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

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

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31 January, 2016

John Cook, the crook Cook

Shearer's cooks tend to be a rough lot and an old shearer once told me that there are three types of shearer's cook:  Cooks, crook cooks and wilful murderers. John Cook is not a wilful murderer. 

He has written a number of articles (e.g. here) in which he explores the apparent mystery that a lot of people don't believe that dangerous global warming is going on. 

He thinks the science is settled (even though his own research shows two thirds of climate scientists taking no position on global warming) so everybody should believe it.  He therefore puts forward various explanations for why some people do not believe it.  In effect he treats climate skepticism as a form of mental illness that needs to be diagnosed and cured.  Leftists have of course been calling conservatives maladjusted at least as far back as 1950 so Cook is offensive but hardly novel in his approach.

I can find nothing in Cook's writings that gives a reason why one should believe that catastrophic warming is imminent.  The known temperature facts are not at issue.  There was an overall warming during the 20th century of about two thirds of one degree Celsius and no statistically significant warming in the 21st century. That's what the Warmist data shows and I agree with it. So the warming we did have was trivial and even that has now stopped.  I would like Mr Cook to tell me what there is to worry about in that situation.

I live only about 15 minutes from where Mr Cook works so he could even come and tell me in person.  I in fact challenge him to do that.  What scientific fact have I overlooked?  I have not found such a fact so far yet but I am always open to new information. He wants to persuade people of the truth of his beliefs so let him start with me. My email address is

He will probably find out, however, that I taught research methods and statistics at a major Australian university for a number of years, so will run like a scalded cat from any contact with me  -- JR. 

Measuring global temperatures: Satellites or thermometers?

Dr. Roy Spencer

The official global temperature numbers are in, and NOAA and NASA have decided that 2015 was the warmest year on record. Based mostly upon surface Dr_-Roy-Spencerthermometers, the official pronouncement ignores the other two primary ways of measuring global air temperatures, satellites and radiosondes (weather balloons).

The fact that those ignored temperature datasets suggest little or no warming for about 18 years now, it is worth outlining the primary differences between these three measurement systems.

Three Ways to Measure Global Temperatures

The primary ways to monitor global average air temperatures are surface based thermometers (since the late 1800s), radiosondes (weather balloons, since about the 1950s), and satellites measuring microwave emissions (since 1979). Other technologies, such as GPS satellite based methods have limited record length and have not yet gained wide acceptance for accuracy.

While the thermometers measure near-surface temperature, the satellites and radiosondes measure the average temperature of a deep layer of the lower atmosphere. Based upon our understanding of how the atmosphere works, the deep layer temperatures are supposed to warm (and cool) somewhat more strongly than the surface temperatures. In other words, variations in global average temperature are expected to be magnified with height, say through the lowest 10 km of atmosphere. We indeed see this during warm El Nino years (like 2015) and cool La Nina years.

The satellite record is the shortest, and since most warming has occurred since the 1970s anyway we often talk about temperature trends since 1979 so that we can compare all three datasets over a common period.

Temperatures of the deep ocean, which I will not address in detail, have warmed by amounts so small — hundredths of a degree — that it is debatable whether they are accurate enough to be of much use. Sea surface temperatures, also indicating modest warming in recent decades, involve an entirely new set of problems, with rather sparse sampling by a mixture of bucket temperatures from many years ago, to newer ship engine intake temperatures, buoys, and since the early 1980s infrared satellite measurements.

How Much Warming?

Since 1979, it is generally accepted that the satellites and radiosondes measure 50% less of a warming trend than the surface thermometer data do, rather than 30-50% greater warming trend that theory predicts for warming aloft versus at the surface.

This is a substantial disagreement.

Why the Disagreement?

There are different possibilities for the disagreement:

1) Surface thermometer analyses are spuriously overestimating the true temperature trend

2) Satellites and radiosondes are spuriously underestimating the true temperature trend

3) All data are largely correct, and are telling us something new about how the climate system operates under long-term warming.

First let’s look at the fundamental basis for each measurement.

All Temperature Measurements are “Indirect”

Roughly speaking, “temperature” is a measure of the kinetic energy of motion of molecules in air.

Unfortunately, we do not have an easy way to directly measure that kinetic energy of motion.

Instead, many years ago, mercury-in-glass or alcohol-in-glass thermometers were commonly used, where the thermal expansion of a column of liquid in response to temperature was estimated by eye. These measurements have now largely been replaced with thermistors, which measure the resistance to the flow of electricity, which is also temperature-dependent.

Such measurements are just for the air immediately surrounding the thermometer, and as we all know, local sources of heat (a wall, pavement, air conditioning or heating equipment, etc.) can and do affect the measurements made by the thermometer. It has been demonstrated many times that urban locations have higher temperatures than rural locations, and such spurious heat influences are difficult to eliminate entirely, since we tend to place thermometers where people live.

Radiosondes also use a thermistor, which is usually checked against a separate thermometer just before weather balloon launch. As the weather balloon carries the thermistor up through the atmosphere, it is immune from ground-based sources of contamination, but it still has various errors due to sunlight heating and infrared cooling which are minimized through radiosonde enclosure design. Radiosondes are much fewer in number, generally making hundreds of point measurements around the world each day, rather than many thousands of measurements that thermometers make.

Satellite microwave radiometers are the fewest in number, only a dozen or so, but each one is transported by its own satellite to continuously measure virtually the entire earth each day. Each individual measurement represents the average temperature of a volume of the lower atmosphere about 50 km in diameter and about 10 km deep, which is about 25,000 cubic kilometers of air. About 20 of those measurements are made every second as the satellite travels and the instrument scans across the Earth.

The satellite measurement itself is “radiative”: the level of microwave emission by oxygen in the atmosphere is measured and compared to that from a warm calibration target on the satellite (whose temperature is monitored with several highly accurate platinum resistance thermometers), and a cold calibration view of the cosmic background radiation from space, assumed to be about 3 Kelvin (close to absolute zero temperature). A less sophisticated (infrared) radiation temperature measurement is made with the medical thermometer you place in your ear.

So, Which System is Better?

The satellites have the advantage of measuring virtually the whole Earth every day with the same instruments, which are then checked against each other. But since there are very small differences between the instruments, which can change slightly over time, adjustments must be made.

Thermometers have the advantage of being much greater in number, but with potentially large long-term spurious warming effects depending on how each thermometer’s local environment has changed with the addition of manmade objects and structures.

Virtually all thermometer measurements require adjustments of some sort, simply because with the exception of a few thermometer sites, there has not been a single, unaltered instrument measuring the same place for 30+ years without a change in its environment. When such rare thermometers were identified in a recent study of the U.S., it was found that by comparison the official U.S. warming trends were exaggerated by close to 60%. Thus, the current official NOAA adjustment procedures appear to force the good data to match the bad data, rather than the other way around. Whether such problem exist with other countries data remains to be seen.

Changes in radiosonde design and software have occurred over the years, making some adjustments necessary to the raw data.

For the satellites, orbital decay of the satellites requires an adjustment of the “lower tropospheric” (LT) temperatures, which is well understood and quite accurate, depending only upon geometry and the average rate of temperature decrease with altitude. But the orbital decay also causes the satellites to slowly drift in the time of day they observe. This “diurnal drift” adjustment is less certain. Significantly, very different procedures for this adjustment have led to almost identical results between the satellite datasets produced by UAH (The University of Alabama in Huntsville) and RSS (Remote Sensing Systems, Santa Rosa, California).

The fact that the satellites and radiosondes – two very different types of measurement system — tend to agree with each other gives us somewhat more confidence in their result that warming has been much less than predicted by climate models. But even the thermometers indicate less warming than the models, just with less of a discrepancy.

And this is probably the most important issue…that no matter which temperature monitoring method we use, the climate models that global warming policies are based upon have been, on average, warming faster than all of our temperature observation systems.

I do believe “global warming” has occurred, but (1) it is weaker than expected, based upon independent satellite and weather balloon measurements; (2) it has been overestimated with poorly adjusted surface-based thermometers; (3) it has a substantial natural component; and (4) it is likely to be more beneficial to life on Earth than harmful.


Challenging Obama's State of the Climate

President Obama used borderline threatening words during his final State of the Union Address — language he directed towards those who are skeptical of his position on man-made climate change:

    "Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it.  You’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it".

It is quite peculiar that Obama said “you’ll be debating” all these people. Last time I checked, there has never been a large-scale debate over the likelihood of man-induced, irreversible, catastrophic climate change. Not even once! Ironically, the “science” of global warming has always been presented as “settled” since day one. Al Gore has never participated in a single public debate to defend his wild assertions in either his book or his movie. President Obama hasn’t debated on the topic, either.

If indeed the science does so strongly suggest that the planet will soon be doomed and climate chaos will be ensuing in the not-so-distant future because of fossil fuel consumption, why don’t they just have a big, publicized, end-all debate to persuade the half of Americans and the majority of the rest of the world who don’t believe climate legislation is a top priority? Perhaps it is because there’s not quite so much “consensus” among scientists about climate change as the U.N., the Obama administration and Big Green Inc. would like us all to believe.

The White House has repeatedly emphasized that nothing “poses a greater threat to our children, our planet, and future generations than climate change.” That is a very serious statement. But why hasn’t anyone, such as James Hansen, NASA’s top climate scientist, or UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, or Canadian science broadcaster David Suzuki ever stepped up to the debate plate? Enough crouching behind computer models that have never been accurate and patting each other’s back at fancy conferences in exotic places all over the world that cost a city’s worth of “carbon-footprints.”

What if the greatest threat to our children, our planet and future generations was instead a large centralized government that intimidates its way to control every aspect of life? Maybe we should be more troubled about an all-powerful State that heedlessly hands billions of dollars to crony green organizations and corrupt third-world political leaders, and then taxes the one thing — carbon — that has lifted more people out of poverty than just about anything else in the history of the world.

Carbon is the main component of food and fuel. A carbon tax is far more regressive even than a sales tax because with a sales tax a high fashion dress is taxed more than a discount dress — but they both use the same amount of carbon! So the full weight of carbon taxation falls on the poor. So much for a political party that claims to represent the lower classes or an ideology that helps the economy!

For science to work as it is supposed to work, ideas need to be argued and debated. Hypotheses need to be tested. Theories must continually be sifted, pressed and worked over for any possible error. But for the past decade climate change alarmists have not welcomed debate — they’ve avoided it. However, if the U.N. is wrong and the “doubters” are right, the economic impact of climate policies could be devastating — especially to the poor of the world.

We cannot afford to mess this one up. How much do we really know about the global climate system? I mean, they got something as simple as polar bears wrong! Can we really have faith in what they say about something far more complex?

Until welcomed argumentation and headline debates occur over this very important topic, and climate science is tried by fire and tested by time, I cannot help but distrust nearly everything you say about the matter, Mr. President.

For now, if I must, I’m content to be lonely (even though I’m not).


West Virginia Turns to Prayer as Obama’s ‘Clean Power’ Looms

There’s little separation between church and the fossil fuel industry in West Virginia’s coal country. Still reeling from recent mine shutdowns, the state legislature has set aside Jan. 31 as a “day of prayer for coal miners.”

On Sunday, a congregation of pastors, businessmen, and lawmakers will seek divine intervention in one of the nation’s hardest-hit coal economies. Doubtless, though, many will ask for deliverance from what they consider a man-made crisis.

“West Virginia’s absolutely in dire straits,” Roger Horton, president of Citizens for Coal, the organization that spearheaded the prayer effort, said in an interview Wednesday with The Daily Signal. “The point we’re trying to stress is that we need a higher power to change the hearts and minds of those who want to destroy Appalachia.”

The legislators and businessmen who gathered at the 43rd annual West Virginia Coal Symposium here seem to agree and likely will pray that God change Washington.

“The vast majority of the problem comes from President Obama and his EPA’s war on coal,” state Senate President Bill Cole, a Republican, told The Daily Signal.

Cole, who also serves as lieutenant governor and is running for governor, argues that the increased cost of new regulations has priced coal out of the market, persuading consumers to use other energy sources and pushing miners out of their jobs.

An Avalanche of Layoffs

Whether he’s right or not, there’s plenty to pray about in the Mountain State.

The first three weeks of January witnessed an avalanche of layoffs, leaving almost 2,000 coal miners permanently out of work by some estimates. And just recently, one of the largest producers in the state, the now bankrupt Alpha Natural Resources, announced its own bad news. In July, the company will cut another 900 jobs.

But even as the boom in natural gas continues to put new pressure on coal, many West Virginians blame government regulation, not the market, for the downturn.

Under the Obama administration, the past seven years have brought new regulations on coal mining and, critics say, a host of new costs. Now the industry is bracing for the latest and most sweeping regulation issued unilaterally by the EPA: the Clean Power Plan.

The rule requires states to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent before 2030 and gives them until Sept. 6 to submit their plans to do it.

The Clean Power Plan is a key component of Obama’s effort to execute the global climate agenda struck last month in Paris. Proponents say the international compact will substantially clean up the environment by encouraging renewable fuels. Opponents say it will bankrupt the coal industry by imposing new regulations.

On Wednesday, Cole told The Daily Signal that communities in his district are still recovering from existing rules.

“We’ve closed down power plant after power plant and destroyed our own market for coal,” the Senate president and lieutenant governor said. “When you get into those southern coal communities, when coal goes away, it’s devastation and poverty in the worst form.”

Fates Intertwined

Cole points to the “ghost towns” in West Virginia’s McDowell County. Once the leading coal-producing region in the nation, the county ranks as one of the poorest in the country. Without mining, the median household income peaks just above $22,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

But it’s not just individual counties that are hurting. The coal market is tightly intertwined with West Virginia’s financial health. Fossil fuel provides more than half of the government’s business income tax and adds billions to the state’s bottom line. 

In recent years, as the coal market shifted, West Virginia lost its footing further. The Associated Press reports that the state expects a budget deficit of $284 million for 2016 and another $466 million in 2017.

West Virginia House Speaker Tim Armstead, a Republican, attributes part of that funding gap to “the devastating ripple effect” of every mine shutdown.

“Every time we see a mine close,” Armstead told The Daily Signal, “our men and women are put out of work. That not only impacts them and their families, but it influences all the businesses in that community.”

And although both of the state’s top lawmakers credit their congressional delegation to Washington for bringing attention to the issue, they say the Obama administration has turned a deaf ear.

“It’s very clear that this over-regulation has stifled production [and] has put our people out of work. They recognize that,” Armstead said of the administration.

Rather than attending the Paris climate summit last year, the House speaker said, he wished “Obama would visit West Virginia instead.”

Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association, said Obama is making good on promises.

“He’s simply done what he’s wanted to do,” Raney said Wednesday, referring to remarks Obama made as a presidential candidate in 2008. “He said he was going to bankrupt the industry when he was running [for president], and that’s what he’s set out to do.”

The administration continues to “circumvent Congress” with executive action and an unaccountable Environmental Protection Agency, the coal association president said.

Congress last month tried to halt the EPA’s Clean Power Plan using the Congressional Review Act. They failed when Obama vetoed their resolution of disapproval aimed at voiding the new rule.

West Virginia is among 27 states that have mounted a legal challenge to the Clean Power Plan, arguing that without congressional approval, the rule amounts to “a power grab.”

Now before the District of Columbia Circuit Court, that case will be decided this summer but is expected to come before the U.S. Supreme Court sometime in 2017.

Although Raney said “going to court is now our only recourse,” he also sees another last option for coal producers fearful of new regulation: prayer.

“If we have enough sense to get out of the Lord’s way, he often provides a path for us,” Raney said. “Certainly he must be aware of the suffering that’s going on and of how deeply its cutting in the coal fields.”


Washed-up misanthropy

The declaration of man as pestilence on the planet is adolescent and tedious

It was grimly fitting that in the same week we remember those who perished in the Holocaust, anti-nuclear protesters should spray-paint the legend ‘mans [sic] fault’ on to a dead whale in Skegness. For both the Holocaust and environmental degradation are totems for today’s misanthropes and anti-humanists, for whom man’s presence on the planet is but a pestilence.

It is a spirit epitomised by a parliamentary motion of 2004 that pronounced humanity to be ‘obscene, perverted, cruel, uncivilised and lethal’ and ‘looks forward to the day when the inevitable asteroid slams into the Earth and wipes them out thus giving nature the opportunity to start again’. It was signed by three people. One was the late Tony Banks. The other two were John McDonnell and Jeremy Corbyn.

The Holocaust was a grave psychological blow for Western civilization, and while it’s understood by most as a monstrous aberration, there has grown the sentiment that it was actually the reverse, that it was the culmination of the ‘Enlightenment project’, and not the rejection of it. This narrative has been popularised by the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, whose book Modernity and the Holocaust (1989) asserted that Auschwitz was the end result of the Enlightenment’s desire to classify, rationalise and ‘to Other’. It was detached, bureaucratic, industrialised slaughter. It was the cool, calculating spirit of modernity that made it possible for cruel things to ‘be done by non-cruel people’.

Postmodernism – or rather, anti-modernism – had its tangible roots in the unfolding shortcomings of Communist states during the 1950s and 1960s and the associated crisis of faith among socialists. Fuelled by the teachings of Herbert Marcuse and his ‘one-dimensional man’ and Theodor Adorno’s ‘administered society’, antimodernism – with its tenets of relativism and subjectivity – blossomed. Modernity was now viewed as oppressive and lethal. Hospitals are no better than prisons, said Michel Foucault. ‘For modernity in its bureaucratic modernity has been discerned everywhere from Auschwitz to McDonald’s’ wrote the sociologist, David Lyon, in 1994 (1).

Bauman’s philosophy that the Holocaust was the Enlightenment writ large filtered down from university seminars in much the same way as Foucault’s theory of omnipotent, ubiquitous invisible power has given birth to Safe Spaces. Edward Said’s writings on ‘orientalism’ have created the notion of subjective, white ‘privileged’ knowledge.

Yet such romantic primitivism is nothing new. In the early-19th century, romantic writers and poets were revolted by industry and modernity – as embodied in Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein. In the 1920s and 1930s, anthropologists in search of innocent, exotic tribes made a comparable journey. Margaret Mead’s 1928 work Coming of Age in Samoa exemplified this new exoticism, with its discredited accounts of that island’s prelapsarian state and the arcadian condition of its inhabitants.

There is also something age-old afoot here. Man has always had the capacity for cruelty. The Holocaust remains shocking and is regarded as exceptional because of its sheer scale, and because it’s in living memory (it also serves as a moral benchmark in a society no longer sure of its values). Yet otherwise, the Holocaust tells us nothing revealing about human beings. It teaches us no lessons. Bauman wrote that science and technology take us to the gas chamber. Yet ever since neolithic man used twine to attach a flint to a stick and make an arrow, man has employed technology in order to kill other men.

Last week in Kenya, there was found the 10,000-year-old remains of 27 people, including young children and heavily pregnant women, beaten, stabbed and shot with arrows, tied up and thrown into a lagoon. In York a large grave containing 80 men was also discovered, dating back to Roman times. Some bodies were beaten in the head with hammers. Most were decapitated.

Such discoveries, like the Holocaust, expose nothing profound about the human condition. Men, who are tribal by nature, have always killed ‘the Other’. They have always used technology and they always will. If present-day misanthropes feel that modern, Western man is a plague on the planet, then they must hate all humanity throughout the ages.

Today’s misanthropic, ‘back-to-nature’ romanticism is but another adolescent manifestation of the revolt of the civilised against civilisation. Just as teenagers will always rebel against their parents, these types will be forever with us, too.

Ultimately, for all its achievements, such as medicine, symphonies, cathedrals, cities and space travel, humanity is neither to be worshipped or to be reviled. Man just is.


Australia's coal-fired power stations at risk of 'death-spiral' - report

This is mostly nonsense.  The idea that "renewables" compete with thermal coal is a laugh.  They are just an unreliable luxury of very little actual use. They CANNOT supply predictable power.

Competition from gas may be a problem but gas prices are in flux so we will have to wait and see on that one.  Gas prices differ widely in different parts of the world so arbitrage must come into play eventually.

The cheapest electricity in Australia has always come from Victoria's brown coal generators in the Latrobe vallety, but they are hated by Warmists -- and a proposed new one was made unviable by environmental requirements in the Gillard years.  Germany is however building a heap of brown coal generators so a return to brown coal in Australia seems likely.  It is undoubtedly the cheapest option

Brown coal deposits are frequently close to the surface so big digging machines just scrape it up and feed it onto a conveyer belt to the power station next door, which is very efficient.  No miners and no trucks needed

Australia's power sector is at risk of a "utility death spiral" due to its reliance on coal, along with utilities in the US, Japan and Germany, according to a report highlighting the environmental-related risk of coal producers.

Additional pressures on the coal industry is coming from the shift by countries such as China and India to rely on domestic sources for coal, rather than imports, to feed their surging demand for electricity generation.

The report, by the University of Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise, pointed to the emergence of renewable sources of energy such as solar and wind, along with competition from gas as additional pressures for the sector.

Other issues include water stress, concerns over air pollution, changes to government policies and the challenge of carbon capture and storage technology, the report noted.

A 'death spiral' occurs as new energy sources take market share from coal-fired power stations, forcing stations to close while also undermining the economics of the centralised electricity grid by forcing higher distribution charges, according to the report.

The use of so-called 'sub-critical' coal-fired power stations which are poor converters of energy from coal into electricity, use high volums of water for cooling and release high levels of carbon emissions puts the utilities and coal companies at particular risk in countries such as Australia, according to work by the group.

That risk declines with the use of new generation technology, so-called "super-critical" power stations, which are more expensive to build.

The report comes after US energy giant ExxonMobil this week predicted that global demand for coal would peak in about 2025 and then fall into terminal decline.

In contrast to coal's decline, demand for natural gas would increase by 50 per cent over the next 26 years, ExxonMobil predicted in its  2016 Outlook for Energy report.



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29 January, 2016

Warmists and the decline in trust of science:  The flat earth movement

The one thing that is clear about Warmism is that it is heavily politicized.  Most Leftists accept the theory as fact and most conservatives doubt it. Certainly, most GOP Congressmen are firmly against doing anything about it.  And almost all the scientific voices we hear in the media are Warmist.

So roughly half the population think the scientists are fooling us, which they demonstrably are.  So Warmism has clearly disrupted people's trust in science. 

But Warmism is not the only disrupter of trust in science.  The way official food and diet recommendations periodically go into reverse must also incite cynicism about scientific wisdom. Many conservatives say that the government has no business trying to dictate what people should put in their mouths and, if that dictum had been followed, medical science might have been spared the ignominy it has suffered.

So what happens when large numbers of people mistrust science?  It throws everything into doubt.  People tend to look for what makes sense to them personally and go by that alone.

And there are two well established scientific facts that were once virtually unquestioned but which have recently gained many doubters:  The benefits of vaccinations and the shape of the earth.  The antivaxxers risk the lives of their children by refusing all vaccinations and there are now once again people who believe the earth is flat.

Of these, the anti-vaxxers are the big problem.  If there are enough of them they destroy herd immunity and thus take away the only protections newborns have from various serious and life threatening illnesses.  Anti-vaxxers kill not only their own children but also other babies too young to be vaccinated. 

Leftists, of course, don't worry about killing.  They cry compassion but are happy to kill millions with "incorrect" beliefs and allow killing of unborn  babies with no compunction at all. Conservatives, however, tend to value life greatly -- so from a conservative viewpoint very stern measures against anti-vaxxers could be justified.

But how can we justify such measures when their only clear justification is a scientific one and people have good reasons to distrust science?  How can we ask people to trust science when science is so obviously flawed?  So distrust of science is in fact killing babies. 

But the distrust of science becomes really stark when we find that there really is now a flat earth movement.  There are now an evidently considerable number of people who do believe the earth is flat. They are in no way as dangerous as the anti-vaxers but just by their existence they show how seriously the reputation of science has been damaged.

The flat earthers are sometimes called an Alt-Right movement but I can't see that they have much in common with mainstream conservatives.  They seem mainly to be believers in spirituality and the occult -- and such beliefs tend to be strongest among Leftist voters.  I reproduce below an excerpt from one of the more prominent flat-earthers, Makia Freeman.:

Socrates, the father of philosophy, showed that questions are more powerful than answers; indeed, his questions were so powerful that the leaders of Athens put him to death for them. So, let us never be afraid to ask questions – it is the only way we can learn and be truly sure of things.

Whatever the answer turns out to be, the idea that the Earth on which we all live could indeed be flat has ignited intense curiosity and healthy debate – and has already shaken people out of their apathy and generated some genuine critical thinking. This in itself is a victory for freedom, because once enough people start to question their reality in every way, the global conspiracy being only held up by deception and subterfuge will collapse.

It Sounds Crazy, But Open Your Mind …

Virtually everyone who first comes to the subject of flat earth (myself included) is thinking: “Flat earth? Are you serious? You must be kidding. That’s crazy! Don’t waste my time. That Makia Freeman guy has really gone off the deep end this time …” I know, I know. That’s how I first reacted to this topic. Let’s face it: we’re all conditioned to believe the world is arranged in a certain way. Right from the moment we go to school around age 5, we are shown miniature globes of the world and told the Earth is a ball. Our society makes fun of people we perceive to be crazy or behind the times by deriding them as “people who still think the world is flat.”

But how do you know the Earth is a globe? Only because you were told so by your teacher, who was told by someone else, who was told by someone else, who was told by someone else, who was told by some “authority” or “expert”. We already know the tendency humanity has for worshipping those outside of itself, for unquestioning obedience to authority, especially other people in uniform, white coats or black robes. Somewhere along the way as a child, you were probably shown some books with photographs, but as has been well exposed, space photos and videos are easily faked, as NASA knows very well. Those at the very top of the pyramid, who control the media, publishing houses and the education curriculum, do have the means to pull of such a grand deception.

Is the Flat Earth the Mother of All Conspiracies?

The question of whether we live on a flat earth or globe-shaped earth is not some passing fad of little importance. If we have been deceived into thinking the earth is a globe when it is really flat, it conclusively proves just how easily we can be hoodwinked into believing lies and absurdities on a colossal scale. If we have been massively fooled about the very planet on which we live, we could have been fooled on any other topic in existence.

Is the debate over the flat earth the “Mother of all Conspiracies”? Not quite, in my opinion. If it’s true, it’s huge: I’d call it the second biggest conspiracy. The biggest conspiracy, though, is forgetting Who We Are – infinitely creative, spiritual beings having a brief human journey – and allowing other entities to siphon off our life energy. This includes the issue of what happens when we die (ie. whether we are forcibly recycled at the point of death through a soul net?)

In my opinion, flat earth is a close second, but ultimately, the two issues are connected; authors such as James of the Wing Makers have joined the two in their work — by describing our world as the Hologram of Deception and describing the phenomenon of forced reincarnation. The notion that we are entrapped in some kind of holographic quarantine is highly disturbing, yet deserves our full attention.


NOAA: Global warming may affect your beer

Pure speculation. Hops are a cool climate crop but all that warming would do would be to shift the farms a bit further polewards.  And with warming opening up places like Siberia to crops, large new areas would become suitable for cool climate crops

As if the prospects of coastal flooding, hotter summers and species extinction were not enough to get your attention, the federal government recently reported that global warming may affect the taste and cost of beer.

No, we're not talking about warm beer.

Heat and drought threaten to increase the cost of hops, which give beer much of its flavor, reported the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website, and brewers in California have been scrambling to deal with water shortages that may or may not be related to global warming.

An article posted on earlier this month says almost all of the United States' hop production occurs in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, which saw a hotter and drier growing season in 2015 that threatened the size of the hops crop. June temperatures in the three states were the highest since the 1890s.

Hops production ultimately rose 11 percent last year over 2014 and the value of the crop jumped by a third, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said. That doesn't sound so bad for growers until you notice that acreage planted in hops increased 14.8 percent, meaning growers had to work harder to produce the same amount of hops. USDA attributed the increase in value to a switch to varieties that are higher in value and increased demand from craft brewers.

Hops growers apparently came through 2015 in reasonably good shape, but it is not clear whether that will always be the case. Scientists at the University of Washington say the likelihood of dry summers with temperatures greater than some hops like will rise as global warming increases. The impact varies with the variety of hops.

CNBC reported in July that growers incurred additional expenses because of water shortages and quoted an investment banker as saying the long-term trend will be for higher hops prices.

"You have a shortage of water. You're going to have more demand from the craft breweries, and so you kind of pass the inflection point where the demand is greater for hops than the supply," said Michael Butler, chairman and CEO of Seattle-based Cascadia Capital. "The consumer will pay a higher price for beer. That is without question."

Ceres, a sustainability advocacy organization, said last March that hop prices had risen more than 250 percent over the previous decade because of increased demand and lower yields.

The future effects of warming on hops production are not completely known. Increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere boosts some plant growth, and it's possible hops growing could shift further north as temperatures rise, although the transition could create extra costs for growers.

Farther south in California, falling river levels related to a historic drought have pressured some brewers, reported.

National Public Radio said in 2014 that some were concerned by the prospect of having to switch to groundwater, which often has high mineral content.

NPR quoted Jeremy Marshall, head brewer at Lagunitas Brewing Co. in Petaluma, as saying brewing with groundwater there "would be like brewing with Alka-Seltzer."

These worries help explain support for action on global warming from a number of brewers, including at  least a couple with breweries in the Asheville area, New Belgium Brewery and Sierra Nevada Brewing.

More than 42 signed a "Brewery Climate Declaration" last March to bring attention to climate change issues and many have taken steps to decrease their environmental impact. It will be interesting to see how many push for government action on warming as well.


Ethanol Is a ‘Complete Ripoff, a Complete Boondoggle’

On his nationally syndicated radio show last Wednesday, Mark Levin set the record straight on ethanol subsidies calling them a "complete ripoff, a complete boondoggle."

"In the end, even the most generous analysis estimates that it takes the energy equivalent of three gallons of gasoline to make four gallons of [ethanol]," he said. "It is a complete rip-off, a complete boondoggle. It is exactly the opposite of what we demand of our government. It is as establishment as it gets; it is as big government as it gets; and it is as anti-consumer as it gets.”

Here is a transcript of what Mark Levin had to say on his program:

    “As ethanol and other biofuels require corn, sugar cane, additional crops to produce blends of gasoline, these essential crops are diverted from food production to energy production, and as demand for corn and sugar cane increases more farmers around the world respond by converting their fields from rice and wheat and soy to more profitable government-subsidized products like biofuels, like ethanol.

    “Government policy played a significant role in driving up demand and prices, not only for fuel, but food, which has actually caused enormous damage to the Third World. And as for demand for corn increased in the United States, and since corn is one form or another is fed to most livestock, the price of beef, fowl, dairy products, all went up. A ripple effect occurs across the economic and global landscape.

    “This isn’t ideology, this isn’t purism. This is fact. This isn’t an abstraction. This isn’t theory. This is economic reality. That’s why we’re conservatives. That’s why we talk about free market capitalism. Are we supposed to abandon it this election cycle? Well, if we abandon it, nobody’s going to defend it.

    “Now here’s what even the Associated Press wrote several years ago. Ready for this?

    “The AP:

    “‘Ethanol is [much,] much less efficient [than gasoline], especially when it is made from corn. Just growing corn requires expending energy: plowing, planting, fertilizing and harvesting all require machinery that burns fossil fuel. Modern agriculture relies on large amounts of fertilizer and pesticides, both of which are produced by methods that consume fossil fuels. Then there’s the cost of transporting the corn to an ethanol plant, where the fermentation and distillation processes consume yet more energy. Finally, there’s the cost of transporting the fuel to filling stations. And because ethanol is more corrosive than gasoline, it can’t be pumped through relatively efficient pipelines, but must be transported by rail or tanker truck.

    “‘In the end, even the most generous analysts estimate that it takes the energy equivalent of three gallons of gasoline to make four gallons of the stuff.

    “It is a complete rip-off, it a complete boondoggle. It is exactly the opposite of what we demand of our government. It is as establishment as it gets; it is as big government as it gets; and it is as anti-consumer as it gets. The statists created this. The statists created this and all the detriments and unintended consequences that go along with it.”


Ethanol politics

By John Stossel

Cars run on fuel. Politicians run on votes, and they’ll do almost anything to get them. That includes supporting mandates that force us to use ethanol, a fuel made from corn that Iowa farmers grow.

They support ethanol because Iowa is the first state to vote on presidential candidates. Candidates want to look strong at the start of the race, so every four years they become enthusiastic ethanol supporters. Even those who claim they believe in markets pander to Iowa’s special interests.

Donald Trump, who doesn’t seem to have a consistent political philosophy aside from bashing critics and foreigners, now has joined the ethanol-praising club. In fact, Trump says regulators should force gas stations to increase the amount of ethanol they use. It’s a convenient way to attack his Iowa rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., who courageously says the mandate should be phased out.

Cruz is right. Legally mandating that a certain percentage of fuel used be ethanol is a bad idea for several reasons:

First, mandating ethanol means more land must be plowed to grow corn for fuel. The Department of Energy estimates that if corn ethanol replaced gasoline completely, we’d need to turn all cropland to corn — plus 20 percent more land on top of that.

Second, requiring ethanol fuel raises the price of corn — bad news for consumers who must pay more for food.

Third, although ethanol’s supporters claim burning corn is “better for the environment,” that’s not true. Once you add the emissions from growing, shipping and processing the corn, ethanol creates more pollution than oil. Environmental groups such as Friends of the Earth, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Clean Air Task Force now oppose its use.

Finally, because corn is grown in America, promoters said ethanol would make us more energy independent. Even if the “independence” argument were valid, fracking accomplishes much more. (Anyway, it isn’t a valid argument. Trade with Mexico and Canada is just fine. We don’t need total independence.)

Since Trump is a businessman, I assume he realizes that ethanol is an expensive boondoggle that wouldn’t survive in a competitive market. But in Iowa Trump says, “Ethanol is terrific.”

Dr. Ben Carson didn’t go that far but according to the Washington Examiner said that it would be wrong to end the subsidies. “People have made plans based on those kind of things,” he says. “You can’t just pull out the rug out from under people.”

It sounds like most politicians want to get rid of subsidies in principle, but never right now — certainly not in the middle of their campaigns. Sen. Marco Rubio says he’d support ending the mandate — after another seven years.

At the Iowa Agriculture Summit, Chris Christie sounded annoyed that President Obama hasn’t been more supportive of ethanol subsidies, saying, “Certainly anybody who’s a competent president would get that done!”

Bernie Sanders, I-Ver., criticized subsidies in the past, but on Iowa public radio he sounded as if he loves the boondoggle: “We have to be supportive of that effort — and take every step that we could, and in every way we can, including the growth of the biofuels industry.”

Of course, big-government Democrats always want to subsidize more. Hillary Clinton says ethanol “holds the promise for not only more fuel for automobiles but for aviation … and for military aircraft; we could be fueling so much air traffic with biofuels. We have just begun to explore what we can do.”

Sure. Explore away! That’s what market competition does. Entrepreneurs constantly explore options in search of profit. But that’s very different from government forcing taxpayers to fund one particular fuel.

Only Cruz and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.) have consistently said that the market, not politicians, should choose fuels. Unfortunately, that principled stance hasn’t brought them much support. Presidential-race betting at has Cruz dropping and Paul tied for last.

Energy expert Jerry Taylor is right to say that running for office in Iowa not only means you must praise Christianity; it means being “willing to sacrifice children to the corn god.”


What's More Dangerous Than VW Emissions? The EPA

Remember the Volkswagen emissions scandal? It’s evaded the headlines of late, but last fall the auto manufacture was busted for installing software in its diesel-fueled vehicles designed to skirt environmental tests. VW is facing billions of dollars in fines as a result along with a scolding from EPA officials — which is rather ironic, observes Robert Bryce, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Here’s why. Writing in Bloomberg View, Bryce says, “The vehicles in question produced 10 to 40 times more nitrogen oxides than the law allowed. And those increased emissions will cause about 60 premature deaths a year in the U.S., according to a study by researchers at MIT and Harvard University.”

However, five years ago the EPA conducted its own study on the Renewable Fuel Standard, a law that forces refiners to combine ethanol with gasoline. According to Bryce, “Ethanol-blended fuel also increases ‘emissions of hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and other pollutants,’ the EPA found, and that will ‘lead to increases in population-weighted annual average ambient PM [particulate matter] and ozone concentrations, which in turn are anticipated to lead to up to 245 cases of adult premature mortality.’” Do the math. The ethanol mandate is far more lethal.

That raises two questions. First, why is the EPA exempt from its own standards? Bryce points out that late last year the EPA “actually increased the amount of ethanol that must be blended into domestic fuel supplies each year by more than 1 billion gallons” despite the science that’s clearly against it. The reason the agency gets away with it, however, is because there is virtually no accountability in government; in other words, laws are for the little people. Secondly, why are some presidential candidates — including Republicans — continuing to support this failed experiment? Bryce has a simple answer: “The reason for their fealty to Big Corn is obvious: No presidential candidate has ever won the Iowa caucuses while opposing corn ethanol.”

What VW did was wrong, even if the standards it has to meet are absurd. But, concludes Bryce, “If the federal government is going to fine Volkswagen billions of dollars for knowingly increasing air pollution, it should take similar action against the corn ethanol industry. Better yet, the EPA should eliminate the ethanol mandate.” That starts by nominating someone who will stand against the ethanol lobby.


GOP Senators Push Attorney General to Investigate EPA Over WOTUS

Two Republican senators opened up a broadside assault against the Environmental Protection Agency last week in the ongoing battle over President Barack Obama’s controversial “Waters of the U.S.” rule (WOTUS), a regulation that extends federal authority over smaller waterways.

In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Sens. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Ben Sasse of Nebraska pushed the Department of Justice to investigate whether the EPA “knowing and willfully violated” federal law.

The call for oversight comes as Republicans complain of ongoing executive overreach, fearing that without a push, the administration will continue to turn a blind eye on internal misconduct.

The letter follows a December 2015 report from the Government Accountability Office that found that the EPA violated anti-lobbying provisions by spending tax dollars to persuade Congress and the public to support proposed WOTUS regulations.

The Daily Signal is the multimedia news organization of The Heritage Foundation.  We’ll respect your inbox and keep you informed.

That conclusion stems from EPA activity during their blitz to crowd source support for the rule. The government agency launched Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube campaigns to counter Republican opposition to WOTUS, the New York Times reports.

In addition, the EPA also employed a social media platform called Thunderclap to solicit comments favorable to the rule.

Later, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy used this solicited support in an attempt to sway Congress back in March of 2015. Before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, she testified:

    "We have received over one million comments, and 87.1 percent of those comments…are supportive of this rule. Let me repeat: 87.1 percent of those one-plus million are supportive of this rule"

According to the GAO, the activity violated the Anti-Deficiency Act—which prohibits the use of tax dollars without Congressional authorization—and therefore constituted illegal “covert propaganda.”

The Anti-Deficiency Act stipulates that any violating agency must conduct its own internal investigation to identify those responsible—individuals who could be subject to a $5,000 fine and 2 years in prison. 

But the EPA insists their activity was all a regular part “of a far reaching effort to educate the American public.”

The senators charge that the EPA hasn’t been sufficiently responsive and are asking that the Department of Justice open their own investigation “to determine if any crime has occurred.” 

In a joint statement, Sasse criticized the EPA for thinking “it can stonewall” and Inhofe blasted the agency for thinking “it can break the law and illegally spend taxpayer dollars.” Sasse continued:

    "Despite the fact that the Government Accountability Office found that they broke federal law by running a covert propaganda campaign to support their sweeping WOTUS rule, the EPA has doubled down on their lawlessness. It’s time for the Department of Justice to investigate".

The letter represents the latest Republican volley in an ongoing battle over the WOTUS rule.

Advocates contend it would ensure clean water for public and environmental health. Opponents criticize the measure for expanding the federal government and threatening private property rights.

Last week, Obama vetoed a proposal passed under the Congressional Review Act that would have scrapped the measure altogether. Republicans also tried, and failed, last December to gut funding for rule during the end of the year spending bill.

The rule still isn’t in effect, however. In October, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily blocked the WOTUS rule.



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28 January, 2016

New Warmist claim hot off the press

Mann, Rahmstorf & Co. had a new article published on 25th and the Daily Mail had their take on it on 26th.  So I am a slow-poke in getting to it on 28th.  It's basically another "Warmest year" claim that ignores statistical significance and fails to note that their temperature changes go both down and up relative to the average.  In other words the changes indicate a temperature plateau rather than systematic warming.  Anyway, I reproduce below both the DM article and the academic journal abstract.  You will see that the whole thing is just another modelling exercise -- and you can get whatever answer you want out of models.  You can get everything but an accurate prediction of  actual temperatures

Since the start of the new millennium, the world has experienced a succession of the warmest years on record.

Now scientists say it is extremely likely these unprecedented high global temperatures have been caused by human emissions from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

It comes just days after Nasa confirmed 2015 was the hottest year on record, with temperatures rising 1.8°F (1°C) above those seen before industrialisation.

The latest study claims it is 'extremely unlikely' that 13 of the 15 hottest years to have occurred since records began 150 years ago would happen since 2000 due to natural variability.

This, they said, suggests it is 600 to 130,000 times more likely than not that human activities and their influence on the climate have caused this record breaking run of hot weather.

The dataset produced by the Met Office Hadley Centre and the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia found global mean temperatures reached 1°C above pre-industrial levels for the first time.

It said the year's average global temperature was the highest ever recorded.

Professor Stefam Rahmstorf, a physicist at the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, in Germany, said: 'Natural climate variations just can't explain the observed recent global heat records, but man-made global warming can.

'It has led to unprecedented local heat waves across the world - sadly resulting in loss of life and aggravating droughts and wildfires.

'The risk of heat extremes has been multiplied due to our interference with the Earth system, as our data analysis shows.'

The researchers, whose work is published in the journal Scienific reports, analysed real world measurements and combined them with computer simulations of the global climate.

This, they continued, allowed them to work out how the climate may have behaved if there had not been any human greenhouse gas emissions.

The results show the odds of human activity being behind the recent spate of record breaking annual global temperatures are far higher than previously believed.

The Likelihood of Recent Record Warmth

Michael E. Mann, Stefan Rahmstorf, Byron A. Steinman, Martin Tingley & Sonya K. Miller


2014 was nominally the warmest year on record for both the globe and northern hemisphere based on historical records spanning the past one and a half centuries1,2. It was the latest in a recent run of record temperatures spanning the past decade and a half. Press accounts reported odds as low as one-in-650 million that the observed run of global temperature records would be expected to occur in the absence of human-caused global warming. Press reports notwithstanding, the question of how likely observed temperature records may have have been both with and without human influence is interesting in its own right. Here we attempt to address that question using a semi-empirical approach that combines the latest (CMIP53) climate model simulations with observations of global and hemispheric mean temperature. We find that individual record years and the observed runs of record-setting temperatures were extremely unlikely to have occurred in the absence of human-caused climate change, though not nearly as unlikely as press reports have suggested. These same record temperatures were, by contrast, quite likely to have occurred in the presence of anthropogenic climate forcing.

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 19831 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep19831

Why is Newtok in Alaska getting flooded?

Victoria Herrmann, the climate crook below, says it is because of global warming but she doesn't explain why 99% of the rest of the world is NOT getting flooded.  It is plainly a local effect and, as such, not a global effect.  And even The Guardian admits that the land is sinking rather than the sea rising.  There are a few places where coasts have long been sinking -- notably in Eastern England and in some parts of the U.S. East coast.  Newtok is just another one of those

In 2017, it is projected that the highest point in Newtok — the school building — will be underwater. For these Alaskans, climate change is not just a global temperature trend; it is happening under their feet. Shoreline erosion is forcing residents to abandon their community as rising water inundates the lives they once lived. Twenty years ago, the signs were already in place and Newtok made the difficult decision to relocate. Since then, it has been slowly rebuilding its school, homes, and lives inland to escape the ever-encroaching waters.

Newtok residents will be among our country's first climate refugees — but not our last.

Along America's most fragile shorelines, [thousands] will embark on a great migration inland as their homes disappear beneath the water's surface.
In the decades to come, thousands more from along America's most fragile shorelines will embark on a great migration inland as their homes disappear beneath the water's surface. Over the last 10 years, the Isle de Jean Charles community in Louisiana has lost two-thirds of its residents to dislocation. In the Chesapeake Bay, Tangier Island's shoreline recedes by about 14 feet a year. On Washington's Olympic Peninsula, the Quinault Indian Nation relies on a 2,000-foot-long sea wall for protection until it can complete its move uphill.

For them and the residents of dozens of other American towns and ultimately cities, the question is no longer what will be lost to climate change, but what will be saved.

Over the last seven years, President Obama has built a legacy of action on climate change. He negotiated a bilateral agreement with China to reduce greenhouse emissions, lowered tariffs on clean technologies to encourage their spread, and set new rules to cut carbon at home with the Clean Power Plan. With the climate change agreement in Paris successfully negotiated in December, he is set to use his final year in office to continue his commitment to reduce America's greenhouse gas emissions, to try to “accelerate the transition away from old, dirtier energy sources,” as he said in his State of the Union speech.

While it is essential to mitigate the sources of carbon in the United States, it will not help citizens on the front lines of climate change right now. In order to alleviate the most extreme consequences of a shifting climate, the president must give equal attention to helping communities adapt to a rapidly changing homeland.

As they stand today, federal programs for disaster assistance are limited and mostly unavailable to towns that require climate-induced relocation. Relief programs focus on sudden natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, and on rebuilding in place, not on financially supporting the relocation of towns facing gradual inundation.

Because of this, coastal communities across the country must rely on ad hoc federal and state grants, and attempt to rebuild and relocate in bits and pieces, in the hope that the work will be done before an emergency evacuation is needed.

Some steps have been taken to provide support adaptation specific support, but they fall short of any real impact. In September 2015 during the first presidential visit to the Arctic, Obama pledged $2 million to help with voluntary climate-induced relocation efforts in Alaska. This covers less than 2% of the cost to relocate one town, estimated at $100 to $200 million.

In Alaska alone, climate change flooding and shoreline erosion already affects more than 180 villages, 31 of which are in “imminent” danger of becoming uninhabitable.

To truly make a lasting climate change legacy, Obama must take seriously the issue of climate relocation. This means creating a legal and financial structure that can adequately respond to communities in need.

The first step is simple: Convene local, state, and federal stakeholders to draft a framework for relocating all climate refugees within the United States. The difficulty will be in the details, especially determining the source of the financial resources that will be required. The debate over who will fund relocation and which agencies will lend technical assistance will be intense. But those negotiations must begin in order to protect the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.

In September during his visit to Alaska, Obama told the country, “Climate change is no longer some far-off problem. It is happening here. It is happening now.” He must recognize American climate refugees today and use his last year in office to inaugurate the process of saving them from America's eroding edges.


The Climate Snow Job

A blizzard! The hottest year ever! More signs that global warming and its extreme effects are beyond debate, right? Not even close.

An East Coast blizzard howling, global temperatures peaking, the desert Southwest flooding, drought-stricken California drying up—surely there’s a common thread tying together this “extreme” weather. There is. But it has little to do with what recent headlines have been saying about the hottest year ever. It is called business as usual.

Surface temperatures are indeed increasing slightly: They’ve been going up, in fits and starts, for more than 150 years, or since a miserably cold and pestilential period known as the Little Ice Age. Before carbon dioxide from economic activity could have warmed us up, temperatures rose three-quarters of a degree Fahrenheit between 1910 and World War II. They then cooled down a bit, only to warm again from the mid-1970s to the late ’90s, about the same amount as earlier in the century.

Whether temperatures have warmed much since then depends on what you look at. Until last June, most scientists acknowledged that warming reached a peak in the late 1990s, and since then had plateaued in a “hiatus.” There are about 60 different explanations for this in the refereed literature.

That changed last summer, when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) decided to overhaul its data, throwing out satellite-sensed sea-surface temperatures since the late 1970s and instead relying on, among other sources, readings taken from the cooling-water-intake tubes of oceangoing vessels.

The scientific literature is replete with articles about the large measurement errors that accrue in this data owing to the fact that a ship’s infrastructure conducts heat, absorbs a tremendous amount of the sun’s energy, and vessels’ intake tubes are at different ocean depths. See, for instance, John J. Kennedy’s “A review of uncertainty in in situ measurements and data sets of sea surface temperature,” published Jan. 24, 2014, by the journal Reviews of Geophysics.

NOAA’s alteration of its measurement standard and other changes produced a result that could have been predicted: a marginally significant warming trend in the data over the past several years, erasing the temperature plateau that vexed climate alarmists have found difficult to explain. Yet the increase remains far below what had been expected.

It is nonetheless true that 2015 shows the highest average surface temperature in the 160-year global history since reliable records started being available, with or without the “hiatus.” But that is also not very surprising. Early in 2015, a massive El Niño broke out. These quasiperiodic reversals of Pacific trade winds and deep-ocean currents are well-documented but poorly understood. They suppress the normally massive upwelling of cold water off South America that spreads across the ocean (and is the reason that Lima may be the most pleasant equatorial city on the planet). The Pacific reversal releases massive amounts of heat, and therefore surface temperature spikes. El Niño years in a warm plateau usually set a global-temperature record. What happened this year also happened with the last big one, in 1998.

Global average surface temperature in 2015 popped up by a bit more than a quarter of a degree Fahrenheit compared with the previous year. In 1998 the temperature rose by slightly less than a quarter-degree from 1997.

When the Pacific circulation returns to its more customary mode, all that suppressed cold water will surge to the surface with a vengeance, and global temperatures will drop. Temperatures in 1999 were nearly three-tenths of a degree lower than in 1998, and a similar change should occur this time around, though it might not fit so neatly into a calendar year. Often the compensatory cooling, known as La Niña, is larger than the El Niño warming.

There are two real concerns about warming, neither of which has anything to do with the El Niño-enhanced recent peak. How much more is the world likely to warm as civilization continues to exhale carbon dioxide, and does warming make the weather more “extreme,” which means more costly?

Instead of relying on debatable surface-temperature information, consider instead readings in the free atmosphere (technically, the lower troposphere) taken by two independent sensors: satellite sounders and weather balloons. As has been shown repeatedly by University of Alabama climate scientist John Christy, since late 1978 (when the satellite record begins), the rate of warming in the satellite-sensed data is barely a third of what it was supposed to have been, according to the large family of global climate models now in existence. Balloon data, averaged over the four extant data sets, shows the same.

It is therefore probably prudent to cut by 50% the modeled temperature forecasts for the rest of this century. Doing so would mean that the world—without any political effort at all—won’t warm by the dreaded 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100 that the United Nations regards as the climate apocalypse.

The notion that world-wide weather is becoming more extreme is just that: a notion, or a testable hypothesis. As data from the world’s biggest reinsurer, Munich Re, and University of Colorado environmental-studies professor Roger Pielke Jr. have shown, weather-related losses haven’t increased at all over the past quarter-century. In fact, the trend, while not statistically significant, is downward. Last year showed the second-smallest weather-related loss of Global World Productivity, or GWP, in the entire record.

Without El Niño, temperatures in 2015 would have been typical of the post-1998 regime. And, even with El Niño, the effect those temperatures had on the global economy was de minimis.


Once in favor of wind power, Yates residents become overwhelmingly opposed

YATES – Residents of this Orleans County town used to be big supporters of wind power, even urging town leaders to go out and recruit a wind developer.

That’s not true anymore.

Two surveys last fall showed overwhelming opposition to the Lighthouse Wind project proposed by Apex Clean Energy, which wants to erect a total of as many as 70 wind turbines in Yates and the neighboring Town of Somerset in Niagara County. The exact number and location of the turbines has not yet been determined, a company spokesman said last week.

Somerset town leaders have been vocal in their opposition to the project, hiring former state Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco to provide legal muscle for their fight against the plan.

Yates leaders responded to the plan more quietly, with the result that some of them aren’t in office anymore.

James J. Simon, running for supervisor on an anti-wind power platform, won the seat as a write-in candidate after losing to incumbent John B. Belson by seven votes in the Republican primary. Yates voters also elected John B. Riggi, president of the anti-wind group Save Ontario Shores, to the Town Board.

The citizens group Save Ontario Shores mailed a survey to Yates property owners last fall, and the results showed 77 percent opposition to the Apex project.

The town then mailed out its own survey, targeting all registered voters as well as property owners. The result, announced just before Christmas, was 65 percent opposition to Lighthouse Wind.

The company viewed the smaller percentage of opponents in the town survey as encouraging. Dahvi Wilson, Apex senior manager of public affairs, said, “We believe the results of this survey demonstrate what we have found over time. When people have a chance to learn the facts about the project, rather than being forced to rely on the misinformation being pushed by opponents, they become more supportive of Lighthouse Wind and what it means for this community.”

But Simon had a different view of the results. “By sending out to registered voters as well as property owners, we cast a much wider net,” he said.

He noted that there was some objection to sending out 2,608 surveys when the town’s population is only about 2,500. By including all property owners, it meant that out-of-towners, even some out-of-staters, were able to weigh in. In all, 1,187 surveys were mailed back.

The Yates figures jibe closely with a Somerset survey conducted last spring by that town’s government, which showed opposition as high as 67 percent, depending on how the question was phrased. Its survey went to all property owners, and 56 percent of them responded.

Simon called it a “curious thing” that when Yates conducted a wind power survey in 2007, at a time when there was no actual project pending, 87 percent of households said they agreed with this statement: “The town should encourage wind energy facilities to locate in the Town of Yates.”

The 2007 survey also showed 89 percent of Yates residents supported tax breaks for wind power companies. Last month’s survey showed that 57 percent opposed a tax break for Lighthouse Wind.

So what happened to turn the results almost completely around eight years later?

Simon said, “The public’s more informed, more concerned. Everybody can Google everything. People have become more educated and are more opposed to wind power.”

Wilson of Apex said, “Until our application is submitted in summer 2016, it is impossible to fully judge the project on its merits. The Yates Town Board has taken a very responsible approach in waiting to take a position until all of the relevant information has been collected and submitted as part of the application process, and we encourage others to follow its lead.”


Recycling Makes Greens Go Gaga, but It’s a Real Burden for the Rest of Us

If you’re worried about the planet, please make sure your trash is buried in a landfill; there’s plenty of space available.

On the surface, the phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle” may seem like a sensible call to action for those who want to limit carbon emissions or reduce the amount of waste left behind for future generations.

The reality, however, is that the costs associated with the process of recycling almost always outweigh the benefits.

Even the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it only makes sense economically and environmentally to recycle about 35 percent of discarded materials. Among those materials are paper and aluminum cans, according to the agency.

Recycling 1 ton of paper or aluminum cans, the agency says, can save about 3 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over producing those materials anew.

But not so fast.

Paper mills pay for the trees they process. If it was cost-effective to recycle scrap paper, producers would be beating down your door to buy it. But they aren’t.

That means it’s more expensive and more resource-intensive to recycle old paper than to cut and pulp pine trees and then replant seedlings for processing when mature.

Plastic provides another cautionary tale. Given the recent dramatic decline in crude oil prices, it is now cheaper to make a new plastic container than to recycle an old one.

Even if that were not true, the EPA says that recycling a ton of plastic saves only about a ton of carbon dioxide. However, that estimate doesn’t take into account the water most consumers use to rinse their plastic containers before they put them into a recycling bin.

New York Times science columnist John Tierney recently wrote, citing the work of author Chris Goodall, “If you wash plastic in water that was heated by coal-derived electricity, then the net effect of your recycling could be more carbon in the atmosphere.”

Glass is an even worse recyclable. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1 ton you have to recycle 3 tons of glass. If one includes the cost of collecting glass waste in small quantities from neighborhoods, and the pollution produced by the collection trucks and the recycling process itself, glass recycling creates more greenhouse gas emissions and is more expensive than making new glass, which comes primarily from sand, an abundant raw material.

No wonder many municipalities across the country continue to pick up glass in recycling trucks only to dump it at the local landfill.

Why the charade? Because “reduce, reuse, recycle” is an emotional mantra, not reasonable environmental policy, and years of indoctrination has left most Americans blind to the actual evidence surrounding recycling programs.

By sending an extra fleet of trucks around town once a week, adherents of the recycling religion actually are undermining their stated goal of protecting the environment.

It doesn’t help that the rise of the recycling movement has created a powerful interest group of recyclers who lobby politicians to keep things the way they are.

More rational environmental policies would consider the costs and benefits of recycling programs and scrap those that are wasteful and harmful to the environment.

If recycling were truly cost-effective, private companies would be lined up at your doorstep to buy your trash. Don’t look now because they’re not there.

The true recycling test is whether someone is willing to pay you to sort and save your trash. If they’re not, what you’ve been told about recycling in the past is probably just garbage.


Congress Deserves Credit for Trying to Rein in EPA, but More Is Needed

Congress deserves some credit. They passed legislation to try and block some of the Environmental Protection Agency’s overreach, even recognizing that President Barack Obama would veto its bills.

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress can use an expedited process to rescind agency rules and block an agency from issuing any rule that is substantially the same as the rejected rule.

This is precisely what Congress did for three egregious Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules: two greenhouse gas (GHG) rules, the president’s Clean Power Plan and new source performance standards for greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, and the infamous EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.

Clean Power Plan and New Source Performance Standards

The Clean Power Plan requires states to meet carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals for existing power plants. The greenhouse gas New Source Performance Standards rule caps emissions of carbon dioxide from new power plants so low as to effectively prevent any coal power plant from running without carbon capture and sequestration technology (which has yet to be proven feasible).

The rules are all pain and no gain. The rules would be extremely costly to American families and businesses, particularly so for the poor, Midwestern states which rely more heavily on coal for electricity, and the manufacturing sector which is on the threshold of renewed growth brought on by the oil and gas revolution.

What’s the benefit of this self-inflicted harm to the economy and American people? Next to nothing. The entire purpose of reducing greenhouse gasses is allegedly to have an impact on global temperatures (reductions in greenhouse gasses are just a means to that alleged end, but it often gets confused as the end itself).

Using the “Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change,” developed with support from the EPA, climatologists Paul Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels estimate that the Clean Power Plan will avert a meager 0.018 degree Celsius (C) of warming by the year 2100.

In fact, if the U.S. went far beyond this greenhouse gas regulation and implemented a plan that crippled the economy by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 100 percent, the world would only be 0.137 degree Celsius cooler by 2100. Including 100 percent cuts from the entire industrialized world merely avert warming by 0.278 degree Celsius by the turn of the century.

Waters of the United States Rule

This rule seeks to regulate almost every type of water in this country. This could mean anything from certain man-made ditches to “streams” that are dry land almost all year – except after heavy rain. The list of problems with the rule is extensive. For example, the rule:

Ignores the primary role states are supposed to play in implementing the Clean Water Act (this is bad for the environment because states are in the best position to address local water concerns)

Tramples on property rights by requiring property owners to secure far more permits to engage in even ordinary activities such as farming

Undermines the rulemaking process because, as the independent Government Accountability Office ruled, the EPA violated the law through actions it took to garner support for the rule.
To its credit, Congress took action and passed disapproval resolutions under the Congressional Review Act.

While Obama has vetoed all three bills, Congress has made it clear where it stands on these important issues (overrides are unlikely). Regarding the Waters of the United States rule, for example, Obama is the one who is trampling on property rights, ignoring states, hurting the environment, and effectively ignoring alleged illegal actions by the EPA. He’s the one ignoring the attorneys general and state officials from at least 31 states challenging the rule in court, not to mention farmers, home builders, small businesses, and even environmental groups.

Moving forward, Congress should continue to take action to rein in the EPA. Ideally, they would start doing this through the appropriations process. As much as they should be commended for their actions using the Congressional Review Act, they failed to address these rules in the recent omnibus appropriations bill.

There’s no question that it can be frustrating when Congress, who delegated its lawmaking power to the EPA in the first place, finds it very difficult to rein in the agency. The Congressional Review Act is helpful, but this entire experience shows why agencies shouldn’t be able to push such extreme regulations that are not authorized by a reasonable interpretation of statute or inconsistent with the intent of Congress when it enacted the law.

Congress needs to reassert its lawmaking power. This will mean reforming the rulemaking process and making sure that regulations reflect the will of Congress, not the ideological desires of bureaucrats.



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

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


27 January, 2016

We just had the hottest year on record – where does that leave climate denial?

Asks dodgy psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky.  I think I have addressed all his points before but a new lucubration from him is too much fun to ignore.  Lewandowski is the very strange social scientist who thinks you can make valid generalizations about a population without at first obtaining a representative sample of that population.  So his venture into climate science was bound to be amusing.

It is difficult to know  where to start but I was amused by this: "satellites don’t actually measure temperature. Instead, they measure the microwave emissions of oxygen molecules in very broad bands of the atmosphere"

One might as well say that thermometers don't measure temperatures either.  All they measure is the volume in a thin column of mercury or alcohol.

And even his most basic point -- embodied in his heading, which I reproduce above -- is amusing:  He condemns cherrypicking, as well he might, but does exactly that himself.  He takes the fact that the keepers of the terrestrial temperature record show a slight warming in 2015.  But he ignores the fact that any 2015 rise is best accounted for as an El Nino effect.  Even Warmist scientists concede a strong El Nino effect in 2015.

And if you adjusted for the El Nino effect, there may well be no warming from other causes at all. Such an adjustment could rather simply be done by using the atypical warming during the 1998 El Nino as a proxy for 2015.  Is Lewandowsky not curious about why no such adjustment has been done by the adjustment kings at NOAA, NASA and elsewhere? Why is that the one adjustment they have not made?  To ask the question is to answer it, I think.

And, in fact Warmist guru Kevin Trenberth does admit the unrepresentativeness of 2015: "My guess is that 2016 may not be warmer than 2015."  Trenberth, a climate change and El Niño expert at the National Center for Atmospheric Research thinks the current El Niño may already have begun to peak (or have peaked) and thus that the second half of 2016 may cool down again somewhat.

So Lewandowsky's whole argument is a straw house built on sand.  To answer the question in his article title:  "Alive, well and thriving". Lewandowsky is quite simply an ignoramus.

And his boring and quite silly old claim, that a consensus must  be right, is wrong in two ways.  1). The century-long consensus about the causes of peptic ulcers now stands demolished after the discovery of helicobacter pylori. Why is a consensus about warming more robust than that?  2). There is no consensus.  Even "Mr 97%" John Cook showed that only a minority of climate scientists take any position on anthropogenic global warming.  See here.  Once again, an apparent inability to read in Lewandowsky.

And he really gets hilarious when he compares climate scientist predictions  to stockmaket investor decisions.  Is he unaware of how badly unstuck stockmarket investors came in 2008?  By his own analogy, Warmists are in for big predictive failure too.  Lewandowsky must also be the man without a memory.

I think I will leave it at that. I may already have been too unkind to an obviously very limited man.  And I have twice before (here and here) shown that Warmist aspersions on the satellite data don't hold up

At a news conference announcing that 2015 broke all previous heat records by a wide margin, one journalist started a question with "If this trend continues…" The response by the Director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, Gavin Schmidt, summed up the physics of climate change succinctly: "It’s not a question of if…"

Even if global emissions begin to decline, as now appears possible after the agreement signed in Paris last December, there is no reasonable scientific doubt that the upward trends in global temperature, sea levels, and extreme weather events will continue for quite some time.

Politically and ideologically motivated denial will nonetheless continue for a little while longer, until it ceases to be politically opportune.

So how does one deny that climate change is upon us and that 2015 was by far the hottest year on record? What misinformation will be disseminated to confuse the public?

Research has identified several telltale signs that differentiate denial from scepticism, whether it is denial of the link between smoking and lung cancer or between CO2 emissions and climate change.

One technique of denial involves "cherry-picking", best described as wilfully ignoring a mountain of inconvenient evidence in favour of a small molehill that serves a desired purpose. Cherry-picking is already in full swing in response to the record-breaking temperatures of 2015.

Political operatives such as James Taylor of the Heartland Institute – which once compared acceptance of the science of climate change to the Unabomber in an ill-fated billboard campaign – have already denied 2015 set a record by pointing to satellite data, which ostensibly shows no warming for the last umpteen years and which purportedly relegates 2015 to third place.

So what about the satellite data?

If you cannot remember when you last checked the satellites to decide whether to go for a picnic, that’s probably because the satellites don’t actually measure temperature. Instead, they measure the microwave emissions of oxygen molecules in very broad bands of the atmosphere, for example ranging from the surface to about 18km above the earth. Those microwave soundings are converted into estimates of temperature using highly-complex models. Different teams of researchers use different models and they come up with fairly different answers, although they all agree that there has been ongoing warming since records began in 1979.

There is nothing wrong with using models, such as those required to interpret satellite data, for their intended purpose – namely to detect a trend in temperatures at high altitudes, far away from the surface where we grow our crops and make decisions about picnics.

But to use high-altitude data with its large uncertainties to determine whether 2015 is the hottest year on record is like trying to determine whether it’s safe to cross the road by firmly shutting your eyes and ears and then standing on your head to detect passing vehicles from their seismic vibrations. Yes, a big truck might be detectable that way, but most of us would rather just have a look and see whether it’s safe to cross the road.

And if you just look at the surface-based climate data with your own eyes, then you will see that NASA, the US NOAA, the UK Met Office, the Berkeley Earth group, the Japan Meteorological Agency, and many other researchers around the world, all independently arrived at one consistent and certain end result – namely that 2015 was by far the hottest year globally since records began more than a century ago.

Enter denial strategy two: that if every scientific agency around the world agrees on global warming, they must be engaging in a conspiracy! Far from being an incidental ornament, conspiratorial thinking is central to denial. When a scientific fact has been as thoroughly examined as global warming being caused by greenhouse gases or the link between HIV and AIDS, then no contrary position can claim much intellectual or scholarly respectability because it is so overwhelmingly at odds with the evidence.

That’s why politicians such as Republican Congressman Lamar Smith need to accuse the NOAA of having "altered the [climate] data to get the results they needed to advance this administration’s extreme climate change agenda". If the evidence is against you, then it has to be manipulated by mysterious forces in pursuit of a nefarious agenda.

This is like saying that you shouldn’t cross the road by just looking because the several dozen optometrists who have independently attested to your 20/20 vision have manipulated the results because … World Government! Taxation! … and therefore you’d better stand on your head blindfolded with tinfoil.

So do the people who disseminate misinformation about climate actually believe what they are saying?

The question can be answered by considering the stock market. Investors decide on which stock to buy based on their best estimates of a company’s future potential. In other words, investors place an educated bet on a company’s future based on their constant reading of odds that are determined by myriad factors.

Investors put their money where their beliefs are.

Likewise, climate scientists put their money where their knowledge is: physicist Mark Boslough recently offered a $25,000 bet on future temperature increases. It has not been taken up. Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt similarly offered a bet to an Australian "skeptic" on climate change. It was not taken up.

People who deny climate science do not put their money where their mouth is. And when they very occasionally do, they lose.

This is not altogether surprising: in a recent peer-reviewed paper, with James Risbey as first author, we showed that wagering on global surface warming would have won a bet every year since 1970. We therefore suggested that denial may be "… largely posturing on the part of the contrarians. Bets against greenhouse warming are largely hopeless now and that is widely understood."

So the cherry-picking and conspiracy-theorising will continue while it is politically opportune, but the people behind it won’t put their money where their mouth is. They probably know better.


Who needs facts? '2016 Expected to Be the Warmest Year on Record'

The first month of the year isn't even over yet and as people in the Northeast are digging their way out of one of the biggest snowstorms in recorded history, Time magazine has a message for you: "2016 Expected to Be the Warmest Year on Record." Yes, they couldn't even wait for the temperature readings to be evaluated in the months to come to make that prediction. Just as much of the mainstream media have already declared 2014 and 2015 based on highly questionable evidence, they are already declaring 2016 to be even hotter based on absolutely no evidence other than pretending to read future temperatures.

Time was so eager to dive into their "hottest year on record" shtick they couldn't even wait until 2016 started to issue their proclamation. It was actually made on December 17, 2015 as reported by Justin Worland:

    "Next year will likely be the warmest on record thanks to El Niño and ongoing climate change, according to a new report.

    The research, published by the British Met Office, suggests that the average global temperature in 2016 will be between 0.72°C (1.29°F) and 0.96 °C (1.73°F) higher than the average temperature in the second half of the 20th century. Last year was the hottest year ever recorded and meteorologists say that 2015 will beat that record handily barring an unexpected change".

Umm... No. Last year was not the hottest year ever recorded...if you check out the facts from climate scientists who aren't receiving government grants to validate the pre-determined global warming outcome. One such scientist is MIT climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen who makes this observation:

    "Frankly, I feel it is proof of dishonesty to argue about things like small fluctuations in temperature or the sign of a trend. Why lend credibility to this dishonesty?" Lindzen, an emeritus Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT, told Climate Depot shortly after the announcements.

    "All that matters is that for almost 40 years, model projections have almost all exceeded observations. Even if all the observed warming were due to greenhouse emissions, it would still point to low sensitivity," Lindzen continued.

