always remember that these figures are based on the official data that has been tweaked, “adjusted” and manipulated to fit their agenda (cool the past, ignore UHI and land use change factors, huge smoothing radius – 1200km etc.)..

So the “warming trend” 2000-2013 for January - December is exactly - 0.08 F degrees a decade. That is - 0.8 F COOLER in 100 years. That’s what I call “warming”!

And this is also the decade that the Global Warming Hysterics have been screaming at the top of their lungs, trying to scare us to death, about the catastrophic treat that the “extreme increase” in temperature is to mankind and earth.

This is a perfect example of what I have been saying all along, it has always been a political agenda – anti human, anti freedom, anti development and anti capitalism. And this Global Warming Hysteria is part of that agenda. It has nothing to do with science, facts or saving the environment or the Earth.

All of this, as always, paid by us, the common people, in the form of taxes, high energy costs and reducing our living standard back to the Stone Age.

And all of this to “save” the Earth from a “catastrophic warming” when it is actually cooling.

And we are supposed to be very worried about a predicted rise of 3-4 F? But not this ACTUAL trend?

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

The Inventor of the Global Warming Hockey Stick Doubles Down

Some skeptics were annoyed that the NYT gave the secretive Michael Mann a platform but, since the article consisted only of the usual Warmist boilerplate relying heavily on hokey claims of consensus and authority, I thought "What else would you expect of the NYT? They are just feeding their flock". I am pleased however to present below a systematic reply from Siegfried Fred -- JR

by S. Fred Singer

Professor Michael Mann, the inventor of the Hockeystick temperature graph, had a contentious editorial essay in the January 17 issue of the New York Times. [The Hockeystick graph purports to show that temperatures of the last thousand years declined steadily — until the 20th century, when there was a sudden large rise.]

I am using the word “inventor” on purpose, since the Hockeystick is a manufactured item and does not correspond to well-established historic reality. It does not show the generally beneficial Medieval Warm Period (MWP) at around 1000 AD, or the calamitous Little Ice Age (LIA) between about 1400 and 1800. In the absence of any thermometers during most of this period, the Hockeystick is based on an analysis of so-called proxy data, mostly tree rings, from before 1000 AD to 1980, where the proxy temperature suddenly stops and a rapidly rising thermometer record is joined on.

Since its publication in 1998 and 1999, the hockeystick graph has had a turbulent history. It was adopted by the IPCC (UN-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in its 3rd Assessment Report (2001) to support the claim of a major anthropogenic global warming (AGW) during the 20th century. Since then, the IPCC has distanced itself from the graph, which has been completely discredited. It not disagrees not only with much historic evidence that shows a MWP and LIA, but also with other analyses of proxy data. Most of the criticism has come from the work of two Canadian statisticians, Steven McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, who have uncovered a misuse of data, a biased calibration procedure, and fundamental errors in the statistical methods.

McKitrick, an econometrician at Guelph University in Canada, has a pungent comment on Mann’s op-ed, which was titled “If you see something, say something.”

“OK, I see a second-rate scientist carrying on like a jackass and making a public nuisance of himself.”

I have added my own comment as follows: “OK, I want to say something too: I see an ideologue, desperately trying to support a hypothesis that’s been falsified by observations. While the majority of climate alarmists are trying to discover a physical reason that might just save the AGW hypothesis, Mann simply ignores the ‘inconvenient truth’ that the global climate has not warmed significantly for at least the past 15 years — while emissions of greenhouse gases have surged globally.”

Of course, this is not the first time that “hide the decline” Mike has done this. Remember his “Nature trick” — so much admired by his ‘Climategate team’ mates? [For those who don't remember the 2009 Climategate scandal: It consisted of a leak of some thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia, involving mainly Michael Mann and several of his English colleagues, documenting their completely unethical attempts to suppress any contrary opinions and publications from climate skeptics by misusing the peer-review process and by pressuring editors of scientific journals -- unfortunately, with some success.]

We don’t quite know yet what the “Nature trick” refers to — until we get Michael Mann to tell us why he has refused to reveal his never-published post-1980 proxy data. We may have to wait until we have him on the witness stand and under oath. But I strongly suspect that it has to do with absence of any temperature increase after 1980; its publication would have created a conflict with the reported (and problematic) thermometer data and with the assertion by the IPCC that humans are responsible for such a temperature rise.

In actuality, we now have adequate proxy data from other sources, most particularly from Fredrick Ljungqvist and David Anderson. Their separate publications agree that there has been little if any temperature rise since about 1940! However, there was a real temperature increase between 1920 and 1940, which can be seen also in the various proxy as well as thermometer data.


Michael Mann saw something he didn’t like in the Senate testimony (Jan 16, 2014) of fiercely independent climate scientist and blogger, Georgia Tech professor Judith Curry; so he decided to say something in his NYT op-ed. He forgot that often it is better to say nothing than to accuse Curry of peddling anti-science.

Curry has lost no time in taking Mann’s challenge and turning the tables on him:

“Since you have publicly accused my Congressional testimony of being ‘anti-science,’ I expect you to (publicly) document and rebut any statement in my testimony that is factually inaccurate or where my conclusions are not supported by the evidence that I provide.

During the Hearing, Senator Whitehouse asked me a question about why people refer to me as a ‘contrarian.’ I said something like the following: Skepticism is one of the norms of science. We build confidence in our theories as they are able to withstand skeptical challenges. If instead, scientists defend their theories by calling their opponents names, well that is a sign that their theories are in trouble.

Curry’s final message to Mann:

“If you want to avoid yourself being labeled as ‘anti-science’, I suggest that you are obligated to respond to my challenge.”

War on Coal

It is interesting that Mann now plays the role of the victim in purported persecution by powerful interests, darkly identified as the fossil-fuel industry. Actually, the reverse may be the case. Mann has become a strong proponent of emission controls on carbon dioxide, which fits in very nicely with the ongoing War on Coal conducted by the EPA and the White House — and with the editorial policies of the New York Times — coal being the most prolific source of CO2.

It is ironic that while coal use is increasing rapidly in China and India, it is also increasing in Europe where governments have been anti-CO2 fanatics in the past but have decided to stop nuclear power, which emits no CO2 whatsoever.

In the United States, requirements are being set up to capture CO2 from smoke stacks of power plants and store it underground. Carbon Capture and Sequestration is a difficult and costly undertaking, and has never been demonstrated on a commercial scale. There have even been calls for sucking CO2 out of the global atmosphere, which sounds like an impossible task — and in any case, would be very, very expensive.

And to what purpose? As pointed out many times, CO2 is beneficial for agriculture. As a natural fertilizer, it accelerates the growth of crops. Czech physicist Lubos Motl has calculated that if it were indeed possible to reduce CO2 levels to their pre-industrial value, global agriculture would suffer a strong decline and billions of people would starve to death.

But perhaps this level of population control is what the climate fanatics are really after. They have always maintained that the Earth suffers from over-population and that the number of people needs to be reduced to protect natural values — a truly misanthropic scheme. In 1974, the Club of Rome group published a detailed study, predicting that a billion people would die of starvation, beginning in the 1980s and peaking in 2010. One of the proponents of this thesis is now the White House science adviser.


"Climate scientists" suddenly become "passengers"

Australian public broadcaster, the ABC, could teach Dr. Goebbels lessons in propaganda

Three weeks after being rescued from a ship beset by ice, Chris Turney and his band of 51 warmists are finally dropped off on dry land. And still Turney is protesting it’s warm:

The ABC once promoted Turney’s Ship of Fools as a serious scientific expedition to investigate global warming and missing ice. When Turney’s ship got stuck in ice that’s actually at near-record levels, the ABC’s reports suddenly stopped mentioning “climate change” and “global warming”. So I with some eagerness wait for the ABC to make good this promise, made in November as Turney sailed off to Antarctica:

"MARGOT O’NEILL: The expedition sails south tomorrow on a mission to revive the spirit of one of Australia’s greatest scientific explorations for a new generation grappling with climate change. Lateline will broadcast an update early next year."

What’s your tip? Will Lateline ...

1. Forget the whole sorry embarrassment?

2. Report on the expedition but not explore the irony of warmist scientists being trapped by ice?

3. Report on the expedition but point out that sea ice around Antarctica is actually historically very high, warming has stalled for 16 years, and Turney’s team seemed ill-prepared, ill-advised and not terribly serious, leaving other Antarctic researchers spitting chips at the damage done to their own work by having to rescue them.


The ABC is already up to its usual tricks to protect the warmist cause from embarrassment.

Before Turney’s crew got stuck in ice they were climate scientists investigating climate change:

"EMMA ALBERICI, PRESENTER: A modern-day scientist adventurer is about to undertake one of the largest Australian science expeditions to the Antarctic. Professor Chris Turney from the University of New South Wales and an 85-person team will spend two months trying to answer questions about how climate change in the frozen continent might already be shifting weather patterns in Australia…

MARGOT O’NEILL [reporter]: The research stakes are high. Antarctica is one of the great engines driving the world’s oceans, winds and weather, especially in Australia. But there’s ominous signs of climate change…

CHRIS TURNEY, CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCH CENTRE, UNSW: So we’ve got a really good team and hopefully they won’t go psycho on us. (laughs)…

MARGOT O’NEILL: Professor Turney and his co-leader Dr Chris Fogwell are selecting PhD students for the expedition to help record thousands of measurements, assessing signs of climate change on the frozen continent… The expedition sails south tomorrow on a mission to revive the spirit of one of Australia’s greatest scientific explorations for a new generation grappling with climate change."

Today, though, the ABC insists they are just passengers and no mention at all is made of “climate change” or “global warming”:

"Passengers from a Russian research ship stuck in thick sea ice in Antarctica for more than a week have arrived in Hobart.

Australia’s supply ship Aurora Australis has docked with 52 passengers from the Akademik Shokalskiy which became stuck on Christmas Eve.

The passengers will spend the next few hours clearing quarantine".

Quite shameful. What else does the ABC hide?


Three out of four anti-fracking protesters in Britain are not local and are just there to 'disrupt and intimidate' communities and the police, top officer says

Most people arriving at a long-running anti-fracking protest are there to 'disrupt and intimidate' locals and antagonise police, a police chief said today.

More than 80 people have been arrested at a drilling site in Barton Moss on the outskirts of Salford, Greater Manchester.

Of the 82 people held, 62 are from outside the Greater Manchester area and many are from the south of England, according to Greater Manchester Police.

A number of those detained have been arrested before at Barton Moss or other protest sites, the force said.

Chief Superintendent Mark Roberts said: 'At the start of this protest the majority of protesters were peaceful and law-abiding, but over the past couple of weeks local residents and officers have seen a distinct change to this.

'It now seems that the majority of people who are arriving at the site are not there to protest against fracking, but are there to disrupt and intimidate the local community and to antagonise police.'

Mr Roberts said the force had recorded offences of assault, damage, harassment of residents and workers, a flare fired at the police helicopter and threats to kill.

'I attended a residents’ meeting last week and people there were close to tears and have had enough of this daily disruption to their lives,' he continued.

'Locals, who initially supported the protesters, out walking their dogs and driving down Barton Moss Road have been approached by protesters in balaclavas and have been questioned by them, which has been extremely intimidating.

'Officers are verbally abused on a daily basis, one has even been spat at and another officer required stitches to his hand after trying to get a protester down from a fence.'

Since November around 60 tents and caravans have sprung up along the farm track leading to the site, between Barton Aerodrome and the M62.

Environmentalists claim there is indisputable evidence that fracking causes air and water pollution and leads to earth tremors. The Government and industry say it is safe, and will create jobs.

Meanwhile no fracking will take place at a site in West Sussex which was at the centre of large-scale protests last year, energy company Cuadrilla told residents.

Hundreds of anti-fracking activists set up camp last summer after Cuadrilla started exploratory drilling on the outskirts of Balcombe.

In a letter to Balcombe residents from Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan, he said the rock underneath the drill site, at Lower Stumble, was already naturally fractured, and the company had no intention of fracking there.

However, although Mr Egan ruled out fracking at the site, Cuadrilla’s association with Balcombe is by no means at an end.

In his letter, published by Balcombe Parish Council, Mr Egan said Cuadrilla had submitted a new planning application to West Sussex County Council to complete flow testing of oil from the exploration well.

Over the summer, the firm drilled horizontally for some 1,700ft through Micrite formation, a type of limestone, at a depth of around 2,350ft below ground level.

Mr Egan wrote: 'We were expecting to - and did indeed find - oil in the Micrite. However, without testing we cannot be sure at what rate the oil may flow to the surface.'

This week it was revealed that the cost to taxpayers of policing the lengthy anti-fracking protests at Balcombe was nearly £4 million.


The EPA's Agenda: Undermine Capitalism and America

By Alan Caruba

The Environmental Protection Agency has been in a full assault on the U.S. economy since the 1980s when the global warming hoax was initiated. It has been assisted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

To put it in other terms, our own government has engaged in lying to Americans and the result has been the expenditure of billions of taxpayer dollars on something that was not happening and is not happening.

On January 22, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released the deposition transcript of former senior EPA official John Beale. After defrauding the agency of nearly $900,000 and spending weeks and months away from his office by claiming he was on assignment for the CIA, the transcript contained a bombshell.

Discussing his job, at the time as a close associate of Gina McCarthy, the new EPA administrator, Beale revealed that he was there to come up with “specific proposals that could have been proposed either legislatively or things which could have been done administratively to kind of modify the capitalist system…”

Dan Kish, senior vice president of the Institute for Energy Research, responded to the revelation saying “In his testimony under oath, Beale, perhaps unwittingly, has laid bare the administration’s end goal. The President’s policies are not about carbon, they are not about coal, and they are not even about energy and the environment. They are about fundamentally altering the DNA of the capitalist system. These policies are not about energy, but power.”

When the new EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, in testimony before a congressional committee in mid-January was asked by Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL-R) to confirm a statement made by President Obama last year that global temperatures were increasing faster in the last five or ten years than climate scientists had predicted.

She said, “I can’t answer that question.”

“You’re asking us to impose billions of dollars of cost on this economy and you won’t answer the simple question of whether (temperature around the world is increasing faster than predicted) is accurate or not?” Sessions responded.

“I just look at what the climate scientists tell me,” said McCarthy.

The Earth is in a cooling cycle that has lasted seventeen years at this point, but the EPA administrator was not inclined to accept this fact, nor question the climate scientists who provided the data based on computer models that have been consistently wrong now for decades.

We owe the Heartland Institute, a free market think tank a debt of gratitude for the eight international conferences it has held to debunk global warming. Joseph Bast, its president and CEO, has said, “The toll our EPA is taking on the country is staggering, putting hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work at a time when millions of people are unemployed and our reliance on foreign sources of energy threatens to compromise our nation’s security.” Heartland’s science director points out that “EPA’s budget could safely be cut by 80 percent or more without endangering the environment or human health, Most of what EPA does today could be done better by state government agencies…” I serve as an advisor to Heartland.

This is the same EPA that proposed restrictions for new wood stoves in early January. The reason given was to reduce the maximum amount of fine particulate emissions (soot) allowed for new stoves sold in 2015 and 2019. The soot is made up of solid particles and liquid droplets that measure 2.5 micrometers or less. The EPA claims, as it does for virtually all its regulations, that it is linked to heart attacks, decreased lung function, and premature death in people with heart and lung disease. This is worse than junk science. It represents no science whatever, being an invention of EPA employees who specialize in such nonsense. The Earth produces soot every day and circulates it globally.

The only way Americans will be protected against the EPA’s attack on our economy will be a Congress controlled by the Republican Party and a Republican President that will support the oversight that is needed and the reversal of its vast output of regulations. It will have to do this as well for NOAA, NASA, and other governmental departments and agencies that, until recently, spewed forth all manner of “data” supporting the global warming hoax.

At the heart of the global warming hoax, now called climate change, is the assertion that carbon dioxide (CO2) and other “greenhouse gases” have been dangerously warming the Earth by trapping heat, but you don’t have to be a scientist to know that the current cold spell, comparable to the 1500-1850 mini-ice age, is the result of lower solar emissions by a sun. CO2 is a minor (0.038) element of the Earth’s atmosphere, but the second most vital gas for all life on Earth because it is the “food” that maintains all vegetation.

Little wonder, during the government shutdown, more than 93% of EPA employees were furloughed when designated as “non-essential.” That was more than nine out of every ten employees!

In September 2013, the Republican members of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee issued a report that EPA officials had, from the beginning of President Obama’s tenure had “pursued a path of obfuscation, operating in the shadows, and out of the sunlight.” It detailed violations of the Freedom of Information Act and other federal laws and regulations intended to encourage transparency and accountability in the government.

In mid-January, the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute revealed that emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the EPA used official events to help environmental groups gather signatures for petitions on agency rulemaking. “The level of coordination in these documents is shocking” said an EELI spokesman. The EPA has a long history of this, including a policy of “sue and settle” working with environmental groups to bring a suit to advance regulations and settling the suit to enable it to implement those regulations.

In an April 2013 article in Investor’s Business Daily, John Merline reported that “Overall air pollution levels dropped 62% from 1990 to 2012, while GDP grew 69% and population climbed 26%.” The pollution the EPA keeps claiming is rising includes carbon monoxide, soot, sulfur dioxide, ozone, and others, all well below the EPA’s safety threshold. Water quality, too, has also improved over several decades.

In May 2013, Paul Driessen, a senior policy advisor for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) noted that the EPA, since Obama’s inauguration in 2009, had generated 1,920 new regulations. “The EPA’s actions are forcing us to expend vast financial, human and technological resources to achieve minimal or even zero health benefits.”

This is the same EPA leading the effort to shut down coal-fired plants that produce electricity. It is the same EPA seeking to stop the Pebble Mine, described as “a natural resource project in Alaska that could yield more copper than has ever been found in one place anywhere in the world.”

The EPA is the instrument of those who want to undermine capitalism in any way it can. Only that can explain why entire books have been written about its impact on the economy of the nation and the deceptive way it has imposed regulations responsible for it.

President Obama called for “hope and change” when he first ran for office. We can only hope that a new Congress and President will bring about the change we need to shut down the EPA and return control over the nation’s environment to its 50 sovereign states.


Slideshow: Over two thirds of U.S. energy generation threatened by the EPA

Power industries in the United States are under attack by the radical left, now empowered by dominant federal agencies and government officials.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has—especially since the beginning of the Obama administration—been taken over by environmental alarmists and given a seemingly open license to promote the environmentalist agenda by any means necessary.

The strategy is no secret: Kill any and all power generation methods not deemed appropriate by all corners of the environmentalist community, regardless of the well-being of American families, the economy, and the nation’s ability to power future innovation.

The following slides outline the industries being hit the hardest by the EPA and why Americans should be concerned:

Go HERE to view the slides.



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


23 January, 2014

Tim Ball's book now out

The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science

by Tim Ball (Author)



Dr. Tim Ball exposes the malicious misuse of climate science as it was distorted by dishonest brokers to advance the political aspirations of the progressive left.


Tolerant Liberals Cancel Screening of Pro-Fracking Film at Festival in Minnesota

The tolerant, open-minded environmentalists of the Left have struck again. This time, the pro-fracking film FrackNation by Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer has been yanked from the Minnesota Frozen River Film Festival.

FrackNation had already been accepted by festival organizers for a screening on Sunday but over the weekend it was announced the screening had been cancelled. The cancellation of the screening is a first for the festival, which has been around for nine years.

"The film festival organizers seem to hate alternative points of view, they seem to want to quash diversity. They seem to be scared of the truth," McAleer said in a statement. "Basically the Frozen River Film Festival organizers have given in to bullying and taken the easy way out and censored a film that might offend environmental elites who think they know best. These people are cultural censors and don't want the truth about fracking to be shown to audiences."


EU scraps targets forcing Britain to build wind farms: UK free to go nuclear and use fracking

The EU has scrapped rules that bind countries to renewable energy targets, lifting demands that Britain build more wind and solar farms.

The change paves the way for the Government to expand its use of nuclear power and develop fracking as a major energy source.

Britain will still have to provide 15 per cent of its energy from renewable power by 2020, but after that there will be no target. Instead, the EU as a whole will have to produce 27 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2030.

The policy is a defeat for major European nations including Germany, France and Italy which had demanded a target to drive the development of wind and solar power.

They were opposed by Britain, which argued for a broad target in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, leaving individual countries to decide themselves how they would meet it.

The European Commission set an EU-wide target of a 40 per cent cut by 2030, but that is less ambitious than Britain’s aim of 50 per cent by 2025.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said the new rules provide flexibility in tackling emissions in a cost-effective way ‘so that British consumers aren’t paying over the odds to go green’.

‘This is a really good package,’ he said. ‘It’s what we’ve been arguing for.’ He said it allowed Britain to use a mix of energy sources, including nuclear, wind, solar and, potentially, shale gas. ‘If you want to do this in the most cost-effective way, then you allow technologies to compete,’ he said.

‘Having a technology-neutral approach means having the market get the most cost-effective way of going green, and that is the whole premise of our policies. If you set rigid, inflexible targets that is likely to result in greater cost [for the consumer].’

Mr Davey has announced plans to build the first new nuclear power station in a generation at Hinkley Point, Somerset. The £16billion plant will be developed by two Chinese companies and run by French energy firm EDF.

On the development of fracking, Mr Davey said: ‘It’s good for Britain’s energy security and it is good for our carbon footprint, because shale gas will replace liquid gas that is coming from the other side of the world.’

The UK is currently on a building drive to meet the existing target of 15 per cent of energy output by renewable sources by 2020. It stands at less than 5 per cent.

There are currently 120 solar farms of more than ten acres and the number will more than double this year. Green taxes on energy bills will more than double by the end of the decade, according to Npower, one of Britain’s biggest suppliers.

Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank that is sceptical of climate change, welcomed the move. ‘Today is a big day in Brussels as the EU has begun the gradual process of rolling back its bankrupting climate and green energy policies,’ he said.

Manufacturing leaders said the EU’s 40 per cent target in cutting emissions should serve notice that Britain is over-reaching itself for seeking higher cuts.

‘It has been clear for a while that others in Europe have little appetite to match the UK’s binding 50 per cent target and this announcement merely serves as confirmation,’ said Richard Warren, of the EEF, which represents manufacturers in the UK. He added that the target was deterring investors.

Green bodies opposed the move. Nick Molho, head of climate and energy policy at wildlife charity WWF, said: ‘Today’s announcement is at the low end of what one can consider to be a credible EU response to the risks caused by climate change.’


Oil Exports Endorsed by IEA

Greenies would prefer to keep it in the ground, of course

There may be a surprising bright spot in this era of Big Government and regulation; even more surprising is the affected industry and the source of the support. Dr. Ernest Moriz, Barack Obama's new Energy Secretary, has indicated a willingness to reevaluate the restrictions placed on U.S. oil exports during the 1970s. In December, Moriz appeared to be much more receptive to lifting these restrictions than his predecessor, Stephen Chu.

Moriz's position received additional support from the International Energy Agency this week. The IEA recently acknowledged that American oil production has surpassed even the best estimates. Indeed, reports the IEA, “U.S. crude oil supply in 2013 registered the fastest absolute annual supply growth of any country in the last two decades, rising 15 percent in 2013.” The IEA added that increased exports would help meet greater world demand. However, while both Moriz and the IEA wield considerable power, it's up to Congress and/or the Commerce Department to remove the restrictions.

In the meantime, American companies would love to take full advantage of this economic opportunity. Since the U.S. has been the world's largest importer of oil for decades, its refineries are outfitted for the heavier crude from Mexico and the Middle East. Oil companies have been renovating their refineries to accommodate the lighter, higher-quality American shale oil, but if the export restrictions are not lifted, they won't be able to sell their oil outside the U.S. and Canada. These restrictions will drive prices down and – since producers of shale oil say prices must remain between $80 and $90 a barrel to be profitable – hamper the industry. For now, all we can do is wait to see whether this typically anti-business administration will move toward a freer market.


Germany Can’t Bear $32 Billion-a-Year Green Costs, Minister Says

Germany must reduce the cost of its switch from atomic energy toward renewables to protect growth, Economy and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said.

German companies and consumers shoulder as much as 24 billion euros ($32 billion) a year for renewables because of subsidy payments, Gabriel told an energy conference in Berlin.

“I don’t know any other economy that can bear this burden,” Gabriel said today. “We have to make sure that we connect the energy switch to economic success, or at least not endanger it.” Germany must focus on the cheapest clean-energy sources as well as efficient fossil-fuel-fired plants to stop spiraling power prices, he said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has made the top priority of her third-term government, which took office last month, reforming clean-energy aid after rising wind and solar costs helped send consumer bills soaring. Germans pay more for power than residents of any European Union nation except Denmark.

While renewable aid costs are at the “limit” of what the economy can bear, Germany will keep pushing wind and solar power, the most cost-effective renewable sources, Gabriel said. Biomass energy is too expensive and its cost structure hasn’t improved, he said.

Gabriel, who last month assumed control of the biggest energy overhaul of any developed country, is overseeing the shuttering of Germany’s atomic fleet by 2022, ordered by Merkel after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

He will seek to limit subsidies paid to operators of land-based wind turbines to no more than 9 euro cents a kilowatt-hour in 2015 and reduce the expansion to about 2,500 megawatts a year, according to a ministry document prepared for a meeting of Merkel’s coalition on Jan. 22-23. Developers will get paid subsidies at the current rate if their units are authorized before tomorrow and enter operation this year.

While Germany seeks to limit increases in energy prices, the government can’t promise that bills will decline, Gabriel said.


Latest buzz on bee colony collapse disorder: a virus, NOT a pesticide, is the problem

Bees, honeybees in particular, are crucial for our agricultural production. Pollination is basically a function of honeybees, and many fruits, vegetables and legumes are dependent upon these insects doing their job.

In the last decade, a massive decline in bee populations was detected: “Bee Colony Collapse Disorder” (BCCD) was the name given to this mysterious phenomenon, whose cause was unknown but was intensively sought. While the problem seemed to have abated somewhat after 2010, periodic declines continued, and fears of recurrent major extinctions persisted.

Some scientists and especially anti-pesticide organizations became devotees of the “pesticide theory” of BCCD and neonicotinoid pesticides were the prime suspect. These newer chemicals, “neonics” to those familiar with them, have been of increasing utility among farmers worldwide — until their use was severely restricted in the EU on the basis of suspected harm to bees. Our own regulatory and environmental agencies have been more circumspect, awaiting much better evidence of neonics’ involvement in BCCD.

Now, a new report issued by scientists affiliated with the Departments of Agriculture here and in China, and reviewed in The Scientist provides the first evidence that the bee problem in fact, stems from the tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), not from pesticides. Investigators have determined that TRSV can be found in nearly all organs and tissues of infected bees, and also in mites that feed on the bees. They suggest that the bees may pick up the virus from the pollen of plants that they feed upon, and that the virus may be spread to other bees by mites that feed on them. Once it has gained a foothold in a bee, the researchers determined that TRSV can replicate itself in the bee’s body.

This process of a virus moving from one species to another is called “ host shifting” and its occurrence is a warning signal for farmers and others involved in agriculture. The authors state “ Pathogen host shifts represent a major source of new infectious diseases. The findings from this study showcase the need for increased surveillance for potential host-jumping events as an integrated part of insect pollinator management programs.”

ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom, a former researcher in the infectious disease area says, “Whenever I hear about mass die offs— whether in bees, dolphins, cattle or trees— I automatically think ‘infectious disease’. It isn’t universally true, but very often turns out to be so.”

He adds, “It is somewhat ironic that the proposed pathogen in this case comes from tobacco, since the first virus ever isolated and characterized (in the late 1800s) was tobacco mosaic virus—which infects and kills not only tobacco, but other member of its family, including tomatoes and cucumbers. It is easy to conclude that some environmental factor caused by humans is to blame, but this is a bad assumption to make.”


Australia: Green power was useless in this heatwave. Praise coal - and the “gold-plating” Leftist PM attacked

The worst heat often occurs when there is not a breath of wind, which is a problem if you rely on wind power for your airconditioning to survive a heat wave:

"WHEN electricity demand peaked at the height of this week’s heatwave in southern Australia, the total power output from the fleet of wind farms across Victoria and South Australia was almost zero..."

Figures supplied by the Australian Energy Market Operator show that between 11.30am and 4pm on Wednesday, as demand hit a daily peak of 33029 megawatts nationally, wind’s share of supply fell as low as 0.3 per cent. When the electricity price peaked at $6213 in South Australian on Wednesday in the half-hour to 4pm, wind was contributing 0.7 per cent to total demand.

And solar power remains more a green gesture than a major source of energy:

More than $2 billion of subsidised investment in over 2 million rooftop solar systems contributed less than 5 per cent of peak power demand in ­Victoria and South Australia during the worst of this week’s heatwave.

This goes straight to the madness of Labor’s crusade against cheap coal-fired power and of the Renewable Energy Target that is still backed by the Abbott Government. Why are we taxing cheap, reliable power and giving handouts to expensive, unreliable power that can’t even power airconditioning in a heatwave?

But this week exposed another fraud of the Left. Julia Gillard as Prime Minister tried to deflect anger at her carbon tax by attacking utilities for their high spending on making our power system able to cope with days of highest demand - typically days like the ones we have just had:

Ms. Gillard pointed her finger at the “gold-plating” of electricity infrastructure being a major driver of price hikes, rather than the carbon price and green initiatives such as supporting the uptake of solar panel systems:

“These energy price rises are well above the cost of the introduction of the carbon price and taking action on climate change. 9c of every dollar in an electricity bill is for the carbon price - and that’s fully compensated - while 51c is for the poles and wires.”

The Prime Minister also pointed out a quarter of all retail electricity costs is spent to meet the costs of peak events that last for a few days a year.

“One sixth of our national electricity networks - $11 billion in infrastructure - caters for peak events that last for barely four days per year.

I thought it astonishing that so many journalists fell for this red herring. Ask yourself: do you begrudge that investment now? Or would you have been happy for the power in Melbourne and Adelaide to have failed this week, at the cost of who knows how many lives of the elderly and frail?




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


22 January, 2014

Ya gotta laugh: Those significant hundredths of one degree

I reproduce below a current news report derived from NOAA and GISS. You will see that continuing warming is proclaimed with no hint that the data might be troublesome to Warmism. It is classical warming propaganda much as we hear every year.

I have been naughty, however. I spent about 2 minutes on a Google search to find out what the actual figures were. Here is a quote from NOAA:

"The year 2013 ties with 2003 as the fourth warmest year globally since records began in 1880. The annual global combined land and ocean surface temperature was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F). This marks the 37th consecutive year (since 1976) that the yearly global temperature was above average. Currently, the warmest year on record is 2010, which was 0.66°C (1.19°F) above average."

Do you see what they are doing? The differences in temperature that they rely on for a judgment that something was warmest are in hundredths of a degree! They treat unbelievably tiny differences in temperature that exist only as a statistical artifact as if they told us something! For instance they contrast the 2013 anomaly of .62C with 2010, which is .66C. The difference is only 4 hundredths of one degree Celsius!

Is there any point at which they would concede that a difference is too small to be taken seriously? Thousandths of one degree? Millionths of one degree? Medieval theologians used to debate how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. Theology is alive and well among Warmists!

America's two top scientific agencies have released separate reports on last year's climate, confirming the global warming trend is continuing.

The American space agency, NASA, releases a climate report each year - alongside a separate report from its sister agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The two agencies collect their data separately and their reports show slightly different results. But the trend is clear. At least nine of the warmest years on record have happened since 2000.

According to NOAA, 2013 was the fourth warmest year for the planet since records began in 1880.

Ocean temperatures were half a degree Celsius above the 20th century average.

NASA says carbon dioxide is at its highest level in the atmosphere in 800,000 years, having risen from 285 parts per million in 1880 to 400 parts per million last year.

Unless current trends change, the world should expect each of the coming decades to be warmer than the last, NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt says.

He describes the warming of the past few decades as "unusual," and urges people not to judge whether climate change is happening or not based on random weather events like cold snaps.

"The long-term trends in climate are extremely robust," he said.

"People have a very short memory when it comes to their own experience of weather and climate, and the only way that we can have a long-term assessment of what is going on is by looking at the data."

Last year also marked the 37th year in a row with higher than average global temperatures.



David Whitehouse discusses below the issues I have touched on above -- JR

In a joint press conference NOAA and NASA have just released data for the global surface temperature for 2013.

In summary they both show that the ‘pause’ in global surface temperature that began in 1997, according to some estimates, continues. Statistically speaking there has been no trend in global temperatures over this period. All these years fall within each other’s error bars. The graphs presented at the press conference omitted those error bars.

When asked for an explanation for the ‘pause’ by reporters Dr Gavin Schmidt of NASA and Dr Thomas Karl of NOAA spoke of contributions from volcanoes, pollution, a quiet Sun and natural variability. In other words, they don’t know.

NASA has a temperature anomaly of 0.61 deg C above the average of 14.0 (1951 – 80) making it the 7th warmest year. Note that it is identical to 2003 and only 0.01 above 2009 and 2006. Taking into account the errors there has been no change since last year.

NOAA also has 2013 as the 4th warmest year, at 0.62 deg C above the global 20th century average of 13.9 deg C. Note that only 0.09 deg C [nine hundredths of one degree] separates their top ten warmest years.

Given that the IPCC estimates that the average decadal increase in global surface temperature is 0.2 deg C, the world is now 0.3 deg C cooler than it should have been.


"Rigged" temperature data

A newly-uncovered and monumental calculating error in official US government climate data shows beyond doubt that climate scientists unjustifiably added on a whopping one degree of phantom warming to the official "raw" temperature record. Skeptics believe the discovery may trigger the biggest of all “climate con” scandals in Congress and sound the death knell on American climate policy.

Independent data analyst, Steven Goddard, today (January 19, 2014) released his telling study of the officially adjusted and “homogenized” US temperature records relied upon by NASA, NOAA, USHCN and scientists around the world to “prove” our climate has been warming dangerously.

Goddard reports, “I spent the evening comparing graphs…and hit the NOAA motherlode.” His diligent research exposed the real reason why there is a startling disparity between the “raw” thermometer readings, as reported by measuring stations, and the “adjusted” temperatures, those that appear in official charts and government reports. In effect, the adjustments to the “raw” thermometer measurements made by the climate scientists “turns a 90 year cooling trend into a warming trend,” says the astonished Goddard.

Goddard’s plain-as-day evidence not only proves the officially-claimed one-degree increase in temperatures is entirely fictitious, it also discredits the reliability of any assertion by such agencies to possess a reliable and robust temperature record.

Goddard continues: "I discovered a huge error in their adjustments between V1 and V2. This is their current US graph. Note that there is a discontinuity at 1998, which doesn’t look right. Globally, temperatures plummeted in 1999, but they didn’t in the US graph."


New paper shows global warming DECREASES storm activity and extreme weather

A paper published today in Quaternary Science Reviews reconstructs storm activity in Iceland over the past 1,200 years and finds storminess and extreme weather variability was far more common during the Little Ice Age in comparison to the Medieval Warm Period and the 20th century. The paper adds to many other peer-reviewed publications finding global warming decreases storm activity, the opposite of claims by climate alarmists:

Late-Holocene land surface change in a coupled social–ecological system, southern Iceland: a cross-scale tephrochronology approach

By Richard Streeter et al.


The chronological challenge of cross-scale analysis within coupled socio-ecological systems can be met with tephrochronology based on numerous well-dated tephra layers. We illustrate this with an enhanced chronology from Skaftártunga, south Iceland that is based on 200 stratigraphic profiles and 2635 individual tephra deposits from 23 different eruptions within the last 1140 years. We present new sediment-accumulation rate based dating of tephra layers from Grímsvötn in AD 1432 ± 5 and AD 1457 ± 5. These and other tephras underpin an analysis of land surface stability across multiple scales. The aggregate regional sediment accumulation records suggest a relatively slow rate of land surface change which can be explained by climate and land use change over the period of human occupation of the island (after AD ?870), but the spatial patterning of change shows that it is more complex, with landscape scale hysteresis and path dependency making the relationship between climate and land surface instability contingent. An alternative steady state of much higher rates of sediment accumulation is seen in areas below 300 m asl after AD ?870 despite large variations in climate, with two phases of increased erosion, one related to vegetation change (AD 870–1206) and another related to climate (AD 1597–1918). In areas above 300 m asl there is a short lived increase in erosion and related deposition after settlement (AD ?870–935) and then relatively little additional change to present. Spatial correlation between rates of sediment accumulation at different profiles decreases rapidly after AD ?935 from ?4 km to less than 250 m as the landscape becomes more heterogeneous. These new insights are only possible using high-resolution tephrochronology applied spatially across a landscape, an approach that can be applied to the large areas of the Earth's surface affected by the repeated fallout of cm-scale tephra layers.


Climate change is NOT main cause of floods, say experts: Building on plains and cutting down trees are among the true reasons

The debate about climate change is distracting us from the true causes of flooding, a group of eminent scientists warned yesterday.

Concreting over flood plains, cutting down trees and expanding cities is making flooding much worse – and we need to act on that knowledge, they said.

The exact link between global warming and flooding is much less certain, and those who keep pursuing the topic are taking attention away from the true problem of over-development, they said in a research paper.

David Cameron ignited a row at the height of the recent UK floods by proclaiming that he ‘very much’ suspected the devastation had been caused by climate change.

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson refused to endorse the Prime Minister’s views and the Met Office said there was no evidence that the winter floods had been caused by man-made global warming.

The 19 scientists, from prestigious universities and institutes in Britain, the US, Japan, Australia and across Europe, said that while greenhouse gas emissions are ‘strongly linked’ to flooding, there is insufficient evidence to accurately describe the connection.

They said that until there is firm evidence about the role of climate change, it is better to concentrate on what we do know – that the way we are changing our physical landscape is making flooding worse.

Many of the authors, all respected climate change scientists, have contributed to UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. They include Professor Nigel Arnell, from Reading University’s department of meteorology, Robert Muir-Wood, a London-based consultant who advises the OECD and UN.

The paper, published in the Hydrological Sciences Journal yesterday, says: ‘There is such a furore of concern about the linkage between greenhouse forcing [the process by which man-made greenhouse gases are said to force climate change] and floods that it causes society to lose focus on the things we already know for certain about floods and how to mitigate and adapt to them.

'The scientific community needs to emphasize that the problem of flood losses is mostly about what we do on or to the landscape and that will be the case for decades to come.’

The authors say we know there is a clear link between population density and flooding. Millions of houses and businesses have been built on flood plains, meaning that when rivers burst their banks the water flows onto roads and concrete, rather than bare earth.

When it cannot soak into the ground it causes untold damage. Cutting down trees – which take up water – exacerbates the problem, as does changing the course of rivers for irrigation and to make way for more developments.

But the authors say that when it comes to climate change they had only ‘low confidence’ in models that try to forecast the impact on flooding.

‘The linkages between enhanced greenhouse forcing and flood phenomena are highly complex and it has not been possible to describe the connections well, either by empirical analysis or by the use of models,’ they say.

But they add: ‘It is clear that current trends in human activity on the landscape continue to cause an increase in flood damages.

‘Decreasing or reversing this trend will require substantial attention from governments, private citizens, scientists and engineers, and the actions needed to accomplish this are largely the same regardless of the nature of the greenhouse gas-flood linkage.’

Bob Ward, policy director at the London School of Economics Grantham Institute, disagreed, warning that talking about climate change is vital to the debate.

‘Four of the five wettest years on record in the UK have all occurred since 2000, with 2012 being the second wettest, and this winter shaping up to be the wettest ever,’ he said.

The row about spending on Britain’s flood defences continued yesterday, when the Committee on Climate Change – the Government’s independent advisory body – said spending shortfalls could lead to £3billion in avoidable damage from a serious flood in future.


How the Keystone XL Pipeline is a New Diplomatic Lever

Just last month the International Energy Agency predicted the United States will become the world’s largest oil producer by 2015. That same week, White House officials noted that U.S. oil production outpaced imports for the first time in twenty years.

Developments like these led President Obama to declare in late November that, “After years of talk about reducing our dependence on foreign oil, we are actually poised to control our own energy future.”

While all of this is great news for the U.S. economy and consumer, one glaring hole remains in our national energy policy. Specifically, if we really want to control our energy future we must embrace an all-of-the above energy policy that includes the Keystone XL pipeline. Green lighting construction taps a reliable ally to help the U.S. reduce its dependence on volatile sources of oil.

President Obama has two choices: stall or lead. Ending the five year delay in approving the presidential permit needed for construction will clear the way for 830,000 barrels of U.S. and Canadian crude oil to be shipped each day to Gulf Coast refiners. Or, the president can give into the demands of one agenda driven billionaire. Facts are facts. Oil sands development is happening. Canadian oil imports are on pace to reach four million barrels a day by 2020. By utilizing the Keystone XL pipeline, the United States will reduce crude oil imports from overseas by 43%.

The shift away from overseas crude will have significant strategic implications for U.S. foreign policy. Recently a comprehensive study found that, “increasing supply from Canada allows the United States to reduce its dependence on more distant supplies of oil by tanker, often from regions that are less stable and more susceptible to disruption.”

Chief among those distant suppliers are nations like Venezuela – our 4th largest supplier of oil imports – whose leaders recently called U.S. officials “imperialists” while declaring they, “have…men and women of dignity that…will…confront [us] on all levels.”

In November, Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen argued at the North American Energy Security Dialogues, that the Keystone XL pipeline will create a diplomatic lever to pressure Venezuela on its relationship with Iran. She stated, “Because the oil carried by the Keystone XL pipeline will be of similar quality and grade to that of Venezuelan oil, Gulf Coast refineries will be able to maintain full capacity as these sources directly compete for access. This competition may allow U.S. foreign policymakers to maximize pressure on the Venezuelan regime to return to its democratic principles and reassess its relationship with Iran.”

The president could largely erase our reliance on Venezuelan oil with approval of the Keystone XL pipeline - a project that a “solid majority” of Americans support. It’s true. During the first six months of 2013 the United States averaged just over 750,000 bd of heavy crude oil imports from Venezuela. Given that a large majority of these imports head to Gulf Coast refineries – the same destination as the Keystone XL Pipeline – the Venezuelan imports become far less important once the pipeline is in place.

Put another way, Keystone XL will bring oil supplies from a neighbor able to offer help during challenging times instead of from an adversary that touts confrontation as its agenda.

The short-term economic benefits of Keystone XL are significant, its long term contribution to America’s safety is even more important. The Keystone XL pipeline can be the main artery to reaching energy self-sufficiency and a new diplomatic lever to improve national security.

For these reasons, the President should approve the Keystone XL pipeline.




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


21 January, 2014

Warmist proud of censoring dissent

In view of the great difficulty skeptics have at getting papers published in academic journals, one group of prominent skeptical scientists decided to set up their own journal. No problem, you would think. All sides of a debate should be aired.

But Warmists did not see it that way at all. They went all out to pressure the publisher (Copernicus) to ditch the journal -- which it did. Prominent Warmist James Annan is even proud of his efforts in that direction. He crows:

"Kudos to Copernicus for the rapid and decisive way in which they dealt with this problem. The problems at the journal were was first brought to my attention by ThingsBreak just last night, I emailed various people to express my concerns and the journal (which was already under close scrutiny by the publisher) was closed down within 24h."

The book burners are here! Such efforts by Warmists clearly have more in common with totalitarianism than with science and convey nothing so much as fear and panic. A commenter on his blog sums up the strange version of science behind such efforts:

"You've got to love climate science when you see episodes like this.

I think it is safe to say that in no other science do you see such overt power games played out like this.

It is clear that it is not just the retraction of a publication that is of primary importance here, it is the spin that comes off that retraction that is most important.

"Pour encourager les autres"

Since the ostensible reason given in the letter was that the publishers were "alarmed" at criticism of the IPCC it is obvious the lesson an observer should take is that any attempt to go out on a limb and "alarm" people must be shown to be wrong and is not to be encouraged.

You guys in climate must be so proud to have the best policed science that humanity has ever seen."

The Perverted Science of Global Warming Gets Dirty(er)

Scientists have recently discovered that rough surfaces may actually reduce the amount of friction and drag after testing the hypothesis on the microscopic level.

“According to researchers at UCLA, rough surfaces lined with tiny ridges may actually reduce drag,” says the Science Recorder. “Modeling fluid flow between two surfaces lined with tiny ridges, researchers found tiny ridges actually reduce drag, allowing the for fluid to flow around in a more efficient manner….This is not the first time scientists have sought to create models based on rough ridges to reduce drag. However, advances in technology now allow scientists to create models on a microscopic level.”

Yes, but it’s the first time that the testing has been linked to global warming.

Of course by now we should know that EVERYTHING eventually relates to global warming.

Or income inequality.

So, anywho: Scientists says that by reducing drag on sea-going vessel less fuel will be need… and therefore…she’s a WITCH!

OK, not really. But almost.

The scientists actually say since sea transport accounts for 4 percent of greenhouse gases, reducing drag will have “a substantial impact on global warming emissions,” because of the reduced fuel requirements with less drag.

Hey, when you are reaching for straws even a fraction of 4 percent reduction is a “substantial” amount-- especially when the Chinese are ratcheting up output of greenhouse gases way past the 4 percent mark.

And that is what confuses me about the science behind greenhouse gases and global warming, especially as it applies to policy.

Years ago I offered to shave my head bald and eat a can of dog food if someone—anyone-- could show me a credible scientific paper that demonstrates how the earth would cool even a fraction of a degree Fahrenheit by enacting a carbon tax here in the United States, such as the one proposed by the Democrats in 2009 and 2010.

I’m still waiting.

Because one would suppose that in policies promoted by properly-thinking, modern progressives-- who worship all things science— and have no time for mumbo jumbo about faith and religion, that at the very least they’d have data to support that their policies will cool the earth, solve world hunger, bring people out of poverty, improve education, create income equality, or pay female White House staffers commensurate with men.

OK, the last one was outrageous. Never gonna happen under Obama.

What was I thinking?

At the very least, I was thinking that people like Ericynot, BoatBoy, DoctorRoy or Hillinger would enjoy me being bald and eating dog food.

Heck, I’d even make a video of it.

But the problem remains: Sea levels aren’t rising, storms aren’t nastier and more brutish. The only science that’s being done is the type where estimates are used where data is called for and predictions are being used instead of conclusions.

Stumped by the fact that temperatures are not accurately reflecting current climate “models”- in fact temperatures have remained stable for 17 years- scientists on the government gravy train are trying to tie any weather event to so-called climate change.

Or income inequality. Which really?Aren’t they the same things?

Hurricanes? Global warming.

Tornadoes? Global warming?

Drought? Global warming?

Blizzards, dropping temperatures, meteorites, Big Gulps? Global warming.

Last year I documented how researchers made up a map showing how vegetation could change in the arctic because of global warming.

The map, no lie, was called the “most accurate map” ever produced of its type.

A long last, scientists have revealed the single most important document ever, I wrote.It’s a crayon-colored map showing how “trees” could grow in the arctic.

If finally, mercifully, any one of the so-called “climate models” that so far have failed to “model” climate accurately, suddenly and then accurately begin to “model” climate in real time, then, well, WOW!

“Experts say the wooded areas in the region could increase by 50% over the coming decades,” writes the UK’s Daily Mail, “and accelerate global warming in the process. Researchers have unveiled the most accurate map ever (!) of how vegetation could change in the region.”

In the meantime,ThinkProgresshas published a remarkable paper calledArctic Sea Ice Death Spiral And Cold Weatherthat proves, or at least,says- same thing if you are a liberal - that globalwarmingis to blame for …coldweather in Germany.

Stumped by the fact that temperatures are not accurately reflecting current climate “models”- in fact temperatures have remained stable for 17 years- scientists on the government gravy train are trying to tie any weather event to so-called climate change.

Even homosexuality has been tied to global warming via population control.

“With the natural world on the brink of demise largely because of overpopulation,” G. Roger Denson, a self-appointed social theoretician wrote on the Huffington Post,“unrestrained homosexuality, as one of a variety of ethical and democratic measures available to us today, offers perhaps the most natural option to be enjoined.”

Unrestrained gayness? Seriously?

Going in through the out door with another man doesn’t seem “the most natural option to be enjoined” in trying to cool down the earth’s atmosphere.

But in the interest of fairness if G. Roger Denson wants to produce an actual scientific paper proving me wrong, I got a can of dog food and clipping shears here waiting.


The death of mining

What would you do if you invested $500 million in exploration, discovery, site preparation, engineering, environmental studies and planning, only to be told that you could not proceed by a federal government agency that has never even seen your development plan?

What would you do if the land was formerly owned by the federal government, but subsequently traded to the state of Alaska in exchange for other more environmentally valuable land that was turned into a national park? And get this, the remote area containing the land was zoned by the state for mining, yet the federal government still decided that they controlled their former property anyway.

Would you invest in any potential future mines in that country if the federal government could throw your $500 million out the window without even following their own process for approving a new mining venture?

Not if you had a brain in your head.

It takes at least a decade to develop a new mine in the United States and investors have to be assured that the rule of law will be followed in order to put their capital at risk.

Now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has effectively wiped away the mine permitting process by issuing a politically motivated negative assessment of the Pebble Mine in Alaska, it is hard to imagine anyone seriously bothering to even start the process of developing mineral resources in America. It is far more practical and effective invest elsewhere in the world where they run a much lower risk of having their efforts destroyed, and investment wiped out by political whimsy.

Opponents of the mine argue that the risks associated with the Pebble Mine were too great as it was on the watershed for the Bristol Bay. But the EPA acted without even waiting for a mining plan to be presented, because they couldn’t risk that the actual facts about the project might mitigate against the fear being spread by those trying to stop it.

By acting outside of the law, the Obama Administration accomplished its purpose. It sent a strong message to anyone interested in mining in the United States not to bother even trying. After all, if a proposed mining project in one of the most remote locations on earth cannot even get a fair hearing within the constructs of American law, then what hope would any other proposed mining projects have?

In the upcoming weeks we are likely to hear a great deal from Obama and the Democrats about the need for good jobs in our country. Working in the mining industry used to be considered one of these “good jobs” but no more. Thanks to Obama’s economic wrecking crew, those good jobs will not be created in the future.

However, this is worse than just having tax policies that discourage investment, by unilaterally denying the Pebble Mine without allowing them to present their mining plan, the Obama Administration has fundamentally changed America from a place where investors could depend upon the rule of law, to a third world political environment where clout supercedes all else. Just another step in America’s descent into mediocrity.


Do we face a disastrous century due to global cooling?

BY: Michael Barone

Are we facing a dangerous period of global cooling? That's not a question that many have been asking. But reports that there has been a sharp reduction in sunspot activity raises that possibility. It has happened before. In his book Global Crisis: War, Climate Change & Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century, historian Geoffrey Parker writes:

“The development of telescopes as astronomical instruments after 1609 enabled observers to track the number of sunspots with unprecedented accuracy. They noted a ‘maximum’ between 1612 and 1614, followed by a ‘minimum’ with virtually no spots in 1617 and 1618, and markedly weaker maxima in 1625-26 and 1637-9. And then, although astronomers around the world made observations on over 8,000 days between 1645 and 1715, they saw virtually no sunspots: The grand total of sunspots observed in those 70 years scarcely reached 100, fewer than currently [the book was published in 2013] appear in a single year. This striking evidence of absence suggests a reduction in solar energy received on earth.”

The result of the “Maunder Minimum” of sunspots was a so-called Little Ice Age, with significantly colder temperatures in the temperate zones, low crop yields to the point of famine and, Parker writes, “a greater frequency of severe weather events—such as flash floods, freak storms, prolonged drought and abnormal (as well as abnormally long) cold spells.”

Global warming alarmists have been claiming for decade that increases in carbon dioxide emissions associated with human activity will produce disastrous climate events. Certainly if carbon dioxide emissions were the only factor affecting climate, increases in those emissions would indeed produce global warming. Inconveniently for this theory, world temperatures have not increased in the last 15 years. But surely there are other things that affect climate, including variations in solar activity—sunspots. And as Bjorn Lomberg has often written, global cooling would be much more dangerous to human beings than global warming. Parker’s 697-page book (no, I haven’t read the whole thing) is an account of the political and demographic disasters in a global cooling century. Something to think about the next time you hear warnings of the inevitable disasters coming thanks to global warming.


It could be that climate change just isn’t worth worrying about

Tim Worstall

As you all know I'm perfectly willing to go along with the idea that climate change is indeed a problem that we are doing something about and that that something should be a carbon tax. All of this being based on the dual points that I know nothing about the science of all of this but a great deal about the economics. So, if the scientists tell me that it's happening then OK, here's what we should do about it.

And it's worth noting that this makes me entirely mainstream: think of that, a subject where Worstall is in fact entirely mainstream. It's what the Stern Review says for example.

However, the next IPCC report may well end up with my changing my views on this. Here's a taster from a recently leaked version:

Containing the concentration to 480 ppm “would entail global consumption losses” of 1 percent to 4 percent in 2030. That range would rise to 2 percent to 6 percent in 2050 and then to as much as 12 percent in 2100 when compared with scenarios that don’t involve fighting climate change, according to the document.

The only argument in favour of doing something about climate change is that not doing something will be even more expensive than doing something. And the calculation was, from the Stern Review, that we should be willing to spend 1-2% of global GDP each year in order to avoid a near catastrophic 20% decline in it when the changes occur. But it's important to note that that 20% decline is only a possibility, even Stern didn't say it was a certainty.

But now we've got the IPCC apparently saying that we're going to be losing 12% of GDP globally in order to avert the possibility of a 20% decline. That's not a cost benefit analysis that makes sense.

Which leads us to a quite delightful possibility. That the next IPCC report on the dangers of climate change is actually going to end up proving that we shouldn't do anything about climate change. For the doing things will be more expensive than the damages we suffer from not doing anything.

Probably, given that that 20% decline in GDP is indeed only a possible event, not a certain one.


Charter forests?

The Federal Government “owns,” without Constitutional authority, much of the Fifty States – and oddly enough, far more of many of those states than it claims in the District of Columbia, the ONLY place it is authorized to own anything beyond military installations and postal and customs offices. One of the agencies which administers probably the largest part of that government land is the United States Forest Service, which controls 10 percent of the land in the Fifty States. And does a VERY bad job of administering (caring for) that land.

Independence Institute published an interesting article this week.
Taking an Ax to Traditional Forest Management

It talks at length about the problems with the USFS, and a little about WHY there are the problems, and then suggests creating “Charter Forests” the way “Charter Schools” have been established in many school districts in recent years.

That was very close to a concept I first offered to the voters of South Dakota when I ran for governor in 1994 (when I was young and REALLY stupid). South Dakota (unlike most of the West) only has parts of TWO national forests (and parts of three National Grasslands), but they take up a sizable chunk of the state, and the economy is impacted for both good and bad for the 130 years we’ve had them here.

My proposal was to “commercialize” these. (Not “privatize” because that has come to mean do things the government (stupid) way, just have a contractor do that instead of having government employees be stupid. The worst of two worlds.) I modified the proposal somewhat by specifying that it had to be non-profits and not for-profit companies, and that the companies be cooperatives so that there was a LOT of public participation. But the concept was simple: let the land remain in “federal” or “state” ownership, but operating them: managing and caring for them, would be in the hands of this non-profit cooperative association that would break-even and provide the materials and services to its members and to the general public.

The contract or agreement between the USFS (or USDA, its parent) and the State of South Dakota and the cooperative association would specify the objectives, goals, and limits – BUT NOT THE METHODS OF ACHIEVING THOSE things – and some form of insurance or surety would be maintained (just like mining companies and landfills do) to protect against negligence and gross (that is, governmental-level) stupidity. The association would be freed from the six or eight levels of “supervision” that the current Forest/Grassland Supervisors in Custer and Fort Pierre and Bison and such “enjoy.” (Think about the heirarchy: makes the Roman Catholic Church look flat: District Ranger, Forest Supervisor, Regional Supervisor, Chief of the USFS, Deputy Undersecretary, Undersecretary, Secretary of Agriculture, and of course, the MAN in 1600 PA.)

This is indeed similar to the proposal for charter forests now launched by Independence Institute, and they will no doubt be listened to much better than I was two decades ago. Both of us point out that something HAS to be done. The continued federal ownership of land that SHOULD have remained in ownership of tribes or gone into private ownership, and the government mismanagement of that for 120 years, has damaged the forests severely: more so than the so-called ravages done before the forest reserves were created except in a VERY few locations. But worse, the current conditions of the forests of America, especially those of the West, means that much of the destruction we’ve seen is only a pale shadow of what will happen with the economy and federal government collapse, and there will be only enough “federal management” to keep anyone from doing anything about the longterm decay in ecosystems, and the massive fires sure to sweep so much of the forests.

Local, private management is the only alternative which is both able to accomplish the objective of managing the forests to support humans (and wildlife and everything else), that is both sustainable and affordable. The same system could be applied to the National Park lands, and to the vast lands controlled by another of the great failed bureaucracies, Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

By the way, this is NOT a totally outlandish or new idea by any means. Forests both in the United Kingdom and the Fifty States nave been privately owned and operated for centuries, and can be visited today. They are not utopias, but they are sustainable and thriving. In the US, look at much of the Eastern Seaboard, especially Maine and Pennsylvania, but in the West, look at the land owned by Union Pacific, BNSF, and other railroads, as well as millions of acres of “inholdings” inside national forests. It DOES work.




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


20 January, 2014

Another year of global cooling

Falling temperatures are giving climate alarmists chills

By David Deming

Global warming is nowhere to be found. The mean global temperature has not risen in 17 years and has been slowly falling for approximately the past 10 years. In 2013, there were more record-low temperatures than record-high temperatures in the United States.

At the end of the first week in January, a brutal spell of cold weather settled over most of the country. Multiple cold-temperature records were shattered across the country. Some sites experienced frigid conditions not seen since the 19th century. Chicago and New York City broke temperature records set in 1894 and 1896, respectively. These extremes were not singular, but exemplary of conditions throughout much of the continent. Temperatures in Chicago were so cold that a polar bear at the Lincoln Park Zoo had to be taken inside.

The onset of polar conditions over the United States was also a reminder that cold weather in general is more inimical to human welfare than warm weather. The operation of power grids, gas pipelines and oil refineries was disrupted. Passengers on Amtrak trains were left stranded, and thousands of flights were delayed or canceled. By Jan. 7, the media were reporting at least 21 deaths directly related to the cold.

The January freeze caused $3 million in damage to vineyards in Ohio. Citrus crops in Florida apparently escaped damage, but California growers were not so lucky. A weeklong spell of cold weather in early December damaged up to half of the state’s $1.5 billion citrus crop. California farmers may (or may not) take consolation in the fact that their state government is attempting to further cool the climate by mandating a reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions.

As frigid conditions settled over the nation, global-warming alarmists went into full denial mode. We were emphatically lectured that singular weather events are not necessarily indicative of long-term climate trends. True enough, but haven’t we been repeatedly told that weather events such as hurricanes Sandy and Katrina are unequivocal proof of global warming? If we’re really in the middle of a “climate crisis,” is it not remarkable that low-temperature records from the 19th century were shattered?

Weather extremes also seem to bring out the lunatic fringe. Of course, when we’re discussing global warming, it’s difficult to tell where the mainstream stops and the fringe begins. We were subjected to the oxymoronic explanation that frigid weather was, in fact, caused by global warming. According to Time magazine, cold temperatures in the United States were a result of global warming forcing the polar vortex southward. But in 1974, the same Time informed us that descent of the polar vortex into temperate zones was a harbinger of a new Ice Age.

It is true that the extent of sea ice at the North Pole is slightly below the 30-year average. However, an event near Antarctica reminded us that sea ice there is near an all-time high. In late December, a ship of global-warming researchers became stuck in Antarctic sea ice. The ice was so thick that two icebreakers sent to rescue the scientists were unable to break through. Passengers had to be removed by helicopter. Despite all the claims that the poles are melting and polar bears drowning, the global extent of sea ice remains stubbornly and significantly above the long-term mean. Apparently, the buildup of heat from global warming is producing more ice, not less, in defiance of both the laws of physics and common sense.

It seems now that everyone is qualified to have an opinion on global warming. In a recent column, theology professor Susan Thistlethwaite explained that “frigid weather” was an “example of the kind of violent and abrupt climate change that results from global warming.” Sometimes, I just feel so stupid. I thought cold weather was attributable to the annual phenomenon known as “winter.” The good professor also claimed that cold weather in the United States is a punishment sent by God for “our sinful failure to take care of the Creation.”

If the current cooling trend continues for a few more years, the theory of global warming faces imminent extinction. It will then join a long list of other expired environmental doom-and-gloom predictions, including overpopulation, peak oil and nuclear wint


Democrats Plan to Pressure TV Networks Into Covering Climate Change

Senate Democrats pledging to get more aggressive on climate change will soon pressure the major TV networks to give the topic far greater attention on the Sunday talking-head shows.

Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, are gathering colleagues' signatures on a letter to the networks asserting that they're ignoring global warming.

"It is beyond my comprehension that you have ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, that their Sunday shows have discussed climate change in 2012, collectively, for all of eight minutes," Sanders said, citing analysis by the liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America.

Sanders mentioned the letter during a press conference with most other members of Senate Democrats' new, 19-member Climate Action Task Force, and he elaborated on it in a brief interview afterward.

"Sunday news shows are obviously important because they talk to millions of people, but they go beyond that by helping to define what the establishment considers to be important and what is often discussed during the rest of the week," he said.

It's unclear how many senators will ultimately sign the letter.

Sanders said lawmakers plan to send the letter within days. The amount of Sunday TV coverage is way out of whack with the topic's weight, he added.

"What [the networks] are saying is, climate change is a non-important issue, it is an irrelevant issue, and yet the scientific community tells us that it is the greatest crisis facing this planet," he said.

Democratic members of the new task force say they'll embark on a wide array of activities to raise the visibility of climate change.

Members' goals include battling GOP efforts to block federal carbon emissions standards for power plants, and, longer term, creating political space for major climate legislation that's currently going nowhere in Congress.


Karl Popper and the Ideology of Global Warming

It's about 4 degrees this morning--at least that's the temperature where I live. Wilmington, Delaware seldom sees temperatures that low. There's frost on the outside storm window for the first time in years. Brrrr.

As I enjoy a hot cup of coffee, I find myself thinking about global warming, Karl Popper and his theory of falsifiability. Popper wrote that an important tenet in the philosophy of science was that a theory is not really scientific if it doesn't admit that there is always the possibility the theory may be false. Any scientific theory that does not allow the possibility it may be false is no longer science, but is ideology, a belief system taken entirely on faith.

I'm remembering a discussion with my eldest son, who says the theory of global warming is non-falsifiable and therefore an ideology rather than true science. He said the problem with global warmists is that no matter how climate actually behaves, all data ostensibly proves the overall temperature of the earth is continually rising. It follows that the recent deep freeze temperatures crippling large parts of our nation are proof of global warming just as the inevitable heat waves coming this summer will also be proof of global warming. Popper would call such a line of reasoning a "closed circle."

Sounds like a religious cult to me. C.S. Lewis would agree, as he was one of the first to name such cults branches of "scientism," a belief system that sees scientific theory as infallible and therefore a handy substitute for traditional religious beliefs that see only the almighty and all wise God as infallible.

The warmist cult resembles religion in another sense, too. There is penance and redemption possible. According to the warmists, in order to avoid catastrophe, we humans must change our way of living and decrease the heat by abandoning fossil fuels and reducing our carbon footprint. Self-flagellation involves penitent actions such as reducing our standard of living and getting rid of sinful objects such as the incandescent light bulb. We can and must save ourselves and the planet.

So as you deal with Siberian temperatures, whether trying to start your car, wrestling with your house-bound kids who are out of school all day, or sleeping at the airport because your flight has been cancelled, remember the earth is actually warming up.

Use the time you and yours are grounded by sub-zero temperatures thoughtfully. Make a list of how you can do penance for contributing to the earth's death by heat.


Russia going shale

A joint venture between Shell and Russia’s Gazprom Neft has begun drilling in a Siberian shale formation that is believed to hold one of the world’s largest shale oil deposits.

The joint venture, Salym Petroleum Development (SPD), is eying the Bazhenov shale as a play potentially similar to the highly prolific Bakken shale in the US.

The Bazhenov is located in Western Siberia, and covers 2.3 million square kilometers or 570 million acres, which is the size of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico combined, an area 80 times bigger than the Bakken.

The drilling announcement follows a memorandum signed in April last year to explore and develop shale oil and Arctic offshore projects in Russia.

Oleg Karpushin, SPD’s chief executive officer, said the appraisal program will give his company an edge in developing hard-to-recover resources.

"We hope that the pilot project will allow us and our shareholders to make a decision about moving to a large-scale development," he said.

SPD said it plans multi-stage fractures of all five wells in Upper Salym, West Siberia in a bid to tap shale oil potential in the prospective Bazhenov formation.

The first horizontal well follows three years of study on the prospect, which included three vertical wells, 3D seismic, coring and well logging in the Upper Salym area.

The Bazhenov layer has attracted Shell and Exxon because it is said to be similar to the Bakken shale, a key venue behind the North American shale boom.

Exxon will also start a $300 million pilot project drilling in a different part of the Bazhenov with Russia’s Rosneft this year.

The Bazehnov region has many cracks and fractures which could make its oil flow more readily, and therefore production could come in at a lower cost. So far, test wells in the region have operated at 400 barrels per day, on line with Bakken test well averages.

Moscow has introduced tax breaks to incentivize exploration of the Bazhenov and other shale plays.


Alarmists: Americans Too Stupid to Understand Climate

New polling data show the American public is growing increasingly skeptical of an asserted climate crisis. Alarmists have responded by claiming Americans are not smart enough to make proper decisions on climate policy.

The Yale University Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication released a survey showing only 15 percent of Americans are “very worried” about global warming, compared to 23 percent who believe global warming is not happening at all. A plurality of Americans – 38 percent – believe global warming is happening but are only “somewhat worried” about it.

Most Americans don’t expect to be personally affected by global warming. Only 38 percent of Americans believe they will personally be harmed a “great deal’ or even a “moderate amount” by global warming.

Survey author Edward Maibach bemoaned the results and claimed Americans do not understand global warming issues.

“Our findings show that the public’s understanding of global warming’s reality, causes, and risks has not improved and has, in at least one important respect, gone in the wrong direction over the past year,” said Maibach.

Meanwhile, Christiana Figueres, executive director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, blamed America’s democratic institutions for blocking progress on global warming. Figueres said political gridlock in the U.S. Congress is “very detrimental” to reducing America’s carbon dioxide emissions. On the other hand, Figueres praised China and its totalitarian regime as “doing it right” to address global warming.

According to the U.S. Energy Information administration, Chinese carbon dioxide emissions have tripled since 2000. U.S. emissions, by contrast, have declined by nearly 10 percent since 2000.


Spotted owl follies still going on

In the latest chapter in the quarter-century-old dispute over how to save northern spotted owls (top), the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) is now carrying out selective killings of the winged predator’s arch rival, the barred owl (bottom).

FWS biologists shot 26 barred owls on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in northeastern California in late 2013, the first step in a 6-year, $3.5 million plan to “remove” 3,600 invasive barred owls in Oregon, Washington, and California. The government-sanctioned killing of one species to benefit another is not unusual. As the Associated Press (Dec. 23) points out, sea lions and cormorants (coastal seabirds) are sometimes killed in order to protect certain species of salmon.

FWS officials refer to the latest action as an “experiment’ that is being performed because other federal efforts to reverse the decline in the numbers of spotted owls have failed. Indeed, FWS’s low-key move represents a radical departure from its high-profile policy of the late 1980s and early1990s that devastated wide swaths of the rural Pacific Northwest and, ultimately, did nothing to help the spotted owl.

Anatomy of a Hoax

The story unfolded in the late 1980s when several environmental organizations embarked on a mission to “protect’ forests in the Northwest from logging. Much of the area in question is federal land that is either under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service or the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Throughout most of the 20th century, the Forest Service and BLM sponsored periodic timber sales on these lands that provided local communities with jobs, and consumers in the U.S. and abroad with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of wood products.

Disrupting this long-standing relationship between producers and consumers wouldn’t be easy, but environmentalists seized on the almost limited opportunities the Endangered Species Act (ESA) offered them, and, before long, the spotted owl obtained celebrity status.

In 1987, a newly formed consortium calling itself the Ancient Forest Alliance, which included the Wilderness Society, Sierra Club, and other like-minded organizations, filed a petition with the FWS to have the northern spotted owl listed as an endangered species. FWS rejected the petition, citing a lack of evidence that the owl was endangered. Undaunted, local chapters of the Audubon Society filed separate suits against the Forest Service and BLM questioning whether the owl could survive planned timber harvests on lands under their jurisdiction.

The environmentalists’ argument rested on the assumption that the northern spotted owl, strix caurina occidentalis, was in danger of going extinct because its primary habitat, old-growth forests, was threatened by commercial logging. Spotted owls, however, not only inhabit old-growth forests, where flying squirrels are their favorite prey. They also are found in younger forests, where flying squirrels and other rodents are on their menu. That the owl’s survival depended on millions of acres being made off-limits to logging was an unfounded notion spread by environmentalists.

The emphasis on old growth was all about stirring up emotions. In the hands of skilled PR people, old growth quickly became “ancient,” inspiring even more reverence and awe in a public unfamiliar with the intricacies of forestry. Time magazine devoted a cover story to the owl, and actor Paul Newman told a “World of Audubon” audience on PBS that the fate of the forests and the owls goes to “the heart of society’s values.”

With the public sufficiently aroused, federal judges William Dwyer and Helen Frye, responding to petitions from the Audubon Society and its allies, issued orders halting hundreds of timber sales on Forest Service and BLM lands in 1989. In May 1990, the inappropriately named Interagency Scientific Committee to Address the Conservation of the Northern Spotted Owl, composed of scientists selected by FWS, BLM, the Forest Service, and the National Park Service, issued a report concluding that the lack of a consistent planning strategy had resulted in a high risk for extinction for the northern spotted owl.

The panel offered no evidence that old-growth forests were essential to the owl’s survival or even that its numbers were declining. It relied instead on what is known as the “Delphi approach,” which involves taking polls among scientists and making predictions based on the results. One month after the release of the report, FWS, reversing its 1987 decision, listed the owl as “threatened.”

Over the next five years, timber harvests in the Pacific Northwest fell by 80%. A U.S. House Resources Committee (now Natural Resources Committee) report put the job losses in the region at 130,000, after 900 saw mills, pulp mills, and paper mills closed in the wake of the federal government’s moves to save the spotted owl.

Full Circle

With its “experiment” designed to cull barred owls from the forests of the Pacific Northwest, FWS is now tacitly acknowledging that the government’s grand scheme to save the spotted owl by reducing logging in the region was a dismal failure. Timber-dependent communities were devastated, and the spotted owl is no better off now than it was 25 years ago. Even at the time, ornithologists and other biologists warned that the spotted owl’s problem was the larger barred owl, which had been migrating west for decades and was out-competing its smaller cousin for prey.

If rural communities in the Pacific Northwest and the spotted owl were the losers, then environmentalists were the clear winners. Using the spotted owl as a “surrogate,” in the telling words of Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund attorney Andy Stahl, Green activists demonized loggers and wrecked the region’s rural economy. And that was their goal from the outset. It was never about the owl.




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


19 January, 2014

Is a mini ice age on the way? Scientists warn the Sun has 'gone to sleep' and say it could cause temperatures to plunge

The Sun's activity is at its lowest for 100 years, scientists have warned. They say the conditions are eerily similar to those before the Maunder Minimum, a time in 1645 when a mini ice age hit, Freezing London's River Thames.

Researcher believe the solar lull could cause major changes, and say there is a 20% chance it could lead to 'major changes' in temperatures.


Conventional wisdom holds that solar activity swings back and forth like a simple pendulum.

At one end of the cycle, there is a quiet time with few sunspots and flares. At the other end, solar max brings high sunspot numbers and frequent solar storms. It’s a regular rhythm that repeats every 11 years.

Reality is more complicated. Astronomers have been counting sunspots for centuries, and they have seen that the solar cycle is not perfectly regular.

'Whatever measure you use, solar peaks are coming down,' Richard Harrison of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire told the BBC.

'I've been a solar physicist for 30 years, and I've never seen anything like this.'

He says the phenomenon could lead to colder winters similar to those during the Maunder Minimum. 'There were cold winters, almost a mini ice age. 'You had a period when the River Thames froze.'

Lucie Green of UCL believes that things could be different this time due to human activity.

'We have 400 years of observations, and it is in a very similar to phase as it was in the runup to the Maunder Minimum.

'The world we live in today is very different, human activity may counteract this - it is difficult to say what the consequences are.'

Mike Lockwood University of Reading says that the lower temperatures could affect the global jetstream, causing weather systems to collapse. 'We estimate within 40 years there a 10-20% probability we will be back in Maunder Minimum territory,' he said.

Last year Nasa warned 'something unexpected' is happening on the Sun'

This year was supposed to be the year of 'solar maximum,' the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle.

There is evidence that the Sun has had similar periods of inactivity in the more distant past, Nasa says.

The connection between solar activity and terrestrial climate is an area of on-going research.

'Sunspot numbers are well below their values from 2011, and strong solar flares have been infrequent,' the space agency says.

Experts have been baffled by the apparent lack of activity - with many wondering if NASA simply got it wrong.

However, Solar physicist Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center believes he has a different explanation.

'This is solar maximum,' he says. 'But it looks different from what we expected because it is double-peaked.' 'The last two solar maxima, around 1989 and 2001, had not one but two peaks.'

Solar activity went up, dipped, then rose again, performing a mini-cycle that lasted about two years, he said.

The same thing could be happening now, as sunspot counts jumped in 2011 and dipped in 2012, he believes.

Pesnell expects them to rebound in 2013: 'I am comfortable in saying that another peak will happen in 2013 and possibly last into 2014.'

He spotted a similarity between Solar Cycle 24 and Solar Cycle 14, which had a double-peak during the first decade of the 20th century.

If the two cycles are twins, 'it would mean one peak in late 2013 and another in 2015'.


Liberal Dems Form Task Force to Address Unfolding Climate 'Catastrophe'

As Americans clamor for jobs, 18 Senate liberals have their eyes on the sky.

"Climate change is a dangerous threat to our nation, to our planet. It's a catastrophe that's unfolding before our eyes," Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) told a news conference on Tuesday, as she announced the formation of the Senate Climate Action Task Force.

"And we're very dedicated to the notion that when Congress wakes up to it, we'll be able to have an impact and reverse the trend, so that disaster isn't what's waiting for our grandchildren and our children."

Boxer noted that "18 percent of the Senate is part of this," and she named names, starting with her own: Boxer, Whitehouse, Cantwell, Menendez, Cardin, Sanders, Klobuchar, Udall, Shaheen, Merkley, Franken, Blumenthal, Schatz, Murphy, Heinrich, King, Markey and Booker.

"We're very realistic politicians. We understand that the makeup of Congress now is making it very difficult for us to pass climate change legislation now, but we will not sit back and give up, but we will raise the visibility of this issue, with the intent of changing minds around here."

Sen. Boxer promised that Americans will hear from the task force "very, very often."

"As far as action on renewable fuels, which we've discussed with you before, action on energy efficiency, in housing and other areas, fuel economy, of course we'll be dealing with those at this time." But she said "waking up Congress" is the group's main focus right now. "We'll be doing it with speeches, press conferences like this, specific actions that will be very exciting..."

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who co-chairs the task force with Boxer, described climate change as a "contest that will affect the habitability of our planet for our children and our grandchildren."

He said climate change also goes to the heart of American democracy: "If we can't get this right, if we're blown off course by special interest money and propaganda on an issue like this, that sends a terrible message to the world and to the future."

Even "young Republicans" think climate change denial "is ignorant, out of touch, and crazy," he said.

Whitehouse said senators on the climate change task force will use all tools at their disposal to advance the cause, including amendments, floor time, calling groups together, working with corporations, with universities, and with the public generally.

More than a dozen senators appeared with Boxer and Whitehouse at Tuesday's news conference, and a sampling of their remarks -- some partisan -- follows:

-- Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) mentioned Republicans and "the electoral consequences of continuing to ignore this issue." "We have to tell Republicans that if they ultimately want to stop the hemorrhaging from young voters in this country, they need to start paying attention to this issue, because only 3 percent of voters 18 to 34 don't believe that climate change is really happening. Eighty percent of that same cohort of voters support President Obama's climate action plan and three-fourths of young voters would vote against a member of Congress who stands in the way of that plan."

-- Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) "The world is warming. Sea levels are rising. Storms like Sandy are more extreme. The oceans are more acidic. But the oil and the coal industries keep throwing up roadblocks to climate action. Their delay, their denial, their roadblocks are as bogus as a Fort Lee traffic study. There is no basis in fact for these roadblocks which they are creating to action here in Congress and across our country." Markey said the Republican Party "is in the grip of the oil and the coal industry. That is what is blocking real change, that is what is blocking action on science that will protect the public in the years ahead."

-- Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) said it doesn't matter if people believe in climate change -- "the data shows it is real." "And for those of us who are on the Intel (Intelligence) Committee, and on the Armed Services Committee, this is going to change the world. It is going to create conflicts in places and increase those conflicts in very real ways that are going to have direct costs to those Americans who serve in uniform and to the parts of the country that have to think about the security ramifications of this year in and year out."

-- Sen. Bernie Sander (I-Vt.): "When I go back to Vermont, people ask me what world the United States Congress is living in." Sanders said the new task force will "demand that the United States Congress listen to the scientific community, listen to the American people and start acting in a way that will tell our kids and our grandchildren that we are concerned about their future." He complained that the major television networks -- "on their important Sunday news shows" -- are not devoting enough time to climate change, according to a study by the far-left advocacy group, Media Matters.

-- Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) called carbon pollution "a direct assault on our natural resource industries." It's not a Democratic or a Republican issue, he said: "This carbon pollution is an attack on our natural resource industries of fishing, forestry and farming. We're all in this together and we need to take it on."

-- Sen. Angus King (I-Maine): "Everything you need to know about this issue can be embodied in the Maine Rototiller Rule. The Maine Rototiller Rule is, if you borrow your neighbor's Rototiller, you always give it back to him or her in as good a shape as you got it and with a full tank of gas. We have the planet on loan. We don't own it. We have it on loan from future generations."

-- Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said climate change, accelerated by human activity, is happening. "Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree with that statement." He pointed to rising water levels and more wildfires, droughts, floods, extreme weather conditions: "There are workable solutions to reduce greenhouse gases. We can change this," he said. He mentioned "cleaner energy sources, more conservation, and greater vehicle fuel efficiency.


Colorado Consumers Paying Steep Price for Renewable Power Mandates

Colorado consumers are paying a steep price for the state’s renewable power mandates, U.S. Energy Information Administration data show. Electricity prices in Colorado have risen 20 percent faster than the national average since Colorado enacted renewable power mandates in 2004. Prices rose even more steeply after Colorado made the mandates stricter in 2007, 2010, and 2013, with the state’s electricity prices rising more than twice as fast as the national average since 2007.

In 2004 Colorado voters approved an initiative requiring larger utilities to generate 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. Since 2004 the state legislature has approved a succession of bills making the mandate stricter. Current law requires electricity providers serving most of the state’s customers to generate 30 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

Sharply Rising Prices

Since 2004, U.S. electricity prices have risen 33.8 percent, and Colorado prices have risen 40.4 percent (data through October 2013, the most recent month for which the U.S. Energy Information Administration published data when this paper went to press).

Since 2007, U.S. electricity prices have risen 10.8 percent, while Colorado prices have risen 27.5 percent.

Since 2010, U.S. electricity prices have risen 3.1 percent, while Colorado electricity prices have risen 7.0 percent.

Notably, the increase in Colorado’s electricity prices masks an even faster rise in electricity costs in the Centennial State. Federal taxpayers (including Coloradans) provide substantial subsidies to renewable power producers, most notably through the wind power production tax credit. These additional costs do not appear in retail electricity prices.

Directly Traceable to Renewables

The rise in Colorado’s electricity prices is directly traceable to the increasing generation of costly renewable power. Wind power comprises nearly all renewable power generation in Colorado. During March 2013 testimony before the Ohio Senate Public Utilities Committee, Andrew Ott, senior vice president for markets at PJM Interconnection, which coordinates electricity transmission in 13 states, testified the real cost of providing and delivering usable wind power to consumers is at least double or triple that of conventional power.

These renewable power cost premiums apply in Colorado and throughout the nation.

Households Taking Financial Hit

The rapid increase in electricity prices is imposing real financial hardship on Colorado families.

Had Colorado electricity prices risen at merely the national average since 2007, when the state legislature first passed a renewable power mandate, Colorado electricity consumers would have saved $4.2 billion in electricity costs. Averaged out over Colorado’s nearly 2 million households, the average Colorado household has already paid an extra $2,100 in electricity costs (more than $350 per household per year) beyond what each household would have paid if the state’s electricity prices rose merely at the same pace as the national average since 2007.


Hydraulic Fracturing in brief

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a decades-old well stimulation technique that recently has been combined with horizontal drilling and computer-assisted underground monitoring to make extracting from vast reserves of oil and natural gas more economical. This has stimulated dozens of state economies and revamped the nation’s energy portfolio.

This boom in oil and gas production, especially in regions not accustomed to the industry, have led to some concern about whether the technology is safe and if the benefits outweigh the costs. Environmental activist groups have called for state and local governments to impose overly aggressive regulation, moratoria, and even outright bans. They also have called for increased federal government oversight of hydraulic fracturing.


North Dakota, a state that has embraced fracking, has seen the creation of 70,000 new jobs in the past five years as a result of the increased oil production from fracking. North Dakota’s unemployment rate has been holding near 3 percent for the past few years. Other states – such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas – that have allowed for and not over regulated the practice also have experienced robust job growth and increased tax revenue as a result of hydraulic fracturing.

In June 2013, Illinois passed the most comprehensive fracking bill in the nation, satisfying the interests of both industry and environmental groups. The measure has been said to be a model for other states. State government should tailor regulations to their specific needs due to the wide differences in geology, hydrology, and economics.

Statewide bans and moratoria on fracking impose an unnecessary burden on the economy by hindering development. Hydraulic fracturing has a 50-year history of being a safe and reliable technology and should be regulated on the basis of the best- available science and its track record, rather than on unfounded claims driven by fear and misinformation.
Impact fees, when imposed, must be narrowly tailored and directed towards specific impact remediation. They should not be used for general operating or to increase government spending.

As more states set standards for fracking, the need for federal oversight will further dissipate.

Policy Message

Point 1: The Yale Graduates in Energy Study Group found the benefits of hydraulic fracturing exceed the costs by a ratio of 400–1.

Point 2: By using horizontal drilling techniques, producers are able to drill multiple wells from the same drilling pad, reducing surface disturbance while increasing access to oil and gas resources.

Point 3: Fracking fluid is composed of 99.51 percent water and sand, and .49 percent chemical additives, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Such additives prevent corrosion in the well, reduce surface tension in liquids, stabilize clay particles, adjust pH, and eliminate bacteria.

Point 4: Shale gas production consumes less water per unit of energy generated than onshore oil production, ethanol production, and washing coal after it has been mined.

Point 5: Increasing reliance on natural gas has been a key reason why U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have fallen to their lowest levels since 1994 and are not expected to reach their 2005 levels again through 2040.

Point 6: Current available science and track record suggests moratoria on hydraulic fracturing are unnecessary.

Point 7: Low energy costs due to abundant and affordable oil and natural gas are projected to add one million jobs by 2025.


Emails Show Extensive Collaboration Between EPA, Environmentalist Orgs

Internal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emails show extensive collaboration between top agency officials and leading environmentalist groups, including overt efforts to coordinate messaging and pressure the fossil fuel industry.

The emails, obtained by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute (EELI) through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, could fuel an ongoing controversy over EPA policies that critics say are biased against traditional sources of energy.

Emails show EPA used official events to help environmentalist groups gather signatures for petitions on agency rulemaking, incorporated advance copies of letters drafted by those groups into official statements, and worked with environmentalists to publicly pressure executives of at least one energy company.

Nancy Grantham, director of public affairs for EPA Region 1, which covers New England, asked an organizer for the Sierra Club’s New Hampshire chapter to share the group’s agenda so EPA could adjust its messaging accordingly in an email dated March 12, 2012.

“If you could, it would great [sic] if you can send me an email describing what you would like to do in early April in NH–that way I can coordinate messaging with our air offices here and at HQ,” Grantham wrote.

Critics of the agency and its nonprofit allies were surprised by the cooperation.

“The level of coordination in these documents is shocking,” EELI said in a statement.

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), a member of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, said the emails suggest that the EPA is straying from its mission by working hand-in-hand with hardline green groups.

“It’s unfortunate that EPA has spent more of its resources promoting and coordinating a political agenda with environmentalists instead of doing its job,” Pompeo said in an emailed statement.

“In Kansas, we expect public officials to serve the public interest, not the interests of radical environmentalist groups.”

The documents also reveal some of the internal deliberations behind recent controversial EPA decisions, such as the locations of public hearings on an agency rule imposing stringent emissions limits for power plants.

The agency came under fire from legislators representing coal-producing states for holding those hearings far from regions where most of the nation’s coal is produced.

“Instead of the EPA holding a coal hearing in the heart of Coal Country, Kentucky, he has chosen locations such as San Francisco and Washington, D.C.,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said at the time.

McConnell accused EPA of “once again showing its contempt for Kentucky’s coal miners and their families.”

Emails released by EELI show that EPA decided on the locations for those hearings after consulting with leading environmentalist groups that advocate the complete phase-out of coal power.

“San Fran and Seattle would be friendlier forums but CA has no coal plants and WA is phasing out its one plant,” noted EPA region 8 administrator James Martin in an email to Vicki Patton, general counsel at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

“Choosing either may create opportunities for the industry to claim EPA is tilting the playing field,” Martin told Patton. “Denver would not have that problem.”

The EPA would later deny that Martin used a personal email for EPA business. The FOIAed messages reveal that that was not the case. His email to Patton was sent from a “.me” address.

Martin also advised Patton that hearings in Denver could be used to pressure the natural gas industry. “The gas industry has way more presence here, too. One last point in its favor–it will make Roy Palmer nervous!” he wrote.

Palmer is an executive at Xcel Energy, a leading natural gas utility in Colorado.

Amy Oliver Cooke, the executive director of the Independence Institute, a Denver-based free market think tank, said she was surprised at the hostility towards Palmer and Xcel, given their past cooperation on legislation imposing renewable energy quotas in the state.

“It shows that Xcel and natural gas aren’t welcome at the eco-left’s cool kids table anymore,” Cooke said.

“It’s really no surprise,” she added. “We warned them they would be next. When you sleep with rattlesnakes eventually they will bite you. With friends like Patton and Martin, Xcel and natural gas don’t need any more enemies. ”

A Sierra Club employee also sent a list of their preferred locations for public hearings. The list was forwarded to EPA staff.

The emissions rule on which EPA held those hearings—one of which ended up taking place in Denver—is expected to effectively block the construction of new coal-fired power plants.

The EPA has denied that that was the purpose of the rule, or that it will have that effect. However, other emails obtained by EELI show that top EPA officials were aware that it would devastate the industry.

These newly released emails show that officials also used events surrounding the rule to help environmentalist groups gather public comments on the rulemaking process that supported the EPA’s position.

Deputy EPA administrator Bob Perciasepe attended an April 24, 2012, meeting with 24 leading environmentalist groups, including EDF, the Sierra Club, and the Natural Resource Defense Council, according to a notice of the meeting sent by Teri Porterfield, Perciasepe’s assistant.