    "But, given the ‘pause.’ we know that natural internal variability has to be of the same order as any other process," Lindzen wrote.

    ..."When someone says this is the warmest temperature on record. What are they talking about? It’s just nonsense. This is a very tiny change period," Lindzen said in November 2015.

    Lindzen cautioned: "The most important thing to keep in mind is – when you ask ‘is it warming, is it cooling’, etc. — is that we are talking about something tiny (temperature changes) and that is the crucial point."

    "And the proof that the uncertainty is tenths of a degree are the adjustments that are being made. If you can adjust temperatures to 2/10ths of a degree, it means it wasn’t certain to 2/10ths of a degree," he added.

    – "70% of the earth is oceans, we can’t measure those temperatures very well. They can be off a half a degree, a quarter of a degree. Even two-10ths of a degree of change would be tiny but two-100ths is ludicrous. Anyone who starts crowing about those numbers shows that they’re putting spin on nothing."

    Climatologist Dr. John Christy said it best: "If you want the truth about an issue, would you go to an agency with political appointees? The government is not the final word on the truth."

As to 2014 when NASA scientists were victoriously cited by the MSM for the claim that year was the hottest on record, well, it turned out those same scientists later admitted that there was only a 38% chance that it was true. Oops!

One of the best analyses of the motivation behind the global warming fraud comes from Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That?

    "...Climatology has become a branch of politics. And in politics, particularly in our rambunctious democracy, statements asserted in the name of some political goal are usually believed or at least supported by those who share the goal. It is necessary for global-warming-of-doom to be true in order to attain the government’s goal (of increasing in size and power), so any statement which supports global warming is likely to be touted by government supporters, even mutually incompatible statements".

Exit question: How long before someone in the MSM starts hyping 2017 as the hottest year on record?


'Global cooling' far more devastating than global warming

By geologist EA (Andy) Johnson

It was called "Global Warming" until it was discovered that computer modelers were changing data to yield their desired results. Now it’s "Climate Change." But, Climate Change is a two-sided coin we should truly be concerned about. Global cooling will be far more devastating than global warming.

In my view, climate change is an agenda against burning fossil fuels, but maybe something much greater. The surrogate issue is carbon dioxide (CO2), which animals exhale and plants inhale. However, burning fossil fuels releases twice as much water vapor (H2O) as CO2, and water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas (it’s why cloudy nights are usually warmer). So why target CO2? Maybe it sounds more threatening. Maybe they just don’t like digging coal and drilling for oil and natural gas. Whatever their agenda is, it’s missing two key elements, historical perspective and end-game.

The northern hemisphere has been in an ice age for 8,000,000 years. The best graphic I’ve seen regarding this is in the lower left corner of a fold out for the "Blue Holes of the Bahamas" (National Geographic, August 2010). This graph depicts climate change as fluctuating sea levels for the last 400,000 years. During this time, the northern hemisphere has experienced four cycles, each lasting 100,000 years. Ice accumulation with lowering sea levels averaged about 90,000 years. Interglacial periods, with rising temperatures, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels averaged about 10,000 years. This explains how stalactites and stalagmites in the Blue Holes are 400 feet under water. They didn’t grow under water; sea levels were 400 feet lower. This graph is the result of compilations of thousands of isotope studies and chemical analyses of ice cores, sea bottom cores, and stalactites and stalagmites from underwater caves. This is real science, not computer modeling of possible future climates, which is more like pseudoscience in my view.

Current sea levels are at or near their upper limit of the past four glacial cycles. This begs the question, are we witnessing the end of an 8,000,000 year-long northern hemisphere ice age, or will we soon begin descending into another 100,000 year ice age cycle? To me, the latter is of far greater concern, equal to another eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano, another asteroid impact, or another pandemic than sea levels rising a few more feet.

So, what is the "Climate Changers" end game? How will they deal with either future warming or cooling? And how, after squandering $21 trillion on the "Great Society" and now being another $20 trillion in debt, how will we ever pay for it? What will replace fossil fuels? If global cooling is next, how will we stop ice from accumulating a mile thick at the Canadian border? Humongous amounts of energy will be needed. Forget more wind farms. With a capacity factor averaging only 33 percent, they could be stacked 10 high and still remain insufficient. Solar at 25 percent CF is barely an honorable mention.

Burning more fossil fuels would help by releasing more water vapor and CO2, but really, in my view, the only power source with sufficient potential is nuclear. Sadly, that option was taken from us by the Democrats, throttled by President Carter in 1979 and finished off by President Clinton and John Kerry (then a Senator) in 1994.

It was an epiphany for aging anti-nuclear protestors, depicted in the CNN sponsored documentary "Pandora’s Promise," when they realized that their nuclear power protesting after Three Mile Island only made us more dependent on fossil fuels, which the present crop of protestors rant about now. Fortunately, we can resurrect nuclear power, in spades, using Integral Fast Reactor technology.

But surely, all of this is known by those attending the recent Paris "Climate Change" conference. Were there any discussions on climate change history and nuclear power? What is their real agenda? Is it that we are facing another world crisis that only a world government by technocrat elitists can solve, as they did with Obamacare. Now that is truly a disturbing thought.


Greenwashing folly

A Greenie sees through some Greenie nonsense

Greenwashed toys only the rich can afford, which will do nothing to reduce global warming, are predicted to cause non-rich people to do other things that will reduce global warming.  Two examples come to mind: Tesla and the California High Speed Rail project.


A $70,000 Tesla Model S produces carbon similar to a 31 mile-per-gallon gasonline-powered car. A $24,000 Toyota Prius get 50 miles per gallon.

So mile-for-mile, a Tesla does almost twice the environmental damage as a Prius. And that is without considering the huge difference in price between the two cars.

The $46,000 price difference, if spent on carbon offset credits, could get rid of the carbon the Prius would emit in ONE THOUSAND YEARS of typical daily driving.

The numbers are a lot worse if a Tesla and a Prius are each driven for 20 years before being scrapped. The waste of the $46,000 that could have paid for carbon offset credits makes the Tesla's carbon footprint about the same as a 1 mile-per-gallon gasoline-powered car.

Yet people who call themselves environmentalists claim that Teslas are good for the planet. That rich people driving around in expensive and evironment-destroying luxury cars will somehow convince average Americans to conserve energy.

California High-Speed Rail

The California High Speed Rail project is the most expensive public-works project in the history of the United States. It is estimated to cost up to $100 billion by the time it is finished. And yet, careful analysis by the Department of Civil and Evironmental Engineering at UC Berkeley has shown that this project might produce NO EVNIRONMENTAL BENEFITS AT ALL.

In 2010, Mikhail Chester and Arpad Horvath summed up this research in a paper: "Life-cycle assessment of high-speed rail: the case in California". And in 2012, they were interviewed for an article in Berkeley News: "Future of California high-speed rail looks green".

From the Berkeley News article:

"The greenhouse gas emission-equivalent for a typical airplane carrying 116 passengers would be a train carrying 130-280 passengers." and "this is not the answer to the state’s greenhouse gas goals. This is a tiny piece of the puzzle."

In other words, a CHSR train might emit between 12 percent and 141 perent MORE carbon than an airliner carrying the same people.

So California is throwing away $100,000,000,000.00 that could have been used to really help the environment. That much money would put solar panels on 5 million homes. Or do equally good things like build wind turbines or save parts of the Earth's rainforests.

Again, this is somehow supposed to convince Americans to stop driving their cars and ride a bus or train that won't take them from where they live to where they work or back again.

The Tragedy of All This

- Wealthy people with a profit motive, and misguided would-be environmentalists with big public relations budgets, make false claims about how green their projects are.

- The media parrots these falsehoods without even bothering to do any fact-checking.

- Honest Americans who want to save the planet are bombarded with this misinformation until it becomes accepted as fact.

- Government pays for foolish projects that won't help anything.

- Developers kick some of that money back to the elected officials.

- The cycle repeats over and over again.


Scientist Bob Carter, Who Led Fight Against Global Warming Alarmism, Passes Away

Australians and New Zealanders are known as no-nonsense straight shooters, people who come to your aid without complaint in times of distress. On September 3, 1939, in response to Hitler’s invasion of Poland, Australia and New Zealand were among the first countries to enter World War II. The countries’ soldiers have had an enviable reputation as first-class fighters since at least 1915. In World War I & II, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, elite Anzac troops distinguished themselves as valued comrades in arms in the defense of freedom.

So it is perhaps not surprising that no one has made a greater contribution to the worldwide fight against climate extremism than Australasian scientist Professor Robert (Bob) M. Carter, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 74.

Born in England, Dr. Carter was raised in New Zealand. He gained his first degree at Otago University, received a Ph.D. from Cambridge University, and became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand before his final tenure at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. Although other climate realists may be better known in their home countries, none have had Carter’s international impact.

Carter was everywhere. He acted as an expert witness on climate change before the U.S. Senate Committee of Environment & Public Works, the Australian and New Zealand parliamentary Select Committees into emissions trading, and in a meeting in parliament house, Stockholm. Carter was the primary science witness in the UK High Court case of Dimmock v. H.M.'s Secretary of State for Education, the 2007 judgment which identified nine major scientific errors in Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth.

He was a regular presenter at The Heartland Institute’s ten International Climate Change Conferences (ICCC), and he even toured Canada to speak, at no charge, at Canadian universities. Carter was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 10th ICCC in Washington, D.C. last June.

Joe Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, said:  "Bob never failed to answer the call to defend climate science, getting on planes to make the long flight from Australia to the U.S., to Paris, and to other lands without complaints or excuses"

Besides his own advanced science research (including over 100 published papers) and regular media appearances across the world, Carter was a lead author of reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change that cite thousands of peer-reviewed papers in the world’s leading science journals that counter climate alarmism.

He was the author of Climate: The Counter Consensus (2010), Taxing Air: Facts and Fallacies about Climate Change (2013), and coauthor of several more books. His understandable, down-to-earth speaking style, uncommon among accomplished researchers, attracted readers and followers in droves.

Carter was a regular participant in climate realist films such as Climate Hustle, which premiered last month with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) in Paris. He acted as an advisor to many climate realist groups: he was a founding member of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition; an emeritus fellow and science policy advisor at Australia’s Institute of Public Affairs; a science advisor at CFACT as well as the Washington D.C.-based Science and Public Policy Institute; the chief science advisor for the International Climate Science Coalition; and a science advisor to Heartland.

Unlike many in the climate debate, Carter never lost his humility or resorted to the sort of attacks we see every day in the climate fight. Professor Chris de Freitas of the School of Environment at the University of Auckland comments: "Bob Carter was a scholar of the highest order and a committed, indefatigable defender of honest science reporting in the climate change debate. He was a true gentleman who never descended to ad hominem attacks on those who disagreed with him"

The next U.S. president must follow Carter’s advice if America is to avoid dangerous and useless climate change policies that cause skyrocketing energy prices and massive unemployment. In his first book, Carter summed up the situation well:

    "To say that human-caused global warming is proven to be a dangerous problem is untrue, and to introduce futile policies aimed at "stopping climate change" is both vainglorious and hugely expensive. Nonetheless, and despite the failure of the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming, all studies of ancient climate indicate that a very real climate problem does exist. It is the risk associated with natural climatic phenomena, including short-term events such as floods and cyclones, intermediate scale events such as drought, and longer term warming and cooling trends".

On hearing of Professor Carter’s passing, British journalist, James Delingpole responded: "We all loved Bob; we’re all going to miss him. What a hero! What a friend! Just the kind of guy you want in the foxhole next to you!"

Viscount Christopher Monckton said: "    We will remember him. He was our clearest voice of truth"

Rest in peace, Bob Carter. You are indeed a hero for the ages.

The funeral service for Professor Carter will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday at Morleys Funerals, 2 Martinez Avenue at the Lakes in Townsville, Australia. The family has indicated that donations to the Heart Foundation in Bob's name would be most appreciated.


How is this not fraud?

I'm not a great one for shouting fraud, but I can't see that there is any other conclusion that one can draw. Somebody on Kickstarter is trying to raise funds for a film about Kiribati, the coral atoll that all BH readers know is not getting smaller.

Yet the promoters of this film are saying it is:  That to me looks distinctly like a false statement being used to raise money. A fraud, in other words.



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

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


26 January, 2016

Blizzard Jonas caused by a slowdown of the Gulf Stream System?

Warmist Rahmstorf is an actual oceanographer so he writes a fairly scholarly paper, which I excerpt below, but his Warmist assumptions do intrude a bit. He says the AMOC is slowing down, which is quite contentious, and attributes that without evidence to global warming. Since there has been no systematic warming, what he says is not only contentious but wrong. 

Mind you, he is on record as saying that even THOUSANDTHS of one degree in temperature change statistics mean something!  So by his criteria we are near the point of incineration!

And he admits that ocean temperatures off the U.S. East coast are anomalous -- which should lead him to the view that we are looking at a local effect, not a global one.  If he sees that he doesn't admit it.

But it's nice that he admits that he didn't foresee recent climate developments.  The test of a good theory is its ability to make accurate predictions.  His theory is therefore not a good one!

Blizzard Jonas on the US east coast has just shattered snowfall records. Both weather forecasters and climate experts have linked the high snowfall amounts to the exceptionally warm sea surface temperatures off the east coast. In this post I will examine a related question: why are sea surface temperatures so high there

I will argue that this warmth (as well as the cold blob in the subpolar Atlantic) is partly due to a slowdown of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), sometimes referred to as the Gulf Stream System, in response to global warming. There is two points to this argument:

(1) The warm sea surface temperatures are not just some short-term anomaly but are part of a long-term observed warming trend, in which ocean temperatures off the US east coast are warming faster than global average temperatures.

(2) Climate models show a "cold blob" in the subpolar Atlantic as well as enhanced warming off the US east coast as a characteristic response pattern to a slowdown of the AMOC.

Observed sea surface temperature change

A comprehensive analysis of the patterns of change in global sea surface temperatures since the 19th Century was performed by Dima and Lohmann (2010). The dominant pattern of change (technically these patterns are called EOF) is global warming – no surprise there. The second-most important pattern is more interesting

Dima and Lohmann concluded that the patterns shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 indicate a change in the AMOC, and they wrote: "The global conveyor has been weakening since the late 1930s"

(As a side remark, the IPCC in its last report ignored this result and claimed, rather puzzling to me, that there is no evidence for an AMOC slowdown.)

It is noteworthy that in 2015, the "cold blob" region actually registered the coldest sea surface conditions since records began in 1880 – whilst the globe as a whole was record hot!

A very recent study by Saba et al. (2015) specifically analyzed sea surface temperatures off the US east coast in observations and a suite of global warming runs with climate models. They find that the highest resolution climate model can reproduce observed temperatures well

They find that the region off the US east coast warms "nearly three times faster than the global average".

Bottom Line

There is a strong case that the warm SST off the US coast and the cold blob in the subpolar gyre are linked, both being caused by an AMOC slowdown. This AMOC slowdown thus may have consequences for extreme weather in the US that I did not foresee in the past and only started to think about in the last year.

When Jake Gyllenhaal was snowed in in the New York public library in the film The Day After Tomorrow after an AMOC collapse, the physics may have been wrong, but perhaps there was a grain of truth in that snow storm after all.


Obama takes credit which is not his due

The big fall off your chair moment during President Obama’s State of the Union address came when he proclaimed:

"We’ve cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly sixty percent, and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth. Gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad, either."

Sure, Mr. President. Take a bow for the smashing success of the very domestic oil and gas industry that you have tried to destroy.

Even Mr. Obama couldn’t carry this off. The smirk on his face as he sang the praises of an oil and gas industry was unmistakable.

Right after Mr. Obama boasted of these low gas prices, he reverted back to form, by sermonizing:

"We’ve got to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy" — by which he means fossil fuels. Then the hammer came down: "I’m going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet."

So 30 seconds after toasting lower gas prices he pledges to find ways to make gas more expensive.

The irony of the Obama war against fossil fuels is that the shale oil and gas revolution in America has saved Mr. Obama. During his first term, all of the net new jobs that were created in America came from oil and gas as fracking took off in Texas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Mr. Obama owed his reelection to the frackers, but instead he and his EPA have tried to shut them down.

The EPA has issued three regulations in the last year — the clean power plant rule, the methane rule, and tougher clean air statutes — that have begun to shutdown fossil fuel production in America — as planned.

How bad are these rules? According to Harold Hamm of Continental Resources, a major driller in North Dakota: "these rules and red tape are killing us. They are raising our costs at a time when oil prices are low and margins are already thin. This means layoffs of workers." Mr. Obama seems to be doing exactly what the Saudi oil sheiks are trying to achieve: shut down fracking in America.

Mr. Obama won’t allow drilling on federal lands, he wants to raise taxes on oil and gas production, he won’t give the go-ahead to the Keystone XL pipeline or any pipelines for that matter, and he just handed out hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the solar and wind industries from bankruptcy. Other than that, he’s pro oil and gas.

He also neglected to mention that the major reason that U.S. carbon emissions are falling is that cheap and clean-burning natural gas due to the shale drilling is becoming the number one source of electricity production in America. The lesson: free markets and innovation are almost always the best way to clean the environment.

If Mr. Obama’s vision of an American energy future is fulfilled, the price of oil and gas will skyrocket — again. He’d like that to happen. This is the only possible scenario that makes green energy financially feasible.

One last point about low gas prices. How come when oil prices rise the entire industry is accused of price fixing to gouge consumers. But if the industry has the monopolistic powers to keep prices as high as possible, why aren’t they doing that now? The answer is in the new era of shale oil and gas this a brutally price competitive industry — unlike in the past where the OPEC monopoly was able to fix prices. OPEC can’t manipulate prices now because the United States will soon be the world’s largest producer. All the more reason to let the domestic oil and gas industry flourish.

For now, Mr. Obama will unbelievably hog the credit for lower gas prices that he never wanted in the first place while he finds every way possible to make gas more expensive in the years to come. No wonder voters have grown so cynical of the political class.


Massive Winter Storm Blows Cold Air on Alleged Global Warming

Massive winter storm Jonas is bringing blizzard or near-blizzard conditions to much of the mid-Atlantic and the northeastern states this weekend. Early Saturday morning common snowfall rates were two inches per hour, with three inches per hour being seen in the New York City area. Roads across the entire region are quickly becoming impassable and the storm could pose a life-threatening situation to anyone caught off guard.

As the mammoth front blasts nearly the entire east coast, will global-warming alarmists take note of what are simply natural weather and climate fluctuations, or will it be business as usual — blaming man for climate change?

Saturday morning a blizzard warning was put into effect for more than 33 million people from Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Connecticut, down through New York City, Washington D.C., and Virginia. At an amazing 28 inches, Terra Alta, West Virginia, was already deeply covered Saturday morning, as the snow was reaching out into other southern states such as Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee as well. Snow has also been reported in Alabama and coastal South Carolina.

Sustained winds in Delaware have peaked at 59 mph, with gusts to 85 mph at Assateague Island, Virginia and 73 mph in Lewes, Delaware. The combination of snow and strong winds is expected to lead to power outages, and major flooding is forecast for coastal cities throughout New Jersey and Delaware at high-tide times. Moderate flooding is expected in coastal cities all the way from as far north as New England to the southern reaches in North Carolina.

Thundersnow, a thunderstorm wherein snow is the primary precipitation, is likely to be experienced as strong wind gusts and the above-stated 2-3 inch per/hour snowfalls pound the Chesapeake Bay area and the Delmarva peninsula in Delaware.

The massive blizzard has hit the U.S. east coast at a time when global warming is being shouted from the rooftops. Mirroring a religious fervor, mainstream media outlets are spinning tales of melting polar ice caps that will leave whatever earth not covered by the rising the ocean levels completely scorched. If one’s only source of news were the main stream media and incessant "climate-change" soundbites from politicians, one might be tempted to believe the science has been settled on the issue. However, as The New American has pointed out time and again, there is no global warming problem.

For example, in his article "Hiding the Hiatus: Global Warming on Pause," The New American's Senior Editor William F. Jasper notes that the satellite data shows that there has been no detectable global warming for the last 225 months — almost 19 years. This data, Jasper explains, is based on "lower troposphere temperature records for 99 percent of the globe, obtained from highly accurate microwave sounding instruments aboard a series of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather satellites."

The satellite readings, which have been available since the late 1970s, are more reliable than the surface temperature readings, which are by no means recorded everywhere on the planet's surface and are also subject to the urban-heat effect. Yet the surface temperature record does not show a global-warming problem either, though the readings have been adjusted upward, ostensbily to take into account areas where readings are not available, as explained in this article by Jasper, "Fudging the Global Temperature Record."

Prior to the era of modern weather stations, the temperature record was less reliable than in recent times. In The New American article "2015: The Climate Record That Wasn't," Charles Scaliger observes:

"Of course, no one has any idea what average world temperatures were in the pre-Industrial Age, since there were no satellites or modern weather facilities to monitor such data. The evidence seems to suggest that global temperatures fluctuated widely — between the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age that followed, for example — but such matters are of small concern to climate-change zealots who are so frequently wrong but never in doubt. The Medieval Warm Period allowed the Vikings to settle in Greenland and grow a wide variety of crops. But with the arrival of the global-cooling cycle known as the Little Ice Age, most European settlements in Greenland were abandoned, though many of their churches and dwelling places stand to this day".

Yet such facts do not stop global-warming alarmists from falsely claiming that the temperature record shows that the Earth is hotter than ever.

In another article for The New American, Rebecca Terrell profiled multiple scientists who have discredited the global warming alarmism. The very existence of these climate realists and many others — who have been ignored or lambasted by the mainstream media for failing to toe the party line — exposes the lie that there is a scientific "consensus" in favor of the alarmism.

As the massive blizzard pounds the entire east coast, maybe enough snow will fall on Washington, D.C., to cause the White House, politicians, political pundits, and media outlets to take note. Planetary temperatures have fluctuated and always will. Right now it is bitterly cold and people would do well to stay indoors. Maybe while home waiting for Jonas to pass, a good way for people to use the time might be for them to write letters to their congressmen encouraging them to ignore the pseudo-science behind the climate alarmism.


New England’s Anti-Nuke Stance Is pushing up CO2 emissions

New England’s opposition to nuclear power is actually increasing its carbon dioxide emissions and harming the area’s attempts to fight global warming, according to a Wednesday report by the Institute for Energy Research (IER).

Nuclear power dropped from providing 34 percent to 29.5 percent of New England’s electrical power between 2014 and 2015. This was largely due to the shutdown of the Vermont Yankee reactor. IER calculated that the shutdown of this reactor caused New England to emit an additional 2 million tons of carbon dioxide in 2015.

Environmentalists predicted that when the plant closed, its electrical output would be replaced by wind and solar power. The plants output, however, was almost entirely replaced by natural gas, according to a blog post by the vice president for external affairs of the reactor’s company, Entergy. Vermont was the first state to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which produces the natural gas that it increasingly used to produce power.

A single nuclear reactor can prevent up to 3.1 million tons of carbon-dioxide emissions annually.  The Economist calls nuclear energy "the most cost-effective zero-emission technology." The Wall Street Journal agrees that "[if] the world intends to address the threat of global warming and still satisfy its growing appetite for electricity, it needs an ambitious expansion of nuclear power."

"Nuclear energy is good for the environment because it is the largest source of electricity that doesn’t emit greenhouse gases. In fact, nuclear accounts for 63 percent of the electricity from zero-carbon sources," Mitchell Singer of the Nuclear Energy Institute told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Carbon dioxide emissions substantially increased when Germany decided to abandon nuclear energy in favor of solar and wind power after a nuclear disaster in Japan galvanized environmentalist opposition. They had to rely more heavily on coal plants to cover the power demand in the evenings when "green" energy doesn’t produce much power.


Feds Paying High School Teachers To Weed Out Global Warming Skeptics

The Obama administration is desperate to weed out young farmers who question the belief that humans are causing global warming.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will give $150,000 to North Carolina State University for an educational campaign to encourage high school teachers to use more global warming materials for their lessons. The idea is to convince young farmers and future agriculture professionals to pay more attention to global warming.

"Agriculture teachers have considerable influence over future agricultural and natural resource professionals, and adolescents may be less susceptible to worldview-driven biases," according to the USDA grant write-up.

The NCSU program aims to recruit 40 high school teachers who will "integrate climate change topics into existing Agricultural Science curriculum" to reach 2,000 high school students over two years, reports the Washington Free Beacon.

"Education is critical among the agricultural community because although climate change threatens agricultural sustainability, skepticism of anthropogenic climate change runs high," according to the grant.

Farmers have been some of the staunchest global warming skeptics, and liberal attempts to win them over have largely failed over the years. A 2009 survey of farmers in Mississippi, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin found that less than half of them believed in man-made global warming.

For farmers, climate change is a given. These are people who pay close attention to the weather and know it’s highly variable from year to year. One year it’s too hot, the next it’s too cold, and they generally don’t see it as a man-made phenomenon. Farmers are immune to "snowmaggedon" headlines that spark debates among city-folk about how weather is linked to coal plants.

"A farmer in Iowa might deal with a 10-degree-Fahrenheit shift in average temperatures from year to year, so why worry about a 3- or even 4-degree shift over 100 years? As the old saying goes: If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change," Slate’s David Biello wrote in 2013.


Courts Save EPA’s Global Warming Rule … For Now

Federal judges refused Thursday to put a stay on the Environmental Protection Agency’s sweeping regulation to fight global warming.

The D.C. Court of Appeals’ ruling, however, will not stop the 26 states challenging President Barack Obama’s signature global warming rule from appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to keep it from being implemented.

"We are disappointed in today’s decision, but believe we will ultimately prevail in court," West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a statement on the court’s’ ruling, adding that he would consider appealing to the Supreme Court for a stay on the rule.

Federal judges ruled against Morrisey’s coalition of states challenging the EPA’s rule. A panel of three judges said the deadline for states to comply with the EPA regulation is so far off, they don’t need to block the rule from being implemented while it’s being challenged in court.

Environmentalists who support the EPA’s rule called the ruling a "huge win." Activists say the ruling means states will to work to comply with federal rules limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. But the court’s ruling is only a temporary victory for environmentalists. Federal judges did not rule on the merits of the challenge, and states believe they will ultimately be successful on that front.

"The court did not issue a ruling on the merits and we remain confident that our arguments will prevail as the case continues," Morrisey said. "We are pleased, however, that the court has agreed to expedite hearing the case."

Opponents say states should not commit to going along with the EPA until a court has decided if the rule is legal or not.

"If the DC Circuit is not going to protect the American people from EPA’s overreach, it’s all the more important for state leaders to do so," Tom Pyle, president of the free market American Energy Alliance, said in a statement. "The court’s decision doesn’t change the fact that states should not prematurely make commitments under these carbon regulations."

EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP) aims to cut CO2 emissions from power plants 32 percent by 2030 by forcing states to come up with ways to cut emissions. The rule is expected to force coal-fired power plants across the country to prematurely retire, further crippling the coal industry.

Republicans and pro-energy groups have vehemently opposed the rule and even urged states not to submit an emissions reduction plan to the EPA until courts have decided whether or not the CPP violates the Clean Air Act.

"Doing so would send their citizens down a path toward higher electricity costs and fewer jobs, regardless of whether or not the rule is ultimately thrown out in court," Pyle said. "State leaders should remain steadfast in their opposition to this unlawful regulation."

Coal industry-backed studies claim the CPP could cost $366 billion over the next 15 years and severely cripple coal mining operations across the country.



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25 January, 2016

Warmer Oceans Could Produce More Powerful Superstorms

That's not an unreasonable theory.  More energy in the system must have some effect.  But the study below is basically a failure.  They had to postulate a CO2 level of 800ppm to get their model to do anything dramatic. With the current CO2 level being around 400 ppm that is a huge departure from the present and not a level that even the most enthusiastic Warmist usually postulates.  The study is, in short, totally unrealistic  -- which they actually admit

Hurricane Sandy became the second costliest hurricane to hit the United States when it blew ashore in October 2012, killing 159 people and inflicting $71 billion in damage. Informally known as a "superstorm" after it made landfall, Sandy was so destructive largely because of its unusual size and track. After moving north from the tropical waters where it spawned, Sandy turned out to sea before hooking back west, growing in size and crashing head-on into the East Coast, gaining strength when it merged with an eastbound mid-latitude storm.

A new study led by the University of Maryland’s Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) suggests that a warmer Atlantic Ocean could substantially boost the destructive power of a future superstorm like Sandy. The researchers used a numerical model to simulate the weather patterns that created Sandy, with one key difference: a much warmer sea surface temperature, as would be expected in a world with twice as much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This simulated warmer ocean generated storms that were 50 to 160 percent more destructive than Sandy. The results appear online January 19, 2016 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

"This kind of experiment is not necessarily a realistic simulation, but it is along a similar path that the future climate might expect to evolve," said William Lau, a research scientist at ESSIC and senior scientist emeritus at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Lau added that sea surface temperatures could reach such elevated levels within the next 50 to 100 years.

In the model scenarios, the pool of warm water (greater than 82 degrees Fahrenheit) in the tropical Atlantic grew to twice its actual size. The larger warm pool gave the simulated hurricanes more time to grow before they encountered colder water or land.

In the five simulations conducted by Lau and his colleagues at NASA Goddard, two hurricanes followed the same track as Sandy, hooking westward and merging with the mid-latitude storm as they hit the coast. Because of their longer exposure to the large warm pool, their winds had 50 to 80 percent more destructive power, and they brought 30 to 50 percent more heavy rain.

"We expected the storm would definitely get stronger because of much warmer sea surface temperature," Lau said.

Each of the other three hurricanes followed a surprising and even more destructive course. In these simulations, the hurricane grew so strong that it followed a different track and didn’t collide with the mid-latitude storm. Instead, the hurricane went farther east into the open ocean before turning westward. Next, the hurricane and the mid-latitude storm rotated counterclockwise around their combined center of mass—a phenomenon known as the Fujiwhara effect. As the mid-latitude storm rotated east, the Sandy-like storm gained strength from the Fujiwhara effect and swung westward, making landfall between Maine and Nova Scotia.

"These events are somewhat rare in occurrence, but they do exist in nature," Lau said. "While they’re turning about each other, they interact. One just took the energy from the other."

As a result, the three Fujiwhara-enhanced hurricanes’ destructive power peaked at 100 to 160 percent higher than Sandy, and brought as much as 180 percent more rain. And while they made landfall farther north, Lau said, their impacts could be farther-reaching and more devastating than Sandy.

"Because the size of the storm is so large, it could affect the entire Atlantic coast, not just where it makes landfall," he predicted. "The rainfall itself is probably way out in the ocean, but the storm surge would be catastrophic."


Base policies on reality, not deceit

Dr. Bob Carter understood that climate frequently changes, and we must prepare to adapt

Paul Driessen

Dangerous manmade global cooling, global warming, climate change and extreme weather claims continue to justify what has become a $1.5-trillion-per-year industry: tens of billions spent annually on one-sided research and hundreds of billions sent to crony corporatists to subsidize replacing dependable, affordable carbon-based fuels with unreliable, expensive "renewable" energy.

Some 50 million acres of US crop and habitat land (equal to Wyoming) have been turned into corn-for-ethanol farms, biofuel plantations, and wind and solar installations. American forests are being converted to fuel for British power plants. Towering turbines butcher birds and bats, while Big Wind is exempted from endangered species rules that would cost fossil fuel companies billions in fines and send their execs to jail for such carnage. (But if you're saving the planet, what’s a few million birds and bats a year?)

Climate chaos is likewise the foundation for endless, punitive government policies and regulations intended to keep oil, gas and coal "in the ground." Crony politicians pass laws and unelected bureaucrats impose rules that transfer taxpayer and consumer wealth, decide which companies, industries and workers win or lose, and control people’s lives, livelihoods, liberties and living standards.

Research and ruling classes benefit, while poor, minority and blue-collar families suffer – and Africans are told they must be content with wind and solar energy because, as President Obama put it, "if everybody has got a car" and air conditioning and a big house, "the planet will boil over."

Climate Crisis, Inc. jealously guards this power and money train. The IPCC, EPA and NOAA spend billions in tax dollars to publish horror stories about runaway temperatures and looming disasters. Mike Mann sues anyone who disparages him or his work. Sheldon Whitehouse and Jagedish Shukla demand that anyone who disputes manmade disaster claims be prosecuted for "climate denial."

Now a new Paris climate treaty says the "ultimate goal" is to stabilize atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gas concentrations at levels that will "prevent dangerous [human] interference with the climate system" – under the assumption that CO2 now drives climate change and weather events.

The Paris accord stipulates that developed nations must reduce their emissions, regardless of impacts on economies, employment or families. This means they must de-carbonize, de-industrialize and de-develop – while they give trillions of dollars in cash and free technology to developing countries like Brazil, China, India and Indonesia, for climate "reparation" and "mitigation."

Developing countries need try to reach their voluntary goals only if now-wealthy nations make those wealth transfers – and if reducing their emissions will not interfere with their "first and overriding priorities" of eradicating poverty, malnutrition and disease, and improving living standards and life spans.

This means fossil fuel use and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels will continue to climb – and US, EU, Canadian and Australian sacrifices will have no effect on stabilizing atmospheric CO2 levels, much less controlling Earth’s ever-changing climate or weather, again assuming CO2 does determine climate.

But what if this dynasty is built on a foundation of errors, miscalculations and exaggerations – or worse: on manipulation, fabrication and fraud? The house of cards would tumble down, the catechism of climate cataclysm would go the way of other vanished religions, and the power and money train would derail.

Before his untimely death January 19, Dr. Robert M. Carter, former director of James Cook University’s Marine Geophysical Laboratory and expert on historic and prehistoric climate change, offered succinct analyses of climate forces, fears and realities, underscoring how fragile the climate chaos claims are.

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, he always emphasized. It is a plant-fertilizing trace gas (400 ppm or 0.04% of the atmosphere), essential for photosynthesis and life on Earth. Rising CO2 levels are increasing crop, forest and grassland growth, improving ecosystems and wildlife, and feeding more people. In fact, the 50 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 between 1981 and 2010 fertilized an 11% boost in plant cover worldwide. Moreover, current carbon dioxide levels are quite low relative to their levels across geological time, meaning terrestrial, fresh water and oceanic plant life is currently starved for CO2 by comparison.

The real scientific debate, Professor Carter noted in his book Climate: the Counter Consensus and other works, is about the direction and magnitude of global human effects, and their likely significance in the context of natural climate change – which has been occurring ever since Earth developed its oceans, atmosphere and climate. Indeed, modern temperatures are not unusually warm, compared to many previous periods in the historic and geologic record. My friend’s other insights are equally important.

* The primary temperature records relied on by the IPCC and EPA are far too short to be a useful tool for policy making and are inadequately corrected for the urban heat island effect and other errors. One analysis of these records found errors of 1-5 degrees C (1.8-9.0 F) for 1969 data in certain regions, when the claimed warming for the entire twentieth century was only 0.7 deg C (1.3 F); errors for records in the early century are likely even greater. Reliance on these records is thus misplaced

* Recent warming trends in Greenland and the Arctic are not alarming in rate or magnitude compared to other similar and totally natural warming periods over the past 250 to 10,000 years, as recorded in explorers’ log books and geological evidence.

* When we consider those climate records, the positive feedback effects of rising carbon dioxide levels (such as enhanced water vapor in the atmosphere), negative feedback effects (more low level heat-reflecting clouds, for instance), significant natural sources of more atmospheric CO2, and the declining "greenhouse" effect of each additional CO2 molecule, it is unlikely that conceivable human carbon dioxide emissions will cause "dangerous" warming or other climate changes in the future.

* The rate and magnitude of the reported 1979-2000 warming are not outside normal natural variability, nor are they unusual compared to earlier periods in Earth and human history. There is likewise no unambiguous evidence that humans have caused adverse changes such as melting ice, rising sea levels, rainfall or droughts, or "extreme weather" over the past 50 years.

* Moderate warming will reduce human mortality, whereas colder weather will increase suffering and deaths, especially if energy and climate policies make heating homes less affordable.

* IPCC computer climate models have thus far not been able to predict warming or other climate changes accurately for even short 10-year periods. It is therefore highly unlikely that they can do so for 100 years in the future. Therefore, they should not be used as the basis for energy and economic policies.

* The IPCC does not even study climate change in its entirety, or all the complex, interrelated forces that cause periodic warming, cooling and other changes. It analyzes only variations allegedly caused by humans, and assumes that all recent and future changes are human-caused and dangerous. Its analyses, conclusions and recommendations therefore do not form a credible basis for public policies.

Carter’s ultimate policy recommendation was that climate hazards are overwhelmingly natural problems, and should be dealt with by preparing for them in advance, and adapting to them when they occur.

Whether the threats are short-term (hurricanes, floods and blizzards), intermediate (droughts) or long-term (warm or cool eras), preparation must be specific and regional in scale, for the perils vary widely by geographic location and a nation’s state of technological advancement. If governments prepare properly for natural hazards, their countries and communities will also be ready for human-caused climate disruptions, should they ever occur.

Professor Carter’s jovial Aussie persona will be sorely missed, but his insights and legacy will live on.

Another Government-Caused Water Crisis and Cover-Up

Flint, Mich., may be another case (similar to the Environmental Protection Agency Gold King Mine spill) of negligent government behavior that would raise criminal prosecution had it come from a private party.

Michigan officials are under scrutiny for potentially causing, and covering up, a series of decisions that resulted in Flint’s drinking water being contaminated with unsafe amounts of lead. Unsafe amounts of lead can cause behavioral problems and learning disabilities in children and kidney ailments in adults.

Flint officials’ 2014 decision to draw water from an inadequately treated Flint River source reportedly started the now widespread contamination of some of Flint’s 99,000 residents’ drinking water. The untreated water caused lead to leak from old pipes throughout the city.

Flint, which previously used Detroit’s water system, switched back after a few individuals discovered elevated lead levels in children. But officials "remain concerned that damaged pipes could continue to leach lead."

So far the government has failed to remedy the situation. Four families with children suffering from elevated lead levels filed a federal lawsuit claiming that their children’s injuries were caused by officials’ negligence "in switching from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River."

Michael Pitt, an attorney in the lawsuit, said "failure to stop the use of the Flint River, despite knowledge it was toxic, made the danger far worse."

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder formed the Flint Water Advisory Task Force to study the water crisis. The group wrote a report that concludes that "the state Department of Environmental Quality ‘must be held accountable for that failure.’"

The task force report uncovers three general areas in which state officials may have misbehaved. First, state officials practiced a passive "technical compliance" with the law that led to failures to identify the contamination. Second, state officials responded to victim’s complaints of lead contamination with a "persistent tone of scorn and derision." Third, state officials may have failed to properly adhere to relevant federal regulations pertaining to lead and safe water supply.

Former prosecutor Keith Corbett said of any investigation into these behaviors that in "dealing with incompetence or malfeasance in office that’s just the result of people not doing their job, it becomes difficult to turn that into crime." Still, some individuals "in positions of authority made bad decisions," Corbett continued, "and those bad decisions have had horrible consequences for the city of Flint."

Now federal investigators have their hands full looking for signs of criminal conduct from negligent discharge to mail fraud.

Whether criminal charges will be brought against government officials for contaminating Flint’s drinking water is unclear—just as it was when the EPA discharged toxic water into the Animas River.

There has to be a full discovery of what caused the contamination. With clear signs of serious contamination that include locals reporting health effects, however, it is likely that the government would bring a criminal prosecution had a private party caused the spill.

As Heritage scholars have said before:

"There is no reason to let government officials slide when the government prosecutes private parties for the same conduct. It’s time for the government to choose: Either stop prosecuting private parties for negligence or make the [responsible Michigan] officials stand in the dock. Sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander."


EPA regional chief resigns in connection with Flint crisis

A regional director of the US Environmental Protection Agency resigned Thursday in connection with the drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich., and EPA chief Gina McCarthy issued an emergency order directing state and city officials to take actions to protect public health.

EPA said in a statement that Susan Hedman, head of the agency’s regional office in Chicago whose jurisdiction includes Michigan, was stepping down Feb. 1 so it could focus ‘‘solely on the restoration of Flint’s drinking water.’’

High levels of lead have been detected in the impoverished city’s water since officials switched from the Detroit municipal system and began drawing from the Flint River as a cost-saving measure in April 2014. Some children’s blood has tested positive for lead, a potent neurotoxin linked to learning disabilities, lower IQ, and behavioral problems.

While much of the blame has been directed at Governor Rick Snyder and state officials, particularly the Department of Environmental Quality, some have faulted the EPA for not acting more forcefully.

In the statement, the EPA said McCarthy had sent a memo to all staff members establishing a policy assessing and responding to ‘‘critical public health issues.’’

The agency also released a letter from McCarthy to Snyder outlining terms of her order.

Also Thursday, President Obama promised more money for Michigan’s water systems.

"Our children should not have to be worried about the water that they’re drinking in American cities," said Obama, who met this week with Flint’s mayor, Karen Weaver. He said his administration would immediately give the state of Michigan access to $80 million in federal water infrastructure funding approved for the state last month as part of a 2016 spending bill.

The money is intended to allow states to make loans to municipalities for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure construction projects.


Obama Deploys the 'Great Green Fleet'

From December 1907 to February 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt ordered America's steel-hulled, steam-powered battle fleet to circumnavigate the globe. Nicknamed the "Great White Fleet," the excursion showed that the United States' military was a technologically current global superpower. A hundred years later, Barack Obama is trying to demonstrate that the world's greatest superpower can operate within the constraints of his climate change agenda with a Navy, Mitt Romney noted in 2012, that is the smallest its ever been since 1917. We suppose that's one way to pay tribute to the past.

On Wednesday, the "Great Green Fleet" launched from San Diego to demonstrate that it can steam across the world's oceans using nothing but alternative fuel. The Department of Defense wanted the U.S. Navy to run on a 50/50 mix of traditional petroleum and biofuels by year 2020. It seemed to be making headway by using a plant-based jet fuel — for which it paid $29.30 a gallon. After Congress mandated that any alternative fuel had to be competitive with petroleum fuel, the military lowered its standards, as the fuel some ships in the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group are burning is a blend of 10% biofuel and 90% petroleum. In other words, those green ships are running on a biofuel mix similar to the one found at the common gas station. At least the price is right — $2.05 per gallon — for a biofuel that's composed of beef fat. How American.

While the Obama administration might cite warm, fuzzy feelings for turning the U.S. Navy green, the move toward biofuels means an increase in cronyism, with the green industry positioning itself to make a killing. Meanwhile, the price of oil, thanks to OPEC holding steady on production and Iran entering the world market, is heading ever lower. It makes more sense for the U.S. military to develop nuclear power, but this is what we get from a commander in chief more concerned with fighting the temperature than terrorists.


Killing coal: The Obama administration’s intentional assault on an industry

By now, most people are aware of President Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to bankrupt the coal industry — which he acknowledged would "necessarily" cause electricity to skyrocket. Seven years later, that is a campaign promise he is keeping.

Since moving into the White House, Obama has used bureaucratic weapons and administrative agencies to assault America’s coal industry. Between 2008 and 2012, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports 50,000 coal jobs were lost — that number would certainly be much greater today. West Virginia has been hit particularly hard with unemployment rates in double digits. Addressing the job losses, the Charleston Gazette-Mail blames the "liberal environmental policies that have accelerated coal’s decline" — which it says have left "hard working men and women" jobless.

In addition to the job losses, Obama’s policies — such as the Regional Haze rule, the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule, and the Clean Power Plan — have "helped spur the closing of dozens of coal plants across the country," according to Politico. The November 2015 report states: "More than one in five coal-related jobs have disappeared during Obama’s presidency, and several major U.S. coal mining companies have announced this year that they would or may soon seek bankruptcy protection."

On Monday, January 11, Arch Coal became the biggest domino to fall when it filed for bankruptcy. Arch follows Walter Energy, Alpha Natural Resources, and Patriot Coal Corp. — all of which filed for bankruptcy in 2015. James River Coal went bankrupt in 2014. The WSJ says: "Over a quarter of U.S. coal production is now in bankruptcy, trying to reorganize to cope with prices that have fallen 50 percent since 2011." As a result, a "record number of mines are for sale" and remaining workers are receiving lower wages. In hard-hit West Virginia, starting wages have been cut 50 percent in the past few years: from around $40 an hour to $20.

In 2008, Alpha Natural Resources, which filed for bankruptcy in August 2015, was offered a buy out at $128 a share. Today, Alpha, according to Fortune, has 8900 employees but its stock is worthless. CNN Money states: "Since Obama took office in January 2009, shares of many coal companies have plummeted more than 90 percent."

The Obama administration’s latest stab at killing coal is Friday’s, January 15, announcement of a federal-lands-leasing moratorium for coal mining. Bloomberg reports that "about 40 percent of U.S. coal now comes from federal land." The announcement came just days after Obama’s State of the Union Address pledge "to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet." In short, the plan is to halt federal leasing while the Department of Interior completes a "Programmatic Environment Impact Statement" that the agency says it can complete in three years — though government projects are seldom completed on schedule. The years-long process will include public review and participation under the National Environmental Policy Review Act. As a result, it is expected that companies will have to pay more to mine coal on public lands.

"With this latest regulatory assault," Luke Popovich, Vice President of External Communications for the American Mining Association, told me, "Obama has ensured his legacy as the only President to destroy the industry that has done more than any other to keep American power costs the lowest in the industrialized world."

While mining can continue under existing leases, and the pause will likely have minimal impact as interest in leasing has declined with many government lease sales only having a single bidder, it sends a clear signal regarding administrative assassination. Addressing Friday’s announcement, Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, declared: "If there were any lingering questions about whether the Obama administration is intent on decimating America’s coal industry, this should answer them."

Bloomberg points out that the Obama administration is "facing mounting calls from conservationists to thwart new fossil fuel development as part of the ‘keep it in the ground’ movement" — which Murkowski says is a "misguided" effort that "will harm local economies and threaten future energy supplies."

In Wyoming, which supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s coal, the response to Friday’s announcement was swift. Wyoming Mining Association executive director Jonathan Downing said: "This is yet another salvo in the president’s efforts to kill the coal industry. He and his allies in the extreme environmental movement know full well that this measure will make federal coal uneconomical to mine, thereby locking up America’s most abundant and reliable source of electricity generation."

Governor Matt Mead’s comments include this harsh indictment: "It could not be more plain — in fact, it is starkly apparent — this Administration is no friend to coal when it flatly says there will be no new coal leases until some indefinite point in time." His press release points out: "Wyoming coal producers pay: federal mineral royalty, Wyoming severance tax, Abandoned Mine Lands, Black Lung Tax, Ad Valorem Property, Ad Valorem Production, and Lease Bonus Application. The industry has an effective tax rate of 40 percent.  All of these revenue streams go to the public in various ways."

Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) released this statement: "When rural America says President Obama has contempt for their lives and livelihoods, they mean decisions like today’s announcement. A moratorium on federal coal leasing effectively hands a pink slip to the thousands of people in Wyoming and across the West employed in coal production."

Wyoming is not the only western state impacted. Following the DOI announcement — Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) released this statement: "These proposed rules are an attempt by this administration to shut down the industry as they pursue their War on Coal. There are North Dakota lease applications under review by the Bureau of Land Management and as a result of today’s announced pause of the leasing program they may not be approved. With approximately 15 percent of the coal in North Dakota classified as federal, making the federal coal program more restrictive will be very expensive and lead to job loss in coal country. To mine around federal coal is very expensive and could ultimately make a mine economically unfeasible."

While the moratorium gives "a powerful tailwind to the industry’s downward trajectory," as WyoFile’s editor-in-chief Dustin Bleizeffer calls it, the anti-fossil-fuel crowd — including billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — "cheered the move." Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has introduced legislation that would halt coal leasing on public lands altogether.

In the Administration’s multi-front assault, no skirmish is too small; no agency is too far removed from the front lines to be involved. Any conceivable attack can be engaged. For example, on Friday, January 22, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will hold a briefing "to further its 2016 statutory report project on environmental justice." According to the press release, the 9:00 AM to 5:45 PM meeting, will "focus on the civil rights implications of the placement of coal ash disposal facilities near minority and low income communities." Commission Chairman Martin R. Castro explained: "We intend to shine a light on the civil rights implications of toxic coal ash, as well as other environmental conditions, on communities most in need of protection."

Coal ash is frequently recycled and is an important component in concrete, brick, and dry wall. Its use is encouraged by green building advocates. In fact, concrete containing coal ash was used in the construction of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Panelists at the Civil Rights briefing include EPA’s Director of the office of Civil Rights, Velveta Golightly Howell and Associate Director of the Office of Environmental Justice Mustafa Ali. Additionally, representatives from Earth Justice, Waterkeepers Alliance, and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy will participate.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is reportedly an "independent, bipartisan agency charged with advising the President and Congress on Civil rights matters."

While President Obama is currently calling the shots, if Hillary Clinton is elected the battle will intensify as her plans go further than his.

During her 2008 campaign, she tried to help coal companies by "throwing incentives at them to clean up production." But, the Huffington Post, addressing her $30 billion plan to aid communities where jobs have been destroyed by the intentional assault on the coal industry, clarifies her intent: "the new proposal heavily pushes coal communities away from the industry that has dominated their economy for roughly a century."

In exchange for the economic losses coal communities will suffer through the "green economy she envisions," WSJ says her "programs are a mix of federal support to rebuild coal communities and aid to workers affected by the shifting energy economy."

"Hard-working, able-bodied men and women who have lost their jobs," however, "don’t want a handout from the very government that put them out of work." The Gazette-Mail posits: "Surely most would rather return to the well-paying jobs they were forced out of."

Mining communities aren’t fooled by the plan and see it as "nothing more than welfare" — calling it an attempt to "buy their support." John Stilley, president of Amerikohl Mining in Butler, PA, quipped: "We do not want federal money to fund training for new jobs that pay half our current salaries." According to Ed Yankovich, the United Mine Workers vice president for the district covering Pennsylvania and the Northeast, "Obama’s actions have alienated those who work in the industry from Democrats in general." He told Politico: "People look at these folks and say, ‘they’ve completely abandoned us, it’s like we don’t live in America.’ There’s a bitterness about it."

The assault on the coal industry pleases affluent progressive funders and then taxes all Americans for the re-education aimed at buying the support of the workers who used to have well-paying jobs — all the while hitting the pocketbook of those same Americans as coal-fueled power plant closures and expensive renewables force electricity rates to skyrocket.

And this is how Obama is intentionally killing coal.



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

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


24 January, 2016

Is The American Medical Association  in the tank for global warming?

Below is a current article from JAMA.  It's not an official pronouncement of the AMA but they published it. Most of the second paragraph is simply incorrect.  The author, Dr. Koh, allegedly a Master of Public Health, appears to get his science out of New York Times editorials rather than checking the figures for himself. Is that how low American medical science has sunk?  It seems so. And I am not surprised.  The leading British medical journals are similarly Leftist.  Lancet even attacked George Bush II during his Presidency. 

And the scholarly standard of ALL medical journals is low.  Do you think that's a sweeping statement?  If so look at my health and medicine blog.  For many years I put up there daily critiques of the brainless rubbish that infests medical journals.  It was such a dismal task that I eventually gave it up.  I now no longer update the blog.  Its archives are still there to browse through, however, so the evidence is there for all to see

And the big surprise [NOT] in the article below is that it lists only harms from warming.  It lists no benefits.  And that is despite the fact -- known to just about everyone in the medical profession -- that winter, cold weather, is the season of dying.  Warmth is clearly a lot more supportive of health than is cold. Dr Koh is is ignoring the nose on his face.  A Master of Public Health indeed!  He is a totally irresponsible global warming apparatchik.  He has no personal integrity at all. He would have done well in Mao's China.

I reproduce the whole article so readers can see how little substance there is to it

As 2015 draws to a close, on track to be the hottest year ever recorded, global attention to climate change soared. ( The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), composed of more than 2000 of the world’s leading climate change scientists, has stated with confidence that the major driver of rising temperatures is human-generated greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide) largely related to the burning of fossil fuels (

These heat-trapping emissions have resulted in more frequent and prolonged heat waves, poorer air quality, rising seas, and severe storms, floods, and wildfires. Some extreme weather events, previously expected once in decades, are now being witnessed several times in one decade. These consequences fundamentally affect the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, and the environments in which we live, as a number of sources have pointed out (such as publications in The Lancet ( and JAMA (, and Climate Change and Public Health (a collection articles on the subject) (, and a report from the US National Climate Assessment (NCA) (

The IPCC’s most recent report, (, as well as the third US NCA ( ) (both from 2014), detail how global warming threatens human health by amplifying existing health threats and creating new ones. Everyone is vulnerable. Some experts contend that these profound harms rival the fundamental public health challenges posed by the lack of sanitation and clean water in the early 20th century (

The many adverse health outcomes include heat- and extreme weather–related conditions, infections, respiratory conditions and allergies, and mental health conditions. Heat waves promote dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke while exacerbating heart, lung, and kidney disease. Patients using widely prescribed classes of medications that impair thermoregulation (such as stimulants, antihistamines, and antipsychotic agents) may be particularly at risk. Heavy rains heighten the risk of waterborne infections.

Warming can also potentially affect the number, geographic distribution, and seasonality of vector populations, with the subsequent spread of diseases such as Lyme disease and dengue. Temperature-associated pollutants—ground-level ozone (smog) and fine particulate matter—can compromise outdoor air quality, and heavy downpours can dampen indoor environments thereby triggering growth of allergenic molds.

Trauma associated with extreme weather conditions can precipitate mental health conditions, such as stress, depression, and anxiety. Of note, vulnerable populations can suffer from multiple, synergistic threats such as extreme heat, air pollution, and stress.

Despite these risks, most people in the United States still do not recognize climate change, or the way it damages human health, as a serious threat. A 2015 Gallup Poll of 1025 US adults found that while a majority of adults (66%) acknowledge that global warming is happening (or will happen) during their lifetime, only a minority (37%) believe it will pose a serious threat to their way of life ( A 2014 national survey of 1275 US adults (by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication) found that most adults (61%) have given little or no thought to the health consequences of global warming. Indeed, the image of climate change may be more likely one of stranded polar bears rather than asthmatic children struggling to breathe (

Clinicians have a powerful and unique opportunity to engage the nation by framing the crisis as a health imperative (such as articles in Family Medicine (, BMC Public Health (, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, (, and American Family Physician, (, and a report from George Mason University) ( Doing so can educate and empower patients, policy makers, and the public. The above-mentioned Yale and George Mason University poll noted that when asked to rank various potential sources of information about health consequences of global warming, people in the United States were most likely to trust their primary care doctor, followed by family and friends and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Clinicians can fulfill that trust in a number of ways. Through their collective voice, they can broadly support a range of actions urged by policy makers to promote mitigation and adaptation.

Strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation) include measures to reduce energy consumption at work and home, decrease reliance on carbon-intensive fuels, and improve fuel economy. Strategies to enhance resilience (adaptation) include identifying vulnerabilities by geography and population, improving early warning systems for weather hazards, targeting preparedness and response activities, and creating climate-resistant physical infrastructures (including hospitals) and prepared workforces. By supporting the growing numbers of medical and public health organizations promoting such strategies, health professionals can build and shape community resilience.

The health community can also promote individual actions that address global warming and benefit health ( and ( Suggesting that patients substitute walking or biking for car transport, for example, not only has the potential to reduce carbon and other air pollutant emissions but also encourages exercise.

Clinicians can also direct messages at specific groups, making issues concrete and personal that might otherwise seem abstract and remote. Such messages can convey that climate change threatens health now, not just in the future; that children, the elderly, the poor, and those with medical conditions and some communities of color may be especially vulnerable; and that individuals can promote preparedness as a way to shape societal action. A number of resources are readily available on the web to guide communication (

Clinicians can also offer specific medical guidance about adverse health outcomes to help individuals assess their vulnerabilities and take action. For example, guiding the elderly, parents and children, outdoor workers, and socially isolated individuals to track heat and weather trends can help them connect to early warning programs, such as those that offer people the services of air-conditioned community centers during heat waves. They can communicate risks of waterborne disease outbreaks after heavy rains and advise those in high-risk areas how to take precautions to prevent bites from insects and ticks.

Educating patients with conditions such as asthma can encourage added vigilance during heat waves and periods of poor air quality, such as monitoring of air quality indices and pollen forecasts, and maximizing adherence to appropriate medications. Clinicians can offer coping strategies for those facing stress and trauma related to extreme weather events. All these messages, and more, can help people link the often distant and unfamiliar theme of global warming to immediate and familiar medical concerns.

In the face of one of the major global threats of our time, health professionals can make a difference. Engaging people in a health frame of reference for climate change represents a potential life-saving measure that promises profound benefits for both current and future generations.


California Joins the Effort to Persecute, Suppress Scientific Dissent on Climate Change

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has joined New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in trying to prosecute Exxon Mobil for supposedly lying to its shareholders and the public about climate change, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Times reported that Harris is investigating what Exxon Mobil "knew about global warming and what the company told investors."

Neither Harris nor Schneiderman recognizes the outrageousness of what they are doing – which amounts to trying to censor or restrict speech and debate on what is a contentious scientific theory. In fact, they don’t want to just stop anyone who questions the global warming theory from being able to speak; they want to punish them with possible civil sanctions or even criminal penalties.  As I said before about Schneiderman, Harris needs a remedial lesson in the First Amendment.

Perhaps we should investigate what Harris "knows" about global warming or climate change, which Harris (and Schneiderman) treat as if it is a proven, unassailable, incontrovertible fact.  However, as the Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris has pointed out, "flaws discovered in the scientific assessment of climate change have shown that the scientific consensus is not as settled as the public had been led to believe."

According to Loris, leaked emails and documents from various universities and researchers have "revealed conspiracy, exaggerated warming data, possibly illegal destruction and manipulation of data, and attempts to freeze out dissenting scientists from publishing their work in reputable journals." Furthermore, the "gaffes" that have been exposed in the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports "have only increased skepticism" about the credibility of this scientific theory.

These investigations are reminiscent of the old Soviet Union, where Joseph Stalin persecuted those who he thought had the "wrong" scientific views on everything from linguistics to physics.  Besides sending them a copy of the Constitution so they can review the First Amendment, residents of both New York and California might also want to include a copy of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book, "In the First Circle," in which he outlined the Soviet government’s suppression of dissenting scientists and engineers.

What makes this even worse is the fact that other public officials also want those who question this scientific theory investigated, prosecuted, and punished.  According to the Times story, this includes Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif., who have sent letters to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Securities and Exchange Commission "calling for federal investigation of securities fraud and violations of racketeering, consumer protection, truth in advertising, public health, shareholder protection or other laws."

But then, criminal investigations of climate change dissenters have been also called for by academics and other officials, among them, former Vice President Al Gore.  Maybe these politicians and their allies would favor passing a modern version of the Alien and Sedition Act, perhaps renamed the Global Warming Sedition Act.  Just like the 1798 law, it could punish "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" against the climate change theory.

The bottom line is that the state attorneys general of New York and California are not acting like level-headed, objective prosecutors interested in the fair and dispassionate administration of justice.  They are instead acting like Grand Inquisitors who must stamp out any heresy that doubts the legitimacy of the climate change religion.  Because they are treating an unproven, scientific theory as if it is a creed than cannot be questioned, probed, examined, or doubted.


NOAA says 2015 Was World's Warmest, But...

A few days before a blizzard threatens to shut down Washington, DC, probably isn’t the best time to make a major global warming announcement. Nevertheless, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today said that the 2015 global temperature finished 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit above average, which easily beat out 2014. According to the report, "This was the highest among all 136 years in the 1880–2015 record, surpassing the previous record set [in 2014] by 0.29°F (0.16°C) and marking the fourth time a global temperature record has been set this century. This is also the largest margin by which the annual global temperature record has been broken." An independent analysis by NASA found similar results.

However, satellite measurements were less daunting. NOAA says, "The 2015 temperature for the lower troposphere (roughly the lowest five miles of the atmosphere) was third highest in the 1979-2015 record, at 0.65°F (0.36°C) above the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). It was also third highest on record, at 0.47°F (0.26°C) above the 1981–2010 average, as analyzed by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS)."

 And that’s exactly what climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer predicted last month. In fact, he went a step further: "What is interesting is to consider the possibility that 2016 will indeed be a record warm year, even in the UAH (and probably RSS) satellite data. This is because the second year of El Ni?o year couplets is almost always the warmest, and 2015 is only the first year."

Translation: Expect 2016 to be record warm, even among satellite measurements. And when it is, remember that it was forecasted using natural variables. Speaking of which, the current El Ni?o is expected to flip to La Ni?a later this year. How will NOAA respond when global temperatures then drop beginning in 2017?


"Renewables" are still expensive

Bj?rn Lomborg

We constantly hear how solar and wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels. Yet, they aren't.

Bloomberg just a couple of months ago, told us that "wind power is now the cheapest electricity to produce in both Germany and the U.K., even without government subsidies."

Now, a new study from the very same Bloomberg shows that if subsidies are phased out by 2020, the renewable industry will dry up and drop off a cliff.

Well, you can't have it both ways. This just simply shows that once again, renewables are *not* competitive and need subsidies for a long time. As the International Energy Agency shows, even in 2040, the average cost of renewables will be *higher* than the average cost of any other energy form, oil, gas, nuclear, coal and hydro, both in the developed and developing world. The subsidies we pay to solar and wind, even in 2040 will be about the same as the subsidies we pay today!

With formidable doublespeak, Greenpeace manages to say that renewables are both competitive *and* need subsidies for many years after 2020: "Wind and solar energy are at the point of becoming really competitive with fossil fuels, but failure to support them for another few years will result in huge losses of potential jobs."

This is the story we've heard since the 1970s – just a few more years. In 1976 Lovins told us that "a largely or wholly solar economy can be constructed in the United States with straightforward soft technologies that are now demonstrated and now economic or nearly economic." And it still isn't.


Study: CO2 NOT causing climate change

Independent climate researcher Jef Reynen has submitted a detailed study for open peer review at the independent science body, Principia Scientific International (PSI). Titled ‘CO2 Has Hardly Any Effect on Surface Temperate’, the study is presented for full open peer review. Reynen, who has a strong mathematics background and relies extensively on numerical analysis, has also helpfully provided herein a layperson’s guide to his paper, paraphrased below.

According to the paper’s findings climate changes are due to other physical phenomena – not carbon dioxide – and such changes have always taken place and will continue to do so despite the recent claims at the UN’s Paris climate summit (COP21) to ‘limit’ global warming to two degrees.

‘CO2 Has Hardly Any Effect on Surface Temperature‘ tells us, "Besides CO2 is not a poisonous gas, on the contrary, it has beneficiary properties for mankind because it is a fertilizer: if the concentration would become less than half of the present 400 ppm (0.04%) the vegetation on the planet would disappear, and consequently animals and human beings. In nursery greenhouses the concentration of CO2 is augmented in order to ameliorate the production of plants."

As witnessed at the Paris climate summit (December 2015) the IPCC (International Panel of Climate Change) under the auspices of the United Nations, continues to promote the increasingly discredited view that traces of CO2 are causing a dangerous increase in the planet’s temperature.

In Paris UN lobbyists succeeded in persuading nearly 200 nations to agree to sign up to limit the use of so-called fossil fuels. Critics have condemned the UN agreement as anti-industrial and a curb on global wealth creation enjoyed for the last 150 years.

In earlier papers the author has discussed the matter using mathematical techniques programmed on a computer. In ‘CO2 Has Hardy Any Effect on Surface Temperature’  Reynen avoids use of the complex mathematics so that more people will consider the message, which focuses on clear, concise facts.

The so-called greenhouse effect, a misnomer

The bulk of the atmosphere consists of 80 % nitrogen N2 and 19% oxygen O2. The remaining 1% are traces of other gases.

Gases consisting of molecules with three or more atoms are IR-active (infra red active): they absorb and emit IR-radiation, also called LW (long wave) radiation, related to not too high temperatures.

The sun at high temperature is emitting SW (short wave) radiation which is absorbed by the atmosphere and by the surface of the planet, and the heat is re-emitted as LW radiation.

In the so-called greenhouse effect it is assumed that the atmosphere with traces of IR-active molecules trap the heat of outgoing LW radiation.

A comparison is made with greenhouses in nurseries. That is a misnomer, those greenhouses stay warm because the glass roof is transparent to incoming SW solar radiation and the glass roof keeps the warm air inside the greenhouse.

Heat losses by convection are avoided due to the glass barrier.

Reynen, along with many scientists at Principia Scientific International (PSI) says the ‘greenhouse gas effect’ is a serious misnomer and we should henceforth speak about the atmospheric effect of traces of IR-active (infrared active) molecules

More HERE 

Going Green and Frankenfood

The world is going green – literally, in all kinds of places that were desert-like before

Have you ever been in an airplane crossing the semi-arid foot hills of the Rocky Mountains and looking down at the ground? You’ll have seen large green, circular patches between the miles of dry brown land. Those patches are irrigated fields sprouting vegetables and fruits of various kinds. They are providing the ample food for the supermarket near you – and the world at large.

What Plants Need to Grow

Plants need just a few things to grow, water, nutrients, and sunshine. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is just one of those vital nutrients. However that CO2 has become more readily available, thanks to mankind’s combustion of fossil fuels.

Just a couple of hundred years ago, with atmospheric CO2 down to 0.02- 0.03%, the globe’s plants were nearly starved of that vital CO2 nutrient. Its natural sources, volcanoes and fumaroles, just could not keep up supplying enough CO2 to the atmosphere to even maintain a steady state between production and consumption. You might say the consumption side took over – somewhat reminiscent of today’s economics.

Luckily for life on earth, nature (in the form of anthropogenic "carbon" emissions) came to the rescue. Ever since, the world has been greening, all around. From the ancient sequoias in California, to the vineyards in Canada, agriculture has experienced hitherto unforeseeable increases in production on all continents (excluding Antarctica). Especially in previous dry desert- and shrub-lands, irrigation, (synthetic) fertilizers, and increased CO2 in the airhave turned those parts of the world green. For example, the Sahel (region south of the Sahara desert in Africa) has seen a steady greening.

Apart from more stretches of arable land, the most significant agricultural gain is from increased yields.

Agricultural Yields

Back in the 1800s, agricultural yields had begun to improve with intensive selection of better cultivars, research on soil and nutrient requirement and related methods to increase yields. Gregor Mendelssohn’s research work was of paramount importance for that development. It was successful and provided a slow but steady progress towards higher yields. Increased yields, in turn, enabled the diversion of human ingenuity to (then) more "esoteric" ideas, i.e. like inventions, like the Jacquard loom (1801) and the high pressure steam engine.

Yes, humans came up with another great advance to increase agricultural yields by leaps and bounds, namely genetically engineered varieties. By now, that invention has become so dominant that steadily more fruits and vegetables are becoming genetically engineered in some way.

Those genetically-modified (GMO) plants are commonly more resistant to adverse influences, from competition with all kinds of natural weeds (due to a higher resistance to herbicides), to insects or fungi that negatively affect the yields, storage and distribution of the produce. In fact, more than 90% of all corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. and Canada are now of that GMO variety. GMO organisms (not just plants), however, are still despised in many areas; some people call them "Frankenfood."

GMO Organisms & Foreign Species

Despite its great increase in yields and established safety record for a couple of decades now, the German Agriculture Minister announced in August 2015 a ban on GMO crops. Some EU countries have opted out of that ban requirement, but the majority went along with it.

What’s so strange about all that, at least in my mind, is that Europe is absolutely dependent on plants originating from the American continents to feed their populations, with or without GMO-type plant varieties. Prior to the discovery of the Americas by Columbus, widespread famines were common place.

Without the introduction of potato, tomato, corn (in Europe called maize) and other plants from overseas, Europe’s population would still be starving and certainly not in a position to welcome millions of migrants from other continents. For example, the great (potato) famine in Ireland (in the 1840s) was caused by virus and fungus infections of the potato plant, by then a local staple, resulting in the death of a million people. But the list of introduced species does not end with important food plants; there are also other organisms of increasing importance.

Other introduced species include a variety of carp, i.e. "mirror carp." Served in many restaurants especially around Easter, it also is an introduced species in Europe, having arrived there already a few centuries ago from Asia. Another (intentionally) introduced fish species, the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) also does well in many European creeks and rivers. Even a tree species currently planted in many "managed" forest plots in Europe is from the Americas, like the "Douglasia" spruce (Pseudotsuga menziesii), also known as Oregon pine. In short, Europe is full of alien species of various kinds and has become heavily dependent on them.

It should be recognized that the new abundance of food and fodder in the world is not only a result of introduction from other continents or the result of genetic modifications. Indeed, the greening of the world is also the consequence of the increased atmospheric carbon dioxide level that’s beneficial to plants worldwide.



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

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


22 January, 2016

A "smashing" one tenth of one degree! Ya gotta laugh

Hansen emits no inaccuracy in what he says below.  The key to seeing what a risible emission it is lies in context and knowing what he does NOT say.