“The purpose is to create a photo-op and narrative beat for the comment-gathering efforts on the issue,” Porterfield wrote.

“Groups will use materials from the event to communicate with supporters and recruit additional comment-signers via newsletters, emails, and social media,” she added.

The EPA also incorporated environmentalist groups’ messaging into then-administrator Lisa Jackson’s communications with members of Congress, the emails reveal.

On November 30, 2011, John Coequyt, who headed the Sierra Club’s “beyond coal” campaign, sent an advance copy of a letter publicly released the following day to a number of EPA officials, including “Richard Windsor,” the pseudonym Jackson used for her personal email address.

The letter addressed a pending EPA rule on emissions from industrial boilers.

“Administrator, I’ll summarize all this in your briefing document for the Hill meetings regarding Boiler MACT,” Arvin Ganesan, a top official in EPA’s congressional relations office, wrote in a follow-up. The following paragraphs of Ganesan’s email were redacted by EPA’s FOIA office.

These emails were released weeks after EPA’s inspector general released a report examining apparent coordination between the agency and environmentalist groups prior to EPA issuing an endangerment order against Texas natural gas company Range Resources.

The IG found that EPA’s actions “conformed to agency guidelines, regulations and policy,” but observers say it either failed to take into account significant pieces of evidence or deliberately ignored that evidence.

Internal EPA regulations prohibit officials from leaking information about administrative orders prior to their public release. However, the IG said that the EPA had done no such thing with respect to the Range order.

“A review of the evidence showed that this communication occurred after the region issued its press release and that it is not out of the ordinary for the EPA to inform interested parties of press releases after they are released,” the report stated.

That statement seems to contradict evidence showing that Al Armendariz, a former EPA region 6 administrator infamous for comparing his enforcement philosophy to Roman crucifixions, gave environmentalist groups the heads up before EPA put out its press release.

“We’re about to make a lot of news,” Armendariz wrote to a handful of Texas environmental activists prior to that release. “There’ll be an official press release in a few minutes. Also, time to Tivo channel 8.”


Germany is a cautionary tale of how energy polices can harm the economy

Germany's shift to renewable energy was once Angela Merkel’s flagship policy - now it has become her biggest headache.

“For me, the most urgent problem is the design of the energy revolution,” said the German Chancellor in her first television interview after being re-elected last month. “We are under a lot of pressure. The future of jobs and the future of Germany as a business location depend on it.”

She is not wrong: Europe’s largest country and economy faces a crisis. Such is the mess over energy that the future of Germany’s much-vaunted economic competitiveness is now seriously threatened.

Ms Merkel is currently Europe’s most popular leader but there is a growing backlash against her ill-thought-out energy policies.

And, to cap it all, policies hailed as saving the world from climate change have, in fact, increased CO2 emissions.

The plan was called energiewende, which can be translated as energy transition or even revolution. But despite Germany’s shift to renewable solar and wind energies, and amid a recession, its carbon emissions rose by 1.8pc last year.

In the European Union, as a whole, emissions fell by 1.3pc, mainly due to recession, according to the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo.

Ms Merkel has no one to blame but herself. Germany’s shift to renewables was very much along the norms of the European model, with the aim of going beyond EU targets. Then along came Fukushima and the wave of anti-nuclear hysteria that followed the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The once-in-a-millennium event at the Fukushima reactor killed nobody, although the tsunami claimed 16,000 lives. However, it was enough to panic Germany’s green middle class.

Ms Merkel caved in to shrill demands for the country’s atomic reactors to be closed. This decision, from a former chemist, who is personally pro-nuclear, is perhaps the most important economic call she has made. It is a disaster.

In March 2011, at the height of the eurozone recession, Germany switched off eight of its 17 nuclear reactors, cutting 7pc of electricity generation, with another 18pc to go over the next decade. The other nine reactors will be phased out from 2015 to 2022, bringing forward a previous 2036 deadline by 14 years.

Germany has also stepped up energiewende, as it switches to meet a target of producing 80pc of the country’s electricity from renewable, wind and solar power by 2050. The fields carpeted with solar panels and the North Sea wind farms may have gratified the green conceits of Germany’s middle class but they have come at a terrible economic and social cost. According to Nature, the international science magazine, this year German consumers will be forced to pay €20bn (£17bn) to subsidise electricity from solar, wind and bio-gas plants, power with a real market price of €3bn.

To pay for this green adventure, surcharges on electricity for households have increased by 47pc, or €15bn, in the past year alone. German consumers already pay the highest electricity prices in Europe; before long, the average three-person household will spend around €90 a month for electricity, almost twice as much as in 2000. Currently, more than 300,000 German households a year are seeing their power shut off because of unpaid bills.

Two-thirds of the electricity price increase is due to new government surcharges and taxes to subsidise renewable energy. While electricity prices have rocketed and the middle classes receive handouts to put solar panels on their houses, pensions and wages have not kept up, hitting Germany’s poorest hardest.

There are some serious practical problems emerging. Solar and wind power is erratic, which means that Germany will require storage capacity for 20bn to 30bn kilowatt-hours by 2050. So far, the storage capacity has grown by little more than 70m kilowatt-hours.

Compounding problems, when the wind stops blowing or the sun disappears, the electricity supply needed to power the national grid becomes scarce. This has pushed Germany into increased use of heavy oil and coal power plants, which is why the country released more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2012 than in 2011.

Its decision to phase out nuclear power also led to a rise in coal prices, as traders realised that it was likely to keep more coal for domestic consumption.

Germany has got used to delivering economic homilies on competitiveness to the rest of Europe. But a new picture is emerging: German industry is in trouble. Energy prices are 40pc more expensive than in France and the Netherlands, and the bills are 15pc higher than the EU average. Even though Germany’s energy-intensive manufacturing sector is given a break with reduced levies, industries such as chemicals and steel are among the hardest hit, with energiewende costs of up to €740m a year. The burden could get even worse after the European Commission (EC) launched an investigation into the reduced levies.

The Verband der Industriellen Energie- und Kraftwirtschaft, which represents high-energy manufacturing, is alarmed that the commission could be about to rule that the levies are in breach of EU competition rules on state aid to industry. It is concerned that the EC will levy full charges on companies with immediate effect, and maybe even retroactively, a move it says could “destroy Germany’s industrial core”.

Germany has become a cautionary tale for Europe, an example of where the wrong energy policies are damaging, perhaps mortally wounding, its economy, punishing consumers and the poor while undermining the green objectives, of reduced CO2 emissions, it set out to achieve.




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


17 January, 2014

EPA chief unable to say if the world has gotten warmer

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy wasn’t able to definitively say whether the world has gotten warmer in Senate testimony.

Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions asked McCarthy to confirm a statement made by President Obama last year that global temperatures were increasing faster in the last five or ten years than climate scientists had predicted.

McCarthy couldn’t answer the question, saying that she only repeats what the climate scientists tell her. Sessions was not satisfied with her response.

“Do I not have the right to ask the Director of EPA a simple question that is relevant to the dispute that is before us?” Sessions angrily asked. “Is the temperature around the globe increasing faster than was predicted, even 10 years ago [as the President claimed]?”

“I can’t answer that question,” McCarthy said.

“You are asking us to impose billions of dollars of cost on this economy and you won’t answer the simple question of whether [temperature around the globe is increasing faster than predicted] is an accurate statement or not?” Sessions shot back.

“I just look at what the climate scientists tell me,” said McCarthy.

The hearing was meant to examine President Obama’s climate agenda and featured two panels of environmentalists, climate scientists and federal officials. Last summer, Obama pledged to use his executive powers to fight global warming. His main effort so far has been focused on banning the construction of new coal-fired power plants.

The EPA recently published its carbon dioxide emissions limits for coal plants. In order to comply with such limits, coal plants must install costly clean coal technology that is not commercially proven.


World may have to suck gases from air to meet climate goals-UN

Should be fun. Very bad for plants, though. They're made of carbon

Governments may have to extract vast amounts of greenhouse gases from the air by 2100 to achieve a target for limiting global warming, backed by trillion-dollar shifts towards clean energy, a draft U.N. report showed on Wednesday.

A 29-page summary for policymakers, seen by Reuters, says most scenarios show that rising world emissions will have to plunge by 40 to 70 percent between 2010 and 2050 to give a good chance of restricting warming to U.N. targets.

The report, outlining solutions to climate change, is due to be published in Germany in April after editing by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It will be the third in a series by the IPCC, updating science from 2007.

It says the world is doing too little to achieve a goal agreed in 2010 of limiting warming to below 2 degrees (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times, seen as a threshold for dangerous floods, heatwaves, droughts and rising sea levels.

To get on track, governments may have to turn ever more to technologies for "carbon dioxide removal" (CDR) from the air, ranging from capturing and burying emissions from coal-fired power plants to planting more forests that use carbon to grow.

Most projects for capturing carbon dioxide from power plants are experimental. Among big projects, Saskatchewan Power in Canada is overhauling its Boundary Dam power plant to capture a million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

And, if the world overshoots concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere consistent with the 2C goal, most scenarios for getting back on track "deploy CDR technologies to an extent that net global carbon dioxide emissions become negative" before 2100, it says.

Temperatures have already risen by 0.8C (1.4F) since the Industrial Revolution. A tiny amount


Canada moves to Plan B on Keystone

Where crude oil is concerned, Canada waits for no country. It doesn’t matter how wealthy or how friendly that country is -- or whether that country is the United States.

With the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline stuck in limbo on the U.S. side, Canada’s Energy Board recently gave a thumbs up to a $6.5 billion pipeline designed to carry 525,000 barrels of oil per day from the oil sands of Alberta to ships on the British Columbia coast. The final destination is most likely Asia.

The development has the U.S. oil industry attacking the Obama administration over its drawn-out process.

“It’s taken longer to approve the Keystone XL pipeline than it did to win World War II, longer than it took us to put a man in space, and almost as long as it took to build the Trans-Continental railroad 155 years ago,” said Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute.

The U.S. State Department received the Keystone application in September of 2008. The 1,700-mile project is projected to create thousands of jobs and lessen the need for OPEC oil. Even with domestic production booming, the U.S. still imports about half the crude it uses.

The department says it is still working on the pipeline approval process. “The decision will be made after consideration of the full range of issues, including environmental, economic and safety issues, energy security and compliance with relevant state and federal regulations," the department told Fox News in a statement.

A spokeswoman said the department is working on a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. Once it’s done, eight federal agencies will review it and issue comment.

Meanwhile, environmentalists in Canada, worried about an Exxon Valdez-style spill and climate change, are still hoping to block the proposed Enbridge pipeline to British Columbia.

“The decisions we make in terms of infrastructure set a course for decades into the future,” said Ben West, of Forest Ethics in Vancouver. “So the question is, do we want to be on a path to reduced consumption or increased consumption?”

Oil is Canada’s most valuable export commodity, and analysts predict a nearly tripling of production in Alberta by 2013. Many say that with a pro-oil prime minister in Stephen Harper, the country seems determined to get that oil to market, whether it’s with the U.S. or not.


EU retreats on global warming while US pushes ahead

The European Union is on the verge of rolling back much of its climate agenda, even as the United States is moving full speed ahead.

Europe will likely not require member states to expand renewable energy production beyond 2020, reports the German-based EU-Info News.

“It is becoming obvious that Europe’s unilateral climate policy, the whole green agenda of the last 20 years, has turned into an unmitigated fiasco,” Dr. Benny Peiser, director of the UK-based Global Warming Policy Foundation, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Even EU leaders are beginning to accept reality.”

The EU’s climate chief Connie Connie Hedegaard and EU environment commissioner Janez Potocnik remain “isolated in their push for a new target to promote green energy,” according to EU-Info News. Not even Germany’s energy commissioner Günther Oettinger supports expanding renewable energy production.

The European experience with renewable energy has been fraught with high costs and mixed results. In Germany, renewable energy policies are driving up electricity costs, leading one of the country’s foremost newspapers to declare that electricity had become a “luxury good”.

The country was attempting to get 25 percent of its power from renewables by 2050, but skyrocketing power prices have forced Germany to rethink its renewables goals. German consumers already pay the highest power prices in Europe, according to Der Spiegel, and generous renewable energy subsidies cost them about $26 billion in taxes last year.

“The promotion of green electricity costs will cost our citizens ($32.5 billion) next year, which is a lot of money that could otherwise be spent on buying new cars, furniture or on restaurant visits,” said Michael Fuchs, deputy leader of the Christian Democratic Union.

Not only Germans are demanding renewable energy reform, but EU businesses as well. The EU wants to generate 20 percent of its power from renewables by 2020 to fight global warming. But top EU business leaders are saying that renewable energy subsidies are raising power costs and putting the continent at risk for blackouts.

“We’ve failed on all accounts: Europe is threatened by a blackout like in New York a few years ago, prices are shooting up higher, and our carbon emissions keep increasing,” said GDF Suez CEO Gérard Mestrallet.

Committed EU officials want to make sure fighting global warming plays a major policy role in Europe. Currently, the only binding European-wide target on the table is requiring members to cut emissions by 35 or 40 percent by 2030.

EU-Info News reports that “the EU Commission is far removed from the European Parliament. Two committees are promoting three binding climate targets for 2030: 40 percent for CO2 emissions reduction and for improving energy efficiency, and 30 percent for renewable energy.” Though many EU countries reject the idea of Brussels-imposed climate targets.

“The old guard of green EU commissioners, however, are trying to salvage their green legacy before they leave office in the autumn,” Peiser said. “These green bureaucrats will be replaced later this year by a new set of commissioners who almost certainly will be less green and more concerned about Europe’s economic future and competitiveness.”

“The chances of the green lobby to push through any new binding renewables or climate targets are near zero,” he added.


Warmist propaganda coming to a TV near you

Where's Leni Riefenstahl when you need her?

This April, Showtime will start airing its ground-breaking climate change TV series on the experiences and personal stories of people whose lives have been touched by climate change. Years Of Living Dangerously is an 8-part series produced by the legendary storytellers and film-makers James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Weintraub -– together with three former 60 Minutes producers who have 18 Emmys between them.

While reviewing the segments for technical accuracy as Chief Science Editor, I’ve been blown away by just how visually and narratively compelling the show is. It is not just going to be a landmark climate change series, it is going to be a landmark television series, like Ken Burns’ The Civil War.

Much as the best, most innovative long-form drama has moved from film to TV, in shows like the Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Homeland, and Breaking Bad, so too with documentaries.

You are going to want to subscribe to Showtime for this one, as I’m confident it’s what everyone is going to be talking about from April to June.

Nothing like this 8-part series has ever been put on TV before, a collaboration between the amazing storytellers mentioned above and top-flight journalists (like Chris Hayes, Lesley Stahl, and Tom Friedman) and some of Hollywood’s biggest stars (like Matt Damon, Ian Somerholder, Don Cheadle, Olivia Munn, and Harrison Ford). They provide gripping reports of people affected by, and seeking solutions to, climate change.

As readers know, climate change is happening right here, right now — in America and around the world. It is the biggest story of our time, and it needs a big platform to tell it.

In a front-page New York Times story Sunday on why so many of the best TV shows seem to get aired on that evening, David Nevins, Showtime’s president of entertainment — the architect of hits like Homeland and Masters of Sex — explains that he puts a show on Sunday night “because I want to signal to the audience: This show matters. This is a big show”:

"So, this April, when Showtime introduces its climate change documentary series “Years of Living Dangerously,” whose high-profile producers include James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Weintraub, the network will schedule it for Sunday nights. “It deserves the big platform,” Mr. Nevins said. “You’re not sending quite the same signal if you put it on Friday or Monday or Tuesday.”

Years Of Living Dangerously is going to be a very big show.


Australia: Time to scrap Lord's Prayer in Parliament: Greens

The Leftism of Greenies is very blatant in Australia

The Lord's Prayer in Federal Parliament is an anachronism, according to Greens senator Richard di Natale, who is calling to have the prayer scrapped.

The acting Greens leader announced on Tuesday that when Parliament returns in February, he will move to end the reading of prayers at the start of each sitting day.

He will ask the Senate's Procedure Committee to amend the standing orders and look to his Greens colleague Adam Bandt to do the same in the Lower House.

"We have a very clear separation between church and state in this country and the fact that we say the Lord's Prayer in the Australian Parliament, it is an anachronism," he told reporters in Canberra.

Senator di Natale said that "modern" Australia was made up of people who had different ideas about religion.

"We are here to represent everybody. We're here to represent people of all faiths. People who don't have a strong religious faith," he said.

Senator di Natale, who describes himself lapsed Catholic, says he had had an issue with prayers in Parliament since his first day as a senator in 2011. "It was quite jarring," he said.

But he has been prompted to comment this week after government curriculum reviewer Kevin Donnelly argued that schools were too secular.

"When you look at parliaments around Australia - they all begin with the Lord's Prayer. If you look at our constitution, the preamble is about God," Dr Donnelly said on Saturday.

Senator di Natale has not yet talked to Labor and Liberal MPs about his proposition but said he was looking forward to discussing the issue with his colleagues.

"[When the prayers are read] there are a lot of people who are silent or who are thinking of other things," he told Fairfax Media.

Federal Parliament has been reciting prayers at the start of each sitting day since 1901. Today, this includes a preamble and then the Lord's Prayer. Since 2010, sittings have also begun with an acknowledgement of country.

This is not the first time the issue of parliamentary praying has been raised. In 1997 former Greens leader Bob Brown unsuccessfully tried to remove the preamble and Lord's Prayer.

In 2008, former speaker Harry Jenkins led a similarly failed bid.

The Greens' idea did not gain support from practising Christian MPs on Tuesday.

Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss said the government had "no plans to change the standing orders".

Government Senate leader Eric Abetz said he strongly supported keeping the Lord's Prayer, arguing it was "a very rich part of our cultural tradition [and] a humble acknowledgement by the Parliament collectively of its responsibilities".

"The latest Green attack is part of their ongoing attempt to rewrite our history and deny our heritage," he said.

"Our nation's freedoms and wealth have been built on our religious underpinnings making us the envy of the world. The Greens’ refusal to acknowledge their country's own heritage and rich traditions and beliefs is as sad as it is divisive."

A spokeswoman for Labor's Senate leader, Penny Wong, indicated her party did not appreciate the lack of consultation on the issue so far. "We don't intend to negotiate with other senators through the media," the spokeswoman said.

Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus, who is Jewish, pointed to the US model where the House and Senate's opening prayers can be lead by guest chaplains of many faiths.

"Many Australians have religious beliefs. Rather than abolishing the Lord's Prayer we should consider adopting the practice of the US Congress," he said.




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


16 January, 2014

More false prophecy: Greenie Messiah is running late

“Pauses as long as 15 years are rare in the simulations, and ‘we expect that [real-world] warming will resume in the next few years,’ the Hadley Centre group writes…. Researchers … agree that no sort of natural variability can hold off greenhouse warming much longer.” - Richard Kerr, Science (2009)

That’s Richard A. Kerr, the longtime, award-winning climate-change scribe for Science magazine, the flagship publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The article, “What Happened to Global Warming? Scientists Say Just Wait a Bit,” was published October 1, 2009.

The article is important in the history of climate thought because it captures neatly the (over)confidence of the scientists who turn to models to justify their faith that past overestimation will soon be reversed. Judith Curry’s recent discovery of F. A. Hayek’s Nobel Prize Lecture in Economics, The Pretense of Knowledge, marks a new front in the mainstream climate debate. [1]

Secondly, today’s explanation for the “pause” (a term used in Kerr’s 2009 article) is not mentioned back then—ocean delay.

Third, Kerr frames the debate in political terms with Copenhagen just ahead—and fails to interview or include the contrary views about how climate sensitivity might be less than the climate models assume in their physical equations.

Here is the guts of the Kerr article as the 5th year anniversary comes this year:

"The blogosphere has been having a field day with global warming’s apparent decade-long stagnation. Negotiators are working toward an international global warming agreement to be signed in Copenhagen in December, yet there hasn’t been any warming for a decade. What’s the point, bloggers ask?

Climate researchers are beginning to answer back in their preferred venue, the peer-reviewed literature. The pause in warming is real enough, but it’s just temporary, they argue from their analyses.

A natural swing in climate to the cool side has been holding greenhouse warming back, and such swings don’t last forever. “In the end, global warming will prevail,” says climate scientist Gavin Schmidt of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City.

The latest response from the climate community comes in State of the Climate in 2008, a special supplement to the current (August) issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Climate researcher Jeff Knight and eight colleagues at the Met Office Hadley Centre in Exeter, U.K., first establish that—at least in one leading temperature record—greenhouse warming has been stopped in its tracks for the past 10 years.

In the HadCRUT3 temperature record, the world warmed by 0.07°C±0.07°C from 1999 through 2008, not the 0.20°C expected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Corrected for the natural temperature effects of El Niño and its sister climate event La Niña, the decade’s trend is a perfectly flat 0.00°C.

So contrarian bloggers are right: There’s been no increase in greenhouse warming lately. That result came as no surprise to
Knight and his colleagues or, for that matter, to most climate scientists. But the Hadley Centre group took the next step, using climate modeling to try to quantify how unusual a 10-year warming pause might be.

In 10 modeling runs of 21st century climate totaling 700 years worth of simulation, long-term warming proceeded about as expected: 2.0°C by the end of the century. But along the way in the 700 years of simulation, about 17 separate 10-year intervals had temperature trends resembling that of the past decade—that is, more or less flat.

From this result, the group concludes that the model can reproduce natural jostlings of the climate system—perhaps a shift in heat-carrying ocean currents—that can cool the world and hold off greenhouse warming for a decade. But natural climate variability in the model has its limits. Pauses as long as 15 years are rare in the simulations, and “we expect that [real-world] warming will resume in the next few years,” the Hadley Centre group writes.

And that resumption could come as a bit of a jolt, says Adam Scaife of the group, as the temperature catches up with the greenhouse gases added during the pause.

Pinning the pause on natural variability makes sense to most researchers. “That goes without saying,” writes climate researcher Stefan Rahmstorf of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany by e-mail. “We’ve made [that point] several times on RealClimate,” a blog.

Solar physicist Judith Lean of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., and climate modeler David Rind of GISS reached the same conclusion in a peer-reviewed 15 August paper in Geophysical Research Letters. They broke down recent temperature variation into components attributable to greenhouse gases, pollutant aerosols, volcanic aerosols, El Niño/La Niña, and solar variability.

Combined, those influences explain all of the observed variability, by Lean and Rind’s accounting. But unlike the Hadley Centre’s model-based analysis, this assessment attributes a good deal of climate variability to variability in solar activity. That’s because most models can’t translate solar variability into climate variability the way the actual climate system can (Science, 28 August, p. 1058), Rind says.

Researchers may differ about exactly what’s behind recent natural climate variability, but they agree that no sort of natural variability can hold off greenhouse warming much longer. “Our prediction is that if past is prologue, the solar component will turn around and lead to rapid warming in the next 5 years,” says Rind.

Climate modeler David Smith of the Hadley Centre, who was not involved in the State of the Climate analysis, says his group’s climate model forecasts—made much the way weather forecasts are made—are still calling for warming to resume in the next few years as ocean influences reverse (Science, 10 August 2007, p. 746). Whether that’s in time to boost climate negotiations is anyone’s guess."

The ball is back in Richard Kerr’s court. Dr. Kerr, let’s have a five-year update for Science with a headline like “What Happened to Global Warming: Can Mainstream Climate Science Regain Its Footing?” His update might well take into account Judith Curry’s current post, IPCC AR5 weakens the case for AGW), that documented “several key elements … weakening of the case for attributing the warming [to] human influences:

* Lack of warming since 1998 and growing discrepancies with climate model projections

* Evidence of decreased climate sensitivity to increases in CO2

* Evidence that sea level rise in 1920-1950 is of the same magnitude as in 1993-2012

* Increasing Antarctic sea ice extent

* Low confidence in attributing extreme weather events to anthropogenic global warming.”


Warmists get scammed

Oh, the humanity! Internet scammers are creating their own conferences on global warming threats and remedies. They call for papers, and offer air fares and accommodation for presenters. Moreover, papers endorsed by the scammers’ “peer review panel” will be published in “prestigious” fake climate journals.

To secure your room at the five-star London hotel, please pay the hotel a small refundable deposit of 300 pounds by using the (fake) hotel’s payment website. The 0844-prefix hotel phone number involves a re-direction to who-knows-who.

Top-tier scamming emails are signed ostensibly by “Christiana Figueres” – the UN climate body’s real-life executive secretary from Costa Rica. She distinguished herself last October blaming NSW bushfires on global warming – unless some scammer was impersonating her. She also won the Hero for the Planet award in 2001, unless that was another hoax.

Disgruntled would-be climate-science travellers have found the address of one London hotel to be that of a pet shop, and another to be that of the Marylebone Crematorium.

The next fake conference, funded by “the UN”, will begin in London’s “Kings Park Hotel” on January 27 on the theme of an Integrated Global Response to Sustainable Development and Climate Change Proposals. You may even be provided with lifelike air-travel e-tickets.

The scammers have done their homework and get the right inspirational tone:

“The situation in the world’s developing countries, which contributed least to the crisis and are most severely affected , has led some economists to warn of ‘lost decades for development’ which could have catastrophic consequences for rich and poor countries alike.”

Serious climate conference junketeers are indignant. One blogged, “My guess is these folks are unrelated to the typical climate denialists – they’re just con men out to steal money.” That’s what I’d call damning skeptics with faint praise!

Someone else on that thread rudely chipped in:

“Of course they probably reckon that anyone stupid enough to fall for the typical alarmist propaganda put out by the hugely funded AGW bandwagon is probably stupid enough to fall for this sort of transparent scam, and they’re probably right.”

The climate conference scammers have been trolling for warmist authors for half a decade. Using a scam-watch site, I spent half an hour on a rough count of climate conference scams (a good model spawns variants so it all gets a bit rubbery). I counted 23 fake climate conferences and exhibitions in 2011, 10 in 2012 , three in 2013 and one so far this year. They seem, like the warming scare per se, to be on a downward trend.

Often the geography of both scammers and victims is woozy. One “London” conference was supposed to be in a cottage in a Hampshire village. A London hotel address was in Edinburgh.

The scammers have even managed to come up with new acronyms, like WGGW – “Working Group of Global Warming”, with a conference at the Mayfair Hotel in Park Lane.


Report: U.S., Canadian Energy Resources Could Provide 100% Domestic Liquid Fuel Needs by 2024

A new report commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute stated that the United States, in partnership with Canada, has the energy resources to make the country completely independent of outside sources for liquid fuel supplies by 2024.

Calling the state of the U.S. oil and natural gas sector a “renaissance,” the report overview stated, “America also finds itself on the cusp of energy self-sufficiency and security through reliable, affordable, and abundant supplies of domestic oil and natural gas that can sustain and empower us well into the foreseeable future.

“In fact, the U.S. is already the global leader in oil and natural gas production and together with Canadian energy supplies could produce more than 100 percent of its liquid fuel needs by 2024,” the report, titled “The State of American Energy: America’s Energy, America’s Choice,” stated.

What’s critical to reaching that goal is making the right energy decisions, according to Jack Gerard, president and CEO of API, a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry.

“The question before us today is whether we have the vision and wisdom to take full advantage of our vast energy resources,” Gerard said in his prepared remarks at the release of the report in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. “The energy policy choices we make today are among the most important and far reaching policy decisions we will make in the 21st century.

“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to reshape, realign and reorder the world’s energy market and improve domestic prosperity to an unprecedented degree,” Gerard said. “But only if we get our nation’s energy policy right today.”

Here are some highlights of the report, which was complied for API by IHS.

* Lower natural gas prices are predicted to increase industrial output by 2.8 percent by 2015 and by 3.9 percent by 2025, according to IHS.

* The oil and natural gas sector supports approximately 529,000 U.S. jobs, according to the report.

* The oil and natural gas industry pays approximately $85 million a day to the U.S. Treasury in taxes, royalties and other fees, according to the report.

* Economies in numerous states are benefiting from oil and natural gas operations, including Pennsylvania, Texas, Louisiana and North Dakota. In 2012 alone, more than 38,000 Ohio jobs were supported by unconventional oil and natural gas activity.

* IHS estimates that capital spending in oil and gas midstream and downstream infrastructure has increased by 60 percent between 2010 and 2013, from $56.3 billion to $89.6 billion. This increase in capital spending has provided both an economic stimulus and shows how shale driven oil and gas production is reshaping the U.S. oil and gas infrastructure landscape.

* The IHS forecast of oil and gas infrastructure investment over the next 12 years (2014 – 2025) estimates a cumulative spending of $890 billion (in 2012 dollars) in the base case, and $1.15 trillion in the high production case.

* Lower natural gas prices are predicted to increase industrial output by 2.8% by 2015 and by 3.9 percent by 2025, according to IHS.

* The oil and natural gas sector supports approximately 529,000 U.S. jobs, according to the report.

* The oil and natural gas industry pays approximately $85 million a day to the U.S. Treasury in taxes, royalties and other fees, according to the report.

The report also highlighted the Keystone XL pipeline project, which has not been approved by the Obama State Department. The completed pipeline would be able to transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil daily from Canada and U.S. Bakken Shale formation to U.S. refineries – more than 90 percent of what the U.S. imported from Venezuela in 2012.

The report also noted the limited access for oil and natural gas production on federal lands. Approximately 87 percent of offshore areas controlled by the government are off limits to development and production.

The number of drilling permits issued on federal lands declined by 36 percent between FY2008 and FY2012, and the number of wells drilled fell by 40 percent during that time, according to the U.S. Department of Interior.

The wait for a federal drilling permit averaged 228 days in 2012 compared to 10 days for a state permit in North Dakota or 14 days in Ohio, the report stated.

“To fully realize the opportunities of this new energy future, we must make the deliberate choice to take greater advantage of our oil and natural gas resources and ensure our ability to refine these resources,” the report’s conclusion stated. “We must build the facilities and infrastructure needed to bring fuels, natural gas, and other petroleum products to market.

“North America’s energy resources are bountiful,” the conclusion stated. “The benefits of unlocking them flow throughout all sectors of our economy and to families in every state,” the report’s conclusion stated.


Gas Pump Alarmism

We'll give eco-fascists credit for one thing – a strong devotion to hyperbole. By their logic, no atmospheric event exists that's not somehow a result of global warming. And no evidence to the contrary will prevent even more extreme alarmism. In San Francisco, the environmental group is now demanding labels be posted on gasoline pumps that warn Americans of the danger presented by “dirty oil.”

Citing the popular talking point that “we're not going to feel the effects until well into the future,” group member Jamie Brooks claims, “The goal isn't to take transportation away from people and say, 'You're a bad person.'” Instead, “The goal is to create a signal saying, 'You need to change your behavior.'”

Unsurprisingly, Brooks didn't bother to offer a practical alternative. On the other hand, we'll be glad to offer them a horse and carriage to aid in distributing the stickers.


German nuclear shutdown unlawful

The forced closure of RWE's Biblis nuclear power plant after the Fukushima accident was unlawful, the German Supreme Administrative Court has ruled. The utility is now likely to sue for considerable damages.

Germany's reaction to the Fukushima accident in 2011 was extreme, with Chancellor Angela Merkel making two decisions: one to order a shutdown of eight units that started operation in or before 1980 for a three-month moratorium period; and subsequently that those units may not be allowed to restart. Without consultation or reference to independent regulatory advice on the safety of the plants, the orders were executed by the German states which are home to the reactors.

Today the state of Hesse was told it acted illegally by enforcing the decisions on the Biblis nuclear power plant sited in the state, backing up a decision made in February 2013 by the Administrative Court of Hesse. This had been appealed by the Hesse government, but today's ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court dismissed that appeal, making the state court's decision binding with no further appeal possible. Efforts to force the shutdowns were "formally unlawful because [RWE] had not been consulted and this constituted a substantial procedural error," said the court.

Plant owner RWE can now sue for compensation over the loss of the Biblis units as an asset. The plant has two reactors, Biblis A and B, which are pressurized water reactors rated at 1167 MWe and 1240 MWe respectively and which had been licensed to operate until 2019 and 2021 just two months before the shutdown order. The company has previously said it suffered losses of over €1 billion ($1.3 billion) in 2011 alone due to the Biblis shutdown.

The same shutdown orders hit Germany's other nuclear operators, EOn, Vattenfall and EnBW, although EnBW is 45% owned by the Green-governed state of Baden-Wurttemburg and is not contesting the shutdown or appealing a ruling that upheld the fuel tax. EOn and RWE have doubts about the legality of the shutdown order, but have chosen not to pursue the matter in court, industry group Deutsches Atomforum told World Nuclear News.

Instead the companies are contesting the constitutionality of the 2011 amendment to the Atomic Act which redrew operating periods for remaining reactors. Another set of questions on the fuel tax have now been referred by German courts to the European Court of Justice. Sweden-owned Vattenfall is contesting the shutdown via international arbitrartion.

Collectively the utilities lost 8336 MWe of nuclear generating capacity, closing Biblis A and B, Neckarwestheim 1, Brunsbuttel, Isar 1, Unterweser, and Phillipsburg 1. Despite only starting operation built in 1984, Krummel was not brought back from long-term shutdown.


Britons unconvinced over anthropogenic climate change claims

A new ComRes/ITV poll has revealed that Britons are still unconvinced over the claim that human action has resulted in climate change, and the notion that the weather is worsening as a result of it.

While 65 percent of the 2047 polled believe that “weather in the UK seems to get worse every year”, only 38 percent believe that “the recent storms and flooding in the UK are probably a result of climate change mainly caused by human activity”, while 32 percent disagreed with that statement.

Moreover, older Brits, who fell into the categories of between 55 – 64 years of age, and those age 65+, believe more firmly than their young counterparts that “the recent storms and flooding in the UK are no worse than they have been in the past, and are probably not a result of climate change at all”.

Those between the ages of 18-54 agreed, on average, at a rate of 23.75 percent, that Britain’s recent foul weather was not a direct result of climate change, while those aged 55 and over believed that to be the case at a rate of 37.5 percent, revealing perhaps that those with more experience of Britain’s varied weather conditions over the past decades are more sceptical of alarmist environmentalist claims.

However, most (55 percent) still agreed that it was the “government’s responsibility to prevent damage to people’s homes and businesses from flooding”, with 65 percent backing the idea that the “government should dedicate more money to improving flood defences, even if it means budget cuts elsewhere”.

The fact that half of those polled disagree, or ‘don’t know’ about whether climate change is “really happening” will no doubt be a blow to the ‘big green’ lobby, that spends tens of billions of pounds worldwide trying to sell the idea of climate change, and its tax-heavy ‘solutions’.

That the gap between those who believe in anthropogenic (man-made) climate change impacting UK weather is just 6 percent, will no doubt also come as a blow to climate change proponents.

The ComRes/ITV survey quizzed 2047 people from across the country, and also found that Ed Balls was nearly as untrusted with economic matters as UKIP’s Nigel Farage. The full results are available here.




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


15 January, 2014

That "100 months" prophecy

In early January 2006 the BBC held a sort of Old Fashioned Revival Hour in which top BBC people got together with top Greenie fanatics and helped prop up one-another's belief that Global Warming was the One True Faith. You can read about it here.

One little excerpt from the report of what went on there fascinated me:

"Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation, who argued there were only 100 months left to save the planet"

100 months is 8 years and 4 months and if we count forward from then we arrive at April 2014. We're nearly there! But the planet looks much the same as it did in 2006 so it looks like Simms is yet another Warmist false prophet.

But the planet may have a reprieve. In August 2008 Simms said we still had 100 months at that time! I wonder what refined calculations went into that revision?

Warmists are such clowns. Perhaps we should not berate them too heavily. Laughing at them is a bit like laughing at the disabled. Their mental fixations certainly disable their reasoning powers (if any).

United Nations climate boss shows her true colors -- urges totalitarianism

Just another Latin American Fascist. Comment below by physicist Lubos Motl from the Czech Republic

Bloomberg published a remarkable story yesterday:

The chairwoman of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Ms Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica has concluded that "the political divide in the U.S. Congress has slowed efforts to pass climate legislation and is very detrimental to the fight against global warming" while "China is also able to implement policies because its political system avoids some of the legislative hurdles seen in countries including the U.S.".

The totalitarian system rocks while democracy sucks!

Well, I am sure that Adolf Hitler's one-party system would be even better for this "lady" than the Chinese one-party system if it were available. At any rate, democracy is the biggest enemy.

I hope that this story will open the eyes of many people who will be lucky to learn about it and who will realize that the actual goal of the climatism is to liquidate democracy, freedom, and prosperity in the world.

Even if you thought that it is a good idea to reduce the CO2 emissions (it's not), Figueres' totalitarian advertisements are indefensible by the struggle to reduce the CO2 emissions because China's CO2 emissions were actually growing significantly more quickly than America's emissions in recent years – and China overtook the U.S. as the world's #1 producer of CO2 six years ago or so (and I am not even talking about the real polution, a real problem, that remains brutal at many places of China).

It's the very ability of the one-party system to neutralize the opposition of any kind that is so intriguing for Ms Figueres and thousands of champions of the climate alarmism. It's what their talk about the "consensus" and the dissatisfaction with the "contrarians" is all about.

The goal of these people is to stop democracy, freedom, and prosperity regardless of the fate of Nature, the temperatures, or the CO2 concentrations.

According to Czech law, the woman is involved in criminal activity because she is promoting movements aiming to suppress human rights, freedom, and democracy which is illegal here (this bill is perhaps a naive attempt not to repeat Nazism or communism that ruled us for 50% of the 20th century). I guess that she is just fine and safe in the New York City where people apparently believe that the main international organization, the U.N., with its top officials urging America to abandon democracy is not a threat.

Just to be sure, Ms Figueres, the "slow" negotiations in the U.S. Congress – known as democracy – are not detrimental at all. They are what keeps the society decent, what allows it to search and find a better solution among at least two, and what protects the society against power-thirsty and intolerant individuals like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and yourself.

The well-being of America is one of the arguments supporting the view that freedom and democracy are precious values that must be defended even if it goes against frantically worshiped pseudosciences such as eugenics, Lysenkoism, the cultural revolution, and the climate alarmism.

Figueres isn't the first climate alarmist who praises the Chinese political system. She was preceded by Thomas Friedmann of the NYT, Nancy Pelosi 1/2, James Hansen, Al Gore, and others.


Annoying greenies on the defense

After decades of controlling America’s energy narrative, on January 5, CBS’s 60 Minutes fired a shot that has put the green lobby on the defensive. The next day, two very different media outlets lobbed blows that could represent a new trend; a change of tone in Washington.

The 60 Minutes piece, featuring correspondent Lesley Stahl, aired, perhaps intentionally, at a time when it may have had the lowest possible viewership, as it aired opposite the NFL playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. You may have missed it. But environmental/renewable-energy believers took the hit—and they are pushing back.

Stahl opened “The cleantech crash” with:

“About a decade ago, the smart people who funded the Internet turned their attention to the energy sector, rallying tech engineers to invent ways to get us off fossil fuels, devise powerful solar panels, clean cars, and futuristic batteries. The idea got a catchy name: ‘Cleantech.’ Silicon Valley got Washington excited about it. President Bush was an early supporter, but the federal purse strings truly loosened under President Obama. Hoping to create innovation and jobs, he committed north of a $100 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks to Cleantech. But instead of breakthroughs, the sector suffered a string of expensive tax-funded flops. Suddenly Cleantech was a dirty word.”

Midway through the segment, Stahl states: “Well, Solyndra went through over half a billion dollars before it failed. Then I’m gonna give you a list of other failures: Abound Energy, Beacon Power, Fisker, V.P.G., Range Fuels, Ener1, A123. ECOtality. I’m exhausted.”

Regarding Stahl’s list, Bruce Barcott, “who writes frequently about the outdoors and the environment,” in a rant for OnEarth Magazine about the 60 Minutes segment, asks: “Where was the evidence of cleantech’s crash in the ‘60 Minutes’ report?” He continues: “It seemed to boil down to the fact that Solyndra, Fisker, LG Chem, and five other clean tech companies went bankrupt. All true.”

Perhaps, to Barcott, eight bankrupt companies do not offer enough “evidence” to write green energy’s obit. How much would he need?

If Stahl had read the entire list of Obama-backed taxpayer-funded green-energy projects that have gone bust—let alone those that are circling the drain, she would have truly been fatigued. Together with researcher Christine Lakatos, I’ve been following the foibles for the past eighteen months. Our bankrupt list (updated May 2013) includes 25—17 more than Stahl cited (and there have been new failures since then).

Calling the “cleantech crash” segment a “hit piece,” Barcott claims: “the evidence of success is overwhelming.”

In the National Journal’s daily energy newsletter, “Energy Edge,” Amy Harder agrees with Barcott: “The story did not give much credence to successful renewable-energy ventures or to a major impetus for clean energy, which is global warming (as opposed to just job creation).” She adds: “Nonetheless, the report reminds green-energy advocates that Solyndra’s shadow is not nearly gone.”

For, Scott Sklar, a DC lobbyist for clean, distributed-energy users and companies using renewable energy, claims: “In reality, clean energy has never looked better.” He called the 60 Minutes segment a “bash fest” and suggested: it “seemed like it was co-written by the Koch Brothers.”

For the National Journal, Ben Geman wrote: “Green-Energy Battle Flares Over ‘60 Minutes’ Report.” He concludes: “The report and the response are the latest thrust and parry over White House backing for green-energy projects that have faced heavy GOP criticism. The Energy Department—which Stahl said declined to grant her an interview—hit back on Sunday night. The department has for years noted that failed or badly struggling companies represent only a very small portion of the overall green-energy loan portfolio. ‘Simply put, 60 Minutes is flat wrong on the facts. The clean-energy economy in America is real, and we are more competitive than ever in this rapidly expanding global industry. This is a race we can, must, and will win,’ spokesman William Gibbons said in a statement.”

Ironically, while the believers busily “hit back,” the news tells a different story.

One of the projects featured by 60 minutes is KiOR—a Columbus, Mississippi, plant that turns wood products into gasoline, diesel, and fuel oil funded in part by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla—has shut down in a “cost-cutting move.” A January 9 report states: “the debate in Washington in changing alternative fuel standards drove down prices so low that the company couldn’t afford to continue production for now until it can get efficiencies to the point where it is producing at least 80 gallons of fuel for every ton of wood.” Even if Khosla’s KiOR is able to improve efficiencies to “80 gallons of fuel for every ton of wood”—which would be about four times the current production—that is still a terrible return. (Incidentally, Khosla started the bankrupt Range Fuels that was mentioned by Lesley Stahl in her brief list of failed “cleantech” programs.)

Robert Rapier, also featured in the 60 Minutes segment—which focused primarily on biofuels—reported on the Department of Energy’s follow up audit for Financial Assistance for Integrated Biorefinery Projects. Among his “results,” Rapier states: “40 percent of the demonstration-scale and commercial-scale projects selected from the FOAs [Funding Opportunity Announcements] were mutually terminated by the DOE and the recipients after expending more than $75 million in taxpayer dollars.” He cites the audit: “Program officials acknowledged the projects selected were not fully ready for commercial-scale operations and that the projects were high-risk. However, they indicated that the EPAct required them to move forward with commercial-scale projects…” Rapier concludes: “I think the lesson here is that political wishes continue to trump scientific realities, and taxpayers are left to pay the bills. … If only our political leaders understood that you can’t mandate technical breakthroughs, even if you require money to be spent trying to do so.”

Hardly the “overwhelming success” 60 Minutes’ detractors proclaim.

Barcott defends use of taxpayer money to support “emerging technologies” and acknowledges that “asking hard questions about if and when we should cut off that support” is, well, “hard.”

All of this “thrust and parry” is taking place during the time Congress is considering retroactively extending various tax breaks for cleantech projects—such as the Production Tax Credit for wind energy that expired on December 31, 2013. Amid the blows fired upon the renewable energy industry this past week, The Chicago Tribune (hardly a defender of right-wing policies) piled on with a January 5 op-ed encouraging “Congress and the White House to stop manipulating the tax code as America’s de facto energy policy: Thorough federal tax reform should sunset this arbitrary favoritism for wind energy and other politically favored industries.”

The other lobs, from CNBC and Fox News, landed on January 6.

CNBC’s Kudlow Report featured a “what happened to global warming” segment in which Larry Kudlow scoffs at the “all wrong” predictions that have now “come unglued.” His guest, Steve Hayward—a visiting professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder—stated: “Global warming is going away” like so many other scares before it. Hayward claimed that environmental crises follow a pattern: “Find a problem and blow it up into a world-ending crisis and demand endless political solutions.” Yucking it up, they laughed at the “sheer comedy of the ship getting stuck in the ice in Antarctica,” calling it “an eco-tourism stunt that backfired badly.”

On Fox Business, Stuart Varney’s “Stuart Says” feature was: “Annoying greenies influence policy that hurts U.S.” In his 2-minute-18-second monologue, Varney suggests that we “respond to this climate change demagoguery with ridicule. Frankly, the global warming crowd now looks ridiculous. People are laughing at them.”

Yes, the “annoying greenies” are on the defense—and, as the Green Bay players on that cold January 5 in Wisconsin knew, you can’t win on the defense.


2,258 Meaningless Search Results

Rebuttal to "2,258 peer-reviewed climate articles"

James Powell continues to demonstrate his computer illiteracy by doing worthless database searches in an intellectually dishonest propaganda campaign. He updated his previous meaningless analysis in continued blissful ignorance that the 'Web of Science' database does not have a "peer-reviewed" only filter and the existence of a search phrase in a returned result does not determine it's context. Thus, all that can be claimed is there were 2258 meaningless search results not "peer-reviewed climate articles" for a query of the 'Web of Science' database - with 1 chosen by strawman argument.

1. The context of how the "search phrases" were used in all the results was never determined.

2. The results are padded by not using the search qualifier "anthropogenic".

3. The 2258 results cannot be claimed to be peer-reviewed as the Web of Science does not have a peer-reviewed only filter.

4. It is a strawman argument that most skeptics deny or reject that man can have an influence on the climate, but rather if there is any cause for alarm.

1. Context matters

The existence of a search phrase in a returned result does not determine its context. So making any arguments for or against an implied position relating to the use of a phrase by simply looking at numerical result totals is impossible. Powell never determined the context of how the search phrases were used in all the results.

2. Padding the Results

Powell padded his search results total by using the phrases; "global warming" and/or "global climate change" instead of "anthropogenic global warming" [man-made global warming] or "anthropogenic global climate change" [man-made global climate change], which would have significantly reduced the number of returned results. Without the qualifier "anthropogenic", results are included where no claim of explicit endorsement or rejection of ACC/AGW can be made.

Others alarmists have been challenged to search for the phrase, "anthropogenic climate change" using Oreskes (2004) methods and they only got 108 returned results. These low number of results are not useful to sell the type of propaganda alarmists like Powell are looking for.

3. Peer-Reviewed?

In his methods, Powell filtered his results by the 'articles' document type which includes content that may not be peer-reviewed depending on the specific journal,

Document Type Descriptions (Web of Science)

"Article: Reports of research on original works. Includes research papers, features, brief communications, case reports, technical notes, chronology, and full papers that were presented at a symposium or conference."

Categories like these have been the subject of debate and confusion in relation to their peer-review status:

"...three categories of articles have been published: review articles up to 10 000 words, original articles of 2500–5000 words and brief communications of 1000–2000 words. Only the ?rst two categories were subject to peer review and brief communications were being published without this quality check." - Health Information and Libraries Journal

"Because of trends in submissions, Nature's Brief Communications will bow out at the end of the year. [...] False rumours that the section was not peer reviewed have occasionally circulated." - Nature

4. Strawman argument

Actual skeptic arguments include that Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is exaggerated or inconsequential, such as those made by Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT and John R. Christy, Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Science at UHA. Skeptics unanimously reject that there is any cause for alarm.

By fabricating a strawman argument claiming he found only 1 author who "rejected man-made global warming", Powell intentionally ignored actual skeptic arguments and failed to count many papers. Including a 14-paper special edition on climate change in the IPCC cited journal, Energy & Environment (June 2013) which included,

Climate Change and Carbon Dioxide: Geological Perspective
(Energy & Environment, Volume 24, Number 3-4, pp. 361-380, June 2013)
- Harry N. A. Priem

Inconsistency of Modeled and Observed Tropical Temperature Trends
(Energy & Environment, Volume 24, Number 3-4, pp. 405-414, June 2013)
- S. Fred Singer

Reconciling Observations of Global Temperature Change: 2013
(Energy & Environment, Volume 24, Number 3-4, pp. 415-420, June 2013)
- David H. Douglass, John R. Christy

Why Scientists are 'Sceptical' About the AGW Concept
(Energy & Environment, Volume 24, Number 3-4, pp. 551-560, June 2013)
- Arthur Rorsch, Peter A. Ziegler


Powell continues in the trend of propaganda started by Oreskes (2004) which is considered useless by world renowned climate experts:

"Analyses like these by people who don't know the field are useless. A good example is Naomi Oreskes work." - Tom Wigley, Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

He intentionally ignores actual skeptic arguments, which includes the 993-page NIPCC report, Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science (2013) - supported entirely by the peer-reviewed literature and 1000+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skeptic Arguments Against ACC/AGW Alarm.

Instead he hopes his propaganda will be picked up by the media and used by those who are intellectual dishonest and want to be intentionally misleading.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

The Church of Global Warming

George Bernard Shaw famously said, "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself." There couldn't be a better description of our president, who proclaimed in Berlin in July 2008: "This is the moment when we must come together to save this planet. Let us resolve that we will not leave our children a world where the oceans rise and famine spreads and terrible storms devastate our lands."

The vice president was not far behind, just as persuasive but less vivid. "I think it is manmade. I think it's clearly manmade. If you don't understand what the cause is, it's virtually impossible to come up with a solution. We know what the cause is. The cause is manmade. That's the cause. That's why the polar icecap is melting," Joe Biden said, outlining the administration's position on global warming; apparently, "Apocalypse Now" is threatening a host of calamities. Although the vice president sounds terminally confused, if he says "I think it is manmade," then there should be no more debate. It is settled. We should take it as gospel and blow trillions of dollars in an effort to save the planet. And according to those two delusional alarmists, this is it. There will not be another moment. Must act now!!!

I am old enough to remember that not so long ago, in the mid-1970s, the world debated "global cooling" with the same intensity and urgency as we are debating global warming today. It was also very urgent and potentially catastrophic although, back then, we needed to save the planet from freezing. The cover of the April 28, 1975 issue of Newsweek proclaimed "The Coming Ice Age." In the article "The Cooling World," the magazine suggested that, among other disasters, cooling "may portend a drastic decline for food production." In the June 24, 1974 issue of Time magazine, the article "Another Ice Age" painted a bleak picture for the future of our planet. These same publications now advocate global warming.

I recently raised this argument with a renowned defender of global warming. His response was that science is a lot better today than it was forty years ago. "Does that mean science was wrong in predicting a new ice age?" I asked him sarcastically. I got my answer when he did not respond: It really does not matter what science says; we simply must believe in global warming. This and other discussions with the supporters of global warming convinced me of the futility of citing scientific and historical records to initiate an intellectually honest dialogue. I also became aware that these people would never relinquish their convictions and will continue to find arguments to justify them-even if these new arguments are diametrically opposed to those they previously espoused.

Since Galileo's time, ideology has been trying to overtake science; and it often has. It may just be human nature to want to acquire wisdom from prophets rather than bother with facts and scientific analysis. I finally realized that the struggle over global warming had become a religion and the three elephants from the ancient Hindu myths holding the earth are coming back.

It teaches us that Mother Earth may soon crack under the weight of our environmental sins, but the three elephants of Al Gore, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden will keep the Earth from sinking into the abyss if we just follow them and don't ask questions.

And so, the Church of Global Warming was formed. As with any religion, it has spawned extremists demanding an Inquisition. The Inquisition is headed by former Representative Patrick Kennedy, who once announced that anybody who does not believe in global warming is a traitor and should be treated as such. As we all know, religious fanatics usually demand full and complete obedience from their followers. The followers, in turn, must demonstrate that they are "more Catholic than the Pope." As a result, stupid things are proclaimed true and billions of taxpayer dollars are spent on absurd projects.

The importance of the theology of global warming for the president's strategy of re-engineering America cannot be underestimated. Global warming justifies unlimited expenditure, strangles oil and gas production, practically stops coal mining, and puts power generation under tight government control. It also puts a lot of money into the hands of Obama supporters. People like Al Gore, who are managing exchanges of greenhouse gas emissions, stand to make an enormous amount of money, literally out of thin air, by underwriting the sale of "carbon credits" that industries, utilities, and other entities must purchase for the "right" to operate facilities that produce industrial emissions. In addition, the containment of global warming justifies support for the alternative energy industry that cannot exist without government subsidies.

Much more HERE

We're going all out for fracking, vows British PM

As MPs complained that plans to incentivise communities with a share of the profits of shale gas ‘do not go far enough’, the Prime Minister yesterday pledged that Britain would go ‘all out’ for shale gas.

But in a stark warning, every MP in Lancashire and council leaders in the North West have written a joint letter to warn Mr Cameron that ‘opposition is hardening’ to fracking.

The MPs, led by Ben Wallace, a ministerial aide to Ken Clarke, say they will not back shale gas exploration unless the Government gives communities more money.

And they warn Mr Cameron he will be throwing away a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’ to close the North-South divide unless he acts now.

Crucially, the letter has also been signed by five council leaders, who are in charge of deciding whether to allow fracking in their areas. Plans outlined by the Prime Minister yesterday mean local councils can pocket 100 per cent of the business rates collected from fracking firms – double the previous amount – plus £100,000 for every well drilled.

But local communities will get only 1 per cent of the total profits from shale gas exploration – compared with the 10 per cent demanded by the Local Government Association (LGA), while the Government will pocket 62 per cent in taxes.

Mr Cameron, who yesterday toured a drilling site near Gainsborough, Lancashire, said: ‘We’re going all out for shale. It is important for our country, it could bring 74,000 jobs, over £3billion in investment, give us cheaper energy for the future, and increase our energy security. I want us to get on board.’

But Sir Merrick Cockell, chairman of the LGA, dismissed the proposed community contributions as a ‘token offer’. He said: ‘This is not happening in the North Sea. This is happening in and around local people and local communities, and they have got to get their fair share.’

But Lawrence Carter, of Greenpeace, said: ‘This is a naked attempt by the Government to bribe hard-pressed councils into accepting fracking in their area.’

Meanwhile, protests continued last night at the site of a shale gas well near Manchester. For nearly two months, campaigners have tried to stop drilling at Barton Moss, where an exploratory well is being sunk beside the M62.

Yesterday six campaigners were arrested for obstruction, bringing the total number of arrests to more than 50. The cost of the policing operation so far is more than £330,000.




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


14 January, 2014

Big attack on Lindzen comes now he has retired

The Guardian has just put up a supposed dismantling of Lindzen's scientific expertise by two old hard-heads of Warmism. Nuccitelli in particular never accepts any fact that is detrimental to Warmism. He has always got some ad hoc reasoning that enables him to wriggle out from under it.

The article has provoked widespread derision from climate skeptics -- who accuse it of fudging the facts "hell West and crooked". But I gather that no-one is publishing their views in anticipation of Lindzen himself doing a rejoinder (But see here for an exception).

I did however have a close look at the article myself and when you dig down you find that all the "proofs" of Warmism that they quote go back to tendentious claims made by other Warmists. It's a case of Warmists quoting Warmists to prove that Warmists are right!

Let me give an example of that:

I was particularly fascinated by their claim: "The 15-year 'pause' myth? Completely debunked". Since even many prominent Warmists accept the pause as fact this is a good example of Nuccitelli refusing to retreat an inch from Warmism. No contrary evidence or argument can move him. He is the perfect dogmatist.

But what is the basis of his dogmatism in this instance? I followed back his links and his basis for rejecting the pause is a paper by Cowtan & Way which said that the orthodox HADCRUT record was erroneous because it left out the temperature record in areas where there was no temperature record -- such as parts of the Arctic and Antarctic.

So how do you get a temperature record from a place where there is no temperature record? Easy. You make it up! They used a statistical estimation technique called "kriging" to produce the missing figures but in the end it's all just a guesstimate. And that the missing areas all showed lots of Warming is just a coincidence of course! Since nobody doubts that the vast Antarctic has been cooling overall the kriging has obviously not captured the facts.

So you see the shallow ice that Nuccitelli is prepared to walk on to preserve his convictions. With him, there is no honest estimation of the truth based on the balance of the evidence -- just a determination to admit nothing and concede nothing contrary to Warmism -- JR


The European Commission is on the verge of stepping on the brakes with regards Europe’s future climate policy. After a meeting of EU commissioners in Brussels on Friday, it seems almost certain that there will be no new obligations or targets for the expansion of wind turbines and solar power systems after 2020.

Although nothing has been decided yet, Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard and Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potocnik are isolated in their push for a new target to promote green energy. Reportedly, German Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger does not support them either.

Thus, it is likely that the demand of the German government for a binding renewables target for 2030 will not be agreed by the Commission. In a letter to the EU Commission, Germany’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) recently appealed to set a new renewables target. However, in his letter, Gabriel did not used the word ‘binding’. Then, shortly before the Commissioners’ meeting, a German diplomat clarified in an e-mail to the Commission that Germany would like to see a binding target after all.

The EU Commission, however, only favours a non-binding target for wind and solar power. Until now, as a target of 30 percent of the total energy mix has being discussed; now 24 or 27 percent are mentioned.

As the EU Commission neither wants to set a new target for energy efficiency, there is currently only one single binding target for CO2 emission on the table: For debate is a new CO2 target of a cut by 35 or 40 percent by 2030. The German government is in favour of at least 40 percent.

A spokeswoman for Oettinger did not want to comment on the contents of the Commission’s internal debate. Environmentalists are horrified.

With its timid policy, the EU Commission is far removed from the European Parliament. Two committees are promoting three binding climate targets for 2030: 40 percent for CO2 emissions reduction and for improving energy efficiency, and 30 percent for renewable energy. However, many EU countries reject new binding climate targets. It is therefore questionable whether the EU Parliament can prevail with its ambitious demands in the climate debate.


Why power blackouts would be GOOD for Britain -- or so says Lefty elitist

One of Ed Miliband’s most senior advisers sparked fury yesterday by saying that power blackouts would be good for the country.

Sir John Armitt argued that the blackouts would be the ‘best possible thing’ because they would bring home the scale of the energy crisis facing the country.

Sir John’s inflammatory remarks – which coincided with forecasts of the first Arctic blast of the winter – revived the fierce debate over energy prices and supplies which was triggered by Mr Miliband’s party conference pledge in October to freeze gas and electricity bills.

The Conservatives immediately lept on Sir John’s comments, claiming that blackouts would be an indictment of Mr Miliband’s failure to plan for the future when he was Energy Secretary.

Sir John, who is advising Labour on the future of the country’s long-term infrastructure needs, said: ‘In harsh political terms [blackouts] would be the best possible thing because this country is extremely good in a crisis.’

In the interview with construction industry magazine Building, he added that the UK was nearing the crisis because too little was being done to replace ageing coal-fired and nuclear power stations.

He said: ‘We are down to (just a) 4 per cent (surplus of energy capacity) because we’ve gone slower than we should have done on nuclear.’

His remarks are particularly controversial because of the continuing fury within the energy industry over Mr Miliband’s plans for an energy price freeze.

Energy bosses said that his move would threaten the security of supply and mean ‘the lights would go out’.
Homework by candlelight: The miners strikes of 1972 caused power cuts across the country

Homework by candlelight: The miners strikes of 1972 caused power cuts across the country

Tory MP Charlie Elphicke said: ‘Labour had 13 years to take the long-term decisions to meet Britain’s energy needs, including when Ed Miliband was Energy Secretary, but failed to do so.

'Instead they took short-term decisions. And now Labour’s key economic adviser thinks it would be a good thing for families, vulnerable older people, and even hospitals treating patients to suffer power cuts.’

Last night, Energy Minister Greg Barker said: ‘This is utter madness, but if Sir John thinks power cuts will be a good thing for Britain then he is certainly working for the right man – because Ed Miliband would deliver them.’


Climate Change Scammers' Worst Week Ever

Between global warming suckers getting entombed in ice while trying to prove the Antarctic ice cap has melted to most of America doing a Frigidaire impression, the entire façade of this bogus leftist power grab is crumbling.

Understand that the climate change meme is simply the latest attempt by leftists to trick society into remaking itself in their image. It was never about science. It was always about power and money.

The scammers have been ably assisted by a palace guard media that eagerly reports the scammers’ every lie while ignoring every inconvenient truth. You’ll skim the mainstream media in vain for the reason behind the trapped expedition’s trip to the Antarctic. And, of course, the most inconvenient truth of all is that it hasn’t gotten significantly warmer since the industrial revolution started generating CO2, and it hasn’t warmed at all in recent years.

The left’s use of pseudo-science as a means to seize and centralize control has a colorful history. One particularly colorful scheme was the progressive nightmare of eugenics. Leftist icons like Margaret Sanger eagerly advocated it as a tool to eliminate infants of color.

Let’s fast forward to the 1970s, when we were entering a new ice age and the only possible solution was – surprise - more government power. The global cooling panic morphed into the global warming panic. Suddenly, temperatures were inexorably rising and the ice caps were melting. In fact, they should be melted by now.

But “global warming” is problematic when the uncherry-picked evidence shows that the Earth is not getting significantly warmer. The hockey stick is stuck. Now, one might take this new evidence and revise one’s conclusion to conform to the observed data. We call that science. But we are dealing with “science,” and when the evidence doesn’t support your conclusion you change the name of the phenomenon.

Hence, “climate change.” Its goal was stop us wacky literalists from being able to point to a lack of warming to disprove global warming. Apparently, we were fools to expect that what the scammers called “warming” might involve warming.

“Climate change” is useful because it minimizes the dangerous possibility of negating the theory through observation. Any kind of change in the weather is “climate change.” That means literally any evidence supports the theory. If you really want to tick off a scammer, ask him what piece of observable data would lead him to conclude that his climate change theory is incorrect.

Of course, in science, an unfalsifiable theory isn’t a theory at all. But in “science,” you aren’t really talking about theories. You are talking about politically necessary conclusions that are beyond question. “Science” is a religion, and we’re the heretics.

But even “climate change” has become problematic. What if the climate is not changing for the worse? Recent years have seen fewer hurricanes, and of less intensity. The Antarctic ice the penguins stood on while laughing at the trapped ship of fools was manifestly still there. Polar bears continue to wander the northern wastes uncooked.

So the left has now moved to an even vaguer, less empirically assessable concept – looming “climate collapse.” It’s a beautiful notion, at once evoking some sort of horrendous catastrophe while offering absolutely no way to evaluate its accuracy. The “climate collapse” remains off in the future, vague and ambiguous, an unspecified disaster where something bad might happen and no one can prove the negative, so there is no way to judge it to be fact or fiction.

This is “science.” And if you doubt that something of an undefined nature might possibly occur at some unknown point in the future and maybe have unexplained negative effects, you reject “science” in all its forms. You also probably believe in God and are definitely racist.

Climate change scam arguments pique my lawyerly interest as exemplar tactics, techniques and procedures in the art of obfuscation. But the nomenclature isn’t the only bit of dissembling. The scammers attempt to intertwine the idea that human activity has some sort of impact on the climate with their demand that we transfer to their control trillions of dollars and much of our sovereignty. They intentionally erase the distinction between the cause of the alleged problem and the proposed solution, neatly skipping the effect.

Scammers tell us that 97% of scientists believe humans have an effect on the climate. Of course humans have some effect on the climate. A butterfly’s flapping wings have some effect on the climate. But the mere fact of some effect of some unknown intensity does not lead to the conclusion that we must undertake an anti-carbon crusade that will jack up our utility bills several grand a year, force us to drive tiny boxes, and empower yet another army of prissy unionized bureaucrats, this time to tell us we can’t roast marshmallows in our own backyards.

If you believe in science, you can’t make that quantum leap of logic. But if you believe in “science,” you and your media pals will paint anyone who refuses to do so as a mouth-breathing halfwit “denier” who is simultaneously an evil genius in the service of Big Oil.

Oh, how “scientists” hate deniers for actually applying the scientific method to the scammers’ political propaganda. And, as fiascos like Operation Mocking Penguin pile up, and as the coming climate collapse never actually comes, they’ll get even more desperate. The Los Angeles Times and Reddit recently barred dissenters from their pages – there’s no better concession of defeat than silencing your opponent.

The science is settled that “climate change” was a lie from the beginning. And every day without the long-promised climate catastrophe is one day closer to the day leftists will have to find themselves a replacement scam.


DOE Plugs Energy Rating for Homes, Similar to MPG Rating for Cars

The Energy Department on Tuesday is rolling out new, improved software to help Americans measure the energy efficiency of their homes.

DOE says its energy-scoring software -- called the Home Energy Scoring Tool -- is like a vehicle's mile-per-gallon rating because it allows homeowners to compare the energy performance of their homes to other homes nationwide. It also provides homeowners with suggestions for improving their homes' efficiency.

The software is part of the government's effort to reduce the nation's energy consumption; but it's also billed as a way to keep home-retrofitting going, at a time when stimulus funds for weather-proofing have run out.

The Home Energy Scoring Tool "can be a powerful motivator in getting homeowners to make energy efficiency improvements," DOE says. "It's also a great way to help trained workers enter the private sector energy improvement market as funding for weatherization efforts decline."

DOE says its Home Energy Score is useful if you are a homeowner looking to renovate or remodel your home, lower your utility bills, improve the comfort of your home, or reduce your energy usage. Moreover, "the score serves as an official way to document these improvements and thereby enhance your home's appeal when you're ready to sell."

Right now, getting your home scored is voluntary.

To produce a Home Energy Score, a trained, "qualified assessor" comes to your home -- for a fee -- and collects approximately 40 pieces of data about the home's "envelope" (e.g., walls, windows, heating and cooling systems) during an hour-long walk-through.

Based on the home's characteristics, the DOE software estimates the home's annual energy use, assuming "typical homeowner behavior." The software then converts the estimated energy use into a score, based on a 10-point scale (10 being the most energy-efficient). The 1-10 scale accounts for differences in weather conditions by using the zip code to assign the house to one of more than 1,000 weather stations.

In addition to showing the home's current energy efficiency -- or inefficiency -- the score also shows where a home would rank if all of the energy-saving improvements identified during the home walk-through were made. That may prompt some homeowners to buy new windows or doors, for example, boosting the market for home retro-fitters.

DOE recommends getting a Home Energy Score "as soon as the program becomes available in your area." The program launched in 2012, and at this time, only single-family homes and townhouses can be scored.

The scoring is available only through DOE's participating partners, which include state and local governments, utilities, and non-profits. DOE does not determine how much an assessor charges to score a house. "It will depend on what the local market supports." But DOE says its partners "have indicated plans to charge between $25 and $125 for the Home Energy Score."

And yes, the size of the home matters because larger homes use more energy.

The Home Energy Score and the associated report is generated through DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory software. The 2014 version of DOE's Home Energy Scoring Tool will be introduced at a webinar on Tuesday.

DOE says more than 8,500 homes have been scored by the Energy Department's growing network of more than 25 partners and 175 qualified assessors.


Game finally up for carboncrats

Comment from Australia

Tony Abbott's likely repeal of the unpopular carbon tax this year reflects a global trend: the anti-carbon agenda is being subjected to the most intense scrutiny, and is found wanting.

The Kyoto treaty effectively expired a year ago. Prospects for a replacement are virtually zero. Rich nations are rejecting climate compensation for the developing world. Europe is in a coal frenzy. Germany, a former green trend-setter, is slashing unaffordable subsidies to the renewables industry. The European Parliament is losing confidence in the EU emissions trading scheme. No Asian nation has an emission trading scheme in operation. China's and India's net emissions are growing dramatically and governments, most recently Japan's, are abandoning earlier pledges to reduce their nations' carbon footprints. Even US Democrats, notwithstanding President Obama's direct action-style energy plan, won't pass modest carbon-pricing bills in the Congress. Add to this those debunked predictions (remember the vanishing Himalayan glaciers, disappearing North Polar ice cap?), and it is clear that Tim Flannery's moment has come and gone.

Meanwhile, 2013 marked the 15th year of flat-lined global surface temperatures, despite record levels of carbon dioxide being pumped into the atmosphere since 1998. And as the US shale "fracking" revolution shows, the most efficient way to cut emissions is not via command-and-control regulation but by allowing private drillers to expand natural gas production.

Of course, the environmental doomsayers remain apocalyptic. You try going on the ABC's Q&A and raise doubts about global-warming alarmism. You will still see the inner-city studio audience treating you not merely with hostility but with open-mouthed incredulity.

The climate-change Cassandras are increasingly marginalised here and abroad.

When they abuse, intimidate and victimise anyone with the temerity to criticise the fanaticism of their movement, the inclination of ordinary Australians is either to shrug their shoulders with a profound lack of interest or to grimace at this moral grandstanding.

Historians will probably look back at the years 2006-09 as the time when the climate hysteria reached its peak in Australia, when rational debate was at its most restricted and politicians at their most gullible.

These were the days of drought, unseasonal bushfires, An Inconvenient Truth, the Garnaut Report and, of course, Kevin Rudd's "greatest moral challenge".

Crikey, even Rupert Murdoch was "giving the planet the benefit of doubt".

Contrary to media stereotypes, many so-called sceptics - such as Abbott, John Howard, Maurice Newman and this writer - recognised that the rise in carbon dioxide as a result of the burning of fossil fuels led to moderate warming.

But because we questioned the doomsday scenarios and radical, costly government-directed plans to decarbonise the economy, we were denounced as "deniers".

Those days are over.

Thanks to Abbott's forceful critique of Labor's ETS/carbon tax, and the persistent failure of the carboncrats to reach legally binding global agreements, Australians have risen up against this madness.

At last, there is recognition not just that there are at least two sides to every story, but that when sophisticates seek to shut down debate, it amounts to an attack on the public interest.

That is why the anti-carbon zealots have become so defensive. The game is up.

The idea of climate mitigation - carbon taxes, cap and trade, channelling taxpayer subsidies to wind and solar power - destroyed the leaderships not only of Malcolm Turnbull in 2009 and Rudd in 2010, but also of Julia Gillard and Rudd (again) last year.

And although the Coalition's approval ratings have declined since the election, polls also show that opposition to the carbon tax remains high.

Last year's Lowy Institute survey said that only 40 per cent (down from nearly 70 per cent in 2006) think climate change is serious and requires action.

And yet, despite this changing (political) climate, Opposition leader Bill Shorten still opposes the repeal of the carbon tax.

If Labor's divorce from the Greens is genuine, he should support the PM's legislation, lest he meet the same fate as his fellow deniers and become a laughing stock.




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


13 January, 2014

Predicting precipitation extremes via CMIP5 climate models

Discussing: Toreti, A., Naveau, P., Zampieri, M., Schindler, A., Scoccimarro, E., Xoplaki, E., Dijkstra, H.A., Gualdi, S. and Luterbacher, J. 2013. "Projections of global changes in precipitation extremes from Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 Models". Geophysical Research Letters 40: 4887-4892.

Writing as background for their study, Toreti et al. (2013) state that "precipitation extremes are expected to increase in a warming climate," and, therefore, they felt it was "essential to characterize their potential changes." Before they could do so, however, it was also clearly essential that they had to know how well the models they were going to use would actually perform in this regard. And to answer this important question Toreti et al. had to evaluate how well the models' hindcasts of the past compared with actual historical precipitation records.

This they did for eight high-resolution global climate models chosen from among the well-known group of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) models, the hindcasts of which for the period 1966-2005 were compared with high-resolution daily precipitation data for that period from the Euro-Mediterranean region, northern Eurasia, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and North America.

In describing their findings, the nine researchers report that for the tropics and subtropics, there was a "lack of reliable and consistent estimations" that they thought "might be connected with model deficiencies in the representation of organized convective systems." And in pursuing this thought, they discovered, in their words, that "the identified lack of reliability and consistency in extreme precipitation could be associated with [1] a deficiency in the representation of upward velocities that seems to introduce large differences in climate model output, [2] an underestimation of the response to global warming (Allan and Soden, 2008; O'Gorman and Schneider, 2009), as well as with [3] model difficulties in reproducing processes based on organized convective systems (Zhang, 2005; Benedict and Randall, 2007)."

At the regional level they also discovered that [4] "large variability affects the estimated seasonal changes over specific areas (e.g., eastern Asia in summer)." And, most distressing of all, they noted that [5] "for some areas such as the Indian Monsoon region, where models deficiencies were also identified by Hasson et al. (2013) and Sperber et al. (2013), reliable estimation cannot be achieved," period.

Considering such findings, it appears that after decades of climate model constructing and testing there are still gross inadequacies and misrepresentations in even the world's best climate models that are so serious as to render their projections of future precipitation of less-than-adequate value.


Total to invest £30m in Britain’s shale gas hunt

French energy giant Total is preparing to deliver a major boost to Britain’s search for shale gas by investing close to $50m (£30m) in exploration in the East Midlands.

The deal, expected to be announced on Monday, will see Total take a stake of about 40pc in licences in Lincolnshire, sources told The Daily Telegraph.

Total will be the first international oil and gas major to throw its weight behind Britain’s nascent shale gas industry, in a move that will be hailed by ministers as a huge vote of confidence in its potential.

Ministers hope that shale gas, extracted through the controversial process of fracking, could provide an important new source of energy for the country as North Sea resources dwindle.

Britain is believed to have vast shale gas resources but very little drilling has been done to test how much gas can actually be extracted.

Total is expected to commit about $45m to a drilling programme, as well as paying about $2m in past costs, sources said.

The deal is understood to involve licence areas PEDL 139 and 140, which span more than 90 square miles in the so-called Gainsborough Trough geological basin.

The existing partners in the licences - Dart Energy, IGas Energy, Egdon Resources and eCORP – are all believed to be involved in the deal, transferring part of their stakes to Total.

Fracking, which involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into the ground to extract gas trapped within rocks, is banned in France due to environmental fears.

Total has made no secret of its desire to acquire UK shale interests, complaining last summer it was “frustrated” at the lack of information on potential new licence areas that will be offered up for exploration by the Government this year.

Total has also been in talks with other UK shale companies about acquiring stakes in their licences.

Monday’s deal will make Total the second French company to buy into the search for UK shale, following GDF Suez, which signed a £24m exploration deal with Dart Energy in October. British Gas owner Centrica bought into licences owned by Cuadrilla in a deal worth up to £160m in June.

Attempts at shale gas exploration in the UK have attracted fierce opposition from environmental campaigners.

Ministers and the shale industry are next week expected to confirm further details of cash benefits for communities near fracking sites, intended to help win public support.

The industry has so far promised £100,000 for every well that is fracked and a 1pc share of revenues if gas is produced, and is expected to set out how those funds will be administered.

Ministers have indicated that the 1pc share could be increased at a later date if shale proves successful but have resisted calls from the Local Government Association to give communities a legal right to a 10pc share.

Michael Fallon, the energy minister, told The Daily Telegraph last month that “imposing too high a levy on revenues could make shale gas projects unprofitable and leave the gas and oil in the ground”


The Cult of Global Warming is Grasping at Straws

The Climate Change alarmists are clamoring to blame the recent cold snap on anthropogenic global warming. And, really, what choice do they have? When record cold temperatures are freezing Niagara Falls, and plunging the American Midwest into an ice age, jokes about Al-Gore sycophants are hard to avoid. In righteous defiance to reality based observations regarding the environment, the far left has unveiled a theory that America’s recent brush with winter weather is actually an experience of anthropogenic global warming.

Or, as Ezra Klein put it:

Well… I guess to an extent, the Washington Post’s in-house manbearpig alarmist is kinda right. One worldwide cold spell does not unequivocally disprove the existence of man-made global warming. But it certainly does call into question the credibility of the experts who suggested such cold was a fading thing of the past.

No. The “polar vortex” does not disprove climate change. (Of course, it doesn’t need to. Global warming theories have mostly disproven themselves.) But it does prove how wrong the “experts” have been on global warming science. Despite the alarmists’ waxing poetic about climatological Armageddon, almost 98 percent of their predictions have proven to be false.

Remember when alarmists were predicting the end of winter as we know it? There was even talk about global cooling in the 1970’s. In the late 1990’s, Al Gore predicted we had roughly ten years left before global temperatures melted ice caps, and submerged major coastal communities. The UN even predicted in 2005 that there would be over 50 million “refugees” from communities deemed “uninhabitable” by global climate change. Back in 2012 the New York Times predicted the demise of the ski industry as global warming eradicated the sport from the face of the (increasingly hot) planet. And in 2013 a global warming research crew found themselves stuck in the Antarctic ice they set out to prove had been melting.

And now, according to the very same UN that predicted doom by the year 2010, we have been in a 15 year “holding pattern” that has seen no significant increase in global temperatures. (Despite the fact that “greenhouse gases” have continued to increase.)

But, when global warming becomes difficult to sell (because the average person sees a snow-plow clearing the streets on a below-zero evening) the leftists do what they do best… They begin to spin.

“This weather is unprecedented!” they scream. Of course a little bit of research, again, puts a muzzle on their alarmism. While left-wing bloggers might be prepared to showcase a frozen Niagara Falls as proof of “extreme” weather patterns, similar photos from the 1890’s, 1910’s and 1930’s dull their argument of extremism.

In the end, the largest problem Al Gore cheerleaders have is their devotion to politics over science. The science that has perpetuated the global warming myth is little more than a “junk” science. And that’s not an editorial on the content, theories, hypothesis, or politically corrupt culture of the grant-gobbling academic hacks who call themselves scientists. (Although, it could be.) That statement is an unbiased and scientific view of Global-warming-science methodology.

Remember those science books in the 9th grade that taught students about the scientific model? Remember the process: Form a hypothesis. Test the hypothesis. Draft a conclusion.

Global-warming-science is working backward. They wrote up a hypothesis, which was immediately proven wrong… (In the 1970’s they predicted an ice age. In the 1980’s they predicted clean air shortages, and “peak oil”. In the 1990’s they hitched their politically driven wagons to the theory of global warming.) So rather than alter their hypothesis (which is what scientists are supposed to do when their theories are proven wrong through fact gathering) they decided to begin working in reverse.

The conclusion, that anthropogenic global warming exists and is causing imminent climatological doom, has been drafted. And all facts, experiences, and studies are therefore proof of an unprovable declarative theory. Anyone who disagrees with them is a “denier.” Belief in anthropogenic global warming is, apparently, more of a religion than a science.

And like a Mayan Priest that claims the sudden drought is the wrath of a god, climate alarmists claim the sudden cold is the result of your non-hybrid SUV. Sacrifice a few trillion dollars (rather than a virgin) and the angry climate gods will soon return normalcy to your seasonal weather schedule…

The fact is, skeptics of global warming are not “deniers”. At least, I’m not. I’m a thinker. And I tend to think someone has no idea what they’re talking about when they sail their ship into an ice-locked portion of the arctic while looking for signs that the polar icecaps are melting… Such moves just don’t scream out for confidence.

Oh, and I have my doubts about manbearpig as well.


Bitter Cold Blasts Chicago, a City Fighting Climate Change

Chicago was blasted this week by the coldest weather in 18 years. Below zero temperatures and wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour produced wind chills of minus 40 F. The deep freeze followed a winter storm that blanketed the area with 6 to 10 inches of snow on Sunday. The extreme cold and snow was a natural retort to Chicago’s policies to fight global warming.

On Sunday and into Monday, Chicago was mostly shut down. More than 1,000 flights were cancelled at O’Hare Airport. Chicago public schools and most suburban schools were closed. Northwest Indiana was hit by over 10 inches of lake-effect snow, where officials of Lake County declared a state of emergency, banning all vehicles from snow-covered roads except emergency vehicles.

Temperatures at O’Hare Airport dropped to -15 F, breaking the old daily record of -14 F set in 1894 and 1988. The brutal temperatures were the coldest since the thermometer reached -19 F in 1996, but well short of the all-time cold record of -27 F set January 20, 1985.

The cold weather stands in sharp contrast to Chicago’s policies to slow global warming. In his Sustainable Chicago 2015 plan, Mayor Rahm Emanual lauds efforts to “. . . reduce pollution, and protect homes and communities from the effects of flooding and climate change.” In 2013, the mayor and city council passed an ordinance requiring businesses to audit and disclose energy usage in buildings of over 50,000 square feet. The city’s sustainability plan calls for citizens to install solar panels, consume renewable energy, and use bicycles, mass transit, and electric cars, rather than gasoline-powered automobiles.

University of Chicago professor David Archer is a strong proponent the theory of man-made warming. In his 2010 book The Climate Crisis, Archer notes that the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted reduced snowfall:

One of the robust findings of the report is that snow cover in most continental areas will dramatically decrease unless warming is stopped. . . . Large areas are expected to become snow free.

But there is no evidence of a snowfall shortage in Chicago. O’Hare Airport has already received 34.7 inches of snow this winter through January 5. This exceeds the average annual snowfall of 30.8 inches, with two months of winter yet to go.

Leading Chicago corporations tout their efforts to fight climate change. Steel company ArcelorMittal and financial firm Northern Trust boast of big reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. Utility Exelon claims emission savings from costly new solar and wind projects, while winning a 2014 rate hike to pass higher costs on to electricity users. Baxter International purchases renewable energy certificates to “offset” greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts may be great for corporate public relations, but are meaningless when it comes to the climate.

The greenhouse effect is a natural effect, and man-made influences are small. Somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of Earth’s greenhouse effect is caused by water vapor and clouds. Ninety-six percent of the remaining portion of the greenhouse effect is due to natural emissions of carbon dioxide and methane from the oceans and biosphere. Human emissions are responsible for only about one percent of Earth’s greenhouse effect. If humankind completely eliminated CO2 emissions, the difference in global temperatures probably could not be detected.

Nevertheless, Chicago organizations continue a futile fight to control the climate. Grove Avenue Elementary School in Barrington, a Chicago suburb, has established an innovative “Green Tuesdays” program. School lights are off each Tuesday to raise student awareness about climate change and the environment.

Keep up the good work, Chicago. With the ample snow and bitter cold, your efforts to fight global warming appear to be working!


'Dark Money' Funds To Promote Global Warming Alarmism Dwarf Warming 'Denier' Research

Global warming activists claim vast amounts of untraceable special interest money fund global warming skeptics and give skeptics an unfair advantage in the global warming debate. The undeniable truth is global warming alarmists raise and spend far more money – including far more untraceable special interest “dark money” – than global warming skeptics.

Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle published a paper last week in the journal Climatic Change identifying 91 conservative and libertarian think tanks that Brulle claims play an influential role opposing global warming programs. Brulle claims the 91 groups receive approximately $900 million in cumulative funding each year, with approximately $64 million coming from foundations that distribute “dark money” that cannot be traced to a particular donor. Brulle claims the $900 million in funding – and especially the $64 million in dark money – tilts the playing field and gives global warming skeptics undue political and public relations influence.

Global warming alarmists and their media allies present Brulle’s paper as “proof” that money drives the global warming debate and the money is heavily skewed in favor of skeptics. For example, UK Guardian environmental reporter Suzanne Goldenberg published an article last week titled “Conservative groups have spent $1bn a year on the effort to deny science and oppose action on climate change.” Scientific American published a similar article titled “’Dark Money’ Funds Climate Change Denial Effort.” Liberal pundit and former MSNBC anchor Cenk Uygur posted a 10-minute Internet video discussing Brulle’s paper and playing up its findings.

Brulle’s paper and the media narrative may score some temporary points with members of the general public who do not closely follow the global warming debate, but ultimately Brulle’s paper and the media narrative will backfire on global warming activists. The narrative will backfire because the general public is not stupid. Slick lies may win some converts who will not check the facts, but the greater number of people will check the facts and hold the liars accountable.

As an initial matter, despite what Suzanne Goldenberg and the UK Guardian claim, it is palpably untrue that “Conservative groups have spent $1 bn a year on the effort to deny science and oppose action on climate change.” Without even addressing the mathematical fact that $900 million is $100 million short of the $1 billion claimed by Goldenberg, Brulle’s paper merely tabulates the total money raised by the 91 conservative think tanks for their total operations regarding all issues they address and does not break down how much of each think tank’s resources are devoted to issues such as economic policy, health care policy, foreign policy, climate policy, etc. Goldenberg tells the lie that all money raised by all conservative and libertarian think tanks is devoted to global warming skepticism. Tell that to the supporters of Obamacare.

A look at some conservative think tank websites illustrates the point. While writing this article on New Year’s Day, I pulled up the website for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), which Brulle and the media claim is the conservative think tank receiving and spending the most money on global warming skepticism. AEI has 15 articles featured on the front page of its website, and not a single one focuses on global warming.

I also pulled up the website for the Heritage Foundation, which Brulle and the media claim is the conservative think tank receiving and spending the second most amount of money on global warming skepticism. The Heritage Foundation has 10 articles featured on the front page of its website. None of the 10 focuses on global warming. Merely 2 of the 10 focus on any aspect of energy or environment policy.

Between AEI and Heritage – representing fully 30 percent of the money raised by the 91 conservative think tanks – the global warming issue comprises substantially less than 10 percent of their cumulative time, money and efforts. Even if we generously assign to the global warming issue a full 10 percent of the money raised by the 91 foremost conservative think tanks, this means the 91 conservative think tanks are devoting a mere $90 million per year – rather than the asserted $900 million per year (or Goldenberg’s exaggerated $1 billion per year) – to the global warming debate.

And it is not just AEI and Heritage that devote little attention to the global warming issue. The Hoover Institution, identified as raising and spending the third most money on global warming skepticism, also rarely addresses the global warming topic. The most recent Hoover Institution item I can find addressing the topic is a short op-ed published more than two months ago in National Review Online by a Hoover Institution fellow commenting on a global warming poll. Prior to that short op-ed, the most recent Hoover Institution item I can find is an article published nine months ago supporting a carbon tax.

This brings us to another whopper told by Brulle, Goldenberg and their media allies – the assertion that all the think tanks identified in Brulle’s paper actively fight against global warming activism. To the contrary, two of the three top-funded groups (AEI and the Hoover Institution) support a carbon tax. Other groups identified in Brulle’s paper have similarly expressed support for a carbon tax and global warming activism. At least 25 percent of the funding that Brulle claims goes to skeptical think tanks actually goes to think tanks supporting global warming restrictions.

All told, giving the global warming activists every benefit of the doubt, no more than $90 million of conservative think tank money addresses global warming, and no more than $68 million supports conservative think tank efforts opposing global warming activism. This $68 million is counterbalanced by $22 million for conservative think tank efforts supporting global warming activism. That leaves a net of merely $46 million among 91 conservative think tanks opposing global warming activism.

Even though $46 million is far short of the $1 billion claimed by Goldenberg, $46 million may still seem like a large amount of money. It is only a drop in the bucket, however, compared to the money raised and spent by groups supporting global warming activism.

Two environmental activist groups – Greenpeace and The Nature Conservancy – raise more than $1 billion cumulatively per year. These two groups raise more money than the combined funding of the 91 conservative think tanks identified in Brulle’s paper. Just as importantly, these two groups raise money solely for environmental causes and frequently advocate for global warming restrictions. Their $1 billion is not diluted addressing issues such as economic policy, health care policy, foreign policy, etc.

Five environment-specific groups alone raise more than $1.6 billion per year (Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, and the Sierra Club). All five focus solely on environmental issues and are frequent and prominent advocates for global warming restrictions. When global warming activists claim global warming skeptics receive the lion’s share of funding in the global warming debate, they are lying through their teeth.