The glaring omission is of course a total failure to mention the satellite record -- but there is much more to amuse even in the small excerpt below. His claim that a temperature rise of one tenth of one degree "smashed" the temperature record would amuse most people but, in the context of the truly minuscule changes Warmists normally are burdened with, I suppose you can understand his excitement.

Even that one tenth is a mirage, however. Hansen is the king of corrections and adjustments but, in another amusing act, he makes  no attempt to correct for the El Nino effect. In the past, Warmists often found fault with skeptics who did not correct for the effects of the 1998 El Nino so it is quite a travesty that Hansen is not making any corrections for the current El Nino.  "Do as I say, not as I do" seems to be the gospel of the Green/Left

He is well aware of the current El Nino and describes it fairly but fails to mention that all or nearly all of that wondrous one tenth is due to El Nino, not CO2.  I showed yesterday why that is so.  The unusual "leap" in warming has no corresponding unusual leap in CO2 levels. Reality is so disappointing to the Green/Left.  But they have become experts at seeing only what they want to see  -- and Hansen has a well-developed talent in that direction.

And he HAS to see that one tenth as significant.  He admits that the past changes that have sparked proclamations of "warmest" years have been only in hundredths of one degree.  He is not blind to how trivial are the changes that Warmists hang their hats on.

We really should be a bit sorry for the old fraud. Warmism is his life's work but he must know by now that it is a castle built on sand.  He knows the numbers, unlike his disciples in the media.  And the numbers are not kind.  The reality that repeatedly emerges from them is that we live in an era of exceptional temperature stability.  How galling for people who fancy themselves as "saving the planet"!

Note finally that he uses the "adjusted" sea surface temperature record originally promulgated by Tom Karl.  The adjustments were very convenient to Warmists and Karl is very secretive about the deliberations that went into creating them.  As usual, getting research details out of Warmists is like getting blood out of a stone. Warmists don't subscribe to normal scientific ethics.  They can't afford to.

But at any event, why make any adjustment at all?  The satellite record covers both land and ocean evenly, simultaneously and comparably.  It is a far superior methodology to trying to create some comparability in the higgeldy-piggeldy thermometer data.  Because of El Nino, the satellite data might even show a small uptick for 2015.

All in all, the article is a rather good example of lying with statistics.  Everything he says is factually true.  It's just not the full story.

Global Temperature in 2015

James Hansen et al.

Update of  the GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) global temperature analysis (GISTEMP) finds 2015 to be the warmest year in the instrumental record.  Unlike the prior three record years, 2014, 2010 and 2005, each of which exceeded the preceding record by only a few hundredths of a degree, 2015 smashed the prior record by more than 0.1°C . The only prior record-raising jump of annual global temperature as large, probably slightly larger, was in 1998. The 1998 temperature was boosted by the strong 1997 - 98 “El Niño of the century".  The 2015 temperature was boosted by an El Niño of comparable magnitude.

The high 2015 global temperature should practically terminate discussion of a hypothesized “global warming hiatus”, as the past two warm years remove the impression that warming has plateaued.  Close examination (Fig. 1b) reveals that the warming rate of the past decade is less than in the prior 30 years, but such fluctuations are not unusual and can be accounted for by a combination of factors. The present GISTEMP analysis uses the NOAA ERSST.v4 (Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature, Version 4) 5 for ocean surface temperatures. Principal change in v4, relative to v3 that was used in recent years, is a revision of the ship SST bias adjustment, which Huang et al. 5 well justify.


MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen on ‘hottest year’ claim: ‘Why lend credibility to this dishonesty?’

NASA and NOAA today proclaimed that 2015 was the ‘hottest year’ on record.

Meanwhile, satellite data shows an 18 plus year standstill in global temperatures.

MIT climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen balked at claims of the ‘hottest year’ based on ground based temperature data.

“Frankly, I feel it is proof of dishonesty to argue about things like small fluctuations in temperature or the sign of a trend.  Why lend credibility to this dishonesty?”

Lindzen, an emeritus Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT, told Climate Depot shortly after the announcements.

“All that matters is that for almost 40 years, model projections have almost all exceeded observations.  Even if all the observed warming were due to greenhouse emissions, it would still point to low sensitivity,” Lindzen continued.

“But, given the ‘pause.’ we know that natural internal variability has to be of the same order as any other process,” Lindzen wrote.

Lindzen has previously mocked ‘warmest’ or ‘hottest’ year proclamations.  “When someone says this is the warmest temperature on record. What are they talking about? It’s just nonsense. This is a very tiny change period,” Lindzen said in November 2015.

Lindzen cautioned: “The most important thing to keep in mind is – when you ask ‘is it warming, is it cooling’, etc.  — is that we are talking about something tiny (temperature changes) and that is the crucial point.”


You Want to be Pro-Environment? Then you need Less Government

It should not come as a galloping shock to…well, most of the planet – that American farms are a bit more sophisticated and technologically advanced than…well, most of the planet. Our farms are far more efficient – and thus far better on the environment.

And this is where the Environmental Left goes off the rails. The economic advancement they decry – is the economic advancement that allows for our vastly better treatment of the bits of land we use to farm (and every other bit).

Americans are one of the world’s few peoples who can afford to care about the environment. A Third World resident who hasn’t eaten for three days and drinks water from a sewer – doesn’t care quite so much about mythical problems like climate change.

The more efficient farms are – the “greener” is the planet. Because they can maximize their use of the least amount of natural resources (land and water being but two major examples). Which is what the Environmentalists claim they want.

Except Environmentalists don’t actually want that. What they are really all about – is anti-capitalism. (Earth Day’s date? Vladimir Lenin’s birthday.) What they want is economic regression. Back to a day when farmers were much less efficient – and MUCH harder on the environment.

The thing is, we have visual aids of what they want – all over the world. And these visual aides are environmental horror shows – in nations that are environmental horror shows. Because they are inefficient nightmare messes.

"Yaa Amekudzi bounces along dirt roads in a sport-utility vehicle from one village to the next as part of a $1 billion scramble by the world’s top chocolate makers to fix the industry’s most vexing problem….

(C)ocoa production is down, including a steep slide last year in Ghana, the second-largest cocoa-growing country. Cocoa prices have jumped nearly 40% since the start of 2012.cocoa production

As a result, the pressure is on Amekudzi and her team of five employees at Mondelez International Inc., the maker of Cadbury Dairy Milk bars and Oreo cookies, to help cocoa farmers boost their dwindling crop yields.

“They need to change the way they farm,” says Amekudz….

Similar instructions to farmers in neighboring Ivory Coast, the world’s No. 1 cocoa grower, have helped produce back-to-back record crops, companies say. But average crop yields are just one-third as big as they could be if all cocoa farmers in Ghana and Ivory Coast followed good agricultural practices.

The problems worry the industry so much that 10 of the largest chocolate producers and cocoa processors agreed in 2014 to begin sharing with each other a wide swath of private data on farming practices and crop yields. The move was unprecedented."

“Good agricultural practices” – are the practices of farms here in America. The $1 billion these desperate cocoa companies are spending – is to spread the word about what we’re doing here.

And here’s the irony: This private money is being spent to mitigate the damage being done by billions and billions of government dollars – being spent subsidizing said slovenly, anti-environment farming.

As but one example: a product near and dear to these cocoa companies – sugar. Global sugar-producing farms are for the most part regressed, anti-environment messes – microcosms of their regressed, anti-environment nations.

Why are these farms stuck in the past? Because their governments are. These governments – in 20th Century, centralized-style – spend billions and billions of dollars subsidizing their sugar status quos, In effect bailing them out for their inefficiencies – and locking those inefficiencies in.

Human nature: If you pay someone to do something – they’ll keep doing it. And others will join them in doing it. These governments have paid a LOT of coin for inefficient, anti-environment farming. It is no shock that the world suffers so much of it.

Thankfully for these desperate cocoa companies – and anyone else who likes to eat food – there is a bigger, broader solution to this problem. We should sit down with these nations – and free trade away their ridiculous farm programs. In exchange for us free trading away ours.

And not just with sugar (See: Florida Republican Congressman Ted Yoho’s “Zero-for-Zero” Resolution). But with every crop and product farms produce – and governments warp with stupid programs.

It is the efficient, pro-environment, pro-humanity thing to do.


The Myth of Global Temperature

The idea that the Globe is warming has been repeated so often and by so many eminent scientists of both sides – I mean both by Warmists and Skeptics – that surely it must true. earth v sunBut the fact is that nothing could be farther from the truth. Believe me, any Tom Dick or Harry with reasonable intelligence can prove this to himself – or herself, if I must be politically correct.

There is no such entity as a Global Temperature. Wait a moment! A few days ago I was assured by email by none other than Professor John Christy that there is an average Global Temperature. Who am I to disagree? And remember he is a renowned Skeptic at the University of Alabama for Space Studies. Sure there is an average temperature, though God alone knows how he or any of the others work it out. But I did not deny some sort of average. What I have said and I repeat – There is no such entity as a Global Temperature. That is entirely different to an average.

Any fool can understand that. As the Sun goes down the temperature falls, even in the Sahara. Where has all that midday heat disappeared? As my central heating switches off the temperature in my living room and throughout my house falls. Should my central heating fail, as it has done every now and then to the consternation of my wife and myself, I am bereft – I feel extremely miserable if I am cold. I may jump about and get on my exercise machine in order to keep warm; I may put on a thick pullover or even crawl into bed, but what must be my inexorable conclusion? The conclusion is that everything everywhere is cooling by itself.

It just so happened that this afternoon I watched a documentary with the renowned Dr Iain Stewart – perhaps some of you will remember his documentary where he is in the Siberian wastes telling us that methane is ten times more powerful than Carbon Dioxide, and woe betide us all if through Global Warming the permafrost began to melt. To demonstrate this he scraped some snow off till he could see the ice packed with bubbles of methane and to illustrate his point he lit this gas, which flared and almost blew him off his feet. If the permafrost began to melt all this methane would be released and this would make for an infernal round of more and more Global Warming and Climate Change.  It all sounds so plausible.

Well, until one asks a simple question. Where did the heat from the methane go? Shall I tell you, as if you do not know already? The heat has gone up and away by convection. He is a great scientist and in this case a famous Warmist one. He is concerned that the gases in the atmosphere are getting hotter and hotter and warming the Globe. Is he correct? Or have I misunderstood him?

He thinks that the atmosphere warms the Globe. But precisely the opposite is true. All the gases of the atmosphere without exception carry the heat from the Earth upwards and away. It is called convection and when convection can no longer operate the much-maligned Greenhouse Gases radiate what’s left to Outer Space. So when I say that any Tom, Dick or Harry can observe this for themselves that is very largely true. Everybody knows that hot gases rise upwards and as they rise the molecules grow farther apart and cooling takes place.

What we all know is that the Globe is cooling. The Globe is cooling naturally and all the time without any exception. Wait a minute! How then do we get warm? Answer: You, Sir, whether your name is John or Joshua, you know that the Sun warms the Earth and the Oceans. Every child who plays out in the Sun knows instinctively that it is the Sun that warms the Earth and the Oceans.

Without the Sun would Carbon Dioxide or Methane keep you warm? Don’t be silly – it is inconceivable. It is a myth. There is some stupid myth that without Carbon Dioxide the Earth would be miles colder, and luckily for us the Earth has an average temperature of 15ºC. Did you know that? Well, if you did you can forget it now.

The whole Global Warming myth – that is to say that Man is warming the Globe is all based on averages, not reality. There are pompous idiots who sincerely believe that man can regulate the temperature of the Globe by cutting emissions of Carbon Dioxide. This is just delusional nonsense. Why? Because there is no such thing as a Global Temperature. Any fool knows that. The Globe has thousands and thousands of temperatures constantly changing. As we orbit the Sun at over 66,000 miles an hour we are toasted on one side and we cool on the other. Any column of air gets colder and colder with altitude. Ask any mountaineer, or any walker in the Lake District or the Cairngorms. This is common knowledge. Why is there snow on the tops of mountains? Wherever you go in the world whether you fly over the mountains of Turkey, whether you try to climb Everest in Nepal it is always the same – it is law conformable – the higher you go the colder it gets.

A lot of scientists love averages. But tell me this – the temperature of the surface of the moon varies, so I am told, between 240C and minus 240C. So what is the average? The average is zero. But did the astronauts experience zero? Of course not! They landed in a lunar daytime – they had to take extreme precautions against the heat with space suits and special boots. In the same way if a person is trekking across Antarctica trying to get to the South Pole, is it any consolation to him that it warm in Mauritius or really steamy in Jakarta? None at all. The reality is the experience of the moment. One does not experience averages.

Take any 2 numbers. 12 and 8, the average is 10. Yet if I take 17 and 3 the average is still 10, though the reality is different. If I take 7 numbers let us say 16, 24, 96, 108, 33, 72 and 2 I can add them together and divide by 7 and I will get an average. So what?  This is what the climate wizards do. So they may indeed arrive at an average figure, whether it is done by a series of thermometers 5ft off the ground or by remote sensing from satellites, what is the difference? The difference is all leger-de–main.

It is all a means to persuade the man-in-the-street that the Globe is getting hotter and hotter and that it is all his fault. Absolute poppycock. Balderdash. On top of this these charlatans would persuade us all that they can regulate the Global temperature to within 2ºC, when no such temperature exists.

Sure, there is an average. There may be a Global Mean Temperature. But these averages are divorced from reality. There are even some Skeptics who roundly declare that there has been no warming for 18 years and so many months. But that is arrant nonsense. It is scientific gibberish. The reality is flux – there is incessant movement as we hurtle through space and orbit the Sun. How big is the Sun? The Sun can contain one million three hundred thousand Earths, (1,300,000). In the face of this magnitude, in the face of solar storms and solar winds we are concerned about the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which is but 0.04% of the whole. It is ludicrous. It is an absolute myth. It is the biggest con that has ever been committed on mankind. Lord preserved us all from the Black Magicians.


Did early farmers trigger global warming 7,000 years ago?

Controversial theory suggests even small amounts of human activity can cause climate change.  Ruddiman has been pushing this barrow for years but it only makes sense if you subscribe to the Warmist view of CO2 effects.  He may be right about varying CO2 levels but whether they affect temperatures to any noticeable degree is the issue

It's not just modern society that is being blamed for climate change. A small group of scientists claim global warming first began when humans went from being hunter-gatherers to farmers 7,000 years ago.

If their theory is correct, it suggests our efforts to curb emissions from industrial activity will need to be ramped up dramatically to have any impact.

It argues a cooling period was halted after the advent of agriculture 7,000 years ago.

William Ruddiman from the University of Virginia found that carbon dioxide levels rose beginning 7,000 years ago, and that methane began rising 5,000 years ago.

The rise in carbon dioxide emissions was blamed on the slash and burn techniques used by early farmers to make available large areas of land for crops.

Archaeological studies have also found that early rice irrigation, which releases methane gas to the atmosphere, explains most of the high rise in the gas about 5,000 years ago.

The spread of livestock farming during that time period also may explain part of the methane increase, the researchers claim.

Most scientists say early farmers had relatively small effects on the environment because of their small population and basic tools – but William Ruddiman disagrees.

Twelve years ago, the University of Virginia climate scientist put forward the controversial theory that early humans altered the climate by burning massive areas of forests to clear the way for crops.

Now Ruddiman and his team are pointing to a new analysis of ice-core climate data, archaeological evidence and ancient pollen samples to back up his hypothesis.

A study detailing the findings is published online in a recent edition of the journal Reviews of Geophysics, published by the American Geophysical Union.

'Early farming helped keep the planet warm,' said William Ruddiman, a University of Virginia climate scientist and lead author of the study.

He says resulting carbon dioxide and methane released into the atmosphere had a warming effect that 'cancelled most or all of a natural cooling that should have occurred.'

That idea, which came to be known as the 'early anthropogenic hypothesis', was hotly debated for years by climate scientists, and is still considered debatable by some of these scientists.

But in the new paper, Ruddiman highlights evidence in the past few years, particularly from ice-core records dating back to 800,000 years ago.

They show that an expected cooling period was halted after the advent of large-scale agriculture. Otherwise, they say, the Earth would have entered the early stages of a natural ice age, or glaciation period.

The Earth naturally cycles between cool glacial periods and warmer interglacial periods because of variations in its orbit around the sun.  We currently are in an interglacial period, called the Holocene epoch, which began nearly 12,000 years ago.

In 2003, Ruddiman developed his early anthropogenic hypothesis after examining 350,000 years of climate data from ice cores and other sources.

He found that during interglacial periods, carbon dioxide and methane levels decreased, cooling the climate and making way for a succeeding glacial period.

But, only during the Holocene era, these gas levels rose, coinciding, he said, with the beginning of large-scale agriculture. He attributed the rise to this human activity, which began occurring millennia before the industrial era.

The rise in carbon dioxide emissions was blamed on the slash and burn techniques widely used by early farmers to make available large areas of land for crops.

Ruddiman found that carbon dioxide levels rose beginning 7,000 years ago, and that methane began rising 5,000 years ago.

He said this explains why a cooling trend didn't happen that likely otherwise would have led to a new glacial period.

In the new study, Ruddiman and his colleagues delved more deeply into the climate record using Antarctic ice-core data, dating back to 800,000 years ago.

This use of a historical data set clearly shows, they say, that the Holocene is unlike other interglacial periods in its abundance of carbon dioxide and methane, further implicating the impact of humans.

'After 12 years of debate about whether the climate of the last several thousand years has been entirely natural or in considerable part the result of early agriculture, converging evidence from several scientific disciplines points to a major anthropogenic influence,' Ruddiman said.


Greenie billionaire ready to support socialist

    Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer said he is not yet prepared to back Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee for president and he would not rule out supporting her main rival, Bernie Sanders, if he beats her in the primaries.

    One of the biggest Democratic donors, Steyer could help Clinton boost her standing among environmentalist activists who are a key constituency within the Democratic party. Clinton is locked in tight races with Sanders in Iowa and New Hampshire, which both have early nominating contests.

    "Our real goal has been not to support any one candidate, but to emphasize and highlight the issue (of climate change) so that the candidates can lay out their solutions and so the American people can have a chance to make a decision," Steyer said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.

    After the Democratic party picks its presidential nominee, that will change.

    "We have always come out and supported the climate champion," Steyer said. "The idea that for some reason we wouldn’t do that, I’d have to understand why in hell we didn’t. Because that has been our practice always."

Steyer said he is open to supporting Sanders, and not put off by his rhetoric on billionaires or campaign finance reform. This is the sort of news that, on the heels of losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, could be the beginning of the end for Hillary.



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

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


21 January, 2016

World's hottest year declaration expected amid dangerous winter weather

Just a passing mention of El Nino towards the end.  No acknowledgement that it will be El Nino, not CO2, that is responsible for the recent high temperatures.  How do we know that?  We know it because previous El Ninos have been accompanied by big temperature jumps followed by much lower temperatures afterward. 

And CO2 levels have not suddenly leapt. They cannot account for a temperature jump.  The following ppm figures from Cape Grim are for the recent November averages: 388.94 2011; 391.17 2012; 393.86 2013; 395.78 2014; 398.45 2015.  As you can see, each year brings an increase of around 2 to 3 ppm in CO2 and the increase for 2015 was of that ilk.  In percentage terms, the change from 2014 to 2015 was only six tenths of one percent! Hardly a change at all. Certainly no leap.

Warmists will of course seize on any rise as explanatory but to complete the argument they will have to give a figure for the climate sensitivity to CO2.  And at that point they will be in difficulties

Technical note:  I have used Cape Grim figures rather than Mauna Loa.  It seems so insane to situate an atmospheric measuring station beside an active volcano that I never even look at Mauna Loa figures.  Cape Grim is, by contrast, in a very isolated position at the Northwest of Tasmania -- JR

While the region braces for its first unofficial snow panic of the season, the government is about to announce that 2015 was the warmest year on record worldwide - probably by a comfortable margin.

Officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies say they will release their annual reports on Wednesday.

While the final piece - official December climate data - has not yet been made public, the first 11 months of the year were so historically balmy that the declaration of 2015 as the world's warmest year, surpassing 2014, is all but a certainty, weather watchers agree.

The average annual temperature last year was at least 1.5 degrees higher than those during the 20th Century. And scientists at both agencies are expected to indict man-made greenhouse gases for the trend.

The announcement will come as a potential mega-snowstorm takes aim on the Northeast Corridor. Meteorologists on Tuesday warned of the potential for 1 to 2 feet of snow to pile up Friday and Saturday. Jersey beaches are likely to take a pounding from potent onshore winds, with major flooding possible.

But the weekend forecasts are still evolving. In fact, on Tuesday the respected European computer model appeared to cut back on its initial projections of double-digit snowfall accumulations for the Philadelphia region.

While the juxtaposition between the snow threat and the global-temperature report might appear ironic, climate experts have long emphasized that climate trends transcend local, short-term events - the hurricanes, heat waves, cold spells and blizzards that often get so much attention.

It is impossible, they say, to determine how a subtle increase in world temperatures could affect an individual storm. But the warming, they say, is very real.

NOAA and NASA maintain separate databases using slightly different - and quite complicated - methods. But their readings track closely.

The official database maintained by NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, in Asheville, N.C., dates to 1880.

Taking the world's temperature isn't as simple as sticking a thermometer under the planetary armpit.

Daily high-low average temperatures at about 2,500 stations worldwide are taken on a month-by-month basis, explains government climate specialist Deke Arndt. The temperature is expressed relative to 20th Century averages, rather than an absolute reading. The planet's thermometers do not constitute a homogeneous set. They are located at different elevations and above different terrains.

So, rather than attempting to average temperatures in different environments, Arndt has said, it is tidier to measure how readings at a given site deviate from average readings at the same site.

For 2014, the center's globally averaged temperature was 1.32 degrees Fahrenheit [i.e. less than one degree Celsius] above the 20th Century average, the warmest on record. NASA compares its annual temperature with that of the 1951-80 "base period." The 2014 temperature was about 1.2 degrees above the base period's.

In all likelihood, the 2015 NOAA number will exceed 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which would beat the margin of error.

The December 2015 report isn't available yet, but from Jan. 1 through Nov. 30, the combined land-and-sea temperature was 1.57 degrees above the 20th Century average.

And evidently December was quite warm globally, with abnormally high surface temperatures over a vast expanse of the Pacific, the result of the ongoing El Nino event.


Professor Bob Carter (1941 – 2016)

A good tribute to the late Bob Carter from Jo Nova below.  Knowing his steady good sense it is hard to feel that he is gone.  He joins other lively skeptics that are no longer with us. Reid Bryson, Augie Auer and John Daly are particularly remembered.  Many skeptics are elderly.  It has to be that way.  A young scholar who came out against the ecoFascists would ruin his career. But we old guys are mostly retired so cannot so easily be got at.  It makes me wonder how much longer I have got.  As Bob was, I am in my 70s.  My blood pressure is good for my age, however (130/70 at last reading), so a cardiovascular event is not likely to carry me off  -- JR

One of the best things about being a skeptic are the people I’ve got to know, and Bob Carter was one of the best of them, sadly taken far too soon. He was outstanding, a true gem, a good soul, and an implacably rational thinker. A softly spoken man of conscience and good humour.

So it is dreadful news that he suffered a heart attack last week in Townsville. For the last few days I have been hoping that he would return to us, but alas, tonight he passed away peacefully, surrounded by family.

We shall miss you Bob.

Professor Bob Carter (74) has been a key figure in the Global Warming debate, doing exactly what good professors ought to do — challenging paradigms, speaking internationally, writing books, newspaper articles, and being invited to give special briefings with Ministers in Parliament. He started work at James Cook University in 1981, served as Head of the Geology Department until 1998, and sometime after that he retired. Since then he’d been an honorary Adjunct Professor. [Bob was a founding member of the GWPF's Academic Advisory Council]

He was a man who followed the scientific path, no matter where it took him, and even if it cost him, career-wise, every last bell and whistle that the industry of science bestowed, right down to his very email address. After decades of excellent work, he continued on as an emeritus professor, speaking out in a calm and good natured way against poor reasoning and bad science.

But the high road is the hard road and the university management tired of dealing with the awkward questions and the flack that comes with speaking truths that upset the gravy train. First James Cook University (JCU) took away his office, then they took his title. In protest at that, another professor hired Bob immediately for an hour a week so Bob could continue supervising students and keep his library access. But that was blocked as well, even the library pass and his email account were taken away, though they cost the University almost nothing.

It says a lot about the man that, despite the obstacles, he didn’t seem bitter and rarely complained. He dealt with it all with calm equanimity. Somehow he didn’t carry the bad treatment as excess baggage.

Probably the saddest aspect of the whole petty saga of the Blackballing of Bob Carter was that JCU felt it was fine to explain that Bob’s mistake was that he had come to an inconvenient conclusion on climate change. It wasn’t that he got the facts wrong, instead his "views on climate change did not fit well within the School’s own teaching and research activities."

So much for academic freedom. Apparently it took up too much time to defend Carter against outside complaints about his public writings and lectures on climate change.

Such is the state of intellectual rigor in Australian universities. As I said at the time: "… every person in the chain of command tacitly, or in at least one case, actively endorsed the blackballing. Each one failed to stand for free speech and rigorous debate"

The only one in that chain at JCU who would always put science before politics was Professor Robert Carter. He was a rare and remarkable man, and I will keenly miss his wisdom and philosophical good nature.



Leftism is intrinsically authoritarian.  Even Friedrich Engels thought so. Whether by revolution or by legislation, Leftists aim to change what people can and must do. They are natural-born dictators

Professor Nico Stehr, founding director of the European Center for Sustainability Research, notes there are many threats to democracy – including the widespread, growing feeling of not being heard or represented by the political class.

Some climatologists, including many who believe human-caused global warming poses a catastrophic threat to the planet, say democracy itself is a hindrance to sound climate policy. They say democracies are increasingly proving themselves incapable of delivering strong and timely policy responses to exceptional global threats. Stehr quotes Australians David Shearman and Joseph Wayne Smith, who write in The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy, "We need an authoritarian form of government to implement the scientific consensus on greenhouse gas emissions."

James Hansen, James Lovelock, and Eric Hobsbawn have all written the democratic process is not working when it comes to climate change. In his book The Vanishing Face of Gaia, Lovelock went so far as to demand democracy be abandoned to meet the challenges of climate change, which he deemed "a state of war."

Stehr notes this is not the first time intellectuals have called for rule by educated elites. Economist and social philosopher Friedrich Hayek remarked on the paradoxical development, noting as "ignorance" of science falls, "people who are intoxicated by the progress of knowledge, so often become enemies of freedom."

Stehr also observes climate alarmists’ pessimistic assessment of the ability of democracies to cope with climate change, as with other purported instances of exceptional circumstances, is linked with an optimistic assessment of the potential of central planning.

And really, is it any surprise that as the public becomes less supportive of their cause, the climate alarmists become less interested in the opinions of the public?


Majority of Americans Don't Buy Climate Change Threat; State Dept Blames Polling

The State Department special envoy on climate change said on Friday that although a recent poll shows that 62 percent of Americans don’t think climate change will pose a threat in their lifetime, a sampling of "good polling" would reveal increasing public concern. asked Todd Stern: "In March of 2015, Gallup took a poll, and 55 percent of Americans were concerned about climate change, and also they asked a specific question: Do you think that global warming will pose a serious threat to you or your way of life in your lifetime, and in 2015, 62 percent of Americans said, ‘No.’ How do those numbers jibe with what you’re saying about an increasing number of people believing in climate change and its effects?"

"I’m not armed with poll numbers that I’ve look at recently," Stern said at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington, D.C. "Look, I think a lot of  -- here and everywhere else – questions like this depend enormously on what the nature of the question is and how it’s phrased, and then for people to say they don’t think it’s a serious threat within their lifetime is completely understandable given what – the way the issue is commonly talked about and understood in the press.

"So I think if we were – if you’re an election buff and you look at Real Clear Politics every day like I do, you’ll see that there’s a whole bunch of polls in New Hampshire, Iowa, this place, that place, and the line that’s at the top of Real Clear is an average of a bunch of polls," said Stern, who was appointed to the post by Hillary Clinton in 2009.

"So I think if we did a sampling of good polling and a range of the way the question is asked, you would see that there is, in fact, a real movement up in the level of U.S. public concern," Stern said.

Stern was speaking at CFR about the recent United Nations climate change agreement that the Obama administration signed onto in Paris late last year. The agreement includes the U.S. providing funding to developing nations to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.


Democratic Governor Slams Obama’s Moratorium on Coal Production Leases on Federal Lands

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, issued an audio statement over the weekend reacting to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s announcement Friday that the Obama administration will halt issuing leases for coal production on federal lands.

"President Obama is wrong," Bullock said in an audio statement posted on the local public radio station, "and once again Montana’s working families are left bearing the brunt of his unilateral action.

"Of course American taxpayers should get their fair value from coal leases, and of course, there should be transparency in the process," Bullock said, "but you don’t shut down a program just to tinker with it. You fix as you go.

"As this process moves forward, I am going to demand Montana has a seat at the table," Bullock said.

"Even as our nation transitions to cleaner energy sources, building on smart policies and progress already underway, we know that coal will continue to be an important domestic energy source in the years ahead," Jewell said in a press release issued on Friday about the review of coal operations on federal land.

"We haven’t undertaken a comprehensive review of the program in more than 30 years, and we have an obligation to current and future generations to ensure the federal coal program delivers a fair return to American taxpayers and takes into account its impacts on climate change," she added.

"Given serious concerns raised about the federal coal program, we’re taking the prudent step to hit pause on approving significant new leases so that decisions about those leases can benefit from the recommendations that come out of the review," Jewell said.

The New West website posted on Saturday reaction from other stakeholders in Montana.

"This announcement comes as no surprise from an administration that seems hell-bent on forcing the coal industry to come to a screeching halt," Bud Clinch, executive director of the Montana Coal Council, said in the article. "This is devastating news for Montana.

"About half the coal we mine is federal coal," Clinch said. "The president is trying to stop all of that coal from being mined.

"It could also make it unfeasible to mine some tribal, private, or state-owned coal on parcels adjacent to federal parcels," Clinch said. "The president and environmental groups have put in jeopardy thousands of good-paying Montana jobs and one of our most important economic sectors."

"Federal coal royalties total between $40 and $50 million in biennial revenue to our state," said Glenn Oppel, government relations director for the Montana Chamber of Commerce.  "Losing that would leave a gaping hole in our state budget and represents a huge tax shift to Montana homeowners and small businesses.

"The economic impact of coal in our state cannot be understated, a moratorium on federal coal mining would be a catastrophe," Oppel said.

"As I stated last week when I attended Obama’s state of the union where he hinted at further action against federal coal leasing: Washington, D.C.’s out of touch regulations are hurting Montana families, and they need to be stopped," said Jason Small, president of International Boilermakers Local 11 in East Helena, Mont.

Bullock also opposes the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, aimed to regulate carbon emissions from U.S. power plants.


West Australian minister calls on anti-uranium lobby to 'accept WA mines'

Western Australia's Minister from Mines is calling on the anti uranium lobby to accept WA mines in the wake of last month's climate change agreement in Paris.

Bill Marmion said there were currently four uranium mines on the cards for WA and nuclear energy could be the solution to the current fossil fuel problem.

And he believes that Western Australia is well placed to take advantage of the current and future demand for non fossil fuels, given that one of the world's largest uranium supplies is sitting just under the surface in some rather remote regions of the state.  "We could be a leading exporter of uranium on the world scene if these mines get up and running and that could actually help carbon emissions worldwide," he said.

"So I think now it's timely that everybody takes another look at uranium and nuclear energy."

Mia Pepper from the Conservation council said she and Mr Marmion must have been tuned into two different conferences, because her take on Paris was quite different.

She said the minister was overly optimistic in his hopes for a West Australian uranium mining future.

"The outcomes of the Paris conference were actually very not supportive of the nuclear industry," she said.  "The nuclear industry has for a very long time, tried to capitalise on climate change as a foothold for the nuclear industry and I think now more than ever, because of Paris, those dreams are very much dashed.  "It's becoming clearer and clearer that renewable energy is very much the solution to the climate change problem that we face."

West Australian uranium miner Vimy Resources has welcomed the Minister's call for the anti-uranium lobby to accept to accept WA mines.

The company is currently undertaking its public environmental review and Mike Young said it was inevitable that uranium mining would eventually become part of the West Australian economy.

"If we all work together, we can all ensure that uranium mining in Western Australia is done to world's best practice and considering that the nuclear power industry is not going to disappear, that's probably the best outcome for everybody," he said.


20 January, 2016

The latest attempt to keep the global warming theory alive

Contrary to all predictions, global warming stopped more than 18 years ago.  But Warmists didn't let go. They said that CO2 was still producing heat but that the heat had suddenly started being mopped up by the oceans.  What caused the oceans to come suddenly to that watery decision they cannot explain

But the explanation REALLY falls apart if there is no evidence of increased heat in the oceans.  And such evidence is hard to come by.  The oceans change very slowly, not suddenly.  And the only prominent Warmist who is actually an oceanographer -- Rahmstorff -- doesn't believe the heat-gobbling ocean theory. So the Warmists are a touch desperate at the moment

But salvation is at hand.  A new study is just out that purports to provide the needed evidence. The irrepressible  Chris Mooney summarizes it below.

In my wicked way, however, I have had a look at the underlying academic journal article "Industrial-era global ocean heat uptake doubles in recent decades" in Nature Climate Change

I note two things:  1).  They use data from the mid-19th century on to the present time. And there is no dispute that there was some slight warming over the late 19th and the 20th century.  So over their chosen period they are able to show warming.  They in effect "swamp" the 21st century data with earlier data. 

2). They do eventually get around to looking at the 21st century explicitly and produce exactly the finding Warmists need.  But the finding is just a modelling exercise:  "Our model-based analysis suggests that nearly half of the industrial-era increases in global OHC have occurred in recent decades".  And you can get anything you want out of models

The Guardian also has a riff on the matter under the heading "World's oceans warming at increasingly faster rate, new study finds".  How consoling!  But how come the rest of the world is not getting warmer?  And how long will the greedy old ocean keep  gobbling up all the heat?  Pesky questions I think

Scientists have known for some time that when global warming occurs, the oceans will be the site of the most profound response.

The reason is simply that they are able to retain vastly more heat than the atmosphere. "Ninety, perhaps 95 percent of the accumulated heat is in the oceans," said Peter Gleckler, an oceanographer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The physical reason is that water has a far greater heat "capacity" than air, requiring more energy to raise its temperature — something that is apparent to anyone who has ever tried to boil it on a stove.

Gleckler is the lead author of a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change finding that, in the past two decades, ocean heat content has been rising rapidly and that, much more than before, heat is also mixing into the deeper layers of the ocean, rather than remaining near the surface.

"As the upper oceans have been warming over time, more and more of this heat is finding its way down into the deeper ocean, and our results indicate that the fractional amount of heat that is trapped in the deeper ocean is increasing as well," Gleckler said.

"We find that the heat uptake of the global oceans has doubled since about 1997, compared to what took place prior to that over the industrial era. And that was a surprising result to us," he added.

The research was conducted with scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Pennsylvania State University.

We tend to think of global warming as an overall upward trend in air temperature — but that’s simply the most immediate way in which we experience it. From a scientific perspective, it is perhaps best understood as an energy imbalance between the Earth and space, with less heat escaping and more being retained within the planet’s system.

In this sense, the new study represents a strong confirmation of this overall energy-balance shift. If large volumes of heat are trapped on Earth because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, then inevitably, the majority of that heat must be stored in the oceans, simply because of their greater ability to retain such energy.

"The heat capacity of the Earth’s entire atmosphere is equaled by the top 3.5 meters [11 feet] of the ocean," explains a fact sheet released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to accompany the new study.

"The overall global ocean heat uptake is a result, we know, of the increasing greenhouse gases," Gleckler said.

Conducting the latest work required stitching together multiple data sources, including measurements from the historic Challenger expedition of the 1870s — a landmark moment for oceanography — and modern readings from Argo floats. Nearly 4,000 of these instruments are spread across the global ocean, providing temperature measurements as deep as 2,000 meters.

Scientists divide the ocean into layers, with the top portion — the one that is warming and, therefore, affects humans the most — extending from the surface down to 700 meters. The middle section spans 700 meters to 2000 meters deep, and the deepest ocean is below that.

The research suggests that two-thirds of heat accumulation has occurred in the upper layer so far, with the remaining third in the lower layers. But it also finds that the percentage stored deeper in the ocean has been increasing recently.

The consequences of upper-ocean warming are well documented. From the bleaching of corals to the potential for more-intense hurricanes, a warmer surface has profound consequences for anything living in the oceans (this is where most sea life is) but also on land. Heating the ocean also raises sea levels, because warm water expands.

The consequences of warming the middle and deepest layers are less clear and less immediate to those of us living at the surface, but they are also sure to be significant. The new study provided a global overview of increasing ocean warming, rather than any specific prediction of regional consequences. But warming the deep ocean could lead to changes in its circulation, Gleckler said. One key factor driving the oceans’ global overturning circulation is the density of water, which is in turn affected by its temperature.

On the bright side, Gleckler notes, you can argue that increasing heat burial in the deep ocean is, in some ways, good news for humans. If the heat wasn’t at depth, then more of it would be in the surface layer and the surface of the globe would be even warmer, and feeling greater effects, than it already is.


Let's hear it for the woodrats!

A stupid laboratory study that ignores the fact that animals can move.  They can and do move from habitats that don't suit  them to ones that do.  So if warming ever happens they can simply migrate Northwards

Global warming could be a killer to some animals in the near future.

A University of Utah lab experiment discovered that when temperatures increased, woodrats were left vulnerable to plant toxins that they normally consume without a problem when cooler. That leads scientists to believe that global warming could potentially threaten herbivores in the near future.

"This study adds to our understanding of how climate change may affect mammals, in that their ability to consume dietary toxins is impaired by warmer temperatures," biologist Denise Dearing, senior author of the research published in the British journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, said this week, as reported by "This phenomenon will result in animals changing their diets and reducing the amount of plant material they eat, relocating to cooler habitats or going extinct in local areas."

Dearing added that "over 40 percent of all existing mammals eat only plants" and that "[m]ost plants produce toxins, so the majority of plant-eating mammals eat toxic compounds, and this may become more difficult to deal with as the climate warms."

Birds could also be affected by this, according to Dearing.

The study's first author and University of Utah biology doctoral student Patrice Kurnath says any free-range domestic animal will come across plants with toxins, leaving many more animals susceptible to not being able to withstand these poisonous compounds as temperatures warm up.


How global warming is revealing old Alaska shipwrecks

Groan!  This discovery had nothing to do with global warming but it had everything to do with new "remote sensing technology"

NOAA archaeologists discovered two whaling ships last week that sunk off the Alaskan Arctic shore in September 1871. They were part of a 40-ship whaling expedition whose captains had mistakenly counted on a wind shift to clear away surrounding ice. They were wrong, and 33 ships soon became trapped. The enveloping ice slowly destroyed the ships within a few weeks, but all 1,219 officers, crew and whalers aboard were safely rescued by seven ships waiting for the fleet 80 miles south.

All 33 ships had remained hidden for the past 144 years, until climate change removed some of the icy barriers, making two of the ships visible to remote sensing technology.
Recommended:Are you scientifically literate? Take our quiz

"Until now, no one had found definitive proof of any of the lost fleet beneath the water," said Brad Barr, NOAA archaeologist and project co-director, in a NOAA press release. "This exploration provides an opportunity to write the last chapter of this important story of American maritime heritage and also bear witness to some of the impacts of a warming climate on the region’s environmental and cultural landscape, including diminishing sea ice and melting permafrost."

The survey area consisted of 30 miles of Alaskan shoreline in the Chukchi Sea from the cities of Wainwright to Point Franklin. Using "state-of-the-art sonar and sensing technology, the NOAA team was able to plot the ‘magnetic signature’ of the two wrecks," as well as anchors, ballasts and tools from other ships.

To save all 1,219 passengers, the seven rescue ships had to throw their equipment and catch overboard. Barr told the Guardian that the disaster cost $33.3 million dollars in modern terms, ultimately hastening the demise of the American whaling industry.

With a total of 45 ships lost between the 1871 wreck and another in 1875, Arctic disasters "effectively dampened enthusiasm for bowhead whaling," says the New Bedford Whaling Museum. "The implication was that there may have been better ways to earn a living and better investments for capital."


The global warming consensus that isn't

By Thomas Lifson

At last, we have a peer-reviewed paper that accurately surveys how much support there is for anthropogenic global warming among relevant scientists. And the news isn’t good for Al Gore, nor for Barack Obama, who sees climate change as our number one national security threat.

The widely cited figure of 97% of scientists supporting man made global warming theory has always been a fraud:

     "…a Canada-based group calling itself Friends of Science has just completed a review of the four main studies used to document the alleged consensus and found that only 1 - 3% of respondents "explicitly stated agreement with the IPCC declarations on global warming," and that there was "no agreement with a catastrophic view."

    "These 'consensus' surveys appear to be used as a 'social proof,'" says Ken Gregory, research director of Friends of Science. "Just because a science paper includes the words 'global climate change' this does not define the cause, impact or possible mitigation. The 97% claim is contrived in all cases."

    The Oreskes (2004) study claimed 75% consensus and a "remarkable lack of disagreement" by the other 25% of the abstracts she reviewed. Peiser (2005) re-ran her survey and found major discrepancies. Only 1.2% or 13 scientists out of 1,117 agreed with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) view that human activity is the main cause of global warming since 1950."

Investor’s Business Daily reveals the devastating new research:

    "….a peer-reviewed paper showing that only 36% of 1,077 geoscientists and engineers surveyed believe in the man-made global warming crisis as defined by the United Nations' Kyoto model.

    According to the paper, the Kyoto position expresses "the strong belief that climate change is happening, that it is not a normal cycle of nature, and humans are the main or central cause."

    Thirty-six percent is not insignificant. But it certainly is a long way from the oft-cited 97% "consensus" among scientists that man is causing temperatures to change.

    Researchers behind "Science or Science Fiction? Professionals' Discursive Construction of Climate Change," which appeared in Organization Studies, also found "the proportion of papers" collected from a science database "that explicitly endorsed anthropogenic climate change has fallen from 75%" between 1993 and 2003 "to 45% from 2004 to 2008."

    The Heartland Institute's James Taylor reminds us in Forbes that "survey results show geoscientists (also known as earth scientists) and engineers hold similar views as meteorologists. Two recent surveys of meteorologists revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims."

A 36% consensus definitely is less impressive than 97%. In fact, it is a minority view.


I can’t stand this heat, but it has nothing to do with global warming

The inimitable Boris Johnson reports on his office Christmas party

It was the office Christmas party, and for a few brief minutes we broke off from our labours for the annual ping-pong challenge. We took the chairs out from around the big table in my office, and put some books down the middle – and soon we were whacking the ball to and fro with metronomic rhythm and serpentine guile.

"And then I had a ghastly vision. What if this is it? What if winter is over – for ever?"

After a while, I noticed an embarrassing problem. Perhaps it was the wine. Or maybe it was the exertion required to fend off the challenge from some of these fit, young staffers (and I don’t believe in letting them win, I can tell you). It could have been the choice of shirt – that shade of blue is always a risk. At any rate, I was conscious of a dampness in the torso area – and I stared down with horror. I was awash; I looked like an advertisement for antiperspirant. Do you remember that chap in the Harry & Paul sketches – Brian Farnet from Friern Barnet, who gets into a total lather on Question Time? That’s how I looked – as though someone had soused me with a bucket of warm water. It was stifling in here!

I rushed to the window. I opened one. I opened another – and I closed my eyes and waited for the cooling breeze. Then I opened my eyes, and wafted my hand in amazement in front of the window. Hot damn: the air coming in – from the streets of London in December – was, if anything, actually warmer than the air in my office, which had itself been raised to Reptile House temperatures by the ping-pong. What in blazes was going on?

And then I had a ghastly vision. What if this is it? What if this is the long-awaited inflexion point – the moment that has been prophesied since the Eighties? What if winter is over – for ever?

Aaargh, I thought: and in that moment of horror, I contemplated the loss of something so intrinsic to our psychology. Imagine: no more snow. No more tobogganing on Primrose Hill, no more waking up to see the magic prints of the dog on the lawn.

Imagine if this unseasonably warm spell is just the beginning of a long period of meteorological mediocrity: no more ice on the canal, no lovely crispness in the air, no excuse to walk into a room with a fire and go "brrr" while theatrically rubbing your hands.

"In my despair, I rang the great physicist and meteorologist Piers Corbyn. You know, Jeremy's brother"

Imagine if we have nothing in these long, dark months save a muggy and melancholy mildness, soft, damp and unwholesome; nothing but rain and a louring grey sky pressing down on our hungover eyeballs. The thought made me feel almost unwell.

In my despair, I rang the great physicist and meteorologist Piers Corbyn. You know Piers: he is the older brother of Jezza, and he is famous for believing that the world – on the whole – is getting colder, and that the whole global warming theory is unsound, to say the least. Piers thinks that whatever the role of humanity in affecting the temperature of the planet, that role is pitifully trivial next to the Sun, the supercolossal boiling ball of gas about which we revolve and which enables life on Earth.

In the view of Piers and his colleagues at WeatherAction, it is all about sun spots, and he is on record as believing that we are now due for a new "Maunder Minimum" – like the famous cold spell in the 17th century, when the Thames froze several times.

"Piers," I said – and I felt like the children of Israel, denouncing Jeremiah for getting it wrong – "what about the new Ice Age? Where is it?"

And Piers did his best to calm me down. "Helmsman!" he said (since that is how he addresses me). "Relax. Winter has not gone." And he went on to argue, quite persuasively, that there are plenty of places that are really very cold at the moment – the west of the USA, for instance. He reminded me of the prodigious snows that hit the eastern seaboard of America last winter. Yes, it is warm in the UK at the moment – amazingly warm – but the UK and its territorial waters amount to only one six-hundredth of the planet.

The current mild spell would last till the end of January, he said, and it would then turn bitterly cold in February. Whatever is happening to the weather at the moment, he said, it is nothing to do with the conventional doctrine of climate change.

And there, of course, he is in agreement with the vast majority of mainstream science. Meteorologists of all kinds – climate change sceptics and believers – can see the difference between climate and weather; between randomly occurring changes and deep, long-term trends.

We ordinary human beings are not so rational; we are no different from all earlier cultures in that we have to put ourselves in the story, and to attribute this or that individual weather event to our own behaviour or moral failures. Think of Agamemnon at Aulis, unable to get the wind he needed to sail for Troy. What was the problem? He had shot a deer sacred to Artemis. And the solution? Sacrifice his daughter! It was all about him, him, him.

Scientists look at the data. But everyone else just looks at the weather – and it is the weather, therefore, that makes the psychological difference to the debate. Look at the recent summit in Paris, which ended in a good agreement to cut CO2, in contrast to the debacle at Copenhagen six years ago. What was the real difference? It was the weather. Paris was ridiculously warm for December. Six years ago, Copenhagen saw the biggest snowfalls anyone could remember. "Global warming?" everyone asked.

It is fantastic news that the world has agreed to cut pollution and help people save money, but I am sure that those global leaders were driven by a primitive fear that the present ambient warm weather is somehow caused by humanity; and that fear – as far as I understand the science – is equally without foundation.

There may be all kinds of reasons why I was sweating at ping-pong – but they don’t include global warming.


Global warming is a scientific boogeyman

Greg Caffrey

As a geologist, I am more convinced than ever that the man-caused global warming fad is a scientific house of cards.

So-called "carbon pollution" is a nonsense term, a boogeyman that exists only in the rhetoric of lazy minds and careless tongues.

Carbon dioxide is a natural part of the atmosphere. It is vital to the growth of plants. It is harmless to human health. It does not drive climate.

Accordingly, the EPA's Clean Power Plan is simultaneously both frivolous and corrupt; a destructive fraud at every level.

Tellingly, the EPA does not expect the plan to result in noticeably different atmospheric temperature. Instead -- and these are their words -- it's "to show the commitment of the United States."

Translation: It is a self-abusive national gimmick that will accomplish nothing while absolving the EPA of any accountability for measurable results.

If you think that is outrageous and insane, you're right.

But did you seriously expect anything else from an attempt to regulate a boogeyman?



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

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19 January, 2016

A man of faith clings to his faith in his final days

Warmism has such slight claims to be science that belief in it it is clearly a religion, a faith.  So when Piers Sellers, deputy director of Sciences and Exploration at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, was told that cancer would soon kill him he used that to evangelize for his faith.  He managed to get a sob story into the NYT reporting his diagnosis and adding that he was sticking to his global warming work to the end.

The piece had not even a pretence at scientific reporting.  All it did was to regurgitate the usual Warmist assertions.  So I initially disregarded it.  Some of my fellow skeptics, however, were apparently irritated by the article.  They felt that its emotional appeal might have some effect.  And I can see that they may be right.

So what could it be that kept this dying man going into his office to work on his climate-related projects?  The conclusion you are supposed to draw is that the matter is so urgent that he felt he had to carry on. But he is in a position to know that global warming in fact stopped over 18 years ago -- so it's hard to see any urgency in that.

Much more likely is Green/Left motivation.  He wants to get people under better control by the elite -- among whom he no doubt thinks he belongs.  His motivtion is an authoritarian one.  He sees his work as helping to bring about a "new world order" in which people like him will rule the roost. He is indeed evangelical -- in a way that Hitler, Stalin and Mao would understand  -- JR.

The Satellite Deniers

Steve Goddard has put up a post that adds to what I said yesterday about Phil Plait.  See here.  He even comments on two of the "handsome gentlemen" involved.  I thought of doing the same but ended up being merciful for once. I am however rather pleased that there is another skeptic who can be as vitriolic as I can.

Steve even puts up a graph that supports what I said about removing the 1998 El Nino from consideration.  He shows a COOLING trend below (green line).  Note however that the graph is calibrated in  five hundredths of one degree so there is nothing important going on there.

He further says:  "They do have just one minor problem however. The 1995 IPCC report, authored by none other than NOAA's own Tom Karl, showed that satellite temperatures matched NOAA balloon data, and that neither showed any warming since 1979."

Below is an excerpt from that report:

"Satellite and balloon measurements agree that lower-tropospheric temperatures have increased only slightly since 1979, though there has been a faster rate of global surface temperature increase. Balloon measurements indicate a larger lower tropospheric temperature increase since 1958, similar to that shown by global surface temperature measurements over the same period. Balloon and satellite measurements agree that lower-stratospheric temperatures have declined significantly since 1979"

Rising temperatures at Australian Open [tennis match] 'caused by global warming' (?)

Australian temperatures are not in close lockstep with the global average and they are not even in step with one-another.  While Southern Australia does seem to be having unusually warm  weather lately, December and January in S.E. Queensland where I live have been unusually mild.  This January in Brisbane has so far been the coolest I can remember in fact.  So all we are looking at is local warming, not global warming.  But could the local warming be in some way caused by global warming?  Hardly.   There has been no global warming for over 18 years and things that don't exist don't cause anything.  So the claims below are just the usual Greenie phlogiston

The Australian Conservation Foundation reported that in recent years players have complained about the heat at the first grand-slam tournament of the year, including Canadian Frank Dancevic, who collapsed during a match in 2014.

Analysis from University of Melbourne Atmosphere and Ocean researcher Ben Hague shows January temperatures in Melbourne have risen by 0.8 degrees Celsius each decade since 1987, but in the two weeks of the Australian Open the increase has been 1.25 degrees.

The Bureau of Meteorology 2015 Climate Statement showed days of extreme weather are on the increase across Australia.

A number of tennis clubs have implemented extreme heat policies to fulfill their duty of care to players, including Victoria based Australasian Academy of Tennis Coaches.

"At our local tennis school, our heat policy is 35 degrees," their CEO Lynton Joseph said. "When the temperature hits 35, all lessons and play stops - there is no discussion.

"The most recent science from the Bureau of Meteorology and others shows an increase in extreme weather days in Australia and sports clubs have a duty of care to take precautionary measures."

Climate change manager at the Australian Conservation Foundation, Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, said global warming was the catalyst for the scorching temperatures.

"Global warming is already having a big impact in Australia and the effect on both professional and local community sportspeople and sports clubs is significant," she said.

"To stop these global warming impacts getting even worse, our government needs to support clean energy solutions that will cut pollution, and put the interests of the community ahead of the interests of a handful of big polluting energy companies.


UK:  Amber Rudd's 'leading role' in the EU is energy suicide

As David Cameron's Cabinet colleagues fan out across the media to tell us how catastrophic it would be for Britain to leave the EU, one minister is in a class of her own. It may not be surprising that Amber Rudd, as the sister of Roland Rudd - one of the leading lobbyists for Britain to stay in the EU - is a keen Europhile. But when our Energy and Climate Change Secretary claims, in a Daily Telegraph interview, that it would be bad for Britain's energy security and costs to be excluded from our leading role in the EU's "energy market", we have to ask what game she is playing.

She obviously hopes we will not notice that the only thing which gives Britain a "leading role" in this respect is that we already have an energy policy quite different from anyone else's. We are the only country committed (by the Climate Change Act) to cutting our "CO2 emissions" by a staggering 80 per cent within 34 years.

It is all very well her calling on our energy suppliers to cut their bills at a time when oil prices are continuing to fall. But everything she is doing to meet that target is destined to push those bills ever higher.

"The only way we play that leading role in the EU's 'energy market' that Ms Rudd boasts of is that we have committed ourselves to a policy entirely of our own making, the only results of which can be both to raise our costs and to threaten our energy security."

We are aware, of course, that ever more of our energy is to come from grotesquely subsidised "renewables" (or "unreliables", as a friend calls them), which are themselves likely to add ever more billions to our energy bills. Plus, of course, there is the hope that the French and Chinese might one day build us a single nuclear power station, to produce the most costly nuclear electricity in the world.

But at the same time Ms Rudd is hell-bent on eliminating what remains of by far our cheapest source of electricity, those coal-fired power stations which still supply nearly a third of our power.

A similar shadow hangs over those gas-fired power stations which alone could provide the back-up to keep our lights on when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine.

Perhaps not so widely appreciated is that we are also subjecting those much cheaper fossil fuel energy sources to a double-whammy. They not only, unlike their renewable competitors, receive no subsidies. They are also having to pay a hefty tax on every ton of CO2 they emit, four times as high as that charged in the rest of Europe - which has already had a devastating effect on our energy-intensive manufacturing industries, such as steel, aluminium, cement and ceramics.

So the only way we play that leading role in the EU's "energy market" that Ms Rudd boasts of is that we have committed ourselves to a policy entirely of our own making, the only results of which can be both to raise our costs and to threaten our energy security.

Yet another bizarre consequence of this has followed December's Paris "deal" on climate change. When the EU signed up collectively to reduce its "carbon emissions", it took Peter Lilley MP to notice that Germany and France are now insisting that, since Britain is already committed to making such a disproportionately generous contribution to the EU's collective target, this will reduce the amount others will need to cut.

The more Britain "takes the lead" in committing energy suicide, the less other countries need to follow. Nice one.


Washington Greenies lose egregious legal bid

A Washington state judge told environmentalists they could not use "necessity defense" to claim the threat of global warming justified their criminal activity - a huge blow to activists' hopes they can use global warming as a shield from the law.

Judge Anthony Howard won't allow environmentalist defendants to make such arguments in their closing statements, according to a tweet from an environmental activist who tried to use this argument in a previous trial. So far, no U.S. judge has allowed eco-activists to use global warming as justification for breaking the law.

Environmentalists claim Howard decided at the "last minute" not to allow activists to use the "necessity defense" argument to justify their trespassing on private property in 2014 to block rail cars carrying crude oil from traveling through Washington state.

The "necessity defense" allows someone to commit a criminal act in a legitimate emergency situation to prevent a greater societal harm from occurring.

Activists argued their actions were "justified and necessary in the fight against climate change, in light of government and corporate complacency." Environmentalists claimed they felt the harm from global warming was "imminent" and they had "no reasonable legal alternative" to fight against warming.

They also got several "expert witnesses" to testify on their behalf, including a climate scientist who once claimed in 2009 that President Barack Obama only "has four years to save Earth." Activists also tried to claim railroad company BNSF punished whistleblowers who warned "of dangerous conditions or practices that seriously increase danger to employees and the public."

Five activists built an 18-foot tripod in front of a parked train carrying crude oil in Everett, Wash., to block it from traversing the state. Activists also carried around a petition for Gov. Jay Inslee asking him to ban oil trains and any projects that would bring more fossil fuels through the state.

"Effort after effort to control climate-twisting fossil fuel pollution has failed, globally, nationally and in my own state," activist Patrick Mazza said in a statement released in December. "There came a point where I could no longer sit back and wait for the politicians to act."

All five protesters were arrested and charged with trespassing and blocking a train. As their trial approached, they argued the "necessity defense" to justify their crimes. Howard, however, eventually disagreed.

For months, environmentalists have warned about trains carrying crude oil across the U.S. and derailing in highly populated areas. There were a series of accidents in early 2015 that prompted new federal rail car regulations for trains carrying crude oil, but the increase in rail traffic is because the U.S. is producing much more oil than in the past.

Ironically, oil car derailments would be less of a problem if environmentalists didn't vehemently oppose pipelines to carry oil and natural gas. While rail is safe, pipelines are safer and don't cause major accidents when they spill hydrocarbons.

Environmentalists, however, have ramped up their campaign against pipeline construction in the U.S., arguing they cause oil spills and contribute to global warming. The most notorious of these campaigns was the push to stop the Keystone XL pipeline from being built.


Australian Greens ally themselves with thug unions

Greens leader Richard Di Natale and his colleagues have vigorously opposed federal Coalition policies to impose criminal sanctions on corrupt union and employer officials.

Unions are moving to widen their political influence before this year's federal election by pouring cash into the Greens, a strategy that is infuriating Labor and sparking accusations of disloyalty against union officials who are formally aligned with the ALP.

The unions have already given the Greens more than $600,000 and are tipped to go further this year, just as the minor party tries to defeat Labor candidates in marginal electorates that will be -crucial to Bill Shorten's campaign.

As the nation's biggest construction union comes under fire from the royal commission into union corruption, it and others have increased their donations to the Greens in a way that expands a powerful political alliance that challenges Labor.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale and his colleagues have vigorously opposed federal Coalition policies to impose criminal sanctions on corrupt union and employer officials, restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission and scale back the proportion of union representatives on superannuation fund boards.

There are divisions within the union movement over the donations, given that the construction division of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union handed $125,000 to the Greens last year while the same union's mining division lashed out at Green policies to scale back coalmining.

Anger at the trend is greatest among senior Labor figures who are frustrated that the CFMEU can use its numbers within the party to influence the selection of Labor candidates but then use its cash to help the Greens field rival candidates for the same seats.

The CFMEU is the second biggest union supporter of the Greens after the Victorian branch of the Electrical Trades Union, which gave $360,000 to the Greens in the year to June 2014, the last year for which figures are available. Total union donations to the Greens reached almost $600,000 in 2013-14 following -donations of $50,000 the previous year and $100,000 in 2011 from the ETU's Victorian branch, with smaller amounts from several -unions over the past decade.

Michael Danby, Labor member for Melbourne Ports and a strong critic of Greens policies, said: "Hundreds of thousands of dollars of the Greens political party's public funding is funnelled into defeating Labor represen-tatives. It's hard to see . what benefit it is to union members for the ETU or other unions to hand over their members' funds to Senator Di Natale and his Greens party, especially when the Greens have similar views to the Liberal Party on penalty rates."

Senior Labor figures have privately urged union leaders to stop funding their political rivals but the complaints have failed to sway the CFMEU or the ETU. Most Labor MPs would not comment publicly on the dispute.

Senator Di Natale has named Mr Danby's seat as well as the nearby Labor electorates of Batman (held by Labor frontbencher David Feeney) and Wills (held by retiring Labor MP Kelvin Thomson) as targets "within reach" this year. An effort is also under way to seize Labor territory such as Grayndler in NSW, which will be vulnerable to the Greens if sitting member Anthony Albanese, the opposition infrastructure spokesman, moves to another seat with a better chance of victory.

One Labor figure said it was hard for ordinary party members to see officials from the CFMEU sway policy decisions and pre-selections but then give money to the Greens to campaign against Labor.

Another warned that some -unions were taking a simplistic approach to politics but could not be convinced to stay loyal to the party that has traditionally backed workers.

CFMEU construction division national secretary Dave Noonan dismissed the anonymous critics as "sooks" and rejected claims he and others were being disloyal to Labor by helping the Greens.

"It's a matter for the union and determined by its democratically elected governing bodies," Mr Noonan said. "It is disclosed as required by law. The union is loyal to the interests of its members first and foremost."

The ETU ended its affiliation with Labor in 2010, declaring that it would support whichever party "speaks genuinely" for workers.

The union payments pale next to donations from mining and energy companies, which gave about $1.8 million to the Coalition and about $450,000 to Labor in 2013-14, but unions have the -capacity to offer more than cash.

The National Tertiary Education Union was hailed for mounting a $1m campaign to support the Greens in the Senate at the last election, confirming its break with Labor. The NTEU's last filing with the electoral commission confirmed it spent $1m on political campaigning in 2013-14.

Greens senator Lee Rhiannon countered the Labor complaints by arguing that the Greens had shown they would defend the -interest of workers.

"Union allegiance has been to improving conditions for working people," Senator Rhiannon said. "The reason some unions have moved away from Labor is because Labor has changed.

"We've won our stripes by doing the hard work and being consistent. The unions are not fools - they can see the political landscape is changing."

With CFMEU officials facing legal action as a result of the royal commission, the government has demanded Labor and the Greens halt any donations from the militant union.

Senator Di -Natale declined to comment but Australian Greens co-convener Penny Allman-Payne insisted the party would -accept donations just as other parties did. "It is the Australian Greens' long-held policy that elections should be publicly funded, to reduce the influence of political donations," she said.

"Within the current system, the Australian Greens do accept donations, subject to the review of all donations above $1500 by our Donations Reference Group."

The party also countered the idea that the donations influenced votes in the Senate, noting that the Greens had introduced legislation to abolish the ABCC in 2008 and its votes against the restoration of the ABCC were consistent with that position.



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

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18 January, 2016

How reliable are satellite temperature measurements?

Phil Plait

"Bad astronomer" Phil Plait is on another of his deceptive rants below.  He thinks the heavily manipulated and unevenly located thermometer data is accurate and the satellite readings are not.  So just a few observations:

He says that accounts of the "pause" show a flat trend line only because the starting point of the graphs concerned is in the El Nino year of  1998.  But that is not so.  I trot out my favorite graph below.

The graph in fact starts from 1997.  And think what would have happened if there had been no El Nino.  Without that big spike, the trend would be down, showing cooling.  Only that big 1998 upward spike cancels out the very low figures recorded in some subsequent years.  So Warmists should be thankful of the 1998 El Nino spike rather than pooh-poohing it.

But the issue of a starting date is important.  With many trend lines you can prove anything by cherrypicking particular starting and end points.  It's classic chartmanship.

And when the egregious Michael Mann says at the beginning of the video that 2015 will show up as the warmest year as far back as we have data, it might seem that he is on the side of the angels in the matter.  In assessing a trend, you should go back to the beginning.

But Mann does not in fact do that.  He goes back only a little more than 100 years.  If he had gone back a couple of thousand years -- to encapsulate both the Roman and the Medieval Warm periods, he would have to say that 2015 was among the cooler years in Earth's history.  But "hockeystick" Mann has of course had a lot of issues with history.

So again, it is clear that the starting point for any trend is crucial to the result you see.

So is the 18 year pause just cherrypicking?  No.  If we want to know if the present is like the past we have to assess the present.  And the "hiatus" or plateau IS just simply there in the recent past.

Skeptics will have no problem with assertions below to the effect that there was warming over the 20th century.  There WAS a slight warming, as far as we can tell.  But by the same token Warmists need to accept that there has been no warming in the 21st century.  Whatever produced the 20th century warming is no longer there in the 21st.  Warmists postulate that there is a single systematic process going on that causes temperatures to rise.  But that may not be so.  We may simply be seeing random fluctuations.  And no cherrypicking of your starting points will disprove that.

Amusing that Phil Plait too stresses below the importance of not cherrypicking your starting points, even though he and his friends themselves do exactly that.  It's just another one of Phil's deceptions. James Taylor dissects another one of Phil's deceptions here.  And Matt Ridley has a go at Phil here

I could go on but most of the rest is just old boilerplate Warmist assertions that conflict with the facts so I will leave any further debunking of the piece to others.

UPDATE:  I do have a social life in addition to putting up six blogs daily so I sometimes have too little time to say all that I would like about a piece of Greenie nonsense.  So after I have fired one bullet into its brain, I sometimes leave it for dead. And so it was with what I put up above.  I have now however found a little more time to take on phony Phil so will make one additional point:

The satellite record is in fact validated by the terrestrial record.  Even after all the manipulations that take place in the great temples of Warmism, the terrestrial temperature record of the 21st century has shown no statistically significant change from year to year. And to a scientist, no statistically significant difference means no difference.  It means that the differences observed are so small that they have to be accepted as random and not the product of some systematic process.  So from a scientific point of view the terrestrial and satellite records say the same thing.  The terrestrial record confirms the accuracy of the satellite record.  Both show no change. That Phil and Co. ignore statistical significance shows that their "science" is just a lot of phlogiston.

Warmists normally just keep shtumm about statistical significance though Rahmstorff did once endeavour to discredit it.  I commented on that here.  Even a layman can however see that the regular Warmist claims that some year is the warmest, 3rd warmest etc. are a lot of hokum if you look at the actual figures behind those assertions. The warming is not statistically significant because it is TRIVIAL.  When you can show years differing only by hundredths and thousandths of one degree in temperature, you are showing warming that is for all practical purposes non-existent.  The statistical significance is, in other words, telling us something important.  We do well to heed it.

So it is not only phony Phil that is full of phlogiston. The people at NOAA and elsewhere who make these annual "warmest" announcements are also ignoring the science of the matter

In December, GOP senator, presidential hopeful, and outrageous science denier Ted Cruz held a Senate panel about climate change that could charitably be called a farce. He empaneled a series of people who ranged from lukewarmers (believing the Earth is warming, but it's not dangerous, or not rapid enough to worry about now) to out-and-out head-in-the-sand deniers.

During the hearing, Cruz said a lot of completely false things, but two things he hammered over and again were the reliability of satellite data, and how those data don't show any warming over the past 18 years* - the so-called pause.

As I've written many times, that "pause" doesn't exist; we're still getting warmer and have been for decades. He cherry-picked the data, looking only as far back as 1998, when a huge spike in temperature due to an El Ni¤o event made it look like temperatures are flat since then (when you start high, it makes the rest of the graph look flatter). That's hugely misleading, of course.

But it did make me wonder just how reliable the data are; I know that satellite measurements can be difficult to calibrate. Worse, satellites don't actually measure temperature directly; they measure how much energy the Earth radiates, and that's converted into a temperature. The conversion is dependent on a lot of theoretical models. How accurate are the models?

It turns out this is a good thing to wonder. Satellite measurements are not the most reliable method to get temperature. The folks at Yale Climate Connections have made a short video explaining this, and it's very good. Watch!

The key thing to take away from this is that satellites measure radiance: energy radiated by the atmosphere as microwaves. They come from the air, but also from the surface, clouds, and more. Scientists then use models of what's emitting these microwaves to disentangle all that and convert it to a temperature. But those models are sometimes not terribly accurate.

The best measurements have been and still are from thermometers in situ, at various stations across the globe, on land, over sea, and in the air. These data need adjusting sometimes too, but not nearly as much as satellite data. Thermometers more reliable.

I was also happy to see climatologist Andrew Dessler make a fantastic comment starting at the 4:00 minute mark, talking about the deniers who misrepresent or misinterpret the data:

The bottom line: You can't cherry-pick when you start the temperature measurements, and you can't cherry-pick the data sets themselves, even - especially - if they show what you want.

And remember, the satellite data are one small part of a vast amount of data that overwhelmingly show our planet is warming up: retreating glaciers, huge amounts of ice melting at both poles, the "death spiral" of Arctic ice every year at the summer minimum over time, earlier annual starts of warm weather and later starts of cold weather, warming oceans, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, more extreme weather, changing weather patterns overall, earlier snow melts, and lower snow cover in the spring .

Despite the claims of people like Cruz, Roy Spencer (yes, this Roy Spencer), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), we know the Earth is warming up, and we know humans are the reason why.


Opening up Australia's empty North to settlement and farming

Another revival of an old and unrealistic dream. It fits in with the frequent Greenie cries that the world is overpopulated and about to run out of food. The latest such cry here.  It is true that vast tracts of Northern Australia are mostly unpopulated and used for very little.  And Chinese farmers in the gold-rush days of the 19th century proved that productive farms could be set up there even using very low-tech.  So turning an area about the size of Western Europe into farms seems an obvious thing to do. 

And from Adolf Hitler on, Greenies have been shrieking that we are about to run out of food.  So if that had any realism to it, opening up Northern Australia to arable farming  would indeed be an obvious thing to do.

The fact that everyone overlooks is that the international supply of most farm products is in GLUT.  We have too much food available for international trade, not too little.  So if you do convert more of our mostly empty North into farms, how are you going to sell the product? 

The Ord river scheme in North-West Australia was a warning for those who are capable of learning.  There's this huge river and lots of uncultivated fertile land nearby so governments of all sorts have thought to turn it into a resource.   Since the 1940s, it has absorbed many millions of taxpayer dollars. And it's only recently that they have found something worth growing there:  Sandalwood, used to make incense sticks for Chinese religious ceremonies!  No food!

And now that China has become a major food exporter, almost any farm investment would be blind optimism.  China now makes not only most of our electrical goods but also most of those low-priced "Own brand" cans of food in your local supermarket. The abundance that worldwide capitalism produces is in the end what will keep Australias's vast North mostly empty.  Greenie shrieks about overpopulation are a laugh to anyone who knows anything about the subject

A record-breaking drought in the state of Queensland has reignited calls to unlock the economic potential of Australia's under-developed and sparsely populated north.

As those on the land struggle, business leaders are promoting the idea that the region could be transformed into a giant food bowl for Asia.

What's needed, according to Troy Popham, the head of the Townsville Chamber of Commerce, is the vision to create a large network of new reservoirs and pipelines to help a thirsty country cope with prolonged dry spells.

"The rain across northern Australia can be captured and can be channelled to relevant places so that the downstream effects of the water can still be utilised," he says.

"It is going to cost some money, but the rewards that it will deliver to the country are enormous."

Bold irrigation schemes, a 600m Australian dollar ($418m; œ290m) upgrade to outback roads, extra money to revamp airstrips, and funds to explore rail freight links are part of a federal government discussion paper released last June.

"No longer will Northern Australia be seen as the last frontier: it is in fact, the next frontier," proclaimed a statement from the governing Liberal Party.

Development challenge

The region, to the north of the Tropic of Capricorn, covers more ground than many countries, and spans Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

It is flush with potential; from agriculture and renewable energy, to tourism, education and tropical medicine.

Crucially, for policy makers it is on the doorstep of emerging markets in Asia.

But the dreams of exploiting the untapped riches of the north that go back almost as far as European settlement in the late 18th Century have remained unfulfilled.

Colonial explorers dragged boats into the mysterious interior hoping to find an inland sea, but discovered only desert and disappointment. Over the years, other lofty ambitions have also turned to dust.

While Canberra's ambition to eventually light up the north is praised by industry groups and farmers, there is - because of the area's sheer scale - caution.

"It is a great principle, but it can end up being useless rhetoric if the government is not willing to drive this investment," says Queensland state MP Robbie Katter, from his offices in the mining city of Mount Isa in the rugged Gulf Country region.

"What many people have in mind is that it would be corporate-style farming with foreign owners or institutional investors that do a big irrigation scheme.

"That benefits a few and really doesn't help solve any of the problems for the established farmers out here."

The cost of upgrading key freight routes would be huge, and take years, but would be worth the time and money, argues Andrew Gray, chairman of Northern Territory Livestock Exporters Association.

"The pastoral industry has been crippled by poor roads," he says.   "We have heavy rain during our wet season. Roads become impassable for passenger vehicles, let alone for the transport of livestock."


How falling oil prices exposed the great green lie: Saudi Arabia's battle with the US to drive down prices show we're far from reaching 'peak oil'

Even though I have been reading about plunging oil prices for the past year, it still came as a pleasant surprise this week when I ordered 900 litres of heating oil.  It came to œ264. Three years ago, it cost œ609 to buy the same quantity.

I have already been saving money on road fuel. Over the past 18 months, the cost of filling my tank has fallen from around œ70 to œ53.

But for people with oil-fired central heating systems - which is most of us who live in the countryside, beyond the reach of a gas supply - the savings have been even more dramatic.

This is partly because tax makes up a smaller percentage of the retail cost of a litre of heating oil than it does of petrol and diesel.

For me, the cost of heating my home has more than halved, putting an extra œ700 a year in my pocket to be spent on other things. Multiply those kind of savings across the economy and consumers, especially those in rural areas, are enjoying a huge bonus from low oil prices.

We have American oil companies and the Saudis to thank for that. For the past 15 months they have been engaged in a fight to the economic death.

Until recently, Saudi Arabia wielded enormous power in the oil markets.  Not only was it responsible for 13 per cent of global oil production, but it headed OPEC, the Organisation of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (Opec), which accounted for 40 per cent of world oil production.

Opec is a cartel that exists for one reason alone: to try to fix world oil prices in order to maximise profits for its members, which are made up mostly of Middle Eastern countries.

If the oil price fell, Opec would meet and agree to cut production in order to push the price back up.

If prices rose, Opec members would agree that it was safe to open the oil taps a little so that they could have more oil to sell.

In most developed economies, cartels are illegal because they work against the interests of the consumer.  But for decades Opec has been allowed to operate with impunity, keeping the price of oil higher than it would otherwise be.

Two years ago, however, something remarkable happened. Thanks to fracking - the controversial technique that involves fracturing oil-bearing rocks by pumping in water and sand at high pressure - the U.S. overtook Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer.

Saudi Arabia felt threatened, so when the price of crude oil began to fall on world markets, Opec changed tack. Instead of cutting production, it increased it, hoping to drive down the price of oil and force U.S. producers out of business.

Opec certainly succeeded in lowering crude oil prices. The price of a barrel of crude oil has collapsed from a peak of $115 in the summer of 2014 to just $31 this week.

But still neither U.S. nor Opec producers have cut oil production. They have locked horns in a price war they hope will damage the other more than themselves.

Moreover, on Friday export sanctions that have been imposed on Iran by the West since 2007 are due to be lifted.

The result could be yet more oil flooding onto world markets. That is why crude oil prices have fallen by another 20 per cent since January 1.

While the oil price war has put hundreds of pounds a year in my pocket, it could have been a very different story.

Three years ago, with the price of heating oil still surging, I nearly fell for the propaganda of the green lobby, thinking hard about taking out my oil-fired boiler to replace it with something called an air-source heat pump.

This is, in effect, a refrigerator or air-conditioning system in reverse. It would pump water through a circuit that included my radiators as well as a series of fan units in the garden.

By pressurising the water before it is pumped through the radiators, and depressurising it before the water gets outside, it is possible to pump heat from outdoors to indoors, even though the temperature is higher inside than out.

The heating system would have cost me œ10,000 and sent my electricity bills soaring, but the company trying to sell it to me assured me that it would pay for itself in the longer run because oil prices were bound to rise much faster than electricity prices.

The world had reached `peak oil', according to the theory, with the result that prices would soar ever higher as supplies dwindled.

I got as far as speaking to a couple of friends who had installed a heat pump in their own property, which was a little larger, but was brand new and much better insulated than my home.

While they had eliminated their gas bill, they were spending œ2,000 a year on electricity (compared with my bill of about œ500). My friends will be paying even more than that now. While the price of heating oil has more than halved since 2013, the price of electricity has risen by 13 per cent, according to the Office of National Statistics.

One of the reasons behind this rise is that electricity companies are being forced to buy a certain proportion of their energy from expensive renewable sources.

These so-called `environmental and social costs' account for 8.4 per cent of domestic bills, according to Ofgem. In my 18th century house, which has solid walls, I hate to think how much I would be paying to keep it warm with a heat pump.

Three years on, the prediction that we had reached `peak oil' and that prices could only rise as oil ran out now looks silly. It was a case of seeing a trend line on a graph and assuming the trend would continue.

The concept of `peak oil' was just wishful thinking on the part of the green lobby, which wanted us to be forced to stop burning fossil fuels. While I didn't quite fall for the myth, the Government did. As a result, we've been left with a national energy policy that assumes fossil fuel prices can only rise.

Huge subsidies - running at œ3.4 billion a year - have been paid to subsidise solar, wind and other renewable energy.

All along, we have been told that showering renewable energy firms with public money - paid for through taxes and levies on consumers' bills - was a wise investment that would save us money in the long run because it would make us less dependent on ever more expensive fossil fuels.

For example, the Coalition's climate change secretary, Chris Huhne - remember him? - said in 2011: `Sticking with yesterday's fuels could be tomorrow's headache. With rising energy prices and finite supplies of fossil fuels, not many want to bet against low carbon.'

I wouldn't mind betting against it now. Falling oil and gas prices mean that subsidies for green energy would have to rise to keep them competitive.

Last month, world leaders met in Paris to thrash out a deal to reduce carbon emissions. At the end of their marathon ten-day talks they all agreed that they were going to slash emissions.

With the exception of Britain, however, hardly any countries have legally committed themselves to reducing emissions.

When it comes to the crunch, does anyone really think they will do as we have done: force their industries to drop fossil fuels and buy much more expensive green energy, thus losing competitive advantage?

The world certainly isn't showing any signs of reducing its reliance on oil so far. Global consumption - as well as production - has never been higher than it was in the final quarter of last year.

Ironically, the one large industrial nation that has succeeded in reducing carbon emissions - by 9 per cent over the past decade - is the U.S.

This isn't down to green energy, however, so much as to fracking.  Cheap gas has consigned to closure much dirtier coal-fired power stations - which emit around twice as much carbon for every kilowatt-hour of electricity.

We, and the rest of the world, could be slashing carbon emissions, too, if we switched from coal to gas rather than trying to rely on expensive and intermittent wind and solar energy.

I doubt whether we have reached `peak oil' or `peak gas' just yet. But hopefully we might just be past the point of peak hubris from the green lobby.


The Unscientific American sure is unscientific

They have long ago deserted science in order to get the respectability of being Warmist.  They reproduce naively below some claims by the do-gooder body, The World Economic Forum.  They claim that global warming will cause food and water to run out.

As I often point out, however, warming would cause the oceans to evaporate off more -- giving MORE rainfall, not less.  And my article above about Northern Australia torpedoes the food shortage threat.  So the assertions below are complete codswallop.  And extreme weather events are in fact at a statistical low.  What crooked times we live in!

Climate change is the most severe global economic risk of 2016, the World Economic Forum said yesterday.

The nonprofit economic analysis institution, set to convene next week in Davos, Switzerland, for its yearly meeting, has labeled climate change or related environmental phenomena-extreme weather, major natural catastrophes, mounting greenhouse gas levels, water scarcity, flooding, storms and cyclones-among the top five most likely and significant economic threats the world faced in each of its annual reports since 2011.

The 2016 report, the latest installment of a report the WEF has published since 2007, marks the first time an environmental risk tops the rankings.

"Climate change is exacerbating more risks than ever before in terms of water crises, food shortages, constrained economic growth, weaker societal cohesion and increased security risks," Cecilia Reyes, the chief risk officer of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd., one of the organizations that worked on the report, said in a statement.

The WEF document does not paint a sanguine picture.

North America's eastern seaboard, East Asia, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific are particularly exposed to extreme weather patterns and natural catastrophes, according to the report-a survey conducted in the fall of 750 experts, who answered questions about 29 types of global risk, like cyberattacks, government instability and weapons of mass destruction.

Global climate change threatens top producers of wheat, corn, rice and other agricultural commodities, the report notes. Recent years illustrated the "climate vulnerability of G-20 [Group of 20] countries such as India, Russia and the United States-the breadbasket of the world."

Climate change is compounding and amplifying other social, economic and humanitarian stresses globally. It is linked to mass and often forced migration; violent conflict between nations and regions; water crises; and, as the world population rises and simultaneously gets hotter, food shortages, the report reads.

"Forced displacement is already at an unprecedented level," the authors continue, referring to emigration.

About 70 percent of fresh water humans withdraw globally is for agricultural purposes, according to the WEF, and that figure rises to 90 percent in the world's poorest countries. Meanwhile, climbing demand for meat, as emerging-market nations become wealthier, squeezes dry already-stressed water supplies across the planet.

Based on current trends and needs, the demand for water will be 40 percent more than what can be sustained in 2030, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

In this hotter, water-scarce future, tensions will likely grow between nations.


Why Big Oil's crony bid to tax carbon will hurt your family

As world leaders gathered in Paris last month for the United Nations climate summit, many seemed surprised that several large oil companies, including BP and Shell, endorsed a carbon tax as a "key element" of any international climate deal.

Less surprising was the preference of those in the renewable energy sector to see a tax on carbon. The implication was of course that if major companies - oil companies in particular - want to tax themselves, who are we to stand in the way? It must be an indication that the climate crisis is so acute that even they have seen the light.

While most of the oil companies endorsing a carbon tax are international, even here at home, ExxonMobil published a blog post explaining the company's "long-standing" and "well known" support for taxing carbon. These oil companies join a short but distinguished group of companies pushing for a carbon tax. But is support for a carbon tax among oil companies a sign that even they have seen the light on climate, or might there be something else happening?  Bank on the latter.

For renewable energy companies, it's self-evident what they desire: A tax on their competitors - namely, fossil fuels. Renewable energy executives like Elon Musk want a tax on carbon so that oil, gas and coal become artificially more expensive and in turn make wind and solar alternatives more financially attractive in comparison. And they want the money raised from this tax to be steered to investments in their products.

This sort of crony capitalism leads to dramatic market distortions that generate higher costs across all sectors, because energy is literally the fuel for the economy.

But what about these oil companies - have they finally had a climate epiphany?

Hardly. Their motivations are no different from those of renewable energy companies. Today, big oil companies are not just big oil companies anymore - they are big oil and natural gas companies. For them, a carbon tax gives them an edge over their primary competitor -coal.

For a century now, coal has been America's fuel of choice for electricity generation, thanks to its low and stable prices. Natural gas, on the other hand, has historically had higher and unreliable prices.

If these companies are ashamed of their naked rent seeking, they don't seem to show it. In their May letter, the six companies (BG Group, BP, Eni, Shell, Statoil and Total) admit a carbon tax would "help stimulate investments in the right low carbon technologies and the right resources at the right pace." Not surprisingly, they suggest their products are the "right" ones.

The simple fact is that a carbon tax would hit coal harder than natural gas. Coal is abundant, affordable and reliable, but since it also emits a lot of CO2 when burned, climate activists hate it. (The pro-carbon tax oil companies are apparently oblivious to the fact that climate activists also hate natural gas.)

The industry isn't especially concerned about the higher prices a carbon tax would impose because they won't be paying it. Once a carbon tax is levied, it will be baked into every company's production cost and passed along to consumers. That's to say it's you - the single working mother, the senior hovering on the margins or the family of four - who will shoulder this burden.

So how much pain would a carbon tax cause? A study by the National Association of Manufacturers found a carbon tax would reduce household consumption by as much as $860 per year by 2033.

This tax would be regressive, harming low-income families the most. It would also slow broad economic growth and destroy tens of thousands of jobs, especially in the energy-intensive manufacturing sector. But no mind to big oil companies.

In reality, taxing carbon dioxide would enrich Big Oil at the expense of hardworking American families. Time and again we've seen congressional Republicans rail against entitlements only to sell out to corporate interests. These big oil companies are pushing for a carbon tax in exchange for a reduction in their corporate income tax, but it's important to remember that the carbon tax gets passed on to everyday consumers.

If Republicans want any credibility to reform entitlement spending, they must first reject this type of corporate welfare. Killing any attempts to tax carbon would be a great place to start.


Stanford Prof. Deletes Data From Study Showing Green Energy Will Kill Jobs

More Warmist crookedness

A Stanford professor is deflecting criticism after allegedly deleting data from research associated with a year-old study in order to avoid inadvertently showing how green energy will kill millions of long-term jobs.

Prof. Mark Jacobson rebuked criticisms brought by Steve Everley of Energy In Depth, an oil industry-backed education project, that supplementary data actually showed using 100 percent green energy would result in 1.2 million jobs being eliminated from the economy.

Jacobson said Everley's claim was a "flat out lie" and relied on "faked data."

Everley's claim was based on data taken from Jacobson's own research, but when Everley went back to show the Stanford professor that the proof was in his own online files, he found the data was gone - Jacobson had deleted it just hours after Everley exposed the job loss numbers.

"On his website, Dr. Jacobson houses a number of supporting documents for his research on a 100 percent renewables transition, including a Microsoft Excel file that shows everything from assumptions about levelized costs of electricity to jobs estimates and energy demand projections," Everley wrote Wednesday of Jacobson's data showing green energy would kill jobs.

"But now the spreadsheet on Dr. Jacobson's website no longer shows a loss of `Net Long Term Jobs,'" Everley wrote. "In fact, the highlighted column has been deleted from the document entirely."

Jacobson deleted the data from his study's supplementary material about 11 hours after Everley published his criticism Jan 5. Jacobson then took to Twitter to lambast Everley for allegedly faking the data.

"Whereas I have experienced cases where people didn't like our results because they affected their energy of choice, this is the first time I've come across someone (Everley) actually falsifying data from our study then refusing to correct it when informed of the error," Jacobson told Media Matters.

Jacobson insists to The Daily Caller News Foundation that no "real" data was deleted from his study's online supplementary material. He claims the data Everley used was "test" data.

Jacobson also said the reason he deleted the data after Everley's article was because the spreadsheet it was on was "humongous" and filled with "dead" test numbers.

Jacobson's study claims that phasing out fossil use in the U.S. and powering the country with 100 percent would create more than 2 million jobs on net after accounting for jobs lost in coal mining, oil extraction and other industries.

Most of the jobs created by green energy, however, are in construction and not long-term operations jobs. It was based on this data that Jacobson concluded 1.2 million long-term jobs would be lost - the  same data that Everley cited.

"Jacobson's data show a net job gain because `Construction' jobs created from a transition to 100 percent renewables would exceed the number of `Long Term Jobs' lost," Everley wrote. "Many environmental activists who have promoted Jacobson's plan have spent years denigrating construction work as being inferior to what they called `real jobs.'"

Author's clarification: Everley's claims are based on data taken from supplementary documents posted online associated with a study Jacobson published in 2015. The data Everley found was not from the study itself, but from the materials posted online that supplement the study claiming the U.S. can run off 100 percent green energy. Those materials contain "the derivation of all numbers" from Jacobson's 2015 study. So, Everley is not arguing Jacobson deleted numbers from his actual study, but from supplementary materials posted online that are associated with his research. The article has been corrected to provide further clarification.



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

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17 January, 2015

Are high CO2 levels preventing a new ice age?

That is what the article abstracted below finds from their modelling.  You can read here the amusing gyrations the authors and other Warmists go through in order to claim that we should still worry about global warming. But it follows that if we DID cut CO2 levels drastically that would bring on an ice age.  How does the precautionary principle handle that?

What their modelling told them was that we just missed the beginning of a new ice age a couple of hundred years ago  -- which is plausible.  The current intergalcial is already rather long compared to previous interglacials.  And they attribute that near miss to levels of CO2 that were unusually high at that time.  But note: The levels at that stage were NATURAL.  The near miss was before there was any significant industrial civilization.  So the claim that CO2 levels in recent times can be naturally high must rattle a few cages.  Perhaps your SUV is NOT responsible for the present high levels of CO2!

But how good are their models?  They claim to have backcast fairly well but that is a slender reed to lean on. A lot of nicely backcasting models have made a real hash of predicting our present temperature. 

The big faults I see in their models are that they accept two conventional views:  That the climate sensitivity to CO2 is substantial and that the long term Holocene atmospheric CO2 level was 280ppm.  And model outcomes are of course very sensitive to the parameters used.  So if either of those assumptions is wrong, all the model outcomes are wrong too.

And skeptics do of course challenge the first assumption -- so if we are right, Schellnhuber & co are wrong.  But let's be charitable and give the repulsive Schellnhuber his preferred sensitivity figure. 

Papal adviser Schellnhuber

That brings us to the second assumption -- which is probably wrong too.  Measuring the deep past through ice cores is a very shaky enterprise, which almost certainly takes insufficient  account of compression effects.  The apparently stable CO2 level of 280ppm could in fact be entirely an artifact of compression at the deeper levels of the ice cores.  Dr Zbigniew Jaworowski's criticisms of the assumed reliability of ice core measurements are of course well known.  And he studied them for over 30 years.

So in the end I think this study is a fairly improbable bit of speculation.  Fun though!

Critical insolation-CO2 relation for diagnosing past and future glacial inception

A. Ganopolski,    R. Winkelmann    & H. J. Schellnhuber

The past rapid growth of Northern Hemisphere continental ice sheets, which terminated warm and stable climate periods, is generally attributed to reduced summer insolation in boreal latitudes1, 2, 3. Yet such summer insolation is near to its minimum at present4, and there are no signs of a new ice age5. This challenges our understanding of the mechanisms driving glacial cycles and our ability to predict the next glacial inception6. Here we propose a critical functional relationship between boreal summer insolation and global carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, which explains the beginning of the past eight glacial cycles and might anticipate future periods of glacial inception. Using an ensemble of simulations generated by an Earth system model of intermediate complexity constrained by palaeoclimatic data, we suggest that glacial inception was narrowly missed before the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The missed inception can be accounted for by the combined effect of relatively high late-Holocene CO2 concentrations and the low orbital eccentricity of the Earth7. Additionally, our analysis suggests that even in the absence of human perturbations no substantial build-up of ice sheets would occur within the next several thousand years and that the current interglacial would probably last for another 50,000 years. However, moderate anthropogenic cumulative CO2 emissions of 1,000 to 1,500 gigatonnes of carbon will postpone the next glacial inception by at least 100,000 years8, 9. Our simulations demonstrate that under natural conditions alone the Earth system would be expected to remain in the present delicately balanced interglacial climate state, steering clear of both large-scale glaciation of the Northern Hemisphere and its complete deglaciation, for an unusually long time.

Nature 529, 200-203 (14 January 2016) doi:10.1038/nature16494

A crime justified by climate change? Activists caught in legal showdown

Do Green/Left beliefs justify you in doing anything you like?

A jury in Washington state is hearing evidence on whether the threat of climate change is a justifiable defense for criminal acts, the first time such a defense has been allowed in an American court.

On Thursday, in a tiny municipal courtroom amid the strip malls and ranch houses of this suburban community north of Seattle, defense attorneys for five climate activists will call the final witnesses in their "Hail Mary pass" that has set up a historic legal showdown.

The five activists - Michael LaPointe, Patrick Mazza, Jackie Minchew, Elizabeth Spoerri and Abigail Brockway - face misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass and obstructing a train for a September 2014 protest. The group erected an 18ft metal tripod over railway tracks in Everett, Washington, in order to block train shipments of crude oil and coal.

The defendants - who have been dubbed the "Delta Five" by their supporters - admit they knowingly broke the law in stopping the train. Their unique legal argument, known as a "necessity defense", is that their actions were a moral imperative because not breaking the law would result in catastrophic harm to the planet.

Though the necessity defense was used successfully by climate change activists in England in 2008, it has yet to be allowed and tested in a trial in the United States.

That changed last Thursday when Snohomish County judge Anthony E Howard reversed his own ruling to permit the activists' lawyers to present the necessity defense after hearing oral arguments from MJ McCallum and Evelyn Chuang.

Arguing for the necessity defense was a "Hail Mary pass", said McCallum, and one that, improbably, met its mark.

Whether the jury is allowed to consider that evidence in their deliberations remains uncertain. After the defense testimony concludes on Thursday, the judge will determine how to instruct the jury. It's then that he will decide whether he's heard a strong enough case to allow the six-member jury to take the threat of climate change into account in rendering their verdict.

Outside the courtroom on Wednesday, sheriff's deputies pushed through the narrow corridor, escorting handcuffed men in variations on the Pacific north-west uniform of jeans, flannel, and rain gear, past the crowd of supporters, journalists, and documentary film-makers jockeying for seats inside.

Inside the courtroom, the counsel table in Judge Howard's six-sided courtroom was excessively crowded with five defendants, four defense attorneys, and prosecutor Adam Sturdivant, who was pushed to the far left end with little space to rest his yellow legal pad and copies of the 2016 Washington Court Rules and Courtroom Handbook on Washington Evidence.

It's an apt metaphor for the trial itself, in which the everyday machinery of the municipal criminal justice system has been shoved aside for loftier arguments about justice and democracy.

Having opened the door to testimony from climate scientists, Judge Howard also appeared inclined to allow expansive testimony from the defendants. He has permitted each defendant to testify to their personal history as activists, mapping their development from idealistic voters to frustrated believers in the necessity of civil disobedience.

"It felt like projects were being rubber-stamped no matter what we did," Brockway said of her years spent writing letters to officials and testifying at hearings on environmental issues. "Before I switched to direct action, I felt I worked within the system as much as I could."

That the defendants exhausted all the legal means of political persuasion available to US citizens in order to achieve their goals is a key factor of the necessity defense, McCallum explained. The defendants must show that they reasonably believed their actions were necessary, that the harm they sought to prevent was greater than the harm of breaking the law, that they didn't create the laws they broke, and that they had no reasonable legal alternative.

By eliciting testimony that the activists had no reasonable legal alternative to prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change, the defense team is building a depressing but compelling argument against the efficacy of American democracy and government.

"The reality of climate urgency will force judges and juries to rethink what is `reasonable', because the process of law is so slow," said Mary Wood, a professor of environmental law at the University of Oregon. "As scientists urge immediate action to slash carbon emissions, many drawn-out political and legal processes that may have been `reasonable' to pursue two decades ago now extend beyond the short window of time left available to act."

In the face of these lofty arguments, the prosecutor was stuck on the defensive. In the cross examination, Sturdivant (who declined to speak with the Guardian) asked Gammon whether there was any scientific evidence that illegal protest was more effective than legal protest and asked Brockway whether her arrest had succeeded in drawing a response from Washington's governor, Jay Inslee. Both Gammon and Brockway answered no.

As for Millar, who testified at length to the threat of trains carrying crude oil that are "too long, too heavy, and going too fast", Sturdivant had no questions at all.

Tim DeChristopher, a 34-year-old climate activist and the closest thing the Snohomish County south district court has had to a celebrity this week, views this trial as "the culmination of seven years of his life". When DeChristopher enters into a conversation, other activists drift in his direction, just to listen to what he is saying.

Standing outside the court room during a lunch recess, DeChristopher recalls reading about the successful necessity defense in England. In 2008, a jury acquitted six Greenpeace protesters who argued their occupation and damage to a Kingsnorth coal-fired power station in Kent was justified by the threat of climate change.

Inspired by that case, DeChristopher decided to test his own luck. In December 2008, he infiltrated a Bureau of Land Management auction, bidding on and winning the right to drill on land with no intention of following through with the $1.8m payment. But a judge refused to allow DeChristopher to mount a necessity defense. He was found guilty of defrauding the government in 2011 and eventually served 21 months in jail.

In 2013, DeChristopher helped organize another protest designed to test the necessity defense - this time with two activists using their lobster boat to block the delivery of coal to a New England power plant. The judge in the case decided to allow the defense, but at the last minute, the prosecutor decided to drop the charges, stating that he agreed with the defendants and could not argue against the urgency of climate change.

DeChristopher says that the Delta Five train protest was designed to bring about a trial such as this one, and he hopes the third time is the charm. He compares the climate movement's legal strategy to the civil rights and women's suffrage movements.

"The legal structure was not designed to address the rights of those people," he says, until it was forced to change through acts of civil disobedience. "I believe we're in the same situation. Our legal system was not designed to protect the rights of future generations."


EPA violated federal law with covert propaganda

As the EPA was considering the "Waters of the U.S." regulation, the agency engaged in a pattern of advocacy that encouraged the public to lobby on it, violating prohibitions passed by Congress. This is the conclusion from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in an opinion dated December 14, 2015.

The GAO was asked whether these activities violated the prohibitions on propaganda that exist in federal law. The GAO concluded that in at least one instance, the answer is yes. That instance involved the use of Thunderclap by the EPA to push its narrative on the regulation.  As noted in the opinion, "Here, because EPA created a Thunderclap message that did not identify EPA as the author to those who would read it when Thunderclap shared the message across social media accounts, we consider whether the EPA's use of Thunderclap constituted covert propaganda."

Apparently the EPA was so desperate to move public opinion in favor of its controversial regulation that it hid its identity in order to make it look like these communications were not organized from the top down, but were rather an organic grass roots uprising.

The opinion states further, "EPA constructed a message to be shared by others that refers to the EPA in the third person and advocates support of the Agency's activities." These messages apparently reached 1.8 million users.

The EPA certainly knew what it was doing, after all, it was the communications director for the Office of Water that engaged in many of these activities. The EPA's activities encouraged the public to engage in lobbying activities. As noted by the opinion, "When EPA hyperlinked to the NRDC and Surfrider Foundation webpages using an official communication channel belonging to the EPA and visually encouraged its readers to visit these external websites, EPA associated itself with the messages conveyed by these self-described action groups."

In general, an attempt by a federal agency to convince the public to engage in lobbying is an activity that is prohibited by law. Thus, the conclusion from the GAO stating, "We conclude that EPA violated the anti-lobbying provisions contained in appropriations acts for FY2015 when it obligated and expended funds in connection with establishing the hyperlinks to the webpages of environmental action groups."

Additionally, because the EPA violated the appropriations laws, a violation of the Antideficiency Act occurred as well. As noted by the opinion, "Because EPA obligated and expended appropriated funds in violation of specific prohibitions, we also conclude that EPA violated the Antideficiency Act, 31 U.S.C. 1341(a)(1)(A), as the agency's appropriations were not available for these prohibited purposes."

Such violations of the Antideficiency Act require a report which is provided to the President, Congress, and the Comptroller General. It remains to be seen whether the EPA will file this report and come clean on its activities in this area.

In order to further inform the public regarding the EPA's activities in this area, Americans for Limited Government Foundation has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the EPA. The request seeks copies of communications between the EPA's Office of Water and the NRDC and Surfrider Foundation. Based on previous FOIA work from our office we know that the EPA does frequently coordinate with outside environmental groups and has a very chummy relationship with many of them. We will provide an update on this issue in the future, and will work to bring more of these situations to light so that the public can know how their government is attempting to shape the debate, both before them and before Congress, on environmental issues.


Britain's great green rubbish farce: Hundreds of thousands of tons of recycling is burned or buried after being carefully sorted by homeowners

Hundreds of thousands of tons of recycling carefully sorted by homeowners is just being burned or dumped in a landfill.

The amount of waste which was buried in the ground or incinerated after being painstakingly divided between bins has nearly doubled over the past three years.

Figures have revealed that last year some councils rejected up to one in five recycling bins on the grounds that they had not been properly sorted.

Officials claim that despite the best efforts of the public, the recycling is `contaminated' with unwanted items - and insist it is cheaper to bury the rubbish rather than filter them out.

A whole lorry's worth of contents can be turned around at the gates of a re-processing plant because it contains scraps of food waste, plastic or fabric.

The figures, which were revealed by a Freedom of Information request carried out for the Daily Mail, show thousands of hours spent laboriously sorting rubbish into numerous bins are wasted every year.

In 2012 some 184,000 metric tons of recycling were thrown away. However last year that figure hit 338,000 - an increase of 84 per cent.

The local authorities with the worst records for rejected recycling are the London boroughs of Newham, and Hammersmith and Fulham.

The two councils see 20 bins of recycled waste rejected for every 100 that get accepted.

Outside the capital Manchester City Council has the poorest record - turning away 18 bins for every 100 that are recycled.

Yesterday Peter Box, environment spokesman for the Local Government Association, issued a defiant statement, saying: `If recycling becomes contaminated then it has to be sent to landfill. Allowing councils to identify and work with people who misunderstand or make mistakes when sorting their rubbish is important.

`As a last resort, councils also need effective, proportionate powers to take action against households or businesses which persistently or wilfully damage the local environment.'

Jonathan Isaby, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: `Most people are happy to do their bit for the environment and separate their waste for recycling, but if councils are simply burying it all in landfill anyway then taxpayers will ask exactly what the point is. The frequency of bin collections has been on the decline as councils have asked residents to do more, but there hasn't been a concomitant cut in council tax.

`Waste collection is one of the most important and visible services that councils provide so they must do more to ensure that taxpayers get value for money.'

Critics believe that recycling systems with too many bins leave many residents confused about which items are meant to go in each different bin, creating what has become known as `green fatigue'.

Newham Council currently requires residents to put paper, cardboard, tins, cans and plastic bottles into a recycling bin.

And in Hammersmith and Fulham, a single `smart sack' is handed out for recycling paper, glass, metal and plastic as well as cardboard.

However Manchester City Council forces time-pressed homeowners to organise their recycling into three different bins - separating food and garden waste from discarded paper and plastic.

Yesterday a Newham Council spokesman said: `We are working to improve the quality of the recycling we collect and reduce the amount lost because of contamination.

`We have an extensive and ongoing resident awareness campaign involving door knocking, leafleting, and information in council publications and online. We work with schools to create an understanding of why it is important to recycle and doing it properly.'

Hammersmith and Fulham Council and Manchester City Council did not respond to a request for comment.


Obama announces moratorium on new federal coal leases

The Obama administration on Friday ordered a moratorium on new leases for coal mined from federal lands as part of a sweeping review of the government's management of vast amounts of taxpayer-owned coal throughout the West.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the temporary halt, saying it was time for a re-examination of the decades-old coal-leasing program, from health and environmental impacts to whether U.S. citizens are getting a fair return for the hundreds of millions of tons of government-owned coal that are mined and sold each year.

"It is abundantly clear that times are different in the energy sector now than they were 30 years ago, and we must undertake a review and that's what we need to do as  responsible stewards of the nation's assets," Jewell said in a conference call with reporters. "That was a time, 30 years ago, when our nation had very different priorities and needs. The result was a federal coal program designed to get as much coal out of the ground as possible, and in many ways that's the program that we've been operating ever since."

The announcement, initially reported late Thursday, comes three days after President Obama hinted of coming reforms to federal energy policy in his State of the Union address.

The decision was cheered by environmentalists but denounced by industry groups and politicians from Western states, where federal coal leases provide thousands of jobs as well as revenue for state and local government coffers. Obama administration officials have been debating such a change for years, saying current practices contribute to a glaring contradiction in U.S. energy policy, which simultaneously promotes the sale of federally owned coal even as it seeks to limit greenhouse-gas pollution from coal burning.

Interior Department officials said the review would take the form of a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, which allows a broader look at all aspects of federal coal leasing across regions and can incorporate environmental and health impacts as well as financial ones. The last review on this scale occurred in the 1980s.

U.S. officials say the moves will not immediately affect production or jobs, as current federal leases produce enough coal to supply the country's needs for 20 years.  Jewell said exceptions to the new-lease moratorium could be granted to ensure adequate production of metallurgical coal used in steel production, or to allow small modifications to existing leases.

"We'll make accommodations in the event of emergency circumstances to ensure this pause will have no material impact on the nation's ability to meet its power generation needs," Jewell said. "We are undertaking this effort with full consideration of the importance of maintaining reliable and affordable energy for American families and businesses, as well other federal programs and policies."

Peabody Energy spokeswoman Kelley Wright said in an email that the decision will not deliver a serious blow to the company, but was still misguided.

"Thanks to Peabody's investments over time, we have more than 20 years of production through our superior Powder River Basin coal reserve position, representing long-term security of supply and a competitive strength," she said. "Nonetheless, the Administration's actions represent poor policy and a flawed way to accomplish carbon goals. The way to a lower-carbon future is through technology, not by attempting to deprive Americans of the low cost reliable electricity that coal represents."

Hundreds of millions of tons of federally owned coal are mined by private companies each year under laws requiring the federal government to seek maximum benefit for resources on public lands. Environmental groups and some independent analysts have long argued that taxpayers are under-compensated for coal extracted from vast mines on federally owned land across the West, and that prices do not reflect societal costs from pollution from coal-burning.

In his speech on Tuesday, Obama argued for decreasing reliance on fossil fuels as part of the larger effort to fight the causes of climate change. He said the administration would "push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet." The administration has supported policies that have led to rapid growth of solar and wind energy, which are now cost-competitive with coal and other fossil fuels in some parts of the country. Nationally, more people now work in the solar industry than in coal mines.

But several business associations immediately attacked the move, which the U.S. Chamber of Commerce decried as a "foolish crusade."

"Another day, another front on the war on coal from this administration," said Karen Harbert, president of the Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy. "At this point, it is obvious that the President and his administration won't be satisfied until coal is completely eradicated from our energy mix."

A number of key Congressional Republicans also criticized the decision, saying it would weaken the economy and harm workers in coal states.

"We should be putting our nation on the path of continued energy strength, not undermining our energy security," said Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources. "Unfortunately the president's bid to solidify his legacy with the extreme left will come at the expense of America's energy needs and will make the lives of people more expensive and more uncomfortable."

House Speaker Paul Ryan vowed to fight the administration's plans to keep more of the nation's coal underground. "Coal on federal land belongs to all Americans, but the president is denying people access to their own abundant, low-cost energy source."

But environmental groups and a number of independent analysts said the reforms were long overdue, and would benefit Americans in the long run.

"This is a major shift that helps modernize the federal coal program," said Jayni Hein, policy director at the Institute for Policy Integrity. "This planning process will disclose the environmental and social impacts of coal leasing, which are extensive."

Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said in an interview that the decision represented a fundamental shift in how the federal government had begun to operate, by curbing the supply of fossil fuels available for burning rather than just working to reduce overall demand. He noted that when Obama rejected the cross-border permit application to build the Keystone XL pipeline late last year, the president specifically said that part of his reasoning stemmed from the fact that governments have got to keep some of the world's remaining fossil fuels locked in the ground.

"If Keystone was the kickoff, then this was a 50-yard downfield pass that helps us score a touchdown," Brune said. "For years we've been arguing we need to combine action on our tailpipes and smokestacks with a supply-side strategy to keep dirty fuels in the ground, and in the last few months we've made tremendous progress."

Mining companies currently pay a 12.5 percent royalty rate for coal taken from surface mines, compared to an 18.75 percent royalty for oil and gas from offshore drilling. Coal companies say the actual rates paid to the government are much higher because of bonuses and other fees paid through lease agreements.

Most of the coal mined from federal lands is used in U.S. electricity generation, though some is sold overseas. Government-owned coal harvested in the Powder River basin-the country's biggest coal-producing region, straddling Wyoming and Montana-accounts for about 10 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study last year by the Center for American Progress and the Wilderness Society.

"The federal coal program is frozen in time in the 1980s," said David Hayes, a former Interior Department deputy secretary and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. "The current rules, which were written when you could still smoke on airplanes and dump sewage in the ocean, neither deliver a fair return to taxpayers nor account for the pollution costs that result from coal mining."

Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), who ordered the first Government Accountability Office report on the program in the early 1980s, which led to the resignation of then-Interior Secretary James Watt, said it took multiple factors to finally get the administration to overhaul the leasing system.

"It's been on autopilot for decades, and we've finally been able to find the combination of taxpayers getting shortchanged with impacts on climate to finally break through to have a set of solutions be put in place," he said in an interview.


Capacity Factors And Coffee Shops: A Beginner's Guide To Understanding The Challenges Facing Wind Farms

Geoff Russell, a rational Australian Greenie, uses the numbers to show at length below what an absurdity wind farms are.  He shows that there is no way they can be the mainstay of an electricity supply.  He favours nukes as a carbon-free power supply

It's still `all about the baseload', writes Geoff Russell, in this simple guide to understanding the limitations of energy sources like wind farms.

Renewable-only advocates claim that we can build a reliable, clean electricity system using mostly unreliable sources; like wind and solar power. And of course we can; the theory is simple, just build enough of them.

Coffee shops operate rather like our current electricity system; there are a few permanent staff who are analogous to what are called baseload power stations. Additional staff are hired to cover the busy period(s) and correspond typically to gas fired generators.

The renewable alternative is like running a coffee shop with a crew of footloose narcoleptics who arrive if and when they feel like it and who can nod off with little notice. Would this work? Of course; just hire enough of them.

Any criticisms of renewable plans is typically subjected to execution by slogan: That's soooo last millennium; baseload is a myth!

I've used something like this coffee shop analogy elsewhere, but it doesn't capture other critical features of electricity sources . let's begin with the capacity factor.

Capacity factor

When someone talks about a "100 megawatt" wind farm, this refers to its maximum power output when the wind is blowing hard. Energy is power multiplied by time, so if it's windy for 24 hours you'll get 24 x 100 = 2400 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electrical energy. But actual output over the course of a year is obviously only a percentage of the maximum possible and that percentage is measured and called the capacity factor; typically about 33 percent for wind.

A rooftop solar system is also labelled according to its maximum output and also has a capacity factor. averaging 14 percent in Australia but only 9 or 10 percent in the UK or Germany.

Nuclear plants also have capacity factors because they usually need to be taken off line every year or two for refuelling. Typical percentages are 90 in the US and 96 in South Korea.

You can't compare electricity sources without understanding capacity factors. Since the capacity factor of a nuclear plant is about 90 percent and that of rooftop solar is about 14 percent and because 90/14 = 6.429, then you'd need to install 9,000 megawatts worth of solar panels to match the amount of electricity you'd get from a 1400 megawatt South Korean APR1400 nuclear reactor over a year (6.429 x 1400 = 9,000).

Which is more than double the 4041 megawatts installed in Australia between 2007 and the end of 2014.

Matching supply and demand

But 9,000 megawatts of solar panels is still very different to 1,400 megawatts of nuclear, even if both produce the same amount of electricity annually. With 9,000 megawatts of PV panels, you don't control the output and on any day it will range from nothing at night through to 9,000 megawatts if it's hot, cloudless and the right time of day.

In contrast, 1,400 megawatts of nuclear power can be adjusted to match demand; turn it down, turn it up.

Below is a picture of the output of some German nuclear plants. Note that the output of one plant, KKI 1 (Isar), is pretty constant. That plant began operation in 1979, which is about the vintage of the seemingly immortal but obviously false anti-nuclear claim that nuclear plants can't follow load; see Margaret Beavis's recent NM article for a 2015 misstatement.

Brokdorf, on the other hand, is a little newer and has been operating since 1986 and has no trouble ramping up and down. Not only can most nuclear plants load-follow (this is the technical term), it's increasingly necessary in Germany because of the growth of wind and solar; it's a thankless task but somebody has to do it!

Now you understand why it's silly to do what non-technical journalists like Bernard Keane have done, and compare costs per kilowatt of solar with those of nuclear without understanding the capacity factor; let alone grid costs or load-following.

But the capacity factor is also important for another deeper reason and it will take us back to that coffee shop.

First, imagine a small city with a constant electrical demand of 1,000 megawatts and a wind farm supplying, on average, 333 megawatts. Assume the rest is supplied by gas. Given the capacity factor of wind, we can infer that the peak output of that wind farm is about 1,000 megawatts.

What happens to excess electricity?

Now consider what happens if you triple the size of your wind farm.  Since you now have (a maximum of) 3,000 megawatts of wind power, you'll be averaging 0.33 x 3,000 x 24 megawatt-hours (of energy) per day; which is 100 percent of demand; excellent.

But what happens when it's really windy? The output is then triple the demand; so, without storage, that electricity gets dumped.

Dumping electricity on your neighbours isn't a nice thing to do if they don't need it at the time.

Wind farms, like any low capacity factor unreliable electricity source, are fine when they are a small contributor to a large grid, but not so fine when their surges are large relative to the demand on the grid; then they become a veritable bull in a china shop.

How does this look in coffee shop terms? If you run your coffee shop with a large bunch of narcoleptic staff, then some of the time they'll all be awake and rearing to go, but there'll be few customers and your staff will be twiddling their thumbs at best and getting in each others way at worst.

But perhaps the analogy is broken? Instead of a single wind farm, we could have multiple farms spread over a huge area and interconnected so that the wind must surely even out; never blowing hard (nor totally calm) at all sites. Certainly this sounds plausible. but what actually happens?

John Morgan looked at the Australian data on wind power in an article a couple of months ago on

In the 12 months to September 2015, Australia had 3,753 megawatts of wind power across the National Electricity Market (which excludes WA which isn't connected) and the daily average output ranged from 2.7 percent (101 megawatts for 24 hours) to 86 percent (3,227 megawatts for 24 hours).

This isn't so different from what would happen with a single 3,753 megawatt wind farm. So despite expectations, there were times when it was pretty windy almost everywhere and other times, including runs of multiple days, when it was pretty damn still almost everywhere.

The overall capacity factor was measured at 29 percent. So despite expectations, many wind farms, even in a big country like Australia, aren't that much different to one very big one. And you really do have to worry about being becalmed.

I argued in my last New Matilda article that wasting battery capacity papering over the deficiencies of wind and solar will reduce our ability to solve our clean transportation problems.

Copper plates and real networks

Clearly if many wind farms are intended to even out supply, then they need to be interconnected.

A study commonly cited in Australia supporting the feasibility of a 100 percent renewable system is that of Elliston, Diesendorf and MacGill.

One assumption of that study was that electricity can flow freely from where-ever it is generated to where-ever it is needed.

This is called the "copper plate" assumption; it assumes the continent is just one massive copper plate conducting electricity everywhere at high speed.

But real interconnectors have to be built, and how much connectivity do low capacity factor sources need? A European study found that the grid capacity to transfer electricity under a 100 percent renewable scenario needs to be ramped up by between 5.7 and 11.5 times; depending on the quality of service required.

The "flow freely" assumption occupied just one sentence of the Australian study but conceals a wealth of problems and complexity. The EU goal is that member countries provide interconnection capacity equal to just 10 percent of installed capacity. by 2020.

The need for extra national interconnections is mirrored internally within the larger countries by the need for extra internal interconnections. In Germany this is being implemented under the Power Grid Expansion Act (EnLAG) involving 3,800 kilometers of new extra-high voltage lines.

These lines aren't being built without protest. The path of least resistance will be wildlife habitat; to avoid concerns both real and imagined over reducing property prices and health risks.

To extend the coffee shop analogy to cover distributed wind farms, we move from a single shop to a WindyBucks Chain of shops spread over the country.

The European study implies that making this work will require not just extra staff but a fleet of lightening fast taxis to shunt the staff around from shop to shop. This is so that when we have too many baristas in Cairns, we can shunt them down to cover for those having a kip in Hobart.

Again, the theory is simple; just add another layer of duct tape until it holds together.

Markets, profits and planning

There's one not so obvious way in which the coffee shop analogy breaks down. Coffee shop staff get paid by the hour, not by the number of coffees they make; but users of electricity pay for what they use, not for what is generated.

Does anybody want to pay 10 times the going rate for a coffee just because there happen to be 10 grinning baristas twiddling their thumbs behind the Espresso machine?

If not, then consider what happens to electricity prices during our imagined tripling of wind capacity. Remember, we started by assuming wind provided about 30 percent of electrical energy, so when we triple the number of farms and the wind is blowing pretty strongly everywhere, they'll be generating about triple what we want.

In a free electricity market where suppliers bid for electricity, the price will dive. So while it's very profitable to build a wind farm when total wind energy is less than the capacity factor, it soon becomes very unprofitable because nobody wants your product; you also create a mess that somebody has to clean up by building extra grid magic to handle power surges.

Why didn't people see this coming a decade ago? Probably somebody did, but they were "Sooo last millennium"!

This article has tried to explain as non-technically as possible some of the problems that arise as penetration rates of intermittent electricity sources rise. I've used wind as a concrete example, but the same problems occur with any low capacity factor sources.

It may help people understand why Germany is burning half of her forestry output for electricity to provide some level of baseload power amid the renewable chaos. She could be, and should be, maximally expanding forests to draw down carbon, but instead, her logging and fuel crop industries are booming.

But the German use of baseload biomass to paper over renewable deficiencies isn't just a love of lumberjacks and hatred for wildlife - when AEMO (Australian Electricity Market Operator) reported in 2013 on the feasibility of 100 percent renewable electricity, both her scenarios were "Sooo Last Millenium" and postulated a baseload system underneath the wind and solar components; either biomass (Log, Slash, Truck and Burn) like the Germans, or geothermal (ironically driven by heat from radioactive decay within the earth).

Technical readers should consult John Morgan's articles a and b in addition to the various papers and studies he mentions.



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

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


15 January, 2015

Tories should be sued over dangerous levels of NO2 (?)

Yes. This time it is NO2, not CO2.  Gaseous oxides seem to get a bad rap.  Whether British government policy can be mandated by the courts is an interesting issue.  In the absence of a written constitution, it could be possible.  But I doubt that there are binding precedents for it.  In Britain, the Queen in parliament has always been held to be supreme.  The various EU treaties could come into play, however.

And here's an interesting comment from an academic journal article on the subject:

"Studies have not demonstrated a clear dose-dependent health risk response to increasing amounts of these pollutants except at high concentrations. In addition, a number of studies examining the effects of ambient level exposure to NO2, SO2, and CO have failed to find associations with adverse health outcomes".

So the levels of SO2 in British cities may be no problem at all -- or at least a very minor problem based on weak statistical associations.  It wouldn't be the first time that Greenies have "cried wolf"  -- like the "acid rain" scare, for instance

The barrister wife of former Labour leader Ed Miliband yesterday said the Government must be sued for continuing to allow dangerous pollution levels in the UK.

Justine Thornton, who will be made a Queen's Counsel next month, said the estimated 23,500 annual deaths from nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution in the UK were `a national scandal'.

She said judges must take the government to task to take immediate action to cut pollution.

Critics, however, are likely to point out that it was the previous Labour government - in which her husband served as energy secretary - that offered tax breaks to encourage British motorists to switch to diesel engines.

Labour encouraged us to drive diesel cars because they produce less carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas which causes global warming.

Around 10million British motorists now drive diesels, but the consequences have been a rise in NO2, which damages the lungs and blood vessels and worsens asthma.

Labour's shadow environment minister Barry Gardiner has previously accepted that his party's decision was `wrong' and a `massive problem for public health.'

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled last April that the Government should `be left in no doubt as to the need for immediate action to address this issue'.

In order to tackle NO2 pollution, Ministers issued plans in mid-December to introduce clean air zones by 2020.

These schemes will see diesel vehicles charged to enter parts of Birmingham, Leeds, Derby, Nottingham and Southampton.

London will also introduce a low emission zone, charging for diesel vehicles, but under the plans it will only reach legally acceptable pollution levels by 2025.

Environmental group Clientearth, which brought the original court case against the Government, has warned it will bring a further legal challenge to Ministers within weeks for failing to do enough to tackle pollution.

The actions get the full support of Miss Thornton, who is a specialist in environmental law.

Writing in the Guardian, she said the Government has `soft-pedalled' on pollution by private motorists and `appears intent on watering down European legal limits for vehicle emissions'.

Miss Thornton added: `The stage is set for a fascinating tussle between law and politics. The UK court will have to roll up its sleeves and decide whether this Government is doing what it can to make our air as safe as possible.'

She went on: `Ten more years of dangerous air pollution in London puts a whole generation of children at risk. The quality of the air that our children breathe is too important to be decided behind closed doors by government and vehicle manufacturers.'

Alan Andrews, a lawyer for ClientEarth said he would apply for a case against the Government to be fast-tracked because people's lives were at risk.

He said: `This is such an urgent issue. The Supreme Court ordered Government to take immediate action. These plans are an outrageous statement... that the government doesn't intend to comply as soon as possible. It is an arrogant response that is simply not good enough


Warmist secrecy

Warmists make huge efforts to keep secret everything connected to their "research".  And the Climategate emails tell us why:  Their research is crooked in various ways.  Their coverup attempts do actually speak for themselves.  Why the secrecy if they have nothing to hide?  Any researcher who refuses to come clean should have his work disregarded. 

There are several ongoing attempts to breach the Warmist wall of secrecy that are being blocked -- on the ludicrous grounds that requests for information are "harassment".  Again, such a ludicrous claim speaks for itself.  Renegade climate scientist Judith Curry gives her thoughts on the matter below:

During the past year, my emails at Georgia Tech have been subject to FOIA or other requests.  The first was the request made by Rep Grijalva [link], which I interpreted as a politically motivated fishing expedition since we were identified as testifying for his political opponents, letters were sent to the university presidents, and the requests were publicized by Grijalva before obtaining any information from the requests - clearly an example of harassment.

The second request was a recent one, from reporter Timothy Cama, who requested:

I request any and all records concerning communications from January 1, 2015 to the present day between earth and atmospheric sciences professor Dr. Judith Curry or anyone on her behalf, and the following:

1. Sen. Ted Cruz or anyone on his behalf
2. Sen. Jim Inhofe or anyone on his behalf
3. Anyone with an email address from the United States Congress (containing "" or "")

In both instances, Georgia Tech Legal Affairs promptly handed over the emails; I understand that Cama was asked to pay the costs of an electronic search of my emails (the estimated cost was less than $100.)

I didn't particularly object to Cama's request (relative to Grijalva's request) because this was a FOIA request sent through the normal channels (not a letter to Georgia Tech's President, implying I had done something `wrong'), and was targeted at a specific topic (rather than a fishing expedition).

The third instance was  a subpoena from the Florida  in the Supreme Court case on the water wars between Georgia and Florida [link] - I identified the relevant materials myself (it took a few days).  I had absolutely no concerns about this request, and the process and deposition were rather interesting.

I have been accused in the blogosphere of taking an inconsistent stance on the Grijalva request versus Lamar Smith's NOAA request regarding the Karl et al. paper [link].  I regarded Smith's request as justified,  targeted at obtaining additional information regarding judgments that went into the Karl et al. paper, and to assess whether the NCEI Director (Tom Karl) had been dancing to the tune of the Obama administration.

So, 11 months after the Grijalva inquisition, where do I stand on the subject of scientists' emails?

I have a longstanding public commitment to transparency in climate science, since my first Climategate essay [link]. Since Climategate, the situation has vastly improved - data are publicly available, as well as methods, models, and metadata.

However, given the public importance and policy relevance of much climate research, this isn't enough.  Additional transparency is needed:

    We badly need to know what the reasoning is (and debate) behind the IPCC's assessment of confidence levels.  This issue was called out in the IAC review of the IPCC [link].

    More extensive documentation of what data is ignored and why in global climate data records.

    More extensive documentation of choices regarding methods used to `fix' data biases

    More extensive documentation on the rationale for, and actual process of, climate model calibration

Formal documentation of these deliberations and the rejected data or choices would be best; in the absence of such documentation, emails provide the main source for such information.  Journal articles with their word limits, even with supplementary information, simply do not allow for adequate documentation.

There needs to be better guidelines for providing information regarding sources of conflicts - funding sources, membership on committees and boards, etc.  But as I have written elsewhere, this is not likely to be the major source of bias [link].

And finally, I am tired of scientists whining:

    that responding to FOIA requests is a burden.  Most govt agencies and universities have staff that will conduct the email search (this is certainly the case at Georgia Tech, where such requests are handled by legal affairs and the IT office).
    that making scientists emails publicly available hampers the freedom to conduct unfettered research.  Get over it - if your research is funded by the government, then your materials and emails are fair game.  Keeping this in the back of your mind might even hamper the kinds of unprofessional and even unethical actions that were made apparent in the Climategate emails.

Politicians and journalists and advocacy groups are the most likely to make such requests.  FOIA requests (at least in the U.S.) is the appropriate way to make these requests.

Scientists employed by the government (e.g. NOAA), have a greater responsibility to transparency and to responding to such requests, relative to university employed scientists who receive government funding.  And of course independent scientists have no particular obligation in this regard, although many independent scientists (e.g. Nic Lewis) go above and beyond the usual requirements, by making all code and data available, and writing blog posts that go into further detail.

FOIA requests are not prima facie harassment; however the method used by Grijalva definitely constitutes harassment: publicizing the request before he receives any information, making a request that is clearly politically motivated (targeting scientists that have testified for Republicans), writing a letter to university presidents with the implication that the researchers have done something wrong, and whose request constitutes a broad fishing expedition.

I am glad to see Paul Thacker raising this issue.   I agree with Michael Halpern's statement: "Together, we need to develop common disclosure standards and incentives to adopt them."


Germany wants to put 2 billion euros into encouraging electric cars

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel wants to commit two billion euros ($2.17 billion) to encourage more people to buy electric cars, the newspaper Die Zeit reported on Wednesday.

Buyers of electric cars would receive a subsidy from the government, the newspaper said, giving no further details.

Gabriel also wants to expand charging stations and encourage federal offices to use electric cars - an initiative that will be funded under the current German budget without tax increases, he said.

The German government aims to put one million electric cars on the roads by 2020. Among the country's carmakers, BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen now produce all-electric cars; Audi, Mercedes and Porsche have plans to build one.

Sales of electric cars totaled some 19,000 in 2014, but at the end of 2014 Germany had only 2,400 charging stations and around 100 fast-charging points.

Calls for supporting electric cars grew at the end of last year after the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Both Gabriel and his fellow Social Democrat Environment Minster Barbara Hendricks have called for a quota for electric cars


Coal Monolith Tumbles; Obama largely to Blame

This is what Barack Obama's regulations do in the real world. The nation's second largest coal company, Arch Coal, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, seeking to strike $4.5 billion in debt from its ledgers. In an industry struggling and bleeding jobs, one of the monoliths has fallen.

The cause of death was in part the rise of natural gas. The energy source has overtaken coal and become the nation's go-to source of energy and China's coal industry has been a stiff competitor (no thanks to Obama's climate change agenda).

But the Obama administration has also played a direct hand in the coal industry's demise. His Environmental "Protection" Agency has rocked the industry with round after round of regulation in its war on coal. Of course, the markets go round and round. Arch Coal, which went into debt in 2011 acquiring another coal company, might have been able to ride out this economic slump.

But as The Wall Street Journal's editorial board notes, Obama regulations will exist until - by slender chance - a future administration realizes the economic harm they have on the nation. Even now, that economic harm will be felt.

WSJ's editorial board says, "Even after recent declines in market share, coal-fired plants still provide roughly a third or more of American electricity. So utility customers will notice the coal carnage when they see their monthly bills - or perhaps when the lights don't go on.

But for now the pain is concentrated among those who used to work in the coal fields. They are still waiting for all those new green jobs Mr. Obama has been promising since he arrived in Washington."


SolarCity and the Silver Spoon

If you own a business - maybe a taco stand, a dress shop, or an insurance agency - you know it takes a lot of hard work, good market analysis, a better product or service than your competition, and advertising. Add in a bit of luck, and you hope to grow your business - though vacant storefronts and boarded up buildings in towns and cities across America show that isn't always enough. Each going-out-of-business sale represents the death of someone's dream.

If, however, you are a politically favored business - say solar - your story is different. Your growth is dependent on government generosity. And, when people, who may never buy your product or use your service, balk at underwriting your venture and convince their Congressmen to take away the taxpayer largesse, like a badly behaved toddler, you threaten to take your marbles and go home-leaving former staffers unemployed and customers without service.

Such is the story of SolarCity - which has taken advantage of the favored status and bilked government programs to grow into being the nation's largest installer of rooftop solar panels. Despite that distinction, SolarCity still loses millions of dollars. SolarCity doesn't manufacturer solar panels - though, thanks to $750 million in funding from New York's taxpayers - that will soon change.

Despite "major changes and growing competition in an already competitive industry," as The Associated Press called it, Governor Andrew Cuomo is, essentially, giving SolarCity a state-owned, rent-free factory - a decision that Michael Hicks, a professor of economics and director for the Center for Business Research at Ball State University, says is "an eye-popping deal, a very questionable use of state funds, but a huge windfall for the investors of SolarCity."

In return, SolarCity promises to "create 1,460 high-tech jobs" at the Buffalo, NY, factory scheduled to begin operations late this year. The company also expects to have 1,440 "manufacturing support and service provider jobs," as well as at least 2,000 other jobs in the state - which Hicks claims is "small, given the investment."

The New York "gigafactory" will manufacture a "radically new type of solar technology" that is, according to MIT Technology Review, "a huge risk" and "a big gamble." About SolarCity's new move to manufacturing, the Review states: "scaling up the production processes quickly and doing so while maintaining the efficiencies of the modules and without increasing costs could be difficult. And there are no guarantees that by the time the modules are commercially available they will still be the best on the planet."

SolarCity has no qualms about throwing a tantrum and leaving a state that doesn't play by its rules  - as it has done in Arizona, Nevada, and, even in the UK. Even uber-green California is being threatened by an exodus and states such as Washington and New Hampshire received warnings that SolarCity won't come to the state if subsidies don't favor its operational model.

Last week, Nevada became the latest state to "roll back" its "net-metering electricity scam," as the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) calls it. As a result, "SolarCity reacted by announcing that it would cease sales and installations in the state."  Back in 2013, with great fanfare, SolarCity announced that it was coming to Nevada "after securing incentives worth up to $1.2 million from the state's Governor's Office of Economic Development," reported the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Like in New York, SolarCity claimed it would create "hundreds of jobs" near Las Vegas. But times have changed.

Nevada is just one of many states considering changes to the subsidies offered to encourage rooftop solar installations. Arizona already made the change, causing SolarCity to shift resources to other states where the profit margins are higher. In April, the Arizona Republic announced that SolarCity was relocating 85 workers out of state. SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive called the changes: "Too restrictive." He declared that they "eliminate the potential to save money with solar for nearly all customers." The changes made Arizona "the most challenging for his company."

What states have found, is that the increasing implementation of solar, results in higher costs for non-solar customers - who as the WSJ states: "tend to be lower income."

The net-metering policies are at the center of the debate. In short, net metering compensates solar customers for the excess solar power they generate. The problem is that these individual generators get paid retail for the power, rather than the wholesale rate utilities pay for typical power supplies. As a result, customers with solar panels can completely avoid paying the utility - even though they still use power, transmission lines, and services from the company. States are seeing costs shifted from solar customers to those who can least afford it. As a result, several states, including Nevada, California, and Washington have mandated policy changes. Generally, the changes reduce the payment to wholesale and add a grid connection fee or demand fee.

The WSJ called net metering "regressive political income redistribution in support of a putatively progressive cause." Frank O'Sullivan, director of research and analysis at MIT Energy Initiative explains it: "Net metering, in its most plain, vanilla form, is certainly a subsidy to rooftop solar owners. Obviously there has to be a cost transfer to others who don't have solar on their roofs."

In response to SolarCity subsidiary Zep Solar's closure in the UK, due to cuts in solar subsidies, energy and climate secretary Amber Rudd said she was "concerned at job losses" but "she had to control costs to consumers."

Nevada's Governor, Brian Sandoval, stated: "Nevada has provided tremendous support to the solar industry" but the government must ensure that "families who consume traditional energy sources are not paying more just to finance the rooftop solar marketplace."

In Arizona, the changes to the net-metering policies grandfathered in current users, but added grid usage/demand fees. In Nevada, payments to existing customers have been slashed and connection fees have been raised. The current proposal in California would cut payments for excess electricity almost in half and solar customers would pay a monthly fee. In Washington, utilities are pushing for a charge on solar customers.

The solar industry is filing legal action as, admittedly, these "proposals threaten to undermine the economics of their systems." WSJ explains: "corporate welfare encourages dependency and entitlement that's difficult to break."

Despite being the largest installer of rooftop solar in the country, SolarCity has not been profitable - with losses of $56 million in one year and $293 million cumulatively. As more and more states look toward revising the generous solar subsidies as a way to rein in exploding costs and balance budgets, companies like SolarCity become a bad investment. When Congress extended the tax credits for solar as part of the 2015 omnibus budget deal, Solar City "saw its share price skyrocket." The rich get richer and the poor get soaked.

Explaining the industry's reaction to changing policy, Rep. Jeff Morris, the sponsor of proposed legislation in Washington, HB 2045, said: "The reason they are going off the rails on this is because they are afraid that it's going to sweep across the 50 states."

It is the state and federal incentives, not free markets, which have created a burgeoning solar industry. Congress foolishly extended the federal credits. But with "recent improvements in solar costs and efficiencies," as Lori Christian, president of Solar Installers of Washington says: "it is time for all states to reassess the outdated incentive structure currently in place."

When even California is proposing policy changes that would result in solar power being less-cost effective for homeowners and businesses, it is time to realize this business model has to change. And, that includes taking the silver spoon out of the mouth of SolarCity. Although they'll likely throw a temper tantrum, take their marbles and go home, it will save taxpayers millions and force solar to operate on a level playing field like other businesses have to do.


Australia: The evils of land clearing

Humanity has been clearing native vegetation for thousands of years to make way for crops and grazing animals.  But that is now all WRONG, apparently.  There is a great shriek about it below.  It's "environmental destruction" apparently. 

Human modification of the landscape has been pervasive in Europe and yet Europe has a lot of very nice places to be.  Try Austria's
Salzkammergut, for instance, centered around an old salt mine (as the name implies).  I can hear the shrieks now:  A MINE?  Mines can never be good to a Greenie.  Yet people take vacations in the Salzkammergut to enjoy the beautiful environment.  People have been modifying the environment there since ancient times in fact.  Hallstatt is in the Salzkammergut, if you know your archaeology.

Hallstatt -- a site of ecocide?

And what about Italy?  People have been marching to and fro and modifying the environment there for around 3,000 years.  Yet many places in Italy -- such as Umbria -- are regarded as places of great beauty.  Tourists flock to Italy in large numbers to see its beautiful landscapes and its modified environments.  But they are just cattle to Greenie elitists, of course.  Greenie elitists have THE TRUTH -- or they think they do.

Umbria -- Some of that awful farmland, no less

Why should Australia be different?  Why can we not modify our environment into something we like better?  Let us CHOOSE our environment rather than stay stuck with the native environment. 

Why should we not?  They offer two arguments below:  The first is that land clearing will increase global warming -- but if that were a serious argument they would have offered some figure for the climate sensitivity to CO2.  They do not.  And they would find themselves in a morass if they did.

The second argument is that clearing reduces biodiversity.  But it may or may not, depending on how the clearing is managed. And the reduced biodiversity in Europe seems to have done nobody any harm. 

But even if we accept that all biodiversity is good and needed, it can be managed without blanket bans on all change.  Farmers often leave a bit of the native vegetation alone for various reasons.  The big disincentive to doing so is the fear of future Greenie blanket bans.  Farmers clear everything while they can.  So a program to reward farmers for setting aside pockets of native vegetation would do a whole lot more good than trying to stop clearing altogether.

NSW is set to join Queensland in tearing up key environmental legislation. The likely result will be widespread land-clearing and a greater contribution to climate change, writes Dr Mehreen Faruqi.

Imagine you were the NSW Premier in possession of a crystal ball, gazing into which you could see the consequences of your own policies. Suppose what you saw was what you were warned of all along: widespread land clearing and environmental destruction. Well, for Premier Mike Baird, a glimpse of the future is just north of the border, in Queensland.

Two years ago, the Queensland Newman government severely undermined native vegetation rules, resulting in the doubling of land clearing, the removal of almost 300,000 hectares of bushland (20 times the size of the Royal National Park in Sydney) and the release of 35 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, further exacerbating climate change.

Despite this damning evidence, the Baird Government is green lighting land clearing by pushing ahead with abolishing native vegetation protection laws in New South Wales. This is nothing less than attempting ecocide.

The NSW Native Vegetation Act 2003 has generally been credited with ending broad-scale land clearing in a state where 61 per cent of the original native vegetation has been cleared, thinned or significantly disturbed since European colonisation, most of it in the last 50 years.

According to a WWF report, the introduction of this Act saw an 88-fold decrease of felling, as well as preventing the deaths of thousands of native animals.

Not only is native vegetation crucial for biodiversity protection, it also improves farm land value and increases production outcomes. However, native vegetation management on private land has long been perceived as a battleground between landholders and conservationists, stirring up controversy between private property rights and the public interest.

Politically, the National Party has been a key opponent of biodiversity laws that require some form of permission and oversight before landholders can clear native vegetation. Not surprisingly, the unravelling of the Native Vegetation Act commenced in the first term of the Liberal National Government taking power in NSW.

In 2013, the then-Deputy Premier and Nationals leader Andrew Stoner foreshadowed the comprehensive overhaul of all biodiversity protection legislation. A range of new regulations soon followed, which allowed the removal of paddock trees and thinning of native vegetation to go ahead without the need for vegetation management plans.

Since these changes, more than 6,000 trees have been chopped. Even the Shooters & Fishers - key Upper House votes - have waded into this conflict, with a bill that, if enacted, would have done irreparable damage to biodiversity and native vegetation in NSW.

The next and perhaps most disastrous move is the report of the so-called `Independent Biodiversity Legislation Review'.

Even though more than 80 per cent of the submissions to the review called for retaining or strengthening protections, the recommendations call for the wholesale repeal of the Native Vegetation Act. It will also repeal the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and parts of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 Act, and include only parts of them in a mooted new Act.

This will be coupled with an expansion of the flawed biodiversity offsets policy. Once biodiversity is lost, it is often permanent.

The Review recommended that the Native Vegetation Act should be repealed because it had not stopped biodiversity loss. This unsophisticated approach completely ignores the huge reduction of broad-scale clearing as a result of strong laws (despite inadequate resourcing for their enforcement). Moreover, it has turned a blind eye to the multitude of government policies that result in major biodiversity losses, for example, mining approvals that clear swathes of forest and habitat.