Embarrassed Global Warming Alarmists Sink To Comedic Lows With 'Polar Vortex' Excuse

Confronted with the embarrassment of historic cold gripping the nation just as the Obama administration launches a new offensive on the mythical global warming crisis, global warming activists and their media allies just invented their most knee-slapping assertion yet; that global warming causes winter cold outbreaks. Global warming activists, after giving us about 48 hours of silence after the cold temperatures hit while they scrambled to come up with an explanation, now say they have always predicted that global warming would cause more frequent and severe winter cold spells.

It is quite amusing how the global warming propaganda machine works. For about 24 hours after the cold temperatures descended, the alarmists were enforcing radio silence on global warming. Then, when the global warming jokes were too widespread to ignore, they spent the next 24 hours telling us that occasional cold outbreaks are still “consistent” with a rapidly warming planet. Another 24 hours later, they morphed into the “we predicted this all along” meme.

Here are some of the latest headlines along that narrative:

“How frigid ‘polar vortex’ could be result of global warming” – Christian Science Monitor

“Polar Vortex: Climate Change Could Be the Cause of Record Cold” – Time

“US polar vortex may be example of global warming” – The Guardian

“Thank Global Warming for Freezing You Right Now” – The Daily Beast

“Cold as Hell: The Chilling Effect of Global Warming” – Huffington Post

What is really interesting among these and most of the other media accounts on the cold outbreak, is they address the topic like it is long-settled science that global warming causes more frequent and severe winter cold outbreaks. In other words, “It is really, really, really cold throughout the nation, global warming causes everything that people might think is bad, so global warming must cause cold temperatures. Now let’s quickly invent some scientific-sounding mumbo-jumbo explanation for how that might be the case.”

The latest explanation/mythical creature creation is a mutant polar vortex; first cousin of Big Foot, the Abominable Snowman, Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtles, and the Loch Ness Monster. (By the way, global warming alarmists, are Big Foot and the Abominable Snowman the same? You would know better than I….)

Oh, and for kicks and giggles, check out how global warming alarmists and their media allies blame global warming for a future UFO invasion.

According to this newest warming fad, global warming allegedly causes a weakening of Arctic air currents that keep cold air trapped in the far north. As a result, cold Arctic air can now break out and savage previously warm climates like a crazed zombie apocalypse.

Of course, if global warming alarmists really had predicted that it would cause more frequent and severe cold outbreaks (via Mutant Polar Vortexes, Mutant Teenage Ninja Turtles, Yeti, or whatever), we should see such predictions all throughout the latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. The problem is, it’s not there. Nowhere. Nada. Nunca. Nein. Nyet.




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


12 January, 2014

Warmists becoming ever more authoritarian as the data goes against them

Their latest claim is that "Only 1 of 9,136 Recent Peer-Reviewed Authors Rejects Global Warming". It is based on a non-peer-reviewed survey of the recent literature by James Lawrence Powell, who is a geologist and a well known alarmist. He describes the methodology of his survey as:

"Read some combination of titles, abstracts, and entire papers as necessary to judge whether a paper "rejects" human-caused global warming or professes to have a better explanation of observations."`

So the first problem of the survey is that it relies on one biased man's opinion.

But there is a bigger hole than that in the claim: For a scientist to come out and specifically reject global warming would see your paper rejected for publication by the journal. So all the survey shows is the current editorial bias in the literature. Editors have been fired (e.g. Saiers at GRL) for daring to publish what the climate mafia didn't like.

Papers by skeptics do get published but are very careful about not throwing out global warming altogether. They simply report data that presents "difficulties" for global warming or the like. And that is in fact normal scientific caution.

But the need for authority of some kind to prop up your beliefs is fundamentally childish, particularly among scientists. A scientist appeals to the data, not the authority of some hokey "consensus".

BBC's six-year cover-up of secret 'green propaganda' training for top executives

The BBC has spent tens of thousands of pounds over six years trying to keep secret an extraordinary ‘eco’ conference which has shaped its coverage of global warming, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The controversial seminar was run by a body set up by the BBC’s own environment analyst Roger Harrabin and funded via a £67,000 grant from the then Labour government, which hoped to see its ‘line’ on climate change and other Third World issues promoted in BBC reporting.

At the event, in 2006, green activists and scientists – one of whom believes climate change is a bigger danger than global nuclear war – lectured 28 of the Corporation’s most senior executives.

Then director of television Jana Bennett opened the seminar by telling the executives to ask themselves: ‘How do you plan and run a city that is going to be submerged?’ And she asked them to consider if climate change laboratories might offer material for a thriller.

A lobby group with close links to green campaigners, the International Broadcasting Trust (IBT), helped to arrange government funding for both the climate seminar and other BBC seminars run by Mr Harrabin – one of which was attended by then Labour Cabinet Minister Hilary Benn.

Applying for money from Mr Benn’s Department for International Development (DFID), the IBT promised Ministers the seminars would influence programme content for years to come.

The BBC began its long legal battle to keep details of the conference secret after an amateur climate blogger spotted a passing reference to it in an official report.

Tony Newbery, 69, from North Wales, asked for further disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act. The BBC’s resistance to revealing anything about its funding and the names of those present led to a protracted struggle in the Information Tribunal. The BBC has admitted it has spent more than £20,000 on barristers’ fees. However, the full cost of their legal battle is understood to be much higher.

In a written statement opposing disclosure in 2012, former BBC news chief and current director of BBC radio Helen Boaden, who attended the event, admitted: ‘In my view, the seminar had an impact on a broad range of BBC output.’

She said this included news reports by Mr Harrabin, and a three-part BBC??2 series presented by geologist Iain Stewart, who told viewers global warming was ‘truly scary’. According to Ms Boaden, ‘Editors and executives who attended were inspired to be more ambitious and creative in their editorial coverage of this slow-moving and complex issue.’ She claimed the seminar sought to ‘identify where the main areas of debate lie’. However, there were no expert climate sceptics present.

Mr Newbery, who finally won his battle last month, said: ‘It is very disappointing that the BBC tried so hard to cover this up. It seems clear that this seminar was a means of exposing executives to green propaganda.’ The freshly disclosed documents show that a number of BBC attendees still occupy senior roles at the Corporation.

All four scientists present were strong advocates of the dangers posed by global warming. They were led by Lord May, former president of the Royal Society, who, though not a climate expert, has argued that warming is a greater threat than nuclear war. Other non-BBC staff who attended included Blake Lee-Harwood, head of campaigns at Greenpeace, John Ashton from the powerful green lobby group E3G, Andrew Simms of the New Economics Foundation, who argued there were only 100 months left to save the planet through radical emissions cuts, and Ashok Sinha of Stop Climate Chaos.

The BBC contingent included future director-general George Entwistle, Peter Horrocks, head of TV news, Stephen Mitchell, head of radio news, Francesca Unsworth, head of newsgathering, and Peter Rippon, editor of Radio 4’s PM.

Mr Harrabin was the seminar’s principal organiser. He ran it through the Cambridge Media Environment Programme, an outfit he set up with Open University lecturer Joe Smith. Mr Harrabin and Mr Smith did not derive personal financial benefit from the seminar.

But by teaming up with the IBT, an avowed lobby group trying to influence coverage, and accepting government funds when Labour was advocating radical policies to combat global warming, Mr Harrabin exposed himself to the charge he could be compromising the Corporation’s impartiality.

During the legal battle, the BBC tried to airbrush both the IBT and its approach to the Government for funding from the record. Submissions and witness statements made no mention of it.

Mr Harrabin formed a partnership with the IBT in 2004. According to the newly-disclosed funding application to DFID, drawn up by IBT director Mark Galloway, it helped organise two BBC seminars on Third World themes with Mr Harrabin that year. These, Mr Galloway wrote, ‘had clearly influenced editorial staff and resulted in several new commissions’.

DFID’s budget is supposed to be devoted to overseas aid projects. But Mr Galloway asked for £115,305 for the two years from March 2005, adding: ‘We have a firm commitment from the BBC to take part in seminars in 2005 and 2006 and to give all the support they can to this project.’

The DFID did not meet the IBT’s full bid. But the documents show it paid £67,404 over two years.

A BBC spokesman said yesterday the seminar had ‘no agenda’, and that the organisers recognised BBC rules on impartiality, while the IBT’s funding application was a ‘matter for them’.

... and how the Corporation's lessons are still paying off


Last week was a big one for weather news: the storms and floods in Britain, and the end of the bizarre saga which saw the Akademik Shokalskiy, the ship carrying climate scientists, tourists and a BBC reporter to inspect the ravages of global warming, trapped in Antarctic ice.

In both cases, the BBC stuck closely to its skewed, climate alarmist agenda.

David Cameron fuelled suggestions that the storms might be due to climate change by saying in the Commons he had ‘suspicions’ they were. The Met Office denied this was the case.

But repeatedly, the BBC followed the PM’s line. Slots on the Radio 4 Today programme and Radio 5 repeated the bogus proposition on three separate days – and in none were sceptics allowed to present an alternative view.

Yet the facts are clear. Met Office records show that December 2013 was only the 20th wettest since 1910. It had just two-thirds the rainfall of the wettest, 1914.

For October to December, 2013 was only the 14th wettest year, and there has been no discernible trend in UK or English rainfall for more than 100 years.

But though the BBC was suggesting the storms were ‘climate’ rather than ‘weather’, it took a contradictory view over the icebound ship.

Radio 4’s Inside Science told listeners that the ice was a freak, unpredictable event – driven by weather, not climate – and even added it had been falsely ‘used by climate deniers’ to advance their case.

Nevertheless, it allowed an interviewee to state without challenge that overall, Antarctic sea ice is only one per cent above average.

In fact, it is at record levels, 15 per cent (3.5?million square miles) above normal, and has been increasing for years – a trend the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admits it cannot explain.


UK homeowners caught in EU's tangle of green targets

European Union legislation influences or determines almost all aspects of energy production and use. Increasingly over the past five years, it has been widely criticised for setting clashing targets and competing objectives that have undermined living standards and the environment.

The EU's treaties make it clear that "energy mix", the question of how countries generate their electricity, remains a question of sovereignty, but binding targets for renewable power, wind and solar have undermined that principle.

The EU directive on renewable energy has probably had more impact on how power generation works and the bills paid by households than any other single piece of European legislation.

The 2009 directive set the objective of ensuring that 20pc of the energy used by 2020 should come from renewable sources. After sharing out the obligations across the EU, Britain was set the binding target of ensuring that 15pc of energy demand must be met from renewable sources before the end of the decade.

The targets are enforceable in the EU courts, meaning the prospect of a country facing huge daily fines drawing closer as the decade draws to an end. The legislation has certainly kept lawyers busy. Since January 2011, the European Commission has opened 27 investigations into whether countries are meeting their targets. Eleven cases are pending and Poland, Cyprus and Austria have been referred to the courts.

Because renewable power generation is expensive and inefficient, in terms of the high yields needed to keep national grids going and the lights on, huge subsidies have been needed for the wind and solar farms that now litter the European landscape and sea.

When the policy was launched, the EU declared that renewables would "help to reduce bills" and the cost of using energy. But the subsidies have been passed on to the public. Between the second half of 2010 and the second half of 2011 the cost of electricity in the average European household rose 6.3pc.

In Denmark and Germany, which embraced the shift to renewables, green levies and taxes account for 55.8pc and 44.9pc of the final price of electricity respectively.

A study for the British government put the lifetime cost of meeting the renewables target at up to _351.7bn (œ290bn) for the whole EU, including a bill of _93.1bn for the UK. Most of that cost burden has been picked up by consumers, contributing to a marked rise in the cost of living.

The subsidies become clear in the actual cost of electricity compared with the "strike" price the Government pays to renewable generators. The wholesale cost of electricity is currently around œ55 per megawatt hour, mainly based on fossil fuel generation, coal and gas. The "strike" price guaranteed to offshore wind farm generators is a œ155 per MWh, almost three times the going rate. Onshore wind farms earn œ95 MWh.

The soaring cost of energy has hit European industry at a bad time and is seen as major obstacle to recovery. While sanguine about increasing electricity bills for households, the commission has announced a review into EU competition rules in order to help Europe's manufacturing industry cope with higher production costs.

"In recent years, the financing of renewable support measures has led in many member states to an increase of electricity costs which affects the competitiveness of energy intensive users," Joaqu¡n Almunia, the competition commissioner, admitted last month.

Another renewables target, set as part of the same directive, was that 10pc of EU transport fuel should be renewable. This means blending biofuels, such as palm oil, with conventional transport fuels. The target is widely seen as a disaster, with mounting evidence that the EU's thirst for biofuels was driving up global food prices and greenhouse gas emissions.

Renewables have created other problems and have threatened to undermine other EU energy policies. Because solar and wind power is erratic, depending on the weather, national grids are at greater risk of failing at peak demand times. To plug the gap, countries have turned to gas and cheap coal, driving up prices and carbon emissions. This problem has been compounded by the declining share of electricity generated by nuclear power.

The other binding EU energy target is to reduce Europe's greenhouse gas emissions to 20pc below 1990 levels by 2020. The EU is on track to meet the overall carbon reduction target, mainly due to the financial crisis and recession that slowed down economic activity.

Unlike the renewable targets, EU countries are allowed to use any energy mix they like to meet the carbon cuts, opening the door for nuclear power to play a greater role, as Britain hopes with opening of Hinkley Point nuclear plant.

The other innovation of the EU's energy policy has been the emissions trading system (ETS), billed by the commission as "a cornerstone of policy to combat climate change". Under the ETS, a cap is set by the EU on the total amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted by the factories or power plants. The cap is reduced over time so that total emissions fall. In 2020, emissions from sectors covered by the EU ETS will be 21pc lower than in 2005.

Within the cap, set as national allocations centrally by the EU, companies receive or buy emission allowances which they can trade with one another as needed. They can also buy limited amounts of international credits from emission-saving projects around the world. The limit on the number of allowances available ensures they have a value - or that was the idea.

Reality has proved more difficult. The recession, with shrinking economic activity and the increased use of renewables, has led to a glut of credits - leading to low prices for carbon allocations. This unintended consequence has helped make coal and gas, climate-changing fossil fuels, cheaper for energy production. Last month the EU agreed to intervene in the market artificially to restrict credits and prop up the price of carbon.

The failures have dwarfed the EU's other policy, energy efficiency. Between 1990 and 2010, energy efficiency increased by 20pc across the EU. Unfortunately, this considerable achievement has not been enough to offset the soaring bills and counter-productive climate effects of the EU's renewables targets.

Amid growing controversy, the commission will this month publish a paper to "fundamentally overhaul" climate change policies. In a more or less open admission that the current renewables target has failed, the EU executive is widely expected to drop it altogether when setting new carbon reduction ceilings for 2030. After 2020, it will be up to national governments to decide how they reduce carbon, but the damage will have done.

History seems certain to judge EU energy policy as well-meaning but wrong and counter-productive by almost every measure.


2013 Reveals Global Warmists' Favorite Alternative Fuel: B.S.

Growing desperate in their justification for denying Americans the benefits of amply available domestic fossil fuels, scientists and bureaucrats are resorting to that last best hope of institutional mediocrities caught in lies.

They are lying some more.

As the real-time data refuses to confirm the dire predictions global warming models have given us that the use of fossil fuels are warming the world at the catastrophic rate, the bureaucrats have been forced to use some alternative fuel of their own: BS.

The EPA for example has raised the ire of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee for ignoring the recommendations of scientists in implementing new standards for power plants in the agency's rush to close down existing coal fired plants.

Or rather for not even soliciting the opinions of scientists: "We are concerned about the agency's apparent disregard for the concerns of its science advisors," said a letter sent to the agency by the House committee. "Science is a valuable tool to help policymakers navigate complex issues. However, when inconvenient facts are disregarded or when dissenting voices are muzzled, a frank discussion becomes impossible. The EPA cannot continue to rush ahead with costly regulations without allowing time for a real-world look at the science."

The EPA you see, in their rush to shut down coal in this country, decided to bypass the science, the peer review process-you know the stuff they always say the other side is ignoring?

Why. Because science isn't on their side. And they aren't the only ones ignoring science. From the Wall Street Journal:

Between 1998 and 2012 the global economy more than doubled in size-to some $71 trillion in GDP from $30 trillion. That's the good news. Over the same period the world pumped more than 100 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That is supposedly the bad news. Yet global surface temperatures have remained essentially flat. That's the mystery: If emitting CO2 into the atmosphere causes global warming, why hasn't the globe been warming?

That's the question we would have liked to see answered by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which Friday published the summary of its fifth report on what co-chairman Thomas Stocker calls "the greatest challenge of our times." It would have also been nice to see some humility from the IPCC, which since its last report in 2007 has seen some of its leading scientists exposed as bullies, and some of its most eye-catching predictions debunked. (Remember the vanishing Himalayan glaciers?)

As one of the original writers to cover the "unexplained" halt global warming over the last two decades, I'm gratified the mainstream media is paying attention. Readers will remember that when I covered this, the usual "settled science" crowd did the usual routine of accusing me of not understanding science, math, shapes and colors.

The Wall Street Journal by the way, while right of Obama, is a pretty staid, mainstream publication that generally supports the status quo.

The fact that even the Wall Street Journal is poking at warming alarmists ought to be sounding alarm bells for those purveyors of data-manipulated doom.

As the popular website Watts Up with That points out 2013 has been a bad year in the global warming modeling business.

`Regardless of efforts to nebulize CAGW to explain all forms of climatic and weather variation," says WUWT, "in 2013 every loosely falsifiable prediction of the CAGW narrative seems to have failed. The apparent complete failure of the CAGW narrative in 2013 could make the most fundamentalist agnostic wonder if Mother Nature sometimes takes sides."

All unnoticed by regular folks, but known by global warming alarmists is that temperature and rainfall produced record crops across virtually the entire country greatly adding to economic output in the third quarter.

These developments make global warming ninnies worried.

"I'm a young scientist and am too afraid to speak out at work," reports WUWT, "because I fear repercussions. Anyway, I thought you might be interested in reading an announcement for a seminar coming up soon here at NCAR. It came in our `Staff Notes' that everybody here at NCAR [National Center for Atmospheric Research] receives every day in our inbox. Some of these folks are getting really bitter that they are losing ground in this all-important argument."

In short, as the predictions of doom remain unfulfilled year after year, and the data shows that the globe has not warmed appreciably in the last two decades count on bureaucrats, politicians and technocrats to increase the number of lies they tell to bolster their side.

"If science is the `backbone' of everything they do at EPA," asks Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, "why is the agency ignoring the advice of its own independent scientists who raised concerns over proposed power plant standards? We're asking EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy why the agency is muzzling dissent."

Oh, that's easy. It's because they're losing and they're hoping to cover it up with their favorite alternative fuel: B.S. And if that doesn't work, don't worry: They'll try more B.S.


Snails and CO2

Hope you are seated for this because it could ruin your day. “Effects of climate change could hinder a sea snail’s ability to leap away from predators on one foot”, Queensland researchers say. Did I read that right?

The study, reported in the Fjii Times, shows the Conch snail, found in sandy areas off coral reefs, finds it difficult to quickly jump out of reach of prey when exposed to higher levels of carbon dioxide.

Dr Sue-Ann Watson of James Cook University’s Centre of Excellence, who is a self-confessed global warmist, says the chemical CO2 disrupts the snail's neurotransmitter receptor, causing it to have a delayed response.

“The snail either stops jumping or takes longer to jump when exposed to the levels of carbon dioxide projected for the end of this century”, the marine biologist said. (Have you fallen off your chair yet?)

"This might leave the three to four centimetre Conch snail more vulnerable to the dart of the slow-moving, predatory Cone shell.

"Snails normally move slowly and crawl around on their one big foot," Ms Watson said.

So, the level of carbon dioxide in eighty six years’ time (projected of course by our global warming friends) might affect a sea snail!

Bloody hell, that makes the Syrian crisis look like a picnic.

But every dark cloud has a silver lining... in eighty six years’ time it seems the deprived, slow-moving Cone shell will find it much easier to get a feed. Phew, global warming isn’t all doom and gloom after all.

I phone-messaged Sue-Ann to ask if the dung beetle was getting enough tucker at her Centre of Excellence, but I have yet to receive a reply.


True facts about ocean radiation and the Fukushima disaster

By Kim Martini, Ph.D.

On March 11th, 2011 the T?hoku earthquake and resulting tsunami wreaked havoc on Japan. It also resulted in the largest nuclear disaster since Chernobyl when the tsunami damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Radioactive particles were released into the atmosphere and ocean, contaminating groundwater, soil and seawater which effectively closed local Japanese fisheries.

Rather unfortunately, it has also led to some wild speculation on the widespread dangers of Fukushima radiation on the internet. Posts with titles like "Holy Fukushima - Radiation From Japan Is Already Killing North Americans" and "28 Signs That The West Coast Is Being Absolutely Fried With Nuclear Radiation From Fukushima" (which Southern Fried Science has already throughly debunked ) keep popping up on my facebook feed from well-meaning friends.

I'm here to tell you that these posts are just plain garbage. While there are terrible things that happened around the Fukushima Power Plant in Japan; Alaska, Hawaii and the West Coast aren't in any danger. These posts were meant to scare people (and possibly written by terrified authors). They did just that, but there is a severe lack of facts in these posts. Which is why I am here to give you the facts, and nothing but the facts.


The radioactive rods in the Fukushima power plant are usually cooled by seawater [CORRECTION: they are usually cooled by freshwater. As a last ditch emergency effort at Fukushima seawater was used as a coolant.]. The double whammy of an earthquake and a tsunami pretty much released a s**tstorm of badness: the power went out, meltdown started and eventually the radioactive cooling seawater started leaking (and was also intentionally released) into the ocean. Radioactive isotopes were also released into the air and were absorbed by the ocean when they rained down upon it. These two pathways introduced mostly Iodine-131, Cesium-137, and Cesium-134, but also a sprinkling of Tellurium, Uranium and Strontium to the area surrounding the power plant.

There aren't great estimates of how much of each of these isotopes were released into the ocean since TEPCO, the company that owns the power plant hasn't exactly been forthcoming with information, but the current estimates are around 538,100 terabecquerels (TBq) which is above Three-Mile Island levels, but below Chernobyl levels....


Practically, what does ten thousand or a million times less radiation mean? It means that these models estimate the West Coast and the Aleutians will see radiation levels anywhere from 1-20 Bq/m3,while Hawaiian Islands could see up to 30 Bq/m3 [Beherns et al. 2012, Nakano et al. 2012, Rossi et al. 2013 ].

I could write a small novel explaining why the numbers differ between the models. For those that love the details, here's a laundry list of those differences: the amount of radiation initially injected into the ocean, the length of time it took to inject the radiation (slowly seeping or one big dump), the physics embedded in the model, the background ocean state, the number of 20-count shrimp per square mile (Just kidding!), atmospheric forcing, inter-annual and multi-decadal variability and even whether atmospheric deposition was incorporated into the model.

Like I said before, the West Coast will probably not see more than 20 Bq/m3 of radiation. Compare these values to the map of background radiation of Cesium-137 in the ocean before Fukushima (from 1990). Radiation will increase in the Pacific, but it's at most 10 times higher than previous levels, not thousands. Although looking at this map I would probably stop eating Baltic Herring fish oil pills and Black Sea Caviar (that radiation is from Chernobyl) before ending the consumption of fish from the Pacific Ocean.


No it will not be dangerous. Even within 300 km of Fukushima, the additional radiation that was introduced by the Cesium-137 fallout is still well below the background radiation levels from naturally occurring radioisotopes. By the time those radioactive atoms make their way to the West Coast it will be even more diluted and therefore not dangerous at all.

It's not even dangerous to swim off the coast of Fukushima. Buessler et al. figured out how much radiation damage you would get if you doggie paddled about Fukushima (Yes, science has given us radioactive models of human swimmers). It was less than 0.03% of the daily radiation an average Japanese resident receives. Tiny! Hell, the radiation was so small even immediately after the accident scientists did not wear any special equipment to handle the seawater samples (but they did wear detectors just in case). If you want danger, you're better off licking the dial on an old-school glow in the dark watch.


For the most part the answer is YES. Some fisheries in Japan are still closed because of radioactive contamination. Bottom fish are especially prone to contamination because the fallout collects on the seafloor where they live. Contaminated fish shouldn't be making it to your grocery store, but I can't guarantee that so if you are worried just eat fish from somewhere other than Japan.

Fish from the rest of the Pacific are safe. To say it mildly, most fish are kinda lazy. They really don't travel that far so when you catch a Mahi Mahi off the coast of Hawaii its only going to be as contaminated as the water there, which isn't very much.Hyperactive fish, such as tuna may be more radioactive than local lazy fish because they migrate so far. As Miriam pointed out in this post, there is a detectable increase of radiation in tuna because they were at one point closer to Fukushima, but the levels are not hazardous.

To alleviate fears that you may be glowing due to ingestion too many visits to your local sushi joint, Fischer et al. figured out exactly how much damaging radiation you would receive from eating a tower of tuna rolls. Seriously. Science is just that awesome. Supermarket tuna hunters would receive 0.9 ?Sv of radiation, while the outdoors subsistence tuna hunter would receive 4.7 ?Sv. These values are about the same or a little less than the amount a person receives from natural sources.

To put 0.9 ?Sv of radiation in perspective check out this awesome graph of radiation by xkcd. You'll get the same amount of radiation by eating 9 bananas. Monkeys might be doomed, but you are not.


I hope this list of facts has answered most of your questions and convinced you the Pacific and its inhabitants will not be fried by radiation from Fukushima. I certainly feel safe eating sustainable seafood from the Pacific and so should you.

Much more HERE



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


10 January, 2014

Another blatant Warmist lie

Warmists have at last launched a counter-attack on the claim that in the '70s there was a big fear of global COOLING among scientists. But their counter-attack is pathetic. You can find it here. The essence of the Warmist response is that critics are quoting just one short article by one journalist in the back pages of one magazine.

That is an utter lie. Steve Goddard makes a specialty of collecting climate journalism from the past and he has now put up a huge selection of photocopies showing that the fear of cooling was widely shared and was endorsed by most of the major scientific organizations of the time. There was a "consensus" in the 70s too. Pity it was the opposite of the present pseudo-consensus.

I will not attempt to reproduce here either the Warmist lie or Goddards's response as the whole thing is too graphics-intensive for my patience, but you can follow the links to check for yourself -- JR

Of course fracking doesn't cause your sex to change

By James Delingpole

Rarely have I witnessed such rampant troll activity as I did on my gently snarky recent blogpost Global Warming Devastates America. There's a reason for that, of course. The alarmists are losing the argument and their incoherent ranting is the sign of a movement in its death throes.

Personally, though, I take no comfort in this. That's because, as you know, I have long seen the debate about the "science" of global warming as a distraction from the real issue. Which is to say, as I argue in Watermelons and again in The Little Green Book of Eco Fascism, the so-called "science" is simply being used (or, more accurately, abused) in order to provide an intellectual and pseudo-empirical fig-leaf to justify what, deep down, is an ideological war being waged by the green-liberal-left against Western Industrial Civilisation.

This Hydra has many heads. Remove one - CAGW - and the beast will not die, for a dozen more will spring up in its place. Let me give you an example of what I mean. The other day, there was a rash of ludicrous stories in the media - allegedly based on peer-reviewed science - suggesting that fracking could expose people to sex-change chemicals. I meant to respond to this at the time but it was Christmas and I had better things to do. But what grabbed my attention was that, by coincidence, I had recently been looking into the issue of these "sex-change chemicals" and had experienced a strong sense of deja vu.

The story concerned a weed-killer called Atrazine, widely used in the US since the late Fifties. If you believe some of the reports in left-leaning organs like Mother Jones, Atrazine contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals which can cause frogs to change sex - and is therefore a potential menace to humans. Now this sounds quite scary, until you start looking into the details. Whence does this scare story originate? Well, it turns out to be largely based on the work of a UC Berkeley professor called Tyrone Hayes. Who knows: maybe he's right; maybe these Endocrine Disruptor Chemicals really are the greatest threat to mankind since, gosh, maybe even "global warming" (remember that, anyone?). But here's what gave me that eerie sense of deja vu. It turns out that Dr Hayes has been very reluctant to share his data and working methods with fellow scientists (despite repeated requests) - and that furthermore studies that have attempted to replicate his findings have found Atrazine causes no harmful effects to our little web-footed friends.

Now Atrazine is manufactured by a Swiss company called Syngenta. The same company, funnily enough, that was the victim of yet another environmentalist campaign against another of its products - a neonicotinoid pesticide which allegedly is killing bees.

Look, we're all of us against Evil Big Pharma doing terrible things to nature, in much the same way we're all against Big Fossil Fuel and Big Oil when it devastates land and sea. But surely if we're going to condemn them, it ought to be for environmental crimes they've actually committed, rather than on the basis of pseudo-scientific factoids apparently plucked from the ether and disseminated by activists and sympathetic enviro-journalists?

What fascinated me about the frogs and Atrazine story were the extraordinary parallels with the global warming one. Tenured professor in distinguished seat of learning comes up with plausible sounding scare theory? Check. Refuses to share data or allow his research to be replicated? Check. Swallowed wholesale, nonetheless, by the mainstream media? Check. Scientific method apparently cast aside in favour of political activism? Check. Calls for action to be taken on the "precautionary principle"? Check.

It goes almost without saying that no official body has embraced Endocrine Disruptor Theory with quite as much enthusiasm as the European Union:

"The European Commission, meanwhile, is finalizing laws that could mandate a Europe-wide ban not only on pesticides but also on fruits, vegetables, and grains bearing even the tiniest trace of alleged endocrine-disrupting chemicals."

The potential cost to the US agricultural sector in lost exports has been estimated at $4 billion. Not a problem, of course, if you don't believe in the capitalist system. Arbitrarily, vindictively, mindlessly destructive and utterly inexcusable if you do.

Interesting, by the way, how amphibians - though not as cute, fluffy and photogenic as polar bears - appear to have been co-opted by the environmental movement in order to exaggerate the case for urgent action to BAN EVERYTHING NOW. Here's another example I wrote about in the Spectator recently: in which the disappearance of the Costa Rican Golden Toad was dubiously cited as an example of species extinction due to "climate change" (when the real reason lay elsewhere).

Oh, there's one more fascinating detail about sex-changing frogs which I'm dying to include in this post - but it'll have to wait until I've checked up on it. You know what we climate realists are like: sticklers for those pesky facts.


Britain warned of more droughts caused by climate change and growing population

Just as Britain is in the grip of destructive floods. Dreaming is preferred to reality

Britain faces more severe and more frequent droughts as climate change limits water supplies and demand increases, the European Commission has warned.

Droughts will increase across Europe by the end of this century, risking "considerable impacts on society, the environment and the economy", scientists from the commission's joint research centre and Kessel University found.

"Many river basins, especially in southern parts of Europe, are likely to become more prone to periods of reduced water supply due to climate change," they warned.

"Minimum flow levels of streams and rivers may be reduced by up to 40 per cent, and periods of water deficiency may increase by up to 80 per cent in the Iberian Peninsula, the south of France, Italy and the Balkans."

The scientists said that population and economic growth would also increase demand for water, exacerbating the problem - even in countries such as Britain, which may be less severely affected by the climate change.

"Intensive water use will further aggravate drought conditions by 10 per cent to 30 per cent in the south, west and centre of Europe, and in some parts of the UK," the study found.

The commission said drought was a "major natural disaster" and had cost _100? billion (œ82.5?billion) in Europe over the past three decades.

Luc Feyen, one of the scientists behind the study, told the Telegraph: "We believe the increase in droughts will be strongest in southern Europe but we see also, especially towards the end of the century, the UK will also face more frequent and more prolonged periods of droughts.

"Climate change will probably cause an effect so there will be more periods of reduced water availability.

"If you then combine this with increases in water usage you have a stronger effect. There will be more competition for water due to the reduced availability."

The study was based on an assumption of average global temperatures rising by up to 6.1F (3.4C) by 2100, compared with the 1961-1990 period.

Temperatures have been forecast to increase even further in areas such as Spain and Portugal.


Sorry Dave, storms aren't down to climate change: Met Office rubbishes Cameron's assertions over recent bad weather

The Met office must be pleased that they can speak the truth for once

David Cameron has received a frosty response from the weathermen for his comments on climate change. The Prime Minister said on Wednesday that he suspected global warming was to blame for the recent storms that have battered the country.

But yesterday the Met Office said there was no evidence to support such assertions.Its statement came as forecasters said the relentless rain would ease off this weekend - to be replaced by a cold snap with temperatures falling to -4C (25F) nationwide.

Mr Cameron made his remarks in the Commons when he was asked by a Lib Dem MP whether he believed the gales and torrential rain were `a destructive and inevitable consequence at least in part of climate change'. He replied: `I agree with you that we are seeing more abnormal weather events?.?I very much suspect that it is.'

Climate scientists say no single extreme weather event can be entirely attributed to the changing climate, but the impact of greenhouse gases makes extreme weather - such as floods and droughts - more frequent.

But yesterday the Met Office said that despite December being the stormiest month since 1969, it can be explained by natural variations in the jet stream, the band of fast-moving air which creates winter storms in the US and blows their remnants across the Atlantic.

A spokesman said: `At the moment there's no evidence to suggest that these storms in Britain are more intense because of climate change, but temperature and rainfall extremes have changed around the world, and despite the large variability of our weather, the UK would be expected to share in this trend towards extremes.'

A blog on the Met Office website says the jet stream `has been unusually strong this year due to warm and cold air being squeezed together in the mid-latitudes, where the UK sits. This could be due to nothing more than the natural variability which governs Atlantic weather'.


Owen Paterson at odds with Cameron whether storms caused by climate change

The environment secretary has refused to endorse claims by David Cameron that the recent storms afflicting the UK were linked to climate change. David Cameron said on Wednesday that he "suspected" that climate change was partly responsible for the increased frequency of extreme weather, such as floods and droughts.

But Mr Paterson, who is renowned as a climate-sceptic, declined to answer a question on whether he agreed with Mr Cameron, prompting roars of laughter from the opposition benches.

It comes after a series of controversial comments by Mr Paterson about climate change.

In October, Mr Paterson caused controversy when he suggested that the threat posed by global warming had been overstated, and indicated that in some cases farmers could benefit from the warmer weather.

He said at the time: "People get very emotional about this subject and I think we should just accept that the climate has been changing for centuries.

"Remember that, for humans, the biggest cause of death is cold in winter, far bigger than heat in summer. It would also lead to longer growing seasons and you could extend growing a little further north in some of the colder areas."

Mr Patten yesterday faced further questions about his views on climate change from Phil Wilson, a Labour MP. He asked: "In PMQs yesterday, the Prime Minister said he very much suspects that the recent abnormal weather events are a result of climate change. Do you agree with the Prime Minister."

Mr Paterson replied: "What the Prime Minister said is we should look at the practical measures we're taking, and I entirely endorse his questions."

He added: "And perhaps you will get after your front bench and see if they will endorse the very ambitious spending plans we have for flood defences, which so far, they have been very, very reluctant to do."

On Wednesday Mr Cameron was asked whether he believed climate change was to blame for the wave of severe weather. He said: "Colleagues across the House can argue about whether that is linked to climate change or not. I very much suspect that it is."

His comments put him at odds with a significant number of MPs in his party who are sceptical about the impact of climate change.

The environment secretary also said that "trashing" ancient woodlands to make way for unwanted housing would be "absolute travesty" but admitted they could be bulldozed as a "last resort".

Owen Paterson said he was "personally" offended by the public backlash against him and said his role in planting an arboretum last year helped demonstrate his environmental credentials.

Mr Paterson has been strongly criticised by environmental campaigners after suggesting last week that developers could be allowed to build on centuries-old forests if they plant 100 times as many new trees elsewhere.

Mr Paterson said a form of "offsetting" could be used to enable forests dating back more than 400 years to be flattened for housing or transport projects.

However, yesterday in the Commons Mr Paterson insisted that planning protections for ancient woodlands will remain in place. He conceded, however, that "some assets are too precious" to built on, even as a last resort.

He said: "I am delighted to reassure the honourable lady that the idea that biodiversity offset could be used as a means of imposing unwanted houses on ancient woodland is an absolute travesty. Should we bring in offsetting, all the regulations remain.

"Only at the last moment would we consider offsetting. Some assets are too precious. In Australia there has been an 80 per cent shift of planning applications away from fragile environments. As someone who has just planted an arboretum in the last year the idea that I'm going to trash ancient woodlands is an absolute travesty to me personally."

The proposals have outraged MPs. Barry Sheerman, a Labour MP, said that the 19th century poet John Clare who was a passionate defender of the countryside would have opposed the measures.

He said: "This is the 150th anniversary of the death of one of our greatest poets of the countryside, John Clare. He wrote a great deal about diseased trees. He certainly was a great defender of the English countryside. What does the minister think of giving up our ancient woodland and replacing it with new growth."


Risking Lives to Promote Climate Change Hype

Will global warming alarmists ever set aside their hypotheses, hyperbole, models and ideologies long enough to acknowledge what is actually happening in the real world outside their windows? Will they at least do so before setting off on another risky, misguided adventure? Before persuading like-minded or na‹ve people to join them? Before forcing others to risk life and limb to transport - and rescue - them? If history is any guide, the answer is: Not likely.

The absurd misadventures of University of New South Wales climate professor Chris Turney is but the latest example. He and 51 co-believers set out to prove manmade global warming is destroying the East Antarctic ice sheet. Perhaps they'd been reading Dr. Turney's website, which claims "an increasing body of evidence" shows "melting and collapse" across the area. They and the captain and 22 crewmen of the (diesel-powered) Russian charter ship Akademik Shokalskiy should have gotten a second opinion.

Instead of finding open water, they wound up trapped in record volumes of unforgiving ice, from Christmas Eve until January 2 - ensnared by Mother Nature's sense of humor and their own hubris. The 52 climate tourists were finally rescued by a helicopter sent from Chinese icebreaker Xue Long, which itself became locked in the ice......

All of this raises serious questions that most media have ignored. How could Tourney put so many lives and vessels at risk - people he persuaded to join this expedition, the ship and crew they hired, the ships and helicopter and crews that came to their rescue? How did he talk the Russian captain into sailing into these dangerous waters? Who will pay for the rescue ships and their fuel and crews? What if one of the ships sinks - or someone dies? What is Tourney's personal liability?

This may be the most glaring example of climate foolishness. But it is hardly the first.

In 2007, Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen set off across the Arctic in the dead of winter, "to raise awareness about global warming," by showcasing the wide expanses of open water they were certain they would encounter. Instead, temperatures inside their tent plummeted to -58 F (-50 C), while outside the nighttime air plunged to -103 F (-75 C). Facing frostbite, amputated fingers and toes or even death, the two were airlifted out a bare 18 miles into their 530-mile expedition.

The next winter it was British swimmer and ecologist Lewis Gordon Pugh, who planned to breast-stroke across open Arctic seas. Same story. Then fellow Brit Pen Hadow tried, and failed. In 2010 Aussie Tom Smitheringale set off to demonstrate "the effect that global warming is having on the polar ice caps." He was rescued and flown out, after coming "very close to the grave," he confessed.

Hopefully, all these rescue helicopters were solar-powered. Hardcore climate disaster adventurers should not be relegated to choppers fueled by evil fossil fuels. They may be guilty of believing their own alarmist press releases - but losing digits or ideological purity is a high price to pay.

All these intrepid explorers tried to put the best spin on their failures. "One of the things we see with global warming is unpredictability," Bancroft-Arnesen expedition coordinator Anne Atwood insisted. "But global warming is real, and with it can come extreme unpredictable changes in temperature," added Arnesen. "Global warming can mean colder. It can mean wetter. It can mean drier. That's what we're talking about," Greenpeace activist Stephen Guilbeault chimed in.

It's been said insanity is hitting your thumb repeatedly with a hammer, expecting it won't hurt the next time. It's also believing hype, models and delusions, instead of real world observations. Or thinking taxpayers are happy to pay for all the junk science behind claims that the world faces dangerous manmade global warming. Or that they are delighted that the EPA and IPCC are increasingly regulating our lives, livelihoods, liberties, living standards and life spans, in the name of preventing climate change.

The fact is, Antarctic ice shelves have broken up many times over the millennia. Arctic ice has rebounded since its latest low ebb around September 2007. Despite steadily rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, average global temperatures have been stable or declining since 1997. Seas are rising at barely seven inches per century. And periods of warmer or colder global and polar climates are nothing new.

Vikings built homes, grew crops and raised cattle in Greenland between 950 and 1300, before they were frozen out by the Little Ice Age and encroaching pack ice and glaciers. Many warm periods followed, marked by open seas and minimal southward extent of Arctic sea ice, as noted in ships' logs and discussed in scientific papers by Torgny Vinje and other experts. But warm periods of 1690-1710, 1750-1780 and 1918-1940, for instance, were often preceded and followed by colder temperatures, severe ice conditions and maximum southward ice packs, as during 1630-1660 and 1790-1830.

"Not only in the summer, but in the winter the ocean [in the Bering Sea region] was free of ice, sometimes with a wide strip of water up to at least 200 miles away from the shore," Swedish explorer Oscar Nordkvist reported in 1822, in a document rediscovered by astrophysicist Willie Soon.

"We were astonished by the total absence of ice in the Barrow Strait," Francis McClintock, captain of the Fox, wrote in 1860. "I was here at this time in 1854 - still frozen up - and doubts were entertained as to the possibility of escape."

In 1903, during the first year of his three-year crossing of the Northwest Passage, Roald Amundsen noted that his party "had made headway with ease," because ice conditions had been "unusually favorable."

The 1918-1940 warming also resulted in Atlantic cod increasing in population and expanding their range some 800 miles, to the Upernavik area of Greenland, fisheries biologist Ken Drinkwater has reported.

Climate change is certainly real. It's been real throughout Earth and human history - including the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods, Little Ice Age and Dust Bowl, and through countless other cycles of warming and cooling, flood and drought, storm and calm, open polar seas and impassable ice.

Humans clearly influence weather and climate on a local scale - through heat and emissions from cities and cars, our clearing of forests and grasslands, our diversion of rivers. But that is not the issue. Nor is it enough to say - as President Obama has - that the climate is changing and mankind is contributing to it.

The fundamental issue is this: Are humans causing imminent, unprecedented, global climate change disasters? And can we prevent those alleged disasters, by drastically curtailing hydrocarbon use, slashing living standards, and imposing government control over industries and people's lives? If you look at actual evidence - instead of computer model forecasts and "scenarios" - the answer is clearly: No.




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


9 January, 2014

Time Mag's Climate Deception

Here's what Time magazine had to say about the now infamous “polar vortex” during the great ice age scare in June 1974: “Scientists have found other indications of global cooling. For one thing there has been a noticeable expansion of the great belt of dry, high-altitude polar winds – the so-called circumpolar vortex – that sweep from west to east around the top and bottom of the world.” Four decades later, they're using the same argument as evidence of global warming. On Monday Time claimed, “[I]t may well be that global warming could be making the occasional bout of extreme cold weather in the U.S. even more likely. Right now much of the U.S. is in the grip of a polar vortex, which is pretty much what it sounds like: a whirlwind of extremely cold, extremely dense air that forms near the poles.” Whatever fits the narrative.



Germany’s wind and solar power production came to an almost complete standstill in early December. More than 23,000 wind turbines stood still. One million photovoltaic systems stopped work nearly completely. For a whole week coal, nuclear and gas power plants had to generate an estimated 95 percent of Germany’s electricity supply.

Over long periods of time wind and solar energy generate almost no power at all. After the storm “Xavier” died down, the doldrums and high fog set in. In the second week of December the generating curve for the share of wind power shows a very thin line. At the same time, solar panels produced minimal amounts of energy and that for just over two to three hours at noon. Conventional power plants had to carry the full load for power supply for almost the entire week. Such winter anticyclones are quite common and can last two weeks at times. The contribution of biomass and geothermal energy plants is so minimal that it can not be shown in the graphic. The currently available pumped storage could supply Germany four or five hours with power, but not for a whole week let alone two.