The new regime proposed by the Biodiversity Legislation Review is set up to fail. Clearing will be allowed even if it does not improve or maintain environmental outcomes. Under the brave new world of environmental (mis)management, already under-resourced local councils will be lumped with an unprecedented workload to deal with land clearing on a case-by-case basis, with no overarching state-wide environmental oversight.

While the anti-environment Nationals and the Shooters and Fishers are looking forward to ripping up the Native Vegetation Act this year, environment groups, conservationists and the Greens are gearing up for a vigorous fight to stop this destruction of native vegetation and wildlife.

It doesn't need to be this way. There is enough evidence to prove that weakening biodiversity protections will lead to an increase in land clearing leading to further fragmentation of precious ecosystems. At a time when climate change is taking bite we need more, not less preservation.



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

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


14 January, 2016

Billionaires Claim To Fight Global Warming

Private funding of energy research is fine.  They might even come up with something useful.  That whatever they come up with will affect the earth's temperature is however vanishingly unlikely.  It could only do so if the figure for the climate sensitivity to CO2 was substantial -- and all the evidence is that it is negligible -- if it is positive at all

So what gives?  It is just rich people buying approval for themselves:  Good PR

The path toward acting on global warming is a long one, fraught with red tape and slow political processes. This prompted the emergence of two new initiatives at the 21st session of the conference of the parties (COP21) in Paris, the Breakthrough Energy Coalition and Mission Innovation.

These initiatives were spearheaded by tech billionaire Bill Gates who in a Washington Post report stated, “We need to move faster than the energy sector ever has.”

Despite the monumental commitments stressed at the close of COP21 these initiatives aim to do what governments cannot do — cut through the red tape. The groups intend to do this by pouring billions of dollars into innovative projects that strive to produce clean, affordable and carbon-free energy.

The billionaires that comprise the Breakthrough Energy Coalition include Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon; Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group; Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook; Dr. Priscilla Chan Pediatrician and CEO of The Primary School; and of course Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Mission Innovation project requires that the 20 countries signed on, including the United States, double their financial contributions over a five-year period to clean energy solutions.

Through the Breakthrough Energy Coalition, investors from 10 different countries will work with countries through the Mission Innovation project. The Mission Innovation project requires that the 20 countries signed on, including the United States, double their financial contributions over a five-year period to clean energy solutions.

The Breakthrough Energy Coalition will focus on investment opportunities within the private sector of the 20 Mission Innovation countries. According to Tech Crunch, the idea behind the Coalition is akin to the “Giving” Pledge. The Giving Pledge is a pledged signed by the world’s wealthiest individuals, including Elon Musk and Michael Bloomberg, to give the bulk of their wealth to charities.

The difference between these initiatives is that the focus of the Breakthrough Energy Coalition is clean energy. For now, the success of these clean energy initiatives remains to be seen as they embark on funding new environmental innovations.


Greenie Lawfare in Massachusetts

All the court rulings in the world won't affect the global temperature

BOSTON — The Conservation Law Foundation appeared before the state's highest court today arguing that the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection failed to properly create regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions as mandated under a 2008 law.

The Global Warming Solutions Act requires that Massachusetts cut its greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. The landmark climate change law ordered MassDEP to adopt regulations to reach those targets by January 2012 and to implement the regulations by January 2013.

The suit filed by the foundation, the Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, and four high school students in was dismissed in March by a Suffolk County Superior Court judge who ruled that the Department is "substantially fulfilling the legislative expectations" of the act "in a reasonable manner."

The Supreme Judicial Court agreed to hear the matter on appeal.

Lawyers for the environmental activists argue that the state's "abject failure to promulgate regulations" establishing declining aggregate emissions limits "undermines the Commonwealth's efforts to mitigate climate change impacts." They say the Superior Court's interpretation of the law is wrong and should be rejected.

The state maintains that it has been a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, points to a variety of steps it has taken, and contends that the statute does not require actual emission limits, but only "aspirational" emission-reduction targets.

The state further argues that the law gives the agency broad discretion on how to cut emissions, and charges that the appellants "seek to rewrite the statute and supplant the Legislature's objective with their own."

The lawsuit comes as Plymouth Nuclear Power Plant gears plans to shut down, and as the Baker administration pushes to import large amounts of hydropower into the state. Video feeds of SJC proceedings can be found online.


Did clean air laws make Katrina a stronger storm?

This is all theory and speculation.  You can explain anything "post hoc"

The success of the Clean Air Act and similar European laws in scrubbing the atmosphere of sulfate and other aerosol particles may have helped increase the sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in a stronger Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a key climate researcher said Monday (Jan. 11).

Speaking as part of a keynote panel at the annual meeting of the American Meteorological Society in New Orleans, Massachusetts Institute of Technology atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel focused part of his talk on traditional human-caused air pollution, rather than global warming linked to increases in carbon dioxide, showing how it, too, could have an effect on a major weather phenomenon, like hurricanes.

Emanuel also was quick to say that it's difficult to make a direct link between any meteorological trend, such as warming sea surface temperatures caused by reduced pollution levels, and a particular hurricane, like Katrina.

But in an interview after his talk, Emanuel said researchers are near agreement that the human-caused change in the atmosphere resulting from the air pollution laws tracks the increase in sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic that ended what some have called a drought in the number of hurricanes that lasted from the 1960s to the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Emanuel said his own research has shown that sea surface temperatures dropped from the 1950s through the 1980s, and then rose in the 1990s and during the last decade.

"It is controversial about why that happened,but I think the evidence is tilted now toward the idea that it was a consequence of aerosols, mostly sulfate aerosols," he said. The tropical Atlantic is strongly influenced by sulfate aerosols that flow southward over the Mediterranean Sea and then over the Sahara desert, where they combine with mineral dust "that seem very effective in reflecting sunlight."

"European and North American aerosol production soared from the post-war period into the late 1970s and early 1980s, and then almost as precipitously dropped after that because of the Clean Air Act and various European equivalents," he said.

In the United States and Europe, the clean air laws also were driven by efforts to halt the aerial deposit of sulfates, which are acidic, in forests, where they create what environmentalists and scientists call acid rain.

"So we bought ourselves a few decades of quiet, unwittingly," he said. "And during that time, there was a rapid buildup of the Gulf and East Coasts, and then we got slammed with hurricanes when things went back to normal."

Emanuel said he's also not convinced that a lull in hurricanes reaching the U.S. shoreline during the past 10 years is the beginning of a longer quiet period of tropical activity.

Instead, he said, its more likely that this most recent 10-year lull is just chance, a roll of the dice.

He said that experiments using long-term climate models indicate that while similar 10-year lulls don't happen very often when no climate change effects are added, whether caused by sulfate and other aerosols or by increases in carbon dioxide, such lulls do happen.

"And if you look at not just U.S landfalls, but all landfalls, in the Caribbean and on Mexican coasts, there's not really been a lag," he said.

Emanuel said he and other researchers also have come to a better understanding of the effects of climate change linked to increases in carbon dioxide and similar greenhouse gases on tropical storms and hurricanes.

During his talk, which followed discussions of improvements in emergency preparedness in the aftermath of Katrina by former National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield and former U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, Emanuel posited, "The real question we should be asking here is how much longer will there be a New Orleans?"

After his talk, he said his concern is that sea level rise driven by global warming, combined with sinking soils along the Louisiana coast and in New Orleans, will eventually increase the chance of the city again being flooded by hurricane storm surge.

"What I do know is that sea level is going up and New Orleans is sinking, right? Sooner or later, unless a miracle occurs and we can stop the global warming phenomenon, it's just not going to be tenable to keep the city going," Emanuel said. "It's many generations off, lets hope, but still, its looming."


Obama Supports an Oil Pipeline in Kenya

The Obama administration’s drawn out rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline rivaled the pain of a Taylor Swift breakup. Therefore, it comes as a surprise that this same administration agreed to provide $18 billion to build an oil pipeline … in Kenya.

While Keystone was rejected to help Barack Obama score a political point regarding his climate change agenda, this Kenyan pipeline shows that Obama believes the developing world should play by a different set of rules from countries like the United States. Nothing like a bit of self-loathing to set national policy, eh?

All Africa reported that the project will help Kenya’s energy infrastructure, laying the foundation for the country to further industrialize. The project will also help the country become an oil exporter. There’s no argument that the pipeline is a positive step. But this comes while the company that was going to build Keystone takes the Obama administration to court over the rejection.

“These cases are worth watching, especially by those who still want the U.S. to welcome foreign investment,” wrote The Wall Street Journal editorial board. “Meanwhile, U.S. taxpayers will want to keep an eye out to see if their dollars are used to finance the Kenya project.”


An incandescent light bulb, the most efficient bulb

By Lubos Motl

One of the things that the government bureaucracy can't do is to predict the direction that the free scientific and technological progress will take in the future. No one can really do it, not even the best minds let alone stupid arrogant aßholes that have to be employed as regulators within the government structures.

MIT researchers have reminded us about one striking example. The Wikipedia contains a page titled Phase-out of incandescent light bulbs whose first sentence says:

    "Governments around the world have passed measures to phase out incandescent light bulbs for general lighting in favor of more energy-efficient lighting alternatives".

You see, governments across the world "passed measures" based on their belief – a dogma, to be more precise – that there's something intrinsically and unavoidably wrong about incandescent light bulbs when it comes to their energy efficiency and this defect can't go away.

But the energy is conserved. It can't get lost, it may only be converted from one form to another. What we care about is whether the form of the energy that we get is "useful". Heat is often considered useful by many people – but sometimes it's not.

Incandescent light bulbs are based on the conversion of the electric current to heat which gets converted to light because heated objects emit electromagnetic radiation. The emitted light nicely carries all the frequencies, especially those within the interval of the visible spectrum, but also some frequencies that are "not useful", like the infrared waves. Those don't help us to see and only propagate as a form of heat.

But there's no reason to think that this problem can't be circumvented. There's no reason to be confident that the incandescent light bulbs won't return as the most widespread light bulbs. Yesterday, an MIT group has issued a  press release ("Recycling light") about their Nature nanotechnology article

"Tailoring high-temperature radiation and the resurrection of the incandescent source"

which reports their results on the construction of a light bulb that that is going to be almost 3 times more efficient than the best LED light bulbs. The latter only convert 7-15 percent of the energy to light; the new MIT technology is estimated to get to 40 percent soon although with the efficiency of 6.6%, the prototypes only "match" some of the weaker LED competitors so far. That's still a 3-fold improvement from "bare" conventional light bulbs whose efficiency is 2-3 percent. Fluorescents stand at 5-13 percent.

To make things really old-fashioned, the most important light-emitting component of their light bulb is... a wolfram (tungsten) filament, the same one people have been using since the 19th century. It is heated to 3,000 kelvins. So far, everything sounds conventional. What's added is the stuff around,

which is designed so that it simply transmits the visible light while it reflects the infrared light. So the "invisible" infrared light that would normally escape and turn its energy into heat losses is (partly) reflected back to the filament and helps to increase the temperature of this filament so that you don't have to pump too much electricity into it. When the filament gets another chance (or another chance afterwards, and so on), it may emit the same energy in the form of the visible light.

In this way, Ilic, Bermel, Chen, Joannopoulos, Celanovic, and Soljacic simply "recycle the light". Some light that has the wrong frequency gets returned to the source and has an increased chance to come out as the light at a "right" frequency. The know-how behind the materials that may return one frequency and transmit another is known as the photonic crystals. They are periodic or nearly periodic nanostructures that act on the light of different frequencies much like the ordinary crystals.

The advantages of incandescent light bulbs are obvious. The flawless white light contains the electromagnetic radiation of all visible frequencies – pretty much fairly represented – and the light bulb has the right color and intensity a split second after you turn it on. I am sure that many people would welcome the comeback of Edison's light bulbs.

There exists a general reason to think that all similar plans to "switch the world's technology" from one type of a product to another (e.g. from incandescent bulbs to LED) is completely counterproductive: such communist-style planning doesn't work well at any timescales. What do I mean?

Well, such transitions can't be "prescribed" too quickly because the transition costs and the hassle would obviously be too high. You would need hundreds of millions of people to replace their light bulbs quickly. You don't even have this many new light bulbs and so on. So these regulators typically define a deadline – five years in the future or something like that – by which point the transition should take place.

However, this delayed implementation paradigm is completely flawed, too. It's flawed because the research in labs such as the MIT labs often takes place more quickly than that – more quickly than the time needed to replace products in the real world. And in five years, completely different products may be ready that totally change the game and that can make the bulbs (or other technologies) rendered obsolete the winners again.

Similar comments apply to much more serious questions than the light bulbs – such as the fossil fuels. Whether fossil fuels are going to be the best solution in 2040 or not depends on the answers to many questions that are currently unknown. Fossil fuels seem to be the most convenient source of energy today but this may very well be the case in the future, too. Many discoveries may take place. The CO2 climate sensitivity may turn out to be extremely low. CO2 may be captured in a way that will shut the mouth of the climate alarmists even if the sensitivity is high. Fossil fuels may become renewable and people will produce them from something else (plus another source of energy). And so on. Whenever something like that happens, it will mean that the rational way for the people to adapt will be different than before. It's totally harmful to predetermine how the people should behave in the next 5, 10, or 20 years.

It is a form of a terrorist attack for someone to try to eliminate the incandescent light bulbs or fossil fuels or anything else from the spectrum of competing technologies. People trying to ban whole segments of technology must be treated as Luddites and on par with other terrorists.


Record hot end to 2015 for Australia as giant El Nino dominates

I have left the heading above as it appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, a major Left-leaning newspaper in Australia.  The story was written by a shifty-looking guy named  Peter Hannam, their Environment Editor.

And is Peter shifty!  From the headline the casual reader would assume that Australia had had an exceptionally hot year overall.  It's not until you get way down into a very long article that we find that the year as a whole was only the 6th hottest accordinmg to the BoM.  And that's with El Nino helping to warm things up!  Subtracting the El Nino effect would probably have shown cooling.  But is that discussed?  Not on your Nelly! Warmists are just shifty, period!

Australia has posted its hottest end to any year as the impact of one of the biggest El Ninos on record began to be felt across the continent.

Mean temperatures were 0.36 degrees above the previous record for the October to December period, capping what was Australia's fifth-hottest year since the Bureau of Meteorology began keeping national figures in 1910.

"For temperatures, it was a year of two halves - a relatively cool part of the year and then an extremely warm second half," Blair Trewin, senior climatologist at the bureau, said.

Spring was the standout season, with the past three September-November periods comprising the hottest trio on record. Such conditions have led to a busy fire season across southern Australia with a couple of months of summer still to run.

Among the major capitals, Sydney had its third-warmest year on record, just behind the record heat in 2013 and 2014. Statewide, temperatures were 1 degree above average, making it the seventh-hottest year since records began.

Melbourne was also on the warm side, with maximum temperatures ranging between 0.5 and 1 degree above average across the city. Victoria, too, was 1 degree warmer than average for maximums, making it the seventh-hottest year.

Perth was the standout state capital for warmth, recording its equal hottest year on record for maximums, matching 2011 and 2012. Statewide temperatures lagged only 2013 for record heat.

Brisbane had near-average temperatures for the year, while statewide temperatures were the third-warmest on record.

Three big exceptional heatwaves stood out - in March across northern Australia, and in October and December across the south. Tasmania was one place to have a cool winter and late-season snow across northern NSW and into Queensland was another cold weather extreme.

For the final three months of 2015, average mean temperatures were 1.93 degrees above the 1961-90 average, easily eclipsing the previous record of anomaly 1.57 degrees set just a year earlier. October itself was 2.89 degrees above the norm - the most for any month in the 106 years of records.

Warming to come

The monster El Nino in the Pacific, which rivals the 1997-98 and 1982-83 events, appears to have peaked in recent weeks, the bureau said on Tuesday.

The event, which may not break up until the autumn, will most likely give Australian temperatures a relatively warm start to 2016 - notwithstanding the unusually cool and wet week now under way across the eastern seaboard.

In the trailing year of El Ninos, "the first half of the year is often significantly warmer than average", Dr Trewin said.

For 2015 as a whole, area-averaged mean temperatures were 0.83 degrees above the 1961-90 average. Maximum temperatures were 0.96 degrees above average, the sixth hottest on record, the bureau said.



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

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


13 January, 2016

Future climate predictions will be better!

The rather amusing article abstracted below admits that: "The large uncertainty associated with projections of future climate change is one of the barriers to political agreement on mitigation policy".  Hear, Hear!

Nice to have that admission of a large predictive failure from Warmists.  They then go on to say that future predictions will be better and that we will have made big progress with predicting 2040 temperatures by 2029 -- which seems delightfully modest.

So how do they arrive at that pearl of wisdom?  By fiddling around with models -- the very models which have repeatedly been shown to have no predictive skill.  Warmists really are a pathetic bunch

Predicting future uncertainty constraints on global warming projections

H. Shiogama et al.


Projections of global mean temperature changes (?T) in the future are associated with intrinsic uncertainties. Much climate policy discourse has been guided by “current knowledge” of the ?Ts uncertainty, ignoring the likely future reductions of the uncertainty, because a mechanism for predicting these reductions is lacking. By using simulations of Global Climate Models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 ensemble as pseudo past and future observations, we estimate how fast and in what way the uncertainties of ?T can decline when the current observation network of surface air temperature is maintained. At least in the world of pseudo observations under the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs), we can drastically reduce more than 50% of the ?Ts uncertainty in the 2040?s by 2029, and more than 60% of the ?Ts uncertainty in the 2090?s by 2049. Under the highest forcing scenario of RCPs, we can predict the true timing of passing the 2?°C (3?°C) warming threshold 20 (30) years in advance with errors less than 10 years. These results demonstrate potential for sequential decision-making strategies to take advantage of future progress in understanding of anthropogenic climate change.

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 18903 (2016). doi:10.1038/srep18903

Reducing Greenhouse Emissions Unlikely to Reduce Global Warming; A More Likely Cause Is Ozone Depletion, According to Longtime US Geophysicist

I am not sure whether this guy has a point or not.  The one thing I am sure of is that he will be ignored

No scientist has ever demonstrated experimentally that observed increases in greenhouse-gas concentrations actually cause air to warm enough to explain global warming. The only experiments documented in the literature were done in 1900 by Knut Angstrom, who showed any warming to be minimal.

"Ozone depletion is the most credible explanation for global warming," says longtime US geophysicist Dr. Peter L. Ward. "Depletion allows more solar ultraviolet-B radiation to reach Earth, providing a more direct and clearer explanation for observed warming."

On January 12, Ward speaks to climate leaders at the American Meteorological Society meeting in New Orleans in a session honoring Mario J. Molina, who shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for showing how manufactured chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases deplete ozone.

Ward, who worked 27 years with the US Geological Survey and recently published the book What Really Causes Global Warming?, explains how Molina's discovery led world leaders to pass the Montreal Protocol, which began limiting CFC production in 1989. Increases in CFCs stopped by 1993, increases in ozone depletion stopped by 1995, and increases in surface temperature stopped by 1998.

"If we hadn't passed the Montreal Protocol," Ward concludes, "temperatures today would likely be a degree warmer."

"2015 was the hottest ever recorded," Ward explains, "but that is most likely the result of ozone depletion caused by chlorine and bromine emissions from massive lava flows extruded from Baroarbunga volcano in Iceland between August 2014 and February 2015, the highest rate of basaltic lava eruption since 1783.

"As world leaders prepare to spend billions of dollars to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions," Ward asks, "wouldn't it seem prudent to perform some simple tests to demonstrate that greenhouse warming theory actually works?"

This is why Ward issued the Climate Change Challenge in November, offering $10,000 to the first scientist who can prove experimentally that greenhouse gases are more effective than ozone depletion in causing global warming.

"It is vital to all life on Earth that we get this right," Ward says.


Incoherent fury over a comic strip

The leading environmental-themed comic strip in the United States, Mark Trail, is apparently written by a climate-change denier.

The strip’s expanded Sunday editions are intended to be educational, and this week’s (1/3/16) featured a lesson about sulfur dioxide. “Sulfur dioxide is a major cause of acid rain!” the title character, a naturalist, exclaims. He notes that it’s “a byproduct of large-scale farms, power plants and other industries,” as well as “the burning of fossil fuels by large transportation vehicles.”

Trail strikes a positive note, highlighting the importance of environmental awareness: “Fortunately, levels of manmade sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere have been declining for the past two and a half decades as more people have become aware of the issue!”

But then the strip takes an odd turn, suggesting that the big threat to nature from sulfur dioxide comes from nature itself:

    "Recently, an enormous eruption from the volcano Bardarbunga in Iceland released at least 120,000 tons of sulfur dioxide per day—eight times higher than the levels produced by all manmade sources in the entire continent of Europe each day

    When the eruption ended…it had produced enough lava to cover an area the size of Manhattan—having a tremendous negative impact on air quality."

The information in the strip, which appears to come from a UPI story  (9/24/15), gives a misleading impression of the environmental impact of the volcano: The 11 million metric tonnes of sulfur dioxide it released into the atmosphere (BBC, 4/15/15) is roughly a tenth of the amount humans release each year, and overall about 99 percent of SO2 in the atmosphere was put there by people.

But that misleading impression—that nature’s impact on air pollution far outweighs humanity’s—is precisely what the strip’s author, James Allen, was seemingly trying to convey. As he explained to readers on the strips’ Facebook group (1/3/16):

    "Today’s Mark Trail—folks I try not to get political over here, but I can admit to you that today’s strip is a little dose of “get real” to people that think mankind is ruining the planet by creating global warming! We are so tiny compared to this planet and what it can do (and recover from)".

The idea that humans are too insignificant to affect the climate is a common trope of global warming deniers. Unfortunately, it’s not true. Since 1750, humans have added to the atmosphere nearly 900 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, creating a marked change in the rate at which the planet absorbs heat.

To use Allen’s volcanic comparison, the US Geological Survey notes that “all studies to date of global volcanic carbon dioxide emissions indicate that present-day subaerial and submarine volcanoes release less than a percent of the carbon dioxide released currently by human activities.”

Mark Trail is syndicated by Hearst‘s King Features to some 175 newspapers. Allen took over the strip in 2014 after the retirement of Jack Elrod, who had been working on it since 1950. Under Elrod’s leadership, the strip was recognized for its contribution to environmental education, including by the US Forest Service, which named part of Georgia’s Chattahoochee National Forest the Mark Trail Wilderness in 1991.

If Allen doesn’t want to squander that legacy, he should educate himself about the reality of catastrophic climate change—and humans’ contribution to it.


Ya gotta laugh.  The indignant rant above is from a mob called "FAIR" -- but their comment above is not remotely fair.  The writer of the strip spoke of DAILY emissions of SO2.  But FAIR purports to refute him by quoting ANNUAL emissions!  Not sastisfied with that, they quoted figures for CO2, which the strip-writer did not mention. If they had quoted a figure for the climate sensitivity to CO2, the figures they did give for CO2 might have had some point.  But I doubt that they even know what climate sensitivity is.  They just know the precepts of their Warmist religion:  Complete lamebrains! But what do we expect from Warmists, I guess?

Global warming inflicts $1.5 trillion loss on middle-class in 1980-2014: UBS

This is totally nuts.  It seems to attribute ALL natural disaster losses to global warming

Swiss financial services major UBS has said the climate change inflicted a whopping USD 1.5 trillion loss on the middle-class across the globe between 1980 and 2014, and another USD 32 billion in the first six months of 2015 which was the hottest year on record.

"Consumption patterns of those living in cities which are most at risk for climate change significantly....A whopping USD 1.5 trillion of wealth of the middle class has been lost to climate change across the globe between 1980 and 2014," UBS said in a report released from Zurich today.

The losses are high for a vast majority living in cities, especially in South Asia, which is home to the largest number of global middle class, as most people there are not insured against natural calamities, the report noted.

A whopping 91 per cent of weather-related losses in Asia are uninsured, against one-third of weather-related losses in the US, bringing the total amount of losses to USD 1.5 trillion during 1980-2014.

In 2000, nearly half of the global population of six billion lived in cities and the UN expects this proportion to jump to 60 per cent by 2025.

  The report, titled 'Climate change: A risk to the global middle class' also says that the middle class, by virtue of living in cities, have and will continue to bear the brunt of the climate change impact.  Noting that the five costliest events of 2015 were the winter storms in the US, Canada and Europe, it says natural disasters caused as many as 16,200 fatalities and involved losses worth USD 32 billion during the period.

  Most of the global middle class lives in  Southeast Asia, the region with the fastest urban population growth in recent years, it says. Numbering around 1 billion worldwide, and with substantial assets and political influence, the middle class is the key to social order and economic growth and thus represents the greatest opportunity for change.

 Given the size of middle-class and its spending power and dynamism, erosion of its wealth due to climate change threatens both economic and socio-political stability, says the report.  UBS arrived at the loss data after analysing the consumption of the middle-class in 215 cities and comparing consumption patterns to the level of climate change risks.

  The study has found that in cities most at risk from climate change such as Los Angeles, Tokyo and Shanghai, spending priorities are noticeably different, with the middle-class there spending between 0.6 and 0.8 per cent more on housing than the national average.

 In the US, middle class in high climate-change risk cities spends between USD 800 and USD 1,600 more annually on housing compared to a lower risk city while cutting down on luxury, entertainment and durable goods.

  Caroline Anstey, UBS group managing director, said, "The impact of climate change on the global population is only predicted to worsen over time."  Paul Donovan, global economist at UBS Investment Bank, added the middle class' substantial assets and political influence make them key to climate change dialogue. 

A key finding of the study is low penetration of insurance against natural calamities despite increased threat. 

Even in the US, which has the highest level of insurance penetration globally, as much as 32 per cent of weather-related losses remain uninsured. This has resulted in the  US government  spending USD 136 billion, which is equal to USD 400 annually per household, between 2011 and 2013 for disaster relief for hurricanes, floods and droughts totalled. 

In less developed and newly industrialised nations, the middle class is typically underinsured, with emerging markets showing very low penetration relative to property value with 0.12 per cent in China and 0.07 per cent in India. 

Research shows that as temperatures rise beyond 30 degree Celsius, mortality rates rise. As of 2015, nearly 25 per cent of the 215 cities across 15 countries analyzed already had median annual temperatures above 20 degree Celsius


Melting Antarctic icebergs slow global warming

Something else not accounted for in the famous Warmist "models"

Giant icebergs that break away from the ice sheets around the poles could be having a previously unknown effect on the atmosphere.

Researchers have found that these giant bergs leave a trail of nutrients in their wake which help to generate massive blooms of ocean plankton.

These plankton blooms - which can stretch for hundreds of miles - then absorb a substantial amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and lock it into the ocean depths.

The surprise findings could have major implications for climate change predictions, as more carbon is 'sequestered' or locked away by the phytoplankton.

The revelation was made after researchers from the University of Sheffield studied the colour of the ocean from satellite images.

Professor Grant Bigg from the department of geography analysed 175 satellite images taken over an 11-year period from 2003 to 2013, discovering that the phytoplankton blooms showed up as tell-tale greenish tints over distances of hundreds of miles around melting icebergs.

The giant bergs - measuring at least 18km (11 miles) long - calve off of the great Antarctic ice sheet each year and head northwards towards the equator.

As they do so, they melt and fertilise the ocean with trace elements including iron, scraped from the Antarctic land mass, which encourages the growth of huge clouds of phytoplankton.

Professor Bigg said: 'We detected substantially enhanced chlorophyll levels, typically over a radius of at least four to ten times the iceberg's length.'

Furthermore, the effect was seen to persist for at least a month after a giant iceberg had passed by, giving the plankton more time to absorb atmospheric carbon and lock it into the ocean depths.

The finding is at odds with previous research, which suggested that ocean fertilisation from icebergs makes relatively minor contributions to the uptake of CO2 by phytoplankton.

Despite being the Earth's coldest body of water, the Southern Ocean plays a significant part in the global carbon cycle.

It is thought to account for about 10 per cent of global oceanic carbon sequestration, driven by both biological and chemical processes including phytoplankton growth.

Professor Bigg said: 'This new analysis reveals that giant icebergs may play a major role in the Southern Ocean carbon cycle.

'If giant iceberg calving increases this century as expected, this negative feedback on the carbon cycle may become more important than we previously thought.'


Australia: How disappointing to the BoM: 2015 only the 5th hottest year -- even with El Nino helping

Last year was among the top five warmest years in Australian history, the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has said in its annual report.  Temperatures were 0.83 degrees Celsius above the long-term average, the report said.

It also noted rainfall was well below average across several areas of Australia — including a large area of inland Queensland, where after three consecutive poor wet seasons long-term drought continued.

Karl Braganza, climate monitoring manager with the BoM, said the El Nino weather pattern was largely behind the hot, dry conditions in 2015. "It's often dry in Australia during an El Nino event," he said.

"The other thing El Nino does is elevates the global surface temperature around the planet as well."

The World Meteorological Organisation has said it was extremely likely that 2015 would be recorded as the hottest year on record globally, when temperatures were averaged out.

"Typically, El Nino tends to be warmer than other years globally, and when you combine that with the global warming trend - so an increase of about a degree over the last century - that's when you start to see records broken, which is what we saw in 1997-98 and what we've seen in 2015 as well," Dr Braganza said.

"Not all parts of the globe are going to record their hottest year when the global temperature comes in as the hottest year on record. "Some parts of the global will be cooler and some will be warmer."



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

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


12 January, 2016

Climate Change Is Taking A Toll On Farmers’ Mental Health (?)

The nonsense below simply assumes what it has to prove.  And what it presumes is wrong.  Recent droughts have not been  caused by global warming because there has been no warming.  Drought sure is hard on farmers but that is all that they have to report below.

But, Hey! Let's not be hard on these Warmist galoots.  Let's give them their assumption that warming is happening.  Will that cause droughts?  Hardly.  A warmer earth will mean warmer oceans -- which will evaporate off more water vapour -- which will fall as rain.  So drought is the last thing that warming will cause.  It is more likely to cause floods

So these galoots have got the brains of a slug -- and are just as slimy

The success or failure of a farming operation depends hugely on the vagaries of weather and climate. For a farmer, a single intense rain event or prolonged dry period can mean a year of lost crops and income.

Climate change is expected to make the line between success and failure even more tenuous for farmers in the future. And this uncertainty about growing conditions is having a noticeable impact on farmers’ mental health, according to a recent study out of Australia’s Murdoch University.

To understand how climate change is impacting farmers’ mental wellbeing, Neville Ellis, from Murdoch University’s Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability, interviewed 22 farmers from the Australian town of Newdegate, located in the country’s southwestern corner. A self-sufficient farming community, Newdegate lies in what is known as Australia’s Wheatbelt, an area of high agricultural importance for Australia.

Since the mid-1970s, Australia’s Wheatbelt has undergone an intense period of drying, with a 20 percent decline in rainfall over the past several decades. That trend is expected to continue as climate change worsens, with Western and Southwestern Australia set to encounter hotter, drier seasons in the coming years.

Ellis interviewed farmers in Newdegate throughout 2013 and 2014, which proved to be some Western Australia’s warmest years on record and some of the driest for Southwestern Australia.
They shut themselves off in their properties with the curtains drawn so they wouldn’t have to face the realities outside

After conducting the interviews, Ellis found that increasingly variable weather was having a negative impact on many farmers’ wellbeing.

“The South West [sic] of Western Australia has experienced abrupt and severe climate change in the last forty years,” Ellis said in the study’s press release. “Farmers have always worried about the weather but today that worry is becoming detrimental to their mental health and wellbeing. They feel they have less ability to exert control over their farmlands and as a result are fearful for their future.”

Uncertainty, Ellis said, seemed to be at the heart of the farmers’ concerns. According to his interviews, some farmers would check weather forecasts on their phones “up to 30 times a day” across numerous websites. Ellis also said that he talked to farmers that would track distant weather events, like storms in Africa, in the hope that those rains could potentially make their way to Australia.

According to Ellis, one subject referred to the state of farmers’ mental health as akin to seasonal affective disorder — except that instead of suffering from lack of sunlight, farmers are suffering from a lack of rain.

“The farms are more than just a business for these farmers – it’s their home, their personal history. There is no escape if they have a bad day at work,” Ellis said. “Some I talked to had become completely disengaged from the predictions and the forecasts – they shut themselves off in their properties with the curtains drawn so they wouldn’t have to face the realities outside.”

In the United States, climate change is expected to force similar shifts key agricultural regions, especially in the Midwestern Corn Belt, where climate change will likely bring longer periods of dry heat coupled with intense rains. In 2014, the USDA created seven regional “Climate Hubs” aimed at helping farmers obtain up-to-date information about climate and weather. In collaboration with other USDA agencies and land-grant universities, the Climate Hubs are working to create tools that can give farmers the most accurate and up-to-date information about impending weather and climate shifts.

“What farmers really want to know is what is going to happen in the next five to ten days,” Allison Chatrchyan, director of the Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture at Cornell University, told ThinkProgress. “What we’re working to do [at Cornell] is develop some online decision tools that take the long term weather data that we have, as well as the climate projections, and give farmers a tool that they can use to make more informed decisions.”


Obama Set To Unleash Thousands Of New Global Warming Regs In 2016

The Obama administration is set to propose thousands of new energy regulations targeted at global warming in 2016, according to a Politico report Monday.

The new regulations are likely to help implement Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) and include everything from Department of Energy efficiency measures to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules on pipeline safety and fuel efficiency for trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles.

Obama may only have until May of 2016 to issue the new regulations, as anything later would allow Congress to reject the rules under the Congressional Review Act.

The next year will also be a critical one for Obama’s previous energy regulations in court. Obama’s CPP faces lawsuits from 26 different states, which claim the plan is a federal takeover of state resource and energy policies.

“As Attorney General, I have a responsibility to protect the lives of millions of working families, the elderly and the poor, from such illegal and unconscionable Federal Government actions,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a statement announcing his state’s lawsuit.

A professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School wrote a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that argued the plan was unconstitutional. President Barack Obama has already stated that he intends to use “executive authority” in order to institute the CPP over the objections of Congress.

The plan attempts to reduce global warming by cutting carbon emissions from the energy sector. It is intended to reduce 32 percent of these carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 by forcing companies to use unreliable, costly, and deeply flawed solar and wind power.

Texas, one of the states legally challenging the CPP, found that the plan could force 4,000 megawatts of coal-fired power capacity to retire. The retirement would make it both difficult and expensive to reliably provide electricity to the state’s citizens.

The plan alone is expected to cost a staggering $41 billion annually. Yet, even if implemented full scale, it likely won’t have a major impact on global warming. According to analysis by the libertarian Cato Institute using EPA models, CPP will only advert 0.019° Celsius of warming by the year 2100, an amount so small it can’t be detected.

The EPA actually omitted the amount of warming the CPP will prevent from the agency’s analysis of regulatory impacts. EPA admits it assesses the plan’s benefits “qualitatively because we do not have sufficient confidence in available data or methods.”


Now it's text messages that cause Global Warming!

Tim Callahan from Seattle wrote:

    "A friend asked how texting - in all its forms (admittedly a squishy thing to corral) - is contributing to global warming? After saying, 'minimally...', I thought about how to answer that question. Putting aside the sunk contribution caused by the manufacture and transport of the device you text with, how much does the battery emit / generate while a person does a typical or somehow average text? ... Can you help quantify?"

I tracked down someone who'd get us to the answer: greenhouse gas footprinting expert Mike Berners-Lee. Climate impact calculations are just the sort of thing he does for work at Small World Consulting at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. And estimating the impact of a text message is exactly the thing he did for his 2010 book How Bad Are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint Of Everything.

A carbon footprint, he explains, is a way of estimating the total climate change impact of something you do or buy — all along the supply chain, from manufacturing to delivery to use — with a metric called carbon dioxide equivalent, or CO2e, which translates all the different greenhouse gases into a comparable amount of CO2 by impact.

More nonsense HERE 

Leonardo DiCaprio Declares ‘Argument Over’ On Global Warming

Now there's an authority for you!

Leonardo DiCaprio is thrilled world leaders are giving global warming the attention he believes the issue deserves.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the scientific community is in agreement that man is contributing to [global warming],” DiCaprio told the Associated Press Wednesday at a premier of his new movie, “The Revenant.”

“The argument is over,” he continued. “Anyone that doesn’t believe that climate change is happening doesn’t believe in science.”

DiCaprio has traveled the world in support of environmental causes, and his charity, The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, granted millions of dollars last year to global warming research groups.

“No one has the answer what the future is going to look like, and no one can foresee the dramatic effect that climate instability will have on our planet and the biodiversity in it,” he added. “But I’m just very proud for the first time we’ve taken a step in the right direction.”

In December, DiCaprio flew a private jet to France, so he could have a private audience with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other dignitaries to discuss the climate summit in Paris.

Prior to his Paris visit, DiCaprio confided to an audience at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation awards that the time he spent on set of his new movie gave him a newfound awareness of the power of global warming.

“Our team endured two unprecedented weather events that shut down the already-delayed and complicated production schedule, which I’m sure you’ve heard about,” he said, adding: “2015 has literally become the tipping point for climatic instability and it’s incredibly scary.”

Environmentalists in the U.K., like DiCaprio, give myriad justifications for flying in gas-chugging airplanes, a study published last year in the Journal of Marketing Management showed, although they acknowledge the supposedly harmful effects fossil-fuel guzzling jets have on the environment.


Australia:  Important coal mine approval faces challenge from Greenies

The Baird government's approval of a Blue Mountains coal mine expansion contravenes its own planning policy, say environment groups who have begun legal action to overturn the decision.

The 13-year extension of the Springvale coal mine, located near Lithgow, was backed by the Planning Ministry and secured final approval from the independent Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) last September.

The underground mine will produce as much as 4.5 million tonnes of coal a year from 20 new longwall panels, and continue to discharge untreated waste water into the upper Coxs River.

The river flows through the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and is the second-largest source of water for Sydney's main water reservoir at Warragamba Dam.

Environment groups led by 4nature are challenging the approval in the Land and Environment Court, arguing the move is not compliant with the 2011 State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) covering Sydney's drinking water catchment. The policy permits approvals only for projects that have a neutral or beneficial effect on the area.

Andrew Cox, 4nature's president, said the groups had  found no evidence the government had taken the SEPP into account when approving the project.

The mine will release 19 megalitres a day of waste water – containing salts, metals and other materials – with the flows making up as much as two-thirds of the water in the river at the discharge point.  "How can you possibly rationally conclude that the mine isn't lowering water quality?" Mr Cox said.

Gary Whytcross, director south for the NSW Environment Protection Authority, told Fairfax Media in July that "there's no doubt there will be impacts" for the Coxs River from the mine discharges?, with the high salinity the main concern.

The first legal challenge of the particular SEPP may affect future mine approvals, Mr Cox said.  "It could set an important precedent for development in the catchment, he said. "Other coal mines in the catchment will have to demonstrate that they have a neutral or beneficial impact."

The Environmental Defenders Office of NSW filed the case on December 18, and the court will next consider the matter on February 12, 2016. Operations at Springvale   would not be affected until a final court ruling, 4nature said.

"It is important that the community is able to ensure that decisions are legally robust, and we respect the EDO's right to take this action following the decision by the independent [PAC]," Rob Stokes, Planning Minister, said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Planning and Environment said, the approval had followed an extensive consultation process including state agencies, independent experts and a "rigorous assessment of all environmental, economic and social impacts".

Since the approval includes "strict limits" on the salinity of discharges "the department concluded the mine extension would have a beneficial effect on Sydney's drinking water catchment, compared to the mine's previous operations", the spokeswoman said.

Opponents, though, say they will argue the comparison should be made with the absence of discharges, not the previous workings of the mine.

The waste water had previously been sent to the Wallerawang power station before it closed down. Mr Muir has proposed the waste water be transported for treatment and use at the mine's main customer, the nearby Mt Piper power plant – a course only noted by the PAC as an option.

"It isn't diluted and there is no reduction in the impact on the environment," Mr Muir said, adding that upland swamps had  also been affected along with the river.

The local Lithgow Council has supported the mine's continuation, arguing that hundreds of full-time jobs and royalties approaching $200 million were at stake. The mine is Mt Piper's only coal source, with the plant providing 15 per cent of the state's electricity.


What Happened in Paris?

 by Viv Forbes

Premature Celebrations by Sceptics

Many climate sceptics are celebrating that "nothing in the Paris deal is legally binding." They should look deeper. They have suffered a huge political defeat.

Skeptics are winning the climate science debate, but the main battle is no longer about facts and science " it is about propaganda and politics. There were few scientists at COP21 talking about atmospheric physics - just politicians, bureaucrats and green activists discussing emission targets, carbon taxes, climate reparations and who will pay.

The Paris party organisers managed to assemble representatives of 196 nations with the aim of getting 100% agreement on something/anything that would assist their clandestine campaign for world government and world taxes. This process will cripple the industrial power and political freedom of the Western democracies. They achieved agreement because of leadership by UN loving Western centralists like Obama, Merkel, Cameron, Hollande, Trudeau and Turnbull, helped by misguided theologians, and supported by vested interests in mendicant nations and some powerful competitors of the West.

They spent two weeks reworking the draft document until there was nothing in it that offended any nation. Most of them wanted their benefits clauses made compulsory, but the would-be-providers of such largesse dared not sign obviously binding liabilities because the media and their home electorates were watching.

The UN game plan is for this massive global climate circus to meet regularly in pleasant locations, setting illusory targets, generating publicity and seeking even more green levers to pull. So there is only one legally binding clause " an agreement to table targets, and to meet again.

This is some small reason to celebrate.

The big picture, however, is very gloomy at least in the medium term  -- climate alarmism has been encouraged and will flourish, for a time.

This is the first time those promoting world governments have managed to get what they can now parade as a "world agreement" on a radical agenda. They can now be more confident of using the excuse of global warming to "control carbon dioxide", and to tax rich nations in order to somehow prevent "catastrophic man-made global warming". To sound scientific and credible they have even invented a mythical temperature target ("below 1.5 deg C").

The ability to quote "100% support" gives the war on carbon enormous moral, political and propaganda clout. As would-be-world-Emperor, Ban Ki-moon, exulted ominously:

"What was once unthinkable is now unstoppable."

Therefore things will get worse before they get better. Here is their agenda:

"This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution." -- Christiana Figueres, Executive secretary of U.N.'s Convention on Climate Change, and a key organiser of the Paris Agreement.

The Paris COP-21 agreement is already being hailed as "an historic landmark." The whole global network of alarmists with their media friends and the help of green/left politicians will use that 100% figure to intimidate opponents, especially in election campaigns. Even though nothing in the agreement is mandated, the framework and "commitment" is there, and the danger is that globalists among local politicians will scheme for it to become legally binding domestically.

This process will slowly suffocate us via regulation, legislation and coercion by federal, state and local bureaucracies, politicians and even courts. International trade sanctions and offers of green bribery will be used to bully and bribe recalcitrant nations. And as the public and the free media get bored with "climate change alarm", those planning more carbon taxes and energy rationing will make bigger gains, without publicity, often hidden within claims of environmental protection. With their well-planned war on carbon, they have planted the poisonous seeds of world government and the destruction of Western liberty. Now they will diligently feed and water these seeds.

So we can now expect more hyped-up propaganda from the UN green/globalists, from the Mendicants and from the Climate Industry. This will coerce politicians and bureaucrats in the developed nations to create more restrictive green tape and to continue throwing $billions at a problem that doesn't exist. Meanwhile the Eurasians will expand their use of carbon fuels while exploiting every loophole and green business opportunity they can find. The flight of industry and jobs from the West to the East will accelerate.

COP-21 is modelled on the key principle of International Marxism: "From each according to his ability; to each according to his needs." They have even resurrected a trademark of last century"s failed Command Societies - "The Five Year Plans".

This new experiment with Marxism will fail, just like the previous ones. We just hope that the cost in human lives and living standards will not be as large.

But Thinking Greens are Concerned

One bright spot in this Paris agreement is that it will provoke dissension in the green ranks.

Some deep greens now realise that even if all pledges are honoured, human CO2 emissions will continue to increase for years to come. There is also no chance of meeting the agreed  emission goals while keeping the lights on without a massive expansion of nuclear power, which they hate as much as coal; or an expensive campaign to build rapid-response gas power plants (which also release CO2) to cover the flat spots in intermittent green energy production.

Real defenders of the environment are also coming to see that thousands of wind turbines, solar farms, roads, transmission lines and ethanol plantations cause more real environmental and economic damage than reliable concentrated energy provided by coal, oil, gas, nuclear and hydro.

And in due course, genuine greens will also realise they have also been conned by the green energy rent-seekers and financiers who just want their world of green subsidies, tax breaks and mandated markets to continue propping up their dud green-energy speculations.

But the Green Armada is heading for the Rocks of Reality.

There is good news of sorts " the green armada is heading for the rocks of reality, which will prevail over the make-believe world of UN politics and the posh hotels of Paris.

The years of green tomfoolery and waste will be brought to an end by industry closures, job losses, soaring electricity prices and out-of-control deficits. Suddenly there will be no funds for Climate tourism, Climate "research" or Climate aid. When this reality asserts itself, this fatuous Paris agreement will be brushed aside as a stupid distraction.

Using Australia as an example, the Australian economy has always been supported on a three-legged stool: mining/mineral processing, harvesting (farming, forestry and fishing) and foreign inflows (settlers, investors, tourists and export earnings). The rest of Australia is engaged in applying labour, management, marketing, infrastructure, transport, energy, processing, red tape, green tape and taxation to these three backbone industries.

The mining/processing leg has been weakened as commodity prices plunge and soaring electricity prices send refineries overseas. This has been exacerbated by green guerrilla warfare on mining and development " the divestment campaign, legal obstructionism to every development proposal, harassment of investors and financiers, obstruction of exploration activities, delay of every development proposal with claims about heritage or dreamtime, promotion of punitive taxes, lies about "subsidies", an anti-industry anti-hard-science bias in state education, and relentless propaganda to associate mining with ideas like "polluting", "dirty", "climate altering", "reef destroying", "threat to endangered species" etc.

For decades now, green extremists have been sawing away at the mining branch of our economic tree, not realising it was the branch they perched upon. Too late they will discover that much funding for government environmental spending and green energy subsidies comes from direct taxes and royalties on miners and indirectly via government taxes and levies on their massive payments for wages, travel, power, rail, port and contractors.

Mining will recover from this double barrelled assault, but not fast enough to take us back smoothly to the golden years.

The second leg (harvesting the biosphere  via farming, forestry and fishing) is also suffering from bans and barriers on everything " live export bans, development bans, vegetation bans, land use bans, heritage bans, fishing quotas and bans, logging bans, confusion and disputes over animal rights and land rights for farmers, miners, gas producers, explorers and those claiming indigenous rights. Greens are also responsible for encouraging the invasion of natural grasslands by woody weeds, and for the feral pests, weeds and bush-fires that spread in and around their ever-expanding parks, reserves and heritage areas. And Green water policies in the huge Murray Darling Basin give preference to irrigating the Great Southern Ocean in preference to irrigating human towns, crops and orchards. These policies are promoted by those who support one of the goals of Agenda 21 " to depopulate most rural areas.

Farmers are also discouraged from continuing or expanding their operations by the nibbling at their income by compulsory "research" or "marketing" levies on everything they sell. All of this makes our farmers less able to cope with the normal stresses of naturally occurring droughts, floods, fires and cyclones. Should the climate "pause" turn into a natural cooling phase (which will also be drier) farm output will plunge and the second leg will be weakened further. (Although for those farmers who hang on, shortages will then cause food prices to soar).

The third leg, foreign inflows, is also threatened. As the great primary industries weaken and soaring energy prices cripple processing and manufacturing, the world-wide welfare/subsidy/deficit/debt bubble will burst, and foreign investors and tourists will stay at home.

Our Neck is in the Noose . . . What must we do"

After the Paris Party, our neck is in the noose. They are planning a global green tyranny.

To escape we will have to fight the UN, the vested interests, the powerful politicians" club, the public service, the climate industry, the government media, guilt-ridden billionaires, misguided clerics and princes, and the wanna-be-green gang in Hollywood.

But we will win because reality exists even if few recognise it. When economic pains become politically bothersome, new voices will be heard, and truth will be spoken.

What must be done"

In the words of David Cameron (UK PM) we must "Cut the Green Crap" and return to a sane world with sounder industries, economical and reliable electricity generators, prudent politicians and unshackled industries.

The battle must go on. We must protect real environmental values but we must "Cut the Carbon War Crap". Every day we delay will make the cleansing correction more painful.



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

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


11 January, 2016

2 Reasons US Having 2nd Hottest Year in 2015 Doesn’t Prove Climate Catastrophe Is Imminent

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released data showing that 2015 was the second hottest year on record (since 1895) for the U.S. On cue, the media and politicians used this data to hype impending climate catastrophe, pointing to extreme weather events that NOAA data show are not linked to warming trends.

At first glance, the headline for the NOAA data would seem to put to bed the claim that there has been no significant global warming for 15-20 years, but it doesn’t. First, there are serious questions about the quality of the weather stations and the adjustments made to the raw data.

There are serious questions about the quality of the weather stations and the adjustments made to the raw data.

Many of the weather stations are located in areas that have been increasingly compromised. For instance, stations that used to be in fields but are now surrounded by buildings and parking lots can have the temperature readings affected by the retained heat of asphalt and concrete and by heat given off by heating and cooling systems. In addition, the stations are not distributed in a regular, comprehensive geological pattern.

Though NOAA tries to adjust for the many thorny temperature data problems, the adjustment process seems to have inserted an upward bias to the temperature trend. Researchers have found that the U.S. warming trend with the adjusted data is 50 percent greater than for the raw data from the most reliable weather stations.

Second, this recent data report, only for the U.S. NASA’s satellite temperature record for the world, shows a definite leveling of temperatures for the past decade or two. It also clearly shows that the 2015 El Niño year was cooler than 1998, with its monster El Niño.

The predictions of global warming catastrophe depend on reality following model projections from the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). These projections show accelerating warming. However, for recent decades, data (even the NOAA data) show that warming decelerated after a period of moderate warming.

In recent testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, NASA award-winning scientist John Christy compared the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projections to actual data from four weather-balloon datasets and two satellite datasets.

He found that so far, the IPCC models have predicted more than twice as much warming as has actually occurred. Since these models cannot explain what has occurred for the past 30 years, there is little faith that they can accurately predict temperatures centuries into the future.

The actual data also contradicts claims that we are already observing increased damage from CO2-induced extreme weather. NOAA and IPCC data show no increasing trends for hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, or floods.

History is replete with record-breaking weather events. The future will have them as well, whether CO2 levels increase, decline, or stay the same.


More hokey Warmist exaggeration

Designed to show that CO2 has a bigger effect than it does

In a recent paper[1], NASA scientists led by Kate Marvel and Gavin Schmidt derive the global mean surface temperature (GMST) response of the GISS-E2-R climate model to different types of forcing. They do this by simulations over the historical period (1850–2005) driven by individual forcings, and by all forcings together, the latter referred to as the ‘Historical’ simulation.
They assert that their results imply that estimates of the transient climate response (TCR) and equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) derived from recent observations are biased low.

Marvel et al. use the GISS-E2-R historical period simulation responses to revise estimates of the transient climate response (TCR) and equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) from three observationally-based studies: Otto et al. 2013, Lewis and Curry 2014 and Shindell 2014. Their revisions give figures that are substantially higher than in the original studies. Remarkably, the Marvel et al. reworked observational estimates for TCR and ECS are, taking the averages for the three studies, substantially higher than the equivalent figures for the GISS-E2-R model itself, despite the model exhibiting faster warming than the real climate system. Not only is the GMST increase simulated by GISS-E2-R is higher than that observed, but the ocean heat uptake rate is well above the observed level.[2] No explanation is given for this surprising result.

The press release for the paper quotes Kate Marvel as follows:

‘Take sulfate aerosols, which are created from burning fossil fuels and contribute to atmospheric cooling,’ she said. ‘They are more or less confined to the northern hemisphere, where most of us live and emit pollution. There’s more land in the northern hemisphere, and land reacts quicker than the ocean does to these atmospheric changes.’

and continues by saying: ‘Because earlier studies do not account for what amounts to a net cooling effect for parts of the northern hemisphere, predictions for TCR and ECS have been lower than they should be.’

However, this is not true when the effective radiative forcing (ERF) measure of aerosol forcing – preferred by IPCC AR5 and used in the observational studies Marvel et al. criticises – is employed. When calculated correctly using Marvel et al.’s data, bases and assumptions, aerosol ERF had a transient efficacy of 0.97 – almost the same as the 0.95 for GHG forcing and 1.00 for CO2 forcing. This result is in line with the findings in Hansen 2005.This implies that aerosol forcing has had almost the same effect on GMST since 1850, relative to its ERF, as did CO2 and GHG forcing. Its concentration in the northern hemisphere did not lead to a greater cooling effect globally since 1850.

Studies like Marvel et al. can be valuable in showing the effects of differing forcing agents in climate models, which – if similar across climate models – may provide a guide to their effects in the real climate system. Unfortunately, I believe that the Marvel et al. results are substantially inaccurate and misleading. Its conclusions are therefore unfounded. But, as with any single-model study, even were its results unimpeachable they would reflect the behaviour of the particular model involved, which may be very different from that of other models and, more importantly, from that of the real climate system.

Much more HERE 

UK: Met Office’s 'wettest ever’ claim fails again

Official records show that December ranked as only the 20th wettest since 1766, despite what we've been told

We are all aware that parts of the country, including the north of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, have lately been hit, at huge cost, by abnormal amounts of rain.

But as soon as the Met Office rushed to proclaim that 230mm of rain (9in) had made it “the wettest December on record” (and the “wettest calendar month”) – predictably echoed by the BBC and the Prime Minister – we knew it might be wise to examine the small print behind its claims.

We know how eager these people are to seize on any “extreme weather event” as a sign of unprecedented “climate change”, as they did when the Met Office trumpeted on July 1 that it had been “the hottest July day evah”, solely on the basis, it turned out, of a fleeting temperature spike probably caused by an airliner passing its temperature gauge near a runway at Heathrow.

Sure enough, the Met Office’s longest rainfall record, covering England and Wales (thus including two of the areas most affected) showed, with its 145.1mm (5.7in), that December ranked as only the 20th wettest since 1766. Even Northern Ireland didn’t break its own record from 1919 – so only Scotland’s 351mm (14in) was unprecedented. But if the Met Office had more honestly reported merely that it had been the wettest December recorded in Scotland, this would scarcely have provided the BBC and Mr Cameron with the headlines they were after.

According to the Met Office’s own data, last December in England and Wales was way behind the 193.9mm (7.6in) recorded in 1876; while the wettest calendar month was October 1903 with 218.1mm (8.6in). As for the other impression the Met Office likes to give, that extreme rainfall is becoming more frequent, graphs meticulously plotted from Met Office data by Paul Homewood on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat website show no evidence at all for this, either for December or more generally.

Just as shameless last week was the Environment Agency’s boast of all the measures it has taken to avert any repetition of the disastrous floods that covered a large area of Somerset in 2014. It has dredged the main drainage river, installed many new pumps, reactivated others, and seen the setting up of a new Somerset Rivers Authority to organise the cleaning of ditches by local drainage boards.

What the agency didn’t admit was that all this marked a complete reversal of the “ultra-green” policy it followed in the years before 2014, which deliberately misused various EU directives and made flooding inevitable, supposedly in the interests of wildlife (much of it then wiped out when the inevitable happened).

And this policy U-turn would never have taken place but for the decisive intervention of the former environment secretary Owen Paterson who, after talking to local engineers and other practical experts, called a halt to what he terms the “green-plating” of EU directives, and came up with detailed plans to avert such a disaster happening again. Dredging and all, these included every point on which the agency is now trying to take credit.


TransCanada Challenges Obama's Keystone Ruling

After five years, the Obama administration rejected the proposed Keystone XL pipeline ahead of December’s Paris Climate Summit (gotta look good going into an international meeting like that).

On Wednesday, TransCanada Corp., the company that proposed the pipeline, sued the Obama administration in Huston Federal court, saying Barack Obama exceeded his authority when his administration rejected the project.

It’s a surreal situation when a foreign company — only here to make money — challenges the federal government to say that it broke the law. “In its decision, the U.S. State Department acknowledged the denial was not based on the merits of the project,” the company said in a statement. “Rather, it was a symbolic gesture based on speculation about the perceptions of the international community regarding the administration’s leadership on climate change and the president’s assertion of unprecedented, independent powers.”

TransCanada argued that Obama overstepped his authority when he said he had power over the project because it crossed international borders. Instead, the company argued, Congress keeps the power to regulate interstate commerce and neither the Constitution nor the North American Free Trade Agreement gives Obama that power.

Knowing the Obama administration’s track record in the courts, we might be hearing more about the Keystone XL pipeline in the future.


The heat is on!

Why should Volkswagen be investigated for emission deception, but not government agencies?

Paul Driessen

The heat is on! Not the unusual winter warmth in much of the United States – but the unrelenting heat generated by propaganda and pressure campaigns that the White House, EPA, Big Green and news media are unleashing in the wake of the Paris climate agreement … and as a prelude to the 2016 elections.

A recent Washington Post editorial laid out the strategy. The long-term warming trend is “concerning.” Maybe we can’t blame this year’s strong El Niño “squarely on climate change,” but “one paper” says the number of strong El Niño years could double. Obama’s “landmark” carbon dioxide regulations “played a key role” in securing an “unprecedented” international climate deal that could eventually compel all nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, to “avoid serious risks” of climate catastrophes.

Above all, we must “build on 2015’s climate progress.” There must be no backpedalling on the Paris accord, EPA regulations, or replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy. Above all, no “fishing expeditions designed to personally discredit scientists and undermine peer-reviewed research” that supports the elimination of carbon-based fuels. Republican claims are mere “bluster” and “buffoonery.”

Never mind that White House and EPA events, the Paris climate conference, the Vatican climate summit and even Science magazine have offered virtually no forum for numerous scientists who contest claims that humans are causing “dangerous manmade climate change” to present their case or debate alarmist witnesses and officials. Never mind that climate chaos claims look increasingly flimsy.

A fundamental principle is at stake here: policies and rules that affect our lives, livelihoods and living standards must be based on honesty, accountability and verifiable scientific evidence.

The Justice Department has sued Volkswagen on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency. They want up to $18 billion dollars in penalties, because VW installed special software that caused its diesel cars to emit fewer pollutants during tests used to ensure compliance with emission regulations. The falsified tests allegedly duped American consumers into purchasing 580,000 diesel-powered vehicles.

Federal prosecutors are also conducting criminal probes of Volkswagen and its executives. Countless other civil and criminal investigations and prosecutions have companies and citizens in their crosshairs. Such actions are often warranted, even if the draconian incarceration and monetary penalties are not.

No one should be victimized by fraud or other criminal activities, by private companies – or by government agencies and bureaucrats, or third parties they hire and use to validate their policies.

Equally important, no one forces us to buy a VW or any other car. But when it comes to laws and regulations, we have no choice. Submit, or else. If those rules are based on dishonesty – on emission deception at massive, unprecedented levels in the case of climate – we pay a huge, unacceptable price:

Our taxes support science that may be manipulated and fabricated. More taxes fund regulatory behemoths that target energy producers and energy-dependent industries, while giving billions in subsidies to crony-corporatist allies. Still more tax money is transferred to alarmists like Michael Mann and Jagedish Shukla, who launch vicious attacks on skeptics. And the resulting regulations inflict soaring energy costs that kill jobs and hammer families, companies, hospitals, schools and communities, for few or no benefits.

Congress has every right to investigate this. Indeed, legislators are duty-bound to ferret out fraud and abuse. These are not “fishing expeditions.” They seek to determine the reliability and integrity of data and studies presented to support enormously expensive policies, and ascertain the veracity of government officials and tax-supported scientists who want more power and too often refuse to answer questions.

EPA and Justice Department investigators demand full disclosure and tolerate no obstruction, obfuscation or misleading information. This is fitting and proper. But why should we and our elected representatives have to tolerate such actions by heavy-handed regulators who want to control every aspect of our lives, but routinely hide their data and methodologies, and refuse to be held accountable?

There are good reasons to doubt their climate chaos assertions, and even their integrity. What little warming our planet has experienced in the past 19 years is measured in hundredths of a degree, especially when adjusted for the El Niño effect that transfers warm surface Pacific Ocean temperatures to the atmosphere. The warming that has the Post, Mr. Obama and EPA in a tizzy began around 1850, as Earth emerged from a 500-year-long Little Ice Age – which by happy coincidence for climate alarmists also marks the beginning of the Industrial Revolution that they blame for most warming in recent decades.

Hurricanes and tornadoes, storms, droughts, polar ice and sea levels are all within the realm of historic experience. There is nothing “unprecedented” about them, and certainly nothing to justify shutting down our carbon-based energy system, restructuring our economy, or redistributing our hard-earned wealth to countries that are not bound by any energy and emission reductions agreed to in Paris.

The fracking revolution proves we are not running out of oil or natural gas. That means we have a century or more to develop affordable, reliable replacement energy technologies. It means environmental radicals now have only climate cataclysm hysteria to justify demands that we abandon hydrocarbons. It explains why they’ve concocted the fairytale that CO2 is “acidifying” oceans that are and will remain firmly alkaline, and why they have been in regulatory hyperdrive during Obama’s final years in office.

However, as Secretary of State John Kerry admitted in Paris, even if all the industrialized nations’ CO2 emissions declined to zero, “it wouldn’t be enough [to prevent alleged climate disaster], not when more than 65% of the world’s carbon pollution comes from the developing world.” Even assuming that carbon dioxide does drive climate change, all the costly, job-killing regulations that EPA is imposing would prevent an undetectable 0.018 degrees Celsius (0.032 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century.

Earth’s climate fluctuates regularly. What actual evidence do climate alarmists have that recent changes are dangerous, unprecedented, and due to fossil fuel use? That any warming above 1.5 degrees C (2.7 F) would be catastrophic? (A cooler planet would be much worse for wildlife, people and agriculture.)

What actual evidence do they have that government can control climate and weather by limiting the amount of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide that humans emit into the atmosphere? That justifies letting anti-energy activists and bureaucrats “fundamentally transform” our entire energy and economic system?

Why do they refuse to present their asserted evidence for all to see – amid robust debate and cross-examination – and try to defend their “97% consensus” science? Why do some of them think “climate deniers” are mentally ill for questioning the manmade climate Armageddon mantra?

President Obama insists that climate change is the biggest problem facing America. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders seem to agree. They all think Bigger Government is the answer.

The citizenry fundamentally disagrees. One recent Gallup poll found that Americans view our already huge government, the economy, jobs and terrorism as the biggest threats facing our nation. Pollution came in at #23; global warming didn’t even register among 48 listed issues. Another Gallup study found that 69% of all Americans (88% of Republicans) say Big Government is the most serious threat we face.

That is what this year’s elections are all about.

How much bigger (or smaller) will our government become? Who gets to rule your lives: We the People, or another dictatorial president and her army of faceless, unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats? What will the future hold for our lives, liberties, livelihoods and living standards?

Get informed. Get involved. Get to the polls. Better yet, take a page out of the Democrats’ playbook: get to the polls early, vote often, and make sure your dead friends and relatives vote too.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Via email

11 Fatal Flaws with Wind Power

Despite President Barack Obama’s pocket veto Saturday of attempts to repeal the Clean Power Plan and recent increases in taxpayer support, solar and wind energy are in a tough spot, requiring an estimated $90 trillion of investment to meet carbon dioxide reduction goals.

The fundamental issues of solar and wind power are numerous, so let’s review the top 11.

1: Power Storage Is Incredibly Expensive On A Large Scale

It is currently impossible to economically store power for times when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. Purchasing enough batteries to provide just three days of storage for an average American household costs about $15,000, and those batteries only last for about five years and are very difficult to recycle.

This is true for home power storage as well, even with the latest batteries. A Tesla power-wall capable of powering a home costs $7,340 to buy. A conservative analysis estimates that a power-wall can save its owner a maximum of $1.06 a day. Such a system would take approximately 25 years to pay for itself, according to the same analysis.

One of the world’s largest and most powerful batteries, located in Fairbanks, Ala., weighs 1,300-metric tons and is larger than a football field. It can only provide enough electricity for about 12,000 residents, or 38 percent of Fairbanks’ population, for seven minutes. That’s useful for short outages, which happen a lot in Alaska, but isn’t effective enough to act as a reserve for solar and wind.

The best way we have of “storing” power is pumping water up a hill, which actually accounts for 99 percent of all global energy storage.

2: The U.S. Power Grid Is Older, And Has Trouble Handling Solar And Wind

“Our power grid works well today. Some complain, but blackouts are rare and large-scale blackout are really rare. The power grid was set up for the [electrical] generation we have. Building a lot of new wind and solar requires much greater expenditure on the grid,” Vice President for Policy of the Institute for Energy Research Daniel Simmons told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

According to the Department of Energy, 70 percent of the transmission lines and power transformers in the country are at least 25 years old.

In order for the power grid to function, demand for energy must exactly match supply. Power demand is relatively predictable and conventional power plans, like nuclear plants and natural gas, can adjust output accordingly. Solar and wind power, however, cannot easily adjust output. They also provide power unpredictably relative to conventional power sources.

On an especially cloudy or windless day, the electrical grid can’t supply enough power from solar or wind alone. Wind and solar also run the risk of producing too much power which can overload and fry the power grid. This is why electrical companies will occasionally pay consumers to take electricity.

3: Rebuilding The Power Grid To Handle Solar And Wind Is Absurdly Expensive

The three power grids that supply the United States with energy are massive and expensive pieces of infrastructure. The power grids are valued at trillions of dollars and can’t be replaced in a timely manner. It takes more than a year to manufacture a new transformer, and transformers aren’t interchangeable, as each one must be individually built specifically for its location. At a time when the U.S. government is more than $18 trillion in debt, building power grids that can handle solar and wind may not be feasible.

Merely building a 3,000-mile network of transmission lines capable of moving power from wind-rich West Texas to market in East Texas proved to be a $6.8 billion effort that began in 2008 and still isn’t entirely finished. Building the infrastructure to move large amounts of solar or wind power from the best places to generate it to the places where power is needed would be incredibly expensive and could cost many times the price of generating the power.

4: Solar and Wind Don’t Provide Power At Useful Times

“Solar is better than wind for providing electricity when electricity is used,” says Simmons. “But during much of the year in, for example, peak electricity demand comes after dark. For example, [on December 17] in California peak electricity demand was at 6pm. But peak solar was at 12:36 and by 6pm, solar production was a zero.”

Power demand is relatively predictable. The output of a solar or wind power plant is quite variable over time and generally doesn’t coincide with the times when power is most needed. Peak power demand also occurs in the evenings, when solar power is going offline. Adding power plants which only provide power at intermittent and unpredictable times makes the power grid more fragile.

5: Solar And Wind Can’t Keep the Lights On By Themselves

Solar and wind power systems require conventional backups to provide power when they cannot. Since the output of solar and wind plants cannot be predicted with high accuracy by forecasts, grid operators have to keep excess reserve running just in case.

But natural gas, coal-fired, or nuclear plants are not simple machines. They can require days to fully turn on from a dead stop. This means that solar and wind power require conventional sources in “stand-by” mode, which means they’re still generating electricity.

Despite this, environmental groups like The Sierra Club still call for “100 percent” solar and wind power.

6: The Best Places For Solar And Wind Are Usually Far Away From Consumers

The places with the highest potential for generating solar or wind power are typically relatively far away from the people who will consume power, according to the Department of Energy. The government agency even maintains maps of how unfeasible long-range transmission can become.

The vast majority of people who use power do not live in deserts or consistently windy areas. The kind of high voltage power lines needed to transport even relatively small amounts of power cost $1.9 to 3.1 million per mile built. Additionally, the kind of “smarter” power systems which can be adjusted to varying energy production created by wind and solar power can cost up to 50 percent more.

7: Solar And Wind Are A Very Small Percent Of The Power Grid Despite Years of Subsidies

“The first 8 months of 2015 wind and solar combined to produce 2.3% of the energy the U.S. consumed. Also wind production is down this year compared to last year,” says Simmons.

Solar and wind have been heavily subsidized since at least the 1970s. In 2010, wind power alone received $5 billion in subsidies, swamping the $654 million oil and gas received in subsides. One in four wind suppliers have gone out of business in the past two years.

In 2014, solar and wind power accounted for only 0.4 and 4.4 percent of electricity generated in the United States, respectively, according to the Energy Information Administration. The total amount of energy created by solar and wind is relatively small even though both systems are heavily subsidized.

8: The Solar And Wind “Low-Hanging Fruit” Have Already Been Taken

The locations where solar and wind power make the most economic sense generally already have a solar or wind power system. Since solar and wind power are only effective in a limited number of locations, “green” power sources are difficult to expand and are simply not practical in some areas.

9: Natural Gas Prices Are Very Low In The United States

Natural gas prices are currently incredibly low in the United States, making it much more difficult for solar and wind power to become cost competitive. Natural gas is already passing coal power as the most used source of electricity. Additionally, natural gas is quite environmentally friendly.

The Department of Energy agrees with research organization Berkeley Earth that “the transition from coal to natural gas for electricity generation has probably been the single largest contributor to the … largely unexpected decline in US CO2 emissions.”

10: Nuclear Energy Has Enormous Potential

The United States just approved its first new nuclear reactor in 20 years. New nuclear reactor designs are much safer and emit less radiation than the coal plants they replace. Nuclear plants take up far less space than wind or solar and do not emit any carbon dioxide.

Recent breakthroughs in fusion could also potentially restart the atomic age when nuclear progress was lauded as a pinnacle of human achievement. Operational fusion power will put most other forms of electricity generation permanently out of business and could occur very soon. Fusion power could easily be “too cheap to meter,” meaning that the cost of generating new power would be below the cost of determining how much power an individual was using, effectively making electricity generation nearly free.

11: Encouraging Wind And Solar Creates Incentives For Massive Corruption

Attempts by governments to encourage solar and wind power have created incentives for corruption even environmentalists acknowledge. The recent Volkswagen scandal illustrates that regulatory attempts to force a specific technology, in this case the adoption of cleaner diesel engines, create incentives that lead to sophisticated cheating by companies. The main incentive of the regulatory agencies is to make rules while avoiding bad publicity, not to actually solve the problem.

The push to encourage “green” systems has already led to serious corruption, such as the Solyndra scandal. Such corruption “crowds out” investment dollars that could be better spent on more workable solutions.



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

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10 January, 2016

Can a few degrees of global temperature change make a big difference?

It is rare to get fact-based comments from Leftists on any of my blogs.  As other conservative bloggers will confirm, enraged and irrational abuse is what one normally gets.  Which tells you a lot about the Green/Left.  Their rage and hate make the horrors of Soviet Russia and Maoist China understandable. 

So I was surprised and interested to find that, although he was abusive, one commenter did actually make an apparently rational argument. He said:  "The average global temp of the last ice age was only a few degrees cooler than the 20th century".  And from that he argued that a few degrees of change is all that is needed for big effects in general.  So a few degrees of warming could also  have a big effect.  As we know, Warmists have quite arbitrarily set a temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius as the knell of doom so are they right?  Could even that small change have a big effect?

But does that argument hold up?  If a few degrees of cooling made a big difference, would a few degrees of warming also make a big difference?  I think we can all see instinctively that "It ain't necessarily so" but let me flesh that perception out.

The earth as a whole is actually a rather cold place relative to the freezing point of water (zero degrees Celsius). The average global temperature at present is approximately 14 degrees Celsius.  And the average global temperature in the last ice age was around 9 degrees Celsius.  So the difference is only 5 degrees -- which does indeed sound alarming.

But any average implies a range above and below it so an average of 14 degrees will mean that there are a lot of places where the number is a lot lower than that.  An average of 14 degrees tells us that there will be a lot of places on earth where the temperature is a lot cooler than that. For circumpolar regions, the temperature will be getting close to zero degrees.

So that makes it very clear why we had an ice age.  Lots of the globe was already pretty cold so a drop of 5 degrees pulled a great part of it below the threshold for ice formation (zero degrees Celsius).

But there is no similar situation for warming.  A couple of degrees of warming is unlikely to cause anything to cross any threshold. It might melt a bit of sea ice but melting floating ice leaves the water level unaffected -- As Archimedes demonstrated about 3,000 year ago.

So yes.  A few degrees can make a big difference but only if you are near some threshold -- and it has not been shown that we are.

FOOTNOTE:  My academic background is in the social sciences.  I am no paleoclimatologist.  So when I first saw the argument by the Warmist, I was nonplussed.  I could see that the argument was invalid but I could not put my finger on why.  But my research background kicked in immediately and I said to myself: "What are the numbers?"  And when I looked up the numbers, I had the answer to the puzzle.  In science, the numbers make all the difference. 

And the numbers make a lot of Warmism look absurd.  The annual announcements that the year just past was the "hottest", "third hottest" etc. sound important until you realize that the differences being talked about are in hundredths of one degree only. We actually live in an era of exceptional temperature stability.  It takes the perversity of the Left to call it an era of dangerous warming

Technical note:  I have given 9 degrees as the temperature of the last ice age but that is very much an approximation. It is however a fairly conventional approximation and serves well for the purposes of illustration. There are lower figures, depending on how you balance out the different times and places in the era concerned.  And the whole concept of an average temperature for the earth is a pretty hairy one anyway. -- JR.

This is "drought-stricken" California

Warmists have been vocal in blaming reduced precipitation recently on global warming. But the current flooding is being blamed on El Nino.  If the flooding is caused by a natural climatic event, why is the drought not also  caused by a natural climatic event?  The "drought" could not be just one part of a natural climate cycle, could it?

2015 may NOT have been the hottest year on record after all: Satellite data shows temperatures were lower than first thought

For months, reports have claimed 2015 was the hottest year on record, with temperatures reaching unprecedented levels globally.

However, this title may have been awarded a little hastily after scientists in the US found evidence to suggest it was actually the third hottest year since records began.

By studying satellite data, their results contradict the previous readings and predictions made using land-based weather stations. 

The satellite readings were taken from the lower atmosphere. They show that the temperature anomaly for December 2015 was 0.44°C (0.79°F), which was up from November's 0.33°C (0.59°F), said the experts from University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH).

Over the course of 12 months, this made 2015 the third warmest year since satellite records began in 1979, with an average global temperature of 0.27°C (0.49°F) above the average.

This is lower than the combined average temperature taken using land and sea-based equipment, which found the temperatures were 0.97°C (1.75°F) above the 20th century average of 12.9°C (55.2°F) in November alone.

Based on the satellite data, 1998 holds the record for the warmest year at 0.48°C, followed by 2010, at 0.34°C (0.61°F).

The most recent data has been published online by Dr Roy Spencer, a meteorologist at UAH.

'The tropics continue [to] warm due to El Nino conditions, with December unsurprisingly the warmest month yet during the El Nino event,' Dr Spencer wrote.

'Since 2016 should be warmer than 2015 with the current El Nino, there is a good chance 2016 will end up as a record warm year…it all depends upon how quickly El Nino wanes later in the year.'

Dr Spencer is a proponent of natural causes as the man driver of climate change, rather than man-made causes, chiefly through the burning of fossil fuels.

The latest satellite data comes after datasets published at the end of last year from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showed 2015 to be the hottest year on record.

However, unlike the satellite measurements from the UAH group, the NOAA readings are taken from land and sea-based weather stations.

According to the agency: 'The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for November 2015 was the highest for November in the 136-year period of record, at 0.97°C (1.75°F) above the 20th century average of 12.9°C (55.2°F), breaking the previous record of 2013 by 0.15°C (0.27°F).' 

Meteorologists said the current El Niño has stormed its way into the record books, tying 1997-1998 as the strongest recorded.

Mike Halpert, deputy director of the federal Climate Prediction Center, said initial figures for October-November-December match the same time period in 1997 for the strongest El Nino.

Meteorologists measure El Niño based on how warm parts of the central Pacific for three consecutive months.

El Niño is caused by a shift in the distribution of warm water in the Pacific Ocean around the equator.

Usually the wind blows strongly from east to west, due to the rotation of the Earth, causing water to pile up in the western part of the Pacific.

This pulls up colder water from the deep ocean in the eastern Pacific.

However, in an El Niño, the winds pushing the water get weaker and cause the warmer water to shift back towards the east. This causes the eastern Pacific to get warmer.

But as the ocean temperature is linked to the wind currents, this causes the winds to grow weaker still and so the ocean grows warmer, meaning the El Niño grows.

This change in air and ocean currents around the equator can have a major impact on the weather patterns around the globe by creating pressure anomalies in the atmosphere

The findings highlight the mammoth task facing climatologists in analysing and making predictions from a number of highly variable datasets.

The North Pole recently experienced something of a heatwave as temperatures came close to melting point, making the Arctic region as warm as some major cities in Europe and the US.

According to ocean measurements from the North Pole Environmental Observatory, the mercury tipped -1.9°C (28.6°F) on Wednesday 30 December, as the Arctic bathed in an unseasonably warm spell.

The hike in temperature was reportedly due to the same low pressure system which has brought flood chaos to England and Scotland, and made areas of the Arctic up to 35?C (63°F) warmer than the seasonal average.

The unseasonably warm and wet winter is believed to have been driven by the El Niño event in the Pacific.

According to space agency Nasa, satellite data indicated that the current El Niño could be as strong as that of 1997 and 1998 which was the strongest on record.

This tallies with the atmospheric satellite data from the UAH group.

Commenting on the findings, Professor Jo Haigh, co-director of the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, told MailOnline: 'The University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) record is based on satellite measurements of microwave radiation given off by oxygen in the lower atmosphere.

'There are a number of differences between this approach and that used by, for example, the UK Met Office.

'The intensity of the radiation measured by the UAH satellites is proportional to the temperature of the air in the lowest few kilometres of the atmosphere, i.e. not actually at the surface.

'The Met Office incorporates data from other instruments directly measuring temperature, e.g. at surface weather stations and from balloons and aircraft.

'Another difference is the way in which satellites orbit the Earth so that there is a drift in the time of day at which the measurements are made.

'For these reasons, and others, a precise one-to-one correspondence between the records would not be expected.

'Whether or not 2015 was the warmest, or second or third warmest, is rather less important than the unquestionable observation that nine of the ten hottest years on record have occurred since 2005 and that each of that past three decades has been warmer than the previous, and warmer than any previous decade since 1850.' [If you think differences of tenths and hundredths of one degree are important]


The latest Greenie brainstorm

THE wind flowing over your roof is packed with energy, if you could only harness it. A new type of wind power generator carpets a surface with plastic strips that sway in the wind like grass, producing renewable energy where traditional windmills would be impractical.

The generator is made by fixing flexible strips of plastic to a board, so they stand upright like rows of dominoes. The strips have nanowires etched on one side and a coating of indium tin oxide (ITO) on the other. When the strips flail in the wind, the nanowires slap against the ITO surface of neighbouring strips. This temporary contact allows electrons to leap from one material to the other, creating a current through a phenomenon known as the triboelectric effect.

Covering a 300-square-metre rooftop with the strips “would be expected to deliver an electrical energy of 7.11 kW, which should mostly power a household,” says Weiqing Yang at Southwest Jiaotong University in Chengdu, China.

Yang worked on the project with Zhong Lin Wang’s group at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. The goal was to tap energy not just from steady winds, but from the choppy gusts typical of built-up areas too. “Compared with a wind turbine, our triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) is effective at harvesting the energy from natural wind blowing in any direction,” says Yang. He adds that the harvesting system is simple to make, and easy to scale to larger systems.

So far, the generator has only been tested in the lab, aiming an electric fan at a model rooftop covered with 60 strips. This generated enough electricity to light up 60 LEDs. The strips work at wind speeds as low as 21 kilometres per hour, but the most useful power was generated with direct wind at almost 100 km/h – or storm force 10.

That’s neither easily available nor desirable, says Fernando Galembeck, who investigates energy harvesting at the University of Campinas in São Paulo, Brazil. “Significant amounts of power are obtained but we are still far from installing these devices on our rooftops and building walls.”

Galembeck says that, as with any energy scavenging technique, energy storage will be crucial for the system’s success, allowing the variable amounts of power generated in gentle winds to be stored until needed.

Yang says they are seeking a storage solution, as well as working on integrating the nanogenerator with solar panels to boost output.

Galembeck also points out that indium tin oxide isn’t a suitable material, due to its poor mechanical properties, cost and toxicity. “The concept is highly promising but its realisation depends on shifting to other materials,” he says.


EPA Chief: Climate Change Is Certain But You Can't Predict the Future

When asked Thursday about federal data showing that fossil fuels will provide about 80 percent of the world’s energy needs through 2040 and that U.S. carbon emissions are at the lowest they’ve been in decades, the Environmental Protection Agency Administrator said that it’s impossible to predict the future. asked EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, “According to the Energy Information Administration – although alternative and renewables are growing slightly – fossil fuels will still account for 80 percent of U.S. energy needs through 2040. Federal data also shows that U.S. carbon emissions are at almost a 20-year low right now. How do those facts fit into the picture the EPA is painting of the U.S. energy landscape?”

“I think just as climate change is a long-term issue – clearly addressing that is, but I don’t think anyone disputes the direction in which the world is heading,” McCarthy said at an event focused on the threat of climate change at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.

“How quickly it gets there – including in the U.S. – is going to be up for debate, but what I always have to constantly remind people – and this is again, maybe, an infatuation with new technology for me – is that no one could have predicted what the world looked [sic] like today 20 years ago,” she said. “No one. Zero.”

McCarthy then compared phone technology to the transformation from fossil fuel to other energy sources.

“If you told me 30 years ago there wouldn’t be a phone in my house, sitting on a wall, I would have thought you were nuts, right?” McCarthy said. “And now nobody is investing in land lines. Would you?

“And so the world changes dramatically, and I think in the energy world, it’s not going to be different, because people are looking for continued opportunity for investment,” she said.

“Frankly, a lot of the investment that would have been made before is so old and has not been invested in that now there is an opportunity for significant investment [in alternative energy], and that is going to be, I think, in a direction which we are seeing the energy world is heading,” McCarthy said.

“So I think you’re going to see an escalation of that transition moving forward,” she said.

McCarthy did not directly respond to the statistics on U.S. carbon emissions. According to the EIA, electricity production reached a 27-year low in April 2015.

Carbon emissions from U.S. power plants are at near 20-year lows, according to the American Petroleum Institute 2016 State of American Energy report.

McCarthy spoke about the United Nations climate change agreement that the Obama administration signed onto late last year in Paris. McCarthy did not provide specifics in her remarks about how the U.S. would comply with its agreement commitments, including the need for Congress to approve funding that was promised to help developing nations address climate change.


For Now, Green Lobby Is Dead Meat in Dietary Debate

Every five years, the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services revise nutritional standards for what is considered a balanced diet. The new edition, released Thursday, contains most of what you would expect — a recommendation to drastically reduce artificial sugar intake and consume more fruits, vegetables and grains. But the guidelines retained one surprising element that was thrust to the forefront of the debate last year: Red meat. It all ties back to a controversial proposal that was weighed by a panel of nutritional experts who appear to be covertly working to do the environmental lobby’s bidding. The Hill explains:

    "The recommendations for what Americans should and shouldn’t be eating … created unprecedented controversy in 2015 when the federally appointed panel of nutritionists that helps draft them considered environmental concerns in recommending that people should eat less meat. The USDA and HHS relented to industry outrage and promised the environment would not be considered, but congressional leaders wanted to be sure, adding language to the year-end $1.1 trillion spending bill requiring the agencies to conduct a ‘comprehensive review’ of the guidelines and the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee within 30 days. Groups in the meat industry were relieved to see that lean meats had ultimately been left in the description of a healthy diet.“

That’s not to say the meat industry was given a free pass. "The guidelines note that there is strong evidence to support that eating less meat, including processed meats, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease,” The Hill adds. Nevertheless, Americans can keep chomping away at modest proportions of red meat with the government’s blessing. But for how long?

Writing in The Wall Street Journal in November, Julie Kelly and Jeff Stier discerned how the meat-cancer link was conveniently well-timed and may have been a clever ploy ahead of the Paris climate talks. And it’s possible now that those talks are over and considered successful by most environmentalists that USDA and HHS have a little leverage to back off the pedal for a time. But rest assured, the proposals will be back.

After all, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change proposes no less than a 25% reduction in global meat consumption, and maybe up to 75%, arguing that fewer livestock means less methane emissions escaping into the atmosphere — rather ironic considering livestock is nature. The war on meat is a coordinated effort that won’t be easily overcome. On the bright side, the dietary guidelines also put a positive light on caffeine. Which is great news. We’ll need all the coffee we can get to expose behind-the-scenes fraud like this.



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

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


8 January, 2016

Earth Is Experiencing a Global Warming Spurt

But it's not due to CO2!

Cyclical changes in the Pacific Ocean have thrown Earth’s surface into what may be an unprecedented warming spurt, following a global warming slowdown that lasted about 15 years.

While El Niño is being blamed for an outbreak of floods, storms and unseasonable temperatures across the planet, a much slower-moving cycle of the Pacific Ocean has also been playing a role in record-breaking warmth. The recent effects of both ocean cycles are being amplified by climate change.

A 2014 flip was detected in the sluggish and elusive ocean cycle known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, or PDO, which also goes by other names, including the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation. Despite uncertainty about the fundamental nature of the PDO, leading scientists link its 2014 phase change to a rapid rise in global surface temperatures.

What’s Ahead For Climate Change In 2016?

The effects of the PDO on global warming can be likened to a staircase, with warming leveling off for periods, typically of more than a decade, and then bursting upward.

“It seems to me quite likely that we have taken the next step up to a new level,” said Kevin Trenberth, a scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

The 2014 flip from the cool PDO phase to the warm phase, which vaguely resembles a long and drawn out El Niño event, contributed to record-breaking surface temperatures across the planet in 2014.

Climate Records Broken In 2015

The record warmth set in 2014 was surpassed again in 2015, when global temperatures surged to 1°C (1.8°F) above pre-industrial averages, worsening flooding, heatwaves and storms.

Trenberth is among an informal squadron of scientists that in recent years has toiled to understand the slowdown in surface warming rates that began in the late 1990s, which some nicknamed a global warming “pause” or “hiatus.”


Hiding the Hiatus: Global Warming on Pause

Despite the constant barrage of hyperventilating headlines of a melting planet and the unceasing clamor of climate catastrophists and computer modelers, global temperatures have not been rising as predicted — except in the always-wrong computer models. It is important to note that this is not just the view of a few fringe scientists relegated to what the alarmists rancorously dismiss as “deniers”; it includes most of the top alarmists themselves, including individual scientists, institutions, and organizations — as we will show. While “hiatus” is the most commonly accepted label, other frequently used terms for the temperature phenomenon include “pause,” “standstill,” “slowdown,” and “lull.”

Over the past few years, an amazing process has been playing out in climate “science” circles, as the alarmists have struggled to explain the huge discrepancy between the real, observed temperature data and their falsified computer predictions. The general public, however, is only beginning to realize the enormous importance of this issue, as the alarmist media has, in the main, censored news regarding the hiatus and/or swamped any coverage of its impact on the falling “consensus” regarding the theory of anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming, or AGW.

First, we’ll examine the evidence for the hiatus, and then we’ll look at some of the notable admissions by top alarmists that the pause is real. Until the end of the 20th century, it was not possible to obtain a reliably accurate picture of global average surface temperatures, owing to the fact that so much of the Earth’s land and sea surface remained unmonitored by traditional thermometer recordings. The southern hemisphere, especially, was very poorly covered. Even today, combined sea and land areas representing half of the planet’s surface are not monitored by traditional methods. In addition, the methods used to record temperatures — thermometers aboard ships, buoys, or radiosondes (weather balloons), or located at land-based weather stations — suffered from (and continue to suffer from) lack of uniformity, continuity, and maintenance, as well as the severe problem of encroaching “urban heat island effect,” which biases temperatures in the warming direction. To top it off, the “scientists” at various government agencies have engaged in blatant tampering (they call it “adjusting”) of the temperature readings, always tilting the bias toward ever-hotter temperatures.

Since the late 1970s, however, we have had access to reliable lower troposphere temperature records for 99 percent of the globe, obtained from highly accurate microwave sounding instruments aboard a series of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather satellites. There are two main datasets that record, post, and analyze these global temperature measurements: the Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS). Both of these datasets, comprising the most reliable global temperature data available, show no detectable global warming over the past 19 years. The RSS satellite dataset shows no global warming at all for 225 months, from October 1996 to June 2015.

For much of the past decade, the AGW alarmist lobby was in denial of the hiatus. In other words, they were the real “deniers,” a smear label they have tried to affix to skeptical scientists, to imply that AGW skeptics are the equivalent of Holocaust deniers. In the past few years, however, they have been forced by the evidence to shift their tactics, switching from denying the hiatus to making feeble attempts to explain it away. The “they” we refer to are some of the biggest guns and loudest voices in the AGW catastrophe choir: James Hansen, Phil Jones, the U.K. Met Office, The Economist, Washington Post, New York Times, New Republic, and, even the UN’s own Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The Economist, the very influential British journal, is one of the most notable examples of an establishment alarmist organ admitting the hiatus, while still stubbornly clinging to the AGW thesis and trying desperately to account for the “puzzling” lack of predicted warming. In a series of articles in 2013, The Economist wrestled with the thorny problem, and made some surprising concessions.

“Over the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar,” The Economist reported in a March 30, 2013 article entitled “A sensitive matter.” “The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO2 put there by humanity since 1750,” the article continued. “And yet, as James Hansen, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, observes, ‘the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade.’”

So, not only is the temperature record defying the fright-peddling scenarios of the alarmist computer models, it is also falsifying the claim that man-made CO2 is responsible for causing the (non-existent) global warming “threat.” The troublesome hiatus explains why a number of years ago the alarmists rebranded “global warming” with the newer, preferred “climate change” label.

But The Economist has more. “The mismatch between rising greenhouse-gas emissions and not-rising temperatures is among the biggest puzzles in climate science just now,” says the journal, and “the puzzle does need explaining,” it admits. The Economist then presented a welter of competing explanations from top “experts” that it confesses only adds to the confusion, not to mention that it also destroys the supposed “consensus” that “the science is settled.” James Hansen, for instance, actually posited that the warming pause is being caused by the massive increases in coal burning by China and India! What? But isn’t the burning of evil coal causing AGW? Isn’t that what we’ve been told — repeatedly, for years?

Well, Hansen, referred to by many as “the grandfather of global warming,” has a novel and convenient explanation for this inconvenient truth. The soot and nitrogen from coal, says Hansen, is masking the warming in the short term, but long term we will see a “doubling down” of the “Faustian debt,” with terrible consequences. An interesting theory, but one based on wild speculation and literary references, not on science. NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, NOAA’s Ryan Neeley, and other veteran alarmists suggest that gas emissions from volcanoes are responsible for the hiatus. Perhaps the most popular explanation is that “the oceans ate the global warming.” Kevin Trenberth, a top “expert” for the IPCC, is one of the most prominent advocates of this claim that the missing heat went into the deep oceans, but it will be coming back at us with a vengeance — someday.

In a June 2013 article on the hiatus, “The Cooling Consensus,” The Economist conceded, “There’s no way around the fact that this reprieve for the planet is bad news for proponents of policies, such as carbon taxes and emissions treaties, meant to slow warming by moderating the release of greenhouse gases.” The reality is “that the already meagre prospects of these policies ... will be devastated if temperatures do fall outside the lower bound of the projections that environmentalists have used to create a panicked sense of emergency.” They “will become harder, if not impossible, to sell to the public, which will feel, not unreasonably, that the scientific and media establishment has cried wolf.” As indeed they have.


1001 Reasons Why Global Warming Is So Totally Over In 2016

by James Delingpole

Let’s start the New Year as we mean to go on: by dancing joyfully and triumphantly on the grave of man-made global warming.

Climate change is over. It’s a busted flush. The alarmists now have all the credibility of bewildered Harold Camping followers shivering on a mountaintop the morning after the night before, looking all shifty and embarrassed as they realise the Rapture their models so confidently promised just ain’t going to happen…

If you still doubt this, here are three recent pieces which should put your mind at rest.

The first – modestly titled The Most Comprehensive Assault On Global Warming Ever – was written by a US physics professor called Mike van Biezen. It lists ten of the reasons (though there are many more) why man-made global warming theory no longer has any credibility. They are:

    1.Temperature records from around the world do not support the assumption that today’s temperatures are unusual

    2. Satellite temperature data does not support the assumption that temperatures are rising rapidly

    3. Current temperatures are always compared to the temperatures of the 1980’s, but for many parts of the world the 1980’s was the coldest decade of the last 100+ years

    4. The world experienced a significant cooling trend between 1940 and 1980

    5.Urban heat island effect skews the temperature data of a significant number of weather stations

    6. There is a natural inverse relationship between global temperatures and atmospheric CO2levels

    7. The CO2 cannot, from a scientific perspective, be the cause of significant global temperature changes

    8. There have been many periods during our recent history that a warmer climate was prevalent long before the industrial revolution

    9.Glaciers have been melting for more than 150 years

    10. “Data adjustment” is used to continue the perception of global warming

Then there are two pieces on what, for me, is the single most persuasive argument against man-made global warming theory: the (considerably more dramatic) fluctuations of climate long before mankind was in any position to influence it.

Here are the key points of an essay on the subject by Ed Hoskins:

    Our current beneficial, warm Holocene interglacial has been the enabler of mankind’s civilisation for the last 10,000 years. The congenial climate of the Holocene epoch spans from mankind’s earliest farming to the scientific and technological advances of the last 100 years.

    However all the Northern Hemisphere Ice Core records  from Greenland show:

        the last millennium 1000AD – 2000AD has been the coldest millennium of the entire Holocene interglacial.

        each of the notable high points in the Holocene temperature record, (Holocene Climate Optimum – Minoan – Roman – Medieval – Modern), have been progressively colder than the previous high point.

        for its first 7-8000 years the early Holocene, including its high point “climate optimum”, had virtually  flat temperatures, an average drop of only ~0.007 °C per millennium.

        but the more recent Holocene, since a “tipping point” at ~1000BC, has seen a temperature diminution at more than 20 times that earlier rate at about 0.14 °C per millennium.

        the Holocene interglacial is already 10 – 11,000 years old and judging from the length of previous interglacials the Holocene epoch should be drawing to its close: in this century, the next century or this millennium.

        the beneficial warming at the end of the 20th century to the Modern high point has been responsible the “Great Man-made Global Warming Scare”.

        eventually this late 20th century temperature blip will come to be seen as just noise in the system in the longer term progress of comparatively rapid cooling over the last 3000+ years.

        other published Greenland Ice Core records as well as GISP2, (NGRIP1, GRIP) corroborate this finding. They also exhibit the same pattern of a prolonged relatively stable early Holocene period followed by a subsequent much more rapid decline in the more recent past.

    When considering the scale of temperature changes that alarmists anticipate because of Man-made Global Warming and their view of the disastrous effects of additional Man-made Carbon Dioxide emissions in this century, it is useful to look at climate change from a longer term, century by century and even on a millennial perspective.

    The much vaunted and much feared “fatal” tipping point of +2°C would only bring Global temperatures close to the level of the very congenial climate of “the Roman warm period”.

    If it were possible to reach the “horrendous” level of +4°C postulated by Warmists, that extreme level of warming would still only bring temperatures to about the level of the previous Eemian maximum, a warm and abundant epoch, when hippopotami thrived in the Rhine delta.

Finally, a study by another amateur enthusiast, JWR Whitfield, examining the relationship between CO2 and climate on an even longer term scale (400,000 years plus).

This represents a fairly recent development in our understanding of climate. Back in 1998, for example, when Michael Mann et al presented their hugely influential paper “Observed Climate Variability & Change”, the ice-core data available to scientists went back only 100,000 years (thus covering only one of the planet’s glaciation periods). Since then, thanks to two enlarged time scale Antarctica ice cores – Vostok and Epica – we can go back much further, covering at least four Glacial (cold) and Interglacial (warm) periods.

Two key things become clear from this data. The first is that, on a longer-term scale, Earth’s climate has fluctuated far more dramatically than the puny and inconsequential 0.8 degrees C rise in global mean temperature we’ve experienced since 1850. And the second is that rises and falls in CO2 lag rises and falls in temperature: that is, it’s temperature which pushes CO2 levels, not the other way round.

Whitfield goes on to examine the influence of the sun and of the oceans on climate which, he demonstrates, is much stronger than the small-to-non-existent influence of the trace gas CO2.

Not that any of this stuff is new, of course. But it’s useful information to keep handy every time you come upon another of those of smug, sanctimonious types who has been taught by the New York Times, the Guardian, the BBC, HuffPo or whoever that “deniers” are motivated solely by money or ideology and have no scientific arguments to support their case.

Actually, this is a classic case of what psychologists call “projection”. The climate alarmists were abandoned by scientific reality long ago – and the only reason they keep on trying to prop up their bankrupt cause is either because it pays the mortgage or because it suits their left-liberal Weltanschauung – or both.

The good news for those on the sceptical side of the argument is that we won it long ago – as will become increasingly clear over the months and years.

The bad news is that there won’t be what our friend Greg Garrison likes to call on his WIBC talk radio show a “blue dress moment” where some killer scientific fact emerges that decides the issue once and for all.

That’s because the whole global warming scare isn’t really about “the science” and never was about “the science.” Always, but always, it has been about the cynical exploitation of mass crowd hysteria and about the sly manipulation by activists and crony capitalists of the political system in order to advance the cause of global governance.

None of the people involved in this scam deserve the merest scintilla of respect. They are pure scum. They have not a single redeeming quality and everything they do is worthless – as I shall not hesitate to remind them from now on.

It strikes me that in the past that I have been far too kind and generous to this bunch of parasites and tinpot tyrants. My New Year’s resolution is to take the gloves off and take the fight to the enemy.

Join me, why don’t you? It could be fun.


Recycling Myths of Environment Religion

“Reduce, reuse, recycle” is a slogan enshrined in municipal code in cities across the United States. It’s also among the most illogical. Most recycling programs, according to Independent Institute Senior Fellow William F. Shughart II, actually expend more resources than they save. Mandatory recycling therefore works against the conservation ethic it was supposed to reflect.

In an op-ed published in more than two dozen media outlets, Shughart debunks widespread myths, including falsehoods put out by the Environmental Protection Agency, about some of the leading targets of municipal recycling programs: scrap paper, plastic, and glass. Estimates that claim recycling these materials saves resources and reduces carbon dioxide emissions fail to account for the substantial environmental impact caused by transporting them to a recycling center. “By sending an extra fleet of trucks around town once a week, adherents of the recycling religion actually are undermining their stated goal of protecting the environment,” Shughart writes. Materials that consumers sometimes rinse before sorting into recycling bins, such as cans and plastic containers, leave an even greater impact.

“The true recycling test is whether someone is willing to pay you to sort and save your trash,” Shughart writes. “If they’re not, what you’ve been told about recycling in the past is probably just garbage.”


Despite Green Energy Push, API Chief Says Oil and Gas Will Provide 80% of U.S. Energy Needs Through 2040

 American Petroleum Institute president and CEO Jack Gerard said Tuesday that federal government data show the United States will continue to rely on fossil fuels as its main source of energy for decades to come, despite efforts by environmentalists to work toward a goal of banning them. asked Gerard about the United Nations climate change conference in Paris last month at which scientists and environmentalists expressed the belief that addressing climate change would require an eventual ban on all fossil fuels.

“The experts will tell you that by 2040, 80 percent of the energy resource we’ll rely on in the United States will continue to be fossil fuels,” he said.

Gerard was speaking at a press conference  after addressing the oil and gas trade association’s annual State of American Energy event in Washington, D.C.

According to the federal Energy Information Administration, although renewable and nuclear are the fast-growing energy sources – each increasing by 2.5 percent a year – “fossil fuels continue to supply nearly 80% of world energy use through 2040.”

In his prepared remarks, Gerard said the U.S. was the world’s leader in gas and oil production while also leading the world in carbon reductions – thanks, in part, to increased production of fossil fuels, specifically liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“The science today shows us that natural gas is a key opportunity to further improve the environment,” he said. “I would suggest one of the things we should look at is how do we expedite and move LNG export opportunities in the United States.”

“Fortunately, we know how to bring about America’s brighter energy future, which means lower cost for American consumers, a cleaner environment and American energy leadership, because it is today’s reality,” Gerard said.

“We call it the U.S. model.”

“Simultaneously, the United States is leading the world in energy production, we have one of the strongest western economies, and are leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions – a trifecta of success unmatched by any other nation,” Gerard said.

Gerard told at the press conference that the U.S. should “build on the success” in these areas.

“The reality is, we are leading the world and how did we get there?” Gerard said. “That’s the simple point we’re trying to make, as you look and you build on the success we have today, we believe we can deal with the challenge of carbon. But we can also do it in other ways, other than those driven purely by political ideology.”


Svalbard polar bear numbers increased 42% over last 11 years

Results of this fall’s Barents Sea population survey have been released by the Norwegian Polar Institute and they are phenomenal: despite several years with poor ice conditions, there are more bears now (~975) than there were in 2004 (~685) around Svalbard (a 42 30% increase) and the bears were in good condition.

Oddly, in a September report right after the count, biologist Jon Aars reported them in “excellent” condition, with some of them “as fat as pigs.” I guess “good” is the same as “excellent.”

Bears in the Russian portion of the Barents Sea were not counted this year because the Russians would not allow it; the previous total count, from 2004, was 2,650 (range ~1900-3600) for the entire region.

Oddly, the comments made by lead researcher Jon Aars to a Norwegian newspaper (in English), which picked this up yesterday (“Polar bears make a comeback” ), were far more positive than those in the press release (which is likely all that western media will see).



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

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


7 January, 2016

Another hokey percentage agreement with Warmism

Now it's about the opinions of  economists -- but not any  economists.  A Law school surveyed "economists with climate expertise".  Is it any surprise what they found?  No economist with half a brain would risk his livelihood by going into that field if he was a global warming skeptic.  All that the survey showed was that Warmists believe in Warmism.  Not exactly startling

The Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University (NYU) School of Law recently published a report summarizing a survey of economists with climate expertise. The report was a follow-up and expansion of a similar survey conducted in 2009 by the same institute. The key finding: there’s a strong consensus among climate economics experts that we should put a price on carbon pollution to curb the expensive costs of climate change.

The survey participants included economists who have published papers related to climate change “in a highly ranked, peer-reviewed economics or environmental economics journal since 1994.” Overall, 365 participants completed the survey, which established the consensus of expert climate economists on a number of important questions.

In the 2009 version of the survey, the respondents were asked under what conditions the United States should commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 57% answered that the US should cut its emissions no matter what actions other countries take, while another 38% said that American emissions cuts would be warranted if many or all other countries commit to reducing theirs (as just happened in the Paris international negotiations).

In the 2015 survey, the number of expert economists saying that the US should cut its emissions no matter what rose to 77%. A further 18% said that if other countries agree to cut their emissions, the US should follow suit. In other words, there is a 95% consensus among expert climate economists that the US should follow through with its pledges to cut carbon pollution in the wake of the Paris international climate negotiations, and more than three out of four agreed that the US should take action to curb global warming no matter what.


Global warming: normal weather is a 'thing of the past', claims British scientist

I am not going to challenge the claim below that recent British weather has exhibited temperatures as high as 4.1 degrees above normal.  What I am going to point out is what it implies.  It shows that the temperature rises in Britain are NOT caused by global warming.  Why?  Because the official temperature recorders at NOAA and elsewhere have been able to find increases in global temperatures only in terms of hundredths of a degree.  So British records are way out of the ballpark by global standards.  Britain  is experiencing LOCAL warming, presumably because of El Nino.

Normal weather is now a “thing of the past”, a leading climate change scientist has said, after storms and heavy rain caused devastating floods in parts of Britain.

December was record-breaking in both warmth and rainfall, according to the Met Office, with temperatures closer to those expected in April and May. For some parts of the UK, it was also the wettest December since records began in 1910.

Professor Myles Allen, leader of the Climate Research Programme at the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute said: “Normal weather is actually a bit of a thing of the past.

“Here in Oxford we maintain the world’s longest daily weather record, we just beat the previous record by a whopping two and a half degrees and that record was set back in 1852.

“You’re not meant to beat weather records by that kind of margin and just like in athletics if you start doing so, it’s a sign that something’s actually changed.”

Provisional statistics released by the Met Office at the end of December showed that the average temperature in the UK last month was 8C, 4.1 degrees above the average and beating the previous record of 6.9C set in 1934. Last month was also the wettest calendar month ever in Met Office records since 1910.

Speaking on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4, Prof Allen said compared the change in weather patterns to an athlete doping: “What we’re doing is loading the dice if you like, or like an athlete popping pills, we’re changing the odds. And we’re seeing the odds on these extreme warm, extreme wet winters increasing. And we’re going to need to plan for it.

“You asked is this the new normal, well as I stressed, normal weather, unchanged over generations, is now a thing of the past. And if we’re building buildings and building infrastructure, we’re going to have to use climate simulations to work out what the weather will be like that that infrastructure will have to tolerate in 50 years’ time.”



The supporters of the UN’s “climate agenda” are completely ignorant when it comes to building and maintaining stable, affordable electrical grids. green wash They, for example, are attempting to persuade (and if persuasion fails force) developed countries to transition away from powering their economies with hydrocarbon energy under the delusion that hydrocarbon energy can simply be replaced by what they call “green energy” without any diminution of the modern way of life that developed countries now enjoy.

Here is one such example from the Ceres Coalition:

“In order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the world’s leading [political] scientists say we must: [1] Make ‘substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades and near zero emissions of CO2 and other long-lived GHGs by the end of the century’ [and 2] Phase out fossil fuels and move to 100% clean energy [solar panels and windmills].”

“Substantial emissions reductions” is thinly veiled language for reducing the burning of hydrocarbons for energy across the board and the phrase “phase out fossil fuels and move to 100% clean energy” means replacing hydrocarbons energy with primarily windmills and solar panels, which is the delusional part because these people obviously do not understand electricity.

What is electricity? Electricity is the flow of electrons through a conductor and ceases to exist when that flow stops. As such, electricity is a “non-conservable” phenomenon. When electrons flow through a conductor a magnetic field is generated around the conductor. This magnetic field drives the electric motors that do much of our work for us. The moment that the flow of electrons stops the magnetic field collapses and the motor stops immediately and can do no more work. When electrons flow through a conductor they “collide” with some of the atoms in the conductor; this generates the thermal energy that makes electric heaters and incandescent light bulbs work. When the flow of electrons stops the heater stops heating and the lights go out immediately. All electrical appliances are similarly “on” or “off” depending upon whether or not there is electricity flowing through the appliance in the moment. Add to that the fact that most electrical gadgets and appliances cannot tolerate fluctuating power levels and you can easily see why modern economies can run only on stable and dependable electricity.

When electricity stops flowing “first world” communities immediately become “third world” communities. What was the primary catastrophe that was brought on by hurricane Sandy in 2012? It took down the local power grid for several days and millions of people got to experience “third” world living for a short while. In their view, living without electricity even for a few days was a catastrophic experience. Never the less, that is what the UN’s climate agenda has planned for the world on a permanent basis—a lifestyle that is devoid of stable, dependable and affordable electricity. You see, when the UN gathers world leaders together to discuss “phasing out the use of fossil fuels” what they are really discussing is phasing out the availability of stable, dependable and affordable electricity and replacing it with unstable, intermittent and very expensive electricity. Why is wind and solar energy unstable, intermittent and expensive? Let’s explore.

Because of the “non-conservable” nature of electricity it must be generated at the very moment that it is being used. Even batteries are themselves small electrical generators that generate an electrical current due to a chemical reaction that occurs within the cells—a chemical reaction that can be reversed in some batteries when “recharging” them. So, when you flip a light switch, start your washing machine, turn on a microwave, air conditioner or the burner on you stove the electricity that powers those appliances has to be generated at that very moment at some power plant somewhere in the area and routed to your home via relays, transformers and transmission lines, i.e., the “grid”. The only delay that exist between the time that the electricity is generated and the time you use it in your home is the time that it takes for the electricity to travel from the generating plant to your home which is a fraction of a second.

The reason why hydrocarbon energy works so well in powering dependable electrical grids is because the burner at the plant can be fed more or less fuel in the moment to adjust the amount of electricity being generated at any point in time during the day or night to meet the continually fluctuating collective demand that is generated by all of the appliances that are connected to the grid, i.e., the “load”. The reason that solar panels and windmills will never be able to power an electrical grid without hydrocarbon, nuclear or hydroelectric power back up is because the power that solar panels and windmills generate is random and therefore cannot be matched to the “load”. An electrical grid powered solely by solar panels and windmills would not only be very expensive and environmentally damaging, it would, more importantly, be fraught with power surges and blackouts. Period. Why? Because the amount of electrical power generated by solar panels and windmills is not under the control of man; it is now and will always be intermittent; it depends upon cloud cover, time of day and wind speed rather than on the moment-by-moment “load” demand on an electrical grid.

As Epstein (2014) points out these intermittent “green energy” contributions to the power grid not only wreak havoc with the grid because they make it much more difficult to match energy output with energy demand. Germany has even been increasing its coal powered electrical generating capacity over the past few years.

Much within our modern civilization depends on a stable power grid and simply wouldn’t exist if powered by a grid that was constantly cycling between blackouts and power surges, as would be a grid powered by solar panels and windmills alone. Therefore, if you should hear a politician suggest that solar panels and windmills can simply replace hydrocarbon energy without a diminution in the quality of modern life be aware that you are listening to a profoundly ignorant person who has no real understanding of the nature of electricity. The fact that these intermittent and unreliable sources of energy have to be mandated by law in the first place should be your first clue that if allowed the freedom to generate energy in the most efficient and effective manner possible power companies wouldn’t bother with either wind or solar energy.

One of the arguments that today’s “political” scientists use to justify a completely unnecessary transition from hydrocarbon energy to wind and solar energy is that wind and solar energy is “free and plentiful”, but so is hydrocarbon energy “free”. Humanity didn’t coerce nature into creating coal, oil and natural gas. It did so on its own and this “natural” resource is free for the taking and using.

Key take-home point: Nature does not provide humanity with usable electricity, i.e., electricity in a form that can power an electrical appliance. None of the energy contained within wind, sunshine, nuclear reactions, hydrothermal, hydrocarbons, biofuels, biomass or flowing rivers is electricity. Without exception each one of these forms of energy in their natural state has to be converted into electricity via some form of technology in order to be used to improve people’s lives. What costs time and money is converting any one of these natural forms of energy into electricity. As such it is irrelevant what solar and wind cost in their natural state; what is relevant is whether or not they can be converted into stable, dependable electricity at an affordable price. Despite the numerous empty promises and assertions made by the world’s “political” scientists technology has only been able to turn wind and solar energy into unstable, undependable and expensive electricity.

When you couple their ignorance about the nature of electricity with the silly notion that drives the policy in the first place, i.e., the false notion that carbon dioxide a “pollutant”i that is threatening to cause “catastrophic” climate change, you end up with the disaster waiting to happen called the COP21’s draft agreement, which is in reality the most recent installment of their plan to not only prevent real economic development in the “third world” but to also completely demolish industrial civilization.



The complicated subject of climate change and geo-engineering (intentional human control of weather and environment) warrants our careful consideration. As with much science that has become politicized it requires a keen eye to weed out the hype from the facts. geoengineering

To help fellow scientists and lay readers alike Principia Scientific International has much pleasure in presenting Marian Calcroft’s ‘PSI’s Big Picture Guide to Climate Science & Geo-engineering.’

This 29-page PDF explains how the sun is by far the dominant force controlling our planet’s temperature and climate. The atmosphere actually acts as a refrigerator mechanism and regulates the cooling of the planet by convection and radiation into the top of the atmosphere.

Eventually equilibrium is reached between incoming Solar radiation and outgoing internally generated heat from the core, plus previously absorbed solar heat, cooling from the surface.

Calcroft shows that there is a growing schism between what is promoted as ‘accepted’ science by the academies and government-controlled institutions and what is known by independent scientists guided less by propaganda and financial inducements.

The independents understand that the human impact on climate by way of everyday emissions of carbon dioxide is grossly overstated. But the intentional manipulation of the weather to control the battlefield is well documented since the Cold War era. Also, it is true that volcanic forces within the planet, influenced by the gravitational forces in the solar system, are almost totally ignored by governments seeking tax hikes for our addictive ‘fossil fuel’ habit.


Geoengineering is the direct manipulation of the Earth’s Climate systems, mainly through the use of aerosol spraying into the upper atmosphere (aka ‘Chemtrails’) in conjunction with HAARP (High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program) an ionospheric heater which produces electromagnetic pulses. Other methods are iron fertilization of the oceans, ‘carbon capture’ and sequestration of CO? by natural and by chemical means. These programs are applied by the military, scientists and governments for various reasons

Natural impacts, variations in Geo-nuke energy, manifest themselves in two ways, climate change and volcanic change. There is virtually NO monitoring of thousands of geysers, hot springs and tectonic plate fissures which gush all these Terrawatts of energy into the climactic equation. There is virtually NO evidence that volcanic activity is constant. The force that can keep 259 trillion cubic miles of rock at near boiling point is not a force to be ignored.

This most helpful PDF shows why carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a demon force in climate change. In fact, it is the gas of life itself.

Politicians and UN Policymakers have blurred the lines between particulate carbon (which in the air can be a pollutant) and CO? which is a non-toxic gas breathed out by all humans and is not a particulate but the main basic plant food.

Particulate carbon is what causes smog and visible smoke, and should be removed from the air 4 by smoke stacks etc. We already have the technology to do this and this treatment cost should be factored in to manufacturing costs, as should the treatment costs for all other forms of pollution we produce such as chemical, industrial, pharmaceutical, heavy metal wastes and toxic gases from ANY source. All pollutants of any kind should be cleaned up and treated at source BEFORE any release of “waste” into the environment.

This would give us a reality based cost of production of manufactured goods and for the services and modern “creature comforts” that we have come to enjoy. An example of a toxic gas that used to be released in large quantities but is now mostly cleaned up at source is Sulphur Dioxide (SO?) which reacts with water to create acid rain.

Read Calcroft’s fascinating PDF and determine for yourself whether the truth is being told about the science and that we are all part of some great socio-political experiment.


Obama’s Climate Deal Leaves Blue-Collar, Rural Voters Out in the Cold

The past few weeks have been a remarkable time in environmental politics. Green groups have joined President Barack Obama in celebrating the global climate agreement reached in Paris, even though U.S. officials say none of the carbon reductions in the Dec. 12 deal are binding.

Remember, environmental groups have been campaigning for decades to drag the United States into legally binding carbon-reduction agreements that would be enforced by the United Nations.

But now, groups like Earthjustice and the Sierra Club are toasting non-binding numbers on a page as a historic victory. What gives?

Their real victory was winning applause from the United Nations for Obama’s go-it-alone carbon regulations without triggering an immediate political disaster back here at home. By calling the Paris deal non-binding, the president and his supporters evaded the U.S. Senate, which has the constitutional power to approve or reject treaties.

To justify this move, they argued that Senate Republicans could easily block the two-thirds vote usually required to approve a treaty. That may be true, but Republican opposition wasn’t the real danger for the White House and environmental groups. The disaster they avoided was the Senate debate itself, because the climate issue is deeply divisive and damaging for Democrats, no matter how much the environmentalist left tries to pretend otherwise.

Debating the Paris agreement on the Senate floor would be like having the “cap-and-trade” climate fight of 2009 and 2010 all over again. Back then, Democrats had huge majorities in the House and Senate along with the White House. For a time, they even had 60 votes in the Senate, enough to beat a Republican filibuster.

But even in early 2009, senior Obama officials were hedging. “It’s not going to be able to be done easily,” Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at the time, said in a speech to the Georgetown Climate Center.

One major challenge is “people’s real fear about what this will cost them, how much it will cost them on their electric bill, or what it will cost them in jobs,” Jackson said. She also hinted strongly at actions the EPA could take without Congress, referencing the debate over “what’s legal [and] what’s illegal” and how those legal issues “have to be carefully thought out and carefully choreographed.”

Soon after, 26 Senate Democrats sided with Republicans in a vote that put the brakes on cap-and-trade. They effectively banned the use of budget reconciliation, which could have been used to pass cap-and-trade with 51 votes instead of 60. Later, a cap-and-trade bill passed the House, but only just. Forty-four Democrats joined Republicans in opposition. By comparison, only eight Republicans voted for the bill.

The Democrats who opposed cap-and-trade mostly came from industrial, agricultural, and energy-producing states. Some lawmakers from those states, like Colorado’s Betsy Markey, voted for cap-and-trade anyway. Environmental groups ran a series of “thank you” TV ads in their districts, but it didn’t help. Markey was one of 63 House Democrats who lost their seats in the 2010 midterm elections.

After the House vote, the cap-and-trade debate dragged on for a year, then collapsed completely in the Senate. “[W]e don’t have enough Democratic votes,” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said at the time.

Resistance from Democrats was so strong that only 35 to 40 senators may have voted for cap-and-trade, and the bill never got a vote in that chamber. Even without a floor vote, the division cap-and-trade sowed in Democratic ranks and the economic anxiety it caused among voters contributed to the loss of six Senate seats for the party in the 2010 midterms.

One day after the election, Obama signaled he would use EPA regulations to get what he wanted, but without forcing his party’s painful divisions on climate change into the open again. “Cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat,” Obama said. “I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.”

So, lesson learned. No high-profile Senate debate over the Paris climate agreement. True, the White House will have to fend off some House and Senate disapproval motions aimed at EPA regulations that support the Obama administration’s promises in Paris.

Dozens of states have filed legal challenges against those EPA regulations, too. Those moves are important, but they don’t draw the same attention as a full-blown Senate debate over an international climate agreement—especially when that agreement hinders the U.S. economy and merely hopes that other countries won’t take advantage.

Of the 26 Senate Democrats who voted with Republicans in 2009 to put the brakes on cap-and-trade, nine are still serving.

Avoiding a debate over the Paris climate agreement and its impact on energy prices, jobs and the economy is a great deal for them—especially U.S. Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo., who are running for re-election in November 2016. As things stand, they can just hunker down and let the EPA do its thing.

But it’s a lousy deal for the blue-collar and rural constituents who voted for these senators. Their concerns about the economy, energy prices, and jobs were front and center during the cap-and-trade debate, and they should be front and center again after the Paris climate agreement. Instead, these voters have been left in the cold while environmental groups toast themselves and whatever they think was achieved in Paris.


Why Some of the Worst Attacks on Social Science Have Come From Liberals

The article below is not about Warmism but it does reveal the way in which Leftism can distort science  -- something I have repeatedly shown in my own research and which has now been well-documented elsewhere by Haidt and others.  The article retells two stories, of which I include only one below as the article is a very long one.  It tells the Chagnon story, which I also folloeed at the time.  See here. To global warming skeptics the Leftist dishonesty will be very familiar.  Leftists generally sbordinate facts to ideology. They need to

I first read Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science when I was home for Thanksgiving, and I often left it lying around the house when I was doing other stuff. At one point, my dad picked it up off a table and started reading the back-jacket copy. “That’s an amazing book so far,” I said. “It’s about the politicization of science.” “Oh,” my dad responded. “You mean like Republicans and climate change?”

That exchange perfectly sums up why anyone who is interested in how tricky a construct “truth” has become in 2015 should read Alice Dreger’s book. No, it isn’t about climate change, but my dad could be excused for thinking any book about the politicization of science must be about conservatives. Many liberals, after all, have convinced themselves that it’s conservatives who attack science in the name of politics, while they would never do such a thing. Galileo’s Middle Finger corrects this misperception in a rather jarring fashion, and that’s why it’s one of the most important social-science books of 2015.

At its core, Galileo’s Middle Finger is about what happens when science and dogma collide — specifically, what happens when science makes a claim that doesn’t fit into an activist community’s accepted worldview. And many of Dreger’s most interesting, explosive examples of this phenomenon involve liberals, not conservatives, fighting tooth and nail against open scientific inquiry.

When Dreger criticizes liberal politicization of science, she isn’t doing so from the seat of a trolling conservative. Well before she dove into some of the biggest controversies in science and activism, she earned her progressive bona fides. A historian of science by training, she spent about a decade early in her career advocating on behalf of intersex people — those born with neither “traditional” male nor female genitalia.

Eventually, as a result of burnout and other factors, Dreger’s work in this area waned, and she moved on to other projects. Through some of the social networks she had developed in her intersex work, she became interested in the broader world of scientific controversies, and began investigating them as thoroughly as possible — interviewing hundreds of people, chasing down primary documents, and so on. What she found, over and over, was that researchers whose conclusions didn’t line up with politically correct orthodoxies — whether the orthodoxy in question involved sexual abuse, transgender issues, or whatever else — often faced dire, career-threatening consequences simply for doing their jobs.

Two examples stand out as particularly egregious cases in which solid social science was attacked in the name of progressive causes. The first involves Napoleon Chagnon, an extremely influential anthropologist who dedicated years of his life to understanding and living among the Yanomamö, an indigenous tribe situated in the Amazon rain forest on the Brazil-Venezuela border — there are a million copies of his 1968 book Yanomamö: The Fierce People in print, and it’s viewed by many as an ethnographic classic. Chagnon made ideological enemies along the way; for one thing, he has long believed that human behavior and culture can be partially explained by evolution, which in some circles has been a frowned-upon idea. Perhaps more important, he has never sentimentalized his subjects, and his portrayal of the Yanomamö included, as Dreger writes, “males fighting violently over fertile females, domestic brutality, ritualized drug use, and ecological indifference.” Dreger suggests that Chagnon’s reputation as a careful, dedicated scholar didn’t matter to his critics — what mattered was that his version of the Yanomamö was “Not your standard liberal image of the unjustly oppressed, naturally peaceful, environmentally gentle rain-forest Indian family.”

In 2000, Chagnon’s critics seized upon a once-in-a-career opportunity to go after him. That was the year a journalist named Patrick Tierney published Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon. The book — and a related New Yorker article by Tierney — leveled a series of spectacular allegations against Chagnon and James V. Neel Sr., a geneticist and physician with whom Chagnon had collaborated during his work with the Yanomamö (Neel died of cancer shortly before the book’s publication). Among other things, Tierney charged that Chagnon and Neel had intentionally used a faulty vaccine to infect the Yanomamö with measles so as to test Nazi-esque eugenics theories, and that one or both men had manipulated data, started wars on purpose, paid tribespeople to kill one another, and “purposefully with[held] medical care while experimental subjects died from the allegedly vaccine-induced measles,” as Dreger writes.

These charges stuck in part because Terence Turner and Leslie Sponsel, two anthropologists who disliked Chagnon and his work, sent the American Anthropological Association an alarming letter about Tierney’s allegations prior to the publication of Darkness in El Dorado. Rather than wait to see if the spectacular claims in the book passed the smell test, the AAA responded by quickly launching a full investigation in the form of the so-called El Dorado Task Force — a move that led to a number of its members resigning in protest. A media firestorm engulfed Chagnon — “Scientist ‘killed Amazon indians to test race theory’,” read a Guardian headline — and he was forced to defend himself against accusations that he had brutalized members of a tribe he had devoted his career to living with and studying and, naturally, had developed a strong sense of affection for in the process. A number of fellow anthropologists and professional organizations came to the defense of Chagnon and Neel, pointing out obvious problems with Tierney’s claims and timeline, but these voices were drowned out by the hysteria over the evil, murderous anthropologist and his doctor-accomplice. Dreger writes that Chagnon’s “career had essentially been halted by the whole mess.” (Chagnon’s memoirs, published in 2013, are entitled Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes — the Yanomamö and the Anthropologists.)

There was, it turns out, nothing to these claims. Over the course of a year of research and interviews with 40 people involved in the controversy in one way or another, Dreger discovered the disturbing, outrageous degree to which the charges against Chagnon and Neel were fabricated — to the point where some of the numerous footnotes in Tierney’s book plainly didn’t support his own claims. All the explosive accusations about Nazi-like activities and exploitation, and the intentional fomenting of violence, were simply made up or willfully misinterpreted. Worse, some of them could have been easily debunked with just a tiny bit of research — in one case, it took Dreger all of an hour in an archive of Neel’s papers to find strong evidence refuting the claim that he helped intentionally infect the Yanomamö with measles (a claim that was independently debunked by others, anyway).

In the end, Dreger published the results of her investigation in the journal Human Nature, recounting the full details of Chagnon’s ordeal at the hands of Tierney, and the many ways Tierney fabricated and misrepresented data to attack the anthropologist and Neel. Darkness Is El Dorado is still available on Amazon, its original, glowing reviews and mention of its National Book Award nomination intact; and Tierney’s New Yorker article is still online, with no editor’s note explaining the factual inaccuracies contained therein.

This should stand as a wake-up call, as a rebuke to the smugness that sometimes infects progressive beliefs about who “respects” science more. After all, what both the Bailey and Chagnon cases have in common — alongside some of the others in Galileo’s Middle Finger — is the extent to which groups of progressive self-appointed defenders of social justice banded together to launch full-throated assaults on legitimate science, and the extent to which these attacks were abetted by left-leaning academic institutions and activists too scared to stand up to the attackers, often out of a fear of being lumped in with those being attacked, or of being accused of wobbly allyship.

It’s hard not to come away from Dreger’s wonderful book feeling like we’re doomed. Think about all the time and effort it took her — a professionally trained historian as equipped as anyone to dig into complex morasses of conflicting claims — to excavate the full details of just one of these controversies. Who has a year to research and produce a fact-finding report that only a tiny percentage of people will ever read or care about?

If anything, all the incentives have gotten worse; if anything, the ranks of dedicated, safely employed critical thinkers in a position to be the voice of reason have thinned. In all likelihood, the coverage today would be far uglier and more prejudicial than it was when the scandal actually broke.

Science can’t function in this sort of pressure-cooker environment. The way things are heading, with the lines of communication between scientific institutions and the general public growing increasingly direct (a good thing in many cases, to be sure), and with instant, furious reaction the increasingly favored response to anything with a whiff of injustice to it — details be damned —  it will become hard, if not impossible, for careful researchers unencumbered by dogmatic ideology to make good-faith efforts to understand controversial subjects, and to then publish their findings.

We should want researchers to poke around at the edges of “respectable” beliefs about gender and race and religion and sex and identity and trauma, and other issues that make us squirm. That’s why the scientific method was invented in the first place. If activists — any activists, regardless of their political orientation or the rightness of their cause — get to decide by fiat what is and isn’t an acceptable interpretation of the world, then science is pointless, and we should just throw the whole damn thing out.



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

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6 January, 2016

Greenland icecap discovery

I don't know much about glaciology but nor do glaciologists, it seems.  Ice lenses (isolated masses of ice) are familiar in rock and soil but glaciologists seem to have discovered only recently that they exist in glacial firn (semi-compacted snow) as well. And they have figured a way to see that as promoting the Greenie scare of sea-level rise, as they would of course.  That's a great basis for a big juicy new research grant.

Most interesting, however is their discovery that ice lenses are becoming more massive in firn.  But what does that tell us?  What makes water into ice?  COLD, low temperatures.  So if more ice is forming lately that means that it must be getting colder at the site concerned.  Have they discovered global cooling?  Seems like it!

I like the last sentence below

The rate at which water is released from the Greenland ice sheet is accelerating, according to a multinational team of scientists.

Studying the upper layers of snow on the island's glaciers, they found the compacted snowy frosting on the ice cap, called firn, is losing its ability to absorb meltwater.

This is due to the formation of 'ice lenses' beneath the surface, indicating that the sponge-like ability of the firn to soak up melting surface water is being lost.

Experts fear this could lead to increased release of the meltwater into the oceans.

Firn can be up to 260ft (80 metres) thick and is an integral part of the Greenland ice sheet, which is second only to Antarctica in size and is up to 14,000ft (4.3km) thick.

It contains ice formed up to 100,000 years ago, created by snow that gradually built up and compacted.

Snow is regularly deposited on top of the ice cap, and previous studies have shown that snowfall is increasing as a result of climate change.

The new study, from a team of Danish, American, and Swiss scientists, shows that current atmospheric warming is changing the firn layer and allowing meltwater to be released faster than previously seen.

'Basically our research shows that the firn reacts fast to a changing climate,' said Horst Machguth, lead author of the study by the University of Zurich.

'Its ability to limit mass loss of the ice sheet by retaining meltwater could be smaller than previously assumed.'

The researchers travelled to Greenland to investigate the impact of recent atmospheric warming on the structure of near-surface snow and ice layers.

Over the course of three expeditions, they mapped the structure of firn layers with a radar unit and drilled 66ft-deep (20 metre) cores into the top layers of ice, including sites where cores had been drilled 15 to 20 years ago.

Earlier research has shown that the firn layer acts similar to a sponge.

It stores meltwater seeping down from the surface in what are referred to as 'ice lenses’ - pockets between soil and rock.

Comparison of the new and old cores revealed substantially more ice lenses than in the past, the study published in Nature Climate Change explained.

Cores at lower elevations showed 'exceptional amounts' of meltwater which formed a 'surprisingly massive' ice layer close to the surface.

‘It appears that the intensive and repeated entry of meltwater formed numerous ice lenses, which ultimately hindered percolation of further meltwater’, said Dirk van As, a co-author of the study from the Geological Survey in Denmark and Greenland.

As a result, many small lenses join into an ice layer several metres thick, acting like a lid beneath the surface of the snow.

This means that surface meltwater is diverted into new rivers at or just below the surface, travelling to the sea more quickly and contributing to sea level rise.

Mike MacFerrin of the University of Colorado at Boulder said: 'In contrast to storing meltwater in porous firn, this mechanism increases runoff from the ice sheet.'

He said the process has never been seen before in Greenland and that 'the total extent of this ice lid capping the ice sheet firn remains unknown.'

'For this reason, the amount of additional ice sheet runoff associated with this newly observed process cannot yet be quantified.'


Another new scare.  Just as laughable

The dams are going to dry up!  Would you believe?  It only defies basic physics to prophecy that but so what? 

OK. Let me go back to junior school basics.  Rain happens when heat from the sun strikes the surface of the oceans and turns some of their water into water vapour.  The water vapor rises into the clouds.  The clouds get blown about by the wind until they hit mountains.  When they hit the mountains they turn into water again and that falls as rain.  Maybe even a Warmist could understand that.

And what would happen under global warming?  The oceans would get hotter too!  And in doing so would give off more water vapour than ever and thence more rain.  Global warming might lead to floods but but it WON'T lead to water shortages.  Boy!  Am I tired of Warmist dishonesty

Thousands of power plants around the world may face severe reductions in their ability to generate electricity by mid-century due to water shortages, according to new research.

Hydro- and thermo-electric (nuclear, fossil-fuelled, biomass-fuelled) power plants are vulnerable to dwindling rivers and reservoirs as the planet warms, a study published in Nature on Monday said.

These technologies, which provide 98% of global electricity supply, depend on abundant water to cool generators and pump power at dams.

Lower river levels and warmer water temperatures could reduce generating capacity by as much as 86% in thermo-electric- and 74% in hydro plants, according to researchers at Wageningen University and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

It comes as water demand for power generation is set to double within the next 40 years, the report said. Drought-stricken hydro producers have reverted to dirtier energy sources in the past to shore up tottering grids.

Global warming is set to boost river levels in Canada, India and central Africa as global weather patterns shift. Yet most hydroplants are in regions forecast to see shortages, like South America, which generates almost two-thirds of its electricity from hydro.

If those plants became 10% more efficient in producing electricity that could offset the constraints, the study said.

Converting to seawater and dry air cooling would achieve the same result for thermo-electric plants, but likely raise energy bills. Switching from coal to gas-fired power plants, whose cooling towers need less water, was preferable.

Non-hydro renewable sources are growing, but are unlikely to be the dominant sources of power generation over the course of the century, the study said.

Planners were urged to take heed of future constraints as they build new plants, which remain in operation for several decades.

“Considering the increase in impacts of water constraints on power generation and the long design lifetime of power plant infrastructure (?30–60 years for thermoelectric power and 80 years for hydro power), adaptation options should be included in today’s planning to fulfil the growing electricity demands in the next decades.”


What's causing all this bizarre weather?

Comment from the UK:

What's causing all this bizarre weather? The answer, at least on my side of the Atlantic, seems to be: "Someone or something I happen not to like."

Britain, like the U.S. and, indeed, much of the world, had an unusual December. Balmy weather brought daffodils freakishly into flower where I live; a neighbor saw cherry trees in blossom. Further north, the unseasonable warmth was accompanied by floods, driving hundreds of people from their homes.

What triggered the floods? People on social media had several answers. Leftists blamed the Conservative government for spending too little on flood defenses. Euroskeptics blamed the EU's Water Framework Directive, which discouraged the dredging of rivers. Councilors in the afflicted areas blamed the Treasury for spending money in other parts of the country. People who dislike state bureaucracies blamed the colossally inefficient Environment Agency, which is supposed to be in charge of managing rivers. George Monbiot, one of Britain's leading radical journalists, blamed aristocrats for draining their grouse moors upstream of the stricken towns.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but the floods weren't actually caused by David Cameron or the EU or the Environment Agency or the grouse. They were caused by, you know, rain.

Human beings are naturally anthropocentric. We like to make everything about other human beings. We see faces in potatoes, but not potatoes in faces. We impute human emotion to inanimate objects, swearing at our laptops when they seem to be messing around with us.

In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins blames this trait for the rise of religion. Our ancestors couldn't accept that floods just happened; they must somehow have been caused by human wickedness.

Is our generation so very different? We, too, struggle with the idea that weather is not, ultimately about human misdeeds — defined, these days, as environmental pollution generally, and carbon emissions specifically. We treat climatologists less as scientists than as sacerdotal figures, expecting them not simply to analyze what is happening, but to offer us policy prescriptions. We want penances (in the form of emissions caps) and indulgences (in the form of carbon trading). When bad things happen meteorologically — whether in Texas or in Yorkshire — we want to blame human activity.

We do so despite the fact that, if you listen carefully, meteorologists are making no such link. The unsettled weather, as they are perfectly well aware, is mainly the result of the El Nino phenomenon. Neither the United Nations climate panel nor Britain's Meteorological Office has posited a causal connection between rising CO2 levels and rivers in northern England bursting their banks. The closest they get is to say that extreme weather events are "consistent with" global warming.

Well, yes. They're also "consistent with" a vengeful deity. They're "consistent with" being caused by witches. I'd be much more impressed with the climate lobby if they set out a weather pattern that would be inconsistent with their global warming thesis. After all, as Karl Popper said, the essence of a scientific thesis is that it is verifiable; that's what distinguishes science from superstition.

Of course, if you're up to your waist in sewage, watching your possessions being ruined, you don't want to hear any of this. You very naturally want to blame someone. Probably someone you didn't much like in the first place, such as a politician from a party you oppose. Okay, you can't burn him in a wicker man to appease the rain gods, but you can berate him on Twitter for not visiting the right places, or not spending enough, or setting too low a carbon reduction target.

In fairness, most of the people directly affected have been cheerful and resilient, and we shouldn't blame the blamers. False inference of agency is deep in our DNA. "Each natural event is supposed to be governed by some intelligent agent," wrote the brilliant Scottish philosopher David Hume in 1757, "and nothing prosperous or adverse can happen in life, which may not be the subject of peculiar prayers."

It is often said that ours is the first post-Christian age. Perhaps so, but we have been quicker to shed our belief in morality than our belief in magic. Deep down, we still struggle to accept that bad things might happen without anyone being at fault. I leave the last word to the great Ulster poet Louis Macneice:

"The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall forever. But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather."


Kerry: Paris Climate Change Deal Tops Obama Administration’s List of Accomplishments in 2015

For once Kerry is absolutely right.  Promotion of a meritless scare that will be laughed at by posterity IS the peak of Obama's achievements. What that says for his other deeds (such as signing the Obamacare legislation) is, I think, clear

Secretary of State John Kerry says the climate change deal he helped broker in Paris was the Obama administration’s most “important” accomplishment in 2015.

“As one year gives way to the next, international leaders have an opportunity to build on several major achievements of 2015,” Kerry wrote in an oped published Tuesday in the Boston Globe in which he also listed the nuclear deal with Iran, signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

“Of these, none is more important than the recent global agreement in Paris to prevent the most harmful impacts of climate change.” Kerry wrote.

Kerry credits the administration’s “reaching out to China, the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases,” as a cornerstone of the success of the United Nation’s climate change agreement,

“We have a shared responsibility now to sustain the momentum generated in Paris, so that the targets established there are considered not a ceiling on what we can accomplish, but rather the platform upon which we can make further gains,” Kerry wrote.

President Barack Obama and federal officials agreed to give $3 billion in funding to the U.N.'s Green Climate Fund to help developing nations - including China and India, which produce more greenhouse gases than industrialized nations - deal with the effects of climate change.

Earlier in the month, Kerry defended the climate change agreement against criticism from former NASA scientist James Hansen, who called it “a fraud really, a fake.... It’s just worthless words.”

“I understand the criticisms of the agreement because it doesn’t have a mandatory scheme and it doesn’t have a compliance enforcement mechanism. That’s true,” Kerry said on ABC’s This Week.

“But we have 186 countries, for the first time in history, all submitting independent plans that they have laid down, which are real for reducing emissions. And what it does, in my judgment, more than anything else, there is a uniform standard of transparency. And therefore, we will know what everybody is doing.”

Kerry began his commentary by comparing the Obama administration to the New England Patriots football team, which clinched the top spot in the AFC East with a 12-3 record.

“One reason for the remarkable record of the New England Patriots is the team’s single-minded focus on the next game,” Kerry wrote.