Last spring, Germans enjoyed a series of cheerful messages that warmed the hearts of fans of the green energy revolution. “Wind and solar power production now at record hight’, announced the “International Economic Forum on Renewable Energies” (IWR ) on 19 April. “Green power with 35 gigawatts is now linked to the grid, this corresponds to the output of 26 nuclear power plants.”

And so it continued: The owners of photovoltaic solar power cracked the previous record on 27 July with a feed of 204 gigawatt hours. Some time later, renewable energy was predicted to generate almost the complete power supply in Germany. On 3 October, for the duration of one hour, the operators of wind and solar systems came pretty close: On the day of German unity at 14:00 hours, renewables produced at least 67 percent of Germany’s electricity needs.

In the face of such impressive numbers who would not dream of the omnipotence of renewable energy? Then came the storm “Xaver” in early December which caused “wind power equivalent to the output of 26 medium-sized nuclear power plants,” the Münster IWR announced cheerfully.

What better proof that renewable energy has already made conventional power plants largely redundant?

Even the energy industry claimed only recently that fairly soon Germany would only need “back-up power plants” to help out during the short periods when the wind is not blowing.

The cheering claims of the eco-statisticians, however, have serious consequences. Many Germans now regard the era of green power close to completion, the green energy shift almost at its goal. Who therefore needs coal power plants?

According to a recent survey conducted by the polling institute TNS Emnid a third of Germans believe that current energy production can be generated “immediately without any coal power or it could be abandoned by 2020.” Germans estimate that electricity generated by coal and lignite power plants to be on average just 25 percent. In truth, it is almost twice as high at 44 percent.

Given this lack of knowledge it is hardly surprising if the energy debate is occasionally marked by euphoric exuberance. “Pull the plug on Vattenfall”, “Expropriate RWE”, “Drive E.on out of the country” – why not do so today if renewables generate so much electricity already?

The statistics of the apparently beautiful green electricity production, however, have one catch: They give a completely false sense of security. During the cold winter period renewable energy often fails to generate any appreciable amount of electricity for weeks and months. A foretaste of this problem was presented by the storm “Xavier” in early December: As soon as it was gone, doldrums and high fog arrived.

Last week Germany’s wind and solar power production was consistently near to non-existent. More than 23,000 German wind turbines stood still for days. One million photovoltaic systems, subsidized by consumers to the tune of with 108 billion euros, stopped work nearly complete and delivered a few kilowatt hours only very briefly during lunch. For the whole week unloved coal, nuclear and gas power plants had to generate an estimated 95 percent of Germany’s electricity supply.

For the new Economic and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel (Social Democratic Party, SPD) the unreliable contribution of renewable energy presents a dilemma: on the one hand, he may not want to be seen to slow down the green energy transition.

On the other hand, it will not add anything to the German power supply if the green power expansion continues and when in the future 40,000 instead of the current 23,000 wind turbines stand still in the doldrums – or when two million instead of one million solar panels do not generate any electricity during the long winter darkness.


DeFazio: U.S. Must Regulate Carbon Emissions and 'Force

Blasting Republican "climate-change deniers" as well as "blathering idiots on talk shows" who joked about the "Arctic vortex," Rep. Peter DeFazio urged Congress to tackle climate change in 2014. He called it one of the "biggest challenges of our time."

He wants the Obama administration to regulate carbon emissions as pollution. And "even if we take strong measures here, we've got to force those measures on other countries," he said in a five-minute speech on the House floor Wednesday.

"Now how are we going to get China and other countries lined up on this?" DeFazio asked. He called trade agreements a "strong tool" to demand reductions:

"We can't put U.S. manufacturers at a disadvantage when they are dealing with climate change issues and carbon dioxide emissions and the Chinese aren't, 'cause we live, unfortunately, on the same planet as the Chinese and they're destroying the world's climate very, very quickly. So even if we take strong measures here, we've got to force those measures on other countries," he said.

DeFazio supports a European Union measure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by "scoring the dirtiest sources of fuels."

"That would mean there would be a penalty against oil, gasoline, diesel extracted from tar sands -- the dirtiest, most polluting way to obtain oil that anyone knows of." (The largest tar-sands extraction is taking place in Canada, and a Canadian company has applied to the U.S. State Department for permission to build a cross-border pipeline extension to bring some of that tar sands oil to U.S. refineries.)

DeFazio criticized President Obama's special trade representative, Michael Froman, who is "busily undermining the president's climate change agenda" and acting "at complete odds with the Environmental Protection Agency" by trying to overturn the E.U. measures.

"The president needs to reign in his special trade rep and we need to protect and encourage the president to deal with this very serious issue."


Approve GM or our farming will be history, warns British minister

Genetically modified crops must be approved by the European Union if British agriculture is to avoid becoming “the museum of world farming” the Environment Secretary said on Tuesday.

Member states should approve a new strain of maize in a vote later this month, said Owen Paterson.

He argued that previous approval for GM crops had been blocked by the European Commission for political reasons.

“If approval is granted … then it will be the first GM food crop authorised for planting by the EU for 15 years,” Mr Paterson told the Oxford Farming Conference. “Europe risks becoming the museum of world farming as innovative companies make decisions to invest and develop new technologies in other markets.”

The proposal covers a strain of insect-resistant maize and would become the second GM crop to be grown in the European Union after approval for another variety, resistant to the corn borer, was granted in 1998.

Mr Paterson added: “Let me be clear, there are other tools in the toolbox. GM is not a panacea. But the longer that Europe continues to close its doors to GM, the greater the risk that the rest of the world will bypass us altogether.”

The European Commission said that it was “duty-bound” to propose a vote after Europe’s second-highest court censured Brussels for lengthy delays in the approval process.

Approval is likely to face strong opposition from France, Austria, Italy and other countries that have previously banned the growing of GM crops. Sweden and Spain are expected to support the proposal.

GM crops are strains that have been engineered for desirable traits not naturally present, such as disease resistance or greater yields, by changing a plant’s DNA in a laboratory.

Official government policy on them is “precautionary, evidence-based and sensitive to public concerns”.

The Government describes the technology as “not wholly good or bad” and says that it will consider licensing crops on a case-by-case basis.

In the late Nineties, Tony Blair, then Labour prime minister, promoted GM food, but he retreated in the face of public scepticism and campaigns against “Frankenfoods”.

Opponents fear that the crops can cause environmental damage and even harm human health.

But polls suggest that British hostility is waning and senior government figures privately believe the technology is essential to assure future food security and to avoid a dependence on imports.

Mr Paterson has previously indicated that he wants to relax British regulations on the cultivation of GM crops, and has said they have “environmental benefits”.

The Environment Secretary’s views have been cautiously supported by David Cameron. In a speech in June the Prime Minister said it was “time to look again” at the issue. He said: “We need to be open to arguments from science.”

The Coalition has so far allowed small-scale trials of GM crops but widespread use is effectively banned.

There is no ban on selling foods made from GM crops and some GM material is contained in imported products, but most supermarkets have banned the ingredients from their own-brand lines.

In October, Mr Paterson attracted criticism for calling opponents of GM “absolutely wicked” and claiming that children were being left to go blind because of “hang-ups” about the technology.


How Gas Taxes Subsidize Central Planning

Should automobile drivers be forced to fund an open-space preserve they’ll never visit or to subsidize high-density housing? Drivers might ask this question if they knew how the taxes they pay at the gas pump are increasingly being spent. With little fanfare, the Highway Trust Fund—the program financed by the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax—is becoming a key player in the funding of land-use projects that have little to do with its original mission of building and maintaining the nation’s highways. Independent Institute Senior Fellow Lawrence J. McQuillan explains.

“To nobody’s real surprise, over time the trust fund has become a slush fund to finance various ‘smart growth’ projects unrelated to highways,” McQuillan writes in a widely published op-ed. In the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, a bill that became law in 2012 is steering $10 million in gas-tax revenues to local governments for the purchase of land for conservation rather than for development—and $50 million is being earmarked for transit villages that would house workers who rely on public transportation. “Like walking, the government apparently considers crowded housing a surface transportation problem,” McQuillan writes.

California is a leading state for the diversion of federal gasoline taxes toward smart-growth programs such as open-space preserves and “stack-and-pack” housing, but other states are following course. South Floridians, for example, are battling proposals that resemble those enacted in the San Francisco Bay Area. So much for counting on the Highway Trust Fund to focus on fixing the crumbling highways. “Next time you hit one of those freeway potholes,” McQuillan continues, “be reminded that the money you paid at the pump to maintain our highways is being used to purchase land in Napa Valley, so wine snobs can ride their $5,000 mountain bikes. That’s how ‘smart growth’ really works.”


The U.S. Could Save $60 Billion by Ending Wind Subsidies

Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is bringing an important issue to the forefront of policy debate. He argues that Congress should not renew the wind energy tax credit.

“The massive taxpayer subsidy to windmill developers expired Jan. 1,” Alexander said. “A good way to celebrate the New Year would be to not renew it and to reduce the federal debt by $60 billion, an amount about equal to the spending in the recent budget agreement.”

Many years ago this tax credit made sense as the wind energy industry was just developing. But now that the industry is fully developed, the tax breaks are not necessary. And in Tennessee, especially, windmills are a ‘scar’ on the landscape.

And of course, the Senator also pointed out that wind energy is not nearly as easily attained as nuclear power. But of course, this tax credit will be back up for consideration very soon.

The tax credit costs nearly $6 billion each year. If Congress renews the credit for 10 years, it would be equal to the same amount the budget deal increased spending limits. Perhaps this would be money better spent on reducing the deficit and the overall debt we have built up.




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


8 January, 2014

Don't laugh

"Excessively high temperatures" are "already" harming public health nationwide, Pres. Obama declared on Nov. 1, 2013, two months before today's assault by record low temperatures.

In his executive order on climate change, Obama warned that too much rain - and not enough rain - also dictated that executive action against climate fluctuations:

"The impacts of climate change -- including an increase in prolonged periods of excessively high temperatures, more heavy downpours, an increase in wildfires, more severe droughts, permafrost thawing, ocean acidification, and sea-level rise -- are already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, and public health across the Nation. These impacts are often most significant for communities that already face economic or health-related challenges, and for species and habitats that are already facing other pressures."

What's more, climate control "requires" action "by the Federal Government" (as opposed to the federal government), Obama declared:

"Managing these risks requires deliberate preparation, close cooperation, and coordinated planning by the Federal Government, as well as by stakeholders, to facilitate Federal, State, local, tribal, private-sector, and nonprofit-sector efforts to improve climate preparedness and resilience; help safeguard our economy, infrastructure, environment, and natural resources; and provide for the continuity of executive department and agency (agency) operations, services, and programs."


Princeton Physicist Dr. Will Happer on Polar vortices

Award-winning Princeton University Physicist Dr. Will Happer rejected the media and some scientists' claims that the record U.S. cold is due to man-made global warming. Happer, explained the science in an exclusive interview with Climate Depot.

“Polar vortices have been around forever. They have almost nothing to do with more CO2 in the atmosphere,” Happer said in an exclusive interview with Climate Depot.

Happer continued: “Here is a thumbnail sketch of the physics. The poles have little sunshine even in summer, but especially in winter, like now in the Arctic. So the air over the poles rapidly gets bitterly cold because of radiation to dark space, with negligible replenishment of heat from sunlight. The sinking cold air is replaced by warmer air flowing in from the south at high altitudes. Since the earth is rotating, the air flowing in from the south has to start rotating faster to the west, just like a figure skater rotates faster if she pulls in her arms. This forms the polar vortex. The extremely cold air at the bottom of the vortex can be carried south by meanders of the jet stream at the edge of the vortex. We will have to live with polar vortices as long as the sun shines and the earth rotates.

Like any fluid system at “high Reynolds number,” the jet stream is highly unstable, and from time to time it develops meanders to low latitudes, like the one we have had the past few days. About this time of year in 1777, just before the Battle of Princeton, there was a similar sequence.

On January 2, Cornwallis’s men marched south from New York City through cold rain and muddy roads to try to trap George Washington and his little Continental Army in Trenton. On the night of January 2-3, a polar vortex swept across New Jersey, with snow and a very hard freeze. Aided by the extremely cold weather, Washington was able to evacuate his troops and artillery over newly frozen roads and to avoid Cornwallis’s encirclement.

Reaching Princeton on the viciously cold morning of January 3, Washington won another battle against the British and escaped to winter quarters in Morristown. Thank you polar vortex!


Windmill gearboxes falling apart

I first came across this shocking industrial wind turbine (IWT) gearbox problem some time back and posted about it (Here) and originally (Here). The basis of these posts was this article (Here)

This long running problem is so serious that since 2007, the US Government has been coordinating research into it through the NREL. (More on that further down.)

By the looks of it nothing has got better, although there is a lot of industry spin claiming the fix is just over the hill. Some of it quite recent (See Here)

So what is the problem and why is it kept so quiet?

Industrial Wind turbines (IWT's) have a generic, long standing and apparently intractible problem with gearbox reliability.

Many gearboxes need a rebuild within 5 -7 years instead of lasting 25 years as designed. Many suffer catastrophic failure within the 5-7 period or even earlier. Depending on the age of the turbine, a gear box failure may effectively write it off. Even when repaired, these gearbox failures are highly expensive and often take out the turbine for months.

Replacing the gearbox adds massively to the overall cost of the IWT. Manufacturers increase the cost to cover warranty repairs in the first 5 years. When out of warranty, the cost of a maintenance contract sky-rockets, eventually to a point where the operation of the IWT becomes untenable.

Why does this matter? After all it is the operators/manufacturers problem isn't it?

It matters because IWT's are capital intensive. That means that most of their operating cost is mostly soaked up in purchasing the thing - and maintaining it. If the IWT has a much shorter life (or a much higher maintenance cost) and so produces less money than anticipated, their ability to ever live without massive government subsidy becomes an even bigger illusion than it already is.

So, you may say, "It is only a technical glitch 'll all come right in the end."

Well, maybe. But first of all this is a glitch that has lasted since the 1980's

Unfortunately the evidence suggests that nobody actually knows what to fix yet let alone how too fix it. So possibly the answer is - maybe not.

We need to get an idea of how bad this problem is but for obvious reasons the wind industry isn't telling and they are certainly not releasing any meaningful figures

But there are a number of alarming markers out there.

The US Government (in association with the wind industry) formed a little known group called the "Gearbox Reliability Collective" (GRC) (See Here) The GRC is no less than a section of the USA government NREL. (That National Renewable Energy Laboratory).

In other words the problem is so bad the US Government is having to tackle the problem.

The leading sentence on the GRC website blandly states... "Premature gearbox failures have a significant impact on the cost of wind farm operations."

To quote from the latest finding report from GRC testing... "Despite reasonable adherence to these accepted design practices, many wind turbine gearboxes do not achieve their design life goals of 20 years—most systems still require significant repair or overhaul well before the intended life is reached."

These guys in the NRC are (to put it mildly) clever people. But they have been at this since 2007 and so far they are still, by all appearances, quantifying the problem. In otherwords on a scale of ten, the intractibility of the gearbox issue probably rates a nine.

The NREL does not allocate such significant resources lightly. This is a bad problem.

The GRC are trying to build a failure database as well as running a series of tests on prototype gearboxes. Unfortunately this failure database is not for public consumption and is subject to a strict NDA so we will probably never know the full facts.

Manufacturing members of the GRC can (and mostly do) remain anonymous. One exception is Vestas. While I have little time for any wind industry company at least Vestas appear to be willing to stand up and be identified rather than just pretend their is no problem like the rest.

Of course, while we do not have full access to the database we do have some access to data held within it from the research papers published by GRC

For example, from an early sample set from 2010 and This Paper covering 37 failures we have this:

Notice that while this early table covers 37 failures there were many more problems found in the strip downs. It looks like the problem is poorly localised and is probably caused by a number of different issues.

So what is the point of this post?

Simply to show that the current fleet of IWTs (yes - whole fleet ) are really not fit for a production environment. They are still suffering intractible and major operational problems and are highly unlikely to ever be able to operate without a huge government subsidy. To suggest they have a lifespan of 25 years is laughable.

This is bad enough for land based turbines.

But anyone who suggests that we can successfully and economically place these things out in the North Sea and English Channel for long term energy generation, is in need of medication.

SOURCE (See the original for links)

Some wisdom from the year 2007

All the supercomputers in the world won't generate accurate predictions if you are riding a dud theory. And accurate predictions are the test of a scientific theory. A real scientist abandons theories that generate inaccurate predictions

Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice. Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.

Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss. Summer melting this year reduced the ice cover to 4.13 million sq km, the smallest ever extent in modern times.

Remarkably, this stunning low point was not even incorporated into the model runs of Professor Maslowski and his team, which used data sets from 1979 to 2004 to constrain their future projections.

"Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007," the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, explained to the BBC. "So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative."

Using supercomputers to crunch through possible future outcomes has become a standard part of climate science in recent years.
Professor Maslowski's group, which includes co-workers at Nasa and the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS), is well known for producing modelled dates that are in advance of other teams.

These other teams have variously produced dates for an open summer ocean that, broadly speaking, go out from about 2040 to 2100. But the Monterey researcher believes these models have seriously underestimated some key melting processes. In particular, Professor Maslowski is adamant that models need to incorporate more realistic representations of the way warm water is moving into the Arctic basin from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

"My claim is that the global climate models underestimate the amount of heat delivered to the sea ice by oceanic advection," Professor Maslowski said. "The reason is that their low spatial resolution actually limits them from seeing important detailed factors. "We use a high-resolution regional model for the Arctic Ocean and sea ice forced with realistic atmospheric data. This way, we get much more realistic forcing, from above by the atmosphere and from the bottom by the ocean."

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN-led body which assesses the state of the Earth's climate system, uses an averaged group of models to forecast ice loss in the Arctic. But it is has become apparent in recent years that the real, observed rate of summer ice melting is now starting to run well ahead of the models.

The minimum ice extent reached in September 2007 shattered the previous record for ice withdrawal set in 2005, of 5.32 million square km.

The long-term average minimum, based on data from 1979 to 2000, is 6.74 million square km. In comparison, 2007 was lower by 2.61 million square km, an area approximately equal to the size of Alaska and Texas combined, or the size of 10 United Kingdoms.

Diminishing returns

Professor Peter Wadhams from Cambridge University, UK, is an expert on Arctic ice. He has used sonar data collected by Royal Navy submarines to show that the volume loss is outstripping even area withdrawal, which is in agreement with the model result of Professor Maslowski.

"Some models have not been taking proper account of the physical processes that go on," he commented. "The ice is thinning faster than it is shrinking; and some modellers have been assuming the ice was a rather thick slab. "Wieslaw's model is more efficient because it works with data and it takes account of processes that happen internally in the ice."


EPA's Next Target: Wood Burning Stoves

As the country tries to survive sub-zero temperatures and a "polar vortex," the Environmental Protection Agency is focused on regulating wood burning stoves.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new standards for wood stoves that would reduce the maximum amount of fine particulate emissions allowed for new stoves sold in 2015 and 2019.

Maximum emissions would be reduced by one-third next year and by 80 percent in five years, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
Wood burning stoves are typically used to keep homes warm, but more importantly, they're key to surviving in a freezing environment without electricity. Ironically, they're also a source of renewable energy, gas stoves are not.

The silver lining? The new regulations will only apply to new wood burning stoves.


Warmists Use Magic to Create the Illusion of Science

Yesterday I wrote about how increasingly frustrated global warming alarmists were, practically throwing tantrums as real-time data shows that global warming models do not accurately model temperatures.

Their illusions, in other words, are being increasingly shown as delusions. Here’s how:

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently been forced to concede that a whole raft of predictions they’ve made have been incorrect. Global temperatures have risen to only 25% as high as predicted according to the IPCC models; as recently as the late Middle Ages, the earth enjoyed a period of approximately 300 years which were as warm if not warmer than today; and the IPCC is at a loss to explain why an Arctic sea ice is accumulating rather than shrinking as they had predicted.

In Australia’s New South Wales, the state government has ordered municipal governments to ignore IPCC estimates of sea rise that when measured against historical records, have been off by as much as 90%.

Some municipalities have taken aggressive action based on the too-aggressive forecasts by the IPCC writes The Australian.

“The scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade,” says Maurice Newman, a business advisor to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, “is crumbling. Global temperatures have gone nowhere for 17 years. Now, credible German scientists claim that ‘the global temperature will drop until 2100 to a value corresponding to the little ice age of 1870’.”

The German scientists have recently released a research that purportedly shows that temperature is determined by the solar cycles, along with Atlantic/Pacific oscillations (AMO/PDO) of 65-year time spans.

“The solar activity agrees well with the terrestrial climate,” say Prof. H. Luedecke and C.O. Weiss. “It clearly shows in particular all historic temperature minima. Thus the future temperatures can be predicted from the activities – as far as they are determined by the sun (the AMO/PDO is not determined by the sun).”


Indeed, as seen in the chart above the German scientists are predicting that global temperatures will decline for the next 80 years based on a 200-year solar cycle.

But that’s not stopping the alarmists, who continue to make prediction about the next two-hundred years even though they haven’t gotten the last two-hundred years right, yet alone the last two decades.

New models cranked out almost daily by them show that, “oh, no! global warming will be even worse in the future than we had predicted!”

And there’s a sale at Penny’s.

One such report by the University of New South Wales and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, alleges that warming will be twice as high as the average alarmist predicts currently.

“Climate sceptics like to criticise climate models for getting things wrong, and we are the first to admit they are not perfect, but what we are finding is that the mistakes are being made by those models which predict less warming, not those that predict more,” said Professor Sherwood, lead author of the report according to the Guardian.

That’s because as Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee explained to King Arthur:

"Yes, a genuine expert can always foretell a thing that is five hundred years away easier than he can a thing that's only five hundred seconds off."

It’s magic, which of course, you wouldn’t understand. It's too mighty for you.




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


7 January, 2014


In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG is amused at just how freezing American Warmists must be feeling right now

Life-threatening cold: Where do we find this in those marvellously predictive "models" of the Warmists?

More than half of the U.S. is enduring a dangerously cold start to the week as a whirlpool of frigid, dense air known as a ‘polar vortex’ descended on Monday morning, pummeling parts of the country with a dangerous cold and adding to the brutal weather that has grounded more than 4,400 flights.

Record low temperatures have already been set; at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, temperatures of minus 16 degrees were recorded at 8am on Monday, beating the previous record of minus 14 set in 1988.

In Minnesota, officials took the rare step of closing all of the state's public schools on Monday - the first time in 17 years. Schools across Chicago, Milwaukee and St Louis were also closed, while officials in Washington D.C. and as far south as Atlanta have announced school closures for Tuesday.

With wind chill warnings stretching from Montana to Alabama, much of the U.S. is experiencing the coldest temperatures in almost 20 years, according to the National Weather Service. They are expected to be 30 to 50 degrees below average in some cities - and the deep freeze is expected to last into Tuesday.

Nearly 187 million people, more than half of the nation's population, were under a wind chill warning or advisory on Monday.

The winds made it feel like 55 below zero in International Falls, Minn., and parts of the Midwest accustomed to temperatures that are cold - albeit seldom this cold. But even the coal fields of Virginia and West Virginia, the wind chill was negative 35.

Every major weather-reporting station in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin reported temperatures below zero at 11 a.m. Monday, and South Dakota would have joined them if not for the reading of 1 at Rapid City.

The coldest temperature reported in a 24-hour period through Monday was -36 degrees at Crane Lake, Minn. The warmest: 84 at Hollywood and Punta Gorda, Fla.

The deep freeze is to blame for an estimated 13 deaths so far - almost all of them from traffic accidents. A man in Wisconsin died of hypothermia, while an elderly woman with Alzheimer's disease was found dead in the snow about 100 yards away from her home in New York state after wandering out.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state emergency covering 13 counties into western New York, while parts of the state Thruway in western New York are be closed from 8 p.m. on Monday.

The snow is expected to drop 36 inches of snow in the next day-and-a-half, with lake effect snow in some areas up to four inches per hour. Cuomo said the storm could produce wind gusts up to 40 mph and wind chill temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero.

'As this new winter storm develops, bringing heavy snow and high winds, I strongly urge all citizens in these regions to exercise caution, avoid travel, and stay indoors,' Cuomo said in a statement.

'To ensure an effective and rapid response to this winter storm, I am declaring a state of emergency, so resources can get to communities where they are needed as quickly as possible.'

The Division of Military and Naval Affairs is mobilizing more than 300 New York Army and Air National Guard citizen Soldiers and Airmen in western and central New York to assist local authorities if requested.

On Monday morning, Nashville was 40 degrees colder than Albany, New York. Memphis, Tennessee, was 20 degrees colder than Anchorage, Alaska. And Atlanta was colder than Moscow - either Russia or Idaho.

In the Great Lakes region, temperatures hovered in the negative 20s - before wind chill, which dropped temps to the negative 50s, making it very dangerous to go outside.

Meteorologists have warned about the weather 'dangerous, life-threatening winds', that could inflict frostbite on exposed skin in just 10 minutes.

Temperatures are so cold across the Midwest that antifreeze in residents' cars could freeze, the National Journal pointed out. The popular brand freezes at 34 degrees - and the coldest temperature on Monday afternoon was minus 35 in Crane Lake, Minnesota.

'Skin freezes in just five minutes with a wind chill of minus 50,' said HLN meteorologist Bob Van Dillen as wind chills are putting temperatures in northern Minnesota at 60 below zero.

For a big chunk of the Midwest, the subzero temperatures were moving in behind another winter wallop: more than a foot of snow and high winds that made traveling treacherous.

Thousands of travelers remain stranded or delayed following a chaotic weekend of canceled flights. FlightAware reported that more than 4,400 flights had been canceled by Monday morning - on top of the 4,100 flights canceled on Sunday.

Chicago's Department of Aviation said on Monday that airlines have canceled more than 1,600 flights at O'Hare International Airport. Another 85 were reported at Midway International Airport.

Delays at O'Hare were average about 40 minutes, while reported delays are about 20 minutes at Midway.

JetBlue also announced it would be scaling back operations at Boston's Logan International Airport, Newark, JFK and LaGuardia in the New York-area in a bid to catch up with dozens of weather-related delays and cancellations. It is stopping operations between 1pm and 5pm.

The forecast is extreme: 32 below zero in Fargo, North Dakota; minus 21 in Madison, Wisconsin; and 15 below zero in Minneapolis, Indianapolis and Chicago. Wind chills - what it feels like outside when high winds are factored into the temperature - could drop into the minus 50s and 60s.


Britain's storms are no different – but we are

After a Cobra emergency committee meeting, Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, said: “Surface water flooding remains likely in some parts.” You can say that again.

With hundreds of flood warnings and alerts in force, and giant waves crashing down on her bulwarks, HMS United Kingdom seems almost to be sinking. Cataracts and hurricanoes rush across the Atlantic in a succession of tight whorls. Wait for the spin-off from the polar vortex over America.

This is the worst set of storms for two decades. But two decades is not long. How far back does your memory go? In January 1993 a deep storm (the most intense system of low pressure outside the tropics ever recorded over the north Atlantic) miraculously broke up the oil spilt from the tanker Braer. The Burns Day storm of January 1990 cut off power for half a million. The storm of 1987 blew down 15 million trees. Since history is anything before your own time, history for me includes the storm of 1953 that killed more than 300 in Britain. Who remembers 1928, when 14 drowned in London and piles of Turners wallowed in the Tate?

If the effects of the winter storms today seem worse (although they are not), it is partly because power cuts now instantly deprive a generation that has grown dependent on them of technologies that didn’t exist three decades ago: chiefly mobiles and the internet. Their sudden loss brings isolation, alienation, and a desire to blame someone.

My stepmother, by contrast, though going day after day without electricity, has had a lovely time stoking up the log fire, going to bed by candlelight and cooking her neighbours’ dinners with her gas stove. She didn’t care for television much anyway.

Things have been made worse in the commuter counties around London by the passive-aggressive policy of those in charge of trains. Passengers get annoyed if they’re stuck for hours on trains, goes the thinking, so we’ll cancel the lot till we’ve tidied away all the wrong kind of trees from the line and we’re sure of a clear run. Cancellations now follow every new rainstorm that arrives from the west promptly to schedule.

And Tewkesbury Abbey always features on television, as we noted in a leading article yesterday, because it looks striking on its island of rising ground, surrounded by floodwaters from the confluence of the rivers Avon and Severn, as it is every year. Tewkesbury is also in the greeting-line for the westerly gales.

It was in a big storm, in February 1661, that “at Tewkesbury a man was blown from an house and broken to pieces”. Those words were written by Daniel Defoe, the author of the classic account of the storm of November 26-27 1703, which still claims the right above all others to the title of the Great Storm.

That night, the sea rushed up the Severn estuary, carrying a whole house and stable inland at Berkeley. When the stable fell apart, out jumped the horse, none the worse. The Bishop of Bath and Wells was not so fortunate. A chimney stack fell on to the bed where he and his wife were lying and drove it through the floor, burying their dead bodies in rubble.

The Great Storm killed 10,000 or 15,000 people. No one quite knows. In the current storms, deaths are rare, thank heavens. The bad-news narrative that blames the weather for everything has to recruit to its casualties even a worker in America crushed by a 100ft pile of salt stockpiled for the icy roads.

Yet the Great Storm of 1703 keeps its title not just by force of fatal numbers, but because Defoe made it appeal to the imagination. He piled up details from contemporary reports until the reader could almost hear the roaring of the wind that lifted the roof from Westminster Abbey. For Defoe, it was a rehearsal for his great disaster novel: A Journal of the Plague Year.

This latter fiction purports to be a collection of facts. It was a way of telling a story that HG Wells developed in The War of the Worlds. Defoe’s narrator, called only

HF, in the intervals between casting up the numbers of victims, wonders what caused the plague. He see-saws between natural philosophy (as he called what we know as “science”) and Providence. Was the plague, like the Great Storm to come, a punishment?

Today, we rather resent the right of God to punish us, even if He exists. Yet our own instincts have taken a step towards the primitive. We see bovine spongiform encephalopathy, salmonella in eggs, horse meat in burgers and savage winter storms all as symptoms of having broken some taboo of going “against nature”.

In a play by Aeschylus, Xerxes is defeated in battle because he hubristically bridged the Hellespont with boats. It was against nature. The present-day explanation of the storms is that we have offended nature by burning too much organic matter.


‘Worse Than We Thought’ Rears Ugly Head Again

Our last post was a brief run-through of some items of interest from the recent scientific literature that buck the popular alarmist meme that human-caused climate change is always “worse than we thought.” But as we said in that post, finding coverage of such results in the dinosaur media is a fool’s errand. Instead, it thrives on “worse than we thought” stories, despite their becoming a detriment to science itself.

Not to disappoint, headlines from the first major climate change story of the new year claim “Climate change models underestimate likely temperature rise, report shows,” and it’s clearly Worse Than We Thought. In its January 5 (Sunday) paper, the editorial board of the Washington Post points to the new results as a call for action on climate change.

The trumpeted results appear in a paper published in the January 2nd 2014 issue of Nature magazine by a team led by University of New South Wales professor Steven Sherwood and colleagues which claims that the earth’s equilibrium climate sensitivity—how much the global average surface temperature will rise as a result of a doubling of the atmospheric carbon dioxide content—is being underestimated by most climate models. Sherwood’s team finds “a most likely climate sensitivity of about 4°C, with a lower limit of about 3°C.”

Sherwood’s most likely value of 4°C is about twice the value arrived at by a rather largish collection of other research published during the past 2-3 years and lies very close to the top of the likely range (1.5°C to 4.5°C) given in the new report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

While there are a host of reasons as to why our understanding of the true value of the climate sensitivity is little better constrained now that it was some 20+ years ago (it was given as 1.5°C to 4.5°C in the IPCC’s first report issued, almost a quarter-century ago), it is widely recognized that our understanding of the role of clouds in a changing climate is central to the issue.

In describing the why climate models have such different climate sensitivity values, the IPCC writes, in the 2013 edition of it’s science compendium,

There is very high confidence that uncertainties in cloud processes explain much of the spread in modelled climate sensitivity.

Sherwood and colleague set out to see if they could help nail down the specific cloud processes involved in the model spread and to see if recent observations could help better understand which models were handling processes related to cloud behavior better than others.

The rate of vertical mixing in the lower atmosphere has a direct role in the formation of clouds. In a broad sense, according to the authors, the more vertical mixing that takes place in the lower atmosphere, the more drying that occurs in the lowest levels of the atmosphere, and therefore cloud amounts must decrease.

Sherwood and colleagues then compared the amount of mixing simulated by a collection of climate models with some observations of the mixing rate derived from weather balloon observations and other observation/model hybrids (called “reanalysis” products). They found that the climate models which most closely match the observations turned out to be the climate models with the highest climate sensitivity. Climate models with low sensitivities largely failed to contain the observations at all.

Based on this general finding—that climate models with a greater sensitivity to carbon dioxide increases produce a better match to observations of low level mixing rates—Sherwood and colleagues conclude that future global warming is going to progress much faster than is generally accepted.

This is the EEBE (“everything else being equal”) trap in big print.

While Sherwood et al., and press coverage of their paper, emphasize model comparisons with the “real world” they fail to show the “real world” comparison that makes the most sense—how do the climate model projections of global temperature changes compare with observations of real world temperature changes?

If they aren’t strongly related to vertical motion changes, then everything else is most decidedly not equal.

Our Figure 1 below shows the observed global surface temperature history from 1951-2013 compared with the temperature evolution projected by the collection of models used in the latest IPCC report. We broke the climate models down into two groups—those which have a climate sensitivity greater than 3.0°C (as suggested by Sherwood et al.) and those with a climate sensitivity less than 3.0°C. Figure 1 shows that while neither model subset does a very good job is capturing evolution of global temperature during the past 15-20 years (the period with the highest human carbon dioxide emissions), the high sensitivity models do substantially worse than the lower sensitivity models.

How in God’s getting-greener earth did the reviewer boffins at Nature miss this? (Hint: it messes up the meme.)

Figure 1. Observed global average temperature evolution, 1951-2013, as compiled by the U.K’s Hadley Center (black line), and the average temperature change projected by a collection of climate models used in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report which have a climate sensitivity greater than 3.0°C (red line) and a collection of models with climate sensitivities less than 3.0°C (blue line) (climate model data source: Climate Explorer).

Sherwood et al. prefer models that better match their observations in one variable, but the same models actually do worse in the big picture than do models which lack the apparent accuracy in the processes that Sherwood et al. describe.

It’s Worse Than We Thought all right—but for the climate models, not the real world. The result can only mean that there must still be even bigger problems with other model processes which must more than counteract the effects of the processes described by Sherwood et al. After all, the overall model collective is still warming the world much faster than it actually is.

Predictably, such a conclusion is absent from popular coverage of these results and from call-to-action editorials based upon them.


Obama's "Climate Change" Lies

By Alan Caruba

The extreme cold that gripped the nation at the beginning of the year just added to the growing public dismissal of the claims that “greenhouse gas emissions” would lead to a dangerous stage of “global warming.” Indeed, even the charlatans that have devoted decades to this hoax are now using the phrase “climate change.”

We tend not to recall what the weather was like a year ago. In May 2013, Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute, noted that “Lots of us are commenting on the U.S. having the second coldest spring in the official thermometer record (starting ca. 1860) and the coldest since 1975. This cold spring highlights another climate cycle that has nothing to do with carbon dioxide (CO2).”

Records of cold weather are being broken all around the nation and the world. That’s not exactly what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been predicting since it was set up in 1988 to get nations to sign onto the Kyoto Protocols to reduce CO2 emissions, claiming they were causing warming.

We are all going to have to pay attention to what President Obama will have to say in his forthcoming State of the Union speech and other pronouncements about “climate change” because that is going to be a major theme of his as he begins the second year of his second term. Climate change ranks right up there with “If you want to keep your healthcare plan, you can. Period.”

Last February, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), an extremely liberal group, wrote Obama to say “We are inspired and gratified by your commitment to address the threat of climate change. Still gushing, they said that the “science of climate change…calls for action to swiftly and deeply reduce heat-trapping emissions and better prepare our nation for now unavoidable impacts.”

If one merely refers to “climate change” without specifically identifying it, how can the UCS be so sure that emissions from our cars, trucks, manufacturing, and of course the coal-fired plants that, until Obama arrived, provided half of all the electricity Americans need and use. To save us all from the “climate change” 150 of these plants have been closed since he took office.

To replace them, the Obama administration “invested” in a variety of wind and solar businesses, most of which promptly went bankrupt with our taxpayer funds. To get us to stop driving, Obama advocated high-speed railroads in a nation where people routinely get on an airplane to get to distant cities. Amtrak has never made a profit since it was created in 1970.

The President, however, can be counted upon to talk about “climate change” as if recent examples of it threaten our lives. The facts say something else. For example, there has been NO global warming for over 17 years. In 2013 there was a record quiet tornado season and severe tornadoes have been declining for 40 years.

Other than tropical storm Sandy in 2012, the U.S. has gone more than 8 years without a major hurricane strike and the U.S. has experienced the fewest forest fires in three decades and, over the same time period, there has been no sea level rise on the west coast of the U.S. or Canada.

In contrast, an Antarctic global warming expedition of 74 eco-tourists, certain that sea ice there was melting, was trapped by it. In the summer of 2013, all manner of yachts, sailboats, and others got trapped by sea ice while trying to sail the Northwest Passage after being told it would be free of ice. It turned out that 2013 recorded the second highest volume of sea ice ever recorded.

It’s not that the climate is not changing. The climate—measured in decades and centuries—has always changed and it does so in remarkably predictable cycles. The period between ice ages is 11.500 years. We are overdue for the next one, though we did have a mini ice age from 1300 to 1850.

All this scientific data guarantees one thing. The President is lying when he talks of “climate change” by which he means a warming cycle. He is lying when he blames it on carbon dioxide which plays no role whatever in climate change. The $7.45 billion his administration gave to 120 nations between 2010 and 2012 to cope with “climate change” was an utter waste of our taxpayer dollars. Given the nation’s $17 trillion in debt, it was money we did not have, but which added to our debt.

Recall, too, that Obama refused to negotiate with the Republican Party in 2013 when it wanted to reduce such spending, resulting in the government shutdown that was blamed on the GOP.

You can forget about “climate change”, but you should keep in mind what the President is doing to bankrupt America and deny it the production of the energy it needs as the weather gets colder.


60mph 'green' speed limit on British motorway

The speed limit on one of Britain’s busiest motorways is to be cut from 70mph to 60mph under a controversial plan to meet European Union pollution targets.

The first ‘environmental’ speed limit is set to be imposed within months on a 32-mile stretch of the M1 – for seven days a week, from 7am to 7pm

The limit will be in place for several years, and any driver caught breaking it faces a hefty fine and penalty points on their licence.

The Highways Agency said last night that the scheme was likely to spread to other stretches of motorway, and is ‘not ruled out’ on up to a dozen major routes.

A busy stretch of the M3 near London is among those currently being assessed for anti-pollution measures.

Motoring groups said it would be ridiculous to limit drivers to 60mph if the motorway was empty.

And the restricted route will still be subject to variable speed limits to keep traffic flowing during congested periods, leading to regular caps of 50mph or 40mph.

The Highways Agency admitted it will be the first time a motorway speed limit has been cut on environmental rather than safety grounds, but insisted the plan was backed by ministers.

The limit will be enforced on the M1 from junction 28, near Matlock, Derbyshire, to junction 35a, north of Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

Motorists will be able to drive at the standard 70mph on the rest of the M1, which runs from London to Leeds.

The restriction will apply from 7am to 7pm seven days a week and be enforced by speed cameras and police patrols.

The route is part of a £400million ‘smart’ motorway scheme, under which technology is used to manage traffic flow and the hard shoulder can be used to ease congestion.

It passes Mansfield, Chesterfield and Sheffield – and also includes nine so-called Air Quality Management Areas described as ‘pockets of poor air’.

Although the Highways Agency said the lower speed limit will be in place until pollution dropped to acceptable levels, it admitted the 60mph restriction was likely to remain for several years.

It said a lower speed limit was needed to ensure new EU guidelines on air quality, which come into force this year, will be met.

Whitehall sources said last night that ‘a handful’ of other smart motorway schemes currently in the pipeline could have ‘green’ maximum speed limits imposed to meet air quality targets and avoid Brussels fines.

A section of the M3 from J2-4a near London is currently undergoing environmental assessment to see if measures will be needed to cut pollution levels.

Motoring groups reacted angrily to the plan, and warned of an alarming precedent and that wider use of the lower limit would have an impact on businesses.

AA President Edmund King said: ‘Billions spent on railways to speed up thousands of journeys while hundreds of millions spent on the M1 to slow down hundreds of thousands is an irony that won’t be lost on drivers.

‘Smart motorways were intended to ease congestion and improve journey time reliability through use of the hard shoulder.

‘And here we have a scheme which costs around £400million to simply slow traffic down to 60mph with associated enforcement. Clearly we cannot have such a speed reduction when the M1 is empty.’

RAC technical director David Bizley said: ‘Worryingly, this could pave the way for similar restrictions on other sections of motorway.

While preserving air quality is obviously a paramount concern there will inevitably be a negative impact on business efficiency and individual mobility.’

A Highways Agency consultation on the plan began yesterday and will close on March 3.


A New Leaf for Federal Forests

When two million federal workers rate a government agency as among the worst managed of the lot, you know something must be dreadfully wrong. And so it is with the U.S. Forest Service. The agency, which employs 35,000 workers to care for about one-tenth of the land in the United States, was ranked 260th out of 300 agencies in a 2013 survey. Small wonder. Every few years the Forest Service sees a new record in the number of acres lost to forest fires. Last year the agency lost 6,500 square miles to fires—and that number was an improvement over 2012. The agency knows it has serious problems, but it hasn’t gotten around to finalizing the strategy report that Congress required it to complete three years ago. What should the troubled agency propose to do?

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Independent Institute Senior Fellow Robert H. Nelson, who worked for many years as an economist at the Department of the Interior, recommends an innovative approach to improving national forest management: “Create ‘charter forests,’ like charter schools.”

Like charter schools, charter forests wouldn’t be privatized entities—but they would be highly decentralized, with decisions made by local boards of directors that might include government officials, economists, environmentalists, and representatives of recreational and commercial interests. Charter forests would also be free to hire and fire their own personnel—and they would be exempt from various land-use restrictions, provided the directors met basic standards for maintaining environmental quality. “But they would have the flexibility to develop and implement innovative solutions to the severe problems of forest fire, spreading disease and other threats today to national forests, especially in the West,” Nelson writes.




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


6 January, 2014

December 31 Global Sea Ice Area Was The Largest Ever Recorded

Climate experts say that global warming is melting sea ice faster than expected, which is why the poles currently have the most sea ice ever measured for the date.


Central England Temperature Stats For 2013 now in
JANUARY 2, 2014

The CET numbers for 2013 are now issued. As I suggested in September, last year was the second coldest since 1996, second only to 2010, one of the coldest years of the last century.


* Three of the last four years have been the coldest since 1996.

* The 5-Year running average has been falling steadily since 2006, and now stands at 9.78C. It has not been as low as this since 1990.

*CET in 2013 was 9.56C and was only the 55th warmest since 1900.

*Last year was also the 107th warmest on the full CET record, going back to 1659, tying with 1900.

The full Met Office data for the UK is not out yet, but it looks certain that the UK as a whole will follow the same pattern.

With eight months colder than the 30-Year mean, a warm summer and mild end to the year were not enough to offset the cold first half.


Global Warming Propaganda & Global Warming Fact

PROPAGANDA: Global Warming Caused the Rise in Hurricane Activity.

FACT: 2013 was the slowest and weakest hurricane season in three decades.

PROPAGANDA: The increase and severity of storm activity all over the planet is caused by ocean surface temperature rise, a result of Global Warming.