“Managing world affairs requires the same concentration on future challenges, for past accomplishments provide no guarantee of continued success. They can, however, lend confidence that, with the right preparation and effort, positive results will follow,” he said.


The irrational legacy of COP21

In 1688, British author Aphra Behn penned the literary couplet "The World ran Mad, and each distempered Brain, Did Strange and different Frenzies entertain."

This poetic verse could well serve as an accurate description of the apparent scientific absurdity associated with the climate alarmist movement of today. A case in point is illustrated in negotiations at the United Nations climate conference in Paris (COP21), where despite much data and many observations to the contrary, delegates are holding fast to the assertion that human emissions of carbon dioxide are causing dangerous climate change.

One of the most bizarre claims to come out of the conference is the assertion that global temperatures must be kept from rising a mere seventy five-hundredths of a degree Celsius (0.75°C) above present day values (they are to be kept within a total increase of 1.5°C since pre-industrial times) or climate Armageddon will result. This narrative includes melting glaciers and ice sheets, rising sea levels, inundated coastlines, more frequent and severe hurricanes, droughts, floods and other types of extreme weather events, crop failures, plant and animal extinctions, and widespread human suffering, diseases and death.

Such a claim is preposterous. It exists only in the deranged output of computer model projections that are derived from the most extreme and frenzied future scenarios. Data and observations provide no hint whatsoever that such a catastrophe would occur if the world warmed another 0.75°C or more. Temperatures were likely at least that warm, if not warmer, a thousand years ago during the Medieval Warm Period, and another thousand years before that during the Roman Warm Period. Additionally, global temperatures were approximately 2°C warmer than present some 5,000 years ago during the peak warmth of the current interglacial period. Yet in none of these time periods did climate Armageddon occur.

Despite these and many other observational facts that challenge and discredit each and every tenet of the apocalyptic narrative of human-induced climate change, delegates to the Paris meeting have continued to press forward in a deranged attempt to reduce and ultimately eliminate all carbon-emitting sources of energy just a few short decades from now. If they weren't so serious about this endeavor it would be laughable — but they are serious. In their view, carbon dioxide is a perilous "pollutant" whose emission into the atmosphere must be regulated and halted at all costs.

Nothing, however, could be further from the truth.

Carbon dioxide is a well-known aerial fertilizer, and many thousands of studies have proven the growth-enhancing, water-saving and stress-alleviating benefits it provides for plants. The reality is that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are providing a multitude of benefits to the biosphere. One recent study conducted by my Center calculated that over the 50-year period ending in 2001, the direct monetary value conferred by rising CO2 since the Industrial Revolution on global crop production amounts to a staggering $3.2 trillion. And projecting this positive externality forward in time reveals it will likely bestow an additional $9.8 trillion in crop production benefits between now and 2050. And those figures do not include all the CO2-induced benefits that are accruing in unmanaged, natural ecosystems.

Sadly, rather than acknowledging these verities, delegates at the Paris conference simply disregard them. Such actions speak truth to Mrs. Behn's 17th century couplet. The people behind the Paris climate negotiations care little for the truth, little for fossil fuels, little for affordable energy and little for the millions of unfortunate people who will suffer the negative consequences of their misguided plans to eliminate carbon-based energy.

We live in a time when half the global population experiences some sort of limitation in their access to energy, energy that is needed for the most basic of human needs, including the production of clean water, warmth and light. One-third of those thus impacted are children. And an even greater portion finds its ranks among the poor.

As a society, it is high time to recognize and embrace the truth. 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 will hurt far more than they will help.


Australia: Green power freaks hit by big price rise

Consumers want answers after energy providers have announced a price increase of up to 41 per cent for their green energy contribution to coincide with the new year.

In the days leading up to Christmas, Origin Energy customers were notified that "a rise in the market price of renewable energy" meant GreenPower electricity charges would increase from 3.61¢ per kilowatt hour (excluding GST) to 5.10¢ per kilowatt hour from January 1, 2016.

The increase was so steep, northern NSW resident Russell Mills was sure there had been a mistake.  "I did the maths very quickly and it came up as a 41 per cent increase. I thought that's substantial, am I missing something?" he said.

"There was nothing in the letter explaining the rationale for it, so I rang them and I spoke to three different people who could tell me no more, just that it was due to changes in renewable energy prices."

In Mr Mills' case, the 41 per cent increase would equate to an extra $77 each year.

GreenPower is government-accredited renewable electricity from a source such as wind or solar-powered built since 1997.

Providers purchase large-scale renewable energy certificates on their customers' behalf to offset the power they use in any given year, therefore increasing the amount of renewable energy in the national energy grid.

Consumers who choose GreenPower electricity as an add-on to their bill can select a percentage of their electricity usage to be matched into the grid with electricity from accredited renewable GreenPower sources.  More than 32,500 organisations around Australia purchase accredited GreenPower.

Mr Mills lives with his wife and two children in a three-bedroom home in Clunes, where they spend between $450 and $550 per quarter on electricity.

For the past year, he has contributed to renewable energy through the 100 per cent GreenPower product. However, after being hit with the 41 per cent increase, he has made a "hip-pocket decision" to reduce his 100 per cent contribution to 50 per cent.

"There's a huge disincentive here for average consumers to actually choose renewable energy. I'm not laying blame totally on Origin, I'm still with them, I just feel it's a bit depressing really," he said.

"We need more renewable energy and there's not really any incentive for us to choose it."

Significant price jumps in GreenPower charges can be linked to the large-scale generation certificates used for the product, which have experienced a steady increase of about $40 to upwards of $75 in the past six months.

All GreenPower providers have changed their prices to reflect the underlying cost increase.

Large-scale generation certificates are traded through the wholesale market and prices fluctuate considerably, determined largely by supply and demand.



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

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


5 January, 2016

NASA says that burning hydrocarbons COOLs the earth

There are various sources of CO2 in the atmosphere.  Breathing out is a major one.  Burning hydrocarbons like coal and oil is another source.  But burning hydrocarbons tend to emit aerosols such as soot in addition to CO2.  What is the effect of those aerosols?  NASA has finally had a stab at answering that.  Their summary of their findings is below.  And they find, as expected, a cooling effect from atmospheric aerosols. 

Amusingly, however, they do not offer a calculation of how far aerosol effects cancel out CO2 effects -- but instead blather on about how aerosols and other cooling influences vary from region to region. That suggests to me that in some regions (China?) the aerosols have a effect at least equal to the calculated CO2 effects.  So if we all returned to burning lots of coal we could cancel out any warming effects from the CO2 emitted.  Goodbye global warming!

No precise calculations are of course possible as the degree to which the global temperature responds to CO2 changes is very much in dispute on both theoretical and empirical grounds.  It is pretty much a number plucked out of the air -- and one that is heavily challenged by both the current temperature plateau and the even longer 1945 to 1975 plateau.

But, clearly, the attack on coal may have been entirely misconceived. Its OVERALL effects might have zero influence on global temperatures.  Back to the drawing board?  No.  Warmists never retreat no matter how often they are shown to be overlooking things. It's faith, not science

Researchers have relied on simplifying assumptions when accounting for the temperature impacts of climate drivers other than carbon dioxide, such as tiny particles in the atmosphere known as aerosols, for example. It is well known that aerosols such as those emitted in volcanic eruptions act to cool Earth, at least temporarily, by reflecting solar radiation away from the planet. In a similar fashion, land use changes such as deforestation in northern latitudes result in bare land that increases reflected sunlight.

But the assumptions made to account for these drivers are too simplistic and result in incorrect estimates of TCR and ECS, said climate scientist Gavin Schmidt, the director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York and a co-author on the study. “The problem with that approach is that it falls way short of capturing the individual regional impacts of each of those variables,” he said, adding that only within the last ten years has there been enough available data on aerosols to abandon the simple assumption and instead attempt detailed calculations.

In a NASA first, researchers at GISS accomplished such a feat as they calculated the temperature impact of each of these variables — greenhouse gases, natural and manmade aerosols, ozone concentrations, and land use changes — based on historical observations from 1850 to 2005 using a massive ensemble of computer simulations. Analysis of the results showed that these climate drivers do not necessarily behave like carbon dioxide, which is uniformly spread throughout the globe and produces a consistent temperature response; rather, each climate driver has a particular set of conditions that affects the temperature response of Earth.

The new calculations reveal their complexity, said Kate Marvel, a climatologist at GISS and the paper's lead author. “Take sulfate aerosols, which are created from burning fossil fuels and contribute to atmospheric cooling,” she said. “They are more or less confined to the northern hemisphere, where most of us live and emit pollution. There's more land in the northern hemisphere, and land reacts quicker than the ocean does to these atmospheric changes.”


1979 – UN Was Pushing The Global COOLING Scam

In 1979, the UN WMO was pushing the global cooling scam, and blamed droughts, floods and climate change on it.

Climate scientists now cleverly start their graphs in 1979, and ignore earlier data.

The 1990 IPCC report showed sea ice data back to 1973, which scientists have since erased.


The Most Comprehensive Assault On 'Global Warming' Ever

It made sense.  Knowing that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that our industrialized world is adding a large amount of it to the atmosphere on a yearly basis, I accepted the premise that this would cause global temperatures to rise.  But one day about 7 years ago, I looked at the ubiquitous graph showing the “global” temperature of the last 150 years and noticed something odd.  It was subtle, and as I found out later, disguised so that it would be overlooked.  There appeared to be a period of about 40 years between 1940 and 1980 where the global temperatures actually declined a bit.  As a data analysis expert, I could not ignore that subtle hint and began to look into it a little more.  Forty years is a long time, and while carbon dioxide concentrations were increasing exponentially over the same period, I could not overlook that this showed an unexpected shift in the correlation between global temperatures and CO2 concentrations. Thus I began to look into it a little further and here are some of the results 7 years later.

Before we begin, let’s establish what we know to be correct.  The global average temperature has increased since the 1980’s.  Since the 1980’s glaciers around the world are receding and the ice cap of the Arctic Ocean has lost ice since the 1980’s, especially during the summer months.  The average global temperature for the last 10 years is approximately 0.35 degrees centigrade higher than it was during the 1980’s. The global warming community has exploited these facts to “prove” that human activity (aka burning of fossil fuels) is the cause of these increasing temperatures.  But no direct scientific proof or data has been shown that link the current observations to human activity.  The link is assumed to be simply a fact, with no need to investigate or discuss any scientific data.

Here are 10 of the many scientific problems with the assumption human activity is causing “global warming” or “climate change”:

1. Temperature records from around the world do not support the assumption that today’s temperatures are unusual.

The all-time high temperature record for the world was set in 1913, while the all-time cold temperature record was set in 1983.  By continent, all but one set their all-time high temperature record more recently than their all-time cold temperature records.  In the United States, which has more weather stations than any other location in the world, more cold temperature records by state were set more recently than hot temperature records.  When the temperature records for each state were considered for each month of the year, a total of 600 data points (50 states x 12 months), again cold temperature records were set in far greater numbers more recently and hot temperature records were set longer ago.  This is directly contradictory to what would be expected if global warming were real.

2. Satellite temperature data does not support the assumption that temperatures are rising rapidly:

Starting at the end of 1978, satellites began to collect temperature data from around the globe.  For the next 20 years, until 1998, the global average temperature remained unchanged in direct contradiction to the earth-bound weather station data, which indicated “unprecedented” temperature increases.  In 1998 there was a strong El Nino year with high temperatures, which returned to pre-1998 levels until 2001.  In 2001 there was a sudden jump in the global temperature of about 0.3 degrees centigrade which then remained at about that level for the next 14 years, with a very slight overall decrease in the global temperatures during that time.

3. Current temperatures are always compared to the temperatures of the 1980’s, but for many parts of the world the 1980’s was the coldest decade of the last 100+ years:

If the current temperatures are compared to those of the 1930’s one would find nothing remarkable.  For many places around the world, the 1930’s were the warmest decade of the last 100 years, including those found in Greenland.  Comparing today’s temperatures to the 1980’s is like comparing our summer temperatures to those in April, rather than those of last summer.  It is obvious why the global warming community does this, and very misleading (or deceiving).

4. The world experienced a significant cooling trend between 1940 and 1980:

Many places around the world experienced a quite significant and persistent cooling trend to the point where scientists began to wonder if the world was beginning to slide into a new ice age period.  For example, Greenland experienced some of the coldest years in 120 years during the 1980’s, as was the case in many other places around the world.  During that same 40-year period, the CO2 levels around the world increased by 17%, which is a very significant increase.  If global temperatures decreased by such a significant amount over 40 years while atmospheric CO2 increased by such a large amount we can only reach two conclusions:

1. There must be a weak correlation, at best, between atmospheric CO2 and global temperatures, 2. There must be stronger factors driving climate and temperature than atmospheric CO2.
5. Urban heat island effect skews the temperature data of a significant number of weather stations:

It has been shown that nighttime temperatures recorded by many weather stations have been artificially raised by the expulsion of radiant heat collected and stored during the daytime by concrete and brick structures such as houses, buildings, roads, and also cars.  Since land area of cities and large towns containing these weather stations only make up a very small fraction of the total land area, this influence on global average temperature data is significant.  Since the daytime and nighttime temperatures are combined to form an average, these artificially-raised nighttime temperatures skew the average data.  When one only looks at daytime temperatures only from larger urban areas, the “drastic global warming” is no longer visible.  (This can also be seen when looking at nearby rural area weather station data, which is more indicative of the true climate of that area).

6. There is a natural inverse relationship between global temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels:

Contrary to what would be assumed when listening to global warming banter or while watching An Inconvenient Truth, higher temperatures increase atmospheric CO2 levels and lower temperatures decrease atmospheric CO2 levels, not the other way around.  Any college freshman chemistry student knows that the solubility of CO2 decreases with increasing temperatures and thus Earth’s oceans will release large amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere when the water is warmer and will absorb more CO2 when the water is colder.  That is why the CO2 level during the ice ages was so much lower than the levels today.  That doesn’t take away the fact that we are artificially raising the atmospheric CO2 levels, but just because we do, that doesn’t mean that this will cause temperatures to increase in any significant way.  The 40-year cooling period between 1940 and 1980 appear to support that premise.  What we can conclude is that the ice ages were not caused by changes in the atmospheric CO2 levels and that other stronger factors were involved with these very large climate changes.

7. The CO2 cannot, from a scientific perspective, be the cause of significant global temperature changes:

The CO2 molecule is a linear molecule and thus only has limited natural vibrational frequencies, which in turn give this molecule only limited capability of absorbing radiation that is radiated from the Earth’s surface.  The three main wavelengths that can be absorbed by CO2 are 4.26 micrometers, 7.2 micrometers, and 15.0 micrometers.  Of those 3, only the 15-micrometer is significant because it falls right in range of the infrared frequencies emitted by Earth.  However, the H2O molecule which is much more prevalent in the Earth’s atmosphere, and which is a bend molecule, thus having many more vibrational modes, absorbs many more frequencies emitted by the Earth, including to some extent the radiation absorbed by CO2.  It turns out that between water vapor and CO2, nearly all of the radiation that can be absorbed by CO2 is already being absorbed. Thus increasing the CO2 levels should have very minimal impact on the atmosphere’s ability to retain heat radiated from the Earth.  That explains why there appears to be a very weak correlation at best between CO2 levels and global temperatures and why after the CO2 levels have increased by 40% since the beginning of the industrial revolution the global average temperature has increased only 0.8 degrees centigrade, even if we want to attribute all of that increase to atmospheric CO2 increases and none of it to natural causes.

8. There have been many periods during our recent history that a warmer climate was prevalent long before the industrial revolution:

Even in the 1990 IPCC report a chart appeared that showed the medieval warm period as having had warmer temperatures than those currently being experienced.  But it is hard to convince people about global warming with that information, so five years later a new graph was presented, now known as the famous hockey stick graph, which did away with the medieval warm period.  Yet the evidence is overwhelming at so many levels that warmer periods existed on Earth during the medieval warm period as well as during Roman Times and other time periods during the last 10,000 years.  There is plenty of evidence found in the Dutch archives that shows that over the centuries, parts of the Netherlands disappeared beneath the water during these warm periods, only to appear again when the climate turned colder.  The famous Belgian city of Brugge, once known as “Venice of the North,” was a sea port during the warm period that set Europe free from the dark ages (when temperatures were much colder), but when temperatures began to drop with the onset of the little ice age, the ocean receded and now Brugge is ten miles away from the coastline.  Consequently, during the medieval warm period the Vikings settled in Iceland and Greenland and even along the coast of Canada, where they enjoyed the warmer temperatures, until the climate turned cold again, after which they perished from Greenland and Iceland became ice-locked again during the bitter cold winters.  The camps promoting global warming have been systematically erasing mention of these events in order to bolster the notion that today’s climate is unusual compared to our recent history.

9. Glaciers have been melting for more than 150 years

The notion of melting glaciers as prove positive that global warming is real has no real scientific basis.  Glaciers have been melting for over 150 years.  It is no secret that glaciers advanced to unprecedented levels in recent human history during the period known as the Little Ice Age.  Many villages in the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps saw their homes threatened and fields destroyed by these large ice masses.  Pleas went out to local bishops and even the Pope in Rome to come and pray in front of these glaciers in the hope of stopping their unrelenting advance.  Around 1850, the climate returned to more “normal” temperatures and the glaciers began to recede.  But then between 1940 and 1980, as the temperatures declined again, most of the glaciers halted their retreat and began to expand again, until warmer weather at the end of the last century caused them to continue the retreat they started 150 years earlier.  Furthermore, we now know that many of the glaciers around the world did not exist 4000 to 6000 years ago.  As a case in point, there is a glacier to the far north of Greenland above the large ice sheet covering most of the island called the Hans Tausen Glacier.  It is 50 miles long ,30 miles wide and up to 1000 feet thick.  A Scandinavian research team bored ice cores all the way to the bottom and discovered that 4000 years ago this glacier did not exist.  It was so warm 4000 years ago that many of the glaciers around the world didn’t exist but have returned because of the onset of colder weather.  Today’s temperatures are much lower than those that were predominant during the Holocene era as substantiated by studying the many cores that were dug from Greenland’s ice sheet.

10. “Data adjustment” is used to continue the perception of global warming:

For the first several years of my research I relied on the climate data banks of NASA and GISS, two of the most prestigious scientific bodies of our country.  After years of painstaking gathering of data, and relentless graphing of that data, I discovered that I was not looking at the originally gathered data, but data that had been “adjusted” for what was deemed “scientific reasons.”  Unadjusted data is simply not available from these data banks. Fortunately I was able to find the original weather station data from over 7000 weather stations from around the world in the KNMI database.  (Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute).  There I was able to review both the adjusted and unadjusted data as well as the breakout of the daytime and nighttime data.  The results were astounding.  I found that data from many stations around the world had been systematically “adjusted” to make it seem that global warming was happening when, in fact, for many places around the world the opposite was true.  Following will be a few of the myriad of examples of this data adjustment.  When I present my material during presentations at local colleges, these are the charts that have some of the greatest impact in affecting the opinion of the students, especially when they realize that there is a concerted effort to misrepresent what is actually happening.  Another amazing result was that when only graphing the daily highs from around the country, a very different picture arises from the historical temperature data.

There are many more specific areas that I have researched and for which I have compiled data and presentation material, equally compelling regarding at exposing the fallacies of global warming.  A new twist has swept the global warming movement lately, especially since they had to admit that their own data showed that there was a “hiatus” on the warming, as illustrated in the 2014 IPCC report; their data showed an actual cooling over the last 10 years.  The new term: “climate change” is now taking over, such that unusual events of any kind, like the record snowfall in Boston, can be blamed on the burning of fossil fuels without offering any concrete scientific data as to how one could cause the other.


 North Carolina uses unique tactic against new EPA power rule

Already among the two-dozen states suing to overturn new power plant emission rules, North Carolina is picking a separate fight with the Environmental Protection Agency by adopting a plan for compliance the agency is likely to reject.

State officials hope that will create a shortcut to a federal appeals court and head off any attempt by the EPA to drag out the court case while its rules get further entrenched.

North Carolina's approach is unique because it splits the difference between the handful of states that have said they won't submit any plan to the EPA, and about a dozen that are hedging their bets by developing compliance plans while they try to defeat the federal rules.

For example, West Virginia — considered a leader in the lawsuit filed in Washington against EPA in October — announced later that month that it would develop a plan to comply with the EPA.

"While I believe there are significant questions regarding the legality of the Clean Power Plan, these new rules have been put into place by the federal regulatory agency," Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said at the time. "Until a final legal decision has been made, we cannot afford to ignore them."

Other states signed onto the lawsuit appear undecided about how to proceed.

North Carolina quickly developed a proposal that ignores two of the three strategies recommended by the EPA. The plan received initial state approval in November.

"North Carolina is way ahead of the curve in terms of putting pen to paper on a rule," said Clint Woods, executive director of the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies.

John Evans, chief deputy secretary for the Department of Environmental Quality, explained the rationale during a November meeting before a state environmental panel. He argued that the main lawsuit by the states could be drawn out by the EPA, making the state plan North Carolina's best hope to fight it in court.

"We expect the EPA to oppose being heard, and if they are successful, then ... the only chance for judicial review that we have available to us will be North Carolina's plan," he said.

Evans explained that if North Carolina submits a rule that's rejected by the EPA, the state can then take its case to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"We have an appeal right there. That might be the first challenge in the nation to the federal power plan rule," he said.

North Carolina officials argue that improving the efficiency of power plants is the only approach out of three encouraged by the Obama administration that would be legal under state and federal law. The other approaches are increasing the use of natural gas and renewable energy.

North Carolina's director of air quality, Sheila Holman, told The Associated Press this month that state officials don't think they have the authority to force power companies to use those approaches.

According to the state's own estimates, its plan would fall short of the EPA's goals for reducing carbon emissions by 2030.

State officials say they will develop a backup plan in 2016 that expands strategies for reducing emissions in case the legal efforts fail. If no plan is submitted, the EPA can impose its own rules on the state.

Conservationists with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council echo Woods, whose organization works with 18 states that are mostly opposed to the EPA plan, in saying they're not aware of any taking the same approach as North Carolina.

More than a dozen of the states involved in the primary legal fight with the EPA have either said explicitly they will comply or have taken steps to develop a plan. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, for instance, said earlier this month that the state must create a compliance plan even though he doesn't think the EPA rules are fair.

Others, including New Jersey and Oklahoma, have signaled they intend to refuse to comply.

Holman said North Carolina is already a national leader in heat rates for coal-fired plants — a key measure of efficiency — making it hard to wring out further improvements. A 2002 North Carolina law that required pollution cuts beyond federal standards contributed to efficiency improvements and the shuttering of older coal-burning units.

That means North Carolina wouldn't have as hard a time complying with the federal plan as other states, said Luis Martinez, a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"North Carolina is very close as a state," he said, "which makes this quixotic campaign against the Clean Power Plan even stranger."


The Paris Climate Talks and the INDC Gap

INDC = “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution”

The Paris climate talks are now complete, with almost 200 nations agreeing to a framework for greenhouse gas reduction that attempts to keep any warming “well below 2 °C above preindustrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C.” The agreement is the crowning achievement of Obama’s environmental legacy and seeks to make the United States a leader in both reducing greenhouse gases at home and providing monetary assistance to developing countries to facilitate reductions across the globe. While the negotiators have gone home, the tough task of implementation raises serious concerns about the viability of the agreement. In fact, meeting the ambitious goals set out in Paris may prove to be too expensive and too problematic.

For starters, while the president was touting the climate talks, both the House and Senate passed resolutions of disapproval for the capstone of Obama’s climate change policies, the Clean Power Plan regulations. The sweeping new regulations call for power plants to generate 32 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions in 2030 than produced in 2005. While the congressional disapprovals won’t survive the president’s veto pen, significant legal challenges already have been launched against the regulations.

The Clean Power Plan rules are ambitious and costly. The EPA estimates an annual price tag of $8.4 billion in 2030 but others put the price at $29 billion to $39 billion per year. These are the most expensive rules released by the administration in its attempts to meet the country’s “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution” (INDC) for the global treaty to reduce greenhouse gases. The INDCs represent each nation’s assessment of how much they will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In March of this year, Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the U.S. INDC calls for a reduction of 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025.

The administration is counting on the new Clean Power regulations to cut emissions by 870 MMT (million metric tons). But even this costly regulation, with massive repercussions for the economy, American businesses, and consumers, falls well short of the targets outlined in the INDC. A recent report suggests that the U.S. can only reduce its carbon footprint by 9 percent to 19 percent—well below the president’s ambitious goal of 28 percent. And this assumes that the Clean Power Plan is fully implemented on schedule, something highly unlikely given that the rules are facing legal challenges by more than 20 states.

In fact, Stephen Eule of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and David Bookbinder, former chief climate counsel for the Sierra Club reach similar conclusions with respect to the U.S. INDC for the global climate treaty. Hardly ideological allies, both point to the significant gap between the stated goals and reality. Even after summing up reductions from Obama’s entire major initiatives on greenhouse gases, it is clear that additional cuts will be required to meet the reductions announced by the administration.

Where will these cuts come from? In addition to the Clean Power Plan, the White House has already announced rules on everything from higher CAFE standards for cars, light trucks, and now even heavy trucks, to landfill methane, to new energy efficiency standards for appliances. But the gap remains.

With power plants and mobile sources already under the gun, the administration will have to look elsewhere for additional cuts. This means that the industrial base and agriculture—both significant contributors to greenhouse gases—may be next on the list. But in a global marketplace, additional mandates on American manufacturing will push consumer prices higher while hampering the nation’s global competitiveness. Covering that gap means significantly higher costs and a more expansive regulatory state, but, so far, the administration has been quiet about future policy options, offering no specific policies to fill the void.

Many may be celebrating the new climate agreement, but significant challenges remain. Achieving America’s announced contribution will be costly and require another round of expensive regulations, something that may prove difficult in Washington. As with most political questions, the debate ultimately comes down to money, and the latest climate agreement comes with a hefty price tag. President Obama has already implemented billions of dollars in regulations to reduce greenhouse gases. The political fortitude to continue with billions more in regulations may not exist, leaving the fate of a global agreement on climate change very much in question.


Greenie doom and gloom versus reality

Even after the disaster prophecies of the ludicrous Paul Ehrlich failed spectacularly, the Greenie prophecies of imminent disaster have continued to pour out.  I have lost track of the number of times we were supposed to run out of food -- even while the produce sections of our supermarkets remain generously stocked.  I must be naive but it always surprises me that I can buy an onion for less than 50c, sometimes much less. And, as we all know, global warming is bad for EVERYTHING.  So what is the world actually like as we enter a new year?  Are we marching into the ever-worsening gloom that the Greenies wish on us?

Violence dominated the headlines this year. But by many measures, humanity is in better shape than it’s ever been.

From Paris to Syria through San Bernardino to Afghanistan, the world witnessed obscene and unsufferable tragedy in 2015. That was on top of the ongoing misery of hundreds of millions who are literally stunted by poverty, living lives shortened by preventable disease and malnutrition. But for all of that, 2015 also saw continued progress toward better quality of life for the considerable majority of the planet, alongside technological breakthroughs and political agreements that suggest the good news might continue next year and beyond. Tragedy and misery are rarer than they were before 2015—and there is every reason to hope they will be even less prevalent in 2016.

To start with acts of violence in America, despite its epidemic of mass-shooting events, the country is still far safer than it was in the past. The latest FBI statistics, reported this September, suggested that the trend toward lower rates of violent crime in the United States that began in the early 1990s continued at least through 2014: There were nearly 3,000 fewer violent crimes that year than the year before and more than 600,000 fewer than in 1995—that’s a 35 percent decline over the period. The latest data from the UN suggests that this is part of a global trend—to take one category of violent crime, homicide rates have dropped by an estimated 6 percent in the countries for which data was available between 2000 and 2012.

Furthermore, terrorism, war, and murder together remain a minor cause of death worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that 119,463 people died in incidents of “collective violence and legal intervention,” such as civil war, and 504,587 died from episodes of “interpersonal violence,” such as homicide, in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available. In the same year, according to the Global Terrorism Index, 11,133 people died in terrorist attacks—suggesting terrorism accounted for about 1.8 percent of violent deaths worldwide. And for all that terrorism deaths have increased since 2012, they remain responsible for perhaps three hundredths of one percent of global mortality. All collective and interpersonal violence together accounted for around 1.1 percent of total deaths in 2012. Rabies was responsible for three times as many deaths as terrorism that year. Stomach cancer killed more people than murder, manslaughter, and wars combined. And the good news about many of the more important causes of global mortality is that the world continued making progress against them in 2015.

Take two fellow horsemen of the apocalypse alongside war: famine and pestilence. Both were on the defensive in 2015. There were fears of drought across the Sahel causing a famine this year—especially in conflict zones such as South Sudan. While the risk of major food shortages in 2016 is high, the fear hasn’t materialized yet, at least. Famine deaths are increasingly rare and increasingly limited to the few areas of the world suffering complete state collapse. Related to that, the proportion of the world’s population that is undernourished has slipped from 19 percent to 11 percent between 1990 and today.

Or look at disease: Through the course of November 2015, only four cases of Ebola were confirmed in the three West African countries at the epicenter of the 2014-2015 outbreak. Roughly 11,315 people were either known or believed to have died in that epidemic worldwide, but compared to a 2014 Center for Disease Control forecast that, absent intervention, there might be as many as 1.4 million Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone alone by mid-January 2015, the world got off lightly, with total cases resulting from the outbreak standing at around 29,000 today. An Ebola vaccine that underwent trials in Guinea this spring proved 100 percent effective, suggesting future outbreaks of the disease should be far less deadly. The world has also seen progress toward a partially effective malaria vaccine this year.

The rollout of older vaccines over the past several years has also saved more lives than ever before this year, since vaccination protects for life, or at least multiple years. In August came news that there had not been a single case of polio detected in Africa in over 12 months, meaning the disease is now known to exist only in Pakistan and Afghanistan. What used to be a global killer, with 350,000 cases as recently as 1988, is on the verge of extinction. And just since 2000, worldwide cases of measles have dropped by more than two-thirds, saving more than 17 million lives—largely thanks to increased vaccination rates.

Meanwhile, the UN reported this year that global child mortality from all causes has more than halved since 1990. That means 6.7 million fewer kids under the age of five are dying each year compared to 1990. Nearly 7 million families avoided the pain of burying their child in 2015 who would have gone through it if the world hadn’t seen two and a half decades of historically unprecedented progress against childhood illness. 2015 also saw the lowest-ever proportion of kids out of primary school according to the UN—less than one in 10. The number of kids out of school has fallen from 100 million in 2000 to a projected 57 million in 2015.

Civil and political rights also continued their stuttering spread. While 2015 saw rights on the retreat in countries including Turkey and Thailand, the number of electoral democracies worldwide remains at a historic high according to Freedom House—at 125, up from just 69 countries in 1989 (though less than half of these are considered fully “free;” there is still a lot of progress to be made). This year, there were peaceful and democratic transitions of power in settings as diverse as Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Myanmar, and Argentina. And Saudi Arabia held local elections where, for the first time ever, women were allowed to stand as candidates and vote.

In the United States, this was the year that gay marriage became the law of the land. And once again events in America reflect a broad trend worldwide, this time toward greater acceptance. Mozambique decriminalized same-sex relationships in June, and gay marriage became legal in Ireland in November. In 2006, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association reported there were 92 countries with laws prohibiting sexual acts between consenting same-sex adults. This year, the number dropped to 75. Added to the trend of growing sexual and reproductive freedom worldwide, China finally abandoned its one-child policy in 2015.

So the world is better-educated, better-fed, healthier, freer, and more tolerant—and it looks set to get richer, too. In October, the IMF forecast 4.0 percent growth for emerging and developing countries for 2015—slower than the 7-8 percent that they managed through much of the last 15 years but nonetheless considerably ahead of population growth. The World Bank declared in September that, for the first time ever, less than 10 percent of the global population lived in extreme poverty, on less than $1.90 per day. That is down from 37 percent as recently as 1990. There are a lot of reasons to think the poverty measures the World Bank creates are flawed. That said, the decline certainly reflects an underlying reality: Many of the poorest countries in the world, and many of the poorest people in them, have seen dramatic income gains over the last few years.

Developing countries and the industrialized world alike also saw improved prospects thanks to continued support for globalization. The agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for all of its myriad drawbacks, demonstrated that some of the world’s largest economies remain committed to open trade.

Working together, humanity can do even better over the next 15 years. The combination of that progress with that potential is why 2015 was the best year in history for the average human being to be alive—and why 2016 will almost certainly be even better



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

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


4 January, 2016

Global warming "science" on display

One recent article below says that particulate pollution, soot, causes warming.  The second says it causes cooling.  More evidence that Warmism is a deeply irrational religion.  Warmists are not really scientists at all. They only play at it.  They just grab any silly theory that leads to the conclusion they want

Soot is bad

Among climate scientists, the consensus is that we must become carbon-neutral by 2050 to avoid catastrophic environmental disruptions. Negotiators at the recent summit in Paris accordingly focused on curbing carbon dioxide emissions.

There's a major problem, however, with a CO2-centric strategy. Because carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for a century or more, and because we won't abandon fossil fuels overnight, neutrality by 2050 simply isn't good enough to keep the Earth from warming 2 degrees Celsius - the generally agreed-upon limit - much less the ambitious goal of 1.5 degrees C that many nations support.

If we're serious about preventing or at least slowing climate change, we have to broaden our hit list; even as we move toward carbon neutrality, we must also restrict methane, carbon soot, ozone and hydrofluorocarbon coolants. These pollutants are about 25 to 4,000 times more potent warmers than carbon dioxide, but they remain in the atmosphere from mere days in the case of carbon soot to 15 years in the case of HFCs.

Curbing the emissions of these short-lived climate pollutants, or SLCPs, unlike curbing carbon emissions, will have an immediate effect and can dramatically slow global warming within a few decades.

To put real numbers on it: If we reduce our emissions of methane 50%, black carbon 90% and fully replace HFCs by 2030, then we'll cut in half projected global warming over the next 35 years. These steps will delay environmental disaster and give us time we desperately need to radically change our energy diet.

Existing technologies, clean alternatives and regulatory mechanisms such as the 1987 Montreal Protocol that have proved effective for other climate pollutants can be quickly repurposed to deal with SLCPs.

In November, the 197 parties to the Montreal Protocol agreed to work toward an HFC amendment in 2016. Some parts of the world aren't waiting. India and Pakistan committed to phase down HFCs. Mexico has pledged to cut SLCPs 25% by 2030. California has already cut its carbon soot and ozone-forming gases 90% and is on its way to curbing all four SLCPs.

There's no downside to this approach. By curbing short-lived pollutants, not only will we obtain short-term relief from rapid warming, but we will also slow sea-level rise, increase crop yields and score a major victory for public health. Indoor and outdoor pollution today causes more than 7 million premature deaths annually. Curbing SLCPs can benefit us now, saving potentially 40 million lives over the next 20 years.

What we have in front of us isn't a choice between pulling lever one (carbon dioxide) or lever two (SLCPs); it's crucial that we pull both levers with all of our collective might. We have a moral imperative to act immediately with everything at our disposal, not only because there's no Planet B - as environmental activists put it - but because climate change seriously harms human well-being.


Soot is good

It may seem counterintuitive, but cleaner air could actually be exacerbating global warming trends.

The soot and other particles that make up air pollution tend to scatter light back out into space. As countries around the globe have cleaned up their act, there are fewer particles to reflect light, meaning more sunlight is reaching the Earth's surface and warming it, Martin Wild, a researcher at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, said Tuesday (Dec. 15) here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.

That's not to say people can blame global warming on the clearer skies - the underlying cause of climate change is excess carbon emissions into the atmosphere. But air pollution may have counteracted some of that warming caused by excess carbon in the atmosphere, Wild said.

Perhaps surprisingly, the sunlight reaching Earth's surface hasn't remained constant, at least not on the timescale of human civilization, Wild said.

"The sunlight we receive at the Earth's surface is not stable over the years, but undergoes substantial decadal changes," Wild said at a news briefing.

To understand what's going on, Wild looked at the level of solar radiation at 56 spots across Europe between 1939 and 2012. There were big peaks in that period. It turned out that solar radiation spiked in the 1950s, and then decreased until the 1980s, when it started to uptick again.

But what could have been the source? Sunspots, which look almost like moles on the face of the sun, are areas of intense magnetic activity which are cooler than the surrounding regions of the sun. Because they emit less radiation at these cooler temperatures, the number and extent of sunspots can change how much light reaches the Earth. However, cycles between high and low sunspot levels are much shorter than the timescales of the global dimming and brightening trend, and these cycles weren't correlated with those larger changes, Wild and his colleagues found.

Curbing sulfur

It turned out that there was a huge spike in sulfur emissions up until the 1980s, at which point sulfur pollutants dropped, Wild said. The drop in sulfur emissions corresponds with the introduction of legislation in a number of countries to reduce air pollution, Wild said.  (Diesel exhaust often contains high levels of sulfur compounds.)

It's not surprising to scientists that higher levels of pollutants could dim the Earth's surface: After volcanic eruptions, for instance, the huge amounts of sulfur spewed into the atmosphere can cool the planet for a few years. That's because the tiny particles can scatter and absorb light, reducing how much of that light ultimately reaches the Earth's surface, Wild said.

Air pollution can also alter the light reaching Earth in other ways.

"Polluted clouds, counterintuitively, become brighter," Wild said. "The polluted clouds can also stay longer in the air because their droplets are small." [In Images: Mysterious Night-Shining Clouds]

Here's how the cloud brightening works: Aerosols that are normally in the air are insoluble and act as seeds for water droplets to condense around, and ultimately to form clouds. Polluted air, on the other hand, contains water-soluble particles, leading to clouds with more, yet smaller, water droplets. These numerous and tiny droplets provide more surfaces for light to reflect off, and voil… - brighter clouds.

These brighter clouds also reduce how much light reaches the ground, he added.

What's more, this unintentional geoengineering may have already impacted global warming, Wild said. Global temperatures held fairly constant from the 1950s to the 1980s, and warming only accelerated starting in 1985, when the global brightening seems to have begun, Wild reported in a study published this month in the journal WIREs Climate Change.

He also sees evidence that this unintentional geoengineering affected the world's hemispheres differently. Temperatures held steady until the mid-1980s in the Northern Hemisphere, where most of the world's population lives, and spiked up sharply afterward. By contrast, in the "relatively more pristine" Southern Hemisphere, which has much fewer people, the region experienced a steadier uptick in warming. That suggests that air pollution had a measurable effect on global warming on the globe's northern half, and less so in the southern half, he said.


Global Warming Is Now A `Women's Issue' Due To `Ecofeminism'

Surprise!  Feminism is just the women's branch of the far-Left.  They don't care about women at all.  If they did, they would be relentless foes of Islam

Environmentalists are increasingly claiming that global warming is a "women's issue" and that the world needs "eco-feminism" as a path forward.

"We know that the world's poor feel the effects of climate change most acutely, but it turns out there is an even more vulnerable subset to that population: women" reads the article The Sierra Club tweeted Monday.

The author worries about a "agricultural resource gap for women farmers" and that global warming could increase the risk of sexual assault. The author even notes that "women are too often portrayed only as victims of climate change who must learn to adapt, rather than potential leaders and decision-makers."

Ecofeminists believe that women and nature are bonded by  traditionally "feminine" values and their shared history of oppression by a patriarchal Western society. This patriarchal society is built on four intersectional pillars of sexism, racism, class exploitation, and environmental destruction.

The ecofeminist attempt to brand global warming as a "women's issue" was powerful enough to get December 8 designated as "gender day" at the United Nations COP 21 Paris global warming summit. Predictably, the ecofeminists aren't happy with the agreement.

"This agreement fundamentally does not address the needs of the most vulnerable countries, communities, and people of the world. It fails to address the structures of injustice and inequality which have caused the climate crisis," Bridget Burns, co-coordinator of the global warming summit's Women and Gender Constituency, said in a press release.

Environmentalist websites have already created a list of demands including a "gender-responsive approach" to global warming and banning nuclear power (which creates no carbon dioxide emissions). Other environmental websites  claim the COP 21 U.N. global warming summit is "ethically compromised" due to intense pressure exerted by "corporate environmentalism." It also claims the conference ignores "climate debt," the idea that rich countries owe reparations to poor countries for global warming.


British PM has sparked outrage by blaming Britain's flood crisis on global warming while admitting defences are not fit for purpose

The Prime Minister said more frequent `extreme weather events' driven by climate change were the main driver as Cumbria and the north braces for more hell.

However experts branded his comments "ludicrous excuses" blaming lack of investment on flood defences for the disaster and pointed to historic flooding which pre-dated global warming.

They accused the Prime Minister of deflecting attention away from accusations Britain is woefully unprepared for severe weather.

Climatologists say although devastating, the floods have nothing to do with global warming but are part of a natural weather cycle.

They say heavy and persistent rain not only in the UK but across the world has been bolstered by an especially strong El Nino this year.

The phenomenon - on course to be the strongest on record - is triggered by wind changes in the Pacific Ocean leading to a build up of warm water around the coast of Peru.

It has catastrophic impacts on the world's weather including heavy rain and floods in America and South America and warmer than average temperature across Asia.

Although its effects are still under discussion, it is thought increased atmospheric moisture may be responsible for heavy rain over Europe.

Mr Cameron spoke as he paid a visit to the northern city of York, currently devastated by weeks of heavy rain.

He said: "What has happened - the level of the rivers, plus the level of rainfall - has created an unprecedented effect and so some very serious flooding.

"We do seem to face more of these extreme weather events and problems of floods. "People are told that things that are one in 50, or one in 100, or one in 200 years, they seem to be happening more often.

"So what we should be doing is continuing with the very high level of investment in flood defences.

"The flood barriers have made a difference, both the permanent ones and the temporary ones, but it's clear in some cases they've been over-topped, they've been over-run and so of course we should look again about whether there is more we can do."

Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Forum, slammed the Prime Minister for shrouding the real problem of poor flood defences with excuses. He said: "Flooding has happened through the centuries, though uncommon, what we are seeing is nothing new. "The most likely explanation is that the current El Nino has thrown more moisture into the air as sea waters have evaporated over the Pacific.

"This has nothing to do with climate change but is a natural phenomenon which was happening a long time before climate change took over the agenda. "This is just an excuse for the failure of a number of governments to address the reality that Cumbria and flood prone regions face."

Although Britain has been hit by extreme rainfall over the past few weeks, floods have ravaged UK shores for centuries - before climate change was named.

The North Sea flood of 1953 is long held as one of the most catastrophic natural disasters in British history.

Around 30,000 people were forced from their homes and more than 300 people lost their lives as water swept down the east coast.

In 1864 the Great Sheffield Flood claimed 270 lives and in 1928 heavy rain and melting snow doubled the amount of water in the Thames overflowing into London.

Lynmouth, Devon, was devastated by floods in 1952 which toppled buildings and led to the deaths of 34 people.

In 1998 Easter floods crippled the Midlands with the Rivers Avon, Ouse and Nene bursting their banks during heavy downpours.

More than 4,000 homes were destroyed while power supplies were lost leaving a clean-up bill of œ350 million.

Even further back in history Britain has battled floods with a catalogue of weather-related disasters spanning the last five centuries.

In 1607 Wales and the southwest was all but washed away after the January Bristol floods which some attribute to a huge storm surge or tsunami.

The Great Storm of 1703 saw central and southern England clobbered by strong wind and rain which people at the time blamed on  the wrath of God for the sins of the nation.

Most recently the town of Boscastle, in Devon, was ravaged by torrents of swirling floodwater after heavy rain in August 2004.

Dr Peiser said the answer is to spend more on flood prevention drawing examples with Europe where investment in defences has prevented a similar crisis. "You only have to look at Holland, which is much more prone to flooding but they have sorted it out," he added.  "They have protected their country and their communities.

"The Prime Minister is right that the UK flood crisis is man-made, in that people havent taken this seriously enough. "The Government needs to spend money on protecting people from floods, not blaming climate change.

"This is nothing to do with climate change, it is simply an excuse."


EPA Now Says It's Not to Blame for Gold King Mine Spill

On August 5, a crew from the Environmental Protection Agency caused a spill of 3 million gallons of water laden with mercury, arsenic, and other toxic metals from the Gold King mine into a river that supplies drinking water for three states.

While the EPA initially promised to hold itself accountable in the same manner that it would hold a private party, it is becoming increasingly evident that this assertion was not entirely accurate.

After the spill, the EPA commissioned an initial analysis of what happened from the Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation (BOR).

The Bureau of Reclamation found that the EPA hit a spring with a backhoe to cause the spill, but the report did not assign blame. Now, a new EPA report has the same failing, further showing that the EPA report is shirking responsibility for its actions.

The EPA's Report

In their report, the EPA claims it was engaged in only "careful scraping and excavation" with a backhoe outside the mine. "Just prior to finishing, a team noticed a water spout a couple of feet high in the air near where they had been excavating."

The report goes on to say that the spout (that they just happened to notice) quickly turned into a gusher of yellow toxic water.

It seems the EPA would have us believe the mine erupted on its own (which is like arguing, but, Your Honor, I was just carrying the gun when it went off all on its own!).

The EPA's report goes on to allege that the mine entrance (or adit) was larger than they "anticipated," and the "fact that the adit opening was about 2 times the assumed 8 to 10 foot maximum adit height resulted in a closer than anticipated proximity to the adit brow, and combined with the pressure of the water was enough to cause the spout and blowout."

In other words, the mine did it!

Is it possible that the spill was caused by the EPA being careless? Nope. The authors claim they were digging "to better inform a planned consultation" scheduled for nine days later.

Essentially, the EPA claims that the spill was an act of God, rather than its own fault.

Not a Good Argument

The EPA argument is unpersuasive for two reasons. For starters, the EPA has prosecuted private parties for the same conduct.

The government prosecuted Edward Hanousek, an employee of the Pacific Arctic Railway and Navigation Company, for conduct so similar to the EPA's that one can simply switch out the nouns in the prosecutor's closing argument that proved successful in that case.

It would seem to be just as apt to the facts of the Animas River spill:

"When [the backhoe operator] hit that unprotected [spring] and that [3 million gallons of toxic mine water] fired out of that [spring], sprayed up into the air, and got into that [Animas River], the[] defendants . [became] guilty of negligent discharging [acid mine water] into the [Animas] River."

Second, although the initial Bureau of Reclamation report buries most of the facts that are relevant to the cause of the spill under 120 pages of superfluous information, the Bureau of Reclamation report includes just enough facts to make it clear that had a private party caused the Animas River spill, the government would probably have criminally prosecuted that party.

Government Accountability

Remember EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy's announcement shortly after the spill occurred?

McCarthy said then that "we want to reassure everyone that the EPA does take full responsibility for the spill."

It turns out that the federal government's measure of "full responsibility" has typically meant that criminal charges will be brought for the same conduct by which the EPA caused the Animas River spill as long as only private parties are to blame. The truth is that the EPA has now made several attempts to evade responsibility.

First, the EPA allegedly "doctored" a video of the spill-getting "called on the discrepancy during a House committee hearing."

Then the EPA commissioned a report from the Bureau of Reclamation that was designed to look credible-which, like a bad student term paper, was lengthy and full of unnecessary charts and illustrations-but recited just enough facts to stay relevant to the spill. And even those facts made the EPA look bad.

Now the EPA has published an eleventh-hour report that not only reads like a term paper written on the bus en route to school, but also evades responsibility almost entirely.

In a glimmer of honesty, the EPA report admits that "[i]n retrospect, and based on information learned [later]," the EPA's team was "much closer [to the opening of the mine] when excavating on August 5 than they thought."

This is like saying the Titanic was closer to an iceberg than the captain thought.

Heritage Foundation scholars initially argued that the EPA "should prosecute the subordinate and supervisory EPA officials in this case or stop bringing similar charges against private parties for their negligence."

Had Hanousek worked for the EPA, it seems, he would never have been stigmatized and punished as a criminal.

After the Bureau of Reclamation report, we argued that "[s]omeone should ask the EPA and the Justice Department why the federal government discriminates in favor of government employees and against private parties."

Now, after the EPA published its own report, it seems like Congress will have its work cut out for it if it's going to get even so much as a meaningful acceptance of responsibility from this agency.


Australia: More reductions in solar panel handouts planned

HUNDREDS of thousands of homeowners with solar panels would lose the generous feed-in tariff if they install energy-storing batteries, under a proposal by Energex.

In a submission to the Queensland Productivity Commission electricity pricing inquiry, the state-owned power distributor calls for the law to be changed to strip customers' eligibility for the 44›/kWh tariff if they fit Battery Energy Storage Systems.

The Palaszczuk Government says battery storage was not envisaged when the solar bonus scheme was introduced. But it was not ruling the proposal in or out at this stage and would consider it along with other recommendations after the commission released its report in mid-February.

Queensland has almost 400,000 homes with PV panels. Stripping eligibility to the 44› rate would affect about 265,000 households.

Energex argues the increased ability to keep large amounts of power for release back into the network would give those solar householders on the top rate an unfair advantage which was never intended by the bonus scheme.

Ergon does not call for eligibility to be removed in its submission, but argues that generous government rebates and feed-in tariffs have shifted the mindset of many customers from an environmental motivation to seeking a financial return.

But solar owners are furious. Brisbane resident John Sheehan, who has been the local co-ordinator for Solar Citizens, said the proposal unfairly penalised individuals and undermined the State Government's own target of 50 per cent renewable energy by 2030.

He said such a move would discourage people from installing batteries until the bonus scheme ended 12 years from now.

"Energex's action in proposing to block 170,000 homes from installing batteries conflicts with their rhetoric about price signals and reducing peak loads. It's hypocritical and a bit childish really.''

Mr Sheehan speculated that the distributor was concerned that batteries would reduce evening peak demand - and reduce the amount power companies could charge under planned demand-based tariffs.

The 44c/kWh feed-in tariff, brought in by Labor in 2008 as an incentive to encourage homeowners to fit photo voltaic systems, has helped make Queensland the solar capital of Australia.

The rate was reduced to 8c/KWh for new customers in 2012 by the incoming LNP government, which shut it down in 2014. Home-owners in southeast Queensland now have to negotiate a rate with their individual energy retailer, while regional customers get 6.348c/kWh.

But those on the 44c level continue to receive it.



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

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


3 January, 2016

Here we go again: Foods That May Disappear Thanks to Climate Change

Even the opening sentence below is wrong.  Global warming is NOT making the world a different place.  Why? Because warming is  not happening.  So it can't cause anything. So the various phenomena they list may or may not be happening but they are not caused by global warming.  That graph again:

And all the foods they list are plant products.  And plants LOVE warmth.  You just have to see how lush the tropics are to know that. And plants love CO2 as well.  They grow bigger with more of it.  Why do you think greenhouse owners pump CO2 into their greenhouses?  The CO2 level in greenhouses is typically more than twice that in the open atmosphere.

And warming would open more of Northern Canada and Siberia up to farming.  And do you know how big Siberia is?  It is 5 million sq. miles.  Australia, Canada and CONUS are each about 3 million sq. miles. So a suddenly temperate climate in Southern Siberia would grow all the temperate climate crops you like.  The latitudes in which the various crops grow could change but grow they will. So warming would in fact produce food ABUNDANCE.  It's cooling that would be dangerous

Climate change is making the world a different place. There are more floods, droughts, wildfires, heat waves and other extreme weather events. Animal species around the world are either shifting habitat locations or simply dying off. Even humans are migrating due to a warmer world.

But there is one effect that will hit many of us right in the gut: Certain foods could disappear thanks to our changing climate. Brace yourself: here are 10 foods you’ll probably be sad to see go.

1. Guacamole

Around 8 million pounds of guacamole are consumed during the Super Bowl, but football fans might soon have to find something else to dip their tortilla chips into. Scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory predict as much as a 40 percent decrease in avocado production over the next 30 years due to increasing temperatures brought on by climate change.

As a result, the fast food chain Chipotle, which goes through 97,000 pounds of avocados a day — 35 million pounds every year — has warned that if climate change worsens, it may be forced to stop serving guacamole. The company says it "may choose to temporarily suspend serving menu items, such as guacamole or one or more of our salsas, rather than paying the increased cost for the ingredients.”

2. Apples

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces," the German theologian Martin Luther said, “I would still plant my apple tree.” He didn’t figure that there might be a tomorrow in which apple trees can’t properly grow. In 2011, an international team of scientists published a study which found just that: Temperate fruit and nut trees like the apple tree, which need a certain period of winter chill to produce economically practical yields, could be affected by global warming as winter temperatures rise. They said farmers should prepare for a warmer future by breeding cultivars with lower chilling requirements.

Such apples will likely taste different from the ones we have today, according to a Japanese study which found that rising temperatures are causing apple trees to bear fruit sooner, making them softer and sweeter. “If you could eat an average apple harvested 30 years before and an average apple harvested recently at the same time, you would really taste the difference,” said Toshihiko Sugiura of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization in Tsukuba, Japan, the study’s lead author.

3. Beer

It’s sad, but true. Beer is already a victim of a changing climate, with brewers increasingly finding it more difficult to secure stable water supplies. According to a 2010 report commissioned by the National Resources Defense Council, about a third of counties in the United States "will face higher risks of water shortages by mid-century as the result of global warming." Between 2030 and 2050, the difficulty in accessing freshwater is “anticipated to be significant in the major agricultural and urban areas throughout the nation.”

Some specialty hops used by craft brewers have already become harder to source, since warming winters are producing earlier and smaller yields. “This is not a problem that’s going to happen someday," said Jenn Orgolini of Colorado's New Belgium Brewery. “If you drink beer now, the issue of climate change is impacting you right now.” She said that in 2011, the hops her brewery normally uses weren’t available due to Pacific Northwest weather conditions.

4. Rice and Beans

The late comedian/philosopher Bill Hicks once said, “The American dream is a crock. Stop wanting everything. Everyone should wear jeans and have three T-shirts, eat rice and beans.” He didn’t live long enough to find out that climate change could threaten the ability to follow his wise suggestion. It’s hard to overstate the importance of rice to world. It is a food staple for almost half of the world's population. But climate change could significantly impact rice yields in this century.

According to a 2005 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “temperature increases, rising seas and changes in rainfall patterns and distribution expected as a result of global climate change could lead to substantial modifications in land and water resources for rice production as well as in the productivity of rice crops grown in different parts of the world.” A 2005 report by the United States Department of Agriculture found that the viability of rice-growing land in tropical areas could decline by more than 50 percent during the next century.

Beans feed the majority of the human population in Latin America and much of Africa and are a part of the daily diet of more than 400 million people across the developing world. But beans may also experience declines due to a warming world. According to a report the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), higher temperatures could reduce bean yields by as much as 25 percent. “Beans are highly sensitive to heat, and the varieties that farmers currently grow do not yield well under night temperatures over 18 or 19 degrees Centigrade,” writes Nathan Russell of CIAT. “Higher temperatures drastically reduce seed fertility, leading to lower grain yields and quality.” Thankfully, CIAT scientists have identified about 30 “elite” bean lines that have demonstrated tolerance to temperatures 4°C higher than the crop’s normal “comfort zone.”

More idiocy HERE

Bernie Sanders: A completely nutty Greenie

On the campaign trail in nearby New Hampshire, Democrat presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders bangs the drum for a carbon tax and single-payer health care – despite the failure of both in his home state of Vermont.

When it comes to progressive causes, the left has no greater champion than Vermont’s junior senator. On the environment, Sanders proposes a national tax to cut carbon levels by 80 percent by 2050. His campaign site calls it “one of the most straightforward and cost-effective strategies for quickly fighting climate change.”

But in Vermont, where a proposed carbon tax is now in its second year of seeking legislative support, backers are struggling to convince the public the policy is environmentally or economically sound.

The carbon tax legislation calls for a $100 per ton of carbon emissions tax on gasoline, propane, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Proponents say a carbon tax will slash Vermont’s carbon emissions by 2 million tons annually and direct tax revenue to weatherization and energy efficiency programs. Critics blast the tax as regressive, arguing it will harm Vermonters whose pocketbooks are sensitive to fluctuations in gas prices.

Either way, the tax is projected to boost the cost of gasoline by up to 88 cents per gallon, assuming fuel distributors pass the cost on to consumers. A gallon of propane would rise 58 cents; heating oil and diesel fuel could jump $1.02 per gallon.

While the tax may nudge many Vermonters to fill up vehicles in nearby states like New York and New Hampshire, there’s a bigger problem: carbon-tax backers admit it won’t change global CO2 levels.

Faced with the prospect that Vermont’s carbon tax can do little – maybe nothing – to help global warming, Paul Burns, executive director of the pro-carbon-tax Vermont Public Interest Research Group, recently said during a Montpelier debate, “Alone, sure, we can’t do it.”

Perhaps not even together. In that debate, panelists were considering the provocative findings of economist Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center. CO2 reduction initiatives in the just-wrapped 2015 Paris Climate Summit agreement, Lomborg concludes, will reduce global temperatures by only one-sixth of one degree by the end of the century.

Such policy-killing admissions occur frequently in Vermont, where the state is on track to create an all green-energy economy that runs on 90 percent renewables by 2050.

Asa Hopkins, Vermont’s policy chief at the Department of Public Service, spoke to Watchdog about the impact an all-green Vermont would have on global warming. His analysis was surprisingly honest, if self-defeating.

“Climate change is a classic tragedy-of-the-commons problem where no one person’s actions, no one state, or even one country’s actions is attributable to even more than maybe a few percent of the global challenge,” Hopkins said.

Convincing Vermonters to sacrifice money and comfort for a policy that does nothing to avert a supposed climate apocalypse looks like a losing political battle. In fact, the tax is so steep and ineffective that Vermont’s Democratic governor doesn’t endorse it.

State lawmakers aren’t biting either. Earlier this month, the chair of the House Energy Committee, Rep. Tony Klein, D- East Montpelier, told Watchdog “everybody knows that there will be no carbon tax bill seriously moved forward in any way, shape or form this session.”

When it comes to pushing a carbon tax on the nation, Sanders seems not to have gotten Vermont’s memo.

Sanders’ embrace of a single-payer health care system has fared no better in his home state.

In a rousing back-and-forth with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at Saturday’s Democratic presidential debate, Sanders reaffirmed his belief in a Medicare-for-all single-payer health care system. That policy met crushing defeat exactly one year ago in Vermont.

Democrat Gov. Peter Shumlin, the top pitchman for a single-payer system in states, worked tirelessly for years to sell a government-run health care system that covered all 630,000 Vermonters. But after two years of concealing the system’s financing plan under executive privilege, and after consultant – and Obamacare modeling expert – Jonathan Gruber discredited himself in a series of candid video moments, Shumlin quietly killed single-payer.

“As we completed the financing modeling it became clear that the risk of economic shock is too high at this time to offer a plan I can responsibly support for passage in the Legislature,” Shumlin said at the news conference announcing the event. “The taxes required to replace health-care premiums with a publicly financed plan that would best serve Vermont are, in a word, enormous.”

The new taxes required to pay for single payer were estimated at $2.6 billion for 2017, increasing to almost $3.2 billion in 2021. Estimates showed taxpayers couldn’t pay for single-payer even with a massive 11.5 percent payroll tax on all businesses and a sliding-scale income tax of up to 9.5 percent.

Sanders’ continued support of government-run health care and the carbon tax may have a simple explanation: despite their dramatic failings in Vermont, both underscore Sanders’ image as a democratic socialist. Sanders founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the 1990s, and pushed for single-payer in Obamacare’s so-called public option. Touting progressive policies out on the stump has certain appeal with voters who appreciate Sanders’ do-gooder politics.

But as word leaks about the failure of progressive policies in his own backyard, Sanders may find it harder to convince national audiences they’ll work for America.


Expensive Green Energy Program Saves No Energy

Hawaii's Green Energy Market Securitization program (GEMS), financed with $145 million in bonds, was touted as a program to help poor  homeowners and renters obtain energy-saving technologies they otherwise could not afford. Yet, in the first ten months of its existence, despite receiving nearly 150 completed applications, GEMS has not granted a single loan.

A report by the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism submitted to the Public Utilities Commission showed the program launched in November 2014 received 149 completed loan applications as of September 30. Forty three of applications came from non-profit organizations, 41 of which were classified as “under review,” while two were declined. Another 106 came from residences, 35 of which were declined, five withdrawn, and 66 remain listed as “under review.”

While GEMS has yet to make any loans, financial documents indicate it is spending and collecting a fair amount of money. A financial summary of the program reported that GEMS’ current assets amounted to $145,891,273.34, from bond offering, as of September 30, with expenditures topping $111,909, all for the cost of administering the program. Yet, according the Hawaii Free Press, the financial summary fails to reveal the whole story. A worksheet from Hawaiian Electric covering the period of December, 2014 through June 30, indicated the company anticipated collecting more $7,976,862.60 in Green Infrastructure Fees from utility customers, 45 percent from residential ratepayers, with the entire amount slated to pay principal and interest on the GEMS bonds. In addition, by the end of 2015, the utility will need to collect $7,940,691.56 more to fulfill “revenue requirements” for GEMS.

What this means, according to Patricia Tummons of Environment Hawaii, is “Framed another way, GEMS has cost electric ratepayers more than $15 million since November of 2014. And as of September 30, the state had not one kilowatt of renewable energy installed to show for it.”


Global Warming Is Not the Problem. Global Governance Is.

by James Delingpole

Media Matters for America – George Soros’s pet attack poodle site – has published a list of the 15 Most Ridiculous Things Conservative Media Said In 2015.

I’m proud to say that I come in at number 6 (though obviously I would have preferred higher) with my statement that alarmist climate scientists are “a bunch of talentless low lives who cannot be trusted.”

In retrospect I wish to apologise for that sentence.

What I really should have said is that these are a bunch of lying, cheating, scum-sucking, bottom-feeding, third-rate tosspots who don’t even deserve the name “scientists” because what they practise isn’t really science but data-fiddling, cherry-picking, grant-troughing, activism-driven propaganda. Posterity will grant them about as much respect as we now accord the 17th century quacks who bled their patients using leeches, or the early 20th century German scientists who helped Hitler compose his diatribe against the discredited Jewish science of Einstein, or the scientists who ganged up on Alfred Wegener for his novel – but correct – theories on continental drift.

Really, if none of them ever published another paper in their lives and all their grant funding dried up at midnight tonight, the cause of climate science would not suffer one jot – and the world would become a much better (and richer) place.

Having read through all the other items on the Media Matters list, I can’t find much fault with any of them either.

Take Mark Steyn telling Fox News that “[ISIS leader] al-Baghdadi will be sawing Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) head off, and he’ll be saying as his neck is being sliced, ‘If only we’d had an emissions trading scheme.'”

Apart from being very funny it also happens to be true. The attempts by Bernie Sanders – and many others including the Prince of Wales and US Secretary of State John Kerry – to link “climate change” to terrorism are both hysterical and wrong, as I demonstrate here, here and here.

Worse than that, though, these claims are fraudulent. They represent a deliberate conspiracy by our political class (and their amen corner in the media) to mislead us about the relative urgency and risks of the threats facing us in the coming years.

To anyone with even half an eye on world events, it’s perfectly obvious that there are many more desperate problems – fundamentalist Islam, say – than the imaginary problem of man-made global warming. So why do our political class persist in pretending to us, in defiance of all the evidence, that “climate change” represents the only global issue serious enough to justify the convening of a conference like the recent one in Paris attended by 40,000 delegates and the leaders of over 150 nation states?

The answer to this is too complicated for one sentence – for the full story read this book – but the consequences can be summed up in two words: global governance.

This was always the masterplan of the sinister Marxist billionaire who invented the global warming scare – Maurice Strong. (You can read more about him here and here). Environmentalism, he understood early on, was the perfect excuse to override the democratic process: after all, when the future of the world is at stake, it only makes sense to ignore the little people and concentrate power in the hands of enlightened technocrats like Maurice Strong and his eco-fascistic control freak pals….

Here’s how he once put it:

    "The concept of national sovereignty has been an immutable, indeed sacred, principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental co-operation. It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation states, however powerful. The global community must be assured of global environmental security."

There’s the plan: One World Government in the name of “global environmental security”. And it’s happening across the world right now. Never mind the facts that COP21 was a bit of a flop and that the Pope’s encyclical on the environment was widely ridiculed. The great global governance caravan is trundling on regardless: it’s now a business, remember, worth $1.5 trillion a year. There are an awful lot of snouts stuck in that trough and they’re not about to leave it any time soon.

Yet it’s something that is almost never mentioned in the mainstream media. How many times have you read or heard, anywhere in the MSM, about Agenda 21? It has been the guiding force behind most environmental policy across the world since it was born at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit (established by Maurice Strong) which in turn spawned all the big eco conferences we’ve had since, such as the recent COP21 in Paris. But no one ever talks about it. It just sounds like too much of a crazy right-wing conspiracy theory.

And that, I’m afraid, is also part of The Plan. Anyone who dares question the “consensus” on global warming – see Media Matters above – is dismissed as a fruitcake: journalists are marginalised, scientists lose tenure or funding, politicians are denied preferment, businesses lose contracts. Speaking out against climate change is the modern equivalent of being Galileo before the Inquisition…

So that’s going to be one of my jobs in 2016 – telling it like it is, regardless of what the bastards say.  I consider it both a pleasure and privilege

SOURCE  (See the original for links)


At Idaho Legislature, Many Doubt Scientific Consensus on Global Warming Cause

“Listen to Rush Limbaugh once in a while,” Rep. Dell Raybould said. “See what he thinks about it. He’ll tell you that this is just a bunch of nonsense.”  Raybould was talking about the idea that burning fossil fuel causes climate change. The Rexburg Republican is chairman of the House Resources and Conservation Committee and the Legislature’s expert on water issues.

Climate change skepticism is fairly common in Idaho, especially among its elected lawmakers.

Many Idahoans don’t accept the consensus among qualified scientists that global temperatures are rising due to human activity.

A June poll by Idaho Politics Weekly found that 44 percent of Idahoans believe both that the climate is warming and that it constitutes a crisis. Another 26 percent said it was changing but not too harmful, and 21 percent said they don’t think climate change is happening at all.

Whether or not you’re a skeptic depends largely on what political party you identify with. The same poll found that only 20 percent of Republicans think there’s an ongoing climate crisis, while 84 percent of Democrats hold that view.

That fits with a broad trend throughout the nation, according to polling by the Pew Research Center.

It will be difficult to build support for state policies to combat a problem many Idahoans don’t think exists.

Even among lawmakers who accept the consensus view, there isn’t a clear vision of what the state can do about it.

Although scientists say dramatic action is needed immediately, there is no indication such action will take place in Idaho.

Senate Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, said he believes that the climate is warming, but it’s unclear how much is caused by human activity.

Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone, belongs to the camp that sees recent climate change as part of natural cycles.

“We get climate change four times a year — it’s called the four seasons,” Loertscher said. “… I think we’re pretty vain if we think we can control the climate.”

Loertscher, the chairman of the House State Affairs Committee, sent along two articles that he said support his view.

One is an article from a London tabloid listing 100 reasons climate change is natural.

The other is an article by Edmund Contoski, an author and speaker for the Heartland Institute, who is not a climatologist. The Heartland Institute is a think tank that rejects the consensus view on global warming, as well as the view that secondhand smoke is unhealthy.

Loertscher’s view isn’t at the extreme end of the Legislature. Of nine lawmakers who responded to a four-question survey sent to all members of the Legislature by the Post Register, two said they don’t believe global temperatures are rising at all.

The Impact on Policy

Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Idaho Falls, is chairman of the House Environment, Energy and Technology Committee which oversees many issues that involve greenhouse gas emissions such as energy policy.

Thompson thinks scientists broadly disagree about whether the climate is warming at all.

“You can find people who say that it’s not happening and people who say that it is happening,” Thompson said in an interview.

Thompson recently authored an op-ed in the Idaho Statesman, calling on Attorney General Lawrence Wasden to join a court case challenging the legality of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules requiring greenhouse gas reductions at power plants.

“My biggest concern is what it’s going to do to electric rates for the citizens of Idaho,” Thompson said.

Although Idaho doesn’t contain any coal-fired power plants, and its two major natural gas power plants are up to EPA standards, Idahoans do import a significant amount of coal-generated electricity from Montana, Wyoming, Nevada and Oregon. So higher standards there could have a big impact on Idaho electrical rates, Thompson said.

While EPA had initially called for Idaho to cut its emissions by some 33 percent, recent revisions to the rule mean the cuts will be significantly smaller, said John Chatburn, administrator of the Idaho Office of Energy Resources.

The group is still analyzing the 500-page rule to determine what it will mean for the state, Chatburn said.

House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley, said he is “somewhat skeptical” of the scientific consensus. But he said state and federal water regulators should be ready to make changes if predictions of lower snowpacks come true.

The state should work to build more reservoirs and to do more aquifer recharge in order to mitigate possible low flows late in the irrigation season, he said.
Idaho’s Contribution

But even with imported coal-generated electricity, most of Idaho’s greenhouse gas emissions come from other sources.