FACT: Through the last century and a half, beginning after the rise of the industrial revolution with its steadily increasing CO2 and pollution levels, hurricanes occurred with decreasing frequency and decreasing intensity.

PROPAGANDA: The earth was born a rotating ball of liquid wherein its steady climate of moderate temperatures of a Petri Dish medium various forms of life evolved.

FACT. Less than two billion years ago a solid ball of ice, otherwise known as our planet, was rotating around the sun, a massive, nuclear heat source.

Then Global Warming began.

PROPAGANDA: The American Indian lived across the plains and valleys of the American continent, hunted and fished for over ten thousand years.

FACT. Ten thousand years ago there was an ice sheet covering the New York metropolitan region a mile high.

Then global warming began.

FACT. Since the ice sheets had melted, sea levels rose 400 feet. Before that, when the planet froze, water levels dropped 400 feet. Since the industrial revolution began, sea levels rose a few inches.

FACT. Not a single one of the “theories” and “models” proposed by the IPCC’s global warming proponents and Cap&Trade tax fans to transfer America’s wealth to the Third World had panned out. Moreover, reluctantly, the IPCC had to revise their estimates in light of the now documented fact that the globe has been experiencing a cooling trend for almost two decades.

FACT: CO2 levels rose dramatically before man stepped on earth. Recently and far less dramatically after the industrial revolution, and specifically during the last two decades, heat has fallen or stabilized and CO2 levels had continued to rise.


Obama Winter: The War on Coal

The high temperature tomorrow is expected to reach -11 in Chicago tomorrow. That’s without the windchill. We may face 48 hours of subzero weather for the first time in twenty years. About two feet of snow has fallen since New Year’s Eve where I live in Morton Grove, Illinois.

It’s snowing here as I begin this post.

Welcome to global warming–2014 edition.

Yes, I’m aware that a week of weather does not define our climate. But today’s a good day to delve into the White House global warming agenda and its War on Coal. Forty-five percent of our electricity comes from coal, which is an abundant domestic energy resource. Depending on who is doing the counting, anywhere from 207 to 285 coal plants are scheduled to close in the next decade. Citing climate change and its clean air regulations President Obama’s radicalized EPA–not our elected Congress–is behind the shuttering of these plants.

The ripple effects of the War on Coal will be widespread. With fewer coal plants, obviously there will be less need for coal miners. In a letter to the president, Democratic and Republican state legislators in Kentucky declared, “Coal is not just an energy source, it’s a way of life.”

You can make the same argument about coal and the rail industry.

Few commodities are as essential to railroads and railroad jobs as coal. Fully 25 percent of railroad revenue, one-in-five railroad jobs and 40 percent of freight cars owe their existence to coal, according to the Association of American Railroads.

That paragraph comes from the United Transportation Union, which endorsed the Obama-Biden ticket in 2012.

When less energy is generated, the cost of it goes up–of course that’s basic economics. Obama’s climate change agenda is not just a war on coal and other fossil fuels, it’s also a war on American prosperity.

I just looked out the window. It’s still snowing.

It’s cold, but Obama Winter hasn’t arrived yet.


The Endangered Species Act at 40: Species Profiles

The ESA's record of success has been badly exaggerated, and the Act has been detrimental to the conservation of species it was designed to protect

Brian Seasholes

Since its passage in 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has become one of America’s most powerful and controversial environmental laws. With 2014 being the 40th anniversary year of the Act's passage, there has been a surge of interest in the Act.

Unfortunately, most analyses and reports repeat myths and misconceptions regarding the impact and value of the Act. For 20 years, Brian Seasholes has been investigating the ESA and other ways of conserving endangered species. In a series of analyses for Reason, he seeks to address the real impact of the Act and to propose practical reforms. Seasholes analyses address two primary issues:

The impact of the Act on landowners. The Act requires landowners who may have endangered species on their property to undertake certain activities and avoid other activities, on pain of severe penalties, but provides no compensation for the costs imposed (including devaluation of property). But this has the effect perversely and counterproductively of incentivizing landowners to make their property inhospitable to species. That is why the ratio of declining to improving species on private land is 9 to 1, whereas on federal lands it is 1.5 to 1. Private lands are the linchpin to successful endangered species conservation. Fully 78% of endangered species depended on private land for all or some of their habitat, compared to 50% for federal land.

The role played by the ESA in the recovery of species. Recovery, the ultimate goal of the ESA, means a species is in good enough shape to be removed from protection under the Act – otherwise known as “delisting”. (A species may also be delisted if it is extinct or if it was listed in error.) To date, 56 species have been delisted; of those, 10 are extinct and 18 were listed erroneously; the remaining 28 are alleged by proponents of the Act to have recovered due to protection under the ESA. (Among the recovered species are most of the “poster species” with which proponents sell the Act, four of which are profiled here; the bald eagle, American alligator, and two sub-species of peregrine falcon.) By contrast, opponents of the ESA allege that the Act has not been responsible for the recovery of these 28 species.

Unfortunately, to date these two opposing claims have almost invariably been made with little supporting evidence. Where evidence has been provided, it is often scant and without citation, so cannot be independently verified.

Brian Seasholes has undertaken profiles of eleven of the species claimed as recovered in an effort to provide something new and different: highly detailed examinations of the conservation of these species, including citations with which information can be independently verified. Links to the profiles are below:

Aleuthian Canada Goose (.pdf) — Summary (.pdf)
American Alligator (.pdf) — Summary (.pdf)
American Peregrine Falcon (.pdf) — Summary (.pdf)
Arctic Peregrine Falcon (.pdf) — Summary (.pdf)
Bald Eagle (.pdf) — Summary (.pdf)
Hawaiian Hawk (.pdf) — Summary (.pdf)
Hoover's Woolly-Star (.pdf) — Summary (.pdf)
Palau Fantail Flycatcher, Palau Owl, Palau Ground Dove (.pdf) — Summary (.pdf)
Tinian Monarch (.pdf) — Summary (.pdf)

If there is to be an intelligent debate about the Endangered Species Act, it is essential that it be based on facts and not mere assertions. These species profiles are an attempt to contribute to just such an enlightened and fact-based debate. The profiles reveal that for most of these species recovery owes little to the ESA. Worse, the ESA appears to have been detrimental to the conservation of many of the species.


Natural sun cycles will bring worst cold in 200 years

John L. Casey

"We are not capable of addressing climate change." Such was the lead sentence of climate-change guest columnist Gregory Willits, in the Dec. 24 edition of the Orlando Sentinel ("Let's accept climate change and deal with it in a big way"). It was an accurate statement to be sure, but for all the wrong reasons.

Willits, an avowed "green" enthusiast, went on to strongly support the building of sea walls to keep out the predicted rising sea levels that the world's greatest climate scaremonger, Al Gore, has said will swamp most of Florida with 21 feet of sea water by the year 2100. Yes, we are not capable of addressing climate change — the truth about climate change, that is.

The truth of what is really happening to the climate versus the United Nations and current U.S. government version is, however, a bit hard to accept after two decades of global-warming propaganda. I know. It was for me in April 2007, after finishing some research into solar activity.

I had concluded that global warming was ending and a potentially dangerous cold climate was beginning. Such was my first public climate prediction with several more to follow.

My announcement then to the White House, Congress and the mainstream media was, of course, greeted with the expected indifference, ridicule and even slander.

Now, it's almost seven years later, and the track record of my Space and Science Research Corp. in making major climate-change predictions is one of the best in the United States, according to public records.

To keep track of these predictions and the actual climate status of the Earth, the SSRC publishes the Global Climate Status Report. It is an authoritative, quarterly, apolitical, climate report published in the U.S., where anyone who wants the unvarnished status of the Earth's climate can find it. The latest edition, Dec. 10, shows that of 24 climate parameters, 18 show global cooling as the dominant trend. All may soon show a cooling trend.

My research, which incorporates climate data from government sources and the work of other researchers, shows that Earth's global temperature average has had no effective growth for 16 years.

More important, the Earth's oceans have been cooling for 10 years and the atmosphere for seven years. The global-climate models of temperature and sea-level increases that the United Nations' manmade global-warming zealots have used to justify their actions are simply wrong by a wide margin — not just in my view, but in the views of many other researchers around the world.

According to the hard climate data and not the politics of climate change, global warming ended years ago, exactly when it was supposed to, according to natural cycles of the sun, the primary controller of climate change on Earth.

The next climate change to a long, cold era may well reshape the future of humankind through massive global crop losses, social upheaval and significant loss of life.

Scientists at the Russian Academy of Sciences have said a new "Little Ice Age" will start in 2014. The SSRC and many other scientists worldwide say that the worst cold in more than 200 years is now upon us.

Further, if this next cold climate behaves like the last similar one (1793-1830), then we may also see some of the worst-ever earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The sun regulates more than we have been told.

The sea walls and numerous other barriers to the truth about the Earth's climate status have already been built to enormous heights. We need no more.




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


5 January, 2014

"We don't know"

Loud laughter worldwide about a Warmist expedition stuck in ice has of course been heard by Warmists. Below is a Warmist response. It is a windy way of saying that Warmists don't know why the Antarctic ice got bigger while the Arctic ice shrank. It doesn't fit Warmist theory so they are reduced to little more than gibbering and hand-waving. The fact that both processes are entirely natural is the one thing they will not allow. But that is the default assumption and the nul hypothesis so they have to produce evidence that CO2 is somehow involved. That they do not do because they cannot do it. They cannot explain why 400 ppm CO2 melts ice in the Arctic but not the Antarctic. Their models do not even touch the stark North/South discrepancy

The predicament and subsequent rescue of 52 passengers – both tourists and scientists – on the Russian ship Academik Shokalskiy has gripped media around the world. The smooth rescue was impressive and a great relief, although the vessel itself and its crew are still stuck – and now one of the icebreakers sent to help in the rescue, the Chinese ship Xue Long, is itself stuck in the ice.

Some commentators have remarked on what they describe as the 'irony' of researchers studying the impact of a warming planet themselves being impeded by heavy ice. With some even suggesting that the situation is itself evidence that global warming is exaggerated.

In fact, the local weather patterns that brought about the rapid build up of ice that trapped the Academik Shokalskiy tell us very little about global warming. This is weather, not climate.

Regionally, climate change can vary markedly across the Earth so to detect human influences on the climate system climate scientists must consider the Earth as a whole.

What is clear is that the impact of climate change on ice at both poles is complex.

In the area where the Akademik Shokalskiy is trapped there has been an increase in sea ice extent for the year as a whole since the late 1970s, although not for the month of December (see attached graph). The amount of ice in the area can vary considerably from year to year making ship operations difficult. The December ice extent in 2011 and 2012 was much larger than the long-term mean, and the ice in 2013 has obviously been of comparable magnitude.

We have relatively short records of the extent of sea ice across the polar regions and can only accurately examine trends since sophisticated microwave instruments became available on the polar orbiting satellites in the late 1970s. However, the records do show that since that time the two polar regions have experienced very different trends in ice extent. Arctic sea ice has been declining in extent in every month of the year, but with the maximum loss of almost 14% per decade being found in September. In contrast, sea ice extent around the Antarctic has increased in every month of the year with the largest increase being almost 4% per decade in March. The contrasting nature of the changes was highlighted in September 2012 when both polar regions experienced new record extents of sea ice for the satellite era. On 16 September the Arctic sea ice extent reached a new minimum level of 3.41m sq km, beating the previous record minimum that occurred in 2007. However, in the Antarctic there was a new record maximum extent of 19.72m sq km on 24 September, exceeding the previous record of 19.59m sq km, which occurred on 24 September 2006. In September 2013 there was even more sea ice across the Southern Ocean, beating the 2012 record.

Annual mean sea ice in Antarctica
The trend in annual mean sea ice concentration in Antarctica for 1979 – 2012. The bold line highlights areas where the trend is significant at <5 antarctic="" br="" british="" level.="" photograph:="" survey="">The reasons for the trends in sea ice are still being debated. However, for the Arctic it is estimated that anthropogenic forcing through the emission of greenhouse gases has contributed 50–60% of the long-term decline of Arctic sea ice. The remaining contribution is believed to come from natural variability. But in the Antarctic the reason for the increase in ice is less clear. The pattern of sea ice change around the Antarctic is dominated by a decrease to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula and an increase across the Ross Sea, which can be attributed to more storm activity between these two areas. The extent of sea ice is strongly influenced by the strength and direction of the winds and the increase in storms has given more warm, northerly flow over the Bellingshausen Sea and greater cold, southerlies over the Ross Sea. This pattern of change is consistent with the increasing temperatures observed over the Antarctic Peninsula and west Antarctica, where temperatures have risen as much as anywhere in the southern hemisphere.

It's currently not clear why there has been an increase in the number and intensity of storms over the southern South Pacific since the late 1970s. However, this area is where the ozone hole has a large impact on the atmospheric circulation and where signals of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, one of the largest climatic cycles on Earth, are felt most in the Antarctic. It's also where the greatest natural variability in atmospheric circulation is observed in the southern hemisphere, which has been attributed to the fact that the large Antarctic ice sheet is displaced slightly from the pole.

Sea ice extent has a large natural variability in both polar regions because of the amplifying effect of interactions between the atmosphere, ocean and sea ice. In the Arctic there is now increasing evidence that rising greenhouse gas emissions are playing a significant part in the loss of sea ice. However, in the Antarctic the increase in annual mean sea ice extent is only just over 1% per decade, making it impossible at present to separate natural variability from any human influence.


Good news for 2014 -- a domestic energy revolution is underway in the USA

While it may not qualify as a silver lining, there was one bright spot to emerge from Washington D.C.’s latest adventure in bad budgeting: A provision further enhancing our country's expanding energy independence.

Championed by U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) the provision gives formal Congressional approval to oil and gas drilling across 1.5 million acres of the western Gulf of Mexico.

According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, this region is home to an estimated 172 million barrels of oil and 304 billion cubic feet of natural gas – resources that will further reduce our nation’s declining dependence on foreign oil.

In another rebuke to the Obama eco-radicals, the latest Energy Department data shows a continued decline in CO2 emissions
Across America (and on its coastal borders), a domestic energy revolution is underway -- one that is providing our nation with a genuine economic “stimulus” built on the free market pillars of innovation and hard work.

Even more encouraging, this victory is being achieved despite efforts by eco-radicals in Washington, D.C. to shut down energy production on federal lands.

In Pennsylvania the Marcellus Shale formation has produced 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas during the first two quarters of 2013 alone -- enabling the Keystone State to become the third-biggest gas-producing state in America. West Virginia -- another state accessing the Marcellus Shale -- has rocketed into the top ten in gas production (even though the Mountaineers have drilled only five percent of all available Marcellus wells).

These gains – powered by innovative hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) techniques – are driving down energy prices nationwide and creating desperately needed jobs at a time when America’s work force participation has shrunk to a 35-year low.

According to a report released this month by the U.S. Energy Department, domestic oil production is climbing to levels not seen since 1970. And it's projected to increase by an average of 800,000 barrels per day through 2016.

Natural gas production is also expected to expand dramatically – climbing by 56 percent between 2012 and 2040 to an estimated 37.6 trillion cubic feet.

All told, America will rely on imports for just 25 percent of its oil supplies in 2016 – down from last year’s 37 percent level. Meanwhile the world oil benchmark is projected to drop to $92 per barrel in 2017 – $20 less than last year’s average.

Making these gains even more impressive? The fact that natural gas production on federal lands has fallen by 33 percent since 2007, according to a Congressional Research Service report. On state and private lands, however, it has increased by 40 percent. Meanwhile crude oil production on federal lands has shrunk slightly since 2007 – but has increased by 35 percent on non-federal lands.

Imagine how much lower prices could be driven -- and how many more jobs could be created -- if the federal government were to decrease its land ownership or grant more control over energy exploration in these areas to states?

In another rebuke to the Obama eco-radicals, the latest Energy Department data shows a continued decline in CO2 emissions -- the result of a natural gas expansion that's projected to pick up momentum over the next three decades. In fact by 2030, natural gas will replace coal as the largest source of domestic electrical power -- further reducing CO2 levels (as well as the cost of energy production).

And for anyone still misguidedly clinging to the federal government’s “green jobs” scam, this cleaner, less expensive energy future we are experiencing has virtually nothing to do with expanded reliance on renewables -- which are projected to increase from only 11 to 12 percent of domestic production over the coming thirty years.

Just as government policies failed to “stimulate” the economy, they also failed to lower CO2 levels: The free market did that -- and the results are truly something to behold.

“U.S. manufacturers are benefitting form the availability of a secure supply of low-cost natural gas, especially for manufacturers in energy-intensive industries,” a September 2013 report from IHS notes.

The report predicted these energy efficiencies would boost industrial production by 2.8 percent by 2015 – and by 3.9 percent by 2025.

Cheaper, cleaner and more abundant energy -- long a favorite talking point of the Washington enviro-liberals -- is becoming a reality in America. But we could further expand our advantage if lawmakers resist efforts by eco-radicals to stamp out production on federal lands.


Time to Call Climate Change for What It Is: The Weather

Let solar energy continue to be the energy of the future. I’m talking about the energy of the present. So for 2014, I’m also talking about global warming, er, climate change. Or what us common folks still call it… the weather.

That’s because the weather is the excuse that liberals use for preventing us from enjoying energy security.

The great thing about the weather is that it happens every day and, as Mark Twain said, everyone talks about it, but nobody ever does anything about it.

That’s because, as Twain’s deadpan implies, you can’t actually do much about the weather.

Weather’s a pretty big topic, a pretty complex system and works pretty well without improvement from liberals. But of course that won’t stop liberals from trying to improve it.

In fact, it guarantees that they’ll try their hand at a solution, probabilities or not.

They’re kind of like Caligula that way.

Caligula reputedly once proposed to make his horse a Roman senator. And while many would agree that a horse would be an improvement on many U.S. senators, calling a horse a senator, doesn’t make a horse a senator anymore than calling its tail a leg would give it five legs, in Lincoln’s horsey phrase..

So it goes with liberals: They think that all they have to do promulgate a clever law to solve any given problem, whether it solves the problem or not.

Pass a law called the “Affordable Care Act”? Doesn’t matter what’s in it, problem solved, because why it’s the “law of the land.” Can’t you see it has the word “affordable” in the title?

In fact, the vastness of the earth’s weather, the complexity of it, makes it a great place to for liberal mischief.

There’s always going to be a tornado, or hurricane or a drought that will hurt folks-- which for a liberal means that there are votes for sale. They can stump about it and talk about how poor people are more exposed to the weather, and how rich people use more energy, and all the other eye wash liberals sell to pit one group against the other as they drive their SUVs and retire to their big houses that use more carbon than anyone else.

And it’s curious that one of the things that I have noticed most about liberals. They don’t care much about solving problems. In fact, it’s the thing that can’t be cured that they care about most.

They’ll either take easy problems, like illegal immigration, fiscal balance or pension reform, and make them unsolvable. Or they’ll take unsolvable problems, like world hunger, poverty or arms races and present easy solutions that will only costs us money, freedom, choices or lives, but still not work.

So here too, on the weather, liberals aren’t just wrong, but once-in-a-lifetime, historically and stupendously wrong; wrong in a way that only liberals could be while still remaining smug.

And there is more than just evidence piling up to note it. There are lies piling up too.

Global warming has entered the unaccountable “great pause” not contemplated by the models that scientists, politicians and mountebanks—thanks Mark Baisley—have pushed on us. The models that say that if we allow people in Africa to have air conditioning and automobiles that "the planet will boil over," in Barack Obama horse’s arse phrase.

And because the models aren’t predicting accurately what the world will actually do, we’ve got some politicians stuck as liberals without a cause.

When that happens liberals go into group survival mode like many primitives would do, bullying people, making false claims ala Obama’s “boil over” comments, comments not covered much by the mainstream news.


The Guardian Slams Funding of Anti-Global Warming Groups

By Alan Caruba

The Guardian, a London-based daily newspaper, has been a leading advocate of the global warming theory—now called climate change—and its December 20 edition published an article by Susanne Goldenberg, “Conservative groups spend up to $1bn a year to fight action on climate change.”

The article focused on a study by Drexel University sociologist Robert Brulle that had been published in the journal Climate Change asserting that “The anti-climate effort has been largely underwritten by conservative billionaires, often working through secretive funding networks. They have displaced corporations as the prime supporters of 91 think tanks, advocacy groups and industry associations which have worked to block action on climate change.”

What action these organizations or even entire governments could take to have any affect whatever on “climate change” defies common sense. Nothing they could do, for example, would have any effect on the action of the Sun, the primary determinant of climate. For the past seventeen years the Sun has been in a natural cycle of reduced radiation, less warmth for the Earth. The result has been a cooling cycle on Earth that has crushed decades of lies about “global warming.”

It’s not that the Earth hasn’t had previous cycles of warmer climate, but they had nothing to do with anything humans do. There was warming before the Industrial Revolution introduced the use of coal, oil and natural gas to provide the energy that has marked the development and use of technologies that have improved human life in countless ways. “Global warming” is blamed on the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other so-called greenhouse gases. The most prominent of these gases in the Earth’s atmosphere is nothing more than water vapor.

Apparently, if Brulle and The Guardian are to be believed, anyone or any organization that donates to any group that doubts the claims of Big Green are the enemies of “global warming”, but this conveniently ignored estimates that the U.S. government, according to an October article in The New American “will spend more money on fighting global warming than it will on tightening border security.” The spending is estimated to cost approximately $22.2 billion this year, twice as much as the $12 billion estimated for customs and border enforcement.”

There are, according to the White House, “currently 18 federal agencies engaged in activities related to global warming. These agencies fund programs that include scientific research, international climate assistance, renewable energy technology, and subsidies for renewable energy producers.”

The Guardian article caught my eye because, among the organizations that have been active in debunking the “global warming” theory has been The Heartland Institute. I have been an advisor to the Institute which, since 2008, has organized eight international conferences on global warming that have featured some of the world’s leading skeptics.

If you want to know how the Institute is funded, you can go to their website where you will find, for example, that it does not solicit or accept grants from any of those government agencies using billions of taxpayer dollars to convince Americans that “global warming” is real or that anything the government does about “climate change” can have any effect on it. In 2012, Heartland received 50% of its income from foundations, 28% from individuals, and 18% from corporations. No corporate donor contributes more than 5% of its annual budget.

In contrast, a recent article by Ron Arnold, a Washington Examiner columnist and executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, noted that over the past decade environmental organizations received 345,052 foundation grants totaling $20,826,664,000—over twenty billion dollars—largely from a 200-plus member Environmental Grantmakers Association and the smaller, farther-left National Network of Grantmakers. Arnold said that “Today, foundations are the backbone of Big Green.”

On a recent CNN television program, Marc Morano, the communications director of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) took on the Sierra Club director, noting that this major environmental organization has received $26 million from natural gas corporations to support its attacks on the coal industry. So “fossil fuels” industries are okay if they are giving the Sierra Club money.

“So record cold,” said Morano, “is now evidence of man-made global warming.”

While the Koch-affiliated foundations that provide grants to conservative groups were singled out, along with Exxon Mobil, in The Guardian article, no mention was made of multi-billionaire George Soros who is famed for funding all manner of liberal groups and who reportedly has invested heavily in “clean energy” companies—solar and wind—whose products do not produce the so-called greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the more recent articles in The Guardian was titled “Global warming will intensify drought, says new study.” The problem, of course, is that there is NO global warming.

By contrast, a July Fox News article, “Billions spent in Obama climate plan may be virtually useless, study says” was not also reported in the mainstream media. Suffice to say that those billions came from taxpayer’s pockets.

I am happy to know that the Heartland Institute, a 29 year old non-profit research organization, CFACT, and other free market research and activist groups receive foundation and other support. Without them, the lies about “climate change” from the Obama administration and the many environmental organizations would not be debunked.


Say It With Shrubs? EPA Wants You to Love the Earth on Valentine's Day

Why say it with flowers, when you could send your love a shrub?

The Environmental Protection Agency is offering Americans "Tips for February Fun," encouraging them to think outside the flower box on Valentine's Day.

On one of the busiest days of the year for florists, the EPA says Americans should consider buying long-lasting silk flowers, potted plants, or live bushes, shrubs, or trees that can be planted in the spring.

And instead of visiting the card shop, consider sending electronic valentines -- or recycled cards, the EPA suggests.

“This Valentine's Day, show your love for the earth by sending recycled-content greeting cards. Consider making new cards from scrap paper or by attaching new backs to the fronts of old cards -- this can be a craft project for family and friends that helps everyone reduce paper waste while saving money!"

You can skip the candy store, too: "Bake cookies or other goodies for your valentine and package them in reusable and/or recyclable containers as gifts." The EPA says home-made treats "show how how much you care and help you avoid packaging waste."

The EPA's suggestions for "February fun" include thinking "green" on President's Day by taking reusable bags on shopping trips and buying clothes that are made from recycled soda bottles, sneakers made with recycled rubber soles, or clothes made from recycled cotton scraps.

Athletes who enjoy winter sports should buy used equipment or equipment made from recycled materials: "Examples include hiking shoes with recycled rubber soles, basketballs made with recycled rubber, and ski jackets and sleeping bags made from recycled soda bottles."

The EPA even includes party tips on its website:

“If you are hosting a basketball party, buy drinks and snacks in bulk to prevent packaging waste, and encourage guests to recycle their empty aluminum cans and glass or plastic bottles,” the website says. “Also reuse decorations, or rent some from a party store.”


What Catastrophe?

MIT’s Richard Lindzen, the unalarmed climate scientist

When you first meet Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at MIT, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, leading climate “skeptic,” and all-around scourge of James Hansen, Bill McKibben, Al Gore, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and sundry other climate “alarmists,” as Lindzen calls them, you may find yourself a bit surprised. If you know Lindzen only from the way his opponents characterize him—variously, a liar, a lunatic, a charlatan, a denier, a shyster, a crazy person, corrupt—you might expect a spittle-flecked, wild-eyed loon. But in person, Lindzen cuts a rather different figure. With his gray beard, thick glasses, gentle laugh, and disarmingly soft voice, he comes across as nothing short of grandfatherly.

Granted, Lindzen is no shrinking violet. A pioneering climate scientist with decades at Harvard and MIT, Lindzen sees his discipline as being deeply compromised by political pressure, data fudging, out-and-out guesswork, and wholly unwarranted alarmism. In a shot across the bow of what many insist is indisputable scientific truth, Lindzen characterizes global warming as “small and .??.??. nothing to be alarmed about.” In the climate debate—on which hinge far-reaching questions of public policy—them’s fightin’ words.

In his mid-seventies, married with two sons, and now emeritus at MIT, Lindzen spends between four and six months a year at his second home in Paris. But that doesn’t mean he’s no longer in the thick of the climate controversy; he writes, gives myriad talks, participates in debates, and occasionally testifies before Congress. In an eventful life, Lindzen has made the strange journey from being a pioneer in his field and eventual IPCC coauthor to an outlier in the discipline—if not an outcast.

Richard Lindzen was born in 1940 in Webster, Massachusetts, to Jewish immigrants from Germany. His bootmaker father moved the family to the Bronx shortly after Richard was born. Lindzen attended the Bronx High School of Science before winning a scholarship to the only place he applied that was out of town, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York. After a couple of years at Rensselaer, he transferred to Harvard, where he completed his bachelor’s degree and, in 1964, a doctorate.

Lindzen wasn’t a climatologist from the start—“climate science” as such didn’t exist when he was beginning his career in academia. Rather, Lindzen studied math. “I liked applied math,” he says, “[and] I was a bit turned off by modern physics, but I really enjoyed classical physics, fluid mechanics, things like that.” A few years after arriving at Harvard, he began his transition to meteorology. “Harvard actually got a grant from the Ford Foundation to offer generous fellowships to people in the atmospheric sciences,” he explains. “Harvard had no department in atmospheric sciences, so these fellowships allowed you to take a degree in applied math or applied physics, and that worked out very well because in applied math the atmosphere and oceans were considered a good area for problems. .??.??. I discovered I really liked atmospheric sciences—meteorology. So I stuck with it and picked out a thesis.”

And with that, Lindzen began his meteoric rise through the nascent field. In the 1970s, while a professor at Harvard, Lindzen disproved the then-accepted theory of how heat moves around the Earth’s atmosphere, winning numerous awards in the process. Before his 40th birthday, he was a member of the National Academy of Sciences. In the mid-1980s, he made the short move from Harvard to MIT, and he’s remained there ever since. Over the decades, he’s authored or coauthored some 200 peer-reviewed papers on climate.

Where Lindzen hasn’t remained is in the mainstream of his discipline. By the 1980s, global warming was becoming a major political issue. Already, Lindzen was having doubts about the more catastrophic predictions being made. The public rollout of the “alarmist” case, he notes, “was immediately accompanied by an issue of Newsweek declaring all scientists agreed. And that was the beginning of a ‘consensus’ argument. Already by ’88 the New York Times had literally a global warming beat.” Lindzen wasn’t buying it. Nonetheless, he remained in the good graces of mainstream climate science, and in the early 1990s, he was invited to join the IPCC, a U.N.-backed multinational consortium of scientists charged with synthesizing and analyzing the current state of the world’s climate science. Lindzen accepted, and he ended up as a contributor to the 1995 report and the lead author of Chapter 7 (“Physical Climate Processes and Feedbacks”) of the 2001 report. Since then, however, he’s grown increasingly distant from prevalent (he would say “hysterical”) climate science, and he is voluminously on record disputing the predictions of catastrophe.

The Earth’s climate is immensely complex, but the basic principle behind the “greenhouse effect” is easy to understand. The burning of oil, gas, and especially coal pumps carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere, where they allow the sun’s heat to penetrate to the Earth’s surface but impede its escape, thus causing the lower atmosphere and the Earth’s surface to warm. Essentially everybody, Lindzen included, agrees. The question at issue is how sensitive the planet is to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases (this is called climate sensitivity), and how much the planet will heat up as a result of our pumping into the sky ever more CO2, which remains in the atmosphere for upwards of 1,000 years. (Carbon dioxide, it may be needless to point out, is not a poison. On the contrary, it is necessary for plant life.)

Lindzen doesn’t deny that the climate has changed or that the planet has warmed. “We all agree that temperature has increased since 1800,” he tells me. There’s a caveat, though: It’s increased by “a very small amount. We’re talking about tenths of a degree [Celsius]. We all agree that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. All other things kept equal, [there has been] some warming. As a result, there’s hardly anyone serious who says that man has no role. And in many ways, those have never been the questions. The questions have always been, as they ought to be in science, how much?”

Lindzen says not much at all—and he contends that the “alarmists” vastly overstate the Earth’s climate sensitivity. Judging by where we are now, he appears to have a point; so far, 150 years of burning fossil fuels in large quantities has had a relatively minimal effect on the climate. By some measurements, there is now more CO2 in the atmosphere than there has been at any time in the past 15 million years. Yet since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, the average global temperature has risen by, at most, 1 degree Celsius, or 1.6 degrees Fahrenheit. And while it’s true that sea levels have risen over the same period, it’s believed they’ve been doing so for roughly 20,000 years. What’s more, despite common misconceptions stoked by the media in the wake of Katrina, Sandy, and the recent typhoon in the Philippines, even the IPCC concedes that it has “low confidence” that there has been any measurable uptick in storm intensity thanks to human activity. Moreover, over the past 15 years, as man has emitted record levels of carbon dioxide year after year, the warming trend of previous decades has stopped. Lindzen says this is all consistent with what he holds responsible for climate change: a small bit of man-made impact and a whole lot of natural variability.

The real fight, though, is over what’s coming in the future if humans continue to burn fossil fuels unabated. According to the IPCC, the answer is nothing good. Its most recent Summary for Policymakers, which was released early this fall—and which some scientists reject as too sanguine—predicts that if emissions continue to rise, by the year 2100, global temperatures could increase as much as 5.5 degrees Celsius from current averages, while sea levels could rise by nearly a meter. If we hit those projections, it’s generally thought that the Earth would be rife with crop failures, drought, extreme weather, and epochal flooding. Adios, Miami.

It is to avoid those disasters that the “alarmists” call on governments to adopt policies reducing the amounts of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. As a result of such policies—and a fortuitous increase in natural gas production—U.S. greenhouse emissions are at a 20-year low and falling. But global emissions are rising, thanks to massive increases in energy use in the developing world, particularly in China and India. If the “alarmists” are right, then, a way must be found to compel the major developing countries to reduce carbon emissions.

But Lindzen rejects the dire projections. For one thing, he says that the Summary for Policymakers is an inherently problematic document. The IPCC report itself, weighing in at thousands of pages, is “not terrible. It’s not unbiased, but the bias [is] more or less to limit your criticism of models,” he says. The Summary for Policymakers, on the other hand—the only part of the report that the media and the politicians pay any attention to—“rips out doubts to a large extent. .??.??. [Furthermore], government representatives have the final say on the summary.” Thus, while the full IPPC report demonstrates a significant amount of doubt among scientists, the essentially political Summary for Policymakers filters it out.

Lindzen also disputes the accuracy of the computer models that climate scientists rely on to project future temperatures. He contends that they oversimplify the vast complexity of the Earth’s climate and, moreover, that it’s impossible to untangle man’s effect on the climate from natural variability. The models also rely on what Lindzen calls “fudge factors.” Take aerosols. These are tiny specks of matter, both liquid and solid (think dust), that are present throughout the atmosphere. Their effect on the climate—even whether they have an overall cooling or warming effect—is still a matter of debate. Lindzen charges that when actual temperatures fail to conform to the models’ predictions, climate scientists purposely overstate the cooling effect of aerosols to give the models the appearance of having been accurate. But no amount of fudging can obscure the most glaring failure of the models: their inability to predict the 15-year-long (and counting) pause in warming—a pause that would seem to place the burden of proof squarely on the defenders of the models.

Lindzen also questions the “alarmist” line on water vapor. Water vapor (and its close cousin, clouds) is one of the most prevalent greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. According to most climate scientists, the hotter the planet gets, the more water vapor there will be, magnifying the effects of other greenhouse gases, like CO2, in a sort of hellish positive feedback loop. Lindzen disputes this, contending that water vapor could very well end up having a cooling effect on the planet. As the science writer Justin Gillis explained in a 2012 New York Times piece, Lindzen “says the earth is not especially sensitive to greenhouse gases because clouds will react to counter them, and he believes he has identified a specific mechanism. On a warming planet, he says, less coverage by high clouds in the tropics will allow more heat to escape to space, countering the temperature increase.”

If Lindzen is right about this and global warming is nothing to worry about, why do so many climate scientists, many with résumés just as impressive as his, preach imminent doom? He says it mostly comes down to the money—to the incentive structure of academic research funded by government grants. Almost all funding for climate research comes from the government, which, he says, makes scientists essentially vassals of the state. And generating fear, Lindzen contends, is now the best way to ensure that policymakers keep the spigot open.

Lindzen contrasts this with the immediate aftermath of World War II, when American science was at something of a peak. “Science had established its relevance with the A-bomb, with radar, for that matter the proximity fuse,” he notes. Americans and their political leadership were profoundly grateful to the science community; scientists, unlike today, didn’t have to abase themselves by approaching the government hat in hand. Science funding was all but assured.

But with the cuts to basic science funding that occurred around the time of the Vietnam war, taxpayer support for research was no longer a political no-brainer. “It was recognized that gratitude only went so far,” Lindzen says, “and fear was going to be a much greater motivator. And so that’s when people began thinking about .??.??. how to perpetuate fear that would motivate the support of science.”

A need to generate fear, in Lindzen’s telling, is what’s driving the apocalyptic rhetoric heard from many climate scientists and their media allies. “The idea was, to engage the public you needed an event .??.??. not just a Sputnik—a drought, a storm, a sand demon. You know, something you could latch onto. [Climate scientists] carefully arranged a congressional hearing. And they arranged for [James] Hansen [author of Storms of My Grandchildren, and one of the leading global warming “alarmists”] to come and say something vague that would somehow relate a heat wave or a drought to global warming.” (This theme, by the way, is developed to characteristic extremes in the late Michael Crichton’s entertaining 2004 novel State of Fear, in which environmental activists engineer a series of fake “natural” disasters to sow fear over global warming.)

Lindzen also says that the “consensus”—the oft-heard contention that “virtually all” climate scientists believe in catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming—is overblown, primarily for structural reasons. “When you have an issue that is somewhat bogus, the opposition is always scattered and without resources,” he explains. “But the environmental movement is highly organized. There are hundreds of NGOs. To coordinate these hundreds, they quickly organized the Climate Action Network, the central body on climate. There would be, I think, actual meetings to tell them what the party line is for the year, and so on.” Skeptics, on the other hand, are more scattered across disciplines and continents. As such, they have a much harder time getting their message across.

Because CO2 is invisible and the climate is so complex (your local weatherman doesn’t know for sure whether it will rain tomorrow, let alone conditions in 2100), expertise is particularly important. Lindzen sees a danger here. “I think the example, the paradigm of this, was medical practice.” He says that in the past, “one went to a physician because something hurt or bothered you, and you tended to judge him or her according to whether you felt better. That may not always have been accurate, but at least it had some operational content. .??.??. [Now, you] go to an annual checkup, get a blood test. And the physician tells you if you’re better or not and it’s out of your hands.” Because climate change is invisible, only the experts can tell us whether the planet is sick or not. And because of the way funds are granted, they have an incentive to say that the Earth belongs in intensive care.

Richard Lindzen presents a problem for those who say that the science behind climate change is “settled.” So many “alarmists” prefer to ignore him and instead highlight straw men: less credible skeptics, such as climatologist Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama (signatory to a declaration that “Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence—are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting”), the Heartland Institute (which likened climate “alarmists” to the Unabomber), and Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma (a major energy-producing state). The idea is to make it seem as though the choice is between accepting the view of, say, journalist James Delingpole (B.A., English literature), who says global warming is a hoax, and that of, say, James Hansen (Ph.D., physics, former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies), who says that we are moving toward “an ice-free Antarctica and a desolate planet without human inhabitants.”

But Lindzen, plainly, is different. He can’t be dismissed. Nor, of course, is he the only skeptic with serious scientific credentials. Judith Curry, the chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, William Happer, professor of physics at Princeton, John Christy, a climate scientist honored by NASA, now at the University of Alabama, and the famed physicist Freeman Dyson are among dozens of scientists who have gone on record questioning various aspects of the IPCC’s line on climate change. Lindzen, for his part, has said that scientists have called him privately to thank him for the work he’s doing.

But Lindzen, perhaps because of his safely tenured status at MIT, or just because of the contours of his personality, is a particularly outspoken and public critic of the consensus. It’s clear that he relishes taking on the “alarmists.” It’s little wonder, then, that he’s come under exceptionally vituperative attack from many of those who are concerned about the impact of climate change. It also stands to reason that they might take umbrage at his essentially accusing them of mass corruption with his charge that they are “stoking fear.”

Take Joe Romm, himself an MIT Ph.D., who runs the climate desk at the left-wing Center for American Progress. On the center’s blog, Romm regularly lights into Lindzen. “Lindzen could not be more discredited,” he says in one post. In another post, he calls Lindzen an “uber-hypocritical anti-scientific scientist.” (Romm, it should be noted, is a bit more measured, if no less condescending, when the klieg lights are off. “I tend to think Lindzen is just one of those scientists whom time and science has passed by, like the ones who held out against plate tectonics for so long,” he tells me.) Seldom, however, does Romm stoop to explain what grounds justify dismissing Lindzen’s views with such disdain.

Andrew Dessler, a climatologist at Texas A&M University, is another harsh critic of Lindzen. As he told me in an emailed statement, “Over the past 25 years, Dr. Lindzen has published several theories about climate, all of which suggest that the climate will not warm much in response to increases in atmospheric CO2. These theories have been tested by the scientific community and found to be completely without merit. Lindzen knows this, of course, and no longer makes any effort to engage with the scientific community about his theories (e.g., he does not present his work at scientific conferences). It seems his main audience today is Fox News and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal.”

The Internet, meanwhile, is filled with hostile missives directed at Lindzen. They’re of varying quality. Some, written by climate scientists, are point-by-point rebuttals of Lindzen’s scholarly work; others, angry ad hominem screeds full of heat, signifying nothing. (When Lindzen transitioned to emeritus status last year, one blog headlined the news “Denier Down: Lindzen Retires.”)

For decades, Lindzen has also been dogged by unsubstantiated accusations of corruption—specifically, that he’s being paid off by the energy industry. He denies this with a laugh. “I wish it were so!” What appears to be the primary source for this calumny—a Harper’s magazine article from 1995—provides no documentation for its assertions. But that hasn’t stopped the charge from being widely disseminated on the Internet.

One frustrating feature of the climate debate is that people’s outlook on global warming usually correlates with their political views. So if a person wants low taxes and restrictions on abortion, he probably isn’t worried about climate change. And if a person supports gay marriage and raising the minimum wage, he most likely thinks the threat from global warming warrants costly public-policy remedies. And of course, even though Lindzen is an accomplished climate scientist, he has his own political outlook—a conservative one.

He wasn’t reared that way. “Growing up in the Bronx, politics, I would say, was an automatic issue. I grew up with a picture of Franklin Roosevelt over my bed.” But his views started to shift in the late ’60s and ’70s. “I think [my politics] began changing in the Vietnam war. I was deeply disturbed by the way vets were being treated,” he says. He also says that his experience in the climate debate—and the rise in political correctness in the universities throughout the ’70s and ’80s—further pushed him to the right. So, yes, Lindzen, a climate skeptic, is also a political conservative whom one would expect to oppose many environmental regulations for ideological, as opposed to scientific, reasons. By the same token, it is well known that the vast majority of “alarmist” climate scientists, dependent as they are on federal largesse, are liberal Democrats.

But whatever buried ideological component there may be to any given scientist’s work, it doesn’t tell us who has the science right. In a 2012 public letter, Lindzen noted, “Critics accuse me of doing a disservice to the scientific method. I would suggest that in questioning the views of the critics and subjecting them to specific tests, I am holding to the scientific method.” Whoever is right about computer models, climate sensitivity, aerosols, and water vapor, Lindzen is certainly right about that. Skepticism is essential to science.

In a 2007 debate with Lindzen in New York City, climate scientist Richard C.?J. Somerville, who is firmly in the “alarmist” camp, likened climate skeptics to “some eminent earth scientists [who] couldn’t be persuaded that plate tectonics were real .??.??. when the revolution of continental drift was sweeping through geology and geophysics.”

“Most people who think they’re a Galileo are just wrong,” he said, much to the delight of a friendly audience of Manhattanites.

But Somerville botched the analogy. The story of plate tectonics is the story of how one man, Alfred Wegener, came up with the theory of continental drift, only to be widely opposed and mocked. Wegener challenged the earth science “consensus” of his day. And in the end, his view prevailed.




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


3 January, 2014

David Suzuki, The Smiling Face of Fraud

Things haven’t gone well for David Suzuki recently. Suzuki is the long-time host of CBC Television’s popular The Nature of Things, leader of the Canadian environmental movement, and founder of a deep-pocketed philanthropic organization called the David Suzuki Foundation (which raises money by, among other things, warning children at Christmas that unless their parents donate, Santa’s workshop will sink into a melting North Pole). In 2011, he was named by a Reader’s Digest poll the “most trusted” Canadian. Lately, however, Suzuki has found himself on the defensive, reduced to ad hominen attacks in an attempt to camouflage what critics have been saying for years: that he has inadequate knowledge of the climate science about which he has spent many years pontificating and from which he has made a sizable personal profit.

Observers of Suzuki’s career have been crying foul for some time. David Solway has written numerous articles and a book, Global Warning, wittily exposing Suzuki’s record of faulty prediction and messianic failure. In a 2012 article for FrontPage Magazine, for example, he highlighted Suzuki’s dubious financial backers (which include corporations that invest in China), recent allegations of under-reporting of foreign funding, and engagement in political advocacy inconsistent with tax-free charitable status — conduct that, when brought to light in 2012, led Suzuki to step down as head of the foundation that still bears his star-quality name.

Sun News host Ezra Levant has produced a series of news shows lambasting Suzuki’s manifest hypocrisy. Typical of Levant’s attack strategy was a recent Toronto Sun newspaper piece called “The Two Suzukis,” in which Levant repeatedly counterpointed the public figure Suzuki has created — the “Saint Suzuki” who lectures Canadians on limiting their environmental footprint by reducing consumption (see here, for example) — with the “Secret Suzuki” few people know, the multi-millionaire capitalist who owns various energy-guzzling large properties, jets around to fundraising and media appearances, and demands lavish fees ($30,000 on average) for speaking engagements. This aging counterculture activist who once compared human beings to maggots and who spoke to encourage a particularly pointless “Occupy Vancouver” group in 2011 turns out to be — well, a comfortable member of the 1%.

But matters got a lot worse for Suzuki recently. On a jaunt to Australia to discuss his major subject — climate change and the need for drastic measures to combat it — Suzuki engaged in some uncharacteristically unscripted discussion, with disastrous results. Normally he is careful to vet questions from his audiences, and one can see why. In front of a group that failed to be awed by Suzuki’s demigod status, Suzuki floundered and looked foolish. In response to a question about the documented absence of climate warming over the past fifteen years — the major question any climate authority must be prepared to answer — Suzuki resorted to the typical strategies of radical environmentalism: flat-out fabrication (“… the warming continues!”) and counterattack claiming that data debunking the warming hypothesis comes from tainted sources (“… there may be a climate skeptic down in Huntsville, Alabama …”).

The problem, however, was that the data being cited actually came from the major data-gathering stations relied upon by the UN’s own International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which anyone who had devoted a decade to preventing “catastrophic warming” should have known. In other questioning, Suzuki was similarly off-balance and outrageous, reiterating his claim, for example, that climate-skeptic politicians should face criminal sanctions. The Australian debacle was a startling revelation that the environmentalist guru does not understand the basic elements of the science upon which he has made his reputation.


We live in a COOL era

The paper below shows that earth was much hotter in prehistoric times -- despite CO2 levels being comparable

Pliocene Warmth, Polar Amplification, and Stepped Pleistocene Cooling Recorded in NE Arctic Russia

Julie Brigham-Grette et al.


Understanding the evolution of Arctic polar climate from the protracted warmth of the middle Pliocene into the earliest glacial cycles in the Northern Hemisphere has been hindered by the lack of continuous, highly resolved Arctic time series. Evidence from Lake El’gygytgyn, in northeast (NE) Arctic Russia, shows that 3.6 to 3.4 million years ago, summer temperatures were ~8°C warmer than today, when the partial pressure of CO2 was ~400 parts per million. Multiproxy evidence suggests extreme warmth and polar amplification during the middle Pliocene, sudden stepped cooling events during the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition, and warmer than present Arctic summers until ~2.2 million years ago, after the onset of Northern Hemispheric glaciation. Our data are consistent with sea-level records and other proxies indicating that Arctic cooling was insufficient to support large-scale ice sheets u


Europe wants to block UK wind farm subsidies

EU does some good?

The European Commission is to order Britain to end wind farm subsidies. Officials have told ministers that the current level of state support for renewable energy sources must be phased out by the end of the decade. Taxpayer support for solar energy must also be cut, the commission will say.

The commission, which oversees the European single market, is preparing to argue that the onshore wind and solar power industries are “mature” and should be allowed to operate without support from taxpayers. Under the single market rules, European Union governments are forbidden from providing long-term “state aid” to domestic industries that can function without support.

A Government source said European officials have privately warned ministers that they must reduce public support for onshore wind and solar generators.

“The commission has been making pretty clear that it’s moving towards saying that these industries are mature and state aid won’t be allowed,” he said.

Although Conservative ministers sometimes criticise the EC for its interference in domestic matters, they are understood to be keen to cooperate in the case of renewable energy subsidies.

“I never thought I’d say this but the commission is absolutely right about this,” a Conservative minister said. “It’s absurd that taxpayers are being made to subsidise wind technology.”

The operators of onshore wind turbines get subsidies that increase the price they are paid for the power they generate.

Wholesale energy prices are typically about £55 for a megawatt hour of power. But onshore wind generators are paid about £90. Ministers have started reducing those subsidies, cutting tariffs applied to household bills and slashing guaranteed prices for onshore wind.

But pressure from the EC is expected force the Coalition to introduce a less generous system of support for onshore wind and solar power.

That new regime, which could be in place in less than two years, will see wind farm operators competing with each other for a share of a reduced pool of public subsidies. Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, said earlier this month he was preparing to announce that onshore wind and solar farm developers would be forced to compete to secure government subsidies.

The commission is expected to announce the results of a review of support for renewable energy as soon as later this month.

Despite British enthusiasm for reducing subsidies, politicians in other EU states may resist pressure to withdraw public support for renewables.

Connie Hedegaard, the EU’s climate action commissioner, said the eventual aim was the end of state aid for wind power. “One of the things Europe has to do better is how we subsidise renewables,” she said.

“That is why the commission is reviewing state aid guidelines for energy, including renewables.”

“My view is that if you have mature technologies, renewables or not, they should not have state aid. If they can manage themselves why have state aid?”

Policy Exchange, a think tank with close links to the Conservatives, has called for steep cuts in subsidies, which would eventually reduce household bills.


Millions of trees chopped down to make way for Scottish wind farms

Millions of trees have been chopped down to clear the way for wind farms in Scotland’s countryside since Alex Salmond came to power, according to official figures published today.

The Forestry Commission has disclosed that more than 6,200 acres (2,510 hectares) of trees north of the Border have been felled to allow the construction of wind farms since 2007.

With the commission estimating that on average 810 trees are planted per acre, this is the equivalent of more than five million being chopped down.

Over the same period, fewer than 2,000 acres of trees have been replanted within wind farm sites. This means there has been net loss of around 3.4 million trees to make way for turbines.

The cull has been implemented despite the Scottish Government previously insisting it expected energy companies to undertake “compensatory replanting” when trees are destroyed in this way.

The Scottish Conservatives, who obtained the figures under the Freedom of Information Act, said they demonstrated the “wanton destruction” Mr Salmond’s green energy targets are inflicting on the countryside.

The SNP administration has set a target of generating the equivalent of all Scotland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2020, with the majority expected to come from onshore wind.

This has prompted a rapid spread of turbines across rural Scotland, with research published last year finding there were almost as many turbines north of the Border as in all the rest of the UK.

The Daily Telegraph disclosed how Scottish Government officials were exerting unprecedented pressure on planning authorities to allow more wind farms even in the face of fierce local opposition.

Murdo Fraser MSP, the Scottish Tory energy spokesman, said: “The SNP is so blindly obsessed with renewable energy that it doesn’t mind destroying another important environmental attribute to make way for it.

“It’s quite astonishing to see almost as many trees have been destroyed as there are people in Scotland. The contribution of trees to our environment has been well established through the ages.

“I’m still waiting to see compelling evidence of the contribution wind farms make. If the Scottish Government cooled its ludicrous renewable energy targets, we wouldn’t see this kind of wanton destruction and intrusion on our landscape.”

Of the 6,202 acres of trees felled on Scotland’s national forest estate since 2007 to make way for wind farms, the figures said 1,957 acres (31.5 per cent) have been replanted.

A further 3,467 acres (56 per cent) had deliberately been “left open for environmental management”, while the remaining 778 acres (12.5 per cent) had not been replanted despite not being designated to be left open.

The Scottish Government said the Tories claims “misrepresent the full picture” as only the 778 acres were suitable for the planting of another rotation of trees.

Paul Wheelhouse, the Scottish Environment Minister, said: “To put it in real context, in the same six year period, Forestry Commission Scotland has supported over 31,400 hectares of new planting – that's a staggering 62 million trees in the ground across Scotland.

“Scotland is also shouldering the vast majority of tree planting in Britain with nearly two and a half times more tree planting in Scotland compared to south of the Border.”

He said planning guidance had been tightened up to ensure tree felling is kept to a minimum and replanting undertaken “where suitable”.

Meanwhile, figures compiled by anti-wind farm campaigners suggest the number of turbines in the Scottish Borders is likely to increase beyond 600 in 2014.

Mark Rowley, chairman of Cranshaws, Ellemford and Longformacus community council, has calculated there are 441 large-scale turbines in the area already constructed or given planning permission. This includes 373 in Berwickshire.

Planning applications for a further 185 have been submitted, while 47 were at the appeal stage of the process. In addition, wind farm companies are scoping and screening sites with the potential for a further 400 turbines.

Scottish Government officials have rejected complaints from individual councils that they should be able to declare a moratorium on building more wind farms because they have “done their share”.


Australian fishery folly

The Greenies are all for "renewable" resources -- except when it comes to fish

The most interesting person at the table, for me, was a commercial fisherman, which meant he lived far outside my urban bubble. He loved what he did, and was a conservationist, but he felt besieged. Along with the rest of his industry, he believed Australia was engaging in what I term fish porn.

Thanks to the zeal of the environmental movement, personified by the Greens, Australia has shrunk its fishing industry by 90 per cent even though it is one of the most highly regulated and scientifically scrutinised in the world. In so doing, we are pushing demand to all the wrong places. As the fisherman said:

"If we are not using our own marine resources but are enjoying a seafood meal at the expense of someone else, it's an immoral position to be in."

He directed me to a documentary, Drawing the Line, financed by a Northern Territory mackerel fisherman, Bruce Davey, which put the case that Australia, by closing off 3 million square kilometres as marine reserves, would do more harm than good to global fish stocks.

"The irony is," Davey says, "as we have less and less domestic catch, the fish we import is more and more from less sustainable fisheries … places like China, Thailand, Africa." The documentary quotes Colin Buxton, of the University of Tasmania, warning: "The mere act of drawing a line doesn't confer any protection at all. All we are doing is eliminating fishing."

My fishing friend also loathed the carbon tax and thought it had been highly corrosive to business while achieving nothing. He even checked his electricity bill later and called me with the numbers: in December 2010, his monthly bill was $1617. Last month it was $2255, an increase of 40 per cent in three years, with no expansion in usage or equipment.

This increase, plus ever-increasing compliance costs, made him decide not to hire a part-time assistant, so he saw the tax as a job-killer and price-riser.


Stuck on a ship of (cold) fools

An editorial in "The Australian" newspaper. The fact that the expedition was a Warmist one was blacked out in most U.S. news reports; Not so in Australia

YOU have to feel a touch of sympathy for the global warming scientists, journalists and other hangers-on aboard the Russian ship stuck in impenetrable ice in Antarctica, the mission they so confidently embarked on to establish solid evidence of melting ice caps resulting from climate change embarrassingly abandoned because the ice is, in fact, so impossibly thick.

The aim of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, led by Chris Turney of the University of NSW, was to prove the East Antarctic ice sheet is melting. Its website spoke alarmingly of "an increasing body of evidence" showing "melting and collapse from ocean warming". Instead, rescue ships and a helicopter, all belching substantial carbon emissions, have had to be mobilised to pluck those aboard the icebreaker MV Akademik Schokalskiy from their plight, stuck in what appears to be, ironically, record amounts of ice for this time of year.

In that lies a hard lesson for those who persistently exaggerate the impact of global warming. We believe in man-made climate change and are no less concerned than others about it. But the cause of sensible policy is ill-served by exaggeration; there is a need for recognition of the science, which shows there are variations in how climate is changing and what the impact is, or will be.

Professor Turney's expedition was supposed to repeat scientific investigations made by Douglas Mawson a century ago and to compare then and now. Not unreasonably, it has been pointed out Mawson's ship was never icebound. Sea ice has been steadily increasing, despite the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's gloomy forecasts. Had the expedition found the slightest evidence to confirm its expectation of melting ice caps and thin ice, a major new scare about the plight of the planet would have followed. As they are transferred to sanctuary aboard the icebreaker Aurora Australis, Professor Turney and his fellow evacuees must accept the embarrassing failure of their mission shows how uncertain the science of climate change really is. They cannot reasonably do otherwise.




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


2 January, 2014

The expedition that DID prove something

They proved that the Antarctic today is COOLER than in Mawson's time a century ago

No matter whether you are a true believer in ‘climate change’ or an ardent sceptic, you’ll surely appreciate the delicious irony of the story which has been playing out in Antarctica.

A scientific research team who headed south to prove the threat to mankind from global warming by establishing that the region is melting have found themselves trapped on their ship in the unexpectedly thick pack ice.

As the days went by, though, it slowly became clear that this wasn’t going to be a temporary problem. The ship was stuck fast — at the height of what is supposed to be the Antarctic summer and when the ice normally melts rather than thickens — and was in urgent need of rescue.

Perhaps, with hindsight, it was a mistake to christen the expedition the Spirit of Mawson in memory of Sir Douglas Mawson, the great Edwardian-age Australian explorer in whose icy footsteps the mission hoped to follow.

Still, in at least one respect, Mawson had an advantage over his 21st century followers. As we can see from period photographs, this part of the Antarctic was noticeably less frozen in the early 20th century than it is today. There was no visible sea ice in Commonwealth Bay where the MV Akademik Shokalskiy and its crew first got stuck.

Unfortunately for those scientists and activists who have gained so much attention from pushing the global warming agenda — while they ultimately may be proved right — the real world evidence does not currently appear to be on their side.

As the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report admitted for the first time, there has been no significant rise in global temperature since 1997. This 16-year ‘pause’ was not predicted by any of the computer models on which the IPCC has long based its warnings of extreme global warming.

But will any of these inconvenient truths get a mention in the breathless accounts describing the Spirit of Mawson expedition’s last moments as the 85-strong company are finally rescued by helicopter?

That’s about as likely as a snowball’s chance in hell.


‘FrackNation’ Documentary Exposes Shoddy, Anti-science Journalism

Explosions and fires are a common feature of today’s fictional movies as heroes dodge bullets and conflagrations in pursuit of justice. That might explain why opponents of hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) have decided to dramatize their case against scientific progress by lighting water on fire and then falsely blaming fracking for the blaze.

Thanks to a new film called FrackNation (watch it tonight at 9 pm ET on the AXS cable channel), Americans who have been subjected to such shady journalism will finally get a chance to see the full picture.

fracknation-poster2.jpgIn the film, the husband-wife team of Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney closely examine the rhetoric and factual claims made by fracking opponents, particularly that of another filmmaker, Josh Fox, and his 2010 documentary Gasland.

During a press conference held in Chicago after a screening of Gasland, McAleer challenged Fox on the facts standing behind the flammable water he highlighted in his film, which focused on households in Colorado. McAleer called attention to a 1976 study by the Colorado Division of Water found the area in question already had gas in the water and that it was the result of natural forces. The report stated was “troublesome amounts of methane” in the water decades before fracking began.

“Don’t you owe a journalistic duty to show there was a problem with gas in the water before fracking started?” McAleer asked.

He added:

“Most people watching your film would think lighting your water started with fracking. You said yourself people lit their water long before fracking started, isn’t that correct?”

When pressed, Fox acknowledged this was true, but that it was also “irrelevant.”

The exchange between McAleer and Fox can be viewed here.

In an interview with conservative activists hosted by Americans for Tax Reform, McAleer and McElhinney told audience members that the film was made as a rejoinder to unsubstantiated alarmism about fracking and to provide “the other 99 percent” of Americans who have a more congenial view of natural gas development with a voice.

In many respects, “FrackNation” is crafted as a response to “shoddy journalism,” McAleer said. Since it is difficult to keep pace with all the new developments, it is best to review recent history and set the record straight, he explained.

“Fracking is a breaking news story,” he said. “New discoveries are coming all the time, and the environmentalists are coming up with new allegations.”

Another part of the film focuses on events in Dimock, Pa. where anti-fracking activists Craig and Julie Sautner had filed suit against Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. over alleged water contamination. The Pennsylvania Environmental Protection Agency ruled against the Saunters declaring that their water supply is safe and drinkable. They did not react well on film when presented with this news.

“This is a film about fracking, but it is also a film about journalism,” McElhinney observed. “Journalists should not take allegations in a lawsuit as fact, of course the plaintiffs are going to be biased in favor of their own suit.”

McAleer and McElhinney have previously collaborated together on “Mine Your Business” and “Not Evil, Just Wrong.” They have been persistent critics of the modern environmental movement and its impact upon average citizens.


Observations show IPCC exaggerates anthropogenic global warming by a factor of 7

A compilation of at least 13 studies based upon satellite and ocean observations demonstrate climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 levels after all feedbacks is only about 0.4 C, which is 7.5 times less than the 3C claimed by the IPCC.

Note: If the current rate of increase of 2 ppm/yr continues, CO2 concentrations would require about 200 years to double. These climate sensitivity estimates also assume the temperature increase was solely due to greenhouse gases and do not include natural influences from solar amplification, global brightening, ocean oscillations, etc. which can alone account for 95% of climate change over the past 400 years.

Lindzen & Choi [2011]: 0.7 C

Spencer & Braswell: 0.62 C

Bjornbom: 0.67 C

Eschenbach: 0.2 C

Levitus 2012 = 0.39 C

Douglass & Knox [2012]: 0.16 * 1.3 = 0.21 C

Lindzen & Giannitsis: 0.67 C

Douglass et al [2005]: .22 * 1.3 = 0.29 C

Bogdanov: .41*1.3 = 0.53 C

Chylek: .385*1.3 = 0.50 C

Monckton: .12 * 3.7 * 1.3 = 0.58 C

Paltridge: .1 - .3 (based on NCEP trends, figure 10) (ave .2)*1.3 = 0.26 C

Schwartz: 0.3 * 1.3 = 0.39 C

All very similar and averaging out to about 0.4 C climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 levels

Note: Equilibrium climate sensitivity [ECS] at the top of the atmosphere [TOA] has been determined from the above analyses assuming ECS is 130% of transient climate sensitivity [TCS] per Otto et al.


NASA Has Nearly Doubled Their Reported Global Warming Over The Last 13 Years

The graph below shows global land temperatures 2001 version (red) and 2013 version (blue) normalized to 1998. By massively cooling the past in their recent graphs, they report nearly double the amount of 1880-2000 global warming as they did 13 years ago.


Warmism – a very modern death cult for trendy lefties

The neo-fascist, quasi-religion of “Warmism”, followed by proponents of the ludicrous CAGW hypothesis, is quackery-meets-fundamentalism wrapped in post-normal demagoguery for those who despise God. Like most religions (and Warmism is just like most religions) all you need is belief and a good story, rooted in just enough historical fact-y-ness, to keep the gullible reading, believing and most importantly, paying.

If you believe hard enough, and have an unshakeable faith in the words of your priests, you too can justify ignoring the massive gaps of truth, logic, reason, fact and scientific proof, upon which the dogma is undeniably based if only to yourself and your fellow travellers.

This is Creationists v Evolutionists Pt 2; this time though, it is the “deniers” who must have 100% of their fossil record ready for inspection, all day, every day, while the warmists support their case with faith, smear, the bitterest of invectives and very little else.

The CAGW myth is the perfect quasi-religious death cult for collectivists of all flavours; from the casual left-ish folk on the Clapham omnibus who distrust “organised” religion and think nebulous concepts like social justice, equality and fairness might not be too bad, despite not being fully aware of what they actually mean in practice, right up the lefty food chain to the committed hard core, lunatic fringe fanatic who will gladly help set fire to the world as long as they get to rule the cinders once the flames subside.

It ticks every single box just as it covers all the bases.

As much as anything, the left seek out policies and positions that make them feel better about themselves and superior to those they despise (i.e. anyone who disagrees with them). The Warmist religion allows them to do just this. It allows them to indulge their Marxist/socialist redistributive tendencies to the full. The pipeline of cash from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries, in the name of Warmism, is likely to only benefit arms dealers and German car makers but this fact barely raises a flicker of concern in the Warmist and why should it? How much better can you make yourself feel than when you’ve just convinced yourself you are saving the world? Questions, especially those that may spark doubt, are to be avoided at all costs.

Ask any semi-literate subsistence farmer, in the developing-world, why the crops failed, chances are you will be told it was God’s will, you will be told the same thing should the crop be bountiful, or if his goat gives birth to twins or dies of disease. This is the fundamental and unshakeable truth and no amount of argument or reason can lay a glove upon it. The parallels with the pronouncements of the CAGW fantasists are obvious and just as deluded; if it’s cold – that’s a sign of global warming, if it’s warm – that too is a sign of global warming, if it’s a long cold winter, that’s just weather but if it’s a long hot summer THAT is climate change. God’s will, GIGO-coded and fudge-factored, biddable and compliant, finally subservient to the socialist redistributionist New World Order and its Warmist acolytes.

In addition to feeling good about themselves, of equal importance of course, (especially to the committed leftist devotee of the Warmist religion), is the acquisition and ruthless exercise of power. To the adherents of this particular sect of the Warmist religion, ideology is as much a tactic as anything else. In precisely the same way as championing the rights of downtrodden workers, women and homosexuals are simply the means to a particular end (militant power through the Unions or the ballot box, through the support of special interest groups).

In the apocalyptic religion of Warmism, today’s particular cause (tactic), is nothing less than saving the entire world. Although the cause may have evolved from working practices and the closed shop, the villain, the embodiment of evil, the Warmist’s depiction of the Devil (every religion needs one by the way) betrays the cult’s Marxist/socialist/collectivist roots; the banker, the wealthy industrialist, the capitalist, the land owner, the church and the conservative remain constant as figures of hatred and envy, with the so-called “denier” replacing the heretic at the stake.


Bad news for Greenies: Koalas spotted in new parts of Australia, including upper Blue Mountains

Greenies love to shriek "Endangered!" any time anybody proposes to do anything near a Koala. This might spike their guns a little

Koalas have been found living in parts of Australia where they have never been seen before, researchers say.

A nationwide survey by the National Parks Association (NPA) found the animal living in the upper Blue Mountains of New South Wales, for the first time.

They have also been spotted in the NSW Southern Highlands, Port Stephens and Maitland, as well as known hot spots in the Northern Rivers and Gunnedah, also in NSW.

"I think the population is just so low that people weren't sure that they were even still there," said Dr Grainne Cleary of the NPA.

"They are just at such low density, unless you're going out looking for them you just don't see them.

"Some of it could have to do with the connectivity and that the koalas can move back into these areas that they weren't found in before."
What more should be done to bolster Australia's koala populations? Leave your comments below.

The NPA recruited the public to participate in the Great Koala Count by going in search of the animal and sending in their findings.

More than 850 people took part and logged about 920 koala sightings over the course of 10 days in November.

Dr Cleary says the results will help communities bolster conservation efforts. "This data goes very much back to the community that collected it to help protect their koalas," she said.

"They're looking at planting trees in areas where koalas are to increase connectivity between populations - now I can give them a map of where their koalas are. "We'll also give it to the councils to make sure they can include it in their koala comprehensive management plans."

The survey also shows koalas are picky about where they choose to live, opting for good quality land and soil.

"If the vegetation was right you will get high densities in certain areas, which was interesting," said Dr Cleary.

Known hot spots such as the Northern Rivers and Gunnedah featured strongly in the survey, as well as the Gold Coast and Brisbane, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

The Great Koala Count will be held again next year.




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


1 January, 2014

'Stuck in our own experiment': Leader of trapped team insists polar ice is melting

Like all failed prophets, the trappeds Warmists are good at "post hoc" explanations. Such explanations are always looked at askance in science. The test of a scientific theory is that it generates accurate predictions. What the leader is saying is a lie anyway. He says he is trapped by purely local conditions. In fact ice is up throughout the Antarctic. See the graph below

The leader of a scientific expedition whose ship remains stranded in Antarctic ice says the team, which set out to prove climate change, is "stuck in our own experiment."

But Chris Turney, a professor of climate change at Australia’s University of New South Wales, said it was “silly” to suggest he and 73 others aboard the MV Akademic Shokalskiy were trapped in ice they’d sought to prove had melted. He remained adamant that sea ice is melting, even as the boat remained trapped in frozen seas.

"We're stuck in our own experiment," the Australasian Antarctic Expedition said in a statement. We came to Antarctica to study how one of the biggest icebergs in the world has altered the system by trapping ice. We ... are now ourselves trapped by ice surrounding our ship.

"Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up," the Australasian Antarctic Expedition said in a statement.

Turney later told the ice surrounding his ship is old, rather than recently formed, and likely from a particular 75 mile-long iceberg that broke apart three years ago. Climate change may have prompted the iceberg to shatter and float into the previously open sea where the mostly Australian team finds itself stranded, Turney said.

“The ice was swept across to this area by the South-East wind, its pieces creating a knock-on domino effect,” Turney told, speaking from a tent erected on the stranded ship’s top deck. “We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

But the situation has global warming skeptics poking fun at the scientists.

“Cute how these Warmists who hate fossil fuels take a trip to the Antarctic to show just how horrible fossil-fueled climate change is, then need rescue from their fossil-fueled trip by other fossil-fueled ships and helicopters, which still can’t rescue them,” wrote one blogger on Pirate’s Cove.

The website Newsbusters said much of the media has bent over backward to avoid linking the ship’s current fate with its mission.

“Somewhere far, far to the south where it is summer, a group of global warming scientists are trapped in the Antarctic ice,” read a post on the site. “If you missed the irony of that situation, it is because much of the mainstream media has glossed over that rather inconvenient bit of hilarity.”

So far, ice breakers have been unable to get closer than 10 miles from the stranded ship, which is surrounded by ice up to 10 feet thick. Stuck since Christmas Eve, it is about 100 nautical miles east of the French base Dumont D'Urville, and about 1,500 nautical miles south of Brisbane.

Turney‘s team is studying climate change, as well as how wildlife is adapting to it. He noted that numerous penguins have traipsed across the ice from the nearby mainland to curiously observe the explorers.

A Chinese ice breaker was unable to reach the ship, and another vessel, the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis, got to within 10 nautical miles of the stranded ship but couldn’t see it through a driving blizzard, and had to turn back to open water. Turney told his team is in good spirits, though it only has 10 days of food supplies.

Icebergs pose an even greater danger to the ship than the surface ice that now has the ship in its grip, because they can pierce the hull of a ship like the Akademic Shokalskiy, in a Titanic scenario . Lisa Martin, of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is coordinating rescue attempts from their New South Wales headquarters told icebergs have been seen in the area.

‘There are icebergs around,” agreed Turney. “[The ship] is not a good position.”

The Aurora Australis is standing by in open water about 18 nautical miles east of the stranded ship, and could attempt another rescue once weather conditions improve, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

The best scenario for the scientists, agrees Turney, would be that the Aurora would be able to make a path through the ice, and somehow assist the Akademik Shokalskiy’s crew to turn their vessel around – not the easiest task when hemmed in by solid pack ice – so that it could follow the Australian icebreaker back into the safety of open water, and all the expedition’s passengers could stay comfortably on board.

But indications are that the 74 will have to be evacuated. Turney says that the captain of the Aurora has already offered specialized storage space for samples collected during the expedition. And a helicopter from a nearby Chinese ship is standing by to land on the ice next to the stranded ship and transfer the team, sources say, probably to the Aurora.


No Antarctic Warming Since 1979

According to Chris Turney, leader of the expedition trapped in the ice off the coast of Antarctica, the expanding sea ice has been caused by global warming.

He obviously has not bothered checking the facts.

First, a look at UAH satellite temperature anomalies for the region. The purple line is the trend, not the mean, but as can be seen is, to all intents and purposes flat. Any trend is actually negative.

And Southern Ocean Sea Temperatures from Bob Tisdale.

Chris Turney is, apparently, Professor of Climate Change at the University of NSW. He is also a Director of Carbonscape Holdings, which has “developed technology to fix carbon from the atmosphere and make a host of green bi-products, helping reduce greenhouse gas levels.”

Carbonscape, a company based in New Zealand, is funded by several government bodies there, such as the Ministry of Science & Innovation, the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries, and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise.


Wind farm blight is 'industrialising our countryside': Ex-Poet Laureate accuses politicians of 'gung-ho' policies

Britain's political class today stands accused of ‘industrialising the countryside’ by allowing the spread of wind and solar farms that have ‘blighted landscapes’ across the UK.

Sir Andrew Motion, president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, condemns the ‘gung-ho’ way in which all three main political parties have put development ahead of protecting ‘Britain’s green spaces’.

He warns that the ‘dismaying short-termism’ of British politicians will condemn the countryside to pollution, waste and damage, while ‘derelict sites’ in inner cities are ‘left to rot’.

Sir Andrew – the former Poet Laureate – warns that the changes to planning rules risk leaving greenfield sites in rural areas ‘more vulnerable than ever’ and people with ‘no say’ about new development in their communities.

In a coded attack on David Cameron, Sir Andrew accuses the Government of embarking on a ‘second industrial revolution in order to compete in the global race’ – a phrase popularised by the Prime Minister.

And taking aim at Ed Miliband, he denounces the Labour leader’s support for towns to expand.

Sir Andrew writes: ‘The emerging political consensus, with its gung-ho emphasis on growth, promises a future of urban sprawl and exploitation of the natural world whichever leaders we elect.

'Unless, that is, our politicians think again and recognise the rising public anger about the loss of our green spaces.

Mr Cameron has called for the Coalition to ‘ditch the green crap’ and Tory ministers have slashed the subsidy for onshore windfarms.

Environment Minister Greg Barker is expected to announce soon that four million solar panels covering land the size of 3,400 football pitches could be built on government land.

While the CPRE is a non-political organisation, Sir Andrew’s intervention is significant since he has previously indicated that the group’s members might not turn out to vote for parties who don’t listen to the concerns of rural voters.

The group has been highly critical of the Government’s new National Planning Policy Framework, issued last year, which established a presumption in favour of sustainable development – a move that critics say has led to more building on greenfield land.

Labour has pledged to review the NPPF but Mr Miliband has also backed the right of towns to expand so more houses can be built, at the loss of greenfield land.

He said: ‘Of course it is right that local communities have a say about where housing goes. But councils cannot be allowed to frustrate continually the efforts of others councils to get homes built.’

A senior Tory source said Sir Andrew’s warnings were simply ‘attention-seeking’, adding: ‘The NPPF contains explicit protection for the greenbelt so he clearly hasn’t read it.

The greenbelt has been strengthened. Protecting the countryside is sacrosanct in our plans. It is not going to be built on.’


21 Top Scientists Praise Gov. Jerry Brown’s New Fracking Rules

Twenty-one scientists sent a letter this month to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown praising the use of fracking in California by oil companies and the new regulations on the procedure put in place that, they believe, will allow for a safe way to develop the “extraordinary” potential of the state’s shale oil reserves, improve the economy, create jobs, and reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Jerry Brown is a long-time liberal Democrat and the California State Legislature, Senate and Assembly, is controlled by Democrats. In September, Brown signed the new fracking regulations into law.

“In our research, we have found nothing to suggest that shale development poses risks that are unknown or cannot be managed and mitigated with available technologies, best practices and smart regulation,” reads the Dec. 18 letter from the scientists. “The economic benefits that can be derived from the expanded development of shale oil and gas reserves in California are potentially significant, leading to more jobs, greater economic growth, lower energy bills, and cleaner air.”

The letter further states, “Although some have called for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, we see no merit in that course of action, provided the right regulatory approach is followed. In our view, the regulations currently being drafted by the California Department of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) certainly meet that requirement.”

The letter is signed by leading geological, petroleum engineering, earth sciences and engineering scientists from some of the leading universities in the country, including Cornell, Penn State, UCal-Berkeley, Syracuse, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. (See Letter-to-Governor-Brown-Dec-18(1).pdf)

California’s new regulations, considered some of the strictest in the country, were signed by Governor Brown on Sept. 20, 2013 and are set to go into full effect in 2015. The new rules require oil companies to acquire permits for drilling, test groundwater, and disclose the chemicals used in the “fracking” they pursue.

Some environmental groups in California sought to ban fracking altogether in the state while the Sierra Club wanted very stringent regulations on the process. In its national policy on fracking, the Sierra Club says "there are no 'clean' fossil fuels" and the "Sierra Club's goal is to wean ourselves from oil and natural gas as swiftly as possible and by no later than 2015. Climate science is clear that we must rapidly decrease fossil fuel use if we are to avert disasterous climate disruption." (See NaturalGasFracking.pdf)

Although Gov. Brown has a strong track record as a liberal environmentalist and believer in man-made global warming, he signed the regulatory legislation that Democrats had proposed.

California’s Monterey Shale formation is one of the largest unconventional shale reservoirs in the United States, containing an estimated 15.4 billion barrels of recoverable oil, or 64% of the entire estimated tight oil in the lower 48 states, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The Monterey shale region stretches north and south of Monterey, Calif., along the coast and along some California islands, as well as going as far inshore as the San Joaquin Basin and to Bakersfield.

The oil from the Monterey shale would generate an estimated $24.6 billion a year in tax revenue and by year 2020, an additional 2.8 million jobs for the state, according to analysis conducted by the University of Southern California.

Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is a technique where a mixture of water and sand (99.5%) and chemicals (0.5%) are injected into a wellbore at high pressure, creating small fractures in the rock from where fluids and natural gas, deep within the ground, can flow.

In their Dec. 18 letter to the governor, the scientists wrote: “According to the respected research firm IHS-CERA, shale development has increased average household income by roughly $1,200. An analysis from Mercator Energy recently found that the energy cost-savings for low-income Americans last year was approximately $10 billion, or about three times the value of the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP.)”

“There is an enormous volume of oil in place in the Monterey Shale and other low quality reservoirs in California,” said Stephen Holditch, one of the signers of the letter, and a petroleum engineering professor emeritus at Texas A & M University.

In an interview with, he said, “As we have clearly learned in developing other shale reservoirs in the United States over the last 5-10 years, it will require horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and a lot of capital to produce oil from such reservoirs in the coming years. Any ban on hydraulic fracturing is essentially a ban on producing oil from shale reservoirs.”

“We want to get the greenhouse gas emissions down, but we also want to keep our economy going. That's that balance that's required,” Governor Brown, known for his support of green energy, said at a Mar. 13 press conference as reported by Reuters. "The fossil fuel deposits in California are incredible, the potential is extraordinary.”

Currently, California is the fourth largest oil-and-gas-producing state in the United States, with the state receiving $5.8 billion in fuel excise, corporate and personal income taxes in 2009, according to data from Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA). Over 100,000 Californians are employed in oil and gas production, according to California's Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water.


North Dakota Oil Fields Spur Employment and Population Growth

North Dakota drew an additional 22,000 residents over the past year, the highest percentage increase of any state, according figures released by the Census Bureau Monday.

The 3.14 percent increase was fueled by the energy boom from the Bakken oil fields. The state also boasts the lowest state unemployment rate of only 2.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Fox News highlighted one North Dakota town last week:

With an unemployment rate of just one percent, Williston is booming. Homes and new businesses are being built daily as more workers arrive seeking steady work….Williston is braced to expand from just 12,000 residents to an estimated 90,000 within 15 years.
“We’re growing as fast as you can grow,” Lee Lusht, president of the Williston Chamber of Commerce, told “We’ve built 2,500 units of housing this year."

Nearly $350 million in building permits were issued in 2013 in Williston, on everything from businesses to apartment buildings to single family homes, as a transient population of adventurous roughnecks takes root….The money that flows from the oil and gas fields is attracting a new wave of entrepreneurs. Marcus Jundt moved to Williston from Arizona last year after seeing the potential for business growth. He and a partner have invested $15 million in ventures including a restaurant and a bar called the Williston Brewing Company. He said he was stunned to see the prosperity -- and opportunity -- in Williston.

With the average national unemployment rate at 7.0 percent, stories of economic boom such this one are difficult to come by.


The Secret Danger Liberals Don't Want You to Know: Fracking is Safe

Hydraulic fracturing started out as an “exploding torpedo” back in 1865. Today, nearly 150 years later, the actual process has made giant technological strides, but now, it's the topic that’s explosive.

While the White House has been encouraging Christmas dinner table conversation to center around Obamacare, in my experience, it is fracking that came into the conversation—and when it did, the results had the potential to be as explosive as the early practice.

Over the holidays two young adults came home for Christmas. Somehow hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” came into the conversation. Dad, a reader of my column whose employment is also peripherally connected to the oil-and-gas industry, spoke up in support of the practice that has unleashed America’s natural resources and made us the world leader in energy production. His children, and their friends who had gathered in his home, were shocked and spouted the usual claims of water contamination, harsh chemicals, and flaming faucets. The topic became so explosive that his kids packed up and left before the festivities even began.

I was in California for Christmas. I visited a cousin in Napa Valley whose adult son is in the wine business. He was at her home when I arrived. She told him what I do and stated that he had many friends in the oil-and-gas business. I smiled and said: “I can talk oil, gas, coal, nuclear, fracking, whatever…” My cousin quickly interrupted and stated: “We probably don’t want to talk fracking.” I took the hint, and we moved on to another topic. Driving back to my brother’s house, I wondered: “When did fracking become an explosive topic.”

With the Christmas prime rib consumed, my family and friends were still gathered around the table. Once again fracking came up. I shared the previous two recent stories. One woman asserted that if her sister, who was arriving in a few days from Boulder, Colorado, was there and we talked fracking, the results would be explosive, too.

Because they are not in the industry, I found that the group gathered around our table had misconceptions about the process that they’d picked up from the media.

While I don’t have an exact date when the topic of fracking became explosive, I do know, from my speaking and writing on the topic, from radio interviews with listener call-ins, and private conversations, that the explosive reactions are due to a lack of understanding about the process—with the two biggest concerns being about water and chemicals.


As I’ve written previously, there are accusations that fracking is taking billions of gallons of water out of the hydrologic cycle. Especially in the southwest where water is scarce and drought conditions persist, this poses a problem.

The process of hydraulic fracturing has advanced from the first nitroglycerin “torpedo” that was shot down a well hole on April 25, 1865, and well acidizing that was used in the 1930s to enhance productivity, to the modern mix of high pressure, water, and chemicals—and it continues to evolve and become more economical.

In a piece addressing water used in fracking, The Economist describes the process this way: “Water injected at high pressure into rock deep underground during the process of hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking,’ often returns to the surface as brine, having picked up a lot of salt on its journey. It is also contaminated with chemicals from the fracking process itself.”

Today, less and less freshwater is being used—especially in the arid southwest where water for drinking and agriculture is at a premium. A typical frack job can use as much as 5 million gallons of water and lasts about 3 days. The procedure can result in decades of oil or gas production.

With the development of new technologies, the fracking process can be done with brackish water that may be as much as ten times as salty as seawater. A recent report from Reuters, titled “Fracking without freshwater at a west Texas oil field,” documents some of the advancements. Billions of gallons of brackish water are located far below the fresh water aquifers. Producers in west Texas are fracking with the brackish water from the Santa Rosa aquifer. They are then recycling the produced water—a byproduct of oil and natural gas drilling, and the flowback water—the fluid pushed back out of the well during fracking. Both forms of wastewater have historically been trucked to underground disposal wells.

A couple of months ago, I participated in the Executive Oil Conference in Midland, Texas where a panel of water experts addressed the crowd of more than 800 attendees and discussed the new technologies.

Now, instead of trucking wastewater to a remote location, mobile systems can treat the water onsite and condition it to meet almost any specification the driller wants—resulting in a reduction of expensive truck traffic. The portable systems can treat 20,000-30,000 barrels of water per day. For bigger frack jobs, additional units can be added—making the system totally flexible.

These new water solutions can reduce the total dissolved solids in the water from as high as 200,000 to below 200. For reference, the Environmental Protection Agency’s standard for drinking water is 500. The same water can be recycled and used over and over again. Addressing the new technologies, James Welch, Global Business Development Manager, Water Solutions, with Halliburton, told the crowd: “Produced water is not a waste. It is an opportunity. It is an offset to freshwater usage.” Halliburton is able to fracture with water that's 280,000 TDS.

The result of these new procedures is, according to The Economist: “Clean water …pure enough to be used for irrigation, or even drinking water. …Alternatively, it can be re-injected into the ground during the next frack.”

Rather than taking water out of the hydrologic cycle, the oil-and-gas industry is actually often taking formerly unusable water, using it in fracking and then cleaning it up to a level where it can be introduced into the cycle as either irrigation or drinking water.

Stan Weiner, Chairman and CEO at STW Resources, was one of the panelists. He summed up the new water solutions by saying: “Now we’ve figured out a way to clean it up economically. There’s no reason not to use it. Companies nationwide, worldwide, all want to do this. We get no resistance from them. They want to see it work. It’s a go.”

GE (as addressed in The Economist), Apache Corp. (as covered by Reuters), Halliburton, and STW Resources are just a handful of the many companies, which are developing revolutionary water treatment processes that neuter one of the biggest arguments against fracking.


In our Christmas conversation, someone asked: “Why do they need chemicals? Why don’t they just frack with water?” She’d heard stories.

I explained that the so-called chemicals are needed to provide lubrication for the tiny particles of sand that hold open microscopic cracks in the “fractured” rock that allow the oil or gas to escape. “As a woman, I am sure you’ve had your fingers swell. That makes it hard to get your rings off.” She nodded. “What do you do then?” I queried. “Soap my hands up,” she replied.


That is the role the chemicals play in the fracking process. But those chemicals are now mostly food-based and can be consumed with no ill effects—both Governor Hickenlooper (D-CO) and CNBC’s Jim Cramer have had a drink.

So, even if the chemicals did somehow defy geology and migrate several miles from the fracked well through the layers of sedimentary rock to the aquifer, they are not harmful.

To illustrate the point, I am in the process of organizing what I am calling “the great New Mexico fracktail party.” I have several state legislators lined up—and am looking for more. I need to find an operator who is willing to invite us onsite when a frack job is being done. The legislators, industry folks, and anyone else who wants to participate, will be invited to the location with cocktail glass in hand (umbrella, fruit, olive—whatever—included). With media cameras rolling we’ll pour the fracfluid from the tank to our glasses and toast to American energy freedom.

My sister-in-law asked: “What about the flaming faucets?” “Those are real,” I explained. “But they have nothing to do with fracking.” Natural gas, or methane, was found in water wells long before any fracking was done in the area. In fact, it was the gassy smell that often alerted explorers to the potential oil and gas in the region. Oil-and-gas drilling didn’t cause the flaming faucet phenomenon. Quite the contrary. The presence of gas near the surface brought about the “don’t smoke in the shower” adage. While the water is harmless to consume, a gas build up in the house could cause an explosion.

Lies about hydraulic fracturing are rampant. If fossil fuel opponents can spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about fracking—with the goal of causing a federal fracking ban, they can virtually stop oil-and-gas development in America, as it is estimated that 90 percent of producing wells have been fracked. Without American ingenuity and increasing production, gasoline prices and utility bills will skyrocket. Economic ruin will reign. America will, once again be beholden to increasingly hostile foreign sources.

A fracking conversation shouldn’t be explosive. Today’s hydraulic fracturing is really benign, American technology that is ecologically sound and economically advantageous. Keep these facts in mind. As my stories illustrate, not everyone will listen—but if more people, such as my brother and sister-in-law, know the truth they can help de-fuse the explosive conversation.




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


This site is in favour of things that ARE good for the environment. That the usual Greenie causes are good for the environment is however disputed.

Context for the minute average temperature change recorded: At any given time surface air temperatures around the world range over about 100°C. Even in the same place they can vary by nearly that much seasonally and as much as 30°C or more in a day. A minute rise in average temperature in that context is trivial if it is not meaningless altogether. Warmism is a money-grubbing racket, not science.

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."

Some advice from long ago for Warmists: "If ifs and ans were pots and pans,there'd be no room for tinkers". It's a nursery rhyme harking back to Middle English times when "an" could mean "if". Tinkers were semi-skilled itinerant workers who fixed holes and handles in pots and pans -- which were valuable household items for most of our history. Warmists are very big on "ifs", mays", "might" etc. But all sorts of things "may" happen, including global cooling

Bertrand Russell knew about consensus: "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld, French writer and moralist (1613-1680)

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate" -- William of Occam

"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)

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