The biggest source is transportation, and the second-biggest is agriculture, according to a 2008 report from the Center for Climate Strategies commissioned by the Department of Environmental Quality.

The good news is that the report projects agricultural greenhouse gas emissions — mainly methane produced by livestock — will level off on their own in coming years.

But emissions from transportation — mainly fuel burned in commercial and passenger vehicles — are projected to continue rising rapidly, by about 11 percent between 2010 and 2020.

Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, said there are lots of state policies she thinks should be enacted to combat climate change, but political realities don’t leave much hope that will happen. “What I think and what’s plausible are two different things,” she said.

House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, accepts the consensus view on climate change. But he said cutting emissions from vehicles in the state is a hard problem. Significant portions of Idaho’s population live in rural areas where driving is a necessity.

And it’s also hard to see how emissions from livestock could be cut without significant changes in the American diet, he said.

Pro Tem Hill said the state should focus on promoting technological innovation, such as work on nuclear power occurring at Idaho National Laboratory.

Stennett said she doesn’t think the Legislature will take any significant action on climate change until it becomes a clear economic necessity. If anti-climate change measures can be sold as an economic boon, they have a shot, she said.

Rusche said the state is already seeing the effects of rising temperatures, and sooner or later it will have to deal with the issue.

“The Legislature has been trying to deny and ignore it, but the fact is that we’ve been having to respond to some of the impacts of climate change, whether it’s the economy in ski areas or the water in the East Snake Plain Aquifer,” he said.


Bob Hawke Says Nuclear Waste Dump 'A Win-Win' For Australia

Being arguably the most popular Leftist Prime Minister Australia has had, Hawke still has influence on the Left, so this is significant.  The Labor Party Premier of South Australia is of the same mind

Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke is still pushing for Australia to become the world's nuclear waste dump, calling the plan "a win-win" that could "transform our own fiscal situation."

Hawke was an advocate for nuclear waste to be stored securely in Australia's remote regions from the time of his Prime Ministership which ended in 1991; now, a quarter of a century later, the Labor Party elder statesman said he still wanted to see the idea come to fruition.

Speaking at the embargoed launch of cabinet papers from 1990 and 1991 -- the turbulent period which saw him elected to an unlikely and record fourth term as PM, then quickly dumped from the top job as Paul Keating's second leadership spill saw him seize power in December '91 -- Hawke spoke widely on both historical and contemporary issues.

"In my last final period as prime minister, I had a world economic group of geologists and experts commissioned to find out where are the world’s safest remote sites for storage of waste, and all the sites were in Australia," he said.

"We would negotiate with the countries to take the waste and we’d make the world a safer place by having all this unsafe stuff around the world stored safely, and at the same time we’d transform our own fiscal situation. This is what my Chinese friends call a win-win situation."



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

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2 January, 2016

More non-global warming in the Arctic

It always amuses me when Leftists seem to get erections over warming in the Arctic that is out of step with global temperatures. They seem to think that a non-global event is proof of a global event, even when there is demonstrably nothing global going on.  It surely shows both a profound lack of logic and a need to believe. They mock Christians for their beliefs in the invisible but they too in fact believe in invisible events. They see warming that is not there.  That graph again:

Some VERY out-of-step Arctic events are reported below.  This time however, an explicit connection with global warming is not made, though all the excitement about it is presumably meant to make you think that something important is going on.  Maybe logic eventually finds its way even into a Warmist skull.  That the Arctic is anomalous because of the powerful volcanoes underneath much of it (e.g. along the Gakkel ridge) is not mentioned, of course. 

The North Pole is experiencing a heatwave as temperatures came close to melting point yesterday, making the Arctic region warmer than some major cities in Europe and the US.

According to ocean measurements from the North Pole Environmental Observatory, the mercury tipped -1.9°C (28.6°F) on Wednesday as the Arctic bathed in an unseasonably warm spell.

The hike in temperature is reportedly due to the same low pressure system which has brought flood chaos to England and Scotland, and made areas of the Arctic up to 35?C (63°F) warmer than the seasonal average.

Earlier this week, meteorologists tracking the path of a powerful North Atlantic storm over Iceland had forecast that the Arctic temperatures could peak above freezing, with the storm being one of the strongest on record and wind speeds of up to 230mph (370km/h).

Typically, the Arctic would be expected to be somewhere in the depths of up to -35°C (-31°F) in December, with 24 hour darkness.


Earlier this month, the average air temperature over Arctic land reached 2.3°F (1.3°C) above average for the year ending in September.

That's the highest since observations began in 1900.

The new mark was noted in the annual Arctic Report Card, released Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Arctic centres on the North Pole and reaches into North America and Eurasia.

But while large fluctuations of up to 30°F in air temperature are fairly typical in the Arctic, this latest weather system was expected to push the variability to as high as 50°F or 60°F.

Although no instruments for measuring temperature are operating on the North Pole to provide precise reading for the temperature spike, experts indicate temperatures may have pushed past zero.

Data pulled from one ocean buoy in the Arctic reported a temperature spike of 0.7°C, but Ryan Maue, a meteorologist at US company Weather Bell said on Twitter this data may have a large range of uncertainty.

Meteorologist Bob Henson, from WeatherUnderground, added that the December temperatures at the North Pole have only reached or gone above freezing just three times since 1948, but none during between January and March.

By comparison, yesterday's lowest temperature in Vienna was -1°C (-30°F) while Chicago was -2°C (28°F).

The same low pressure system responsible for the Arctic warmth is responsible for Storm Frank, which hit the UK with winds of 85mph (137km/h).

BBC weatherman Simon King, tweeted: 'A bit warm at the North Pole! Thanks to Storm Frank the temp is a very rare +1°C compared to the average -28°C.'

More weather disruption is expected over the New Year.

A larger than expected El Nino event in the Pacific Ocean is disrupting air currents, which is having a knock on effect on weather patterns around the world, including the North Atlantic.

Monitoring the weather event from space, Nasa has warned that satellite data indicate that this year's El Nino could be as strong as that of 1997 and 1998 which was the strongest on record.

The phenomenon is the result of a shift in the distribution of warm water in the Pacific Ocean around the equator.

Usually the wind blows strongly from east to west, due to the rotation of the Earth, causing water to pile up in the western part of the Pacific. This pulls up colder water from the deep ocean in the eastern Pacific.

However, in an El Niño event, the winds weaken and the warmer water to shift back towards the east. This causes the eastern Pacific to get warmer.

As the ocean temperature is linked to the wind currents, this can cause the winds to grow weaker still and so the ocean grows warmer, meaning the El Niño grows.

The effects of this year's El Niño event could extend well into 2016, causing further weather chaos.


Study finds surprisingly high geothermal heating beneath West Antarctic Ice Sheet

I have been pointing to polar vulcanism for years so I am pleased that it is now being cautiously recognized

UC Santa Cruz team reports first direct measurement of heat flow from deep within the Earth to the bottom of the West Antarctic ice sheet

The amount of heat flowing toward the base of the West Antarctic ice sheet from geothermal sources deep within the Earth is surprisingly high, according to a new study led by UC Santa Cruz researchers. The results, published July 10 in Science Advances, provide important data for researchers trying to predict the fate of the ice sheet, which has experienced rapid melting over the past decade.

Lead author Andrew Fisher, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, emphasized that the geothermal heating reported in this study does not explain the alarming loss of ice from West Antarctica that has been documented by other researchers. “The ice sheet developed and evolved with the geothermal heat flux coming up from below–it’s part of the system. But this could help explain why the ice sheet is so unstable. When you add the effects of global warming, things can start to change quickly,” he said.

High heat flow below the West Antarctic ice sheet may also help explain the presence of lakes beneath it and why parts of the ice sheet flow rapidly as ice streams. Water at the base of the ice streams is thought to provide the lubrication that speeds their motion, carrying large volumes of ice out onto the floating ice shelves at the edges of the ice sheet. Fisher noted that the geothermal measurement was from only one location, and heat flux is likely to vary from place to place beneath the ice sheet.

“This is the first geothermal heat flux measurement made below the West Antarctic ice sheet, so we don’t know how localized these warm geothermal conditions might be. This is a region where there is volcanic activity, so this measurement may be due to a local heat source in the crust,” Fisher said.


The study was part of a large Antarctic drilling project funded by the National Science Foundation called WISSARD (Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling), for which UC Santa Cruz is one of three lead institutions. The research team used a special thermal probe, designed and built at UC Santa Cruz, to measure temperatures in sediments below Subglacial Lake Whillans, which lies beneath half a mile of ice. After boring through the ice sheet with a special hot-water drill, researchers lowered the probe through the borehole until it buried itself in the sediments below the subglacial lake. The probe measured temperatures at different depths in the sediments, revealing a rate of change in temperature with depth about five times higher than that typically found on continents. The results indicate a relatively rapid flow of heat towards the bottom of the ice sheet.

This geothermal heating contributes to melting of basal ice, which supplies water to a network of subglacial lakes and wetlands that scientists have discovered underlies a large region of the ice sheet. In a separate study published last year in Nature, the WISSARD microbiology team reported an abundant and diverse microbial ecosystem in the same lake. Warm geothermal conditions may help to make subglacial habitats more supportive of microbial life, and could also drive fluid flow that delivers heat, carbon, and nutrients to these communities.

According to coauthor Slawek Tulaczyk, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz and one of the WISSARD project leaders, the geothermal heat flux is an important value for the computer models scientists are using to understand why and how quickly the West Antarctic ice sheet is shrinking.

“It is important that we get this number right if we are going to make accurate predictions of how the West Antarctic ice sheet will behave in the future, how much it is melting, how quickly ice streams flow, and what the impact might be on sea level rise,” Tulaczyk said. “I waited for many years to see a directly measured value of geothermal flux from beneath this ice sheet.”

Melting ice shelves

Antarctica’s huge ice sheets are fed by snow falling in the interior of the continent. The ice gradually flows out toward the edges. The West Antarctic ice sheet is considered less stable than the larger East Antarctic ice sheet because much of it rests on land that is below sea level, and the ice shelves at its outer edges are floating on the sea. Recent studies by other research teams have found that the ice shelves are melting due to warm ocean currents now circulating under the ice, and the rate at which the ice shelves are shrinking is accelerating. These findings have heightened concerns about the overall stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet.

The geothermal heat flux measured in the new study was about 285 milliwatts per square meter, which is like the heat from one small LED Christmas-tree light per square meter, Fisher said. The researchers also measured the upward heat flux through the ice sheet (about 105 milliwatts per square meter) using an instrument developed by coauthor Scott Tyler at the University of Nevada, Reno. That instrument was left behind in the WISSARD borehole as it refroze, and the measurements, based on laser light scattering in a fiber-optic cable, were taken a year later. Combining the measurements both below and within the ice enabled calculation of the rate at which melt water is produced at the base of the ice sheet at the drill site, yielding a rate of about half an inch per year.


Did the GOP Congress Change Energy Policy?

Last year, when Republicans gained a decisive edge in both houses of Congress, I made predictions as to the six energy-policy changes we could expect—as the two parties have very different views on energy issues.

Now, halfway through the “two years” for which I projected, here’s where American energy policy stands today.

Keystone Pipeline

As predicted, the GOP got right to work backing the Keystone pipeline. With strong bipartisan support, on February 11 Congress passed the bill approving construction. Though many Democrats crossed the aisle and voted with the Republicans, the Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act fell a handful of votes short of making it veto-proof. As expected, two weeks later, President Obama vetoed the bill.

I was optimistic that some late night arm twisting would bring the needed Democrats on board, but on March 4, the vote to override the veto failed.

While the bill ultimately failed, my projection was accurate: understanding the impact the Keystone pipeline would have had on job creation and energy security, Republicans made the Keystone pipeline a high priority.

Oil Exports

A bill to lift the decades-old oil export ban was introduced in February and gained momentum throughout the year. On September 17, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to send the legislation to the full House for final passage—which took place on October 9.

As with Keystone, the bill had bipartisan support, though many Democrats opposed it. Comments made in the House chambers before the vote reflected the partisan divide on energy issues. Opposing the bill, Democrats grandstanded saying it would put more money in the pockets of big oil. In contrast, Republicans understand that successful businesses hire people.

The White House threatened a veto.

Despite passing another committee vote in early October, the Senate didn’t take up the bill. Lifting the ban, however, was included in the omnibus-spending package that Obama quickly signed on December 18.

With the ban now officially overturned, the spread between the global benchmark price, known as Brent, and the U.S. benchmark, known as WTI (for West Texas Intermediate), has virtually disappeared. Within a matter of days, the first shipment of U.S. crude will be heading overseas—to Switzerland.

Climate Change

Last year, I wrote: “The Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Chairmanship will change from one of the biggest supporters of Obama’s climate change agenda (Senator Barbara Boxer [D-CA]) to the biggest opponent of his policies (Senator Jim Inhofe [R-OK]).” With that change, we’ve heard a different tune coming from The Hill.

Days before the U.N. conference on climate change took place in Paris, the Senate held a hearing and passed resolutions designed to let the world know that Obama did not have the support of the U.S. Senate—which would be needed for any legally binding treaty. The New York Times reported: “proponents believe their defiance will have diplomatic repercussions.” In a statement following the vote, Senator Inhofe said: “The message could not be more clear that Republicans and Democrats in both the U.S. Senate and U.S. House do not support the president’s climate agenda and the international community should take note.”

The plan was successful; the “international community” took note. It is believed that the Republican drumbeat, prompted the European Union to back off of its insistence that any carbon goals in the final agreement need to be legally binding. The agreement that was ultimately reached in Paris is, according to the New York Times, “essentially voluntary.”

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

In the December 18 spending bill, the EPA didn’t get a budget increase while many other departments did. It is considered a “loser.” Funding levels for the EPA in 2016 are at a level lower than 2010, but on par with 2015.

Additionally, the agency has received several smack downs in 2015 from federal courts—including putting its onerous Waters of the U.S. Rule on hold. Obama’s Clean Power Plan, the focus of the Senate’s resolutions, is facing numerous lawsuits and may also be awarded a stay. This is surely an issue to watch in 2016.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA)

One of the big concerns for anyone in the West who earns a living from the land—ranching, farming, mining and mineral extraction—has been the potential listing of the greater sage grouse as an endangered species. While it did not get listed, and the omnibus deal blocks the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service from putting it on the Endangered Species list, the Bureau of Land Management has enacted land use plans that that will likely have many of the same effects of listing under the Act. It is time for ESA reform.

Federal Lands

This final issue saw little action in 2015, but with the anti-fossil fuel movement’s aggressive plans to keep resources in the ground, especially on federal lands, this one is ripe for attention from the GOP-controlled Congress.

For 2016, Congress will need to stay on top of Obama’s rules, regulations and executive orders aimed at burnishing his legacy on climate change. It should also rein in the EPA, reform the ESA, and work to reduce the amount of land owned by the federal government.

Let’s hope for more positive movement in 2016—including a new resident in the White House, who understands the important role energy plays in making America great.


2015 Was One Of The Coolest Years On Record In The US

Government climate experts say that the US is getting much hotter, but the exact opposite is true. Both the number of hot days and the areal extent of heatwaves in the US is plummeting.

In 1936 nearly 80% of US stations reached 100 degrees, but the the past three years have been closer to 30%. A massive decline.

The frequency 100 degree days has plummeted from 5% in 1936 to about 1% in recent years.

The frequency of 90 degree days has also plummeted from 15% in 1936, down to 9% in 2015.

Most of the time when you hear a climate statistic from a government expert, it is pretty safe to assume that the exact opposite is true


Drowning In Red Tape During California’s Historic Drought

California is facing a years-long water crisis precipitated by intense bouts of drought. Mandatory water rationing, water fixture replacement, and irrigation restrictions are some of the emergency measures that Californians have had to bear. The solutions are drowning in red tape. Activists from across the political spectrum - from environmentalists to anti-density advocates to animal rights groups to federal bureaucrats - have pursued and supported policies that are making it worse, at the expense of Californian farmers, residents, and businesses.

The water crisis is driven by a years-long lack of rainfall, but there are solutions that governments are unfortunately ignoring and examples abound of technological and engineering projects that could have helped. A recently-opened desalination plant faced 15 years of bureaucratic holdups and environmentalist lawsuits, while another desalinization plant is in limbo due to environmental concerns of the California Coastal Commission. The Obama Administration's Department of the Interior has advocated destroying four dams on the Klamath River that have helped water conservation efforts in order to save the salmon population. Gov. Jerry Brown has drained precious reservoir water - enough for hundreds of thousands of California residents - for the purpose of fish preservation.

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has proven to be anti-growth over the long haul, facilitating and enabling lawsuits that slow development and add enormous costs to new technological projects. CEQA requires all projects to assess long-term environmental impacts to things like air quality and carbon emissions and affected wildlife, among many others. Both Californian bureaucratic agencies and independent environmentalists are able to put water development projects on hold by using provisions of CEQA to tie them up with litigation.

Despite no mention of the problems with CEQA from Gov. Brown, efforts have been made in the California legislature to make incremental reforms to CEQA that would help government get out of the way of technological and environmental solutions to the Californian water crisis. Some of these solutions are piecemeal and insufficient, but step one is recognizing that a problem exists.

Presidential candidate and longtime California resident Carly Fiorina has attacked the environmental opposition to these projects, calling the drought “a man-made crisis” and saying “liberal environmentalists have prevented the building of a single new reservoir or a single new water conveyance system over decades during a period in which California’s population has doubled.”

It’s not merely a California issue, either. The federal Endangered Species Act gives federal authorities purview over much of the waterways where a fish called the Delta Smelt lives. They’ve flushed trillions of gallons of water that could have sustained the lives of millions of Californians, and they’re planning on spending billions of dollars to come up with a tunnel system to protect the fish.

Republicans in Congress have proposed legislation that would alter the Endangered Species Act to give California more leeway around how they treat the waters where the smelt lives, but Democrats have consistently refused to consider the legislation and President Obama has promised to veto it.

These are all political and regulatory hurdles to solving the California drought crisis. From water storage to desalinization to natural dam projects, there are ways to solve the crisis – and some of these projects have been left in limbo since long before the drought. The technological solutions are there, but artificial scarcity created by environmental regulations at both the state and federal level have become counterproductive. A massive drought like the one California is currently experiencing is a challenge, to be sure. But what it has done is highlight how the environmental and regulatory framework currently in place do more to strangle solutions rather than enable them when crisis does strike.

What’s Really Behind The Left’s Climate Scheme…And What They’re DENYING

It looks like liberals at least in the eastern part of the United States are going to have one holly, jolly Christmas this year. Temperatures look to be well above normal and will give Climate Change disciples ample opportunity to crow over their Christmas turkeys that their deception for societal “reordering” is undoubtedly true.

Here in North Georgia, the temperature on Christmas looks to be twenty degrees or more above normal. This is fine with me since I’d rather smoke our Christmas turkey when it’s seventy degrees rather than forty degrees.

It’s funny though. At the beginning of this year, we had actual temperatures (not wind chill) of a few degrees below zero at my house. This was way below normal, but I didn’t hear anyone screaming for more carbon dioxide emissions to avert disastrous global cooling. I guess any drastically sharp cold spell is just an anomaly. A warm Christmas though and global devastation is imminent if we don’t send all of our wealth to the third world via the U.N.

I got an early Christmas present this year, an Apple iPhone 6S Plus. It is a marvelous device and as you Apple owners know, new iPhones now come with an Apple news consolidator app.

One of the news sources loaded on the app is New York magazine, a typical northeast liberal rag. I’ve been checking it out lately since everyone needs a few good laughs every now and then.

This week, of course, there is the obligatory pro-global warming article written by one Jonathan Chait. A well-credentialed liberal, Chait makes the point that because the evidence for global warming is so overwhelming, global warming deniers can no longer deny. So instead, they are making the case that none of the provisions recently reached in Paris will really have any affect on the coming drastic temperature rise.

Critics are basing this argument on a recent MIT study that concluded that even if the accords reached in Paris were followed to the letter by the governments of the world, the reduction in temperature would only be at most .2 degrees C. Many conservative outlets have expounded on this point.

Chait counters that the MIT study is just one of many and that there are others that show the Paris provisions will prevent much more than a .2 degree C temperature rise.

I believe Chait is wrong in assuming that because conservatives have cited the MIT study we are accepting the global warming premise. Far from it. The fact is that sacrificing trillions of dollars of economic benefit to humanity for a meaningless climatic effect is one more reason for rejecting the global warming scheme and does not imply acceptance of climate change orthodoxy.

Beyond all dispute, science agrees that there has been no global warming for the last twenty years. The temperature data is irrefutable. Both satellite and weather balloon data confirm this. The computer models that the global warming schemers rely on didn’t predict this, so why would we expect them to be reliable looking from this point forward?

Additionally, there is ample data showing that the rise of atmospheric temperature precedes the rise of carbon dioxide not the reverse. CO2 rise precipitating a temperature rise is the foundational claim of the global warming schemers. If temperature rises and THEN the carbon dioxide levels go up, there’s clearly another phenomenon causing the warming.

There is also very strong evidence that solar cycles are the big forcing function for global temperatures, far in excess of atmospheric CO2 levels. And the Sun appears to be entering a dimming phase that could cause significant COOLING over the next couple of decades.

I question all of the cataclysmic claims the schemers make about a warming earth, too. History tells us that mankind does better when the earth is warmer. Warm temperatures allow wider growing areas and longer growing seasons. Trees and plants become lusher and produce more fruit when there are higher levels of CO2. The claims of catastrophic flooding and desert spreading just don’t have a lot of scientific support.

There is another point that Chait makes that gives insight into the state of liberal thinking in general. He makes the claim that:

    …data can change liberal economic thinking in a way it can’t change conservative economic thinking. Liberals would abandon, say, new environmental regulations if evidence persuaded them the program was not actually improving the environment, because bigger government is merely the means to an end.

Man, is it hard to type with a belly laugh! Can you cite any instance when liberals have cut the size of any part of government? Can you point to one government agency, committee, panel, bureau, or commission that liberals have ended without putting an even bigger drain on the economy in place? I dang sure can’t.

Liberals ARE the party of government. They believe they are the anointed ones, the gifted ones that can save humanity from itself. Therefore, they have a natural right to total power and control. Through their superior intellect they can perfect humanity, so just shut up and do what they tell you.

It’s not conservatives that want to repeal the First Amendment and prosecute climate change deniers. It’s not conservatives that are pushing for an end to carbon-based industry that will banish millions to crushing poverty. It’s your benevolent liberal overlords. Their pursuit of delusion will be our suffering.



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1 January, 2016

NYT: Global Warming Could Be Causing Malformed Babies In Brazil

This is all just speculation -- and speculation that is demonstrably wrong.  There has been no warming for many years now so it cannot be causing anything

The New York Times reported Wednesday that a virus spreading throughout Brazil causing brain damage and malformations in infants could be the result of man-made global warming.

The paper notes that researchers have suggested the Zika virus, which has stoked widespread panic in pregnant women in Mexico and Brazil, is likely the result of an upsurge in the mosquito population brought on by global warming. The carrier of the disease, a mosquito called the Aedes, is believed to carry other viruses, such as Dengue and Yellow fever.

Researchers point to the virus’s ability to hopscotch from one part of the world to another, seemingly at ease, as just one reason why the virus has surged.

“They are particularly worried that the disease is wreaking havoc in a region where the population has not encountered it before, and that climate change may be allowing viruses like Zika to thrive in new domains,” The New York Times claims.

“Some researchers emphasize the role that climate change may play in Zika’s spread,” the article continues, adding: As temperatures get hotter in some regions, researchers argue, “mosquitoes can multiply more quickly, potentially enhancing their collective ability to transmit diseases.”

Brazil has a storied history with pest-born viruses. Malaria rates spiked, for example, in Brazil after the country banned the use of DDT, the insecticide that nearly eradicated the Malaria virus during the 1960s. The number of reported Malaria cases jumped from 52,000 in 1970 to 508,864 in 1987 after Brazil decreased its use of DDT. The country eventually banned its usage outright in 1990.

The Zika virus has already hit several Latin countries hard, and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning that Zika could come to the United States before long.

The New York Times also reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention blames the virus for an uptick babies born with abnormally small skulls, a condition called microcephaly.

There have been 2,782 cases of microcephaly this year, Brazilian officials state, and 40 of those cases have been fatal. Those who survive, researchers state, can expect to live with severe intellectual disabilities.

Other researchers, the article adds, are not as sure about the link between the virus and mental infirmities. More research needs to be done to establish the link, suggesting that the virus may not be as impactful as some have made out.


Documentary “Climate Hustle” Exposes Global-warming Con Job

For all those who still have to deal with that crazy uncle over the Christmas season who insists that human emissions of the gas of life, or carbon dioxide, are causing dangerous global warming, fear not — the solution has arrived. It is called Climate Hustle, and it masterfully debunks the claims of the “climate cult,” as many experts now refer to the alarmist movement, like no other resource produced thus far. Well-known analysts are already saying it will turn the tables on the alarmists. But more importantly, it will bring to light the facts and the science surrounding alleged man-made global warming that the establishment press has tried so hard to conceal.

The new documentary, which premiered in Paris this month amid the United Nations COP21 “climate change” summit, will serve as the perfect antidote to the increasingly shrill global-warming alarmism being peddled by the UN, the Obama administration, and others. It will also be exactly the tool you need to educate any remaining global-warming alarmists you may know, particularly those who got their inaccurate beliefs from error-riddled propaganda films such as Al Gore's discredited “documentary” An Inconvenient Truth, which was essentially banned in U.K. schools after a court recognized it was filled with falsehoods and ordered that children be warned about them in advance.

Indeed, Climate Hustle, with climate realist Marc Morano of Climate Depot serving as the host, even uses some of Gore's own tactics in exposing the anthropogenic (man-made) global-warming theory, minus the falsehoods and misleading propaganda. Among the best scenes in the entire film is when Morano uses a construction elevator, mimicking Gore, to travel upwards while exposing inconvenient science omitted from Gore's propaganda film. Gore used a similar scene to promote his discredited theory about CO2 driving global warming. Some 94 percent of poll respondents on Morano's webpage said Climate Hustle was the “Anti-Incovenient Truth.”

Among the film's most important contributions to the climate debate: Morano allows alarmists to speak for themselves throughout the documentary. Climate Hustle is packed with clips and interviews of alarmist politicians, “experts,” celebrities, and scientists bloviating about alleged man-made global cooling, warming, the supposed urgency of doing something about it, and more. Hilariously, some of the supposed effects of alleged man-made global warming — everything from weather events and increased prostitution to rape, car theft, airplane turbulence, barroom brawls, and even the extinction of coffee — are highlighted, too. The humor throughout the film is absolutely fantastic, making it perfect to watch with others of all political persuasions. Morano also catches some climate alarmists involved in blatant, demonstrable deception.  

Another excellent point brought out in the film is the fact that the climate industry has a terrible track record. Ranging from its failed predictions of a new man-made “Ice Age” a few decades ago, to more recent pronouncements that ended up being proved just as ridiculous, the documentary exposes what alarmists want hidden: The fact that they have been wrong about virtually everything, and still are. For instance, alarmists and the UN predicted less snow and less cold. But when record snow and cold arrived, increasingly outlandish alarmists, including Obama's Science Czar John Holdren, a former global-cooling alarmist and proponent of a “planetary regime” and coercive abortion/sterilization, insisted that the record snow and cold were caused by global warming. Seriously.

Narrating the film, Morano goes through a wide range of such examples, and the changes in alarmist terminology that have accompanied the silliness: global cooling, global warming, climate change, global climate disruption, global weirding, and so on. That way, as the film shows, no matter what happens — heat, cold, snow, drought, rain, floods, tornado, hurricane, storms, no storms, etc. — can always be blamed on evil humans and their evil CO2 emissions. The pleas in the film by politicians and others for “climate action” that must happen this minute, this week, this year, or whatever — supposedly to prevent an imminent climate catastrophe — only become more humorous and entertaining in that context.  

Balancing out all the ridiculous comments from alarmists, Climate Hustle also features a great deal of commentary from more rational scientists willing to acknowledge the observable evidence — especially, among other examples, the nearly 19-year (and counting) pause in global warming that exposed every single climate model used by the UN as bogus. The interviews in the film range from discussions with prominent and widely respected “deniers” of AGW to mere skeptics of the theory who warn against the fanatical zeal of the climate cult and the lack of current understanding when it comes to the unfathomably complex climate system. Many of the scientists in the film exposing the AGW scam are in fact proud political leftists, too, potentially making it easier for other leftists to distance themselves from the climate alarmism while holding firm to their convictions.

Among the scientists featured in the film pouring ice on the warming alarmism are geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack, former chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania; award-winning climatologist Dr. Judith Curry, who chaired the School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology; Climate Statistics Professor Dr. Caleb Rossiter of American University; Climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer, a former senior NASA climate scientist who now leads a climate research group at the University of Alabama in Huntsville; and many, many more. A group of six or seven scientists even attended the premiere to answer questions.

Some experts quoted in the film compare the current government-funded climate hysteria to the hysteria surrounding the witchcraft trials of centuries ago. Also mentioned in relation to the increasingly bizarre climate alarmism: Aztec blood sacrifices to end drought, including the sacrifice of thousands of people in a few weeks to appease the angry climate gods. If the current climate alarmists had their way, more than a few experts have made clear that millions of innocent people, condemned to energy famine and thus perpetual poverty by “climate action,” would almost certainly end up as modern-day human sacrifices to the climate gods. In short, as many climate scientists and experts (including the disgraced head of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC) have explained, the warmist movement has become a religion — and a dangerous one at that.        

While the humor is fun and entertaining, the film is not all funny. Among other troubling elements are the increasingly totalitarian attacks employed by alarmists against those who disagree with the AGW theory. From calling for energy producers to be put on trial for “Crimes Against Humanity” to demanding that skeptics be re-educated, imprisoned, and even executed, as the evidence debunking AGW theory piles up, proponents of the theory are becoming increasingly unhinged and potentially dangerous. The implications are frightening. The policies being advanced by the alarmist movement, too, represent a frontal assault on liberty, prosperity, national sovereignty, the poor, and common sense. Cooler heads must resist.

As Morano explained throughout the film and in an interview later with The New American at the red-carpet premiere in Paris, the AGW movement is really engaged in a con job of massive proportions. Dressed up as the “climate monarch,” Morano noted that the UN and its alarmist allies are literally plotting to empower themselves at humanity's expense, all under the supposed guise of battling the gas of life. “The Emperor has no clothes,” Morano said, adding that the film would help wake people up to that fact. “The United Nations is essentially taking away free choices of sovereign states.”

Under the UN “climate” vision, the masses will be “controlled by a small governing elite, which they call global governance, telling them how to live their lives,” Morano continued. And international wealth redistribution to governments ruling poorer nations is the key to getting those governments to sell out their people, he added, blasting the UN for its efforts to create a “climate monarchy.” From central planning to energy restrictions, the plan is for unelected and unaccountable forces to govern humanity. Morano also said the U.S. Republican Party needed to get serious about opposing the major policy implications of the agenda rather than just noting that the "science" behind AGW hysteria is fraudulent. 

Before the film started, alarmist protesters were at the cinema shrieking about “climate justice” and “climate criminals.” Morano and CFACT, the pro-market environmental group behind the film, were portrayed as “climate criminals” and stooges for Big Oil. Eventually police had to be called, again illustrating the dangers to basic freedoms, such as free speech, represented by the alarmists. In typical fashion, though, the warmists were on the warpath long before the film even premiered. Greenpeace, for example, released a screed a month before the documentary was released claiming Climate Hustle was a “science denial movie” apparently aimed at making Morano rich. How Greenpeace would have known that, since the film was not even ready yet, was not immediately clear. The numerous scientists in it would likely disagree with Greenpeace.

Ironically, though, The New American had a chance to interview Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore, also featured in the film, while in Paris. He made clear that the climate alarmists were not only wrong about the science, but they were putting the lives and livelihoods of billions of people at risk to pursue their “anti-human” agenda — essentially, destroying industrial civilization and crushing liberty. As if to confirm the thesis, Greenpeace activist Connor Gibson concluded his anti-Climate Hustle ramblings by suggesting Morano and other “climate deniers” might be prosecuted by the Obama administration for refusing to genuflect before the climate movement's increasingly discredited dogmas.    

The audience loved the film, cheering and clapping enthusiastically at the packed cinema premiere. Afterward, scientists and experts from around the world answered questions from attendees. Climate Hustle should be available in the United States by 2016


EU Greenies are to Blame for Britain’s Flood Disaster

Northern Britain has spent Christmas being inundated with floods of “biblical proportions”.

For green activists like Bill McKibben this is obviously another consequence of man-made climate change.

And the politicians agree – not just left wing ones like Hilary Benn but also notionally conservative ones like local MP Rory Stewart, Environment Secretary Liz Truss and Prime Minister David Cameron. All have suggested that the floods are the result of unprecedented ‘extreme weather events’ whose consequences are quite beyond their control.

Either they are ignorant or lying or buck-passing – or all three.

As it was in Somerset in early 2014, so it is with the floods which have ravaged the north of England (and which are fast spreading south) this year. Yes, they are indeed a man-made creation – but the people mainly responsible are the bureaucrats and green activists at the European Union whose legislation has made it illegal for Britain to take the measures necessary to reduce the risk of flooding.

British rivers have always been prone to flooding because Britain is a kingdom of rains (where royalty comes in gangs).

But traditionally, those living in flood-threatened areas have been able to mitigate the problem by making sure that their rivers are well dredged – and thus able to flow freely.

For an excellent historical perspective on this read Philip Walling’s recent piece for the Newcastle Journal, reprinted here by Paul Homewood:

" …For all of recorded history, it almost went without saying that a watercourse needed to be big enough to take any water that flowed into it, otherwise it would overflow and inundate the surrounding land and houses. Every civilisation has known that, except apparently ours. It is just common sense. City authorities and, before them, manors and towns and villages, organised themselves to make sure their watercourses were cleansed, deepened and sometimes embanked to hold whatever water they had to carry away.

In nineteenth century Cockermouth they came up with an ingenious way of doing this. Any able-bodied man seeking bed and board for the night in the workhouse was required to take a shovel and wheelbarrow down to the River Derwent and fetch back two barrow-loads of gravel for mending the roads. This had the triple benefit of dredging the river, maintaining the roads and making indigent men useful.

In Cumbria they knew they had to keep the river clear of the huge quantities of gravel that were washed down from the fells, especially in times of flood. For Cumbrian rivers are notoriously quick to rise as the heavy rain that falls copiously on the High Fells rapidly runs off the thin soils and large surface area over which it falls. Cumbrian people have always known that their rivers would be subject to such sudden and often violent inundations and prepared for them by deepening and embanking their channels. Such work was taken very seriously".

So what changed? EU Regulation, that’s what.

Thanks to the European Water Framework Directive – which passed into UK law in 2000 and which is enforced by the Environment Agency – the emphasis has shifted from preventing flooding to encouraging it.

Yes, you read that right. Under EU legislation, dredging rivers is considered environmentally unfriendly because it takes them away from their “undisturbed”, “natural” state.

 Instead, the emphasis shifted, in an astonishing reversal of policy, to a primary obligation to achieve ‘good ecological status’ for our national rivers. This is defined as being as close as possible to ‘undisturbed natural conditions’. ‘Heavily modified waters’, which include rivers dredged or embanked to prevent flooding, cannot, by definition, ever satisfy the terms of the directive. So, in order to comply with the obligations imposed on us by the EU we had to stop dredging and embanking and allow rivers to ‘re-connect with their floodplains’, as the currently fashionable jargon has it.

And to ensure this is done, the obligation to dredge has been shifted from the relevant statutory authority (now the Environment Agency) onto each individual landowner, at the same time making sure there are no funds for dredging. And any sand and gravel that might be removed is now classed as ‘hazardous waste’ and cannot be deposited to raise the river banks, as it used to be, but has to be carted away.

On the other hand there is an apparently inexhaustible supply of grant money available for all manner of conservation and river ‘restoration’ schemes carried out by various bodies, all of which aim to put into effect the utopian requirements of the E W F Directive to make rivers as ‘natural’ as possible.

For example, 47 rivers trusts have sprung up over the last decade, charities heavily encouraged and grant-aided by the EU, Natural England, the Environment Agency, and also by specific grants from various well-meaning bodies such as the National Lottery, water companies and county councils. The West Cumbria Rivers Trust, which is involved in the River Derwent catchment, and includes many rivers that have flooded, is a good example.

But they all have the same aim, entirely consonant with EU policy, to return rivers to their ‘natural healthy’ state, reversing any ‘straightening and modifying’ which was done in ‘a misguided attempt to get water off the land quicker’. They only think it ‘misguided’ because fast flowing water contained within its banks can scour out its bed and maybe wash out some rare crayfish or freshwater mussel, and that conflicts with their (and the EU’s) ideal of a ‘natural’ river .

 Few politicians will admit this. Those who have attempted to do so – such as the former Environment Secretary Owen Paterson – have been shouted down as swivel-headed loons. After all, really, what could be more absurd than blaming the European Union of all things for a natural disaster like flooding.UK FLOOD

Absurd it may be but it happens to be true. Paterson dared speak out because he is openly anti-EU. Most politicians don’t – nor do any green activists – because they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Of course pro-EU David Cameron is never going to admit that this mess is of the EU’s making, any more than is pro-EU shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn.

Far easier for them to point the finger of blame at “climate change.”


Climate change alarmist Michael E. Mann acknowledges role of ‘RECORD STRENGTH’ El Niño

Michael E. Mann, climate scientist and author of “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines,” must be tired of hearing that the uncharacteristic weather that surprised much of the nation this holiday season wasn’t definitive proof of climate change but rather an effect of El Niño.

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders might have been in a panic because “nobody can recall a Christmas Eve where the temperature was 65 degrees,” but Mann has a scientific explanation that handily fits inside a tweet.

"No--record warmth isn't just "El Nino". It's RECORD STRENGTH El Nino + human-caused climate change = dramatically more likely heat extremes".

Now if someone tries to tell you El Niño is the cause of recent weather systems, you’ll know that it’s El Niño combined with human-caused climate change to blame.


Paper: Scientists Still Can’t Explain The ‘Grand Hiatus’ In Global Warming

Scientists are not only having trouble explaining why global surface temperatures did not warm for 15 years in the 21st century, they still have not adequately explained why there was an even longer 30-year “grand hiatus” in global warming during the mid-20th century.

“The climate models making dire predictions of warming in the 21st century are the same models that predicted too much warming in the early 21st century, and can’t explain the warming from 1910-1945 or the mid-century grand hiatus,” Dr. Judith Curry writes in a Wednesday op-ed published in The Financial Post.

The so-called “grand hiatus” was a period from 1945 to 1975 where the world stopped warming, and even cooled slightly, despite carbon dioxide emissions rapidly rising. Scientists have thus far been unable to explain why there was no warming even though global warming theory predicts there would have been warming.

“The mid-century period of slight cooling from 1945 to 1975 – referred to as the “grand hiatus” – also has not been satisfactorily explained,” Curry writes. Curry is a climatologist at Georgia Tech University. She has published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers on the climate.

Climate scientists claim carbon dioxide emissions are driving the global warming trend since 1950, but they have trouble explaining warming that occurred early in the 20th century. Nearly half of the 20th century warming trend occurred from 1910 to 1945, but CO2 emissions didn’t increase enough to explain most of the warming.

“In fact, the period 1910-1945 comprises over 40 per cent of the warming since 1900, but is associated with only 10 per cent of the carbon dioxide increase since 1900,” Curry writes. “Clearly, human emissions of greenhouse gases played little role in causing this early warming.”

“If the warming since 1950 was caused by humans, what caused the warming during the period 1910-1945?” Curry asks.

Curry also notes there’s evidence the Earth has been warming for the past 200 years — a period that began before human carbon dioxide emissions would have been a factor.

Like today’s 15-year “hiatus,” (the “hiatus” grows to 21 years when looking at satellite temperature data for the lower atmosphere) scientists have tried to explain the “grand hiatus” away by adjusting it out of the data to correct for “biases” in thermometers that may have caused the world to appear warmer than it was.

The highly-controversial Climategate emails leaked to the public in 2009 include a conversation between a U.S. and U.K. scientist on “correcting [sea surface temperatures] to partly explain the 1940s warming blip.”

Ironically, U.S. government scientists claimed to eliminate the 15-year “hiatus” during the 21st century by adjusting sea surface temperatures upwards — a move that doubled the warming trend during that time.

What’s unclear, however, is if these thermometer data “adjustments” will stand the test of time and continue to be validated by the scientific community. It’s especially unclear given the huge uncertainties looming over climate models and the accuracy of the global temperature record.

“The politically driven push to manufacture a premature consensus on human-caused climate change has resulted in the relative neglect of natural climate variability,” Curry writes. “Until we have a better understanding and predictive capability of natural climate variability, we don’t have a strong basis for predicting climate change in the decades or century to come.”


Australian uranium in demand as China goes full steam for nuclear

Despite reactor closures in Europe and the US, the global outlook for uranium looks bright, with Asia's burgeoning nuclear energy industry fuelling demand for the radioactive metal.

Australia's uranium market is also set for a bright future, with a strong possibility of new mines opening in Western Australia provided global demand strengthens as forecast.

And, as with so many of the world's minerals, Chinese demand is a key driver.

A recent commodities research note from Macquarie Bank called uranium the "best mined commodity of 2015".

After a collapse in generation following the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, "nuclear power has been making a quiet comeback," said Macquarie. "We have now seen more than two years of consistent year-on-year growth. Total output this year is set to be the strongest since 2011."

China, India, Korea and Russia were the engines of growth in the industry, said Macquarie, expected to contribute 70 per cent of new reactors by 2030. Furthermore, Japanese reactors were returning to the fleet, with 20 Japanese reactors back online by 2020.

However, cheap gas and coal, the rise of politically-friendly renewable energy and the costly need to extend the life of reactors had hit the industry in the West, the paper said.

In the US five reactors had closed since 2012, "with potentially as many to follow"; Germany will phase out all reactors by the early 2020s; while Sweden will cut back its reactor fleet by 40 per cent.

New capacity in Asia

However, said Macquarie, "the combined size of these reductions is less than half of the scheduled new capacity additions" in Asia. Widespread closures in the US, despite record-low energy prices, were "unlikely": US nuclear energy use was its highest since 2009, nuclear power was still cheaper than fossil fuel, and the focus on reducing coal usage meant uranium had become a relatively more popular source of baseload power generation.

"We still see nuclear power as a growth industry," said Macquarie. "We still expect solid demand growth on a five-year view."

The paper singled out China's "staggering" stockpiling. In 2016, the Chinese will have the equivalent of nine years of projected 2020 consumption in inventory. "China's annual uranium requirement is likely to grow by more than the rest of the world's combined requirement over the next five years." 

China has 26 nuclear reactors in operation and 25 under construction. But long-term plans call for 92 reactors operating by 2025 and 129 by 2020.

In 2015, China approved new reactors for the first time since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2009, with the China General Nuclear Power Corporation receiving the go-ahead for two gigawatt reactors.

China was "the only part of the world that's really increasing reactor capacity by any large margin", said ?Mining and Metals Senior Associate at Citi, Matthew Schembri.

But Chinese demand for the radioactive metal far outstripped supply. China only produced 1450 tonnes of uranium in 2015, far less than its 8160-tonne consumption rate.

Consequently, the Chinese were trying to create "uranium independence," said Mr Schembri, not only by producing more but also by stockpiling and buying equity shares in foreign projects.

"They're aiming for one-third to be domestically produced, one-third from foreign equity ownership in foreign mines, and one-third to be imports," said Mr Schembri.

But the world was not likely to face a shortage of uranium despite the uptick in demand, he said.

"It is going to be an important power source in the future and the most recent Chinese five-year plan has said that, but even so, the world has enough uranium that's it's not going to create a particularly tight market."

Uranium has fallen from around $US152 per pound in 2007 to well under $US60 since the global financial crisis, with a low just above $US28 in May 2014. This year, it peaked around $US40 in March. It is currently trading at $US35.35, which is just off the year's lows.

Mr Schembri said that the price would return to $US40, rising to $US50 in the longer term. At these price levels, existing mines would remain viable and new ones would open, he said.

Macquarie agreed, stating that "almost all mine output is cash-positive at current price levels".

Mr Schembri added that the recent Paris Climate Summit – which pledged to restrict global warming to "well below 2? above pre-industrial levels", a goal that is expected to increase demand for nuclear power as countries shift away from carbon-dioxide-producing coal power – had had no effect on the uranium market or prices.

Australia, which produces 11 per cent of the world's uranium and is the world's third-largest producer after Canada and Kazakhstan, currently has three operating uranium mines: Ranger in the Northern Territory, Olympic Dam (the world's largest uranium deposit) in South Australia and Four Mile in South Australia. Australian-listed uranium miners and explorers include Energy Resources of Australia, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Paladin Energy, and Mintails.

There are a numerous proposals for new Australian mines, including four well-advanced proposals in Western Australia alone: Lake Way (Wiluna), which Toro Energy hopes to mine; Yeelirrie and Kintyre, which Canadian uranium miner Cameco wishes to develop; and Mulga Rock, which Vimy Resources has an interest in.

However, the new mines – which could create up to 1300 long-term jobs and be worth $1 billion a year to Western Australia by 2020 – have still not been formally approved and are dependent on the uranium price improving as forecast.

They are also the subject of fierce opposition from environmental groups such as the Australian Conservation Foundation, while the Western Australia's ALP opposition opposes uranium mining and export. The next Western Australian election is in March 2017.



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

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This Blog by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.), writing from Brisbane, Australia.

I am the most complete atheist you can imagine. I don't believe in Karl Marx, Jesus Christ or global warming. And I also don't believe in the unhealthiness of salt, sugar and fat. How skeptical can you get? If sugar is bad we are all dead

Global warming has now become a worldwide political gravy-train -- so only a new ice-age could stop it. I am happy however to be one of the small band who keep the flame of truth alive

This site is in favour of things that ARE good for the environment. That the usual Greenie causes are good for the environment is however disputed. Greenie policies can in fact be actively bad for the environment -- as with biofuels, for instance

Context for the minute average temperature change recorded: At any given time surface air temperatures around the world range over about 100°C. Even in the same place they can vary by nearly that much seasonally and as much as 30°C or more in a day. A minute rise in average temperature in that context is trivial if it is not meaningless altogether. Scientists are Warmists for the money it brings in, not because of the facts

The world's first "Green" party was the Nazi party -- and Greenies are just as Fascist today in their endeavours to dictate to us all and in their attempts to suppress dissent from their claims.

"When it comes to alarmism, we’re all deniers; when it comes to climate change, none of us are" -- Dick Lindzen

The EPA does everything it can get away with to shaft America and Americans

Cromwell's famous plea: "I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken" was ignored by those to whom it was addressed -- to their great woe. Warmists too will not consider that they may be wrong ..... "Bowels" was a metaphor for compassion in those days

Warmism is a powerful religion that aims to control most of our lives. It is nearly as powerful as the Catholic Church once was

Leftists have faith that warming will come back some day. And they mock Christians for believing in the second coming of Christ! They obviously need religion

Global warming has in fact been a religious doctrine for over a century. Even Charles Taze Russell, the founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, believed in it

A rosary for the church of global warming (Formerly the Catholic church): "Hail warming, full of grace, blessed art thou among climates and blessed is the fruit of thy womb panic"

Pope Francis is to the Catholic church what Obama is to America -- a mistake, a fool and a wrecker

The plight of the bumblebee -- an egregious example of crooked "science"

Inorganic Origin of Petroleum: "The theory of Inorganic Origin of Petroleum (synonyms: abiogenic, abiotic, abyssal, endogenous, juvenile, mineral, primordial) states that petroleum and natural gas was formed by non-biological processes deep in the Earth, crust and mantle. This contradicts the traditional view that the oil would be a "fossil fuel" produced by remnants of ancient organisms. Oil is a hydrocarbon mixture in which a major constituent is methane CH4 (a molecule composed of one carbon atom bonded to four hydrogen atoms). Occurrence of methane is common in Earth's interior and in space. The inorganic theory contrasts with the ideas that posit exhaustion of oil (Peak Oil), which assumes that the oil would be formed from biological processes and thus would occur only in small quantities and sets, tending to exhaust. Some oil drilling now goes 7 miles down, miles below any fossil layers

As the Italian chemist Primo Levi reflected in Auschwitz, carbon is ‘the only element that can bind itself in long stable chains without a great expense of energy, and for life on Earth (the only one we know so far) precisely long chains are required. Therefore carbon is the key element of living substance.’ The chemistry of carbon (2) gives it a unique versatility, not just in the artificial world, but also, and above all, in the animal, vegetable and – speak it loud! – human kingdoms.

David Archibald: "The more carbon dioxide we can put into the atmosphere, the better life on Earth will be for human beings and all other living things."

Warmists depend heavily on ice cores for their figures about the atmosphere of the past. But measuring the deep past through ice cores is a very shaky enterprise, which almost certainly takes insufficient account of compression effects. The apparently stable CO2 level of 280ppm during the Holocene could in fact be entirely an artifact of compression at the deeper levels of the ice cores. Perhaps the gas content of an ice layer approaches a low asymptote under pressure. Dr Zbigniew Jaworowski's criticisms of the assumed reliability of ice core measurements are of course well known. And he studied them for over 30 years.


"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." --- Richard P. Feynman.

Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough - Michael Crichton

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" -- Karl Popper

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts" – Richard Feynman

"The desire to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it" -- H L Mencken

'Nothing is more terrible than ignorance in action' -- Goethe

“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.” -- Voltaire

Lord Salisbury: "No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe soldiers, nothing is safe."

Calvin Coolidge said, "If you see 10 troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you." He could have been talking about Warmists.

Some advice from long ago for Warmists: "If ifs and ans were pots and pans,there'd be no room for tinkers". It's a nursery rhyme harking back to Middle English times when "an" could mean "if". Tinkers were semi-skilled itinerant workers who fixed holes and handles in pots and pans -- which were valuable household items for most of our history. Warmists are very big on "ifs", mays", "might" etc. But all sorts of things "may" happen, including global cooling

Bertrand Russell knew about consensus: "The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence whatever that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more likely to be foolish than sensible.”

There goes another beautiful theory about to be murdered by a brutal gang of facts. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld, French writer and moralist (1613-1680)

"Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate" -- William of Occam

Was Paracelsus a 16th century libertarian? His motto was: "Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest" which means "Let no man belong to another who can belong to himself." He was certainly a rebel in his rejection of authority and his reliance on observable facts and is as such one of the founders of modern medicine

"In science, refuting an accepted belief is celebrated as an advance in knowledge; in religion it is condemned as heresy". (Bob Parks, Physics, U of Maryland). No prizes for guessing how global warming skepticism is normally responded to.

"Almost all professors of the arts and sciences are egregiously conceited, and derive their happiness from their conceit" -- Erasmus

"The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin." -- Thomas H. Huxley

Time was, people warning the world "Repent - the end is nigh!" were snickered at as fruitcakes. Now they own the media and run the schools.

"One of the sources of the Fascist movement is the desire to avoid a too-rational and too-comfortable world" -- George Orwell, 1943 in Can Socialists Be Happy?

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts -- Bertrand Russell

“Affordable energy in ample quantities is the lifeblood of the industrial societies and a prerequisite for the economic development of the others.” -- John P. Holdren, Science Adviser to President Obama. Published in Science 9 February 2001

The closer science looks at the real world processes involved in climate regulation the more absurd the IPCC's computer driven fairy tale appears. Instead of blithely modeling climate based on hunches and suppositions, climate scientists would be better off abandoning their ivory towers and actually measuring what happens in the real world.' -- Doug L Hoffman

Something no Warmist could take on board: "Knuth once warned a correspondent, "Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it." -- Prof. Donald Knuth, whom some regard as the world's smartest man

"To be green is to be irrational, misanthropic and morally defective. They are the barbarians at the gate we have to stand against" -- Rich Kozlovich

“We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.“ – Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation

“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Leftists generally and Warmists in particular very commonly ascribe disagreement with their ideas to their opponent being "in the pay" of someone else, usually "Big Oil", without troubling themselves to provide any proof of that assertion. They are so certain that they are right that that seems to be the only reasonable explanation for opposition to them. They thus reveal themselves as the ultimate bigots -- people with fixed and rigid ideas.


This is one of TWO skeptical blogs that I update daily. During my research career as a social scientist, I was appalled at how much writing in my field was scientifically lacking -- and I often said so in detail in the many academic journal articles I had published in that field. I eventually gave up social science research, however, because no data ever seemed to change the views of its practitioners. I hoped that such obtuseness was confined to the social scientists but now that I have shifted my attention to health related science and climate related science, I find the same impermeability to facts and logic. Hence this blog and my FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC blog. I may add that I did not come to either health or environmental research entirely without credentials. I had several academic papers published in both fields during my social science research career

Update: After 8 years of confronting the frankly childish standard of reasoning that pervades the medical journals, I have given up. I have put the blog into hibernation. In extreme cases I may put up here some of the more egregious examples of medical "wisdom" that I encounter. Greenies and food freaks seem to be largely coterminous. My regular bacon & egg breakfasts would certainly offend both -- if only because of the resultant methane output

Since my academic background is in the social sciences, it is reasonable to ask what a social scientist is doing talking about global warming. My view is that my expertise is the most relevant of all. It seems clear to me from what you will see on this blog that belief in global warming is very poorly explained by history, chemistry, physics or statistics.

Warmism is prophecy, not science. Science cannot foretell the future. Science can make very accurate predictions based on known regularities in nature (e.g. predicting the orbits of the inner planets) but Warmism is the exact opposite of that. It predicts a DEPARTURE from the known regularities of nature. If we go by the regularities of nature, we are on the brink of an ice age.

And from a philosophy of science viewpoint, far from being "the science", Warmism is not even an attempt at a factual statement, let alone being science. It is not a meaningful statement about the world. Why? Because it is unfalsifiable -- making it a religious, not a scientific statement. To be a scientific statement, there would have to be some conceivable event that disproved it -- but there appears to be none. ANY event is hailed by Warmists as proving their contentions. Only if Warmists were able to specify some fact or event that would disprove their theory would it have any claim to being a scientific statement. So the explanation for Warmist beliefs has to be primarily a psychological and political one -- which makes it my field

And, after all, Al Gore's academic qualifications are in social science also -- albeit very pissant qualifications.

A "geriatric" revolt: The scientists who reject Warmism tend to be OLD! Your present blogger is one of those. There are tremendous pressures to conformity in academe and the generally Leftist orientation of academe tends to pressure everyone within it to agree to ideas that suit the Left. And Warmism is certainly one of those ideas. So old guys are the only ones who can AFFORD to declare the Warmists to be unclothed. They either have their careers well-established (with tenure) or have reached financial independence (retirement) and so can afford to call it like they see it. In general, seniors in society today are not remotely as helpful to younger people as they once were. But their opposition to the Warmist hysteria will one day show that seniors are not completely irrelevant after all. Experience does count (we have seen many such hysterias in the past and we have a broader base of knowledge to call on) and our independence is certainly an enormous strength. Some of us are already dead. (Reid Bryson and John Daly are particularly mourned) and some of us are very senior indeed (e.g. Bill Gray and Vince Gray) but the revolt we have fostered is ever growing so we have not labored in vain.

A Warmist backs down: "No one knows exactly how far rising carbon concentrations affect temperatures" -- Stefan Rahmstorf, a scientist at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Jimmy Carter Classic Quote from 1977: "Because we are now running out of gas and oil, we must prepare quickly for a third change, to strict conservation and to the use of coal and permanent renewable energy sources, like solar power.


Today’s environmental movement is the current manifestation of the totalitarian impulse. It is ironic that the same people who condemn the black or brown shirts of the pre WW2 period are blind to the current manifestation simply because the shirts are green.

Climate is just the sum of weather. So if you cannot forecast the weather a month in advance, you will not be able to forecast the climate 50 years in advance. And official meteorologists such as Britain's Met Office and Australia's BOM, are very poor forecasters of weather. The Met office has in fact given up on making seasonal forecasts because they have so often got such forecasts embarrassingly wrong. Their global-warming-powered "models" just did not deliver

Here's how that "97% consensus" figure was arrived at

97% of scientists want to get another research grant

Hearing a Government Funded Scientist say let me tell you the truth, is like hearing a Used Car Salesman saying let me tell you the truth.

A strange Green/Left conceit: They seem to think (e.g. here) that no-one should spend money opposing them and that conservative donors must not support the election campaigns of Congressmen they agree with

To Greenies, Genghis Khan was a good guy, believe it or not. They love that he killed so many people.

Greenie antisemitism

After three exceptionally cold winters in the Northern hemisphere, the Warmists are chanting: "Warming causes cold". Even if we give that a pass for logic, it still inspires the question: "Well, what are we worried about"? Cold is not going to melt the icecaps is it?"

It's a central (but unproven) assumption of the Warmist "models" that clouds cause warming. Odd that it seems to cool the temperature down when clouds appear overhead!

To make out that the essentially trivial warming of the last 150 years poses some sort of threat, Warmists postulate positive feedbacks that might cut in to make the warming accelerate in the near future. Amid their theories about feedbacks, however, they ignore the one feedback that is no theory: The reaction of plants to CO2. Plants gobble up CO2 and the more CO2 there is the more plants will flourish and hence gobble up yet more CO2. And the increasing crop yields of recent years show that plantlife is already flourishing more. The recent rise in CO2 will therefore soon be gobbled up and will no longer be around to bother anyone. Plants provide a huge NEGATIVE feedback in response to increases in atmospheric CO2

Every green plant around us is made out of carbon dioxide that the plant has grabbed out of the atmosphere. That the plant can get its carbon from such a trace gas is one of the miracles of life. It admittedly uses the huge power of the sun to accomplish such a vast filtrative task but the fact that a dumb plant can harness the power of the sun so effectively is also a wonder. We live on a rather improbable planet. If a science fiction writer elsewhere in the universe described a world like ours he might well be ridiculed for making up such an implausible tale.

Greenies are the sand in the gears of modern civilization -- and they intend to be.

The Greenie message is entirely emotional and devoid of all logic. They say that polar ice will melt and cause a big sea-level rise. Yet 91% of the world's glacial ice is in Antarctica, where the average temperature is around minus 40 degrees Celsius. The melting point of ice is zero degrees. So for the ice to melt on any scale the Antarctic temperature would need to rise by around 40 degrees, which NOBODY is predicting. The median Greenie prediction is about 4 degrees. So where is the huge sea level rise going to come from? Mars? And the North polar area is mostly sea ice and melting sea ice does not raise the sea level at all. Yet Warmists constantly hail any sign of Arctic melting. That the melting of floating ice does not raise the water level is known as Archimedes' principle. Archimedes demonstrated it around 2,500 years ago. That Warmists have not yet caught up with that must be just about the most inspissated ignorance imaginable. The whole Warmist scare defies the most basic physics. Yet at the opening of 2011 we find the following unashamed lying by James Hansen: "We will lose all the ice in the polar ice cap in a couple of decades". Sadly, what the Vulgate says in John 1:5 is still only very partially true: "Lux in tenebris lucet". There is still much darkness in the minds of men.

The repeated refusal of Warmist "scientists" to make their raw data available to critics is such a breach of scientific protocol that it amounts to a confession in itself. Note, for instance Phil Jones' Feb 21, 2005 response to Warwick Hughes' request for his raw climate data: "We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?" Looking for things that might be wrong with a given conclusion is of course central to science. But Warmism cannot survive such scrutiny. So even after "Climategate", the secrecy goes on.

Most Greenie causes are at best distractions from real environmental concerns (such as land degradation) and are more motivated by a hatred of people than by any care for the environment

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

‘Global warming’ has become the grand political narrative of the age, replacing Marxism as a dominant force for controlling liberty and human choices. -- Prof. P. Stott

Comparing climate alarmist Hansen to Cassandra is WRONG. Cassandra's (Greek mythology) dire prophecies were never believed but were always right. Hansen's dire prophecies are usually believed but are always wrong (Prof. Laurence Gould, U of Hartford, CT)

The modern environmental movement arose out of the wreckage of the New Left. They call themselves Green because they're too yellow to admit they're really Reds. So Lenin's birthday was chosen to be the date of Earth Day. Even a moderate politician like Al Gore has been clear as to what is needed. In "Earth in the Balance", he wrote that saving the planet would require a "wrenching transformation of society".

For centuries there was a scientific consensus which said that fire was explained by the release of an invisible element called phlogiston. That theory is universally ridiculed today. Global warming is the new phlogiston. Though, now that we know how deliberate the hoax has been, it might be more accurate to call global warming the New Piltdown Man. The Piltdown hoax took 40 years to unwind. I wonder....

Motives: Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is generally to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Policies: The only underlying theme that makes sense of all Greenie policies is hatred of people. Hatred of other people has been a Greenie theme from way back. In a report titled "The First Global Revolution" (1991, p. 104) published by the "Club of Rome", a Greenie panic outfit, we find the following statement: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.... All these dangers are caused by human intervention... The real enemy, then, is humanity itself." See here for many more examples of prominent Greenies saying how much and how furiously they hate you.

After fighting a 70 year war to destroy red communism we face another life-or-death struggle in the 21st century against green communism.

The conventional wisdom of the day is often spectacularly wrong. The most popular and successful opera of all time is undoubtedly "Carmen" by Georges Bizet. Yet it was much criticized when first performed and the unfortunate Bizet died believing that it was a flop. Similarly, when the most iconic piece of 20th century music was first performed in 1913-- Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" -- half the audience walked out. Those of us who defy the conventional wisdom about climate are actually better off than that. Unlike Bizet and Stravinsky in 1913, we KNOW that we will eventually be vindicated -- because all that supports Warmism is a crumbling edifice of guesswork ("models").

Al Gore won a political prize for an alleged work of science. That rather speaks for itself, doesn't it?

Jim Hansen and his twin

Getting rich and famous through alarmism: Al Gore is well-known but note also James Hansen. He has for decades been a senior, presumably well-paid, employee at NASA. In 2001 he was the recipient of a $250,000 Heinz Award. In 2007 Time magazine designated him a Hero of the Environment. That same year he pocketed one-third of a $1 million Dan David Prize. In 2008, the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented him with its Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award. In 2010 he landed a $100,000 Sophie Prize. He pulled in a total of $1.2 million in 2010. Not bad for a government bureaucrat.

See the original global Warmist in action here: "The icecaps are melting and all world is drowning to wash away the sin"

I am not a global warming skeptic nor am I a global warming denier. I am a global warming atheist. I don't believe one bit of it. That the earth's climate changes is undeniable. Only ignoramuses believe that climate stability is normal. But I see NO evidence to say that mankind has had anything to do with any of the changes observed -- and much evidence against that claim.

Seeing that we are all made of carbon, the time will come when people will look back on the carbon phobia of the early 21st century as too incredible to be believed

Meanwhile, however, let me venture a tentative prophecy. Prophecies are almost always wrong but here goes: Given the common hatred of carbon (Warmists) and salt (Food freaks) and given the fact that we are all made of carbon, salt, water and calcium (with a few additives), I am going to prophecy that at some time in the future a hatred of nitrogen will emerge. Why? Because most of the air that we breathe is nitrogen. We live at the bottom of a nitrogen sea. Logical to hate nitrogen? NO. But probable: Maybe. The Green/Left is mad enough. After all, nitrogen is a CHEMICAL -- and we can't have that!

UPDATE to the above: It seems that I am a true prophet

The intellectual Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) must have foreseen Global Warmism. He said: "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane."

The Holy Grail for most scientists is not truth but research grants. And the global warming scare has produced a huge downpour of money for research. Any mystery why so many scientists claim some belief in global warming?

For many people, global warming seems to have taken the place of "The Jews" -- a convenient but false explanation for any disliked event. Prof. Brignell has some examples.

Global warming skeptics are real party-poopers. It's so wonderful to believe that you have a mission to save the world.

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

The claim that oil is a fossil fuel is another great myth and folly of the age. They are now finding oil at around seven MILES beneath the sea bed -- which is incomparably further down than any known fossil. The abiotic oil theory is not as yet well enough developed to generate useful predictions but that is also true of fossil fuel theory

Help keep the planet Green! Maximize your CO2 and CH4 output!

Global Warming=More Life; Global Cooling=More Death.

The inconvenient truth about biological effects of "Ocean Acidification"

Cook the crook who cooks the books

The great and fraudulent scare about lead

Green/Left denial of the facts explained: "Rejection lies in this, that when the light came into the world men preferred darkness to light; preferred it, because their doings were evil. Anyone who acts shamefully hates the light, will not come into the light, for fear that his doings will be found out. Whereas the man whose life is true comes to the light" John 3:19-21 (Knox)

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

Recent NASA figures tell us that there was NO warming trend in the USA during the 20th century. If global warming is occurring, how come it forgot the USA?

Warmists say that the revised NASA figures do not matter because they cover only the USA -- and the rest of the world is warming nicely. But it is not. There has NEVER been any evidence that the Southern hemisphere is warming. See here. So the warming pattern sure is looking moth-eaten.

The latest scare is the possible effect of extra CO2 on the world’s oceans, because more CO2 lowers the pH of seawater. While it is claimed that this makes the water more acidic, this is misleading. Since seawater has a pH around 8.1, it will take an awful lot of CO2 it to even make the water neutral (pH=7), let alone acidic (pH less than 7).

In fact, ocean acidification is a scientific impossibility. Henry's Law mandates that warming oceans will outgas CO2 to the atmosphere (as the UN's own documents predict it will), making the oceans less acid. Also, more CO2 would increase calcification rates. No comprehensive, reliable measurement of worldwide oceanic acid/base balance has ever been carried out: therefore, there is no observational basis for the computer models' guess that acidification of 0.1 pH units has occurred in recent decades.

The chaos theory people have told us for years that the air movement from a single butterfly's wing in Brazil can cause an unforeseen change in our weather here. Now we are told that climate experts can "model" the input of zillions of such incalculable variables over periods of decades to accurately forecast global warming 50 years hence. Give us all a break!

If you doubt the arrogance [of the global warming crowd, you haven't seen that Newsweek cover story that declared the global warming debate over. Consider: If Newton's laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming -- infinitely more untested, complex and speculative -- is a closed issue

Scientists have politics too -- sometimes extreme politics. Read this: "This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism... I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child." -- Albert Einstein

The "precautionary principle" is a favourite Greenie idea -- but isn't that what George Bush was doing when he invaded Iraq? Wasn't that a precaution against Saddam getting or having any WMDs? So Greenies all agree with the Iraq intervention? If not, why not?

A classic example of how the sensationalist media distort science to create climate panic is here.

There is a very readable summary of the "Hockey Stick" fraud here

The Lockwood & Froehlich paper was designed to rebut Durkin's "Great Global Warming Swindle" film. It is a rather confused paper -- acknowledging yet failing to account fully for the damping effect of the oceans, for instance -- but it is nonetheless valuable to climate atheists. The concession from a Greenie source that fluctuations in the output of the sun have driven climate change for all but the last 20 years (See the first sentence of the paper) really is invaluable. And the basic fact presented in the paper -- that solar output has in general been on the downturn in recent years -- is also amusing to see. Surely even a crazed Greenie mind must see that the sun's influence has not stopped and that reduced solar output will soon start COOLING the earth! Unprecedented July 2007 cold weather throughout the Southern hemisphere might even have been the first sign that the cooling is happening. And the fact that warming plateaued in 1998 is also a good sign that we are moving into a cooling phase. As is so often the case, the Greenies have got the danger exactly backwards. See my post of 7.14.07 and very detailed critiques here and here and here for more on the Lockwood paper and its weaknesses.

As the Greenies are now learning, even strong statistical correlations may disappear if a longer time series is used. A remarkable example from Sociology: "The modern literature on hate crimes began with a remarkable 1933 book by Arthur Raper titled The Tragedy of Lynching. Raper assembled data on the number of lynchings each year in the South and on the price of an acre’s yield of cotton. He calculated the correla­tion coefficient between the two series at –0.532. In other words, when the economy was doing well, the number of lynchings was lower.... In 2001, Donald Green, Laurence McFalls, and Jennifer Smith published a paper that demolished the alleged connection between economic condi­tions and lynchings in Raper’s data. Raper had the misfortune of stopping his anal­ysis in 1929. After the Great Depression hit, the price of cotton plummeted and economic condi­tions deteriorated, yet lynchings continued to fall. The correlation disappeared altogether when more years of data were added." So we must be sure to base our conclusions on ALL the data. In the Greenie case, the correlation between CO2 rise and global temperature rise stopped in 1998 -- but that could have been foreseen if measurements taken in the first half of the 20th century had been considered.

Relying on the popular wisdom can even hurt you personally: "The scientific consensus of a quarter-century ago turned into the arthritic nightmare of today."

Greenie-approved sources of electricity (windmills and solar cells) require heavy government subsidies to be competitive with normal electricity generators so a Dutch word for Greenie power seems graphic to me: "subsidieslurpers" (subsidy gobblers)


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